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Five Farms in Gloucester and Salem Counties Sold
in Largest Auction of Preserved Farmland
For Immediate Release: April 3, 2000 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) today sold five preserved farms totaling 814 acres in Gloucester and Salem counties, in the largest public auction of farmland in the history of the Farmland Preservation Program. The SADC had purchased the farmland -- nearly all of it in Gloucester County -- as one property from Sunnydale and Gracemark Partners through its fee simple program. That purchase, completed in January, totaled $4.4 million, with Gloucester County contributing $750,000 of the cost. The SADC divided the property into six farms, added deed restrictions to permanently preserve them for agriculture and resold five of the six farms today to the highest bidders. The sixth farm, which drew no bids, will be reoffered for sale at a later date. Altogether, the five farms sold for $1,375,000, which will be returned to the Farmland Preservation Program and used to preserve other New Jersey farms. The farms are located in Elk and Franklin townships, Gloucester County, and Upper Pittsgrove Township, Salem County. The proud new owners are:

  • Brian and Bridget Dean of Monroeville, who emerged as the high bidders on two farms in Elk Township B 95 acres on the south side of Whig Lane at its intersection with Elmer-Barnsboro Road, which sold for $135,000, and 239 acres located on both sides of Railroad Avenue and the south side of Whig Lane, which sold for $290,000. The couple, the owners of Dean's Evergreens, plan to use the farms to expand their nursery operations.

    Leigh Weiss of Glassboro, who purchased 129 acres on the west side of Elmer-Barnsboro Road (County Route 609), just south of Ewan-Aura Road, in Elk Township. The purchase price was $235,000.

    Carl H. Burd, Jr., of Long Valley, who offered $420,000 to buy 154 acres in Elk Township, located on the north side of Whig Lane and County Route 619.

  • John C. Ackerman, Jr., of Monroeville, who purchased 197 acres on the north side of Monroeville Road (CR 604), at the boundary line of Gloucester and Salem counties. The purchase price for the property -- most of which is located in Elk Township -- was $295,000.

Under the fee simple program, the SADC purchases farms outright from willing sellers, deed restricts them to ensure that they are permanently preserved for agriculture, and resells them at auction to the highest bidders.

The State Agriculture Development Committee administers the Farmland Preservation Program. To date, 418 farms totaling 62,210 acres have been permanently protected through the Farmland Preservation Program, with an additional 14,862 acres approved for preservation.