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NJ AG Secretary Honored with Gold Medallion
For Immediate Release: May 1, 2000 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


Art Brown Receives Gold Medallion
Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown leads the state's agricultural agenda in New Jersey, the most urban state in the nation, and faces a wide variety of challenges and issues. Appointed as Secretary of Agriculture in 1982, Brown charted a course for taking Garden State agriculture into the 21st century, a course focused on marketing, farmland preservation, biological pest control, soil and water conservation, and animal and plant disease prevention. Under Secretary Brown's leadership, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture set national marketing standards with its award-winning Jersey Fresh program. Nationally recognized for its efforts in biological pest control -- using beneficial insects against crop pests -- the department also forged strong goals to preserve the natural resources of the state. This goal was further enhanced with a broad soil and water conservation program. In an urban state faced with the loss of farmland due to pressures of development, Secretary Brown advocated for new measures to retain agriculture's thriving, healthy status. Particularly notable is the enactment of the Garden State Trust Fund, a constitutionally-dedicated source of funding for farmland and open space preservation that will fuel the preservation of 500,000 acres of farmland over the next decade. Also enacted with Secretary Brown's impetus are the recent amendments to the state Right to Farm Act, legislation that protects responsible farmers from unnecessary government restrictions and nuisance legal actions. Born in Fulton, New York and raised on a Massachusetts dairy farm, Brown learned early of the many challenges facing agriculture. He worked as one of New Jersey's county agriculture agents for 11 years and attained professorship at Cook College before being named Secretary of Agriculture. He also held numerous positions with various agricultural firms over the years prior to that. With a bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of Massachusetts in hand, Art earned a masters degree in horticulture from Cook College, Rutgers University in 1977. A member of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Brown currently serves as chairman of the United States Department of Agriculture's Census Advisory Committee and chairman of both the New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee and the State Soil Conservation Committee. He is also a trustee of the Southern New Jersey Development Council. In 1999 he was elected president of Food Export USA/Northeast (formerly EUSAFEC); was appointed by Governor Christie Whitman as a member of the Northeast Interstate Compact Commission; was named to the United States Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics and inducted into the New Jersey Nursery & Landscape Association's Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Board of Managers of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and a trustee of the New Jersey Agricultural Society, the New Jersey Agriculture Museum, the New Jersey District Export Council of the United States Department of Commerce, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the New Jersey State Planning Commission. Brown has also served on the National Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development Policy; as past president and executive board member of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; as past president of the Northeastern Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the Eastern United States Agricultural and Food Export Council; on the board of directors of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association; as member of the United States Department of Environmental Protection's State/EPA Operations Committee; and on the United States Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Swine Health Protection. Brown has received the National FFA Association's highest honor, the Honorary American FFA Degree; the Southern New Jersey Development Council's Statesman Award; and the Golden Flower Award from the New Jersey State Florists Association and the New Jersey Plant and Flower Growers Association; and the New Jersey Education Association's 1996 Leadership Award. In 1996 he received the President's Award from the US Harness Writers Association and in 1995 the New Jersey Horse Council named him Horseman of the Year. Brown and his wife Carolyn have six children and ten grandchildren. In recognition of his leadership, accomplishments and contributions, and with the greatest appreciation for her many years of service which have greatly benefited the agricultural industry of this state, the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Agricultural Society takes great pleasure in presenting ARTHUR R. BROWN with its highest honor, THE GOLD MEDALLION.