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Photo of Secretary Kuperus, Assemblymen Francis Bodine and Doug Fisher, Steve Lee IV, and Cook College Dean Robert Goodman wading in cranberry bog - Click to enlarge
For Immediate Release: October 18, 2006
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954 

(TRENTON) – A group of New Jersey legislators today visited Lee Brothers in Burlington County to observe the cranberry harvest, which takes place at the farm only four weeks out of each year.

Assemblymen Douglas Fisher, chairman of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Larry Chatzidakis and Francis Bodine, and former Assemblyman Nick Felice participated in the tour.

“Cranberries are an important crop in New Jersey, part of New Jersey’s heritage and clearly, part of our future” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.  “The colorful cranberry harvest is a sight to behold, and a growing agritourism attraction.”

The Lee family has been farming the land in Woodland Township since 1868.  The farm now consists of nearly 2,000 acres, with 130 acres of cranberry bogs in Woodland, Washington and Tabernacle Townships. 

Stephen V. Lee III, secretary/treasurer of Lee Brothers, said he hopes he impressed upon the legislators that there is a great demand for cranberries in the country, which brings with it a need for operations such as his to continue to exist and grow.

The legislators also toured Rutgers Philip E. Marucci Blueberry/Cranberry Research and Extension Center in Chatsworth to learn about the results of the latest research on new disease-resistant varieties of cranberries and the beneficial impacts of both cranberries and blueberries on human health.

According to 2005 statistics, New Jersey ranks fourth in the nation in the production of cranberries, with 3,100 acres harvested producing 533,000 barrels worth $18 million.