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For Immediate Release: February 2, 2007
Contact: Jeff Beach
(609) 292-5531

(TRENTON) – Alfred W. Murray, a 23-year veteran of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) and the Director of the Division of Marketing and Development for the past six years, has been named Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for New Jersey.

Murray, a 45-year-old resident of Audubon, Camden County, and a former mayor of that borough, will continue serving as Markets Director, while adding the duties of Assistant Secretary, said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.

“I look forward to supporting the Secretary as we help New Jersey’s agricultural community face the challenges of continuing our state’s agrarian heritage,” Assistant Secretary Murray said. “I also appreciate the confidence placed in me by Governor Corzine and the State Board of Agriculture.”

In addition to continuing oversight of his Division, Secretary Kuperus said, Murray will take on a new role in reaching out directly to the state’s 9,000-plus farmers on issues ranging from farm viability to food safety. Murray also will work more closely with the directors of the Department’s other divisions to create additional coordination of resources and efforts.

“The issues involved in promoting agriculture in New Jersey are growing more complex every year,” Secretary Kuperus said. “In Mr. Murray’s new role, he will assist in taking our programs and messages directly to our farm families, while also lending his nearly quarter-century of experience with the Department to our policy discussions.”

Murray, a 1983 graduate of Susquehanna University with degrees in marketing and management, joined the Department in October 1983 as an agricultural marketing specialist. In that role, he helped develop the “Jersey Fresh” marketing campaign, which has become synonymous with New Jersey agriculture. In 1995, he was named Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Market Expansion and in 2000 promoted to Director of the Division of Marketing and Development. He can be heard weekdays at 12:20 p.m. on WSNJ-AM radio, where he provides news of NJDA and United States Department of Agriculture programs and a listing of prices for New Jersey agricultural products when in season.

“Secretary Kuperus has brought a broad, forward-thinking vision to the Department and he and our State Board are very proactive on a host of issues,” Murray said. “I certainly expect to be very busy in this dual role, but it is an honor to be making this effort on behalf of the hard-working farmers, fishermen and aquaculturalists of the Garden State.”