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Photo of Roger Kumpel, Steven Wagner and Mitchell Jones - Click to enlarge
Jones, Wagner Sworn in to 4-year terms, Kumpel Fills Vacant Seat

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2014
Contact: Lynne Richmond            
(609) 633-2954 

(TRENTON) – The New Jersey State Board of Agriculture installed three new members on July 23 during its reorganization meeting held in Ewing – Mitchell Jones of Harmony Township, representing the hay and grain industry, Steven B. Wagner of Franklinville representing the horticulture industry, and Roger Kumpel of Southampton, filling an unexpired term.

Jones and Wagner were elected by the delegates at the February 2014 State Agricultural Convention for recommendation to the Governor for nomination and later confirmed by the State Senate.  Kumpel, a hay, long straw, hay, grain and vegetable farmer, was elected by the State Board of Agriculture to temporarily fill the seat left vacant when Board Member David Klemm passed away earlier this year.  During the 2015 convention next February, the delegates will elect a person to serve the remainder of Klemm’s term, which ends in 2017.

“Mitchell Jones, Steve Wagner and Roger Kumpel are well-respected and already have long resumes of accomplishment in serving the state’s agricultural industry,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Now, they bring their vast knowledge and experience to the State Board of Agriculture, which sets policy for the industry throughout the entire state.  We look forward to working with them on many important issues.”

Photo of the 2014-2015 NJ State Board of Agriculture
President Richard Norz, Roger Kumpel, VP Robert Swanekamp, Mitchell Jones, Martin Bullock, Marilyn Russo, Steven Wagner and Santo John Maccherone

Mitchell Jones was named New Jersey’s 2014 Outstanding Young Farmer by the State Board of Agriculture.  As a teenager, he worked on local farms and was a member of FFA, gaining hands-on experience about production agriculture. After graduating from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1998, Jones began renting farmland.  Over time he has expanded his rental properties and now owns a small farm.  Jones, whose father worked for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, has applied conservation practices to all acreage he owns and rents. He utilizes cover crops to control erosion and increase organic matter; uses minimal till or no till; has installed lined waterways, underground outlets and erosion control measures; has lands enrolled in a Conservation Stewardship Program; implemented Intensive Nutrient Management on farmland; and works with the NRCS in conjunction with the Audubon Society.

Steve Wagner has worked in New Jersey’s nursery industry for more than 30 years and as General Manager of Brock Farms Nurseries Inc., a 600-acre production nursery in Bridgeton, since 2006.  He implemented trickle irrigation in shade tree production in 1988 at one of the first nurseries to do so, which reduced production time by nearly 33 percent.  He is the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association South Jersey Chapter Chairman, member of AmericanHort and American Horticultural Society and served on the Franklin Township Environmental Commission from 1980-1990.

Kumpel previously served on the State Board of Agriculture from 2006-2010, serving as President from 2009-2010.  He was awarded a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citation from the State Board of Agriculture earlier this year.  Roger, his wife, Ruth, and their family, own 110 acres, which are permanently preserved, and rent 150+ acres. Kumpel has been extremely active in the community, serving on the Burlington County Board of Agriculture for eight years and on the Rutgers University Board of Managers for six years. He served on the Watershed Management Area 19 Public Advisory Committee, serving as Vice President for one year, Burlington County’s Route 130 Delaware River Corridor Extension, Route 206 Farmbelt Corridor Agricultural Viability Task Group; the Southampton Township Agricultural Advisory Board and Environmental Committee; and the Pinelands Ag Advisory Committee.

Also during the reorganization meeting, Richard Norz, a Somerset County hay, grain and vegetable grower, was selected to serve as Board President and Robert Swanekamp, the immediate Board past-president and a Monmouth County flower and plant grower, as Vice President.

The State Board of Agriculture comprises eight members who serve for four years, with two members being replaced each year. By law, at least four of its members must represent the top commodity groups in the state.  Members serve without salary.  For more information, visit