2005 Distinguished Service Award Recipients
Thomas A. BrodheckerFor more than three decades, Thomas A. Brodhecker has been an active participant in New Jersey agriculture. He has a farm in Newton, Sussex County on more than 700 acres. Brodhecker’s farm grows mostly corn and hay along with a portion of the farm being devoted to oats and wheat. Tom also breeds livestock, which include beef cows, calves, sheep and pigs. The majority of grain Brodhecker grows, and all of the meat produced, is marketed directly to the consumer.
Born in Indiana, Tom received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and Journalism from Indiana University in 1957. He later went into the U.S. Air Force, trained and earned the rating of command pilot, which prepared him for an opportunity to eventually become a commercial pilot for Pan American World Airways in the mid 60s until the early 90s. During that time Tom continued to work for the military, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and the New Jersey National Guard.
Over the years, Tom has proven himself to be a productive farmer and a leader in New Jersey agriculture. He has served the industry on numerous committees and boards that include: the State and Regional 4-H Leaders Forum Planning Committees, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Managers, vice president and director of the Sussex County Board of Agriculture and a member of the Sussex County Agriculture Development Board, delegate to the State Agriculture Convention for nine years, member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau and a delegate to their convention for four years, as well as a member and president of the State Board of Agriculture.
Through it all, family is the sustenance that keeps Tom pressing forward. He and loving wife Jane have been married longer than they care to mention and are the proud parents of six children.
As a leader, Tom’s voice has echoed across countless rows of agricultural endeavors. And his colleagues say he’s a proven, solid, innovative and caring person in an ever-changing environment.