2005 Distinguished Service Award Recipients
Thomas EverettA Hillsborough resident and tireless advocate for agriculture, Thomas Everett has been a Somerset County farmer his whole life.
Farming for the Everett family began in New Jersey around 1910 when Tom’s grandfather purchased the Beekman land in Hillsborough to develop a dairy and grain farm. Over the years, Tom eventually took a leadership role in expanding Ever Lea Farm through innovative agricultural practices. The farm prospered to cultivate annually up to 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and several other diverse grain products. Tom’s participation also served to increase the farm size, livestock and the number of cows milked, which produced as many as 165 milking cows at all times. Like many dairy farmers across the country, the family disbanded that portion of their operation but continued to focus on the grain business and vegetables for their roadside marketing at Everett’s Farm and Market.
Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Delaware Valley College in the study of agronomy. In addition to being a busy farmer, Tom wore many hats as an active participant in agricultural government. He has served as the first and only chair for the Somerset County Board of Agriculture during the past twenty-one years; he’s been a member and leader of his County Agricultural Development Board, a member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau land use committee, New Jersey’s Direct Marketing Association, Vegetable Growers’ Association, and Grain and Forage Producers Association. Tom has been involved with New Jersey Farm Bureau for nearly 30 years.
Colleagues in the farming community have honored Tom with many awards and citations for his outstanding contributions, which include: New Jersey’s Outstanding Young Farmer of 1984 and the 2004 Spirit of Agriculture Award.
Tom has a loving and devoted relationship with his wife, Kris, and their children: Rachel, Kaitlin and David. He is a farmer who has a proven track record for being committed to New Jersey agriculture. Tom’s wife, Kris, says her husband stands by his principles of being involved in what is going on around him, because, he says, if you’re not, then you have no right to complain.