2006 Outstanding Young Farmer Award
Joseph M. MarinoJoe Marino is a fourth generation Gloucester County farmer. As the 2006 Outstanding Young Farmer, he embodies the future of New Jersey Agriculture. Joe has positioned himself in his family’s fresh market produce business, Marino Brothers-Sun Valley Orchards as an integral force by taking on the responsibilities of sales, marketing and transportation.
Joe grew up in South Harrison Township on the family farm where he said he enjoyed assisting with the work load every chance he got: from plowing, soil testing, assembling boxes, cultivating, working in the packinghouse and driving delivery trucks.
In 1994, Joe graduated from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture. Upon his return to the farm Joe recognized two big obstacles stunting the growth of Marino Brothers-Sun Valley Orchards – sales and transportation. He eliminated brokers who dictated their prices and began direct marketing to his customers – and also started J& R Trucking Company with a fleet of six trucks to handle all the family business’s transporting. Today, Joe says “I sell and market everything we grow as well as sell other farmers’ produce – and he says, “personally handling all sales and transportation matters ensures that our customers get our quality Jersey Fresh product in a timely fashion.”
Joe’s strong work ethic and dedication to the land and farm’s marketing efforts has positioned Marino Brothers-Sun Valley Orchards in the forefront of New Jersey’s agriculture Industry. What once was a wholesale185-acre canhouse tomato, pepper, asparagus and soybean farm has evolved over the last 75 years into a direct market 1,200-acre fresh market vegetable and peach operation.
Stability and economic viability of the business are Joes’s paramount goals. His management plan consist of conservation of natural resources, utilizing state of the art technology so they can maintain their edge as a definite competitor in the business of agriculture.
Joe is an active member of numerous agriculture organizations that include the Produce Marketing Association, Eastern produce Council and the Peach Promotion Council. He and his wife Kerri are devoted parents to three children: Joe, Jr., Matthew and their new baby, Valerie.
Joe is committed to New Jersey Agriculture because he says, farming and the love for it is something that you’re born with.