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Annual Report 1999

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The State Board of Agriculture is New Jersey's highest official agricultural body and is responsible for establishing policies within the framework of agricultural laws for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. As part of that role, the eight-member Board approves rules and regulations, sets program priorities and approves budget requests.

The policies set by this Board affect the state's agricultural community and, therefore, state law mandates that the members of the Board must be people who are involved in producing farm crops or livestock products. In carrying out its responsibilities during the year, the Board held special public meetings and participated in other farm and agriculture-related activities to become fully aware of the issues facing agriculture.

Members William N. Brooks, Jr., a Salem County vegetable grower, was elected president and Peter V. Demarest, a Bergen County fruit grower, was named vice president of the State Board of Agriculture in July 1998. Two new Board members, Douglas Zee, Gloucester County, and Thomas A. Brodhecker, Sussex County, representing New Jersey's fruit and grain/forage industries, respectively, took their seats on the Board. Other Board members were Roger J. Ruske, Cumberland County; Bix L. DiMeo, Monmouth County; Abbott W. Lee, Burlington County; and Steven R. Jany, Mercer County.

All Board members are elected at the State Agricultural Convention, nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the New Jersey Senate.

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