Home > News > Press Releases
New Jersey's Top Young Farmer Honored at
U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce National Convention
For Immediate Release: March 5, 1999 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


Thirty-two of the nation's top farmers convened last month in Mobile, Alabama, for the 1999 National Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) Award Congress. Carl Tarabbio, Jr., from Vineland, Cumberland County, represented New Jersey at the Congress. Tarabbio, President of Tarabbio Farm, Inc., a third generation grower, produces lettuce, herbs, vine crops, and cole crops on the 75-acre family farm. Tarabbio has held offices in numerous agriculture and non-agriculture organizations and has been honored on numerous occasions for his commitment to agriculture. Tarabbio entered farming because of its proud family tradition and the opportunities, challenges and rewards it offers. He uses banded pesticide application methods and participates in integrated crop management and integrated pesticide management programs to identify and reduce insects and plant diseases and allow beneficial insects to control harmful pests. He also uses special growing techniques to enter the early season vegetable market. Included among New Jersey's OYF alumni James Abma ('91), William Brooks, Jr. ('81), James Giamarese ('89), Abbott Lee ('85), and Erwin Sheppard ('79). Brooks, Lee and Giamarese serve on New Jersey's OYF Advisory Committee. Brooks is currently president of the State Board of Agriculture, Sheppard is a former vice-president of the Board and Lee is currently a Board member representing New Jersey's fruit industry. The National OYF Awards Congress is an annual event, sponsored by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, which honors the achievements of a diverse group of enterprising farmers from across the nation. During the National OYF Congress, five leaders in America agriculture choose the top four OYF candidates. The four national winners for 1999 OYF are from Alabama (grain/beef/swine), Maryland (dairy/poultry/beef), Minnesota (grain/swine) and South Dakota (sheep/cattle/grain). The Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) program recognizes farmers who are good stewards of the land, conserving natural resources through efficient and innovative practices. The program also encourages better urban-rural relations and greater interest in the farmer through appreciation of the farmers' contributions and achievements. It is the oldest farmer recognition program in the United States, selecting its first group of national winners in 1955. Among the notable former national winners of the OYF award are John R. Block (IL, '69), former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and Dean R. Kleckner (IA, '67). More than 250 people representing past state winners, dignitaries and Jaycees attended the ceremony at Mobile's Adams Mark Hotel to honor the 32 state OYF winners. Orion Samuelson, an award-winning farm broadcaster, served as the master of ceremonies for the 34th consecutive year. Presiding over the awards ceremony was Chris Reese, 79th President of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. The National OYF program is administered by the U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Deere & Company and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and supported by the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA) Fraternity, comprised of past state and national OYF winners. There are over 1,600 members of the OFA Fraternity. The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce provides personal and professional development through civic involvement to men and women ages 21-39. There are some 150,000 members in more than 3,000 chapters across the nation. The attached fact sheet further defines OYF. For more information on the OYF program or to arrange an interview with Tarabbio on his farm, call Karen Kritz, New Jersey's OYF Program Manger, at (609) 984-2506.