Two grain and hay farmers from
Hunterdon and Burlington counties, and a Hunterdon
County vegetable farmer have been sworn in as new members
of the State Board of Agriculture.
R. Kenneth Totten of Ringoes, Hunterdon County,
and Phillip D. Prickett, Jr., of Mount Holly, Burlington
County, were recently sworn in as members representing
the grain and hay industry, while Peter L. Melick
of Lebanon, Hunterdon County, was sworn in to represent
the vegetable industry. Totten and Prickett's terms
will expire in 2006, while Melick's term will expire
The State Board also elected David J. Kanach of
Branchburg, Somerset County, to serve as president
and Russell J. Marino of Swedesboro, Gloucester County,
as vice president. Other members of the board are
George L. Dean of Monroeville, Gloucester County;
Dr. Stephen P. Dey II of Allentown, Monmouth County;
and Neva Moore of Tabernacle, Burlington County.
Totten's farm has been in his family since 1917.
The home farm consists of 140 acres where he grows
corn, soybeans and hay. He also rents an additional
300 acres in the Ringoes area where he grows corn
Totten has been a member of the Hunterdon County
Board of Agriculture for 56 years, serving as first
vice president of the board for the past eight years.
In 1999, he was awarded the county board's Distinguished
Service Award. He was active in the Hunterdon County
Dairy Herd Improvement Association for many years
and served as its director.
Totten served as community committeeman for the
federal Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation
Service (ASCS) from 1955 through 1965. He served
on the Hunterdon County Agricultural Stabilization
Conservation Committee from 1966 to 1976 and on the
ASCS State Committee from 1977 to 1980. Totten also
was chairman of the New Jersey Farm Service Agency
during 2000 and 2001 when New Jersey was assisting
farmers with drought relief.
Melick is co-owner of the 300-acre Melick's Town
Farm in Oldwick, which grows and markets apples,
peaches and other fruits and vegetables. He owns
and operates two farm markets and also operates two
pick-your-own operations where he offers peaches,
apples and pumpkins. The farm includes a wholesale
cider business, with customers throughout northern
and central New Jersey. He also participates in two
tailgate markets in northern New Jersey.
Melick has been a member of the New Jersey Vegetable
Growers Association since 1992 and a member of the
New Jersey Horticultural Society Board of Directors
since 1993, including serving as president from 1997-1998.
He has served on the Hunterdon County Agricultural
Development Board since 1993, including as chairman
from 1995 to 1999. He is currently second vice president
of the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture and
has been a member of the Executive Board since 1994.
He also has been a member of the New Jersey Tomato
Council since 1994.
Prickett owns and operates P.D. Prickett, Inc.,
which consists of 550 acres in New Jersey where he
raises soybeans, field corn, small grains, hay, sweet
corn, pumpkins and potatoes. The operation also includes
another 390 acres in Maryland where he grows corn,
soybeans and rye straw.
Prickett joined the Young Farmers and Ranchers
Association in 1974, and has been a member of the
New Jersey Farm Bureau since 1975 and Agway, Inc.,
since 1976. He also has been a member of the American
Soybean Association since 1976 and director from
1976 to 1979. He received national recognition as
a member of the United Soybean Board from 1991 to
2000 and was one of 62 soybean producers serving
the national soybean check-off program as an appointee
of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Prickett also was a member of the Burlington County
Board of Agriculture from 1985 to 1988, serving as
treasurer from 1987 to 1988. He has been a member
of the Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Committee
since 1979, serving as chairman from 1981 to 1982.
He also was a director of the New Jersey Council
of Farmer Cooperatives. Since 1978, he has been a
member of the Cooperative Growers Association. He
was a founding director of the New Jersey Grain and
Forage Association in 1988 and currently serves as
treasurer. He was on the Lumberton Township Committee
from 1991 to 2000, serving as mayor in 1995 and 1999,
and deputy mayor in 1996, 1998 and 2000.
The eight-member State Board of Agriculture is the
highest agricultural policy-making body in New Jersey.
Only those who are involved in producing farm crops
or livestock products are eligible, and membership
must represent each of the four leading agricultural