SUSSEX COUNTY MAN NAMED NJ’S 2012 OUTSTANDING YOUNG FARMER
Applications Now Being Sought for 2013 Honoree
For Immediate Release: November 4, 2011
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – Beef and produce farmer Paul “Duce” Tallamy II of Wantage has been selected as the 2012 Outstanding Young Farmer by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture.
Tallamy, 39, will be presented with his award in January at the 2012 New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City. In addition, Tallamy was named one of the 10 finalists for the National Outstanding Young Farmer Award and will attend the National Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Congress in Springdale, Arkansas in February where four of those people will be selected as winners.
“Duce Tallamy is a first-time farmer who is dedicated to producing top-notch products, conserving natural resources and educating the public about the importance of agriculture in our state,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “New Jersey agriculture is fortunate to have talented young people of this caliber who choose farming as a profession. Tallamy has truly earned his Outstanding Young Farmer title through his commitment to New Jersey agriculture and serving his community.”
Tallamy got involved in agriculture while working on a degree in applied science at SUNY Cobleskill. After graduating, he worked as a herdsman on an 1,800-head dairy farm. A few years later, he became partners with the owner of an old farm in his hometown of Wantage and together they renovated the buildings on the 250 acres of property, reclaimed the cropland and purchased some cattle. In 2006, he and his wife, Joy, purchased the farm, which is part of the Farmland Preservation Program, and began Green Valley Farms, a produce and natural beef cattle operation.
Duce Tallamy with his family: his son, Travis; daughters, Leanna and Loree; his wife, Joy; and daughters, Larissa and Lanae
The Tallamy’s operate four retail markets, all within 20 miles of the home farm, selling their own sweet corn, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. At their farm in Wantage, they offer pick-your-own strawberries, cut flower and pumpkins and USDA-certified all natural beef. Joy Tallamy runs class trips and farm education tours and they host yearly strawberry, ice cream, sweet corn and harvest festivals.
Conserving natural resources is important to Tallamy and he works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service on manure management, comprehensive Nutrient Management Program, grazing systems and energy audit program. Through the use of drip irrigation for their vegetable crops, they’ve reduced water usage by 50 percent.
Tallamy has served as the president of the Holstein Association, a 4-H Club leader and as a member of the Beef Quality Assurance program. In the community, Tallamy is active in his church, serving as Christian School Board Vice President, Project Development Board Chairman, Long Range Planning Board committeeman and plays an active role in Compass 21, a youth leadership group. He also is a volunteer fireman.
New Jersey annually recognizes the outstanding achievements of a young farmer, who is an upstanding leader, respected agriculturalist and is active in community or faith organizations. The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the Year 2013 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. The submission deadline for nominations is January 15, 2012.
Nominees must be farm operators, deriving a minimum of two-thirds of their income from farming and must be between the ages of 21-40, not becoming 41 prior to January 1 of the year for which they are applying. Candidates who have a financial interest in the farm operation (a sole proprietor, partners, or a corporation) will receive higher ranking in the OYF judging process. However, nominees also may include salaried farm managers and employees who are actively involved in policy and management decisions. Submission of a financial statement is not required for state competition.
A panel of five judges reviews each nominee’s application based on the following criteria: progress in their agricultural career (50 percent of the total score); soil and water conservation practices (25 percent of the total score); and contribution to his/her community, state and nation (25 percent of the total score).
Any individual or organization can nominate deserving young farmers’ names. Persons who have been nominated in the past or previous state winners who did not make it to the National competition can be re-nominated. However, these candidates must still meet the eligibility criteria.
Since the United States Jaycees presented the first award, seven New Jersey farmers’ names have been added to the National OYF Honor Roll. They include Abbott Lee (1985), James B. Giamarese (1989), Robert Von Thun, Jr. (2001), Jeffrey VanderGroef (2005), H. William Sytsema (2009) and Richard A. Norz (2010) and John Melick (2011).
The OYF program is the oldest farmer recognition program in the United States, selecting its first group of national winners in 1955, and is administered by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. The goals of the OYF program are to foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of farmers’ challenges, as well as the appreciation of their contributions and achievements; to bring about a greater interest in farmers/ranchers; and to help build an urban awareness of the farmers’ importance and impact on America’s economy. The OYF program encourages a greater interest in agriculture through the appreciation of the farmers’ contributions and achievements and recognizes local citizens’ contributions and encourages better urban-rural relations. The National OYF program is sponsored by Deere & Company, supported by the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA) Fraternity and the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA), and commencing in 2011, is now administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA) Fraternity.
“New Jersey’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program has recognized many talented individuals over the years who have gone on to be leaders in both agriculture and their communities,” said Fisher. “Through recognizing the efforts of our young farmers, we hope to encourage them to continue to farm and contribute to the community and industry.”
For an official nomination form or more information on the state’s Outstanding Young Farmer program, visit: www.nj.gov/agriculture/about/sba/cover.html.
If you have any questions on the OYF program or the nomination procedure or need a nomination form, contact Karen Kritz, New Jersey OYF Program Manager at (609) 984-2506, by fax (609) 341-3212 or e-mail at Karen.Kritz@ag.state.nj.us.