ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — RU Ready to Farm, the beginner farmer training program from the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension, will holding an educational session on February 10,
2022, at 9 am at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City as a part of the 2022 New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association Convention and Trade Show. This session is being led by Middlesex County Agricultural Agent Bill Hlubik, Monmouth County Agricultural Agent William Errickson, Hunterdon County Agricultural Agent Megan Muehlbauer and Program Coordinator Brendon Pearsall and will provide attendees with a wealth of information on how to become a part the next generation of New Jersey farmers. Speakers from Rutgers NJAES and other agricultural support agencies will provide insight and guidance to new and beginner farmers from around the state. This educational session will:
- Highlight the need for a next generation of farmers.
- Provide an overview of the RU Ready to Farm training program.
- Examine issues that many new farmers face, such as finding land, obtaining financing, and deciding what to produce.
- Discuss how to market yourself and your products to new customers.
- Feature a panel of successful beginner farmers discussing what has worked for them.
- Include an afternoon session focused on getting started in orchard crops.
- Discuss how to grow high value tree fruit crops.
Registration for the information session can be found here: https://go.rutgers.edu/csccvnnr
Agriculture in New Jersey is at a tipping point, with many experienced farmers nearing retirement in the coming years. “The future of our food system and farm production will depend on nurturing and training the next generation of farmers. As the average age of farmers in our state approaches 60 years old, we will need intelligent, energetic growers with great ideas to carry on the legacy of our established successful farmers from our Garden State,” says Program Director Bill Hlubik. The COVD-19 pandemic demonstrated the vital importance of a strong local food system, as customers turned to their local farmers for safe and reliable food access during a period of unprecedented supply disruptions. Well trained and well supported farmers are the backbone of this type of resilient food system.
The RU Ready to Farm beginner farmer training program is supported by Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant no. 2020-70017-32784 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension helps the diverse population of New Jersey adapt to a rapidly changing society and improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses science-based knowledge. Through science-based educational programs, Rutgers Cooperative Extension truly enhances the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and brings the wealth of knowledge of the state university to local communities.