TRENTON, N.J. — Burlington County farmer Lisa Specca and Morris County farmer Kurt Alstede today were sworn in to their terms on the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the monthly meeting of the Board at The Horse Park of New Jersey. The session also included the annual officer reorganization where Hunterdon County’s David DeFrange II was elected President and Gloucester County’s Dr. Ernie Beier Vice President.
“Lisa Specca and Kurt Alstede offer a wide range of experience and expertise that will greatly benefit the farmers and the entire agricultural community in our state,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “Their perspectives will aid in the continued advancement of agriculture in the Garden State.”
Specca and her husband Dave Specca, own and operate Specca Farms in Burlington County. It is a fourth-generation family owned and operated vegetable farm. The farm markets directly to the public through a pick-your-own operation and seasonal farmers markets. Lisa Specca’s primary responsibilities include being manager of retail sales and marketing, manager of human resources, greenhouse production manager, chief financial officer, and coordinator of farm safety.
Lisa Specca is also a comprehensive professional planning consultant, which includes services to land use boards across the state that involve rural sector planning including farmland preservation plans, expert witness for grid scale solar litigation, transfer development rights planning, and Highlands conformance plans. She has also served on the State Agriculture Development Committee, and the Springfield Township Council, and was a member of the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program Class No. 2. Lisa is also a member of the New Jersey Agricultural Society, the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association, New Jersey Farm Bureau, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Alstede is the General Manager of Alstede Farms, a first-generation operation that is family owned and was built over the last 40 years evolving from raising hay, grain, and wholesale vegetables to becoming an entirely retail based business with nearly 800 acres of tree fruits, small fruits, vegetables, and flowers. All the farm’s output is sold through the on-farm store, pick your own, tailgate markets, and Community Supported Agriculture. Agritourism also compliments the business as the farm employs 30 full-time year-round staff and seasonally up to 200 people in both production and retail.
Alstede has served on the New Jersey State Committee of the Farm Service Agency, been the agricultural liaison for the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program, is a Director for Farm Credit East, is a member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, and serves on the Morris County Board of Agriculture, where he was president in 2003-2004.
DeFrange and Beier have each served on the board since 2019. DeFrange owns and operates Copper Creek Landscape Management in Frenchtown and Beier is a veterinarian who owns Beier Veterinary Services in Mickleton.
The State Board of Agriculture comprises eight members who serve for four years. By law, at least four of its members must represent the top commodity groups in the state. For more information, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/about/sba.
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA