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The moderating effect of the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, which surround the well-drained, sandy coastal plane soils of southern New Jersey, allows our farmers to grow such a diversity of crops such that something Jersey Fresh is being harvested at least 9 months of the year. The 2007 Agricultural Census revealed that Atlantic County has become the second largest agricultural county in the Garden State producing crops and livestock worth $128.3 million annually. Close to $126 million of that is attributed to production of high-value specialty horticultural crops. Atlantic County vegetable farmers grow more than 100 types of vegetables (3rd in NJ, 94th in the US) and fresh herbs (1st in NJ, 6th in the US -- overall NJ is 3rd in production of fresh herbs behind FL and NC). Combined, these crops contribute nearly $25 million annually to local farm income and help sustain 6,000 acres of productive farmland. 

Annual Outreach Programs

  • NJ Annual Vegetable Growers Conference, renamed the Atlantic Coastal
    Agriculture Conference <>
    , is held in Atlantic City each
    year. Coordinated by the RCEAC Vegetable Working Group
    , this annual conference and trade show is one of the
    biggest sources of up-to-date technology for East Coast vegetable
  • Regional Integrated Vegetable Crop Management Twilight Meetings -Co-coordinated with Cumberland Ag Agent Wes Kline and Gloucester Ag Agent Michelle Infante-Casella, meetings are held on grower farms throughout the season to keep local farmers aware of current plant and pest problems observed in the field.

Special Projects

Vegetable Production and Pest Management

World CropWorld Crops
Ethnic and Specialty Vegetable Production and Marketing Resource Development-Cooperating with Extension Specialists from Cornell and University of Massachusetts, Mr. VanVranken is leading this Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education ( funded project to create an online specialty vegetable production guide and to teach fellow extension workers how to determine market opportunities that are created by the growing ethnic diversity of the US population.

Commercial Vegetable Production E-mail Discussion Group
CVPIn 1984, Mr. VanVranken created the veg-prod internet discussion group to allow quick and convenient interaction among vegetable workers and growers around the country. Today more than 260 extension agents and specialists, researchers, industry representatives and farmers from more than 20 countries have easy access to each other to share news, reports, discuss questions, and usually receive responses within minutes.  CLICK HERE to visit the groups web page.

Food Safety

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
Food Safety Begins on the FarmProject is a national collaborative effort to reduce microbial risks in fruits and vegetables by developing comprehensive extension and education program for growers and packers. Mr. VanVranken is a member of the 'National GAPs Team' helping to create and deliver many educational materials promoting the use of good agricultural practices on the farm. This project is funded by CSREES-USDA and US-FDA, and is based at Cornell University. Go to the National GAPs Team web site.

Publications and Resources