Cumberland County farmer Barney Hollinger, pictured, and Sussex County farmer Holly Systema were recently sworn in to their terms on the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during a special virtual meeting of the Board. The session also included the annual officer reorganization where Hunterdon County’s Erick Doyle was elected President and Cape May County’s Alfred Natali Vice President.
“Holly Systema and Barney Hollinger have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in agriculture in general and in their particular sectors, and will bring valuable perspectives to the State Board,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “They will serve New Jersey farmers with great purpose, continuing the mission of advancing agriculture in our state.”
Hollinger is the Special Projects Manager at Cape May Salt Oyster Farms in Port Norris, which is an oyster producing aquaculture company that harvested 2.5 million oysters while producing 18 million seed oysters in 2019. The company has the goal of selling five million oysters in 2020.
Cape May Salt features an intertidal farm as well as a deepwater farm. The company runs boats five days a week during its prime season, and sorts, cleans, and sizes each oyster during its 18-24 month grow out. The oysters are packed at Cape May Salt and then shipped across the continental United States.
Hollinger has served on the Cumberland County Board of Agriculture for four years, including two as vice-president. He also has been the Chairman for the Delaware Bay Shellfish Council for the last 10 years and is a member of the Marine Fishery Council and the Aquaculture Advisory Council representing Commercial Fishing. He also has been a board member of the Cumberland County Empowerment Zone, is a member of the Port Norris Historical Society, and the Bay Shore Center.
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 nj.gov/agriculture/about/sba.