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Pittsgrove Farmer Selected One of Four Finalists in National Contest

Byron and Karen DuBois, at National Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Congress in Ferndale, Washington.

New Jersey’s 2024 Outstanding Young Farmer Byron DuBois, of Salem County (featured in last week’s issue), was selected as a national winner at the 2024 National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held last week in Ferndale, Washington.

DuBois, with the support of his wife Karen, co-owns and operates Spring Brook Farms in Pittsgrove along with his father Henry. Byron was one of four national winners selected from a group of 10 finalists for the 2024 award based on their progress in an agricultural career, extent of soil and water conservation practices and contributions to the well-being of the community, state, and nation.

“It was a whirlwind of emotions this past week as Karen and I were blessed to represent New Jersey and Spring Brook Farms at the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA) Congress as a top 10 national finalist of their National Outstanding Young Farmers (NOYF) program,” Byron DuBois said.

“All of the couples are amazing people and all well-deserved of their recognition,” he added. “We were honored and humbled to have been chosen as one of the top four. It really could have been anyone in this great class of 2024.”

Byron, a seventh-generation farmer, gave credit to his family for Spring Brook’s success.

“I want to thank my parents, Henry and Marlene, for all the opportunities and support,” he said. “My sister, Crystal, for her hard work and dedication to the farm, my cousin, Steve, for always being there no matter what time of day, and every one of the Spring Brook Farms family current and past. Without these hard-working dedicated people, we could not do what we do.

“I am looking forward to growing lifelong friendships with the NOYF Class of 2024 as well as the many other members of the OFA.”

National winners will receive a cash award from the Outstanding Farmers of America, and all finalists are presented the opportunity to travel to Washington. D.C., during National Ag Week in 2025. In addition, all 2024 finalist registrants will have their expenses covered at the 2025 National Outstanding Farmer Congress.

The DuBois farm participates in the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and Natural Resources Conservation Service Irrigation Water Management Programs that have helped reduce soil erosion allowing water to drain from fields without soil disturbance.

Other National Outstanding Young Farmer winners from New Jersey have been Abbott Lee in 1985, James Giamarese in 1989, Robert Von Thun in 2001, Jeff Vander Groef in 2005, Will Sytsema in 2009, Richard Norz in 2010, John Melick in 2011, Duce Tallamy in 2012, Jess Niederer in 2016, and Hillary Barile in 2021.