Art Brown, retired NJ Secretary of Agriculture (1982-2000), is an active farmer and member of the agricultural community (don’t let the retired part fool you!).
Together, he and his wife Carolyn own and operate B&B Farms. Formally a nursery and garden center, B&B Farms currently supports the startup operations of Sea Salt CSA and World Crops by providing access to land, irrigation, greenhouses, buildings and some equipment.
In addition, Art currently serves as associate director for outreach with Rutgers Food Policy Institute and remains a strong proponent of important agricultural programs, including farmland preservation, biological pest control, soil and water conservation, and animal and plant disease prevention. The Brown’s production includes about one acre of blueberries.
Together with African native, Morris G Bolo of World Crops, they grow ethnic vegetables, mostly eggplants and peppers, on approximately five acres. Art’s numerous contributions include the establishment of the highly popular “Jersey Fresh” marketing campaign, which became a model for other agriculture departments across the country, and the implementation of a nationally recognized biological pest control program.
Art worked to help win support for a stable source of state funding for farmland preservation, which was realized in 1999 with the signing of the Garden State Preservation Trust Act, establishing a constitutionally dedicated source of funding for both farmland and open space preservation. He also led efforts to extend the farmland preservation program to the Pinelands.