Long-time farmers Jane Brodhecker, of Sussex County, and James Etsch, of Middlesex County, were honored Feb. 5 with Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citations by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.
“Jane’s expertise and experience on the State Agricultural Development Committee provided much needed insight to our farmland preservation efforts," said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. Brodhecker graduated from Indiana University with a degree in home economics and nursing with minors in arts and math. When she met and married her husband Tom Brodhecker and the Brodheckers raised six children.
In 1969, the Brodheckers purchased their farm in Hampton Township, Sussex County. The farm began as a grain, hay, sheep and cattle operation and has expanded in size and diversity. Today, the Brodhecker Farm continues to grow grain and hay on their own land as well as rented land. They raise cattle and sheep and have also developed their operation to include being a New Jersey licensed livestock feed manufacturer, along with having farm-raised beef, chicken and pork. Black oil sunflower seed, field corn, hay, straw and meats are sold from the farm store.
Along with serving on the State Agricultural Development Committee, Jane has been a long-time member and leader of the New Jersey Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and found time to volunteer with 4-H and the Girl Scouts while managing their farm’s business office. The Brodheckers were also honored by the New Jersey Agricultural Society as Gold Medallion Winners in 2019.
Both Brodheckers have served in leadership positions on their county board of agriculture and on numerous committees and boards that include State and Regional 4-H Leaders Forum Planning Committees, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Managers, Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, as members of the Sussex County Agricultural Development Board and as delegates to the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention.