Feb 23, 2024
New Jersey farmer earns national honor

New Jersey’s 2024 Outstanding Young Farmer, vegetable grower Byron DuBois, is one of four national winners of the 2024 National Outstanding Young Farmers Award.

DuBois, with the support of his wife Karen, co-owns and operates Spring Brook Farms in Pittsgrove, New Jersey, 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, according to a news release from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Byron and Karen DuBois
Photo courtesy of NJ Department of Agriculture.

The award recipients were recognized during the National Outstanding Young Farmers (NOYF)  Awards Congress in mid-February in Ferndale, Washington.

Byron DuBois said “it was a whirlwind of emotions” representing his farm and New Jersey.

“All of the couples are amazing people and all well-deserved of their recognition,” he said in the release. “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.”

DuBois, a seventh-generation farmer, gave credit to his family for Spring Brook’s success. He thanked his parents, Henry and Marlene, his sister Crystal and cousin Steve, as well as past generations who worked on the farm, for their dedication.

“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,” he said in the release.

National winners receive a cash award from the OFA, and all finalists are presented the opportunity to travel to Washington. D.C., during National Ag Week in 2025.

“The work Byron and his family have done over the past several years made them an exemplary candidate and we are proud they were recognized nationally with this honor,” Joe Atchison III, New Jersey Department of Agriculture assistant secretary of agriculture, said in the release. “Byron’s passion for agriculture and vision for his family’s operation has made Spring Brook one of the outstanding farms in New Jersey as well as being a shining example to other farms in our state and the country.”

Byron DuBois learned many intricacies of the business from his father. By the time he was a teenager, Byron was operating equipment for spinach harvest, combining grain and harvesting green beans. The primary crops grown on the more than 4,000 acres at the farm include include carryover spinach, spring spinach, fall spinach, winter spinach, sweet corn, tomatoes, field corn, soybeans and wheat.

Throughout the years, Byron DuBois has led efforts to become more efficient, including equipment upgrades for quicker spinach and tomato harvests, and using GPS technology for more precise planting, harvesting and treatment methods. The farm also uses detailed mapping information to find specific soil types in fields, which in turn has led to more economical use of fertilizers and irrigation.

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

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