2006 Distinguished Service Award Recipients
John J. GallagherThe New Jersey Department of Agriculture has benefited from the stalwart support of Jack Gallagher for nearly thirty years. This native Trentonian who has spent most of his life in Mercer County began his career with the department in the late 70's after a seven-year stint as a high school teacher.
Jack acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He has a Masters Degree from the College of New Jersey in Distributive Education and a Certified Public Manager's Degree from Rutgers University.
Jack has extended himself toward supporting and elevating New Jersey's Agricultural Industry as much as anyone. He managed the promotion programs for the Apple, Poultry, Peach, White Potato, Sweet Potato and Asparagus Councils while working with other commodity groups and numerous Trade Associations. He developed the operating programs and coordinated the formation of the North & South Jersey Dairy Councils and the New Jersey Soybean Industry Advisory Board.
Jack created the first Buyers Guide for the state's Plant & Flower Growers. He used his insight to develop an eight-egg carton for use by New Jersey’s Shell egg Producers. He established a benchmark relationship with produce buyers across the country and in Canada to promote the sale of New Jersey produced agriculture commodities. These relationships exist event today.
Jack was at the table to implement and initiate "Jersey Fresh", a state sponsored Agricultural Marketing Program, which has been a success for more than twenty years and is often imitated across the country.
He was there to assist with the acquisition and development of the Horse Park of New Jersey. Jack has been out front affecting policy as an Intergovernmental Liaison with the Governor’s Chief of Staff, State Treasurer as well as with members and staff of the State Legislature. He’s been known as the "Get it done guy", often building consensus while providing creative solutions to budget and policy problems. Jack authored the department's first long-range Plan 1990-2000 and directed the evolution of our information technology network.
Jack conceived and coordinated the merger of the Bureau of Child Nutrition from the department of Education into the department of Ag. It was his idea that created the movement of Future Farmers of America Vocational Student Organization from the department of Education into the Ag. Department. As the Department of Agriculture’s Chief of Operations and Day-to-Day Executive Manager, Jack Gallagher left no stone unturned when it came to assisting New Jersey Agriculture.
For his accomplishments Jack has garnered the NJ Agricultural Society's President’s Award, Honorary American FFA Degree, NJ State FFA Blue & Gold Award and the National Association of State Department’s of Agriculture Award for Administration.
Jack has been married to his wife Kathy for 35 years and they have two children: Megan and Amy. Since retiring from the department this past summer he keeps himself busy as an Adjunct Professor with Burlington County Community College