2008 Distinguished Service Award Recipients
Gary and Pam MountFarmers, Gary & Pam Mount are the owners and operators of Terhune Orchards, in Lawrence Township, near Princeton in Mercer County. It’s a prosperous, highly acclaimed business noted for innovative cultural practices and direct marketing. Since 1975, The Mounts’ have cultivated a unique Agri-tourism bonanza at Terhune Orchards, consisting of 185-acres which they say attracts a half million visitors a year who indulge in their 36 different crops of fruits, vegetables and flowers. They are proud of having 55 acres of their main farm in the farmland preservation program since 1984, which became the cornerstone of 2,500 contiguous preserved acres in Lawrence Township.
The energy that the Mounts’ bring to tending their crops and serving customers who visit their farm market is exuded throughout the community and especially the Ag community. They are ambassadors for promoting farm tours for local, state, national and international events: including media day presentations, educational activities, television cooking shows, legislative, US & Russia Roundtable and International Dwarf Fruit Tree tours, along with a bushel of twilight meetings. They have criss-crossed the country promoting New Jersey Agriculture while sharing their knowledge of farming and home-grown marketing techniques.
Aside from being a dynamic husband and wife farm team the Mounts have excelled as individuals. Gary was born in Princeton and graduated from Princeton University in 1966 with a BA degree, magna cum laude. He ventured out as an agricultural agent in the Peace Corps where he and Pam served as newly married volunteers. Among his many life accomplishments is having a hand in the development and growth of New Jersey’s present day farmland preservation program. He’s well known for his leadership with the International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association, which led to revitalization of the apple industry across the country/ and, throughout the world for the introduction of production systems that were more efficient and profitable.
Pam hails from Princeton as well and went on to garner a BA degree from Lake Erie College in 1967. She also served in the Peace Corps as a volunteer teacher. Eventually, life evolved for Pam here in the Garden State – where she began planting seeds for present and future generations through her efforts in starting and sustaining New Jersey Agricultural Society programs, such as: Agricultural Leadership Development, Farmers Against Hunger, School Gardens and produce sampling in supermarkets. Pam’s leadership abilities positioned her as Mayor of Lawrence Township in 2001 and 2005 where she is presently a seasoned member of the Town Council.
The Mounts have left no stone unturned as farmers who are concerned about acquiring the best for their business and being advocates for New Jersey Agriculture. Their leadership and memberships ring out in areas like: Howell Living History Farm, State Agricultural Development Committee, Stoney Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Middlesex-Somerset-Mercer Regional Planning Council, Mercer Soil Conservation District, New Jersey State Horticultural Association, International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association, International Apple institute, Trenton Market Growers Cooperative, State Board of Agriculture, New Jersey Farm Bureau, New Jersey Agricultural Society, Lawrence Township Mayor, and Councilwoman, New Jersey Clean Air Council, New Jersey Future, Central Jersey Transportation Forum, Lawrence Arts Festival, Open Space, Environmental and Affordable Housing Committees, League of Women Voters and their lists go on.
The Mounts have been honored by various groups over the years. Gary and Pam received the 1996 Chevron-Times Mirror National Conservation Award—nominated by Sen. Bill Bradley, Mercer County Chamber of Commerce 2007 Outstanding Small Business of the Year and New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts 2007 Organization for Conservation Achievement awards. Gary was honored as the 2005 National Apple Grower of the year by the American Fruit Grower Magazine. Pam received the National Association of Women Business Owners-Women of Inspiration award, the 2002 D & R Greenways Donald Jones Conservation award for Land Preservation and the New Jersey Agricultural Society President’s Award.
Along with giving of themselves to others Pam & Gary are dedicated, adoring and affectionate parents to their three children: Reuwai, Tannwen and Mark as well as their grandchildren.