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John Y. Rinehart - Click to enlarge
John Y. Rinehart
Hunterdon County farmer John Y. Rinehart knows the importance of protecting our natural resources.

Ahead of his time, he was an early promoter of conservation tillage, helping to control soil erosion through techniques such as chisel plow and no-tilling planting.

John, 82, began working on the family farm in 1938, a year after graduating from high school. He produced grain, and during World War II grew vegetables for Trenton's Stokely Company, which had a government contract to support the war effort.

He was a member of New Jersey Farm Bureau for 25 years, eight of which he served as director. He also served on the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture for 25 years, spending 10 as secretary and two as president.

John served as mayor of Franklin Township, and was a founding member of the Grain and Forage Producers Association of New Jersey.

He has been a deacon and elder at the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church for more than 20 years.

John and his wife Ruth have been married for 57 years. They have two daughters and two grandsons, one of whom is following in his grandfather's footsteps and is active in the family business.

John has garnered a number of awards and citations for his contributions to New Jersey Agriculture. He has been recognized for his distinguished service to the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture and received the New Jersey Farm Bureau's Arthur West Citation for Agriculture. He also received a citation from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for his service on the Fish and Game Council.

John remains an active farmer to this day.