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Warren J. Welsh - Click to enlarge
Warren J. Welsh
As Sussex County's agricultural agent for 35 years, Warren J. Welsh worked tirelessly to improve the county's agriculture industry and gave countless hours of his time to furthering community programs.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Nevada, Welsh began his career in 1950 as an Assistant Extension Agent, retiring from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service as Senior County Agent in 1985. Throughout his career, he worked for the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show (SCFHS), beginning as a volunteer assistant secretary for the show and serving now as executive secretary and advertising committee chairman. Welsh served on the 1963 site selection committee which oversaw the purchase of the 126-acre fairgrounds and spent the next 10 years helping develop the fairgrounds' layout. He was one of four individuals who personally secured a $13,000 loan to build the first pole barn on the fairgrounds in 1977.

At the SCFHS, Welsh was instrumental in developing a number of new fair venues, including an art show, photography show, baby parade, pet show, wood-chopping contest, chick show, landscape competition and greenhouse displays. SCFHS Agriculture Division volunteers continue to raise $50,000 each year for agriculture buildings at the fairgrounds. In recognition of his service to the SCFHS, Warren's Way, a road on the fairgrounds, was named after him.

As a member of the International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE), Welsh served as an IAFE Agriculture Awards Judge and on a variety of regional and national agriculture planning committees. He received Hardee's American Heritage Award from the IAFE in 1996.

Welsh has received many awards for his contributions to the agriculture industry, including the John Gerwig Outstanding Career for Furthering Educational Program Award in 1985; the Sussex County Honors Award in 1986; and the Sussex County Soil Conservation Service Award in 1995. A recipient of the Coop Milk Producers Service Award, he also received the SCFHS Years of Service Award Trophy in 1997.

Welsh was named a Rutgers Professor Emeritus in 1985. A member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau since 1950, he has served on the Sussex County Agriculture Development Board since 1978 and on the Sussex Vo-Tech Commission from 1963 to 1973. He served as Sussex County Soil Conservation Service District Secretary from 1950 to 1970, on the Sussex County College Commission from 1964 to 1970 and as director of the Sussex County Skylands Division of Tourism from 1989 to 1993.

Locally he has been a member of the Newton Rotary Club since 1953 and was named Rotarian of the Year in 1965. Welsh served as Rotary International Group Study Exchange Tour Leader to Argentina in 1967. In 1968 he started the Rotary Youth Exchange Program in District 747 which is still active today. In 1971-1972 he chaired a Group Study Exchange Program with Australia. Welsh served Rotary International as District Governor in District 747 in 1969-1970.

A member of the Newton Presbyterian Church and a church elder in 1970, he also worked on the Newton Memorial Hospital Fund Drives and was on the Newton School Board from 1965 to 1975.

Welsh served with the U.S. Air Force from 1942-1946 in Iceland and India. Married to the former Letitia Gamble for more than 50 years, their daughter, Linda, and her husband, Ronald Zalme, have three children, Jessica, Warren and Owen.

In appreciation for his dedication to and support for agriculture, the State Board of Agriculture proudly awards Warren J. Welsh its citation for Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture.