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For Immediate Release: January 29, 2001 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown, Jr., of Egg Harbor was honored as "Horseperson of the Year" by the Garden State's equine industry at the 44th annual Breeders Awards Dinner in West Windsor on January 27. Brown has earned a national reputation for his efforts to promote New Jersey's agriculture industry in general and has been a devoted and tireless advocate of and spokesperson for the Garden State's equine industry in particular. Appointed as Secretary of Agriculture in 1982, Brown charted the course that has taken Garden State agriculture into the 21st century. Among his major accomplishments are the creation of the award-winning Jersey Fresh program which Brown has expanded to include all farm commodities, including the state's Standardbred horses. New Jersey's Standardbred pacers and trotters earn national awards nearly every year and bring top dollar at yearling sales around the country. An avid horseman, Brown has been involved in all aspects of the $3.2 billion equine industry and seized every opportunity to focus attention on its contributions to the economy and scenic beauty of the state. Not the least of his accomplishments is the continuing development of the Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern, Monmouth County, into a first-class equine exhibition, competition and educational venue. During the past several years, Brown has been an enthusiastic participant in equine events that highlight the industry and has been successful in generating the participation of celebrity riders from all walks of life, including Governor Christie Whitman, agriculture secretaries from other states, state legislators and radio and television personalities. He has done calf-cutting exhibitions at the National Horse Show and barrel racing contests at the Cowtown Rodeo; driven sulkies at Freehold Raceway and the Horse Park Of New Jersey; assisted with team penning events for handicapped riders in Ocean County; and ridden with 4-H members at the state 4-H Horse Show. Most recently, he helped to introduce reining at the United States Equestrian Team headquarters during the Festival Of Champions. Brown's numerous awards from the agriculture industry include his selection as 1995 Horseman of the Year by the New Jersey Horse Council and the 1996 President's Award from the US Harness Writers Association. Last year, Brown received the New Jersey Agricultural Society's Gold Medallion Award for service to the industry and the New Jersey Farm Bureau's Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture Award. He is active in many national agriculture organizations and is a past president of both the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the Northeastern Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Brown currently chairs the United States Department of Agriculture's Census Advisory Committee and was recently named to the Farm Credit Regional Council as a representative of the Northeastern states. In 1999 he served as president of Food Export USA/Northeast and he still serves on USDA's Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics. Born in Fulton, New York and raised on a Massachusetts dairy farm, Brown earned a bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in horticulture from Cook College, Rutgers University. He worked as a county agriculture agent for 11 years and attained professorship at Cook College before being named Secretary of Agriculture.