Governor James E. McGreevey today administered
the oath of office to the Garden State's new Secretary
of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.
"Governor McGreevey has made it very clear
that he wants me to keep our agriculture industry
strong and vital and prepare it to take full advantage
of every opportunity the future brings us," Kuperus
said. "I accept that mandate, Governor, and
on behalf of the industry I promise you that we will
work together within our agriculture community and
with leaders of other sectors of New Jersey's economy
to fulfill that mandate to the best of our ability."
The new Agriculture Secretary has a long history
of leadership among both the agricultural community
and in his home town.
He has served on the New Jersey Farm Bureau Board
of Directors and served as vice-president of the
organization in addition to his membership in the
American Farm Bureau Federation. He served as president
and vice president of the Sussex County Board of
Agriculture and as a member of its Board of Directors.
A strong advocate of planned growth, Kuperus was
a member of the State Planning Commission. He chaired
the Plan Development Committee, which interfaced
with county and state representatives in planning
initiatives and was responsible for updating the
State Plan that was adopted in March 2001. He is
the recipient of an award from the New Jersey Association
of Planning Officials for individual achievement
Kuperus's community service includes two terms
as a Sussex Borough Councilman, including a term
as Council president. During these terms, he was
instrumental in planning and implementing upgrades
to the potable water and wastewater systems. In addition,
he served as a commissioner on the Sussex County
Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) and as chairman
of the wastewater committee.
Immediately prior to his selection as Secretary
of Agriculture, Kuperus served as Director of the
Sussex County Board of Freeholders to which he was
elected in 2000.
A lifelong resident of Sussex, New Jersey, Kuperus
and and his wife Marge live on the family farm with
their four sons and two daughters.