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Peter J. Furey '73: The Farmer's Advocate

Peter J. Furey, a 1973 economics graduate of Washington and Lee University, joined the New Jersey Farm Bureau (NJFB) in 1982 and as executive director has worked closely with farmers and state officials on bills affecting farmers and agriculture in the Garden State. Those include the Agriculture Retention Act, which led to the Farmland Preservation Program; the Right to Farm Act; and appropriations acts, which funded the Agricultural Economic Recovery and Development Initiative’s grant programs.

Peter is the subject of a profile in NJSpotlight, where he discusses NJFB’s role in advocating for farmers and the future of agriculture in New Jersey. He says one of the greatest challenges facing New Jersey farmers is “the cost and availability of seasonal labor. Producing and shipping large volumes of farm-grown commodities requires substantial labor inputs (as much as 45 percent of a farm’s expenses).”

On a more upbeat note: “There’s a positive scenario that shows a further appreciation for locally-grown food, solid support for farming as a provider of precious open space in a metropolitan region, product innovations with crops and livestock to allow bio-based industries as an alternative to fossil fuel-based industries.”

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.