New Jersey Agriculture Impacts the Entire Garden State
Agriculture is the fourth largest industry in New Jersey. New Jersey Farm Bureau President and Owner/Operator of Suydam Farms, Ryck Suydam talks with Steve Adubato about how farming touches the lives of everyone in the Garden State.
"Welcome back. We are talking with Ryck Sudyam, who is president of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, and also the owner and operator of Sudyam Farms. How you doing, Ryck? I'm doing pretty good Steve. We were talking, right before we got on the air, your family has some history in coming to this country and them farming? Go ahead, break it down. Well, it's a long history. I'll give you the short history. Sure. When two brothers left Holland in 1663, they landed in Brooklyn. Right. And they created the name "Sudyam" meaning "south of the dam" which is where their farm was, back in Holland. And after fifty years in Brooklyn, one line moved out to Somerset County in New Jersey, and we've been farming in the same place for 303 years. You are a 12th generation farmer? Yep. What's that like? Sometimes it's... What are you making me laugh like this? [laughter] Sometimes it's pretty lonely. Is it really? Yeah, it's hard work, farming. And it's seven day... Break it down. It's seven days a week. Well why seven? Animals gotta eat. Seven days? Yeah, they gotta eat. Every day, you gotta take care of them, you gotta take care of the... your property and your crops, so there's a lot of work involved, But a 12th generation farmer, luckily I had great teachers in my father and my grandfather, so I learned a lot, and we keep going, and we keep evolving. And that's why farm families survive in New Jersey is by evolving with the industry and the needs of the people of New Jersey. Break down the Farm Bureau. What is it? New Jersey Farm Bureau, we are not the government. It sounds like it. Yeah it sounds like the government. But we're not. It's not the Department of Agriculture? No that it... the Department of Agriculture is the State of New Jersey. Right. And there's also the USDA. Yes. But the New Jersey Farm Bureau is a grassroots member organization that advocates, we're independent from government, we advocate on behalf of agriculture all over New Jersey. North, south, big, small, all kinds of commodities, whether it's aquaculture and growing oysters or cranberries, or chickens, horticulture, which is the biggest part of AG in New Jersey, and Farm Bureau works on their behalf, both in Trenton, and in Washington, to kinda keep government out of the way. What does that...? Give us an example of what you would potentially be advocating for or against? Well... On behalf of farmers? Well, property... Or Agriculture? Property rights are a big deal, in New Jersey you're familiar with Farmland Assessment which was a big deal. Reduce taxes on properties that are actively farmed..."