The New Jersey State Horticultural Society (NJSJS) was founded in 1875 by a group of farmers from all over the state of New Jersey. At the time, there were few other collective groups for farmers in the state to use to collaborate and share information. The Society was formed with the goals of increasing information distribution, political awareness and scientific advances.
As membership grew, with farmers from all different facets of agriculture, there was a need for subcommittees to form and focus on more specific fruits and vegetables. Subcommittees of the Horticultural Society included the Peach Council, Small Fruit Council, Jersey Cooperative Vegetable Council, Vegetable Growers, and Apple Institute, to name a few. At the time of their formation, the subcommittees focused on plant propagation, advance selection and plant breeding. The subcommittees governed how new varieties were introduced and distributed, and they made money through the sale of plants. The money raised was reinvested into research to continue to develop plant material. Several of these subcommittees were very successful resources for farmers, and have since branched out to become independent groups that are still in operation today. The Horticultural Society was also involved in forming the Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, and continues to support he researchers, offering financial assistance to selected projects.
The Horticultural Society is also responsible for sponsoring the Outstanding Fruit Grower Award, given annually to selected Jersey growers and sponsoring the Ernie Christ lecture at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention.
The New Jersey State Horticultural Society remains the oldest horticultural organization in New Jersey.View officers and board of directors >