Ed Wengryn selected as New Jersey’s new secretary of agriculture

Edward Wengryn will begin his service as the new secretary of the Department of Agriculture for the state of New Jersey today, following a unanimous confirmation by the state board and approval from Gov. Phil Murphy.  He replaces Douglas Fisher, who retired as secretary on July 1; Joe Atchison III has directed the department as interim since that time.

Wengryn has served with the New Jersey Farm Bureau since 1998, where his work spanned ornamental horticulture, land use, forestry and equine and other livestock issues. From 2002 through 2004, he served as confidential assistant to Charles Kuperus, then secretary of agriculture, where he coordinated the development of industry-specific action plans to improve the economic viability of New Jersey’s varied agriculture sectors. Since 2009, Wengryn has represented the private agriculture sector on the New Jersey Industry Advisory Council at the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

“As the Garden State, agriculture is one of the most important facets of our state’s identity and heritage. Ed comes from a farming family and is a passionate advocate for our agricultural community. I am confident that his experience and leadership will benefit the many residents who depend on the department’s programs and services, including for access to healthy, locally grown food. Ed will help to ensure that the agricultural community remains top of mind as we continue to expand economic opportunities for businesses across our state,” Murphy said.

Wengryn grew up in the Neshanic Station section of Branchburg Township, and his interest in agriculture and horticulture began when he was helping on the Wengryn family farm, a dairy and field crop operation in Hillsborough. As a youth, he worked with his father, Myron Wengryn, growing and selling pumpkins and pick-your-own strawberries, as well as growing and selling tomatoes to area delis in the summer.