MONROE — Middlesex County Farmer Roy Etsch of Etsch Farms in Monroe Township will receive the Golden Medallion Award from the New Jersey Agricultural Society at its annual gala on March 30 at the Forsgate Country Club. This award is the highest award given by the farmers Society during the year and is meant to honor Etsch for his outstanding contributions to the industry.
Etsch was born on the family farm in Queens, Long Island on October 15, 1928. The family moved to the present farm in Monroe Township in 1930. As a child he advanced from small farm chores to tractors and plows. In the fifties, the farming operation changed from potatoes to corn, hay and small grains, still the main crops of the farm today.
Etsch graduated from Jamesburg High School and went on to Rutgers graduating in 1950. As a teen he joined 4-H Baby Beef Club, raising and selling steers, which paid for college. Etsch eventually went to Trenton State Teachers College to receive a teaching degree and became a teacher in Monroe, in addition to his farming duties.
Etsch was a 4-H leader; Vice-President of the State Board of Agriculture; President of the Middlesex County Board of Agriculture; one of the founders and President of the Grain & Forage Association; Farm Bureau member; member of the NJ Agricultural Society; and on the NJ Agriculture Museum Executive Board. He belongs to the Rutgers Old Guard Alumni Association; served on the Monroe Planning Board; was Monroe Township Committeeman and Mayor of Monroe Township.
Etsch was awarded the Middlesex County Fair Association Farmer of the Year in 1996; he received the State Board of Agriculture Distinguished Service Award.
Married for 61 years to Mary; they have two children; Janet (Bruce) Kelly and James (Caroline) Etsch; Grandchildren Tyler Kelly; Zachary and Peter Etsch.
Established in 1781, the New Jersey Agricultural Society’s mission is to preserve and enhance agriculture, farming and related activities and businesses in New Jersey through educational, informational, and promotional programs. For more info visit www.njagsociety.org.
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