News Department

Bridging regional economies with USDA Rural Development in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

FRENCHTOWN BOROUGH, NJ (Hunterdon County) – The USDA Rural Development Office on May 25 hosted a forum at ArtYard in Frenchtown Borough to highlight their steadfast commitment to investing in infrastructure and the economy in Hunterdon County in New Jersey and Bucks County in Pennsylvania.

Deputy Director Jeff Kuhl, Commissioner John Lanza, Marc Saluk, Director of Economic Development & Tourism along with Frenchtown Mayor, Brad Myhre, and Borough Council President, Michele Liebtag were in attendance.

Remarks were given by Jane Asselta, State Director for New Jersey, USDA Rural Development and her counterpart from Bucks County, Robert Morgan, State Director for Pennsylvania, USDA Rural Development. The focus of the forum was to share USDA’s commitment to ensuring that people in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed.

Deputy Director Jeff Kuhl, who serves as co-liaison to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism said, “Hunterdon County has made a sustained investment in promoting our small businesses and agritourism through the ‘Explore Hunterdon’ campaign. It was nice to hear how the County’s efforts are being enhanced through the USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG), which help agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.”

The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management. Their vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, is focused on helping rural America to thrive.

Commissioner John Lanza stated, “The USDA has been integral partner in supporting numerous Hunterdon County municipalities with a variety of infrastructure improvements, emergency vehicle acquisitions, and facility enhancements. The various grant and loan programs offered by the USDA Rural Development Office are critical to many of our smaller rural municipalities.”

Local businesses vendors attended and offered samples of their products. The forum concluded with a tour of downtown Frenchtown, and lunch at a local café.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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