News Department

Hunterdon County resident named director of NJDA’s Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources

NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher Wednesday announced the appointment of Frank Minch, of Raritan Township, as Director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources. Minch has been with the NJDA since 2001.

“I am pleased to announce that Frank Minch has accepted the position as Director of the Agricultural and Natural Resources Division,” Secretary Fisher said. “He has extensive knowledge of natural resource issues and has been an effective leader in the Department in many capacities over the years. I know Frank has the knowledge, drive and ability to lead the Agricultural and Natural Resources Division and continue building on the successes of past directors.”

Since 2013, Minch has served as Executive Secretary of the State Soil Conservation Committee (SSCC), which has oversight responsibility for the 14 Soil Conservation Districts and the State Soil and Water Conservation Cost Share Program. He also has managed the development of the Animal Waste Management Program and served as a liaison to the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Transportation and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Minch joined the New Jersey Department of Agriculture in 2001 as an Erosion Control Specialist supporting the SSCC Executive Secretary and the Soil Conservation Districts.

“I look forward to continuing the relationships we have built over the years and developing new connections with growers, producers, and other agencies in the effective management of natural resources vital to the agricultural industry in the Garden State,” Minch said. “This Division also covers a wide array of programs from aquaculture and farmland assessment to state planning and agricultural education. These diverse programs touch on all aspects of agriculture in the state and I am fortunate to work with an experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated team.”

The Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources plays a critical role in promoting resource conservation measures and service programs to the agricultural community and the public.

The Natural Resources Conservation section provides interagency coordination and assistance in the following areas:

  • The State Soil Conservation Committee works with the Soil Conservation Districts in the implementation of the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Program, and Soil and Water Conservation Cost Share Program.
  • The planning section works with the Department of State, Office of Planning Advocacy in the review of municipal planning and development proposals. This section also works with producers on Farmland Assessment, Uniform Construction Code, Sales Tax, Highlands agricultural development and Motor Vehicle matters.
  • The ag resource section regulates the Department’s Animal Waste Management rules, water allocation and drought assistance, composting and source separated food waste.

The Office of Aquaculture Coordination provides technical and marketing assistance as well as permitting assistance for the aquaculture industry. The Agricultural Education program provides outreach and support of agricultural education programs and FFA Chapters in secondary school districts. The Agricultural Statistics Service provides data and information on the agricultural industry in New Jersey.

Minch earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University, majoring in Environmental Planning and Design. He lives in Hunterdon County with his wife, Pam and two children, Kevin and Erin.

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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