This Month in Mid-Atlantic Horticultural News
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Bill Griffin honored in Atlantic City
William V. Griffin, a Middlesex County nurseryman who has had a life-long commitment to giving back to the agricultural community, was honored Jan. 18 with a Distinguished Service Citation at the New Jersey Agricultural Convention held in Atlantic City.
“Bill is a tireless advocate for New Jersey agriculture who is a true leader for our industry,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “He never shies away from a challenge and has fought on agriculture’s behalf on a number of issues over the years.”
Griffin served on the State Board of Agriculture from 2004 to 2008, and in 2008, as president of the board, Griffin worked with his other board members, New Jersey Farm Bureau and a variety of groups to help save the New Jersey Department of Agriculture when then-Governor Corzine proposed to eliminate the department. Their efforts led to a tractor rally in front of the State House, which led Corzine to relent, thus preserving the Department.
“It is an extremely humbling experience and very gratifying to have one’s accomplishments recognized by one’s peers,” said Griffin. “I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been afforded and the many wonderful people I have met and worked with over the years. Whatever contributions I have been able to make to the agricultural community were always with the help and assistance of others.”
Griffin graduated from East Brunswick High School and went on to earn a bachelor of landscape architecture from Louisiana State University before coming back to the family farm, W.V. Griffin Nurseries, a diverse 110-acre farm, now owned by Griffin and his wife Cathy. The operation is a mix of field-grown wholesale nursery production, Christmas Tree production and re-wholesale nursery distribution, as well as choose and cut retail Christmas trees.
Griffin has spent a good portion of his life serving the greater good of the New Jersey Agriculture industry. He currently serves as President of the New Jersey Agricultural Society and Middlesex County Board of Agriculture, and has been on the Executive Committee of that body since 1973. He is director for the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association and Secretary of the Middlesex County Agricultural Development Board, of which he has been a member since 1984. He also is a long-time member of New Jersey Farm Bureau and the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. Griffin received the NJNLA's Nurseryman of the Year Award late last year.
Griffin is not the first in his family to receive the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Citation; his father, Willets V. Griffin, was honored with the award in 1989.