New Jersey Ag News
Bibus credits NJALDP for boosting operation
By JEFF LERRO
Chesterfield — For nearly 20 years, the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program has served New Jersey’s agriculture industry.
In that time the program has proven itself to be a valuable source of subtle energy providing growth opportunities to members of the New Jersey agriculture community.
Bill Bibus of H.W. Bibus and Son Inc.; is a graduate of Class VIII while under the instruction of Dr. Mary Nikola of Rutgers University.
Bibus is a fourth generation grain farmer whose family has been a member of the Chesterfield farming community since the mid-1930s. Together the family farms roughly 1,700 acres of wheat, soybeans and corn.
As with so many others in New Jersey agriculture, Bibus has been a part of farming his whole life. At the age of 18, Bibus officially began his farming career.
Now in his mid-40s, he is the vice-president of H.W. Bibus and Son, whose responsibities include all aspects of operations.
Bibus has spent the last 30 years increasing his own knowledge of farming while benefitting from the accumulated experience of his family and the community.
Still without having graduated from the NJALDP, Bibus proudly acknowledges that he could not have reached what he describes as the “next level”.
“To a small degree I participated in the ag community but mostly I focused on the operation of the farm,” Bibus said “It wasn’t until I graduated from the ag leadership program that I was able to step outside the box.”
Taking this next step was challenging but important.
It is the step that allowed Bibus to develop a more sophisticated perspective in the context of himself, the farm, the industry and the community of which they are a part.
By focusing on leadership skills, the NJALDP cultivates existing abilities into new talents.
Since graduating from NJALDP in 2011, Bibus has served as a director of the New Jersey Soybean Board and president of the Burlington County Board of Agriculture.
He has also recently been sworn in to the federally approved position of director on the National Soybean Board replacing long-time director Rick Stern; another graduate of the NJALDP.
Though Bibus has done some traveling nationally with the New Jersey Soybean Board, he is now poised to travel and contribute on an international level in places such as China.
Without the knowledge he gained in the NJALDP, Bibus admits he could not have achieved what he has both professionally and personally.
“It’s more than the individual skills of public speaking and organization or Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedure.” Bill said. “It’s the combination of all those things I learned that helped me discover the value of my own ideas and how I could contribute by putting those ideas into action.”
“It was the practical knowledge that I gained from NJALDP that helped me develop a freedom of expression and self-direction with which I could focus on helping other individuals and the industry itself move forward.”
By fostering the abilities he barely knew existed, Bibus has been able to successfully expand the diverse network of people with which he interacts on a regular basis.
Rather than be intimidated by what appears to be more accomplished people; he has found his place among them.
It’s this contribution to the individual that has earned the NJALDP its place as a valuable resource.
(Editor’s note: In the coming weeks we will share more of these success stories and see first hand how the NJALDP has been an underlying energy fostering the continued success of New Jersey agriculture.)