Each year the Salem County Board of Agriculture selects an individual who they feel has been of great service to the agriculture industry in their local community. It was in high school that John realized the farm life was for him. After graduating from Penn State with an Agricultural degree, he returned home to join the ranks of the family farm as an 8th generation farmer. He enjoyed many daily farm tasks but seemed to especially like disking the ground ahead of planting as well as planting potatoes. He likes it so much that he often joked he would plant the moon if they would let him, and his family states that he would actually do it if he could figure out a way to get his John Deere Tractor up there.
John has always been involved in the community and has held various positions with the Salem County Board of Agriculture, the NJ State Agricultural Museum, the Upper Pittsgrove Township Land Use Board, the Salem County Utilities Authority, the NJ Cultivated Sod Association, and more. He has always instilled the love of the land and a passion for growing plants in all three of his children, inspiring future generations to carry on the family tradition of growing things from the land. Leading by example, he has taught future generations to not be afraid of getting involved and taking on leadership positions in things they find important to them.
It’s his love of agriculture and his commitment to being involved in his community and agriculture industry that has earned John Coombs, Sr. the Distinguished Service Award.