Open Spaces & Healthy Opportunities.
From alpaca and wool farms to raspberry fields and vineyards, agriculture is abundant in Hunterdon County. In fact, it accounts for half of the County’s land—and 13.6% of New Jersey’s total farmland. In order to sustain its vibrant agriculture industry, Hunterdon County has preserved more than 30,000 acres of farmland through the State Agriculture Retention and Development Act.
The soil and climate in Hunterdon County is perfect for a number of crops, including corn, apples, grapes, peaches, squash, tomatoes and herbs. In addition to produce, the County raises cattle, sheep, and is well known for its horse farms, which makes its large hay production a profitable market. Many of the country’s top thoroughbreds call Hunterdon County home. As such, it’s also home to many horse shows, polo matches, training clinics and the nation’s best equine hospitals. Rutgers Cooperative Extension works directly with Hunterdon as an educational outreach arm to assist farmers with any problems they may have. As part of the cooperative agreement, they also operate a farm within the County to aid in the economic sustainability of the commercial agriculture industry in Hunterdon County.
Hunterdon County’s agriculture offers a special quality of life that benefits the County and its residents:
- Provides healthier, locally sourced and better tasting food options
- Offers property tax benefits
- Generates clean air and little traffic
- Allows for groundwater recharge
- Contributes to eco-tourism
- Enriches the rural quality of life
- Enhances the beauty of natural landscapes
Hunterdon County’s active farming communities don’t just provide access to fresh, local produce, they also provide year-round access to a number of outdoor recreational activities for both residents and visitors alike. From Spring to Fall, farmers markets and stands, as well as pick-your-own fruit and pumpkin farms, welcome visitors from near and far. In August, the County hosts the 4-H Agricultural Fair—a four-day event, which draws tens of thousands of people and features livestock, produce, homemade goods and various competitions. Many farms also sell locally grown and seasonal produce to grocery stores, contributing to the health of our residents and economy. Throughout the year, vineyards and farm museums attract even more people to the area.
With the recent popularity of the farm-to-table movement, Hunterdon County’s farms are poised to capitalize on the trend for local and organic eating. This movement has contributed to the rise in the number of specialty, niche and small-scale farms in the County. The hottest trends are locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, restaurant gardens and farm/estate-branded items.
Notable Hunterdon County agribusiness companies
Looking for further proof that agriculture is still alive and well? Just take a look at the numbers.
Average farm size (acres)
Farmland assessed acres
Preserved farmland (acres)
Hunterdon County continues to be a leader in agriculture. Below are some current statistics according to the NJ Department of Agriculture.
Number of farms
Harvested hay (acres)
Harvested vegetable farms