Edward and August Wuillermin, owners of Ed Wuillermin and Sons Inc., Hammonton, N.J., have been honored with the Neil Robson Farmers Against Hunger award.

The company donated 50,000 pounds of fresh produce in 2009 to food banks in New Jersey, said Lynne Richmond, public information officer for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

The award is named for the late Neil Robson, a grower who donated “countless pounds of food to Farmers Against Hunger,” Richmond said.

“When he passed away, we thought it was fitting to name an award for him that would honor those farmers who do as much as he did and are as dedicated as he was in giving back to the community,” she said.

The New Jersey Agricultural Society founded Farmers Against Hunger in 1996, said Joni Elliott, executive director. In recent years, annual donations from more than 60 participating growers have averaged 1.5 million pounds of fresh produce, she said.

“The farmers do so much for the program; they are the backbone of the program,” Elliott said. “The farmers don’t do it for publicity; they do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do.”

The Wuillermins received the award at the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention Feb. 9 in East Brunswick, N.J.

Lombardi Farms, Landisville, N.J., also were honored. The company received the Patrick J. Mullen award. Lombardi Farms grows and packs a variety of vegetables.

Mullen, a former director of the New Jersey Division of Dairy and Regulatory Services, was instrumental in establishing the Jersey Fresh Quality Grading program, she said.

New Jersey recognizes growers' work

Courtesy New Jersey Department of Agriculture

Ed Wuillermin (second from left), Ed Wuillermin & Sons Inc., Hammonton, N.J., receives the Neil Robson Farmers Against Hunger award at the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention Feb. 9. Others in attendance are Douglas Fisher (from left), New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture; Judy Grignon, Farmers Against Hunger; and Brian Schilling, president of the New Jersey Agricultural Society.