Trenton, NJ – Emphasizing the contributions New Jersey’s third largest industry makes to advance the state and local economies, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno continued her statewide tour of New Jersey agribusinesses by visiting the Readington River Buffalo Company, the state’s only bison farm. The visit marks the Lt. Governor’s fourth stop on her month long tour of agribusinesses across New Jersey, with a spotlight on the importance of locally-focused businesses. Readington River Buffalo Company not only provides a unique offering within the state, they buy and sell with a local focus, sustaining jobs for people within the community and supporting other area businesses and the jobs they create.
Farm owner Erick Doyle raises 150 bison on 230 acres of Hunterdon County farmland. The bison are free range, which means they graze on the farmland rather than being restricted to a tightly confined area or building. The bison receive neither antibiotics nor growth stimulants. Doyle additionally contributes to the local economy by purchasing feed corn from a Hunterdon County farmer, which he grinds himself and feeds to the bison before harvest. Purchases for minerals and fertilizer are also made locally.
“Few people would expect to find a bison farm in New Jersey, but Erick has built a business that serves health conscious consumers and people who prefer locally raised and grown food,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Not only has he created a successful company, but also regularly gives back to the community that has helped him make the Readington River Buffalo Company a success.”
The company sells USDA approved buffalo burgers, buffalo ravioli, hot dogs, sausage, short ribs, brisket, chuck roasts, and a variety of steaks. Frozen products are sold directly to individual customers at the farm and available occasionally at local restaurants.
“There is a great sense of satisfaction knowing that my customers are also my neighbors; people that take pride in having us around. They bring visitors over, take pictures, and buy their dinner at my store,” said Doyle. “These are good folk that appreciate our effort and let us know how much they like having us here. Their acceptance is a source of pride, but humbles me nonetheless.”
In addition to providing homegrown, natural products for consumption, the company is working to transform a 2-acre space of unused land along Woodschurch Road into a wildlife habitat. This project, which will include a pond and lowland grasses, will benefit the environment and surrounding wildlife, limit erosion, and filter impurities from water runoff from much of the 230-acre farm. The company is also very active within the local community, hosting a Buffalo Watch during the summer to fundraise money for the Whitehouse Rescue Squad.
New Jersey produces more than 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables and ranks among the nation’s largest producers of blueberries, cranberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, snap beans, spinach, and squash. The state’s 10,300 farms generated sales of about $1.1 billion in 2011. This includes nursery and greenhouse plants, sod, fruits and vegetables, field crops, equine, poultry and eggs, and dairy.
Led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA) supports the vital role business plays in advancing the state’s economy and creating jobs. The PFA is a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. The three elements of the PFA include the Business Action Center, reporting directly to the Lt. Governor and providing the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with State government; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state’s “bank for business”; and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey.
Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey’s Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State’s Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.