By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
The Monmouth County Division of Economic Development was hard at work this summer connecting with local members of the County’s agriculture industry, sharing with them information about Grown in Monmouth. I would like to take some time to share a few details of this tremendous initiative that will continue to expand in the coming weeks and months.
Grown in Monmouth is an extension of our ongoing initiative, Grow Monmouth. For the last seven years, the Board of Chosen Freeholders has worked hard to find new ways to assist and work with members of our business community. By helping businesses grow and flourish, it is our hope that they will expand their workforce and employ more residents.
From our Grow Monmouth initiative came our annual Made in Monmouth event at Monmouth University. This widely popular and growing event showcases hundreds of vendors and attracts thousands of shoppers. These vendors are small businesses who create a consumer product right here in Monmouth County. During the year, smaller versions of the Made in Monmouth event are held throughout the County.
Our Grown in Monmouth initiative focuses on helping members of the agriculture business community – a huge industry in Monmouth County.
In May, Monmouth County began a new partnership with Saker ShopRite and Louis Davino Greenhouses of Millstone to showcase the Grown in Monmouth brand. As a result, flowers and vegetable plants grown by Davino Greenhouses were branded with the Grown in Monmouth logo and sold at several Saker ShopRite stores throughout the County.
Moreover, if you are searching for a place to find agricultural products and activities offered in Monmouth County, well search no longer. We have developed a web site at www.growninmonmouth.com to do just that.
On the website you will find specialty directories to locate pick your own growers, wineries, breweries, farmers markets and more. We are currently working with local restaurants to develop a “Made with Ingredients” Grown in Monmouth directory to showcase restaurants that use Grown in Monmouth products in their menu items.
The website also features our searchable online directory (SOD), where consumers can search by a specific product, municipality or activity to locate County growers and agricultural businesses.
I can assure you the Board of Chosen Freeholders, under the direction of Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, is excited to see this brand grow.
In fact, Freeholder Director Burry and I recently saw firsthand a Grown in Monmouth success story. We recently attended the annual Fir Farm Hops Festival at the business’ Colts Neck location. There, we were able to watch as businesses, including The Jughandle Brewing Company from Tinton Falls, hand pick hops for one of their brews. Dark City Brewing from Asbury Park was also on hand at the event. These are just three of the many businesses who are working together to utilize and promote products Grown in Monmouth!
To learn more about these great programs and to find a Grown in Monmouth grower near you please visit www.growninmonmouth.com and be sure to keep an eye out for restaurants that feature menu items that were Made With Ingredients Grown in Monmouth!
As always, it’s a pleasure to serve the residents of Monmouth County!