Recipients have been farmers who have been actively involved in statewide agricultural organizations and provided leadership in a variety of ways. Recipients have also included agribusiness people who have worked to change the industry through advanced marketing plans or business management tools for the industry. Lastly, recipients include career employees who have been extraordinary in moving the industry forward. The award is presented to the winner at the Society's Annual Gala each spring.
2016 Gold Medallion Award
John Rigolizzo, Jr.
John Rigolizzo, Jr. of Berlin, New Jersey is a fifth generation farmer, raising soybeans and field corn in southern New Jersey. He is also in the process of exploring new sources of biofuels. John and his wife Marita have four children and continue to oversee the farm with the help of their family.
John has provided a lifetime of agricultural leadership to the industry. He served as New Jersey Farm Bureau President from 1994 to 2002, growing membership in the Farm Bureau from 6300 members to 19,000 members in 7 years, while managing a multi-million dollar budget. John diligently worked to promote the success and concerns of farmers statewide.
In addition to Farm Bureau, John has also served on the boards of the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey as a longtime member of the convention committee, as president for 2 years and current treasurer, New Jersey Tomato Council, NJ Agricultural Society Board of Trustees, chair of the Mosquito Control Commission, among others. John has been a member of the Camden County Board of Agriculture since 1977, serving as its Secretary from 1977 to 1983. In 1981, John became the director from Camden County to the New Jersey Farm Bureau Board of Directors. He served as second Vice president and first vice president before being elected president in 1994.
John also was one of the founding farmers of the New Jersey Agricultural Society’s Farmers Against Hunger program, leading the movement to establish a system for farmers to donate their surplus fresh produce to New Jersey residents in need.
John completed five years on the American Farm Bureau Foundation Trade Advisory (AFBF) Committee and the AFBF Labor Advisory Committee. He chaired the national committee on the Food Quality Protection Act for AFBF, and served two years with the AFBF Board of Directors.
John has extensive experience in advancing international trade, identifying areas of agriculture commonality, establishing and reaffirming international relationships, and creating economic advantages for NJ/USA farmers. In that capacity, he attended WTO Ministerial Conferences in Seattle and Geneva and was involved in international trade missions to 13 countries, including Cuba, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
John’s international experience also includes:
For his dedicated service to the industry, the New Jersey Agricultural Society is honored to present the
2016 Gold Medallion to John Rigolizzo, Jr.
Past Gold Medallion Recipients