A leader in her field

Photo Courtesy of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders Office of Public Information: Amy Zorn (third from left) stands with Freeholder Deputy Director Balvir Singh at the March 27 meeting of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders where Burlington County’s women of agriculture were recognized for their leadership in their field.

In 1760, William Hunter brought his family from Ireland to settle in Cinnaminson where he established Hunter’s Farm. He chose the area for its close proximity to the Delaware River, where produce could easily be shipped into Philadelphia for sale.

Generations later, Hunter’s Farm stands to this day at 1101 Union Landing Road in Cinnaminson.

A staple of Cinnaminson Township history, Hunter’s Farm has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a national bicentennial farm for remaining in the same family for well over 200 years.

Amy Hunter Zorn is an eighth-generation descendant of the farm’s founder and currently runs Hunter’s Farm Market, the roadside retail branch of Hunter’s Farm.

Zorn was recently honored alongside other women in her field by the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders. At its Wednesday, March 27 meeting, the Freeholder Board recognized women leaders in the agricultural and public safety communities in honor of Women’s History Month.

Zorn is part of the Burlington County Board of Agriculture Women’s Committee, which was recognized as a group at the freeholder meeting. According to Zorn, the committee consists of women from all areas of agriculture. Some, like her, grew up on a farm, some have started their own farms and some work on the retail end of the business.

“We really come at it from a lot of different aspects but we’re all involved in agriculture. Our goal as a committee is to educate the public about agriculture,” said Zorn. “People don’t know what it’s like to grow up on a farm anymore, they don’t know that many people who grew up on a farm so there’s a real disconnect between people knowing what happens on a farm and where their food comes from.”

Being raised on a farm herself, Zorn was introduced to agricultural living at a young age. She remembers being eager to get involved and pitch in.

“Growing up there was always something going on around here, there was always somebody doing something, so you were always busy and you always wanted to be a part of what was going on,” said Zorn.

New Jersey isn’t particularly known for its agriculture and when Zorn grew old enough, she started to realize how unique her situation was. Hunter’s was, and still is, the only farming property in Cinnaminson.

“In this part of the county there are no other farms around,” said Zorn. “The weirdest part was not having neighbors. Everybody else got to go out and play with the neighborhood kids. We didn’t have that, so it was definitely a different upbringing than someone else in Cinnaminson.”

According to the USDA, only 31 percent of farmers are women. Given this disparity, Zorn says there’s a stereotype she and her fellow members of the Board of Agriculture Women’s Committee fight against.“

Around here a lot of men are farmers, but there are three ladies on our committee who work right alongside their husbands and do just as much, plus run a market and raise a family,” said Zorn.

Although the Hunter name holds some weight in the Burlington County farming community, Zorn has had to work hard to establish herself among older, often male members of the Board of Agriculture and its surrounding community.

“Even though we do have the name you still have to earn that name,” said Zorn.

The busy season for the farm is rapidly approaching with the arrival of spring, and according to Zorn, Hunter’s Farm Market will be reopening for the season on Thursday, May 16.

The Hunter’s Farm Market at 1101 Union Landing Road in Cinnaminson, owned by resident Amy Hunter Zorn. Hunter’s Farm was established in 1760 and has remained in the Hunter family to this day.