Meet the Brooks Family
Michael N. Brooks
One of his first jobs on the farm was driving bulk bodies of potatoes next to the harvester, barely able to hold the clutch in. His parents instilled a valuable work ethic and Michael lived to work on the farm. Starting in 1998 with an FFA SAE project, he began farming as a sole proprietor raising spinach and strawberries and in 2002, his operation expanded to include processing tomatoes, grain and vegetables for Seabrook Brothers. As Michael's enterprise grew, the family combined operations in 2006, forming Dusty Lane Farms LLC.
Following in his father's footsteps, Michael is very involved in networking within the Ag industry. He is involved in the following groups:
The National Potato Industry Leadership Institute sponsored by the US Potato Board in 2006, The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers facilitated by Texas A&M in 2008-2009, Annual Meeting of the Association of Agricultural Production Executives, 2010-13. He was awarded as the First Pioneer Farm Credit Outstanding Young Farmer in 2008. Michael serves his community as a member of: Association of Agricultural Production Executives, United States Potato Board, Salem County Board of Agriculture, Woodstown-Pilesgrove Agricultural Education Advisory Council Chairman, and the Pittsgrove Township Agricultural Advisory Committee. Recently, Michael was elected to the Farm Credit East, ACA Board of Directors in 2014.
Michael and his wife, Emily McDonough Esq., reside in Elmer with their daughter Juliette, born July 2015.
William N. Brooks Jr. & Diane Brooks
Land Owners & Partners
As a young boy, Bill spent many summers on his grandfather Norman’s farm in Elmer, Salem County, New Jersey. Upon graduation from The Pennsylvania State University in 1965, with the guidance of his grandfather and cousin, Johnson Cooper, Bill eventually took ownership of the family’s 156 acre farm and began working the land that had been passed down through generations in his family since 1773.
With his wife of 40 years, Diane, right by his side, the family farm has enjoyed a long history of potato production in New Jersey. Under Bill's leadership and Diane's work ethic, Dusty Lane Farms engaged in innovative agricultural practices, cooperative agreements with area growers, acquiring new equipment as well as expanding and enhancing building facilities. Times have changed but growing potatoes continue to be one of their major crops. With an eye for sustaining the business and keeping it viable, Bill’s keen knowledge of the potato industry lead him to become involved in a new venture as a founding partner and a Director of Keystone Potato Products, LLC. It’s a Pennsylvania potato dehydration plant that produces refrigerated fresh cut French fries and other desirable potato products.
Bill's devotion to the community and support of agriculture has given him quite the resume. As a long-time resident of Upper Pittsgrove, Bill stepped up to become: Mayor for three years in 1981, 1987 and 1988 an an Upper Pittsgrove Township Committeeman off and on from 1979 to 2014. Other past and present memberships include: Elmer Grange, Pole Tavern Ruritan Club, A Trustee of the Garden State Preservation Land Trust, Leadership roles on the New Jersey Potato Association and New Jersey White Potato Council, United States Potato Board, FFA Alumni Association, Woodstown Agricultural Education Advisory Committee, President, State Board of Agriculture, Director of New Jersey Agricultural Society and Director of Garden State Farm Credit. Bill is a long time member of New Jersey Farm Bureau and former member of its Board of Directors and the Salem County Board of Agriculture, as well as a former Board President. He’s a former Trustee of New Jersey Agriculture Land Trust, which was recently formed by New Jersey Farm Bureau and he is a past director of the National Potato Council.
Bill’s hard work, leadership and community service has earned him a number of awards over the years: Salem County Board of Agriculture’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture; Honorary American FFA Degree; Arthur Jarman Distinguished Service – Woodstown FFA; New Jersey FFA Degree; New Jersey Board of Agriculture Outstanding Young Farmer; Salem County Soil Conservation District/Outstanding Conservation Award; and Future Farmers of America/American Farmer Degree.
Together, Bill and Diane have three children: Sarah, Michael and Emily (pictured left to right, Photo: Tina Jay Photography) and 3 grandchildren (not shown), Emma, Alexis and Juliette.
2014 marked their 40th year of happy marriage at Dusty Lane Farms.
Currently, Bill is semi-retired and spends his time helping with regulatory reports and maintaining relationships within the potato industry. Diane is still hands on and is the backbone of Dusty Lane Farms, working with Michael and the DLF team daily.