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Jon Wagar

Deputy Executive Director, Duke Farms

Jonathan (Jon) Wagar is responsible for operations and sustainability at Duke Farms. Wagar is also an adjunct assistant professor at Raritan Valley Community College, where he teaches classes on environmental studies, the environment and climate change.

Since 2013, Wagar has been leading the Duke Farms Operations Department, consisting of six managers who in turn supervise more than 50 employees. The Operations Department includes: a facilities division that manages maintenance and construction projects on a wide variety of buildings and structures, maintenance of vehicles and equipment and janitorial services; a designed landscape and horticulture division that manages sustainable landscaping and a world class tropical orchid collection; a business management division that manages organizational budgeting, capital planning, contracting, purchasing and accounts payable and accounts receivable; a technology division that manages organizational technology and data; a visitor services and public engagement division that manages a farm-to-table café, farm-to-table catering, a weekend farmers market, a bike rental program, outside space-use rentals, and visitor and public engagement and accessibility; and a public safety division that ensures that staff, contractors and visitors are safe and that Duke Farms assets are secure.

Previously, Wagar worked as vice president for conservation programs at Conservation Resources and was director of land acquisition and stewardship at Schiff Natural Lands Trust. At Conservation Resources, Wagar helped to provide more than $116 million in financial assistance to conservation organizations throughout New Jersey. At Schiff Nature Preserve, located in Mendham, N.J., he was in charge of stewardship on more than 650 acres of preserved highlands, forests and meadows. His responsibilities at Schiff included acquisition and preservation of additional open space. From 1999 through 2004, Jon was a member of the staff of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, where he served as director of stewardship and assistant director of land acquisition and stewardship.

Wagar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Richard Stockton University, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and earned a Master of Forestry degree from Yale University. He is former chairman of the Mendham Township Open Space Trust Committee, where he worked with volunteers and township officials to acquire and manage parks and open space. He was a founding member of the Mendham Township Green Team and was the founding chairman of the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team. Wagar is a 2011 fellow of Lead New Jersey.