A lifelong resident of an agricultural area in South Jersey, Douglas H. Fisher has always had an appreciation for the important work of farmers.
Doug Fisher was born in Bridgeton in 1947. As a youth, he worked in the family owned wholesale retail meat packing company and at a Hunt Wesson cannery. He attended Bryant University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. He served in the New Jersey National Guard from 1969 to 1975. In 1971, he began a 30-year career as a supermarket owner and operator. There, he was the general manager involved in all aspects from procurement to marketing and personnel. He learned about the issues involved in getting food from the people who grow and raise it to those who buy and consume it.
Following his long career as a supermarket owner, Fisher most recently worked as a Realtor and New Jersey owner of The Entrepreneur's Source, a coaching firm that assists individuals seeking business ownership and franchise opportunities.
Fisher's political career began in 1989 when he served on the Bridgeton City Council. From there, he was elected to the Cumberland County Freeholder Board, where he served for 10 years, half of that time as Board Director. While a freeholder, Fisher helped to institute a 2-cent set aside for farmland preservation.
In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, representing the 3rd legislative district, which encompasses an area where agriculture is prominent.
While in the Assembly, Fisher served as Deputy Majority Whip and Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, working closely with the Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Farm Bureau and various trade groups on issues impacting the agriculture industry in the state.
As a state legislator, Fisher sponsored numerous farmland, open space, and preservation bills. In 2008, he was the prime sponsor of the law to ban harvesting of Horseshoe Crabs, which enhanced the survival of many endangered migratory shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere. He sponsored organic labeling legislation and he also introduced the original bill to limit the use of handheld cell phones in motor vehicles.
In addition to his political positions, Fisher has been a member of the Bridgeton Rotary for more than 20 years, served as Treasurer of the South Jersey Economic Development District, Secretary of the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization and President of the South Jersey Freeholder Association.
Fisher has been lauded for his work on agricultural issues from various organizations: Gloucester County Board of Agriculture, 2008 Distinguished Service to Agriculture; New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, 2008 Legislator of the Year; New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts, 2007 Outstanding Conservation Legislator; 2006 Honorary New Jersey FFA Degree; and New Jersey Farm Bureau, 2005 Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture.
Fisher has made a lifelong commitment to keeping the garden in the Garden State. His goals are to enhance the interaction between agriculture and the mechanisms of government, keeping farmers farming their land, promoting individual sectors while uniting them under a common message, and making the Department of Agriculture more accessible.
Fisher and his wife, Bonnie, have three children: Susan, Eric and Carly.