• Links to Oral History Sessions: Staats, Peter (February 26, 2018)


Peter Staats was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at Saint Peter’s Hospital, in 1946. He grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey on his parents' farm, named Dutch Hollow Farm. By the time he was fourteen, he made the decision to work on his parents’ farm, while also attending Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

After his graduation in 1964, he continued to work on the farm until he took control of it, and, by adapting to changes in agriculture, the farm has maintained its success to the present. One major decision Staats made, in 1976, led to the construction of a store and milk bottling and processing plant, which was achieved with the help Rutgers University. This enabled his farm to directly market to customers.

Additionally, he has worked to improve the local farming community as a member of numerous agricultural organizations, including the Somerset County 4-H Association. While in the 4-H Association, during which time he was a member for ten years and the club’s leader for twenty years, he and others made it their mission to educate children about agriculture and animal sciences through programs such as the “Borrow a Calf” Program. In recognition of these efforts, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Citation at the New Jersey Agricultural Convention in 2011. Among a variety of other positions, he serves on the Somerset County Agricultural Development Board and Belle Mead Farmers Cooperative Board of Directors.