After a career spanning 33 years, Al Murray of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture plans to retire in November.

Murray, assistant secretary of agriculture for the department, said he will turn 55 in June.

“I”m looking for new opportunities and I definitely want to stay in the produce industry,” Murray said April 14. “I’ve made lifelong friends in this industry and can’t think of any other place where I would want to work.”

Murray said he hasn’t figured out if he would like to be a consultant or work for a company.

“It could be anything,” he said.

Murray said his career has spanned the birth of the Jersey Fresh program, which began in 1984, just after he started with the department in the fall of 1983. He said long-time secretary of agriculture Art Brown started Jersey Fresh and subsequent agriculture secretaries have expanded it to include Jersey Grown and the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Program.

“The program has evolved and been a lot of fun.”

Murray said he has had the opportunity to work under three great secretaries of agriculture, and learned something from each one of them.