Rutgers Revolutionary: Cracking the Genetic Code of Plants

Joachim Messing at his investiture as Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers.

Joachim Messing at his investiture as Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers.

Prof. Joachim Messing, among the world’s top experts in molecular genetics, became famous for developing a genetic engineering technique used in laboratories to create plants that have produced disease-resistant crops considered vital to feeding the world’s population. Instead of cashing in on his discovery, he gave this scientific blueprint away for free to his fellow scientists around the world. Read more on this Rutgers Revolutionary at Rutgers Today.

FIC to Lead Feasibility Study with City of Paterson to Create Food Business Incubation Program

FIC banner.

FIC banner.

The Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC) has been awarded a contract from the Paterson Restoration Corporation (PRC) to lead a feasibility study on creating a food business incubation program in Paterson, NJ. The grant to Rutgers was for $70,000, with funding to the PRC by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The PRC and FIC will hold informational meetings on Feb. 23 for startup entrepreneurs and established food businesses, in order to gather community input into the planning process at the Hamilton Club of Passaic County Community College, located at 32 Church Street, Paterson.

“We are very excited to have been given the opportunity to assist the City of Paterson in moving forward with this project,” said Lou Cooperhouse, director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center. “There is tremendous consumer demand in the specialty food industry nationally, and a great deal of entrepreneurship in Paterson and the surrounding region.” [Read more…]

New Jersey 4-H Members Attend National Agri-Science Youth Summit

New Jersey 4-H delegates at the national Agr-Science Summit in MD. Front row, L-R: Isa Perkins, Newark; Trevor Hettrick, Montclair; and Rebecca Byrne, West Milford. Back row, L-R: Brittany Smith, Oxford; Susan Asali and Victoria Bruno, Belleville. Photo credit: Jeanette Rea-Keywood.

New Jersey 4-H delegates at the National Agr-Science Youth Summit in MD. Front row, L-R: Isa Perkins, Newark; Trevor Hettrick, Montclair; and Rebecca Byrne, West Milford. Back row, L-R: Brittany Smith, Oxford; and Susan Asali and Victoria Bruno, Belleville. Photo credit: Jeanette Rea-Keywood.

Six New Jersey 4-H members representing four counties–Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Warren–attended the National Agri-Science Youth Summit held Jan. 15-18 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The purpose of the conference was to provide youth with an opportunity to learn about and develop an understanding of the critical role of agricultural science innovation in addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

The New Jersey 4-H’ers, who joined 85 youth and adults representing 15 states at the summit, included Susan Asali and Victoria Bruno from Belleville, Rebecca Byrne of West Milford, Trevor Hettrick from Montclair, Isa Perkins of Newark and Brittany Smith from Oxford.

“Today, many young people are generationally and geographically removed from farming and agriculture,” said Jeannette Rea-Keywood, State 4-H agent, Rutgers Department of 4-H Youth Development. “Yet, it is vital that these young leaders and future decision makers understand the critical role agriculture plays in our society.” [Read more…]

Rutgers Home Gardeners School: Green Thumbs Invited to Let Knowledge Bloom

Rain Barrel Workshop at Rutgers Home Gardeners School. Photo credit: Rebecca Sheil Rathmill.

Rain Barrel Workshop at Rutgers Home Gardeners School. Photo credit: Rebecca Sheil Rathmill.

Gardening enthusiasts are invited to register for the upcoming Rutgers Home Gardeners School to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., March 19 on the Cook/Douglass campus. This year marks the 40th offering of this annual event, which many attendees come back for year after year.

Designed to offer “something for everyone” seeking a greener thumb, the Rutgers Home Gardeners School is made up of 35 individual workshop sessions covering a wide array of horticulture topics. This format allows attendees to select the workshops that are most relevant to their gardening interests in order to create their own unique, customized schedule for this fun day of learning. Dynamic speakers from commercial horticulture and landscape design firms, as well as faculty and staff from Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE), provide attendees with valuable opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience. [Read more…]

Rutgers Energy Institute Intern Wins First Prize in Student Poster Competition at National Meeting

REI intern Ajay Kashi (at right) with his mentor Anders Laursen, post-doctoral associate.

REI intern Ajay Kashi, pictured holding his first place award, with his mentor Anders Laursen, post-doctoral associate.

Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) summer intern Ajay Kashi, a Chemistry and Chemical Biology major who conducts research in Prof. Charles Dismukes’ lab, took home first prize in the student poster competition at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) National Meeting in Salt Lake City. REI’s home campus is at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences but the institute facilitates interdisciplinary energy research across Rutgers University. The institute’s summer internship is open to highly motivated undergraduates and is intended “to help students understand the breadth of the energy challenge, from the environmental impacts that motivate the transition, to the technological innovation needed to create a viable new system and the socio-economic, policy and energy system frameworks necessary to enable widespread deployment.” Read more on REI intern Ajay Kashi’s award.