Kendrin Dyitt and Amy Rowe Receive Rutgers Cooperative Extension Diversity Awards for 2014

RCE Director Larry Katz (l) awards Kendrin Dyitt

RCE Director Larry Katz (l) awards Kendrin Dyitt

Each year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), honors faculty and staff for their outstanding work and outreach through their programs and support. The winners for 2014 received their awards at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Annual Conference at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick on October 20.

The purpose of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Awards for Diversity is to recognize outstanding efforts and accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity in Extension organizations, programs, and audiences. The two recipients for the Diversity Awards for 2014 are Kendrin Dyitt, Atlantic County 4-H urban program associate in the 4-H Youth Development Department and Amy Rowe, environmental and resource management agent, RCE Essex and Passaic Counties from the Agricultural and Resource Management Agents Department. [Read more…]

Faculty, Staff and Volunteers Receive Rutgers Cooperative Extension Excellence Awards for 2014

Staci Peterson accepted the Volunteer Excellence Awards on behalf of her and her husband Matt.

Staci Peterson accepted the Volunteer Excellence Awards on behalf of her and her husband Matt.

Each year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), honors faculty and staff for their outstanding work and outreach through their programs and support. The winners for 2014 received their awards at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Annual Conference at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick on October 20.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Excellence Awards are to recognize faculty, staff and volunteers who demonstrate outstanding performance and creativity, and how their contribution to Extension has resulted in a positive change or has made a significant impact and enhanced RCE at a local county, state and/or national level. The Award for Volunteer Excellence was awarded to Sherrie and Matt Peterson, Hunterdon County 4-H volunteers; the Award of Excellence for Support Staff recipient is Anita Wagner, keyboarding clerk 3, RCE of Atlantic County and  the Award of Excellence for a Program Associate was awarded to Marycarmen Kunicki, 4-H senior program coordinator, RCE of Passaic County. [Read more…]

What’s in Season from the Garden State: Farm to Fork Food Waste? It Depends on Your Perspective

What happens to the farm produce that doesn't make the grade? One use is to supply local food banks by "gleaning" the produce left in the field.

What happens to the farm produce that doesn’t make the grade? One use is to supply local food banks by “gleaning” the produce left in the field.

By Rick VanVranken, Agricultural and Resource Management Agent, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County

August “Augie” Wuillermin, co-owner/operator with his brother, Ed Jr., of Ed Wuillermin & Sons Farm in Hammonton, NJ, turned in disgust and grumbled, “Some days I just have to stay out [of the packing house] when the peppers come in this way. It’s sickening. Seems like such a waste!”

Is waste an opportunity lost?

Economists talk about ‘opportunity cost’, loosely defined as the value of something that must be given up in order to do something else. Every resource has alternative uses, so every choice has opportunity cost(s).

Waste comes into play when the investment of time, energy and labor does not create the intended outcome and the alternatives do little to cover those costs. Hence, from grower to consumer, technologies and practices are employed to reduce potential losses as much as possible. Sorting machines fine tune the sizing and separating of defective produce. Packaging engineers design containers that maximize air flow to allow efficient cooling while maintaining strength to protect the fragile contents during storage and shipping. [Read more…]

New Jersey 4-H Youth Develop Skills at Leadership Washington Focus Conference

LWF delegates at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center

LWF delegates at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center

Fifteen New Jersey 4-H youth are ready to take on the challenges of leadership in the 21st century after experiencing the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Leadership Washington Focus (LWF), an intensive 4-H leadership development program for middle-school youth. The conference was held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, from July 15-19.

The four-day 4-H conference provided 135 youth and 30 adult chaperones from 15 states with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in experiential learning that boosted leadership competency in the four key areas of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and confidence. In addition, the LWF conference also prepared youth to return home with important skills to make positive changes in their own communities. [Read more…]

National Moth Week Celebrated in New Jersey

PrintSixteen public events scheduled across the state; hundreds more worldwide

The third annual National Moth Week, a worldwide citizen science project started in New Jersey in 2012, will be celebrated across the state, beginning with an early kickoff “Moth Ball” slated for Friday, July 11, in Bergen County.

Started by the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, the creators of National Moth Week are connected to Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Liti Haramaty is a marine sciences researcher at Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, David Moskowitz is completing a Ph.D. in Entomology. National Moth Week officially takes place the last full week and two weekends of July. This year’s dates are July 19-27. After its launch in 2012, National Moth Week quickly went global. As of July 2, hundreds of public and private events are registered on the National Moth Week site in all 50 states and 41 countries. [Read more…]