Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County has Added 18 New Master Gardeners

Pictured from left to right: Bob Pickus, Jayne Sullivan, Josie Bellina, Carol Piechoski, Christine Anderson, Leontien Rotteveel, Nancy Perfect, Lorraine Lennox, Elizabeth Egan, and Diane Kummings. Not pictured: Valerie Bragg, Dolores Ciarrochi, Marian D’Amico, Heidi Davis, Richard Eluk, Susan Lazarchick, Jacqueline Scott and Domick Zema.

Pictured L-R: Bob Pickus, Jayne Sullivan, Josie Bellina, Carol Piechoski, Christine Anderson, Leontien Rotteveel, Nancy Perfect, Lorraine Lennox, Elizabeth Egan, and Diane Kummings. Not pictured: Valerie Bragg, Dolores Ciarrochi, Marian D’Amico, Heidi Davis, Richard Eluk, Susan Lazarchick, Jacqueline Scott and Domick Zema.

The NJ Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers Cooperative Extension announce the addition of 18 new Master Gardeners to its Atlantic County program. These Master Gardeners have completed 60 hours of intensive classroom instruction and will fulfill 85 volunteer hours over the coming year.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Atlantic County spearhead over a dozen educational gardening projects throughout the county. As a part of the national Cooperative Extension System, the Master Gardener program was designed to increase the availability of University-based horticulture information to local communities and individuals. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers Master Gardener programs in many of the New Jersey Counties. They also maintain the Rutgers Cooperative Extension helpline, which is open Monday-Friday, mornings and afternoons during the late Spring to early Fall, and mornings only early and late in the season. The helpline not active from November – January.

Contact the Atlantic County Master Gardener program for more information.

Ethel A. Jacobsen First-Graders Harvest Garlic Scapes From Schoolyard Garden

It’s spring harvest time at the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School garden in Surf City. Last week Joanne Kinsey, Family and Community Health Sciences educator at the Cooperative Extension of Ocean and Atlantic Counties, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, joined the school’s first-graders and teachers Sarah Esarey and Kelly Turner to harvest garlic scapes – for eating and for learning… After experiencing the outdoor classroom firsthand, Kinsey remarked, "The kids were fantastic and really enjoyed working in the garden and tasting the garlic scape pasta. I totally enjoyed the entire experience, the pasta was delicious, and I hope to be invited back again."

Read the entire article at The Sandpaper »

Farmers learn benefits of agritourism at Atlantic City convention

South Jersey farms that grow fruits and vegetables can also be marketed as tourism draws, bringing customers to farms and marketing directly to them, according to speakers at this week’s New Jersey Agricultural Convention and Trade Show… The purpose of agritourism is to get people to visit farms, buy the products and educate consumers all in one package, said Bill Hlubik, an agricultural agent and professor at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at Press of Atlantic City »

Unseasonably warm weather brings bounty to local farmers

With some days this month topping 70 degrees, it’s not feeling particularly seasonable. But the mild weather is helping local farmers extend their season. But it’s not all good news. Rick Van Vranken of Rutgers’ Cooperative Extension in Atlantic County, New Jersey, said fruit growers would prefer more typical temperatures.

Read the entire article at WHYY Newsworks »

Atlantic County 4-H Volunteer Inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame

Class of 2015 4-H Hall of Fame Laureates. Dorothy Calimer is front row, third from right.

Class of 2015 4-H Hall of Fame Laureates. Dorothy Calimer is front row, third from right.

Dorothy (Dot) A. Calimer of Cologne, New Jersey was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on October 9 for her lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H.

Honored by the New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program, Calimer was one of 16 people inducted during the ceremony at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents or 4-H National Headquarters/NIFA, USDA based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels. [Read more…]

NJ 4-H Members to Attend 2015 4-H Leadership Program

New Jersey delegates who attended the 2014 Leadership Washington Focus held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

New Jersey delegates who attended the 2014 Leadership Washington Focus held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Sixteen 4-H members have been selected to represent New Jersey at the second annual 4-H Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) Conference. This leadership conference will be held July 12-17 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) is a 4-H leadership development program for 4-H members entering grades 7-9. Youth from across the nation will be participating in this 5-day event. The program will provide an opportunity for youth to listen to motivational speakers and participate in workshops that will develop communication skills, increase leadership capacity and build lifetime skills. [Read more…]

NJ 4-H Members to Attend National 4-H Citizenship Conference

New Jersey 4-H representatives for the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus Conference

New Jersey 4-H representatives at the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus Conference

Thirty 4-H members have been selected to represent New Jersey at the 2015 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Conference. This conference, now in its 56th year, will be held July 5-11 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Citizenship Washington Focus is a 4-H leadership program for high school youth. Delegations from across the country attend this six-day program at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, located just outside Washington, D.C. The program is aimed at enriching young people’s lives by broadening their appreciation and respect for themselves and others in the world. Participants attend workshops, committee meetings, field trips and social events, giving them hands-on opportunities to learn and grow. They learn and practice skills that will make them better citizens and more successful individuals. [Read more…]

New Jersey 4-H Volunteer of the Year Dorothy Calimer to be Inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame

Dorothy Calimer (center), receiving the Rutgers 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award from Debi Cole (right) and Navonne Owen (left),  Atlantic County 4-H staff and members of the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents.

Dorothy Calimer (center), is pictured receiving the Rutgers 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award earlier in 2015. At left is Navonne Owen and at right is Debi Cole, 4-H staff of Atlantic County and members of the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents.

New Jersey resident and Atlantic County 4-H Volunteer Dorothy Calimer has been named one of 16 individuals to be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame during a special ceremony to be held on October 9 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The 82-year old Calimer of Cologne, NJ, will be among the Laureates of the National 4-H Hall of Fame Class of 2015 to be honored for excellence in citizenship, leadership, character and career accomplishments. Earlier this year, Calimer was named the 4-H Volunteer of the Year by the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents for her significant contributions to the New Jersey 4-H program. [Read more…]

Ramapo Tomato Seed an Option With Flavor

This article was written by Mona Bawgus, a certified master gardener and consumer horticulturist with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County.. With a goal to find the tomato that best represented what people remember as the old Jersey tomato, in 2007 Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) began conducting tomato trials. They began with several varieties that gardeners and farmers associated with that old Jersey taste. NJAES grew each variety and then evaluated them not only for flavor, but also on performance. The public was also invited to participate in several taste tests to collect their opinions… Not only did gardeners love them for their flavor, but also for their resistance to cracking and other common tomato diseases. Commercial seed companies had previously sold this seed to farmers and gardeners, but over the years, had stopped supplying them. Frustrated gardeners contacted Rutgers and a small amount of seed was produced and made available for a short time. Rutgers eventually found a company willing to mass produce the seed and the Ramapo tomato was re-released in 2008.

Read the entire article at www.pressofatlanticcity.com »

Atlantic County Senior Citizen Receives 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award

Debi Cole (left) and Navonne Owen (right), Atlantic County 4-H staff and members of the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents presented the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award to Dorothy Calimer of Cologne.

Debi Cole (right) and Navonne Owen (left), Atlantic County 4-H staff and members of the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents presented the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award to Dorothy Calimer of Cologne (center).

Dorothy Calimer of Cologne, Atlantic County 4-H Volunteer, was recently recognized by the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents with the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award for her significant contributions to the New Jersey 4-H program.

This award, which is presented annually, recognizes an individual or a group for outstanding professional educational support of the 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

For more than 46 years, 82 year-old Dorothy Calimer, commonly known as Dot, has volunteered her time to many organizations, something that has been instilled in her since a very early age by her parents who were also volunteers. As a lifetime volunteer, Dot has had the opportunity to impact countless lives throughout the decades. Even now as a senior citizen, Dorothy is still going strong. Being able to meet people every day helps to keep her body and mind active, and her service impacts a variety of people from youth and middle-aged people to seniors and to the needy. [Read more…]