Cape Coastal Towns Embracing Native Species of Plants

The Japanese black pine is the Rodney Dangerfield of trees. It gets no respect. Banned from Avalon’s dunes for the last three years, the species is under consideration for elimination from Stone Harbor’s dunes. Recommended until 1990 by the USDA to be planted in shore areas, the tree- labeled invasive and a fire hazard- has since fallen out of favor… Several Cape May County coastal communities have already started to branch out on their own, and a strong trend toward cultivating native species is beginning to take root… "You have to look at the whole system," said Jenny Carleo, agricultural and resource management agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County. "You have to look at the animals that depend on the food in the area, the utility of the beach for access, and you have to prioritize use. You have to ask, ‘What are the impacts to the whole environment of doing a certain activity?’"

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Annie’s Project NJ Receives 2014 Rutgers Cooperative Extension Team Award

(L-R) Larry Katz awards Annie's Project team members Meredith Melendez, Nick Polanin, Robin Brumfield, Jenny Carleo and Jeff Heckman.

(L-R) Larry Katz awards Annie’s Project team members Meredith Melendez, Nick Polanin, Robin Brumfield, Jenny Carleo and Jeff Heckman.

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. [Read more…]

Oyster farmers ride the wave of consumer tastes – Lawmaker offers his help to the shellfish growers

Aquaculture farmers in Middle Township are riding the leading edge of an oyster renaissance, a Rutgers marine scientist said recently, and last week independent growers in the area got the vocal support of a federal lawmaker in their pursuit to revitalize a once-great state industry…Not long ago, the lawmaker’s office reached out to Lisa Calvo, a Rutgers marine scientist working with eight oyster farmers in the township, and one in Cumberland County.

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4-H is Currently Accepting New Volunteers

The Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program invites adults who want to make a difference in the lives of local youth to an orientation for new volunteers. Two training sessions will be offered Sept. 17 and Sept. 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension office, located at 355 Court House – South Dennis Road in Cape May Court House…The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth grades K – 13 on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, natural origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

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Female Farmers Focus of Webinar

In 1900, almost half of U.S. residents made their living on farms. Now it is barely 1 percent. There are about 800,000 full-time farmers in America today. According to the last census, fewer than 20 percent are women. In 2011, Annie’s Project N.J. started to encourage women to put their hands to the tiller and to equip them with the knowledge to be successful. The Aug. 15 webinar held at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Center was one of those tool-building exercises. Jenny Carleo is agricultural agent in charge. Carleo oversaw the webinar, which was being conducted from a remote location by Dr. Barbara O’Neill. This was the third training in a series of five being conducted under the Annie’s Project N.J.

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