Starting a food business? Rutgers incubator can help

Patrick Leger stood in a processing room at Rutgers Food Innovation Center on Friday, watching as an assembly line of bottles were filled with pure strained tomatoes, First Field’s latest product… "They need a place to go," said Lou Cooperhouse, the center’s director. "Our job is to find a pathway for them to go after they leave our facility."

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Cumberland County Extension Service Employees Recognized

Cumberland County employees Cheryl McCormick and Tammy Commander were recognized Dec. 7 with awards for excellence by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The awards are presented annually to one individual within the state. McCormick, 4-H Program Assistant, received the Award for Excellence for Program Assistant, while Agricultural Secretary Tammy Commander was recognized with the Excellence Award for Administrative Staff… McCormick and Commander were applauded for achievements which have significantly enhanced RCE and for demonstrating outstanding performance and creativity above and beyond their position descriptions. Each received a certificate and congratulations from Rutgers Cooperative Extension Director Larry Katz, as well as a $250 award toward professional development from Rutgers Cooperative Extension… County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan noted in her nomination that that Cheryl McCormick is highly regarded by all the RCE staff as a team player who never hesitates to pitch in and assist in making any program run smoothly.

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Cumberland County Hosts South American Food Industry Executives

Cumberland County was host to food industry executives from Brazil last week and again hosted more from other parts of South America, who came to learn more about the area’s food commerce. Rutgers Food Innovation Center (RFIC) in Bridgeton coordinated the event in partnership with the Cumberland County Improvement Authority… "All together we entertained more than a dozen South American company representatives and I can honestly say each one was very impressed with our area, it’s location and abundant resources – both from an agriculture and a transportation standpoint," CCIA Construction and Economic Development Director Jim Watson explained about the groups. "I expect to hear from at least of few of them after they have had a chance to process and distribute the information we were able to convey to them in such a short time span."

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Cumberland County 4-H Directs High Impact School Outreach Model

Cumberland County 4-H Program Assistant Donna Griebau visited Saint Mary’s School to begin a series of classes that explored electricity… The series is part of an effort to refocus on school-based 4-H programs using a new model which is intended to bring the benefits of 4-H club experience into the classroom… The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers Cooperative Extension and is the oldest positive youth development program in the country. 4-H is a leader in experiential learning programs and helps youth learn how to run a meeting using parliamentary procedure, develop public speaking skills, engage in community service work, set goals, complete project work, and benefit from recognition opportunities for their efforts… "Cumberland 4-H will continue to work with area schools providing one-time, hands-on enrichment programs," said Julie Karavan, County 4-H Agent.

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Cumberland County Rutgers Master Gardener for 2015 Announced

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County have honored Sam Pace of Millville with the Rutgers Master Gardener of the Year Award for 2015 in Cumberland County. Pace will be recognized for the outstanding work he has done in Cumberland County on Oct. 3 at the Master Gardeners’ Conference in New Brunswick… In 1985, Pace attended the Rutgers Greenhouse Growing Conference. This led to his building a small greenhouse on his property where he grew a variety of bedding plants, hanging baskets and flower bags. Today, he is in the process of completing another greenhouse. Due to an accident that has left him handicapped, Sam now specializes in container gardening and table gardening, the two types of plantings which make gardening for the handicapped accessible and rewarding… Pace graduated in the 2014 Rutgers Master Gardeners Program. He has been an instructor in the Therapeutic Horticulture Program at the Veteran’s Home in Vineland and the Master Gardeners’ native plant and vegetable propagation program.

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Cumberland County 4-H Presents at National Marine Educators Conference

4-H Agent Julie Karavan works with youth on SeaPerch Robotics Project (club photo).

4-H Agent Julie Karavan (at top) works with youth on SeaPerch Robotics Project. Photo credit: Cumberland County 4-H.

County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan was awarded the Expanding Audiences Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the National Marine Educators Association Conference in Newport, Rhode Island, held June 29-July 2. Karavan presented two professional development workshops related to her extension teaching and practice in Cumberland County.

Her presentation, Aquatic Robotics, was offered educators information and hands-on experience relating to two marine robotics platforms Karavan has taught: SeaPerch and Waterbotics. She adapted the Waterbotics curriculum for younger audiences at the Millville Schools Club 21st Century Program in July of 2014, reaching over 40 students. A shortened version of the program was also offered at the 4-H Center to 20 Bridgeton Pathways 21st Century summer camp students. While serving as County 4-H Agent in Cape May, Karavan fielded three award winning teams to the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge and utilized the PVC-based underwater robots in school enrichment programs. [Read more…]

Cumberland County 4-H Invites Bridgeton Pathways Students to “Spy” on Nature

Students in the Bridgeton 21st Century Pathways Program took part in hands-on experiential learning with Cumberland County 4-H during the week of July 13th… The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program partnered with Bridgeton Schools to engage youth in science, engineering, and the arts. The week-long program, designed by County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan, invited students to spy on nature, learning how Rutgers scientists and engineers monitor local species and habitats. Students produced their own constructions and personal creations- including underwater robots, contact prints, poetry, and artwork, based on their first-hand observations… The program included a service learning opportunity with Jenny Paterno of Project PORTS. Participants visited the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Lab and created over 100 shell bags to provide habitat to oysters. Students also were able to take a tour of the gardens at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, where they constructed LEGO based underwater robots designed to retrieve a simulated biological sample or marine debris… "Rutgers colleagues made this a fabulous experience for the kids," said Karavan. "Having a 4-H alum return in a staff position to teach in the schools really enriched the program."

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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…]

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County Complete Major Planting Projects

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County completed major plantings at the Women’s Heritage Marker, the Global Village Immigrant Memorial, the Meditation Garden at the Seabrook Buddhist Temple, and at the Cohanzick Zoo… On June 10, Master Gardener Coordinator, Pam Burton, led four members in planting, weeding and  beautifying these gardens and their accompanying historic markers.

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