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…]