Christmas Day 2014 Marks 50th Anniversary of Rutgers Professor’s Groundbreaking Innovation in Ag

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend their growing seasons. Locally, the flowers we buy in full bloom, the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting and local vegetables grown in plastic covered greenhouses to extend the early or late seasons, can be produced locally and economically.

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend the growing season. In the US, the flowers we buy in full bloom and the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting can be produced locally and economically in these greenhouses.

It was Christmas morning of 1964 when Bill Roberts was tinkering in his basement when he was supposed to be doing something else. The now retired Rutgers NJAES specialist in agricultural engineering was building a model greenhouse in his basement when he used an aquarium air pump to separate the two layers of the plastic film covering. As innocuous as it may seem, what Roberts did was actually an innovation that would be a boon to the agricultural industry and revolutionize the use of greenhouses worldwide. Back from winter break, the work commenced on campus in 1965 with a structure on Cook campus that served as the first ever air-inflated, double-layer polyethylene greenhouse. That original structure still stands on campus and in 2004, the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE), dedicated the structure as an ASABE Historic Landmark. Read the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s anniversary tribute and more about this historic innovation that was developed at Rutgers.

Rutgers Master Gardeners complete two-year project at Old Broad Street Cemetery

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County completed a two-year project planting 500 Ice Folly daffodils throughout the Old Broad Street Cemetery in Bridgeton. What a glorious display awaits us this spring. In addition, five trees, four shrubs and 30 daylilies were planted. Master Gardener Jane Hankins heads the Broad Street Cemetery Project, and she is presently preparing the paperwork for a grant to plant colorful shrubs throughout this historic cemetery.

Read the entire article at NJ.com »

Floriculture Greenhouse Dazzles with its Annual Poinsettia Display and Sale

Each year the Floriculture Greenhouse on the Cook campus hosts a Poinsettia Open House followed up with a sale of the flowers. Photo by Jack Rabin.

Each year the Floriculture Greenhouse on the Cook campus hosts a Poinsettia Open House followed up by a sale of the flowers. Photo by Jack Rabin.

Arctic, Freedom Peppermint, Silverstar Red, Sonora Jingle, Premium Polar – they’re not holiday candies or names of rogue reindeer, but are among the many Poinsettia cultivars on display during the annual Poinsettia Open House held at the Floriculture Greenhouse on the George H. Cook campus. Almost 100 varieties provided by the leading breeders/propagators such as Ball, Dummen, Ecke, and Syngenta, were on display at the Open House which was held in November. The Open House is followed up by a plant sale of the Poinsettias, which this year is on Tuesday, December 2, through Friday, December 5, 11:00 to 3:00 each day. The plants are selling for $8 per 6” pot. [Read more…]

Rutgers Helps Military Family Service Professionals Across America

DOD/USDA Award Goes to Military Families Learning Network

L-R: Barbara O'Neill, Michael Gutter, extension specialist at the University of Florida, and Barry Wilkersen, president of AFCPE.

L-R: Barbara O’Neill, Michael Gutter, extension specialist at the University of Florida, and Barry Wilkersen, president of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.

The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN), has been selected to continue and expand its work serving military family service professionals around the world, receiving a DOD/USDA grant that will further its success. Cooperative Extension faculty from Rutgers Barbara O’Neill, extension specialist in financial resource management, is working with the MFLN as part of the Personal Finance concentration area. O’Neill and her counterpart Michael Gutter, extension specialist at the University of Florida, are a part of the MFLN Personal Finance Team, which just received the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education’s “Outstanding Educational Program of the Year” award for their personal finance webinars for military family service personnel.

Kyle Kostelecky, project director, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Elbert Dickey, principal investigator for the current project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, announced here today that the new award will be housed at the Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education on the University of Illinois campus. The current MFLN originated as a special project of eXtension at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010 and work will continue at the University of Nebraska until completed. [Read more…]

Annie’s Project Retail Marketing Conference Helps New Jersey Farm Women

Robin Brumfield, RCE extension specialist in farm management, conducted a “Market-to-Market" workbook session that led to a the draft marketing plan for the farm women.

Robin Brumfield, RCE extension specialist in farm management, conducted a “Market-to-Market” workbook session that led to a draft marketing plan by the farm women.

Farm women were exposed to a full day of learning and networking at the Annie’s Project New Jersey: Retail Marketing Conference for Farm Women last month at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center, in Bridgeton, NJ. Annie’s Project is a nationally acclaimed farm business educational program for farm women.

The 17 farm women who attended the daylong conference were exposed to a variety of topics designed to give them a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace that would help them develop a business strategy to ensure the success of their operations. Relevant topics included agritourism, social media, marketing strategies, value-added enterprises, financial goals, marketing plan and crop insurance offered by a series of presenters drawn from Rutgers, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland Extension and the NJ Farmers Direct Marketing Association.

Stephanie Cash, owner of Dias Creek Oyster Company, a commercial oyster business that she operates with her husband in Cape May Court House, NJ, found the conference very useful. “In many respects, the day helped me see what next steps I must take. Even more important, it helped me see what I must do to free up the time to get the necessary things done. It was a most refreshing way to review priorities.” [Read more…]