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 »

Rutgers 250: NJAES Breed of the Month – Dogwood

Rutgers 250 variety, ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree blossom. Photo by: Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers NJAES.

Rutgers 250 variety, ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree blossom. Photo by: Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers NJAES.

Scarlet Fire™ Extends Ornamental Dogwood Season

The Rutgers 250 All-Star Variety for June, 2016 is the ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree. This is the first Cornus kousa variety released in over 45 years to the ornamental nursery market. Rutgers plant breeder Tom Molnar, continued the decades of work started by renowned breeder and professor emeritus Elwin Orton in the 1970s.

Scarlet Fire™ is a gorgeous deep pink to fuchsia-bracted dogwood tree, known for its deep, consistently pink bracts that contrast beautifully with its dark green foliage. This tree blooms in late May to early June, making it one of the latest-blooming dogwood tree varieties developed at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

[Read more…]

The Road to Financial Wellness Starts at Rutgers

Jason Vitug ('07 RBS) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

Jason Vitug (RBS’07) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

The Road to Financial Wellness 2.0 kicked off with a campus pit stop held at IFNH on Thursday June 2nd. Jason Vitug, a 2007 graduate of Rutgers Business School and founder of Phroogal—a social media company providing financial information targeted to millennials—is embarking on his 2nd annual financial education journey across the United States with 50 events in 50 states over 107 days, covering 15,000 miles, to raise awareness of personal finance and to encourage people to make better financial decisions. Vitug will kick off this road trip in his hometown of Elizabeth, NJ, on Tuesday June 7. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management, invited Vitug and two guest panelists—Pamela Callender, business development and marketing manager at Rutgers Federal Credit Union (RFCU), and Kim Cole, Navicore Solutions and New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education—to speak to the campus audience and provide specific tips to improve a person’s financial wellness.

In addition to the presentations, during his journey Vitug and his Phroogal team will be posting and sharing stories at #TheRoad2016 and encourages everyone to ‘come along for the ride.’

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

The Rutgers seminar began with Vitug talking about his own financial history including the $5,000 credit card debt he graduated with and ‘living paycheck to paycheck, despite a six-figure salary.’  In recounting this, he emphasized the importance of life planning and smart spending. Vitug told the audience to dig deep and ‘envision your dream life style’ so that you have a life plan which your financial plan then supports. Contrary to popular wisdom, he explained that money can make you happy if it fulfills what you need and love, rather than just like and want.  Is that big house part of your real dream or just ‘keeping up with the Joneses?’

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Revolutionary for 250 Years: Enos Perry

Rutgers Revolutionary Enos Perry.

Rutgers Revolutionary Enos Perry.

Dairy Farms Used to be Dangerous

Enos J. Perry (1891-1983) served Rutgers University from 1923 to 1956 as an extension specialist in dairy husbandry. His greatest contribution to agriculture was the establishment of the first cooperative artificial breeding association for cattle in New Jersey and the U.S. and the practical application of the technique of artificial insemination (AI) of farm animals, thus ending the days of dangerous bulls on U.S. dairy farms. Visit http://sebsnjaesnews.rutgers.edu/2014/03/100-years-of-cooperative-extension-rutgers-dairy-specialist-enos-j-perry-making-agricultural-history/

Rutgers 4-H and Environmental Resources Collaborate to Create Active Learners

Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program Photo credit: Steve Yergeau.

Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program Photo credit: Steve Yergeau.

Educating students in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has become a focus of schools across the country.  This is mainly due to the need for a well-prepared future workforce, as the growth of STEM-related jobs from 2000 – 2010 rose at a rate three times faster than non-STEM-related employment.  Many educators conduct instruction targeted in the STEM areas to fulfill this need, but through the use of the same conventional model in education: lecture, memorize, and test.  For years, educators have discussed and attempted to address STEM in the context of real-world, applied science.  In trying to implement a hands-on approach to learning, educators continue to face challenges: a lack of learning opportunities and limited funds to allow for project-based learning.  These factors hinder the ability of educators and youth to put their new understanding of STEM to effective use.  Ocean County’s 4-H and environmental resource agents are collaborating to meet the challenges of teaching students the STEM disciplines in new and innovative ways.  This partnership has resulted in the creation of two programs: the Water Engineers Program and Growing with Vertical Gardens Program. [Read more…]

John and Anne Gerwig Directors Fund Presents First Awards

Gerwig 1

Larry S. Katz, director-Rutgers Cooperative Extension, with Anne and John Gerwig.

The first John and Anne Gerwig Director’s Fund awards for Rutgers Cooperative Extension were given out on May 4, 2016 at an event at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health that celebrated the Gerwigs and their tireless devotion to extension and underserved populations in New Jersey. The Gerwigs were presented with the commemorative book, “Rutgers, A 250th Anniversary Portrait” by current RCE director, Larry S. Katz, and after some thoughtful and moving remarks by Mr. Gerwig, certificates were presented to Nicholas Polanin and his team for programing designed to empower women in agriculture, and to Michelle Brill and Jeannette Rey-Keywood for a professional development series to create programming for the developmentally disabled.

Gerwig 2

John Gerwig.

John and Anne Gerwig are the embodiment of Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE). John joined 4-H when he was 5, became the extension agronomist early in his career, and is the longest serving director (1962-1992) in its history. Anne led the university’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program reaching limited resource families and was instrumental in obtaining critical employee benefits for paraprofessionals in extension.

John and Anne Gerwig wanted to help all of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. This devotion and desire led them to establish a fund that will provide resources to extension professionals in perpetuity. The goal of their $200,000 is to empower cooperative extension professionals so that they can make a bigger impact on New Jersey’s communities. A portion of the fund will be reserved to award through a formal “request for proposal” process set up and managed by the RCE director’s office. Remaining funds will be used to support emerging issues, internships, awarding additional proposals, and other needs that arise.

[Read more…]

Rutgers Gardens Celebrates its Centennial Anniversary

Installation of permanent benches.

Installation of permanent benches.

During Rutgers Historic 250th Year its ‘Secret Garden’ turns 100!

Rutgers Gardens celebrated its Centennial on May 17th with an outdoor reception under a large tent in the Roy DeBoer Evergreen Gardens. Despite the rain, the tent was packed with faculty, staff, and many supporters and volunteers. This historic moment in the Gardens’ history was commemorated with the installation of two permanent benches, a plaque, and the naming of a new commemorative bearded iris hybrid ‘Centennial Charm.’  Bob Lyons, chairman of the Advisory Board proudly announced the Horticulture Landmark Designation Award from the American Society for Horticulture Science and Bruce Crawford, director Rutgers Gardens was also honored with the Rutgers Gardens Centennial Award of Distinction.

Dean Bob Goodman.

Dean Bob Goodman.

Dean Bob Goodman kicked off the gala with some remarks regarding his introduction to the Gardens.  He said that during the interview process for the position of Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Studies and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, he was given a tour of the Gardens and then was told that the Gardens would be under his supervision as Dean. “You mean they’ll be mine?” He was clearly delighted!

Bruce Crawford, Rutgers Gardens director, gave a brief history of the Gardens, which began in 1916, when 35.7 acres of land—known as Wolpert Farm—was purchased on May 17, 1916 from Jacob and Celia Lipman. The Gardens  were intended as a functional learning space for local farmers to teach them about the new trend at the turn of the century—ornamental horticulture—and were never meant to be public, leading some to call them Rutgers’ ‘Secret Garden.’ They were never denied to the public, however, and the love for and dedication to the gardens by students, faculty and the public blossomed along with the gardens!

[Read more…]

Edible Jersey Profiles the ‘Rutgers Scarlet’ Strawberry: The Jersey Berry

Bill Hlubik, Middlesex County agricultural agent

Bill Hlubik, Middlesex County agricultural agent

If Bill Hlubik has his way, there will be strawberry fields forever— or at least a little longer each year— in the Garden State. Hlubik and his team at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station hope to someday introduce new varieties that will extend the growing season beyond the traditional four weeks for June-bearing strawberries. For now, however, it’s all about the flavor. Read more at Edible Jersey.

 

Are microwave ovens safe & nutritious? Or just convenient?

Over the last several decades, microwave ovens have become a standard kitchen appliance in many American homes. But for some, doubts remain about their safety and impact on the nutritional value of food cooked in them… This week on "Take Care," food scientist Don Schaffner takes us behind the microwave door to explain how microwave ovens work, and the ways this kind of cooking technology interacts with food. Schaffner is an extension specialist in food science and distinguished professor at Rutgers University. He is a world-renowned expert on food safety and protection and is the co-host of a podcast on microbial food safety.

Read the entire article at WRVO Public Media »