New Jersey 4-H Youth Develop Skills at Leadership Washington Focus Conference

LWF delegates at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center

LWF delegates at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center

Fifteen New Jersey 4-H youth are ready to take on the challenges of leadership in the 21st century after experiencing the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Leadership Washington Focus (LWF), an intensive 4-H leadership development program for middle-school youth. The conference was held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, from July 15-19.

The four-day 4-H conference provided 135 youth and 30 adult chaperones from 15 states with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in experiential learning that boosted leadership competency in the four key areas of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and confidence. In addition, the LWF conference also prepared youth to return home with important skills to make positive changes in their own communities. [Read more...]

What’s in Season from the Garden State: Legendary Jersey Tomatoes and the Role NJ Farmers Played in Selecting Winners

Lyman Schermerhorn (left), breeder of the Rutgers tomato, in a field of tomatoes. Circa 1930s.

Lyman Schermerhorn (left), breeder of the Rutgers tomato, in a field of tomatoes. Circa 1930s.

Alumni Note: Rutgers’ work in tomato breeding was greatly influenced by the farm families growing test plants for the university. These families in turn were influenced by their connection to Rutgers. Read about Joe Musumeci’s (CAES ’67) journey from the family farm to Rutgers.

Several of the classic Jersey tomato varieties that were grown on New Jersey farms in the mid-20th century were actually developed in New Jersey, with much of the tomato breeding done at Rutgers or at Campbell’s Soup Company research facility in Riverton, NJ.

As the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) grew in capacity to provide research and outreach to New Jersey farms, it acquired off-campus research farms to accommodate the extensive work done on testing and developing plant varieties for New Jersey farmers. But before these research stations were established, a large portion of the trials was done right on New Jersey farms. [Read more...]

It’s fairly obvious: tents and rides and good times

The county fair has been around longer than Cooperative Extension. But Extension has been involved in county fairs since its establishment in the early 1900s. Nearly every county has a county fair, in which staff, volunteers, and families invest a great deal of time and effort to organize, promote, and run every year…"This event is the culmination of hard work by our 4-H leaders, members, and parents," said Chad Ripberger, 4-H agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Mercer County. "Our fair is an excellent place for the members of Mercer County 4-H and the residents of Mercer County to showcase their talents and receive recognition for their individual entries."

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Rutgers 4-H Helps Host Sicilian Youth in Collaborative Program Funded by U.S. State Department

Youth from Sicily, Italy visit Ellis Island and learn about the history of immigration to the U.S.

Youth from Sicily, Italy, visit Ellis Island and learn about the history of immigration to the U.S.

Over the course of three weeks in May and June this year, 14 youth and two adult educators from three communities in Sicily, Italy, participated in a Youth Leadership Program funded by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the University of Delaware and Rutgers University. During this exchange program, which focused on the general themes of civic education, leadership development and community service, the Sicilian youth toured parts of the U.S., learning about democracy and developing community service projects to be implemented in their own home communities.

“Each of the community service projects was different and I was surprised at the level of commitment that they showed to each other during the trip,” said Alayne Torretta, county 4-H Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and program coordinator for the grant in New Jersey. [Read more...]

2014 Rutgers Snyder Farm Open House and Great Tomato Tasting

DSC06581The ever-popular annual Great Tomato Tasting at Snyder Farm continues to grow and expand, and this year there will be more to experience than ever. Hosted by Rutgers Snyder Research Farm  in Pittstown, the event will take place on Wednesday, August 27 from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the 80 varieties of tomatoes to taste, activities will include a chef’s cooking demonstration and tasting, guided educational wagon tours of the farm’s research plots, tastings of various fruits and herbs, access to the farm’s gardens with opportunities to ask questions and get answers, insect displays, information booths on various foods grown in the Garden State, and much more. [Read more...]