4-H’s Small Animal Symposium in Clayton a Hands-on Learning Experience

It wasn’t just the rabbits that were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at Saturday morning’s Small Animal Educational Symposium — so too were the young 4-H members eager to learn more about caring for their little friends… Attendees from nine New Jersey counties who came to the Gloucester County complex, in Clayton, received first-hand lessons on fundamentals like poultry showmanship as well as preparing rabbits and cavy (think guinea pigs and the like) for judging… Now in its second year, the event put little critters in the spotlight and sometimes on the table while the finer points of their health and handling were taught. Other event attractions included a rabbit-hopping competition and a "Health Check 101" seminar.

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New Jersey 4-H youth to compete in State 4-H Small Animal Show

4-H members from throughout the state will be participating in the New Jersey State 4-H Rabbit, Cavy, Small Animal, Herpetology & Poultry Show on Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Gloucester County 4-H Fairground in Mullica Hill. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m…"The 4-H members attending this event are the best from each county because they have earned the right to participate by receiving excellent ratings for their animals at county level shows," says Jeannette Rea Keywood, Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Agent and State 4-H Small Animal Program Liaison.

Read the entire article at NJ.com »

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…]

Sweet, super-sized peach cake planned for 4-H Fair

Standing over more than 150 pounds of fresh peaches Wednesday, Gloucester County’s Master Gardeners started a sweet and sticky assembly line…Twenty-four hours later, their prepped peaches would be part of a 250-pound peach shortcake recognized by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture as the state’s largest birthday cake. The peach cake, baked and assembled by Liscio’s Bakery in Glassboro, will debut Thursday at opening ceremonies of the Gloucester County 4-H Fair and New Jersey Peach Festival in Mullica Hill…The peach-filled mega-pastry marks the 100th anniversary of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the organization that oversees the Master Gardener program and 4-H throughout the state. "We wanted to do something fun and festive," said Luanne Hughes, an RCE health sciences educator.

Read the entire article at CourierPostOnline.com »

New Jersey 4-Hers Boost Leadership and Civic Skills in Washington, D.C.

New Jersey 4-H delegates to the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus on the steps of the Capitol.

New Jersey 4-H delegates to the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus on the steps of the Capitol.

New Jersey 4-H members learned about government processes in the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), an intensive 4-H civic engagement program for high-school youth held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The New Jersey 4-H delegation of 30 youth and three adult chaperones attended week 6 of the conference from July 6-12. [Read more…]