Rutgers Helps Friends School Students Get a Taste of Gardening

Students were skeptical at Friends School Mullica Hill, an independent PreK to 8th grade school in Harrison Township, when Luanne Hughes passed around tiny cups of a green frothy brew at her lunchtime demonstration. Hughes, a registered dietician and professor at Rutgers University Cooperative Extension of Gloucester County, was visiting as part of a partnership to help the school develop its on-campus gardening project… Using fresh spinach the students at Friends School grew and collected in their own raised bed garden, Hughes blended together a shake that also included bananas, orange juice and fresh kiwi. Watching the ingredients whipped together into a bright green shake elicited a few groans of disapproval from some of the middle schoolers. The kids were encouraged to "be brave" and "try something new" by Hughes as she passed around the sample cups… "Having our garden supported by Luanne and Rutgers University has been invaluable," said Reaves. "They are helping us to teach kids the importance of fresh farm produce."

Read the entire article at www.mycentraljersey.com »

Gypsy Moths Return With a Vengeance

Just one year removed from a relatively quiet season, the Garden State is once again under siege from a familiar perennial pest – the gypsy moth. In South Jersey, Atlantic County recorded more damage this year alone than the rest of the state combined in 2014, according to the state Department of Agriculture’s 2015 gypsy moth survey… The 12-day aerial survey that began on June 17 revealed an estimated 290,696 acres of such trees throughout the state that had suffered damage from the hungry gypsy moths – about 220 times more than last year’s 1,330-acre defoliation total… Hemant Gohil, a Rutgers Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent serving Gloucester County, said he’s received some reports from residents about moth damage. "One lady told me that her swimming pool was full of gypsy moth caterpillars crawling around," Gohil told Gannett New Jersey. "She said they could not use it for weeks."

Read the entire article at www.thedailyjournal.com »

NJ 4-H Members to Attend 2015 4-H Leadership Program

New Jersey delegates who attended the 2014 Leadership Washington Focus held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

New Jersey delegates who attended the 2014 Leadership Washington Focus held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Sixteen 4-H members have been selected to represent New Jersey at the second annual 4-H Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) Conference. This leadership conference will be held July 12-17 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) is a 4-H leadership development program for 4-H members entering grades 7-9. Youth from across the nation will be participating in this 5-day event. The program will provide an opportunity for youth to listen to motivational speakers and participate in workshops that will develop communication skills, increase leadership capacity and build lifetime skills. [Read more…]

NJ 4-H Members to Attend National 4-H Citizenship Conference

New Jersey 4-H representatives for the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus Conference

New Jersey 4-H representatives at the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus Conference

Thirty 4-H members have been selected to represent New Jersey at the 2015 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Conference. This conference, now in its 56th year, will be held July 5-11 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Citizenship Washington Focus is a 4-H leadership program for high school youth. Delegations from across the country attend this six-day program at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, located just outside Washington, D.C. The program is aimed at enriching young people’s lives by broadening their appreciation and respect for themselves and others in the world. Participants attend workshops, committee meetings, field trips and social events, giving them hands-on opportunities to learn and grow. They learn and practice skills that will make them better citizens and more successful individuals. [Read more…]

National Park Celebrates Earth Day with Children’s Garden Opening

The scissors were barely through the ribbon at the borough’s newly opened children’s garden, when Mother Nature unleashed a brief Earth Day deluge on the soon-to-be growing crops. It was pretty good timing all around, said National Park School Principal Carla Bittner… "Today for Earth Day, in addition to opening the garden, we had health and wellness activities for the students, with different stations around the school," said Bittner following the ceremony, which at the end saw about 275 students fleeing from the rain. "Rutgers Cooperative Extension had a station where the students made veggie egg rolls, with food provided by Food Corps."… In addition, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension is expected to supplement some of the food supplies for some of the garden-related educational events at the school next year.

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

State 4-H Small Animal Educational Symposium Drew Participants from Nine Counties

Rabbit hopping in action.

Rabbit hopping in action.

Nearly 100 4-H members and volunteers representing nine counties (Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem, and Warren) attended the State 4-H Small Animal Educational Symposium on Feb. 28 in Clayton, New Jersey.

“The State 4-H Small Animal Educational Symposium is an annual event, now in its second year, that offers  4-H’ers an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in topics related to poultry, reptiles, small animals, cavy and rabbits,” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program – Small Animal Project Advisory Council liaison. “In addition, the event provides a venue to compete at an advanced level and meet other 4-H members from around the state.” [Read more…]

Hunterdon 4-H Members’ Bird Knowledge Put to the Test at Avian Bowl

Nineteen 4-H members were part of six teams representing four counties (Hunterdon, Middlesex, Ocean, and Salem) who competed in the New Jersey 4-H Avian Bowl Winter Event held on Feb. 28 in Gloucester County… The Ocean County Shore Poultry team captured first place in the Senior Division and Salem County Cool Chicks team took second place. In the Junior Division, the Hunterdon County Fur ‘n Feathers Junior 2 team won first place and Hunterdon County Fur ‘n Feathers Junior 1 team captured second place… "The 4-H Avian Bowl is an educational event, in its inaugural year in New Jersey, which offers 4-H’ers an excellent opportunity to work as a team to advance their knowledge in poultry related topics." said Jeannette Rea Keywood, New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program – Small Animal Project Advisory Council liaison… The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station – Cooperative Extension.

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

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.

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

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…]