Executive Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Celebrates 150 Years as Land-Grant by Saluting George Hammell Cook

George H. Cook, the star of the Distinguished Lecture celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school, is flanked, from the left, by Executive Dean Bob Goodman, University Archivist Thomas Frusciano, and Thomas Farris, dean of the School of Engineering.

George H. Cook, the star of the Distinguished Lecture celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school, is flanked, from the left, by Executive Dean Bob Goodman, University Archivist Thomas Frusciano, and Thomas Farris, dean of the School of Engineering.

“In the early 1860s Rutgers College was in the doldrums,” writes biographer Jean Wilson Sidar. “An ailing and aging president, apathetic alumni, and a lack of support … made the college an unlikely place for a dynamic change of direction and growth.” Due to the Civil War, the entire institution was reduced in size from 164 students in 1861 to 64 in 1864. For George Cook, perhaps the college’s most prominent and industrious faculty member, “the situation was one of great concern,” Sidar writes with great understatement.

However, the scene was set for a remarkable reinvigoration of Rutgers, led by George Hammell Cook and colleague David Murray as they secured for Rutgers the designation of New Jersey’s land-grant institution. The story of how this came about and the indefatigable commitment of Cook was the subject of a 150th anniversary celebration at the Executive Dean’s Distinguished Lecture last month presented with scores of historic illustrations by Thomas Frusciano, University archivist. The video of the lecture is available for viewing below. See how Cook “brought new vitality and a new commitment to the college.”

Video: Executive Dean's Distinguished Lecture: Rutgers Hero, George Hammell Cook

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…]

Annie’s Project NJ Receives 2014 Rutgers Cooperative Extension Team Award

(L-R) Larry Katz awards Annie's Project team members Meredith Melendez, Nick Polanin, Robin Brumfield, Jenny Carleo and Jeff Heckman.

(L-R) Larry Katz awards Annie’s Project team members Meredith Melendez, Nick Polanin, Robin Brumfield, Jenny Carleo and Jeff Heckman.

Each year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), honors faculty and staff for their outstanding work and outreach through their programs and support. The winners for 2014 received their awards at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Annual Conference at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick on October 20. [Read more…]

2014 Rutgers Cooperative Extension Specialist of the Year Awarded to Peter Oudemans

Peter Oudemans

Peter Oudemans

Each year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), honors faculty and staff for their outstanding work and outreach through their programs and support. The winners for 2014 received their awards at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Annual Conference at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick on October 20.

The Specialist of the Year Award is presented to an Extension Specialist who is being recognized by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension departments of 4-H Youth Development, Family and Community Health Sciences, and Agricultural and Resource Management Agents for their accomplishments and support to the agent departments. This year the Specialist of the Year was awarded to Peter Oudemans, extension specialist in blueberry/cranberry pathology.

Oudemans is considered a consummate professional. He is equally at home performing world class scholarship in fruit pathology as well as instructing agents and agricultural professionals, doing spray schedule with growers and designing applied investigations in cooperation with others. He is collaborative and cooperative. He displays leadership when needed. He is an excellent researcher and Extension speaker. Rutgers Cooperative Extension recognizes Oudemans as the best example of how research and Extension should work together.

Dept. of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Celebrates 100th Anniversary

DAFRE graduate alumni, along with Distinguished Professor Carl Pray. Front row, left to right:  Karen Rose-Tank, Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Liping Wang, Julia Menzo, Ann Courtmanche. Back row, left to right: Brian Schilling, Carl Pray, Katrin Glode-Sethna, John Italia.

DAFRE graduate alumni, along with Distinguished Professor Carl Pray. Front row, left to right: Karen Rose-Tank, Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Liping Wang, Julia Menzo, and Ann Courtmanche. Back row, left to right: Brian Schilling, Carl Pray, Katrin Glode-Sethna, and John Italia.

One day after an on-campus event celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rutgers’ designation as New Jersey’s land grant institution, an important component of that institution – the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics – marked its founding exactly fifty years later, in 1914.

The department’s centennial event, held on November 6th in the Cook Campus Center, featured a panel discussion on “Agricultural and Resource Economics in the 21st Century.” This was followed by a reception and dinner for alumni, current and former faculty, staff and guests.

Over dinner, department chairman Paul Gottlieb reminded attendees that in the first decades of its existence, the department’s quantitative research was especially important to New Jersey agriculture. “We were founded a year after the personal income tax was instituted in the U.S.,” he noted. “Without good records on their costs of production, farmers couldn’t calculate their income, and they might wind up paying too much. The first Rutgers economists helped farmers with this new bookkeeping problem.” [Read more…]