Rutgers EcoComplex: Building the Bioenergy Industry of New Jersey

EcoComplex Exterior.

Rutgers EcoComplex, a Clean Energy Innovation Center, is located in Bordentown, NJ.

The Rutgers EcoComplex is a nationally recognized center for sustainable biomass energy business incubation and clean energy cluster development. Designated a Clean Energy Innovation Center, it focuses on innovative bioenergy processes and was one of the first in the nation to serve as a university-based clean energy business incubator. It was recognized by the State of New Jersey with the “Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award” for setting a benchmark for top performance for the clean energy sector.

In keeping with the mission of NJAES, the EcoComplex takes a multi-pronged approach to building a sustainable bioenergy industry through applied research and demonstration, outreach and education, and business development. This facility proves that it “walks-the-talk” when it comes to bioenergy by conducting demonstration projects and helping start-up businesses further develop their technologies. Through these demonstrations, improvements can be made and the technologies verified to optimize their technical and economic performance. By offering these services and resources to entrepreneurs, the center helps to reduce barriers in the commercialization process.

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Rutgers Researchers Working to Make Shellfish Aquaculture a Priority Economic Activity

Farm raised oysters.

Farm raised oysters.

Many coastal states have developed multi-million dollar shellfish aquaculture industries and sell their shellfish products in markets close to New Jersey. A key to their success has been a top-down mandate from state government to grow the industry. States such as Maryland, Virginia, and Rhode Island have experienced tremendous growth in shellfish production stemming from strong state leadership.

These mandates have established shellfish aquaculture as a priority activity with significant economic value and created a single, lead authority for shellfish aquaculture. In addition, they have expanded acreage that is suitable for shellfish aquaculture and have led to the implementation of science-based regulatory frameworks.

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SEBS Student Completes Paid Summer Ag Internship With Growmark

Catherine Cincotta in her commercial test corn field at Growmark's facility in Easthampton, NJ, in July 2016.

Catherine Cincotta in her commercial test corn field at Growmark’s facility in Easthampton, NJ, in July 2016.

Plant biology major Catherine Cincotta (SEBS’17) completed a 12-week paid summer internship with industry giant Growmark, Inc., an agricultural inputs supplier and farm cooperative with an estimated $8.9 billion in annual sales. Her internship, a full-time summer experience, was at Growmark’s distribution facility located in Easthampton, New Jersey, in her home county of Burlington.

In August, Cincotta was one of 60 leading college students of agriculture from around the U.S. and Canada invited by Growmark to its headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois. There, she presented the results of her internship project, “Countin Corn: Every 12 Hours,” which focused on amendments that might improve corn emergence under adverse, cold spring conditions.

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RCE Agent Jenny Carleo Wins National Award for Creative Excellence

Stacey McCullough, president of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) presents Jenny Carleo with the 2016 JCEP Award for Creative Excellence at the NACAA Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

At left, Stacey McCullough, president of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP), presents Jenny Carleo with the 2016 JCEP Award for Creative Excellence at the NACAA Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Jenny Carleo, Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) agricultural and resource management agent for Cape May County, received a 2016 Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Award for Creative Excellence at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

JCEP, a partnership of Extension Professional Associations, presents its award for Creative Excellence to recognize individuals or small teams and their unique contributions to Extension programing by being innovative in their approach to addressing emerging issues or existing issues in exceptionally creative or novel ways to obtain desirable results and outcomes. [Read more…]

Join Union County Master Gardeners for Healthy Outdoor Fun and Community Service

Union County residents looking for a fun, active community service opportunity are invited to join the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County. Master Gardeners are trained and certified by Rutgers experts. No previous experience with gardening is needed… The mission of the Master Gardeners is to share knowledge, experience, and love of gardening through community activities including neighborhood garden and beautification projects, education, and outreach to seniors and the disabled.

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Metabolic Profiling Yields Insight Into OCD

Researchers are using the complex science of metabolic profiling to determine why some young horses develop osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) while others of similar breeding and management do not… Dr. Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, an equine nutritionist at Rutgers University, and Dr. Istvan Pelczer, Ph.D., a pioneer in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy-based metabonomic analyses at Princeton University, have spent the past 10 years analyzing and graphing blood samples from Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds with and without OCD to see how their bodies’ metabolic profiles differ. Armed with the spectroscopy data, the researchers have uncovered potential abnormalities in metabolic pathways that they believe can be manipulated to reduce the risk of developing OCD.

Read the entire article at The Paulick Report »

Perfect New Jersey tomato matter of taste — and science

Out in Upper Deerfield Township in Cumberland County, surrounded by hundreds of acres of corn, are a few acres where Rutgers University researchers are growing the tomatoes of tomorrow… "We started breeding tomatoes that resist bruising," said Jack Rabin, associate director of farm programs for Rutgers’ New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. "That’s where the train ran off the track. We were so good at what we were doing, we forgot that people wanted to have a sloppy, juicy thing that left juice running down their chin." "If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s no such thing as the perfect tomato, said Extension Specialist Tom Orton as he stood among rows of tomato plants at the station’s field.

Read the entire article at The Press of Atlantic City »

Join the Master Tree Stewards this Fall

Enrollment is now open for Union County’s Master Tree Stewards program. Members of this all-volunteer organization spend the fall season on guided nature walks to learn about the critical role that trees play in our environment, and each spring they fan out to share their knowledge with hundreds fourth grade students in Union County schools… Master Tree Steward volunteers are trained and certified by experts from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. The training course begins each September and consists of guided visits to state parks including Cheesequake, Hacklebarney and others.

Read the entire article at Tap Into »

Rutgers 250: NJAES All-Star Variety of the Month – ‘Triploid’ Oyster

Farm raised oysters ready for harvest at a Cape May County oyster farm.

Farm raised oysters ready for harvest at a Cape May County oyster farm.

The oyster breeding program at Rutgers University has conducted over a century of cutting-edge scientific research to overcome challenges to the industry from the devastating effects of over-fishing, diseases, and climate change. Professor Ximing Guo explains his research and vision.

Throughout Rutgers’ yearlong celebration of its 250th anniversary (November 2015 to November 2016), NJAES each month highlights one of its all-star varieties developed by its breeding program. Decades of research contribute to superior varieties of plants and shellfish, benefitting and sustaining the future of agriculture (which includes aquaculture) in a number of ways. August 2016 celebrates the NJAES oyster breeding program, which dates back to 1901 when Julius Nelson founded the Rutgers Oyster Investigation Laboratory, which became what we now know as the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory—the most productive and prolific oyster research center in the nation.

Professor Ximing Guo.

Professor Ximing Guo.

The Rutgers 250 All-Star Variety for August is the ‘triploid’ oyster! Normal oysters contain two sets of chromosomes, hence diploid, whereas triploid oyster contain three sets of chromosomes. As professor and shellfish geneticist Ximing Guo states, “Triploid oysters have several advantages. One, they grow faster. They’re sterile, so they don’t reproduce. If they don’t reproduce, they’re good for the environment, because they don’t interbreed with the wild populations. If they’re sterile, they also have a better meat quality in the summer.” This is why, when the NJAES oyster breeding program at Rutgers developed a method to produce tetraploid oysters, which can be crossed with normal diploid oyster for production of highly desirable triploid oysters, it created several advantages for oyster growers around the world and thus, has helped to sustain the aquaculture industry. Now, triploid oysters developed at Rutgers are a popular variety in the U.S., France, Australia, and China.

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Rutgers’ Nature Thru Nurture program brings STEM to life: BTN LiveBIG

It’s noon on a Tuesday in New Jersey. Students circle a pond inhabited by creatures big and small – some on four feet, others powered by tentacles or wings. This is Rutgers’ Nature Thru Nurture (NTN) program, where plants, animals, gardens and bugs are used to develop a love of STEM skills in the next generation… The program began six years ago with a $50,000 community development block grant from the city and is the brainchild of Radha Jagannathan, a Rutgers professor in its urban planning and policy development department, and Michael Camasso, who is an agricultural, food and resources economics professor. NTN is run in partnership with the university and New Brunswick public schools.

Read the entire article at Big Ten Network »