Professor Emeritus Bernard L. Pollack (1920 – 2014)

Bernie Pollack on a visit to Cook Campus in 2008. Photo by Jack Rabin

Bernie Pollack on a visit to Cook Campus in 2008. Photo by Jack Rabin

Professor Emeritus of Plant Breeding and Genetics Bernard “Bernie” Pollack passed away on July 14, at the age of 94. Pollack joined Rutgers in 1960 as faculty in the Department of Horticulture and Forestry, and retired in 1985. While his work in vegetable breeding extended to eggplant, pepper, and tomatoes, Pollack is most renowned for his development of the Ramapo tomato, which, in the 1960s, offered New Jersey fresh market growers a tomato with quality, disease and crack resistance, and durability. As the popularity of this tomato never waned despite its disappearance from the market, during his retirement, Pollack assisted NJAES in bringing this variety back to market.

During the 1970s Pollack worked extensively with New Jersey growers doing vegetable variety trials and implementing trickle irrigation and plasticulture systems. Working with USAID and the Peace Corps, he travelled throughout Africa to further the development of trickle irrigation in African agriculture. During his travels, he collected eggplant germplasm and created one of the most extensive collections, containing 536 eggplant varieties. He worked on assessing exotic eggplant germplasm to develop valuable new traits for worldwide agriculture. [Read more...]

Rutgers Gardens Offers Relaxing Getaway

A horticultural oasis in urban/suburban Central Jersey – see what Rutgers Gardens has to offer.

Video: Rutgers Gardens Offers Relaxing Getaway

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...]

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Welcomes Back Retirees to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Former and current Rutgers Cooperative Extension directors, John Gerwig (left) and Larry Katz cut the cake commemorating the 100th anniversary of Extension.

Former and current Rutgers Cooperative Extension directors John Gerwig (left) and Larry Katz cut the cake at the retiree event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Extension.

This year, as Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) celebrates the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 that created the Cooperative Extension Service, what better way to commemorate its history than to invite back those who were part of its past? To this end, a luncheon for RCE retirees was held at Neilson Dining Hall on the Cook/Douglass campus on June 20. Fifty retirees and their guests attended the event, reuniting with former and current RCE colleagues.

The retirees were former faculty and staff that represented all facets of RCE administration, its extension specialists and the ARMA, FCHS and 4-H departments. Current RCE department heads were on hand to provide updates on institutional activities while Executive Dean Bob Goodman and RCE Director Larry Katz discussed extension’s anniversary and the current state of affairs.

While the retirees appeared to enjoy active and fulfilling retirements, a few never strayed far from Rutgers, continuing work in their respective fields. Retired Extension Specialist in Vegetable Crops Mel Henninger coordinates the educational program for the annual New Jersey Vegetable Meeting (Atlantic Coast Ag Convention and Trade Show) in Atlantic City and is also working with Agricultural Agent Dave Lee on corn and soybean trials at Rutgers Snyder Farm. Recently retired Agricultural Agent Rich Obal teaches courses for the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education and continues his involvement with the Rutgers Master Gardener program. [Read more...]

Rutgers NJAES and Board of Managers Host GMO Forum for New Jersey Farmers

"GMOs: Questions and Answers for New Jersey Farmers" was held on May 9 at the Rutgers EcoComplex.

The forum, “GMOs: Questions and Answers for New Jersey Farmers,” was held on May 9 at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, NJ.

Since the early 1980s, the technology to select specific genetic traits from one organism and insert them into the genetic code of another organism, a process known as genetic engineering (GE) or modification (GM), has allowed scientists to create biological products that express traits that are otherwise not available in those products. When applied to agricultural commodities, this technology can offer farmers ways to improve their production.

The development of genetically engineered products has caused concern in consumers wary of the potential for inadvertent harm from consuming this enhanced food product or from introducing GM crops into the environment. The mix of messages in the media on the pros and cons of GM products has created an environment in which consumers and farmers alike have legitimate questions and concerns that need to be addressed. Farmers who are told of the advantages of GM products as a way to improve their production also face intense questioning from customers about the safety of GM crops. The need for farmers to have access to sound science and information to help them to make informed decisions about GM crops and how to respond to consumer concerns led the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and its Board of Managers to host a forum, “GMOs: Questions and Answers for New Jersey Farmers,” at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown on May 9. [Read more...]