Rutgers Scarlet Strawberry-Infused Beer? Say Cheers!

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Jake Makely in the strawberry fields at the EARTH Center of Middlesex County.

A desire to connect local growers with producers was the driving force behind Jake Makely’s (SEBS ’16) idea to combine two of New Jersey’s favorite warm weather delights, strawberries and beer.

Makely, an agriculture and food systems major, has been a student intern in Applied Analysis of Successful Agricultural Enterprises since February 2014, which has provided him with first-hand experience in working with the Rutgers Scarlet Strawberry (RSS) at the EARTH Center of Middlesex County. The internship, run by Professor and Agricultural Agent Bill Hlubik, truly allows students to pursue their individual aspirations in the “field.”

A series of blind RSS taste-tests were conducted at SEBS professor Beverly Tepper’s Sensory Evaluation Laboratory (SEL) on George H. Cook Campus. Makely, along with other students in the program, picked and cut up pounds of the RSS for the taste tests and delivered them to the lab. Participants were able to comment on the sweetness, acidity, overall flavor, firmness and aroma of four varieties of the strawberry, and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

The wheels in Makely’s head started spinning when he received an email from his second job at Carton Brewing Company in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, about a new device coming to the brewery. The brewery was going to begin using a Randall, which is a double-chamber filter that can be connected to a tap of beer and filled with flavor-enhancing ingredients.

“I kept talking to my co-workers at the Carton Brewing Company about the idea of using Rutgers Scarlet Strawberries in the Randall, but people didn’t take it as seriously as I wanted them to. Then I spoke to Bill (Hlubik) and he was excited about it – and I knew it was a great idea,” said Makely.

“The students in my class are incredible and I genuinely value their feedback. I encourage them to keep a notebook handy while in the field to note trends in crops,” said Hlubik. [Read more…]

Cumberland County 4-H Presents at National Marine Educators Conference

4-H Agent Julie Karavan works with youth on SeaPerch Robotics Project (club photo).

4-H Agent Julie Karavan (at top) works with youth on SeaPerch Robotics Project. Photo credit: Cumberland County 4-H.

County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan was awarded the Expanding Audiences Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the National Marine Educators Association Conference in Newport, Rhode Island, held June 29-July 2. Karavan presented two professional development workshops related to her extension teaching and practice in Cumberland County.

Her presentation, Aquatic Robotics, was offered educators information and hands-on experience relating to two marine robotics platforms Karavan has taught: SeaPerch and Waterbotics. She adapted the Waterbotics curriculum for younger audiences at the Millville Schools Club 21st Century Program in July of 2014, reaching over 40 students. A shortened version of the program was also offered at the 4-H Center to 20 Bridgeton Pathways 21st Century summer camp students. While serving as County 4-H Agent in Cape May, Karavan fielded three award winning teams to the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge and utilized the PVC-based underwater robots in school enrichment programs. [Read more…]

What’s in Season from the Garden State: Summer Picnic Foods Should Not Be Brown and White

FmMkt_HildPk_17It’s summertime in Jersey and the landscape bursts into a symphony of color: greenery, flowers, blue skies and water, beach umbrellas, fireworks. And then you go to a picnic or barbeque. All of a sudden the tableau turns to a drab brown and white: Hot dogs. Hamburgers. Buns. Potato salad. Cole slaw. Cola. Lemon-lime soda. Brownies. Ho hum. That would be fine fixings in America’s heartland, where wheat and cattle and corn for high fructose corn syrup are grown, but this is New Jersey – the Garden State. We can improve on that. Let’s do a picnic makeover Jersey-style.

We asked Rutgers Cooperative Extension faculty for some suggestions for turning up the color on a Jersey picnic/barbeque. Here’s what they suggest: [Read more…]

Cumberland County 4-H Invites Bridgeton Pathways Students to “Spy” on Nature

Students in the Bridgeton 21st Century Pathways Program took part in hands-on experiential learning with Cumberland County 4-H during the week of July 13th… The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program partnered with Bridgeton Schools to engage youth in science, engineering, and the arts. The week-long program, designed by County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan, invited students to spy on nature, learning how Rutgers scientists and engineers monitor local species and habitats. Students produced their own constructions and personal creations- including underwater robots, contact prints, poetry, and artwork, based on their first-hand observations… The program included a service learning opportunity with Jenny Paterno of Project PORTS. Participants visited the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Lab and created over 100 shell bags to provide habitat to oysters. Students also were able to take a tour of the gardens at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, where they constructed LEGO based underwater robots designed to retrieve a simulated biological sample or marine debris… "Rutgers colleagues made this a fabulous experience for the kids," said Karavan. "Having a 4-H alum return in a staff position to teach in the schools really enriched the program."

Read the entire article at www.snjtoday.com »

Carey Williams Receives the 2015 National Society Equine Science Award

Carey Williams receiving the 2015 Equine Science award, presented by Connie Larson from Zinpro Corporation, at the American Society of Animal Sciences annual meeting.

Carey Williams receiving the 2015 Equine Science award, presented by Connie Larson from Zinpro Corporation, at the American Society of Animal Sciences annual meeting.

Carey Williams, associate director of extension at the Equine Science Center and associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers, received the 2015 American Society of Animal Science and Equine Science Society’s (ASAS-ESS) Equine Science Award. She was honored at the society’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL, in July.

Williams’ primary responsibility is to provide statewide leadership in three main areas: equine nutrition, pasture management and overall horse management. Creating programs that have focused on pasture management for horse farms and creating best management practices leading to healthier animals and a more sustainable environment, these project areas have drawn industry partners including professionals, volunteers and youth. Williams was principal investigator on a successful grant titled “Sustainable Pasture Management for Horses,” the first to be awarded to an equine project from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (NE-SARE) a program of USDA CSREES, now USDA NIFA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The program emphasis led to improved pasture quality and water-soil conditions on horse farms meeting the mission of the SARE organization for sustainable projects. [Read more…]