Jersey Crowds Brave the Sunshine to Taste Tomatoes: 2014 Tomato Tasting at Rutgers Snyder Farm

2014 Great Tomato Tasting

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While always well attended rain or shine, a record number of people pre-registered for the 2014 Tomato Tasting.

Armed with plastic forks, a crowd descended upon Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown on August 27 to attend the Annual Snyder Farm Open House and Great Tomato Tasting. Tasters had an offering of eighty varieties of tomatoes to taste from as well as basil, peaches, apples and honey. The samplings provided a glimpse of some of the research crops grown at Snyder Farm and hayride farm tours gave an up close look at fruit and vegetable trials in the field. [Read more...]

Regional food center award will benefit Burlington County

The Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Cumberland County was the only winner in New Jersey among 50 selected from 800 applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for its first Growth Accelerator Fund. The recipients represent 31 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and come from a broad set of industries and sectors, from manufacturing to tech start-ups to farming, according to Al Titone, the administration’s New Jersey district director.

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NJTV News Segment on Helping Struggling Veterans Spotlights Rutgers VETS Program

In the August 28 segment of NJTV News on “Helping Struggling Veterans,” the recently launched Rutgers VETS program was featured (appears at 1:35 in video). This unique program, led by Jan Zientek, senior program coordinator for Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) of Essex County, and Amy Rowe, environmental and resource management agent, RCE Essex and Passaic counties, offers job training skills in horticulture while focusing on entrepreneurship.
Video: NJTV News: Helping Struggling Veterans

What’s in Season from the Garden State: Making Bucks from Clucks, Not Books

Student Sustainable Farm interns (l-r) Angela Polites, Peter Canavan and David Perotti.

Student Sustainable Farm interns (l-r) Angela Polites, Peter Canavan and David Perotti.

Historically, young people were taught a trade by serving as apprentices or learning the ropes from a relative in a family business. While modern education emphasizes learning through books, classroom and lab experience, academia has increasingly embraced the value of hands-on involvement and commonly provides students opportunities for fieldwork or internships.

Agricultural entrepreneurship offers its own unique set of challenges, since there is a business management component in addition to agricultural production. What better way for modern-day college students to learn both aspects than to run their own agricultural enterprises, right on the college farm? At the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), a number of ag entrepreneurship opportunities have “cropped up” over the years. [Read more...]

Rutgers Turfgrass Breeding Program Director Wins Industry IMPACT Award

L-R: Phil Simon (University of Wisconsin), Bill Meyer with the NAPB IMPACT Award and Rita Mumm (University of Illinois).

L-R: Phil Simon (University of Wisconsin), Bill Meyer with the NAPB IMPACT Award and Rita Mumm (University of Illinois).

William Meyer, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology and director of the Rutgers Turfgrass Breeding Project, was awarded the 2014 National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) Impact Award at the association’s annual meeting held in Minneapolis, MN, on August 8.  According to the NAPB, its Impact Award “recognizes an individual active in the plant breeding field that has shown exceptional accomplishments in their research, teaching and collaborations with others.”

In addition to the NAPB Impact Award, Meyer has received many accolades, including the New Jersey Turfgrass Association Hall of Fame Award in 2009 and the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association John Morley Service Award in 2006. [Read more...]