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."

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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…]

Entomologist Changlu Wang Receives 2015 Award of Excellence from Northeast Extension Directors

Changlu Wang

Changlu Wang.

Rutgers, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension’s Changlu Wang, associate extension specialist in urban pest management, in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers, has been honored as the recipient of the 2015 Award of Excellence from the Northeast Cooperative Extension Directors. This is the highest award presented by the directors of Extension in the northeast. It recognizes Extension outreach programming that has achieved outstanding accomplishments, results and impacts in addressing contemporary issues. Wang accepted the award at the annual Joint Northeast Summer Session on July 7, 2015.

Changlu Wang is being recognized for “Leadership, Scholarship and Innovative Programming in Urban Pest Management.” He has achieved all of the benchmarks reflective of excellence that this award recognizes. Wang is recognized as a national leader in urban pest management, secured external funding, made significant contributions to science and education and received three patents from the United Kingdom with three pending patent applications. His work in New Jersey, one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse states in the country, exemplifies his commitment to tailoring programs to meet local needs by his work with limited resource communities.

Larry Katz, director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, commented, “We applaud his continued excellence in extension and research and look forward to learning about his next exciting innovation in urban integrated pest management.”

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Extension Introduces NJ Residents to Raising Backyard Chickens (Video)

Video: Backyard Chicken Farming Growing in New Jersey

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County hosted a workshop with Extension Specialist Joe Heckman demonstrating what it takes to raise a small flock of chickens in a backyard. Heckman offered advice on everything from types of chicken coops to the nutritional benefits of raising food on pasture. The class was one of the first in a new series called the Backyard Farmers Workshop offered by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Rutgers 4-H Hosts Azerbaijani Youth Learning About Democracy and Entrepreneurship

County agent, Alayne Torretta, 2nd from left and Azeris meet with Gregory Marcus, in suit and tie in back, from the US Department of State.

County agent, Alayne Torretta, 2nd from left and Azeris meet with Gregory Marcus, in suit and tie in back, from the US Department of State.

Over the course of three weeks in June this year, 18 youth and two adult educators from Azerbaijan participated in a Youth Leadership Program funded by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the 4-H programs of University of Delaware and Rutgers University. During this exchange program, which focused on the general themes of civic education, leadership development, entrepreneurship, and community service, the Azerbaijani youth toured parts of the U.S., learning about democracy and hearing tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs from New Jersey.

Each of the entrepreneurs the youth heard from had their own methodology for success. One family owned business, Wild West City – a theme park in Netcong, NJ, has been tremendously successful in keeping true to the mission set forth in 1963, while another amusement park ,the Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ, found success in expanding and growing. “Each of them gave the youth sage advice: Stay focused and realize that no job is beneath you,” said Alayne Torretta, County 4-H Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and program coordinator for the Rutgers grant. In addition, they met entrepreneur Carol Bailey who holds a patent in England for reusable shopping bags that fold into one another called Shopparoos. She spoke with the teens about patenting great ideas and how to market them by keying in on their unique selling point. “We were able to take advantage of the New Ventures and Entrepreneurship program at Rutgers as well,” said Torretta, “Lori Dars was amazing and got the kids thinking of how to write a business plan. They also met a graduate student entrepreneur who spoke about the exciting work he is doing. Several of the teens expressed interest in attending Rutgers once they are finished with schooling in Azerbaijan. [Read more…]