In Memoriam: Professor and Extension Specialist George Wulster (1949-2016)

George Wulster inspecting poinettias in greenhouse.

George Wulster inspecting poinettias in greenhouse.

George Wulster, professor and extension specialist in floriculture in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers, died on June 14 at the age of 66. A resident of Lebanon, NJ, he retired after 36 years at Rutgers as a professor emeritus in January 2014.

Wulster received his Ph.D. in post-harvest physiology from Rutgers in 1981 and worked closely with the New Jersey commercial floriculture industry as a consultant, in addition to his research and teaching. He also oversaw the production of more than 100 varieties of poinsettias in the Rutgers Floriculture Greenhouse on the Cook Campus.

Wulster, who taught many graduate students over the years, deeply enjoyed mentoring young people and was considered a thoughtful, intelligent and remarkably decent person by his colleagues.

Wulster began his career as a grower manager at Wright’s Roses in Cranbury, where he’d previously worked in high school. After retirement, he and his wife formed Custom Floral Postharvest Solutions LLC, with a special focus on tulip preservation.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m., at Church of the Holy Spirit, 3 Haytown Road, Lebanon, NJ, and will be officiated by Reverend Philip Carr-Jones. Family, friends and former colleagues are invited to a luncheon at the church immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers donations in Wulster’s name may be made through In Memory Of to benefit the following: Hobart & William Smith Colleges, The George Wulster Memorial Music Program, c/o Church of the Holy Spirit, 3 Haytown Road, Lebanon, NJ 08833, and the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County has Added 18 New Master Gardeners

Pictured from left to right: Bob Pickus, Jayne Sullivan, Josie Bellina, Carol Piechoski, Christine Anderson, Leontien Rotteveel, Nancy Perfect, Lorraine Lennox, Elizabeth Egan, and Diane Kummings. Not pictured: Valerie Bragg, Dolores Ciarrochi, Marian D’Amico, Heidi Davis, Richard Eluk, Susan Lazarchick, Jacqueline Scott and Domick Zema.

Pictured L-R: Bob Pickus, Jayne Sullivan, Josie Bellina, Carol Piechoski, Christine Anderson, Leontien Rotteveel, Nancy Perfect, Lorraine Lennox, Elizabeth Egan, and Diane Kummings. Not pictured: Valerie Bragg, Dolores Ciarrochi, Marian D’Amico, Heidi Davis, Richard Eluk, Susan Lazarchick, Jacqueline Scott and Domick Zema.

The NJ Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers Cooperative Extension announce the addition of 18 new Master Gardeners to its Atlantic County program. These Master Gardeners have completed 60 hours of intensive classroom instruction and will fulfill 85 volunteer hours over the coming year.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Atlantic County spearhead over a dozen educational gardening projects throughout the county. As a part of the national Cooperative Extension System, the Master Gardener program was designed to increase the availability of University-based horticulture information to local communities and individuals. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers Master Gardener programs in many of the New Jersey Counties. They also maintain the Rutgers Cooperative Extension helpline, which is open Monday-Friday, mornings and afternoons during the late Spring to early Fall, and mornings only early and late in the season. The helpline not active from November – January.

Contact the Atlantic County Master Gardener program for more information.

Somerset County 4-H Sends 3 Members to National 4-H Citizenship Conference

Three Somerset County 4-H members will travel to the nation’s capital to represent New Jersey at the 2016 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Conference… "The conference provides opportunities for young people to identify individual citizenship rights and responsibilities; identify issues facing youth and explore causes and possible solutions; establish communication with law makers; witness government in action; and develop a personal citizenship action plan" said Lisa Rothenburger, Somerset County 4-H Agent.

Read the entire article at Tap Into Sommerville »

Ethel A. Jacobsen First-Graders Harvest Garlic Scapes From Schoolyard Garden

It’s spring harvest time at the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School garden in Surf City. Last week Joanne Kinsey, Family and Community Health Sciences educator at the Cooperative Extension of Ocean and Atlantic Counties, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, joined the school’s first-graders and teachers Sarah Esarey and Kelly Turner to harvest garlic scapes – for eating and for learning… After experiencing the outdoor classroom firsthand, Kinsey remarked, "The kids were fantastic and really enjoyed working in the garden and tasting the garlic scape pasta. I totally enjoyed the entire experience, the pasta was delicious, and I hope to be invited back again."

Read the entire article at The Sandpaper »

Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp Holds Annual Spring Family Weekend

Fun on the lake.

Fishing on Lake Shawanni.

The Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp held its Spring Family Weekend on May 20-22, giving summer campers (and their parents who wish they could be summer campers) an opportunity to spend a weekend together having fun. “One of the goals of this weekend is to provide the opportunity for brand new families to get introduced to what we do here at 4-H Camp,” said Ben Clawson, program director of the camp. “Many of our new families who attend the weekend have younger children, so it’s a great way to start a child on camp.” It’s a taste of summer camp for the whole family: campers get to live in the cabins, enjoy summer programs run by the summer staff, eat some great meals and most of all spend some quality time relaxing around the lake at the 4-H facility in Stokes State Forest.

[Read more…]

Fight is on against Zika virus although outbreak unlikely

Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties occupy a combined area of nearly 1,500 square miles, yet officials are on the hunt for predators that could fit inside the palm of one’s hand… "We’re working on getting [an answer]… More than likely, an infected person was set upon by mosquitoes in a tropical area. Those mosquitoes then went about spreading it," explained Scott Crans, senior program coordinator at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), who also teaches mosquito biology.

Read the entire article at Alanticville News »

Rutgers 250: NJAES Breed of the Month – Dogwood

Rutgers 250 variety, ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree blossom. Photo by: Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers NJAES.

Rutgers 250 variety, ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree blossom. Photo by: Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers NJAES.

Scarlet Fire™ Extends Ornamental Dogwood Season

The Rutgers 250 All-Star Variety for June, 2016 is the ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree. This is the first Cornus kousa variety released in over 45 years to the ornamental nursery market. Rutgers plant breeder Tom Molnar, continued the decades of work started by renowned breeder and professor emeritus Elwin Orton in the 1970s.

Scarlet Fire™ is a gorgeous deep pink to fuchsia-bracted dogwood tree, known for its deep, consistently pink bracts that contrast beautifully with its dark green foliage. This tree blooms in late May to early June, making it one of the latest-blooming dogwood tree varieties developed at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

[Read more…]

Revolutionary for 250 Years: Enos Perry

Rutgers Revolutionary Enos Perry.

Rutgers Revolutionary Enos Perry.

Dairy Farms Used to be Dangerous

Enos J. Perry (1891-1983) served Rutgers University from 1923 to 1956 as an extension specialist in dairy husbandry. His greatest contribution to agriculture was the establishment of the first cooperative artificial breeding association for cattle in New Jersey and the U.S. and the practical application of the technique of artificial insemination (AI) of farm animals, thus ending the days of dangerous bulls on U.S. dairy farms. Visit http://sebsnjaesnews.rutgers.edu/2014/03/100-years-of-cooperative-extension-rutgers-dairy-specialist-enos-j-perry-making-agricultural-history/

After a below average start, N.J. ocean temperatures finally in the 60s

Memorial Day weekend is the start of the Jersey Shore’s summer season, but the ocean is typically not warm enough for most to enjoy. This year featured even cooler ocean temperatures than normal, courtesy of days of southerly winds preventing moderation… "Most people like it to be at least in the mid to upper 70s," said Josh Kohut, assistant professor of Physical Oceanography at Rutgers University and founding member of the university’s Coastal Ocean Observation Lab (COOL).

Read the entire article at newsworks »

Rutgers 4-H and Environmental Resources Collaborate to Create Active Learners

Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program Photo credit: Steve Yergeau.

Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program Photo credit: Steve Yergeau.

Educating students in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has become a focus of schools across the country.  This is mainly due to the need for a well-prepared future workforce, as the growth of STEM-related jobs from 2000 – 2010 rose at a rate three times faster than non-STEM-related employment.  Many educators conduct instruction targeted in the STEM areas to fulfill this need, but through the use of the same conventional model in education: lecture, memorize, and test.  For years, educators have discussed and attempted to address STEM in the context of real-world, applied science.  In trying to implement a hands-on approach to learning, educators continue to face challenges: a lack of learning opportunities and limited funds to allow for project-based learning.  These factors hinder the ability of educators and youth to put their new understanding of STEM to effective use.  Ocean County’s 4-H and environmental resource agents are collaborating to meet the challenges of teaching students the STEM disciplines in new and innovative ways.  This partnership has resulted in the creation of two programs: the Water Engineers Program and Growing with Vertical Gardens Program. [Read more…]