4-H youth from 13 N.J. counties learn about leadership

A group of 41 4-H members from 13 counties will be participating in the Discover the Leader in You! 4-H Leadership Conference being held Saturday on the George H. Cook Campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick in Middlesex County. The conference provides an opportunity for middle school age youth to learn about and develop leadership knowledge and skills through large and small group interactive workshops and hands-on activities, according to Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Read the entire article at NJ.com »

Rutgers study to help Paterson with new initiative for start-up food businesses

In an effort to convert a 6th Ward warehouse into a center for assisting start-up food businesses, the City of Paterson has awarded a $70,000 consulting contract to a Rutgers-based group. Paterson already has allocated more than $2 million for the project, including $1.3 million in federal community development funds to buy the building at 163-177 Pennsylvania Avenue. Included in the $2 million already allocated is $700,000 in federal money to acquire equipment for the program. The contract with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center will help the city determine the scope of the program and how it will operate…"We are very excited to have been given the opportunity to assist the City of Paterson in moving forward with this project," said Lou Cooperhouse, director of the Rutgers food center.

Read the entire article at NorthJersey.com »

Retired Rutgers 4-H Agent Erika “Ricki” Leal Inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame

Award presentation (let to right) Lisa Lauxman, Director, Division of Youth and 4-H, Institute of Youth, Family and Community, NIFA, USDA; Kimberly Gressley, President, National Association of Extension 4-H Agents; Ricki Leal, Retired from the New Jersey Department of 4-H Youth Development and Jennifer Sirangelo, President and Chief Executive Officer, National 4-H Council.

Left to right, Lisa Lauxman, director, Division of Youth and 4-H, Institute of Youth, Family and Community, NIFA, USDA; Kimberly Gressley, president, National Association of Extension 4-H Agents; Ricki Leal, retired from the Rutgers Department of 4-H Youth Development; and Jennifer Sirangelo, president and chief executive officer, National 4-H Council.

Erika Leal of Palm Coast, Florida, and formerly Wayne, New Jersey, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on Oct. 9 for her lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H.

Honored by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, Leal was one of 16 people inducted during the ceremony held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents or 4-H National Headquarters based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels.

Honorees were presented with a National 4-H Hall of Fame medallion, plaque and memory book. The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002 as part of the Centennial Project of the NAE4-HA in partnership with National 4-H Council and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

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NJ 4-H Members to Attend 2015 4-H Leadership Program

New Jersey delegates who attended the 2014 Leadership Washington Focus held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

New Jersey delegates who attended the 2014 Leadership Washington Focus held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Sixteen 4-H members have been selected to represent New Jersey at the second annual 4-H Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) Conference. This leadership conference will be held July 12-17 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) is a 4-H leadership development program for 4-H members entering grades 7-9. Youth from across the nation will be participating in this 5-day event. The program will provide an opportunity for youth to listen to motivational speakers and participate in workshops that will develop communication skills, increase leadership capacity and build lifetime skills. [Read more…]

Rutgers VETS Program Graduates Inaugural Class

 

VETS Program graduates and Rutgers trainers. Top Row: Jackie Long, Irvinia Moody, Jason Baker, Isaac Ezirim, Jan Zientek; Middle Row: Amy Rowe, Rodney Spencer; Front Row: Shawn Rhagnanan, Wendy Huggins, Verdie Williamson, Robert Robinson, Matt Smith

VETS Program graduates and Rutgers trainers. Top Row: Jackie Long, Irvinia Moody, Jason Baker, Isaac Ezirim and Jan Zientek; Middle Row: Amy Rowe and Rodney Spencer. Front Row: Shawn Rhagnanan, Wendy Huggins, Verdie Williamson, Robert Robinson and Matt Smith

Unique partnership among a university, a church and companies makes a difference for unemployed veterans in Newark

It was a proud moment at the Willing Heart Community Care Center in Newark, NJ, on March 3, where 12 local veterans graduated as the inaugural class of the Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology and Solutions (VETS) program.

Each of the veterans had stories to share of struggle after returning from service, with limited opportunities to earn a living. When some entered the program last May, they were unemployed and had nowhere else to turn. [Read more…]

Faculty, Staff and Volunteers Receive Rutgers Cooperative Extension Excellence Awards for 2014

Staci Peterson accepted the Volunteer Excellence Awards on behalf of her and her husband Matt.

Staci Peterson accepted the Volunteer Excellence Awards on behalf of her and her husband Matt.

Each year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), honors faculty and staff for their outstanding work and outreach through their programs and support. The winners for 2014 received their awards at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Annual Conference at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick on October 20.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Excellence Awards are to recognize faculty, staff and volunteers who demonstrate outstanding performance and creativity, and how their contribution to Extension has resulted in a positive change or has made a significant impact and enhanced RCE at a local county, state and/or national level. The Award for Volunteer Excellence was awarded to Sherrie and Matt Peterson, Hunterdon County 4-H volunteers; the Award of Excellence for Support Staff recipient is Anita Wagner, keyboarding clerk 3, RCE of Atlantic County and  the Award of Excellence for a Program Associate was awarded to Marycarmen Kunicki, 4-H senior program coordinator, RCE of Passaic County. [Read more…]

New Jersey 4-H Youth Develop Skills at Leadership Washington Focus Conference

LWF delegates at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center

LWF delegates at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center

Fifteen New Jersey 4-H youth are ready to take on the challenges of leadership in the 21st century after experiencing the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Leadership Washington Focus (LWF), an intensive 4-H leadership development program for middle-school youth. The conference was held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, from July 15-19.

The four-day 4-H conference provided 135 youth and 30 adult chaperones from 15 states with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in experiential learning that boosted leadership competency in the four key areas of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and confidence. In addition, the LWF conference also prepared youth to return home with important skills to make positive changes in their own communities. [Read more…]

‘Green infrastructure’ plans underway for Little Falls flood area

The township hopes to benefit from a program to reduce nuisance flooding through the building of rain gardens and like measures that attack flooding at its source, while at the same time sprucing up lands made vacant in the wake of flood buyouts. Rutgers University Cooperative Extension and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC), in conjunction with Little Falls, are partnering for the program, the benefits of which could be significant for a town that sees flood damage from the Passaic River during major storms, frequent flash flooding from the Peckman River and is in the process of elevating or buying out 78 properties for the purpose of flood mitigation.

Read the entire article at NorthJersey.com »

Make the World Better through Rutgers Environmental Steward Training

Rutgers Environmental Stewards Class of 2013

Imagine being able to discuss climate change with the State Climatologist or learn about New Jersey’s geology from the people who map it.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear how New Jersey’s environmental regulations get enforced from a person who actually does the enforcement? How about learning about the role of soils in the environment from the person who runs Rutgers’ Soil Testing lab? These are some of the opportunities that are available to enrollees in the 2014 Rutgers Environmental Steward Volunteer Training Program. Would you like to learn how local environmental decisions get made from the head of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions or how land preservation can be done most effectively from some of the leading players in land preservation in New Jersey? [Read more…]

Stink bugs are expected to invade in record numbers

What’s the big stink all about? Halyomorpha halys, better known as "stink bugs," are expected to pop up in record numbers and will be taking up residence in your home as the onslaught of cold weather approaches. Despite their small size, equal to that of a pumpkin seed, the brown marmorated stink bugs cause a nasty odor when crushed. The stinky critters were imported from East Asia first landing in Allentown, Pa. in 1996, and later making their way to New Jersey in 1999, according to Elaine Fogerty, the Passaic County agricultural assistant for Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Read the entire article at njenvironmentnews.com »