Rutgers Joins USDA Northeast Climate Hub to Address Needs of Natural Resource Managers

Wildfire in Ocean County, NJ in April, 2014. Source: NJ State Climatologist Office

Wildfire in Ocean County, NJ, in April 2014. Source: NJ State Climatologist Office

Farmers, forest landowners and other natural resource managers, whose livelihoods depend on the reliability of seasonal cycles, are on the forefront of climate change. When anticipated local conditions are disrupted, conventional practices no longer suffice and land managers have to tread new ground.

There’s assistance, however, in the Northeast region of the U.S. in the form of the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, which will deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers and forest landowners. The aim of the hub is to support decision-making related to climate change and to maintain and strengthen agricultural production, natural resource management and rural economic development under increasing climate variability. It will build capacity within USDA to deliver information and guidance on technologies and risk management practices at regional and local scales. [Read more...]

New Jersey’s Got “Terroir,” Celebrates State Wine Week Sept. 19-28

The winemakers’ art relies on the cultivation of select varieties of well-adapted grapes that thrive under sets of conditions unique to every site. The French have a single vocabulary word, “terroir,” to describe this broad set of interacting factors that includes the soils, their orientation, grape variety, farming practices, climate, local microclimate, wine making culture and technology. According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey has 50 licensed wineries and is 10th in the nation in wine production, with 1.6 million gallons produced in 2012.  In 2013, New Jersey wineries sold 447,425 gallons of wine.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie honored the wine industry for being a growing contributor to the state’s economy, signing a proclamation declaring September 19 to 28 as New Jersey Wine Week.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher visited Working Dog Winery in East Windsor on September 16 to announce the beginning of Wine Week in New Jersey, celebrating the Garden State’s 2014 grape harvest. Joining him to kick off NJ Wine Week are (l-r) Larry Sharrott, Chairman of the Garden State Wine Growers Assoc.; Secretary Fisher; Alcoholic Beverage Control Dir. Michael Halfacre; Mark Carduner of Working Dog Winery; East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov; and Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Executive Dean Robert Goodman. Source: NJDA

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher visited Working Dog Winery in East Windsor on September 16 to announce the beginning of Wine Week in New Jersey, celebrating the Garden State’s 2014 grape harvest. Joining him to kick off NJ Wine Week are (l-r) Larry Sharrott, Chairman of the Garden State Wine Growers Assoc.; Secretary Fisher; Alcoholic Beverage Control Dir. Michael Halfacre; Mark Carduner of Working Dog Winery; East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov; and Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Executive Dean Robert Goodman. Photo: NJDA

[Read more...]

Sludge recycling beneficial for farms and society

Biosolids – treated sewage sludges – are safe, effective fertilizers and soil amendments, as demonstrated by 40 years of research…Cornell and Rutgers Extension present the most restrictive biosolids guidelines to be found in official documents anywhere in this country [Uta Krogmann, co-author].

Read the entire article at Lockport Union-Sun & Journal »

Rutgers Pinelands Field Station Provides Unique Ecosystem for Student Research

Ph.D. students from Rutgers University-Camden and Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) in New Brunswick perform a range of scientific experiments to study the unique ecosystems of the Pine Barrens at the Rutgers University Pinelands Field Station. SEBS Ecology and Evolution doctoral students Joni Baumgarten and Natalie Howe discuss how their research on lichens and switchgrass, respectively, is enhanced through access to the field station.

Video: Rutgers University Pinelands Field Station Student Research

Rutgers Food Innovation Center Wins Award from U.S. Small Business Administration

The Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC), a food business incubation and economic development program of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a winner of its first Growth Accelerator Fund competition.

Natale Grande and The Flying Meatball team inspecting, sorting and packaging gourmet meatballs. Photo credit: The Flying Meatball Company.

Natale Grande and The Flying Meatball team inspecting, sorting and packaging gourmet meatballs at FIC in Bridgeton. Photo credit: The Flying Meatball Company.

The FIC is the only recipient from New Jersey to earn this award and will receive a cash prize of $50,000 to create the infrastructure for developing this new accelerator program. The winners will be honored in Washington, D.C., by the SBA, in partnership with the Global Accelerator Network, at a Fly-In Day in November, which is designated National Entrepreneurship Month.

“We are very excited to be selected by the SBA for this award”, said Lou Cooperhouse, director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center. “We have been recognized globally for our economic development impacts and now we will be able to take our Center to an even higher level – by creating linkages between our clients and the funding community.”

“This award is indicative of the commitment by Rutgers in regional economic development”, said Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, associate vice president of economic development at Rutgers. “The Rutgers Food Innovation Center is a model for university public-private partnerships that generates significant economic impacts for the state. The new Growth Accelerator program that the center will establish with this funding will dramatically increase these impacts and maximize its benefits to the food industry.” [Read more...]