Rutgers Cooperative Extension Welcomes Back Retirees to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Former and current Rutgers Cooperative Extension directors, John Gerwig (left) and Larry Katz cut the cake commemorating the 100th anniversary of Extension.

Former and current Rutgers Cooperative Extension directors John Gerwig (left) and Larry Katz cut the cake at the retiree event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Extension.

This year, as Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) celebrates the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 that created the Cooperative Extension Service, what better way to commemorate its history than to invite back those who were part of its past? To this end, a luncheon for RCE retirees was held at Neilson Dining Hall on the Cook/Douglass campus on June 20. Fifty retirees and their guests attended the event, reuniting with former and current RCE colleagues.

The retirees were former faculty and staff that represented all facets of RCE administration, its extension specialists and the ARMA, FCHS and 4-H departments. Current RCE department heads were on hand to provide updates on institutional activities while Executive Dean Bob Goodman and RCE Director Larry Katz discussed extension’s anniversary and the current state of affairs.

While the retirees appeared to enjoy active and fulfilling retirements, a few never strayed far from Rutgers, continuing work in their respective fields. Retired Extension Specialist in Vegetable Crops Mel Henninger coordinates the educational program for the annual New Jersey Vegetable Meeting (Atlantic Coast Ag Convention and Trade Show) in Atlantic City and is also working with Agricultural Agent Dave Lee on corn and soybean trials at Rutgers Snyder Farm. Recently retired Agricultural Agent Rich Obal teaches courses for the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education and continues his involvement with the Rutgers Master Gardener program. [Read more...]

Student Stormchasers Share Their Adventures in Infamous Tornado Alley

Stormchaser Joe Slezak's (SEBS 2015) blog shows a rotating line of storms in Kansas.

Stormchaser Joe Slezak’s (SEBS ’15) blog shows a rotating line of storms in Kansas.

Is it the thrill of the chase or the chance to witness the development of storm cells that lures students to SEBS meteorology professor Steve Decker’s storm chasing class? The two-week, “Severe Weather Forecasting Field Trip,” allows students to predict, observe and analyze storms to better understand the dynamics and thermodynamics that lead to some of the most beautiful yet complex atmospheric circulations on Earth. [Read more...]

A Look at the George H. Cook Scholars Program

George H. Cook Scholars for 2014 are pictured at a dinner following a day of theses presentation at the Cook Campus Center.

George H. Cook Scholars for 2014 are pictured at a dinner following a day of theses presentation at the Cook Campus Center.

The George H. Cook Scholars Program, an honors thesis opportunity designed for advanced students in their senior year, wrapped up its final presentations on April 22 at the Cook Campus Center. This year, 51 seniors will graduate as George H. Cook Scholars at the SEBS Convocation on May 19.

Named for George H. Cook, who was a driving force behind the designation of Rutgers as the land-grant institution in New Jersey and for whom the campus is named, this program involves seniors participating in a yearlong honors independent study project that they have defended publicly before their faculty committee and the George H. Cook Honors Committee. [Read more...]

Rutgers Master Gardeners Care for Historic Cherry Trees in Branch Brook Park

Cherry blossom time at Branch Brook Park in Newark, home to the largest collection of flowering cherry trees in the U.S.

Cherry blossom time at Branch Brook Park in Newark, home to the largest collection of flowering cherry trees in the U.S.

Editor’s Note: Two alumni have been instrumental in the care and maintenance of the remarkable cherry tree collection in Essex County. Paul Cowie is a consultant to the Branch Brook Park Alliance. He graduated in 1985 with a B.S. in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Forestry. He cooperates with the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County and their advisor Jan Zientek of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County. Zientek is himself an alum – a 1982 graduate with a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife Biology. The story of their work is featured here.
 

The emergence of cherry blossoms is renowned in Japanese culture as representing the end of the winter, the beginning of new life and the start of the spring growing season. Throughout Japan, cherry blossom festivals are celebrated under the trees with singing, dancing and elaborate tea ceremonies. While profuse and beautiful, cherry blossoms are relatively short lived. It is said that the Japanese use the example of the short lifespan of the cherry blossoms that vividly burst into life and then proudly whither to symbolically reflect on, and as a metaphor for, their lives. [Read more...]

A Day in the Life of Extension

By Nick Polanin, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County Agricultural Agent

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System. Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension helps the diverse population of New Jersey adapt to a rapidly changing society and improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses science-based knowledge. Through science-based educational programs, Rutgers Cooperative Extension truly enhances the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and brings the wealth of knowledge of the state university to local communities. [Read more...]