[Source: NJDA press release]
Gerald Ghidiu, retired extension specialist in entomology and former director of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center (RAREC), and Bradley Majek, weed specialist who retired in 2013 as director of RAREC, were honored Feb. 10 with Distinguished Service to Agriculture citations by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.
“New Jersey is fortunate to have such outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of the Garden State’s agriculture industry,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “The state’s farmers owe a lot to Skip [Harry “Skip” Bartlett is a third-generation owner of Bartlett’s Florist and Greenhouses in Clifton who was also honored], Dr. Ghidiu and Dr. Majek. Their contributions have had a lasting impact on farmers and young people interested in agriculture.”
Since 1932, the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture has awarded the prestigious Citation for Distinguished Service to Agriculture to men and women who have given unselfishly of their time and talents to the advancement and betterment of the agricultural industry and rural life in New Jersey. This award is given to recognize and honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions of public service to New Jersey agriculture.
Ghidiu’s service to New Jersey agriculture began in 1980 when he became a Rutgers University extension specialist in entomology. His career spanned 33 years during which he worked with farmers and conducted research to assist them in controlling vegetable pests. Ghidiu earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and secondary education from the State University of New York and a doctoral degree in economic entomology from Iowa State University. He then worked for the USDA Federal Corn Insects Research Unit in Iowa, focusing on the European corn borer.
While at Rutgers, he presented many educational sessions to students, growers, ag specialists and agribusiness personnel. His research centered on the Colorado potato beetle, European corn borer, and insect pest management of vegetable insect pests. He developed many practices that are now commonplace in the industry. Ghidiu gave presentations and lectured throughout the country on his work and was published in numerous journals, papers, magazines and newsletters.
From 1996 to 2000, he was the Director of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton. He served as Supervisor of the IR-4 Regional Research Center at RAREC and was the IR-4 State liaison. IR-4 activity helps connect growers, the agrichemical industry and federal agencies to secure clearance for pest control products on vegetables, eventually becoming a registered label for use on that crop. He completed a total of 84 IR-4 projects for insecticides over his career. He was editor of the Journal of Economic Entomology, Entomological Society of America. And he served as Editor of the insect control section of the NJ Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations. Ghidiu retired Professor Emeritus from Rutgers in September 2012.
Majek has played an important role in New Jersey agriculture for more than 34 years. He worked at Rutgers University conducting research and extension programs in tree fruit and vegetable crops since 1981 and has filled a critical need of improving crop productivity in New Jersey. Majek earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, master’s degree in weed science and botany from Oregon State University and doctoral degree from Cornell.
As a weed specialist, Majek studied the growth, development, reproduction and competitive ability of weeds, using this information to develop new weed control practices. He evaluated the effectiveness of crop response to and cost potential of cultural, biological, mechanical and chemical methods of controlling weeds in vegetables and tree fruit. He also worked to determine the fate of herbicides in plants and the environment.
A long-time member of the Northeastern Weed Science Society and the Weed Science Society of America, Majek held many leadership positions in those organizations, including President. Prior to retiring in 2013, Majek was the Director of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton.