Joel Flagler, department head and county agricultural agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Bergen County, was honored on December 1 by the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association with its 2022 Distinguished Service Award.
This award recognizes the contributions of an individual who has given their time and resources to support and grow the horticulture industry in New Jersey.
Per NJNLA, Joel has been an advocate for the health benefits that come with working with plants and has been a huge promoter of the field of Hort Therapy. He developed and has taught a class at Rutgers on the merits of Hort Therapy and always brought his students to Rutgers Gardens to highlight the many virtues of plants.
Joel has been an integral part of the horticulture and agriculture industry of New Jersey for over 40 years. Being involved with the state board of agriculture and serving as lead extension agent for Bergen County, Joel has dedicated his career to ensuring the success of agriculture and horticulture within the community.
Moreover, Joel initiated the Horticultural Therapy program in New Jersey bringing the significant relevance of Horticulture as a form of therapeutic means to serving various members of the community. Joel has also been a valued part of the University staff serving as professor as well as advisor to many students and practicing professionals.