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June 22, 2016


Blueberry pollination effect on Commercial honey bees - The Apiarist continues to work with the specialist from Rutgers Cooperative Extension as they try to understand what is happening to honey bees during and after blueberry pollination. Over the last few seasons of pollination, commercial beekeepers have needed to replace up to 120% of their queen bees and have experienced colony losses. This year they plan to monitor eight new hives throughout the blueberry and cranberry pollination season. The data they will collect will consist of % brood coverage, pollen for pesticide analysis, and Queen Rightness of the colonies.

Gypsy Moth - A total of 19 municipalities and three county parks in Cape May, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Salem, Sussex and Warren Counties were treated using Bacillus thuringiensis, var.kurstaki, (B.t.k.) on a total of 17,487 acres at a dosage rate of 38 B.I.U.’s per acre and a rate of 64 oz. per acre. Treatments were also made on 1,112 acres of state properties in the northern counties of the state. The Department monitored both weather conditions and aerial treatments using both aerial observers and ground personnel during the applications. Treatment evaluations are currently being set up in the treatment blocks to monitor the effectiveness of the applications. The statewide aerial gypsy moth defoliation survey has begun and should be concluded by the middle of July.  

Articulation Agreements between High School and Technical School programs and Rutgers - With the revision of the Articulation Agreement template and process by Rutgers, there have been some delays and concerns about accessing college credit for high school CASE courses. Staff has worked with the school districts and Rutgers, SEBS’ deans to address the concerns and connect those who have had difficulty with the new process to the office of the appropriate Deans.

FFA Golf Tournament - The State FFA Golf Tournament, which raises money for leadership and college scholarships, is scheduled for June 28 at the Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. There is still room to sign up golfers and sponsors to raise money for student leadership development and scholarships. Golfers include industry representatives, former FFA members, state officers, current members, parents, NJDA staff, New Jersey Department of Education staff and local chapter supporters. This year’s tournament is in honor of Frank Yesalavich, retired agriculture teacher from Essex County Vocational Technical School – West Caldwell Campus.

Summer Food Service Program - The Advocacy for Children of New Jersey in partnership with The Food for Thought\School Breakfast Coalition, have begun a statewide SFSP Promotional awareness campaign in partnership with the Division of Food & Nutrition. On June 12th, stakeholders were asked to participate in a "thunderclap" of social media postings. This effort has reached many additional resources for promoting and supporting the Summer Meals Program.

The Division of Food & Nutrition’s Annual Summer Food Service Program Kick-Off Event will be scheduled to promote program awareness. Several Sponsors have kick-off events planned in the City of Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, Atlantic City and Camden. The City of Trenton held a Food Summit on June 15th and Stephanie Sutton-Page, SFSP Coordinator, presented an overview of all child nutrition programs.  SFSP staff will participate on a Summer Meals Program panel discussion.

HPAI Preparedness– On Tuesday June 7, 2016 a poultry test burn exercise was performed at Covanta Energy Waste Facility in Warren County. Personnel from NJDA and USDA met at ISE Poultry Farm to load the carcasses into their respective containers prior to travelling a designated travel route to the Covanta facility. There were a total of 4 fiber barrels with between 45-55 birds in each, 4 plastic barrels (same numbers of birds) and one Gaylord box filled with a total of 250 birds. The 2 groups of barrels were shrink-wrapped and loaded onto pallets. Groups present at Covanta included members of NJDA, USDA and DEP as well as some of Covanta’s upper management. At the Covanta facility the fiber barrels were loaded first, laying them on top of the trash to be incinerated. The grapple grabbed the barrels and some waste material and loaded them into the hopper of the incinerator. The hopper was then loaded with more grapple hooks of waste to maintain the incinerator’s temperature and an hour later the hopper was loaded with the Gaylord box and then another hour after that the plastic barrels. The loading of the hopper and subsequent ash production was monitored throughout the entire process for appropriate combustion of the materials. No birds or containers remained in the ash. All material types were considered successful in burning, though the plastic barrels were favored due to their ease of use.

Jersey Fresh Campaign - The Jersey Fresh program launched a digital marketing campaign with that will run June 19 through September 5. The campaign includes online banner ads, blog posts, responsive rich media advertisements utilizing the Jersey Fresh TV spot, and print advertisements in the Star Ledger and Inside Jersey.

Jersey Fresh Love - The Department’s first social media, photo contest (Jersey Fresh Love) has brought in 476 entries and awarded three weekly winners a Jersey Fresh apron, reusable shopping bag and car magnet as of June 14. Submissions include photos of favorite fruits, vegetables, dishes, farmers markets, NJ wine, pick-your-own farms and much more. Participants are encouraged to ask their friends to visit the gallery and vote. So far, we have received 370 votes and 1,200 visits to the Facebook Contest Tab. The contest runs through September 14 with voting through September 21.

Jersey Fresh Recipes - Staff continues to film, edit and promote the Jersey Fresh Recipe video series. So far this month, a Jersey Fresh Spinach Basil Dip and Jersey Fresh Beet, Leek, Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad have been completed and shared on the Jersey Fresh social media channels. Engagement on these video posts has been high ranking in the top three so far this month in engagement with a reach of 3,100 and 3,200 viewers respectfully. Additional videos will be filmed and edited in-house that highlight seasonal Jersey produce throughout the year.

Month of the Horse – Secretary Fisher and New Jersey Equestrian of the Year Pier Semanchik kicked off June as the Month of the Horse in New Jersey on June 2 with a visit to Centenary University’s Equine Program where they toured the Equine Center and watched a riding demonstration. New Jersey is home to thousands of pleasure horses, show horses and race horses. To honor the state’s equine industry, Governor Chris Christie has proclaimed June the Month of the Horse in New Jersey.