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August 24, 2016


Jersey Fresh Social Media - Staff continues to film, edit and promote the Jersey Fresh Recipe video series. Since last month, we have seen huge success from one of these videos in particular. The Jersey Fresh Zucchini Boats recipe video reached 8.35 million people with 3.2 million video views. It was shared almost 102,000 times with over 1,400 comments and 8,500 likes or reactions. This post is responsible for a very large increase in Jersey Fresh Facebook page likes. Prior to the video on July 18th the page had 4,447 page likes and as of August 15th we have 18,056 page likes, tripling our follower base. The majority were gained within 10 days after the page post went live, increasing 11,202 to 15,649. In addition to the zucchini video, we have also filmed, edited and published videos of Jersey Fresh Eggplant Sandwiches, Jersey Fresh Mexican Corn Salad, Jersey Fresh Peach Bread Pudding and Jersey Fresh Simple Salsa with Lime. Though none of these have seen success quite like the zucchini video, the Eggplant Sandwich video reached almost a half a million people with 125,500 views and the Corn Salad video came in third with 81,000 reached and 40,700 views; both are significantly higher results than any previous videos. Other videos will be created to highlight seasonal Jersey produce throughout the year.

Direct Delivery DOD Fresh Produce Program for the 2016-2017 School Year - A total of 257 School Districts will be participating in the direct delivery DOD fresh produce program during the 2016-2017 school year with $6,242,068 in entitlement dollars. A total of $7,000,000 has been set aside for DOD produce for the 2016-2017 school year.  This includes the entitlement dollars used by the direct delivery school districts and the entitlement dollars for the school districts receiving DOD produce from the state contracted warehouse.  The amount of entitlement dollars set aside for DOD produce has almost tripled since the implementation of the DOD direct delivery produce program.  The DOD direct delivery pilot program began in the 2014-2015 school year, when $2,500,000 was set aside for DOD produce.  An additional $5,500,000 has been set aside for DOD produce over the last three years.

USDA APHIS Honey Bee Survey - New Jersey has been chosen along with 30 other states for federal funding to participate in the National Honey Bee survey. The purpose of this survey is to determine the presence of various diseases and parasites throughout the nation’s Honey Bee industry. Samples are to be collected from eight colonies in 24 apiaries throughout the state. The samples will include live bees, bees in alcohol, and comb knock residue, which will be submitted to the USDA Bee Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. for analysis. The analysis will determine what viruses and diseases are present along with noting Varroa and exotic mite levels. This year as part of the survey, we will also sample stored pollen from 10 of the apiaries for pesticide analysis.

Gypsy Moth - The statewide aerial gypsy moth defoliation survey was completed by July 19th. A total of 13,449 acres were found defoliated on lands in 57 municipalities in 15 counties. The majority of the defoliation was observed once again in the northern counties of Morris, Passaic, Warren and Sussex. Notification letters were sent to the administrations of the 57 affected municipalities, notifying them of the problem and to schedule fall ground egg mass surveys. These fall surveys are designed to delineate areas for treatment the following spring.

Water Supply Advisory Council - The Water Supply Advisory Council is monitoring the drought status and water supply deficit/surplus. As of the most recent update of August 7th, there is a drought watch on the water-supply status for the following three New Jersey regions: Northwest, Central, and Northeast. At this time DEP has no plans to move into drought warning.

Farm Credit East FFA Leadership Grant - Through a generous partnership with Farm Credit East, up to five $1000 grants will be awarded to New Jersey FFA Chapters who apply for the funds. The Leadership Grant is designed to provide leadership opportunities for active FFA members. It may be used to pay for event fees, transportation, hotel room fees and additional student expenses associated with attending the Leadership Experience and Development Conference. Grant opportunities, like this one, help defray the cost of attending leadership and career development events.

Red Knot- Adaptive Management - In pursuit of successful adaptive management for the red knot- structural shellfish aquaculture consultation, the first of several year-end review meetings is planned for late August. This meeting will be comprised of the consultation partners- NJDEP, Division of Fish and Wildlife (Bureau of Shellfisheries and Endangered and Nongame Species Program); NJDA; US Fish and Wildlife Service; and US Army Corps of Engineers. Future meetings with representatives from interested groups, e.g. growers, conservation experts, university researchers, are also planned, but not yet scheduled, and will be based upon some of the items discussed at this initial meeting.