2010 NACAA PRIDE Award Winner

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2010 NACAA PRIDE Award Winner: THE GREAT TOMATO TASTING by Nick Polanin Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension of Somerset County.

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2010 NACAA PRIDE Award Winner

  1. 1. THE GREAT TOMATO TASTING 2010 NATIONAL PRIDE AWARD WINNER Nick Polanin Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension of Somerset County
  2. 2. <ul><li>Regional marketing, event and education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Somerset (center), Hunterdon (left) and Morris (top) Counties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide diversity of landscape, population and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>estimated 940,000 residents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,200 square miles (16% of the State) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>322,000 households </li></ul></ul>Rediscovering the Jersey Tomato <ul><li>Agriculture in the region </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,490 farms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>149,776 acres (66% in Hunterdon County. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$116 million dollars ag sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$64, 720 highest per farm average (Morris) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$93.4 million in crop sales, 80.5% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$22.6 million livestock sales, 19.5% </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Starting from Scratch
  4. 5. Field Labor and Research Farm Support
  5. 6. Variety Trials at Snyder Farm
  6. 7. Public Relation Objectives <ul><li>increase an appreciation and knowledge of local farming </li></ul><ul><li>• increase appreciation of agriculture’s role in creating and maintaining rural landscape character, and the loss should the agricultural industry diminish </li></ul><ul><li>• increase support for initiatives aimed at preserving and strengthening agriculture in NJ </li></ul><ul><li>• improve awareness of local produce varieties and availability </li></ul><ul><li>• increase consumers awareness of the flavor and quality of locally grown produce </li></ul><ul><li>• increase understanding of Rutgers, NJAES, Cooperative Extension, and our programs </li></ul><ul><li>• improve gardening knowledge </li></ul>
  7. 8. Rutgers Master Gardener Volunteers
  8. 9. Variety of Heirloom and Hybrid Tomatoes
  9. 10. Peaches, Apples, and Basils, Oh My!
  10. 11. Meet and Greet and Gift the Public!
  11. 12. … The Crowds Just Keep Coming…
  12. 13. … And Coming…
  13. 14. … and 1,700 attended in 2009!
  14. 15. Snyder Teaching Garden
  15. 16. Basil and Tomato Tasting Surveys
  16. 17. But which is your favorite?!
  17. 18. Guided Tours of Research Plots
  18. 19. Information and Registration Tents
  19. 20. Survey Said… Responses to the online survey (n = 240, a 35.9% response rate from the 668 surveyed) – strongly agreed or agreed: • 91.1 % - more likely to favor community initiatives aimed at preserving and strengthening agriculture in NJ • 85.7 % - more likely to purchase 'Jersey Fresh' tomatoes, peaches, apples and other produce. • 79.4 % - more likely to purchase tomatoes, peaches, apples and other produce at local farm markets and roadside stands. • 90.08 % - that the Rutgers Snyder Research Farm and Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension faculty, staff, and Master Gardener volunteers provided timely and useful food and agricultural information.
  20. 21. Survey said… <ul><li>Responses to the online survey (n = 240, a 35.9% response rate from the 668 surveyed) – strongly agreed or agreed: </li></ul><ul><li>65.4 % - they improved their gardening knowledge by visiting the Teaching Garden during the Rutgers NJAES Tomato Tasting event </li></ul><ul><li>• 71.7 % - more likely to utilize programs and services of Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener volunteers as an educational resource </li></ul><ul><li>• 90.0 % - have a better understanding of what the Rutgers Snyder Research Farm, the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, and Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension do for NJ agriculture and home gardeners </li></ul><ul><li>• 86.1 % - more aware of the number of new apple and peach varieties available for purchase </li></ul>
  21. 22. NATIONAL PRIDE AWARD Thanks to the NACAA, the United Soybean Board, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association! “ I was SO impressed by everything that went on at the event. My husband and I want to return in 2010 and bring family and friends, it was that educational AND fun. And, in addition to improving our tomato knowledge, I was thrilled to discover the pillar peach trees and am now seeking the Crimson Rockets to add to my apple trees.”

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