Welcome to Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County. Here, you will find the latest news and upcoming events from 4-H Youth DevelopmentFamily & Community Health Sciences, and Agricultural & Natural Resources. RCE of Somerset County helps both youth and adults improve their knowledge and skills, and resolve problems in the areas of food, nutrition, health and wellness; food safety; agriculture; environmental and natural resource management; and youth development. This is accomplished through the use of science-based knowledge and university research. RCE is an educational organization within the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, The State University.



Family & Community Health Sciences (FCHS) presents two Home Food Preservation Workshops:

  • CANNING WORKSHOP: May 9, 2017 - 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Learn safe home food preservation methonds. Participants will make and take home cauliflower pickles.

  • FREEZING & DEHYDRATING WORKSHOP: May 16, 2017 - 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Learn to use a food dehydrator to dry herbs, vegetables & fruit. Participants will make a freezer jam and take home a sample.

Cost per workshop is $15/pp or $25/pp for both workshops. Pre-payment is required. Receipt of payment confirms your spot. Registration is due by Friday, May 5, 2017. Class size is limited.

Email lconley@co.somerset.nj.us or call 908-526-6295 to register. Make checks out to "FCHS Advisory Council".


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What's Happening in RCE?

RCE Recognizes Their Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

Each year, thousands of volunteers in New Jersey donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the country who will be spotlighted during National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, 2017.

This month, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County was presented with a proclamation from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders in recognition of their dedicated volunteers. The proclamation also acknowledged the 100 year anniversary of RCE of Somerset County.  Ruth Haggan a FCHS Advisory Council member with over 50 years of volunteering, Mary Soriano a FCHS Advisory Council member with over 60 years of volunteering and Camille Haberle a FCHS Advisory Council and Rutgers Master Gardener with over 20 years of volunteering and Linda Bell a one year Rutgers Master Gardener volunteer, came out to witness this proclamation.

Over the past year, nearly 800 volunteers served as 4-H club leaders, 4-H project leaders, FCHS Advisory Council Members, FCHS Master Food Preservers, and Rutgers Master Gardeners or in other roles.  RCE volunteers are full and part-time workers, retirees, men and women of all ages and backgrounds, who provided 97,183 hours of volunteer service, with an overall value of $2,530,385.  RCE volunteers spend their time, talents, extensive knowledge and experience to mentor our children, beautify our green spaces, protect the quality of our land and water, improve health and enhance the overall quality of life of Somerset County’s residents.

“Volunteers are the backbone of the RCE. They provide guidance and support to expand our outreach in the community in our programs in 4-H Youth Development, Family Community Health and Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources, ,” says Daryl Minch, Family and Community Health Sciences Educator.

Volunteers are always needed and welcome. If you would like more information on how you can become involved in RCE, call 908-526-6644


Rutgers Master Gardeners Honored at Annual Luncheon


The Rutgers University Master Gardener Program, a volunteer organization of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County, a unit of New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, held its Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon this month.  This annual event recognizes the outstanding work accomplished by the new and experienced members.

The Master Gardener of the Year was awarded to Mary Patten.  Nancy Rabinowitz received the Master Gardener Award of Excellence.   The Irene O. Sabin Award was presented to Camille Haberle. In addition, Special Recognition Awards were given to the following Master Gardeners for their exemplary contributions to the organization:  Irene Foley, Nancy Brown, Carol Murphy, Dave Johnson, Bonnie Johnson, and Ellen Kaplan. The Somerset County Rutgers Master Gardeners are incredibly proud of the accomplishments of their fellow Master Gardeners.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County are currently accepting applications for Fall 2017. Residents with an interest in gardening and a commitment to volunteer service can become a Rutgers Master Gardener.  No previous education or training in horticulture is required.  For more information visit http://somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/garden or pick up an application packet at the office.  The deadline to return the applications is June 1st.

Classes will be held once a week on Tuesdays from 9:30am to 12:30pm from September 2017 to March 2018 at the NJAES Rutgers Cooperative Extension office located at 310 Milltown Road in Bridgewater. 

Rutgers Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Rutgers Cooperative Extension in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to Somerset County residents.  These programs include a helpline to answer garden questions, primers for establishing and maintaining community and individual gardens, a Seeds to Salad course for elementary schools, instruction for differently abled gardeners and more.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners receive in-depth, hands-on training in horticulture from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, faculty and professional staff.  Some topics include plant biology, propagation, soil science, disease and pest identification and control, and gardening and environmental principles.  Successful graduates of the extensive curriculum become Certified Master Gardeners after they complete their required volunteer service hours.




Cooperative Extension of Somerset County