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250 Tomato celebration tour includes luncheon

AFP Correspondent

NEW BRUNSWICK (Dec. 15, 2016) — Part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of what is now Rutgers University was the Rutgers 250 Breeding Luncheon held at the Douglass College Student Center.
The luncheon included a series of short lecture updates and video presentations by Rutgers experts like Dr. Jim Simon who discussed basil and peppers,  Dr. Tom Molnar, who talked about his hazelnuts research, Dr. Tom Orton who presented on the popular RU 250 tomatoes, wine co-op director John Cifelli, and Theresa Viggiano, who is involved in the RU food incubator business center in southern New Jersey.
New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher was present at the luncheon but then had to run off to other commitments that day, explained Anna Molinski, It was Molinski and her team who organized the event.
“Given that this is the 250th anniversary year for Rutgers, it’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate our history at the Experiment Station and also the many varieties that came out of these generations of work,” said Anna Molinski, program coordinator for the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.
Response to the luncheon was overwhelmingly positive and it should become an annual event, Molinski said, crediting sponsors Integrity Propagation, First Field, the Winemakers Co-Op, Cherry Grove Farm, RareFind Nursery, Triumph Brewery, River Horse Brewery, Adams County Nursery and Edible Garden Corp. for making the event possible.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever done something like this, to feature all of our breeding programs in one event,” Molinski said, “and it looks like this will become an annual event. Even the Secretary of Agriculture said he thinks this should become an annual event.”
Donors included Olive Creek Farms for basil; the Marucci Center at RU for honey and cranberries, RU Hort Farm No. 1 for hazelnuts, the Bent Spoon for ice cream, Haskin Shellfish Lab for oysters, Circle M Farms for peach cider, Hort Farm #3 for peppers, Atlantic Capes Fisheries for scallops, and the RU Snyder Research Farm for strawberries.