On September 30, 1859, Abraham Lincoln noted in his address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that agricultural fairs "...render more pleasant, and more strong and more durable the bond of social and political union among us."
The tradition of county fairs, under the banner of New Jersey 4-H, remains very strong in the Garden State, due entirely to the commitment and leadership of Rutgers 4-H staff and countless volunteers. This July and August, I urge you to take the time to visit your county 4-H fair.
In 2014, we'll celebrate the 100th anniversary of the federal Smith-Lever act that established the cooperative extension system in the U.S. and the 150th anniversary of Rutgers' designation as the state's land-grant institution.
Few units of Rutgers NJAES represent the linkage between past and future as does Rutgers 4-H. This outstanding youth development program - a product of our agrarian past - has evolved to become more and more relevant in our urban and suburban communities. Rutgers NJAES 4-H continues to be highly meaningful in the lives of New Jersey residents and best embodies our mission of outreach and service in all 21 counties in the state.
In addition to county fairs, there are other wonderful signature Rutgers events that we eagerly anticipate each summer. Like the annual Rutgers Gardens Open House scheduled for July 27 and the Annual Great Tomato Tasting on August 28 at the Snyder Farm in Pittstown, NJ.
I urge you to take the time to enjoy and support these events.
Hope you're having a wonderful summer!