Jenny S. Carleo, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Cape May County, is part of the team that received an Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) Distinguished Team Award for Excellence in Extension Programming. The award was presented to Carleo and her fellow team members at the 2016 National Recognition Program held during the National ESP Conference at the Grand Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey in October 2016.
The Distinguished Team Recognition is designed to recognize outstanding efforts of Extension staff teams for responding to and incorporating into a specific educational program one or more critical issues. The team, that was awarded the Distinguished Team Award for the Northeast Region, also included Team Leader Meredith Melendez, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County Agricultural Agent, Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, Robin Brumfield, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Specialist in Farm Management, Nick Polanin, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County Agricultural Agent, and Jeffery Heckman, Rutgers Office of Continuing and Professional Education Media Productions Coordinator.
Under the guidance of Melendez, the team developed the program, “Preparing for Later Life Farming: Helping Farmers Plan and Develop Estate and Farm Transition Plans.” Carleo said, “The program was developed to assist New Jersey farm families with farm estate and transition planning. The course was held in three New Jersey locations in 2015.” According to the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, the average age of principal farm operators in the United States is 58.3 and 59.5 in New Jersey. Planning for retirement, the inclusion of family members and the future of the farm is necessary for agricultural businesses to survive and thrive in New Jersey. Three regional workshops were developed to address farm transfer methods, calculating retirement savings, sources of retirement income, rules for tax-deferred savings withdrawals, methods of increasing farm income to support multiple generations, how to find legal and financial experts, and strategies for communicating with family members about farm transfer issues.
Daniel F. Culbert, Southern Regional Vice President, Epsilon Sigma Phi National Extension Fraternity, said, “ The team project was judged by the ESP chapters to be the best effort in this category in the country from the Northeast region during the past year. As Chair of the ESP Scholarship Grants and Recognition committee, I offer my congratulations to these Rutgers faculty for their outstanding work in support of Extension clientele.”
ESP brings together Extension faculty and professional staff from all disciplines. With an increased emphasis on collaboration and partnerships, ESP creates an excellent opportunity to build innovative programming alongside of colleagues who add depth, and understand the needs of a diverse clientele.
Jenny Carleo has been the Rutgers Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Cape May County and a faculty member of Rutgers University since 2006. Carleo earned her B.S. degree in Agricultural Science from Cook College, Rutgers University in 1999. Following her undergraduate studies she earned a Master of Science in Plant Biology, also from Rutgers in 2003.
As state coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded Annie’s Project New Jersey from 2012-2015, Carleo enabled the project team to offer farm business management programming to over 700 participants. She also currently conducts scientific research on local farms growing small fruits. She has worked extensively in floriculture, ornamentals and vegetable production in the past. She currently serves as the Project Director for “Ultra-Niche Crops for the Progressive, New Farmer” a USDA funded Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program project.
For more information about the programs offered by the Agricultural and Resource Management Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County, please call 609-465-5115, ext. 607.