In 2008, we marked the 20th anniversary of the Rutgers NJAES Snyder Research & Extension Farm. The breadth and depth of the farm activities at this milestone was remarkable.
Moving ahead, Snyder Farm remains committed to sustainable agriculture and service to the residents of New Jersey, through the development of innovations and practices that address the challenges of changing markets, politics, and economics while being mindful of our impact on the environment.
In an era when farmers trusted tradition more than science, Clifford Snyder financed his college education with the profits from a borrowed potato field. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a graduate of Cornell University. He was a Hunterdon County agricultural and community leader, a nationally known figure in agriculture and a pioneer in the founding of the Hunterdon Medical Center.
At a time when most women toiled at home, Melda Snyder was a teacher and school district administrator. Education was a defining ideal for Clifford and Melda Snyder.
The Snyders believed in hard work, honest dealings and civic service. Clifford was often the first to explore a new idea. Area farmers visited the farm called Cliffields and learned about the latest technology. He served on the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture and was President for more than 30 years. After Clifford's death in 1967, Melda expanded that concept, hosting informational tours so people could better understand farmers and farming.
Melda served on the state and county agriculture boards and she was director of the New Jersey Farm Bureau. Upon her death in 1988, Melda Snyder bequeathed Cliffields, a 390 acre farm, to Cook College and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Renamed the Clifford E. and Melda C. Snyder Research and Extension Farm, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, it embodies these goals and stands as a testament to this forward-thinking couple.
Rutgers Center for Sustainable Agriculture: The Clifford E. & Melda C. Snyder Research & Extension Farm responds to the agricultural and environmental needs of New Jersey. As part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, it shares the scientific resources of the School of Environment and Biological Sciences (SEBS) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Our mandate is to improve the quality of life through an integrated program of scientific research, public education and community outreach.
The Snyder Research Farm works at keeping New Jersey farmers profitable while maintaining environmental and community accountability. More than 75 experiments are underway developing cropping systems and business tools fitting New Jersey's unique agricultural needs. The Snyder Research Farm reaches out to all New Jersey residents disseminating agricultural/environmental expertise assisting in areas such as lawn and garden, sports fields, roadside vegetation management, water quality and youth development.From: Snyder Research and Extension Farm 20th Anniversary Brochure(1.3MB PDF)