Rutgers Center for Sustainable Agriculture: The Clifford E. and Melda C. Snyder Research and Extension Farm responds to the agricultural and environmental needs of New Jersey. As part of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), it shares the scientific resources of the School of Environmental 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.
Snyder 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. Snyder 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.
A History of Two Agricultural and Community Leaders
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 SEBS (then called Cook College) and NJAES. 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.
From: Snyder Research and Extension Brochure (3.1MB PDF)
Author: Dr. John Grande