Jenny Carleo, agricultural and resource management agent for Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension of Cape May County, was recognized with the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. The award honors members with at least 10 years of outstanding service to Cooperative Extension, who have been active in professional development, have an effective Extension program and are endorsed by their state membership and State Extension Director. Carleo holds a bachelor’s degree from Cook College in 1999 and a master’s degree from Rutgers Graduate School¬-New Brunswick in 2003.
As state coordinator for the USDA-funded Annie’s Project New Jersey program since 2012, Carleo has led the team in securing over $360,000 in funding. Annie's Project, risk management educational program that began in the Midwest and spread throughout the country, is based on a real farm woman, Annette Fleck, who spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her farm husband. The program was created by her daughter, Ruth Hambleton, who became a Cooperative Extension educator in Illinois. Annie’s Project takes Fleck's farm management experiences and shares them with farm women living and working in the highly complex business of farming.
Annie's Project, a six-week course, was tailored to meet the needs of New Jersey women farmers, and focused on the following five areas: farm risk, including marketing and pricing, production risk, financial management, human and personal risk and legal risk.
Through Annie’s Project New Jersey, Carleo's leadership enabled the project team to offer farm business management programming to over 278 women farmers and business owners in New Jersey as well as reaching another 470 participants through nationally broadcast webinars.
Carleo also conducts applied scientific research on horticultural crops that are actively grown in Cape May County. Her research and education programs are targeted to local farmers who strive to continuously improve their knowledge and best practices.