NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Rutgers Equine Science Center presented the annual Gold Medal Horse Farm honors to John Crater and Mortonhouse Farm in Long Valley, N.J. at its 2018 “Evening of Science & Celebration” on Nov. 8

The award, part of the New Jersey Equine Environmental Stewardship Program, gives recognition to outstanding equine farms for their dedication to environmental sustainability and management. It also underscores the efforts of the New Jersey equine industry to maintain the beauty of the Garden State. The program is a collaborative initiative by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, the Rutgers Equine Science Center, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Mortonhouse Farm is home to Crater’s own draft horses as well as other boarded equines and cattle on 110 acres. Hay is grown on the farm to feed the animals.

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Founded in 2013, promoting public awareness of environmentally friendly horse farms and sustainability of agriculture are the two primary objectives of the New Jersey Equine Environmental Stewardship Program. Included in the program is the Gold Medal Horse Farm award. The award and overall program gives recognition to outstanding equine farms for their dedication to environmental sustainability and management. It also underscores the efforts of the New Jersey equine industry to maintain the beauty of the Garden State. The program is a collaborative initiative by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University (NJAES), the Rutgers Equine Science Center, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA).

The program is open to all New Jersey horse farms. To be give Gold Medal designation, the farm must already have an Animal Waste Management Plan and/or Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan in place. Beyond the two plans, awards are based on water quality, soil erosion, stream and water management, sanitation, and pasture, feed, and manure management. The overall aesthetics of the farm are also taken into consideration.

Before presenting a custom-made sign to Crater, Rutgers' Dr. Michael Westendorf also introduced Volume 2: Manure Management a new comprehensive packet of information to help farms manage farm waste and protect the environment. Attendees went home with a packet. 

Additional information about the Gold Medal Horse Farm Award can be found on the Equine Science Center’s website www.esc.rutgers.edu.

The Evening of Science and Celebration is an opportunity to unite equine professionals, horse owners, farm owners and barn managers, educators and students, 4-H members, and all equine enthusiasts for the purpose of learning about current projects and ongoing research initiatives being conducted at the Equine Science Center. The Center aims to address horse industry issues and challenges through sound-science and research.

After dinner, Brittany Smith a New Jersey 4-H Roundup member, and Rutgers SEBS student, presented her public speaking presentation, “The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway” on international horse racing in Switzerland on ice. She placed third at the Eastern National 4-H Roundup in Kentucky the weekend prior.

A donation was also presented to the Equine Science Center by New Jersey 4-H Horse Project Activity Council past chair Stella Almeida. The money was raised at the State Championship Horse Show through special beneift classes.

Kennis “Buttons” Fairfax was also honored with the Spirit of the Horse Award.

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