Jersey Fresh Abounds: Summer Must be Winding Down

8/28/08


After 10 years, I have come to know some sure signs that a new fall semester is about to begin at Cumberland County College. The campus begins to build a renewed sense of energy and urgency as last minute work is completed. Lines begin to form in the enrollment services center as students make final decisions about classes. Additional class sections are added and last minute hires occur.

But the surest sign of all: my Southern New Jersey tomato crop begins to ripen and sweeten with each passing day. Now I know for sure that summer is winding down and a new fall semester is fast approaching.

I have become attached to many of South Jersey’s highlights: the gorgeous sunsets, the spectacular array of wildlife, day trips to the shore, the feeling of “community and family” among my friends and neighbors, and the rich diversity of our people, just to name a few. And, of course, this area features the freshest, most flavorful crops I have ever tasted.

Every community has something special about it. In Cumberland County, we are blessed with multiple resources including talented, caring people, pristine parks and beaches, and vegetables that are unrivaled in America.

In my view, summer’s rewards arrive in mid to late August, when we get to enjoy the bounty of our harvest. In South Jersey, the harvest is a special aspect of our lives, and it’s arriving. I’m convinced that Cumberland County has reached a “tipping point,” and many special things are beginning to happen that will have a positive influence on our standard of living.

There will be an emerging prosperity for more residents in our community. Despite a national economy that is lagging, we are seeing development all around us. At the college, we are experiencing record enrollment growth and the on-campus Shirlee and Bernard Brown University Center is flourishing.

Yes, the college is growing and changing along with our community. Our challenge is to effectively manage this change as we leverage our resources. We must always protect the unique aspects of our community: the harvests and the natural beauty.

We must make sure that the August summer remains one of the special treats of our South Jersey lifestyle. And we must carefully prepare for the upcoming opportunities that are developing in our region.