University of GeorgiaAs fall begins to settle in, host Walter Reeves gets busyputting the flower garden to bed on “Gardening inGeorgia” Oct. 22 on Georgia Public Broadcasting.”Gardening in Georgia” is produced by GPB and the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It’stelevised each Saturday at 12:30 and 7 p.m.On this week’s show, Reeves visits the Biltmore Estate inAsheville, N.C. There, he helps horticulture director ParkerAndes dig elephant ear corms. As they work, others are pulling upfaded annuals and preparing beds for fall all around them.UGA horticulture professor emeritus Wayne McLaurin then showsReeves how to examine compost to make sure everything has beendigested. He describes a homemade screen he uses to sift finishedcompost from larger particles that need to stay longer in thepile. For more on mulching, see the UGA publication, “Compostingand Mulching.”Finally, Reeves shows how to dig up the tubers of dahlias with agarden fork and dust any wounds with sulfur. He packs the rootsin a plastic tub filled with perlite. Then he keeps the tub in acool spot until planting time next spring.
By Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaNational Agriculture Week is March 19-23. The week got a boost during kickoff ceremonies in Atlanta with a salute from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.”Today we take time out to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions of agriculture to Georgia,” Perdue said.”Thanks to the hard work and expertise of the ag industry,” he said, “this is the most abundant and nutritious food supply in the world, consuming less than almost any other nation’s disposable income. You are to be complimented for that.”Major playerAgriculture is Georgia’s largest industry, employing one out of every six Georgians. And more than 2,000 gathered in the Georgia Freight Depot to see and taste exhibits of Georgia agriculture.”There’s a new study coming out of the University of Georgia that puts the value of Georgia agriculture at $50 billion per year,” Perdue said. “Our ag industry alone is bigger than Gross Domestic Product of two-thirds of the countries in the world. That’s pretty impressive.”Agriculture improves the state’s bottom line. But Perdue noted how it adds to the quality of life, too.”Agriculture doesn’t just make a large contribution to the economy of our state,” he said.”I know firsthand that Georgia farmers are our top conservationists as well,” he said. “We appreciate that. We’re trying to do more land conservation, and we know that you all are the original conservationists.”Special honorsThe daylong event featured tours of urban agriculture around Atlanta and entertainment from Georgia 4-H’ers. The first Flavors of Georgia contest also recognized small companies and entrepreneurs who developed food products using Georgia commodities.Perdue then honored five Georgia farms that use outstanding environmental practices.He said Georgia fifth-graders are taking part in agriculture awareness activities this year, too. “It’s important that we get our young people involved,” he said.”They’re the future. I can’t stress enough how important this industry is to Georgia and our future,” he said. “This industry contributes to our overall sustainability, and we need the brightest young people involved in it.”Alternative energyPerdue said the state is committed to energy and agriculture’s role in it.”We’re quickly moving to a bio-based economy in pharmaceuticals and energy and in other fascinating products of biotechnology,” he said. “That means using our renewable resources right here in our state to … convert crops, waste, wood chips and other biomatter into fuel.”He cited the state’s incentive program to encourage growth in the alternative energy industry.”Ethanol and biodiesel were the first to answer, and we’ve had some great announcements since then,” he said.”We’re excited to take the research out of the lab into the field, investing more than $200 million to make sure we can use some of our agricultural resources in the state to provide energy as well,” he said. “They’re creating jobs. They’re bringing new investments and more value for our ag products, and that’s all positive.”
For more information, call Donnie Smith at (229) 386-3104. By Donnie SmithGovernor’s Agriculture LiaisonGov. Sonny Perdue wants to know the Georgia farmers who are doing the best job to protect the environment on and around their farms. He’d like to recognize them for a job well done, tell other folks about them and maybe give them an award.Nominees are currently being sought for the Fourth Annual Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Applications are available at www.agawareness.com and due by December 16.“As I learned from my father growing up on a farm in middle Georgia, if you take care of the land, it will take care of you,” Perdue said. “This award shows all Georgians the outstanding job farmers are doing to protect our environment and preserve our state’s natural resources.”Five district winners are selected for the award each year. This year, only district winners will be required to submit supporting documentation. Past district winners are eligible to apply. Judges will visit each district winner’s farm. Based on their recommendation, Perdue will announce the state winner at the Fifth annual Agricultural Awareness Week in Atlanta on March 17.
Georgia’s cotton and peanut farmers are not expected to plant seeds for another two months, but they should be tending to maintenance issues now, according to Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist.“Farmers want to go ahead and take care of any maintenance issues now. Once planting season starts, they don’t want to be taken out of the field because of an equipment problem that could have been fixed today,” Monfort, who is based in Tifton, Georgia, said. “The hardest part of any season is making that first day happen. Once growers get all the bugs worked out, then they can move forward.”UGA Extension cotton agronomist Jared Whitaker acknowledges cotton planting has grown increasingly complicated in recent years. Beyond simply planting seed, growers conduct as many as five operations in one pass. The process could include a strip tillage operation, placing seed in the furrow, applying fertilizer prior to planting, spraying in-furrow insecticides and fungicides, and applying herbicides behind the press wheel. The complexity of cotton planting makes for all the more reason to look over equipment in advance and fix any kinks.“I would advise farmers to spend time with these units, make sure everything is good to go and think about improvements needed to speed things up when planting time comes. That way, when we’re in the heat of the battle, there’s one less potential delay to be concerned with,” Whitaker said. Unpredictable weather patterns could occur in midspring due to El Nino, which brings warmer and wetter temperatures than average. If El Nino hits in April, the month when most cotton and peanut planting is done, farmers are going to want to take advantage of all the clear, sunny days they can get. Getting sidelined in April to repair equipment could be detrimental to the grower’s bottom line.“It’s the little things that could make the biggest difference, especially when talking about the maintenance of a planter. That could be making sure there’s no buildup behind the plates of a planter to making sure your insecticide is flowing correctly and not having a stopped-up tube that may cause problems,” Monfort said. This year has already provided soggy days for south Georgia farmers. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 10, the UGA Tifton Campus experienced 16 rainy days and accumulated 6.12 inches of rain, according to UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network. During that same time, 7.26 inches of rain were recorded at the Sunbelt Ag Expo field in Moultrie, Georgia, and 6.88 inches were recorded at UGA’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla, Georgia.“Right now, with us having rain pretty regularly, growers do have the opportunity to look at all of their tillage and planting equipment and to do the necessary maintenance, so when they do start planting, they’re not plagued by down time. Most growers are taking care of any maintenance issues right now anyway — it’s not a big issue,” Monfort said. “But it is always a great to remind (growers at this time).”For more information about cotton, see ugacotton.com. For more information about peanuts, see caes.uga.edu.
For many families, the prospect of turkey sandwiches and turkey soup after Thanksgiving is almost as exciting as the big meal itself.While that succulent leftover turkey may be tempting, proper food handling is necessary to keep that after-holiday treat from becoming a food-poisoning trap.“Leftover turkey will keep in the refrigerator, at or below 40 degrees (Fahrenheit), for three or four days,” said University of Georgia Extension food safety specialist Judy Harrison. “Use the stuffing and gravy within one or two days.”Here are Harrison’s tips for prolonging the enjoyment of your Thanksgiving turkey without risking illness.Stuffing SafetyIt is best to cook stuffing outside the turkey, but if you stuff the bird, you need to remove the stuffing from the bird before it’s brought to the table. Harmful bacteria are more likely to be a problem if the stuffing stays in the bird after cooking.Go ahead set aside some “leftover” stuffing before you serve dinner, and put it up in the refrigerator.Put a timer on that turkeyDon’t leave the turkey out after the meal. From the time the turkey comes out of the oven, you have about two hours to carve it, serve it and then refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.So that it cools quickly once it’s in the refrigerator, slice the meat, and store both meat and stuffing in shallow, covered containers.Be realistic about how much turkey you can eat in four days, and freeze the rest.Freeze it for the futureFor longer-term storage in the freezer, Harrison recommends packing leftovers in freezer containers, freezer paper or in heavy-duty aluminum foil to avoid freezer burn.Frozen turkey, stuffing and gravy should be eaten within a month for best quality.Be sure to bring any leftover gravy or other liquid leftovers to a rolling boil before serving. Reheat any solid leftovers like stuffing or meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with a food thermometer.
A two-day Advanced Grazing School, hosted by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension specialists Sept. 19-20, will provide a deeper understanding of grazing systems to those in attendance. The first day will focus on low-cost fencing and portable watering systems. On the second day of the program, specialists will cover grazing management influences on soil health.The program will be held at UGA farm properties near the Athens campus. Training will take place in both classroom and field settings and will include many hands-on learning experiences.The first day of instruction will be held at the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Extension Center on Experiment Station Road in Watkinsville, Georgia. Participants will learn how to allocate pastureland and provide portable water and shade in a rotational grazing system.The group will also visit the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences’ Iron Horse Farm, off of Georgia Highway 15, near the line for Oconee and Greene counties, where participants will take a close look at the roots of diverse forage species as they explore the soil by stepping into soil pits. They’ll see how roots and microbes interact with the soil and learn how dung beetle and earthworm populations are improved in well-managed grazing systems. The cost of the two-day program is $150 for the first person from each farm, then $75 per person for each additional individual from a farm or family. The registration fee includes a 250-page notebook full of resources on the subject matter taught, lunches and breaks each day, and dinner on the first night. Registration is limited and participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested should register soon.For more information on the grazing school program, visit georgiaforages.com.
Grand Re-opening Celebration at Sports & Fitness Edge of EssexEssex, Vermont/ September 17, 2007- On September 22, 2007 the Sports & Fitness Edge hosted a GRAND RE-OPENING celebration at their Essex location. All were welcome to attend this event at 4 Gauthier Drive in Essex.This event will showcase the newly renovated facility, which includes a large state-of-the-art fitness space featuring brand new equipment and a cardio theater, in addition to three new studios for group fitness classes. Kids & Fitness, our licensed preschool, has been enlarged and expanded to provide high quality childcare for more local families.A substantial part of this renovation project included the addition of Physical Therapy Center of Vermonts 4th and largest location where patients can take advantage of the innovative Healing Waves Program” as well as the existing physical therapy programs and services. On September 22nd the staff will offer tours of this new center.Other events taking place on September 22nd include the launch of Les Mills BodyPump classes. Trained instructors will be teaching these classes on Saturday at 10 am and 2 pm, and all are welcome to register 879-7734.Sports & Fitness Edge is also hosting a Health & Activity Fair as part of the Grand Re-opening celebration. This community event is free and open to the public, and features a bouncy castle, door prizes, and tables full of information about other health and wellness-related businesses and organizations in Vermont.For more information on the Grand Re-opening and Health & Activity Fair at Sports & Fitness Edge of Essex, contact Mike Feitelberg at 658-0001 or firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail). About Sports & Fitness Edge, Inc. — Sports & Fitness Edge, Inc has provided fitness opportunities to the community since 1966. Members are welcome at any of the five locations that are run by the company. In addition, there are three Kids & Fitness Preschool facilities that provide child care for local families. The Physical Therapy Center of Vermont was founded in 2001 and offers an extensive list of rehabilitation services at four different locations. Go to www.sfedge.com(link is external) for more information.
Rep. Peter Welch supported and the House passed legislation late Wednesday to address a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund by restoring $7 billion in federal transportation funding to the states. HR 3357 prevents an 85 percent reduction in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding, which would have reduced Vermont s share from $134 million to $20 million in 2010.The cut would have forced Vermont Agency of Transportation to shut down all new FHWA construction, resulting in the loss of 998 jobs, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. A recession is no time to cut federal highway funding and layoff hundreds of workers, Welch said. This bill ensures that Vermont can continue to rebuild its roads and bridges and maintain good-paying jobs.
Citizens Bank,Citizens Financial Group, Inc has announced it set a company record for new checking accounts opened by Citizens Bank and Charter One customers during a one-week period. From October 3 through October 9, 2009, Citizens opened tens-of-thousands of new checking accounts throughout its 12-state retail footprint, surpassing its previous one-week record in 2007 by nearly 200 percent. We are committed to simplifying our customers busy lives by making banking easier, said Vice Chairman Martin Bischoff, who heads Consumer and Business Banking at Citizens Financial Group. Our recent offers have enabled us to attract tens-of-thousands of new Citizens Bank and Charter One customers. As part of our focus on exceptional service, we look forward to providing our customers helpful banking solutions to achieve their financial goals.Last week, Citizens began offering new customers up to $220 for opening a checking account. Through the offer, which ends November 13, 2009, customers earn: $50 for enrolling in direct deposit; $25 for making five online bill payments; $25 for making five debit or credit card transactions and up to $120 a year with Green$ense, which rewards customers for helping the environment by reducing paper-based transactions.Launched last October, Green$ense rewards customers $0.10 for each electronic payment they make, up to $10 per month and $120 per year. Unlike other incentive programs, Green$ense deposits cash directly into a customer s checking account on a monthly basis, providing greater savings and spending flexibility. And, rather than limiting cash payouts to debit card transactions, customers enrolled in Green$ense earn money for debit card purchases (signature and PIN), online bill payments and recurring payments, making it the most robust program of its kind in the industry.In addition to Green$ense, Citizens has created other helpful solutions for customers. HomeBuyer Savings℠ and CollegeSaver℠ are two new innovative products that put an extra $1,000 in the pockets of Citizens Bank and Charter One customers who are saving for two significant life events purchasing homes and funding their children s college education. Since launching the products in April 2009, Citizens is opening about 1,000 Homebuyer Savings and CollegeSaver accounts every week.With HomeBuyer Savings, customers receive the $1,000 towards their new home when they save a minimum of $100 per month for 36 months and finance their home with Citizens Bank or Charter One. At the end of three years, customers can use their accumulated savings towards a down payment with the additional $1,000 applied against their closing costs.CollegeSaver enables customers who save a minimum of $25 per month until their child is 18 to earn a $1,000 bonus plus interest for opening an account by their child s sixth birthday. Customers receive the $1,000 bonus plus all the accrued interest when the child turns 18.In addition to Citizens helpful products, it offers customers free Fit CheckupsSM, one-on-one consultations with bankers who can help them select the products and services that best fit their borrowing and savings needs. Citizens has provided nearly 2 million Fit Checkups since it began offering them in February of 2008. Customers can learn more about Citizens products and special promotional offers at citizensbank.com or charterone.com, or by visiting their nearest branch.About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $153 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and, through its subsidiaries, has 1,480 branches, approximately 3,600 ATMs and approximately 23,000 employees. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets as of June 30, 2009. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). CFG s Web site is citizensbank.com. Source: Citizens Financial Group.
BioTek Instruments,This morning at the Opening Ceremonies of the Vermont Business & Industry EXPO, organized by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Governor Jim Douglas presented the highly anticipated Deane C Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award to BioTek Instruments, Inc of Winooski. BioTek is the 20th winner of this annual award that was conceived by Vermont Business Magazine and the Chamber in 1990.In an effort to recognize and honor Vermont s best companies, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine created the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award in 1990. Named for the former Governor of Vermont, this annual award honors a Vermont business that shows an outstanding history of sustained growth while displaying an acute awareness of what makes Vermont unique.BioTek Instruments, Inc. is a privately held and family-run business that was founded in 1968. The organization develops instruments used to facilitate the drug recovery process and to aid in the advancement of life science research. This evolving company is committed to continued financial growth, the welfare of its employees and reducing the company s impact on the environment, making it a strong contender for this prestigious award. BioTek s dedication to its employees, the community, and the environment is impressive, said Betsy Bishop, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. This company exemplifies the spirit of Vermont business and is most deserving of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business distinction.Aside from the Winooski location, BioTek maintains offices in Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, Singapore, China, and India. All locations combined employ nearly 300 people, 259 of whom are located in Vermont. Since 2005, a 52 percent increase in its workforce encouraged BioTek to build a cutting-edge laboratory, adding 8,000 square feet to the Winooski property. With growing workforce numbers, the employee record reports an impressive retention rate with the average tenure of a BioTek employee exceeding 10 years and 18 percent averaging more than 20 years.The company has also shown great strides in sales and growth over the past five years. Since 2005, BioTek sales have increased 78 percent, a striking number given the recent economy. BioTek has demonstrated many unique qualities that made it stand out in the crowded field of applicants seeking this highly respected award, said John Boutin, Publisher of Vermont Business Magazine. The company s proven track record of success is to be commended.BioTek management offers an open-door policy for the staff, encouraging thoughts on policy adjustments to decrease costs or increase employee satisfaction. Annual reviews are holistically approached, based on the individual in the present, past and with a focus on the future. BioTek also promotes continued education by offering 100 percent tuition reimbursement and a Bonus Pool that pays a uniform amount to each person, since every employee is considered an equal contributor to the company.BioTek s commitment to employees is apparent and so is its dedication to the community. The organization encourages all staff to participate in community programs in order to strengthen the bond with the local community.Listed in the top five principals of BioTek s mission statement is a pledge to reduce the company s overall impact on the environment. In 2008, the company created a team of employees dedicated to continually promoting employee involvement in cleaning up its procedures. The Green Team coordinates with Efficiency Vermont and Chittenden Solid Waste District to ensure the preservation of Vermont s natural environment. Since the team was established, BioTek expanded its original recycling program, upgraded its buildings to meet strict environmental codes, created a composting policy and switched to recycled, compostable materials. Employees are also encouraged to carpool to work or receive financial reimbursement for using a bicycle.In order for a business to win the award, they must show growth in sales or employment, commitment of company resources for participation in community projects, encouragement of employees to be involved in community events, recognition of the importance of the environment to the state as a natural and economic resource, and addressing employee concerns/needs to create a positive work environment for all employees. The business must have also been based in Vermont for at least 10 years.Many Vermont companies exemplify the standards by which the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business Award nominees are judged, but only three could be distinguished as finalists for this 20 year-old award. The three finalists for this year s Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business Award were: BioTek Instruments, Inc. of Winooski, The Foley Family of Companies of Rutland, and Small Dog Electronics of Waitsfield.Photo 1: BioTek Instruments, Inc. receives the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award presented by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine during the Opening Ceremonies of EXPO. From the left: Governor Jim Douglas, Adam Alpert Vice President of BioTek, Briar Alpert President and CEO of BioTek, John Boutin-Publisher of Vermont Business Magazine, and Betsy Bishop-President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.Photo 2: BioTek Instruments, Inc. receives the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award presented by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine during the Opening Ceremonies of EXPO. From the left: Governor Jim Douglas, Briar Alpert President and CEO of BioTek, Adam Alpert Vice President of BioTek, and John Boutin-Publisher of Vermont Business Magazine.Photo 3: Vermont Business & Industry EXPO Opening Ceremony Ribbon Cutting. From the left: Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop, Governor Jim Douglas, and Vermont Chamber Board Chair Mark Saba.The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the largest state-wide private, not-for-profit business organization represents nearly every sector of the state’s corporate/hospitality community. Our mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 5.26.2010###