Industry Needs

first_imgBy 2050, the animal and food industry will need to be able to feed a world with a projected population increase of 2.1 billion. With the help of industry and academic experts, University of Georgia researchers identified the most pressing issues for the animal and food industry to address a growing population.A recently published journal article in Translational Animal Science identified critical industry issues using a Delphi analysis. This study was led by UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty Kevan Lamm and Francis Fluharty in collaboration with doctoral candidate Nekeisha Randall.“Our responsibility as an institution is to listen to and then to serve the needs of our stakeholders, in this case, the producers of Georgia … and around the country and the world,” said Lamm, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC) Department.This mixed-method research approach compiled observed issues through a series of three surveys distributed to Georgia’s animal and food industry experts. Multiple survey rounds allowed researchers to look at the list of critical issues identified by experts and group them thematically.“Instead of trying to say, ‘We’re going to attack 40 independent issues,’ if we can collate, collapse and aggregate those issues into broader themes that are generally understood, it can help us to be a little more focused and articulate what we’re trying to accomplish,” Lamm said.The top issues of concern fell into seven themes: industry image and relationship with the public; workforce development and pipeline; economic and environmental sustainability; animal and human health/well-being; production and distribution efficiency; government regulations and relationship with legislative leaders; and relationship with higher education/researchers.Evaluating industry outlookA Delphi analysis is a forecasting process framework based on the results of multiple rounds of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts. Several rounds of questionnaires are sent out to the group of experts, and the anonymous responses are aggregated and shared with the group after each round. Fluharty, the head of UGA’s Department of Animal and Dairy Science (ADS), facilitated the critical component of recruiting expert panelists for the study.“My role was really providing the names of several key people in industry across the board, from production through private industry through government entities. We wanted a good cross-section of people in order to get an accurate scope of what the issues are and to find out from various entities what the critical areas of need would be,” Fluharty said.Fluharty identified expert panelists including policymakers, cattle and pork producers, commodity group representatives, food product industry representatives, Farm Bureau employees and others.“Ideas that folks agree on rise to the top. We don’t know who the ideas have come from necessarily. If you’re on the panel, you’re identified as an expert. It could be a producer, it could be somebody sitting on the department of agriculture,” Lamm said. “The great ideas are retained and we use those to inform the thematic analysis.”In the first round of the survey, panelists had the opportunity to anonymously identify in their own words the top five critical industry issues. These responses were used as the foundation for round two, in which panelists ranked the identified issues based on their importance. These rankings were analyzed and issues that scored high enough in importance were used in the final survey. Round three created a final group consensus on the issues of importance. Items that had at least 80% agreement stayed on the list and were grouped into themes.In the final round of analysis, Randall conducted the constant comparative method. Among her other contributions to the research publication, Randall, an ALEC alumna currently pursuing her doctorate in learning, leadership and organization development, finds Delphi analysis useful in her pursuits connecting research with practice.“My doctoral research revolves around recovering from job burnout, an interest that is very interdisciplinary and that relates to multiple segments of our population here and abroad,” Randall said. “Therefore, tools like the Delphi method offer me one more way of seeking different angles to a very multifaceted topic that researchers, practitioners and everyday people care about  — which can also be said for our animal and food industry research.”Lamm said Delphi analysis is effective in identifying the big issues because it uses two different brain functions. First, the limbic — or emotional — part of the brain allows experts to unearth big issues of interest. Then the prefrontal cortex is engaged through the logical thought process in thinking critically about those issues.“We’ve engaged system one, that emotional brain, and system two, that logical brain. So when we do come to a consensus, folks have a lot more commitment to it and more buy-in to it,” Lamm said.Informing change through researchBuy-in from stakeholders is crucial when implementing research-based changes. This study was part of a larger project to develop a strategic plan for ADS that is guiding curriculum and research decisions in the department. Fluharty said that is already happening through curriculum changes — such as addressing industry image and relationship with consumers — a matter related directly to animal welfare.“We may talk about it as ‘beef quality assurance’ or ‘pork quality assurance’ but those programs are really the basis of what is evolving into a broader animal welfare discussion. If anything, this research showed that (it) is a critical component of animal production,” Fluharty said.To contribute to workforce development in a growing field, ADS aspires to incorporate animal welfare into both production courses and departmental research in the future. They also plan to expose students to career opportunities in the field, like third-party animal welfare auditing.ADS is particularly invested in experiential learning opportunities to encourage workforce readiness among undergraduates, of whom only about 15% come from a traditional agricultural production background.“This research and the information we learned showed we have to have students with more hands-on experience in order to really meet the workforce needs of businesses out there,” Fluharty said.ADS plans to address a lack of animal production experience with the creation of a student-run purebred beef cattle herd close to campus. Industry producers have been supportive of the initiative and have provided high-quality genetics for the herd. This experiential learning opportunity will give students without a production background the chance to learn about herd health, genetics, calving and more under the supervision of a small faculty group.This faculty collaboration between ALEC and ADS has shown opportunities for interdisciplinary research and development of cross-departmental courses that could benefit students in both departments.“I see a lot of opportunity for interactions with our students, with our graduates and with our faculty,” Fluharty said.For more information on the Department of Animal and Dairy Science, visit For more information on the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, visit read more

Vermont Department of Tourism launches

first_imgFrom a snow groomer waxing philosophic, to an apple grower explaining the art of “pie-chi,” the characters starring in the new video vignettes featured on offer viewers a glimpse into some of the personalities that are the life of Vermont’s vibrant tourist industry. The short films were shot as part of a campaign for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing that emphasizes the state’s diverse human assets.‘Our recent research on the Vermont brand showed that vacationers are looking for ‘good value,’ ‘diverse experiences,’ ‘unspoiled landscape’ and ‘warm, friendly people,’” said deputy commissioner of tourism and marketing Steve Cook.‘With this in mind, Spike and VT Tourism conceived and created’”We want to take prospective visitors beyond Vermont’s physical landscape to meet a few genuine Vermonters ‘ the people behind the scenes who bring a wonderful, albeit sometimes wacky, element of independence, ingenuity, perseverance and passion to all that they do,” says Ken Millman, Spike’s president.In addition to the series of 2 to 3-minute vignettes featuring an array of Vermont characters, the microsite shares snackable facts about Vermont, and helps visitors start planning their trip with a handy travel planner tool available at Spike Advertising. Burlington, VT’September 3, 2010—30-last_img read more

Vermont gets $15.4 million for Irene repairs from US DOT

first_imgEMERGENCY RELIEF PROGRAM FUND ALLOCATIONS StateEventAllocationSubtotal by State or TerritoryAlabamaApril 27, 2011 Severe Storms and Tornadoes    1,896,010         1,896,010AlaskaSummer 2010 Taylor Highway Flooding    1,368,882         1,368,882American SamoaSeptember 29, 2009 Tsunami    1,229,844         1,229,844ArkansasApril 2011 Severe Storms and Flooding    1,048,534         1,048,534CaliforniaDevil’s Slide   20,785,705       43,430,449January-March 1993 Storms       305,000February 1998 Storms    2,149,300December 2002 Winter Storms    1,901,211December 2004 Winter Storms    5,089,071December 2005 Winter Storms   11,399,039October 3, 2007 Mount Soledad Road Slide    1,801,123ConnecticutSpring 2010 Flooding    1,048,020         2,367,336August 28, 2011 Hurricane Irene    1,319,316FloridaJanuary 2010 Sinkholes    1,107,486         1,107,486IllinoisApril 19, 2011 Heavy Rains and Flooding       338,207            881,388July 27, 2011 High Winds and Rainfall       543,181IndianaApril 2011 Severe Storms and Flooding       322,523            322,523IowaMay 2011 Missouri River Flooding    4,279,822         5,210,934July 27, 2011 Rainfall and Flooding       931,112KentuckyJuly 2010 Storms and Flooding       936,182         3,258,866April 2011 Storms and Flooding       522,684June 19, 2011, Severe Storms and Flooding    1,800,000LouisianaAugust 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina    7,600,000         9,500,000March 31, 2011 Vicksburg Barge Crash    1,900,000MaineJuly 18, 2008 Heavy Rains and Flooding       416,216            755,397August 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene       339,181MassachusettsJune 1, 2011 Severe Thunderstorms and Tornado       457,092         5,110,004August 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    4,652,912MinnesotaMarch 2011 Spring Snowmelt and Flooding    2,200,000         2,200,000MississippiMarch 31, 2011 Vicksburg Barge Crash (MDOT costs)           7,886         3,769,791April 2011 Severe Storms and Flooding    1,623,283April – June 2011 Mississippi River Flooding    2,138,622MissouriApril – May 2011 Tornado and Flooding       347,219         2,079,250June 2011 Missouri River Flooding    1,732,031MontanaSpring 2011 Flooding    2,564,893         2,564,893NebraskaMay – June 2008 Flooding       776,882         1,309,546May 2011 Platt and Missouri River Flooding       532,664New HampshireAugust 30, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene       132,409            132,409New JerseyAugust 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee    7,387,595       10,184,159August 2011 Flooding    2,796,564New YorkAugust 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    7,686,528       10,248,704September 7, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee    2,562,176North CarolinaSeptember 29, 2010 Tropical Storm Nicole       815,000            815,000North DakotaSpring 2011 Runoff in the Devils Lake Basin   10,171,839       31,530,138Spring 2011 Runoff – Statewide   10,048,855Spring 2011 Runoff in the West James River Basin    5,770,020Spring 2011 Flooding in the Sheyenne/James River Basin    1,082,263ND11-5, Spring 2011 Flooding in the Southern Mouse River Basin    4,457,161OhioMarch 2011 Jefferson County Landslides    4,673,409       14,922,113March – May 2011 Severe Rainfall   10,248,704OregonJanuary 2011 Flooding    1,742,280         1,742,280PennsylvaniaAugust 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    2,500,000         4,242,280September 7, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee    1,742,280Puerto RicoOctober 2010 Tropical Storm Otto       841,155         2,564,373August 21, 2011 Hurricane Irene    1,723,218South CarolinaMay 22, 2011 SC Route 150 Bridge Damage       392,572            392,572South DakotaSpring 2011 Flooding    2,191,627         2,191,627TennesseeSR 108 Rockslide       918,706         4,802,307April 5, 2011 US-441/SR-71 Rockslide    1,107,630April 19 – 26, 2011 Tornado and Flooding       325,971April 26, 2011 Severe Weather and Tornado Damage    2,450,000TexasAugust 30, 2011 Wildfires    2,500,000         2,500,000UtahDecember 20, 2010 Severe Storms and Flooding       839,543         2,167,226March – May 2011 Flooding    1,327,683VermontSpring 2011 Flooding    1,024,870       15,373,056August 27, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene   14,348,186VirginiaAugust 26, 2011 Hurricane Irene    1,435,173         2,181,614September 5, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee       746,441Virgin IslandsOctober 2010 Tropical Storm Otto       370,382         1,207,112November 2010 Tropical Storm Tomas       836,730WashingtonFebruary 28, 2001 Nisqually Earthquake    3,433,316         9,879,273November 2006 Storm    1,429,586December 2007 Storm       512,287January 2009 Storm       290,705October 11, 2009 SR 410 Landslide       669,713December 2010 Storms    1,026,278January 2011 Winter Storms       568,372March – April 2011 Storms       500,000March 22, 2011 113th Avenue Truck Crash Damage       750,043May 2011 Storms       698,973Federal Lands Agenciesvarious events    8,711,399         8,711,399Total 215,198,775     215,198,775 Vermont is one of the largest beneficiaries of disaster relief funding released today by the federal government. The US Department of Transportation will provide more than $215 million to states across the nation, with Vermont getting $15.4 million, to cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural disasters, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.‘Communities suffering from disasters have been hard at work restoring vital transportation links so that people can resume daily activities as soon as possible,’ said Secretary LaHood. “They did their part, and now it’s our turn to give the states the money they were promised to help pay for that work.’ The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide a total of $215,198,775 from its emergency relief program to 34 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and federal lands agencies to reimburse them for repairs to roads and bridges caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes and other natural and catastrophic disasters.‘States and communities can continue counting on our support in times of need,’ said FHWA Administrator Mendez. ‘Everyone pulls together when disaster strikes and we are committed to help as much as we can now and in the future.’Among states that will receive funding, California will receive $43.4 million for flooding and earthquakes, North Dakota will receive $31.5 million for flooding in the Devil’s Lake region and Vermont will receive $15.4 million for spring flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Estimates of Vermont’s repairs from Irene could run to $250 million, according to Governor Shumlin.The money will reimburse states for fixing or replacing highways, bridges and other roadway structures. Costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in impacted areas are also eligible.The FHWA’s emergency relief program reimburses states for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid highways that were damaged in disasters and catastrophic failures.last_img read more

What’s the Deal with Our Unhealthy Food Fascination?

first_imgFood & DiningLifestyle What’s the Deal with Our Unhealthy Food Fascination? by: – December 13, 2011 Tweet Share Mac and CheeseLast year, Twitter started a tradition of publishing a “Year in Review,” a look at the hottest tweets, topics, retweets, and stories of the year, including a category on food.And of the top seven “hot food topics” this year, none were healthy. In the number one spot was McDonald’s McLobster, a menu item not currently available nationwide. The second: fried Kool-Aid, enough said. Coming in third: Starbuck’s Trenta, the chain’s new mega-sized 31-ounce option. The fourth and fifth spots both belong to beer (Devassa and Guinness); at number six, three simple letters: BBQ; and rounding out the bunch: good old mac and cheese. So why is it that unhealthy food gets so much buzz? Why aren’t the hot topics things like exotic fruits, ancient grains and ethnic spices? Here’s my take on why we’re so taken with unhealthy fare:It represents reckless abandonIn my private practice work, some of my clients are able to make the connection that the draw toward super unhealthy foods is really about the desire to throw caution to the wind and feel completely carefree . Most of us deal with so much responsibility in our day-to-day lives, including circumstances we can’t change. It’s human nature to look for an outlet, and let’s face it, fantasizing about (or actually eating) decadent foods has become a prime way to escape reality.It’s part of pop cultureEvery era has its trends in fashion, music, and food. If you’re not old enough to remember Crystal Pepsi (a.k.a clear Pepsi), check out this commercial on YouTube and the Saturday Night Live parody. Keeping up with what’s new is amusing, and as much as I cringe at things like fried Kool-Aid, it’s fun to be “in the know.”It makes us feel good by comparisonFinding out that a drink size is larger in volume than the capacity of an adult’s bladder can make you think, “I am not the worst eater in the world.” Unfortunately, the more egregious the trend, the healthier you may feel, even if you’re not! On that note, here’s a link to one more of my favorite skits that pokes fun at our over the top tendencies: SNL’s Taco Town.What do you guys think? Why are we so interested in everything unhealthy? By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living Sharecenter_img 63 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Van Persie treble fires United to title

first_img Press Association Long since accepted as the summer signing that made the difference, Van Persie underlined his value by ensuring there was never a chance Aston Villa might prevent their hosts from collecting the victory required to celebrate championship number 20 in front of their own fans at Old Trafford. Van Persie took 81 seconds to sweep home Ryan Giggs’ knock-back. Twelve minutes from the break he profited from more unselfishness from Giggs to complete the second three-timer of his United career. In between he scored one of his best goals as he followed Wayne Rooney’s long ball, waited for it to drop then smashed a first-time volley into the corner. The Dutchman’s contribution took his tally for the season to 24, ahead of major rival Luis Suarez in the hunt for the Golden Boot. But Villa did not just have Van Persie to look after, they also needed to subdue Wayne Rooney. And in that task, they failed miserably. Again slotted into central midfield alongside Michael Carrick, Rooney took control, spraying passes around in a manner befitting Paul Scholes. The first went arrowing to the corner for Antonio Valencia to hunt down after barely a minute. Valencia held the ball up and rolled it back to Rafael, whose deep cross found Giggs, and Van Persie did the rest. It was part of a blistering start from the champions-elect, in which Van Persie almost scored again and nearly set up Shinji Kagawa and Rafael smashed a shot against the post from 20 yards. Villa were simply unable to resist. On his 400th United appearance, Rooney launched a rocket from inside his own half which Van Persie’s perfect technique allowed him to belt into the visitors’ goal before it bounced. Van Persie completed his second United hat-trick when Giggs broke through and elected to slip a pass inside rather than go for goal himself. The visitors, acutely aware of the damage to their own relegation battle a heavy defeat could inflict, gamely went hunting a consolation in the second half. Yet even here, Van Persie was the prominent figure, heading a goalbound Andreas Weimann effort off the line. Christian Benteke should have scored but David de Gea repelled that attempt. United briefly roused themselves only for Rooney to fire over from 20 yards. Kagawa also failed to find the target when he only had Brad Guzan to beat after a superb first touch. Really though, the hosts were counting down to the final whistle, as were their supporters, who spent the second half paying homage to a succession of past players. Their focus switched when referee Anthony Taylor brought the evening to an end though, and Van Persie was the man they owed most thanks to. center_img Robin van Persie bagged a magnificent first-half hat-trick to fire Manchester United to Barclays Premier League title glory with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.last_img read more

Lakers’ problems continue with 120-109 loss to Denver

first_imgBut the Lakers’ problems also point elsewhere.They conceded 54 points in the paint. Denver forward Kenneth Faried posted a team-leading 28 points and 15 rebounds, providing the sort of energy Scott likened to former Lakers teammates Kurt Rambis and A.C. Green. The Nuggets also closed out the final 4:43 with a 17-9 run.“We have to keep working and trusting each other,” Scott said. “All our players have to do better. All of us coaches, myself, have to do better.”That did not just drop the Lakers into a four-game losing streak for the second consecutive season under Scott. The outcome also overshadowed other positive developments against the Nuggets (2-2). After spending most of his offseason improving his 3-point shooting, second-year guard Jordan Clarkson tied his career high with 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting and a 4-of-6 clip from 3-point range. After spending recent weeks showing off his power and versatility, Lakers forward Julius Randle continued to power through with 15 points on a 7-of-13 clip. Randle went to the locker room with 3:38 left in the second quarter after getting poked in his left eye. But he returned to the court wearing goggles and still appeared dominant. After earning last year’s NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award with Toronto, Lou Williams kept the Lakers close by scoring 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. Instead, that just brought more attention on why Williams’ fourth-quarter emergence came at the expense of Russell. Though he called it a “great learning experience” to watch from the sideline and hear Metta World Peace’s feedback on spacing and defense, Russell hardly expected this role as the team’s No. 2 pick.“If Lou wasn’t playing the way he was playing, I would’ve brought him back in,” Scott said of Russell. “I have to balance that knowing he’s young and he will have to experience this stuff in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line. That’s the only way he will learn.”But the Lakers have yet to learn how to defend, something Bryant attributed to the team’s inexperience in mastering defensive reads.“The sky is the limit for them, but it’s about recognizing those situations,” Bryant said. “We have a lot of defensive potential.”Yet, that has not translated into any wins. Neither has Bryant’s reduced workload. Or Russell’s continuous learning. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error But underneath the hand-wringing surrounding the Lakers’ aging star (Bryant) and their franchise cornerstone (Russell), there is another area of concern. The Lakers keep losing, their 120-109 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday at Staples Center marking the second consecutive year they have lost their first four games. It did not help that Bryant posted only 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range, in 29 minutes. “I sit for 30 minutes,” said Bryant, who said he plans to reduce his practice regimen without sharing specifics. “If you come into the game, you’re going to be a little tight.”Or that Russell’s seven points on 3-of-11 shooting offset his six assists and partly contributed toward sitting in the entire fourth quarter. “I have no idea,” Russell said when asked what he can do to close out games. “It’s something I’ve got to deal with.” center_img As Kobe Bryant fought frustration with Father Time and a pummeling shooting percentage, Lakers coach Byron Scott encouraged him to rest.“Sometimes you need to get away from it just for a second,” Scott said. “It puts everything in perspective.”As D’Angelo Russell fought frustration with a steep learning curve and a restless fanbase, Scott suggested the Lakers’ 19-year-old rookie reduce his post-practice and pre-game routine to calm his nerves.“He can’t get wrapped up into everything being said,” Scott said. “As long as he keeps developing as a point guard in this league, he’ll be all right.”last_img read more