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OFU gathers for 82nd Annual ConventionOFU gathers for 82nd Annual Convention

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Farmers Union convened for the organization’s 82nd Annual Convention in Columbus last weekend to set state policy and hear from state and national leaders.“Legislators made a couple of regulatory changes on water quality and these were good initiatives that incrementally moved things in the right direction. They were not terribly onerous to farmers and we want to express our appreciation to them for the judicious way they did things,” said Joe Logan, Ohio Farmers Union president. “We believe when any state regulations are enforced on agriculture, they need to be targeted and limited. Define exactly what the problem is and exactly where the problem is coming from and focus your regulatory activity there rather than passing a broad regulation that impacts everyone around the state. Farmers are ready, willing and able to contribute to the solution of water quality problems, we just have to be smart about where we apply our limited state resources.”The OFU has also been working on the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program in the state.“CAUV has been a red hot issue. There are a couple of pieces of legislation in the Statehouse now and we are supportive of these for bringing more fairness and equity to farmland taxes,” Logan said. “Farmers do not mind paying their fair share, but it looks like farmers are being looked to for the lion’s share of resources to support local activities. We want to work with he House and Senate to get more equity in taxation.”OFU members also heard from Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator and U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee member Sherrod Brown.“Famers Union has been front and center on making sure family farms get a fair break out of government. I know that if agriculture succeeds, my state succeeds. You create wealth by growing it, manufacturing it or mining it and in Ohio, growing it is still a big deal,” Brown said. “We got a farm bill that really pretty well looked out for small farmers. It took money and put it into a better safety net for times when prices drop or there is catastrophic weather. Our country can’t afford to have a lot of family farmers run off the land so they do need that safety net. We have had that for 75 or 80 years since Franklin Roosevelt and Farmers Union has been on the leading edge of fighting for that safety net.”Brown also talked about the continuing challenges for Country of Origin Labeling.“The COOL debate will never be over because we never give up,” Brown said. “Consumers want to know where their food comes from.”Other topics of discussion at the event included the encroachment of private-sector owned pipelines onto private property in rural Ohio, agricultural property taxes, water quality and U.S. trade policy. OFU also considered changes to state policy in manure and nutrient management as well as the addition of a sentence to policy that states, “Money is not speech and corporations are not people.”Delegates and convention-goers also had a full slate of presentations including a talk on edge of field research by Mark Williams of USDA and an overview of current national family farm issues from National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson.“One of the big issues we are talking about is Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The problem that we have had for a long time is our huge trade deficit. That deficit results in millions of jobs leaving this country to countries we have trade agreements with. The principle cause of this is currency manipulation. We got both houses of Congress to pass language to at least get our U.S. trade representative to deal with currency manipulation in the TPP. They put a side agreement together agreeing that they would talk about it, but there is no trade enforceability,” Johnson said. “There are so many economists calling for change and the end of these rosy trade projections. We may sell more, but we are buying way more than we are selling. That is the definition of a trade deficit.”Renewable energy continues to be an important topic.“Renewable energy has been a huge priority of ours for a long time. As EPA has backed away from renewable fuels, investors have stopped investing. Why would they invest in advanced biofuels if we don’t know if we can sell what we produce? Let’s keep the RFS intact,” Johnson said. “We also recognize the science behind the changing climate. That is another one of those issues where the science is pretty compelling and we need to start doing something about this. We are big fans of giving incentives to farmers to do more to reduce our environmental footprint.”In addition OFU members heard from State Rep. Brian Hill, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and a video presentation featuring U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur.last_img read more

How farmers and their cyclops sheep led to a cancer treatment breakthroughHow farmers and their cyclops sheep led to a cancer treatment breakthrough

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Lessons of life are sometimes found in the strangest of places. That was the case for a group of Idaho ranchers in the 1950s that found a mysterious case of cyclops lambs among their sheep. That’s right — one-eyed mutant lambs were being born.An interesting video on the subject from the folks over at TED-Ed (the same group responsible for TED Talks) goes into further detail. It’s available below and I encourage you to take a moment to watch it.Long story short — the effort by the farmers to report their deformed lambs to scientists at the USDA led to a long line of discoveries that eventually resulted in the identification of a relationship between a plant compound — cyclopamine — and proteins instrumental in the biological development process. With the mystery of the cyclops sheep having been solved, scientists took the lessons learned and applied them to humans.Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome is a group of defects caused by a genetic condition. It just so happened that the protein relationships studied in the sheep mutations were also at the root of the Syndrome, which partially predisposes people to certain cancers.Though cyclopamine wasn’t the right compound to help people out, closely related molecules were the answer and new treatments have been made available in skin cancer medicines during the last five years as a result of the finding.The story hits close to home for me as I have wrestled with skin cancer (a different form than assisted by the treatments described above) at a relatively young age. How cool that the extra effort by farmers to keep their livestock healthy has helped people afflicted with something well beyond their control?Don’t underestimate a seemingly odd occurrence. Investigate it until you understand it, and who knows — maybe you’ll save some lives along the way.Also, if your livestock are being born with a mutation, be sure to get that checked out.last_img read more

Michigan Court Rules In Favor Of New Energy CodeMichigan Court Rules In Favor Of New Energy Code

first_imgHomebuilders’ Association Loses, Environment WinsLANSING, MI — The Ingham County [Michigan] Circuit Court has ruled in favor of the state of Michigan, dismissing a challenge from the Michigan Association of Home Builders (MAHB) that sought to prevent energy-efficiency requirements for new homes. According to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), “The new, energy-efficient code, adopted in 2004, had been in limbo due to legal maneuvering by the MAHB, which used the state’s legal system to circumvent the comprehensive administrative process that led to the adoption of a new, more energy efficient code. As a result, Michigan residents lost years of potential energy savings, totaling tens of millions of dollars and contributing to increased releases of environmental pollutants.”The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) is the state agency empowered to enforce building codes. According to the MEEA, “The Court found, contrary to MAHB’s arguments, that DLEG’s broad statutory authority authorized the agency to incorporate as many provisions of the International Residential Code as the agency found to result in cost-efficient updates to the rules. The October 22nd ruling by the Circuit Court lifts the injunction and dismisses the MAHB case, thereby enacting the new, more energy-efficient code.” The Michigan case is just the latest example of short-sighted attempts by a home builders’ association to erect roadblocks to cost-effective energy-efficiency measures.last_img read more

Teacher profile: Debraj MookerjeeTeacher profile: Debraj Mookerjee

first_imgKnown for his passion and zeal to teach, this 46 year old associate professor in literature at Ramjas College, University of Delhi is immensely popular for bringing alive the subject. Here is a chance to know the lighter side of Professor Debraj Mookerjee as he discusses life beyond the classroom with Devika Jeet.Beacon of light: I am very passionate about my work and take an interest in it. I treat each classroom as a zone where I am suppose to perform, just like actor or cricketer, I enter my zone and try and give my best performance. I am like an open book in class and my child like curiosity helps the flow of ideas and discussions.Choice beyond doubt: In 1989, I got into this profession and decided on this line of work. When I tried to look 20 years ahead, I saw myself as a teacher and realised this was my calling. If not a teacher, I would want to be part of the media industry as I am told I am a good communicator. I would not have entered the private sector but might have considered sports.Ray of hope: The one thing I would want to change about the students is their conservative mindsets. Students need to move beyond the traditional ways of looking at things and need to open their minds. The youth needs to be more sensitive to social issues and show a greater level of interest in bringing change. A book I recommend for all students is J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, a story that unravels assumptions.Beyond duty: I love photography and have a huge passion for taking pictures. I enjoy travelling and my favourite holiday destinations are Turkey and Goa. I enjoy tinkering with things, reading, writing. I like travel writing. I like thinking, conceptualising and at the cost of sounding like an amateur sociologist I would say, life is a hobby for me.Soul passion: I love listening to all kinds of music. I enjoy devotional music from all parts of the world. Listening to music is a very private experience for me. It moves me and takes me into a trance. It makes me cry also. I don’t like discussing or sharing my music with anyone. I don’t talk about it. I have a deep love for music and the reverence of religion in my life is given to music.My inspiration: I have had various inspirations throughout life but I can’t pin-point at one person. At different stages of life different things have inspired me. In third year of college, I read The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone which really moved me. Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi have had counter intrusive theories and were able to merge morality with politics. Being an atheist I am inspired by their thoughts and ideas and look at them as people.A revolution in education: Indians are good consumers of knowledge but not good producers. Out of the box thinking is not promoted and there is not much focus on innovation, which is the trigger to produce knowledge. Here primary education is free but because of its quality people opt for private educational institutes, whereas at the university level the government institutes are considered better than the private ones. Good quality free universal education is imperative as young people want jobs with employable skills and the ultimate skill lies in good schooling.advertisementlast_img read more

10 months agoAl-Ahly signing Mahmoud: I rejected transfer advice from Liverpool ace Salah10 months agoAl-Ahly signing Mahmoud: I rejected transfer advice from Liverpool ace Salah

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Al-Ahly signing Mahmoud: I rejected transfer advice from Liverpool ace Salahby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEgyptian midfielder Mohamed Mahmoud has revealed he rejected advice from Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah when choosing his next club.Mahmoud has just left Wadi Degla for Al-Ahly – turning down three major European clubs in the process.The 20 year-old said, “I declined three offers from Europe, I received offers from TSG Hoffenheim, FC Basel and Ajax, but I chose Al-Ahly.”When I received the offer from Basel, Mohamed Salah advised me to choose them, even before I talked to Al-Ahly.”Mahmoud decided to remain in Egypt for the benefit of his career development. last_img read more

25 days agoSheffield Utd boss Wilder tells Henderson: You must improve25 days agoSheffield Utd boss Wilder tells Henderson: You must improve

first_imgSheffield Utd boss Wilder tells Henderson: You must improveby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United boss Chris Wilder has told Dean Henderson to cut out the mistakes if he wants to be an England star.The Blades goalkeeper was left distraught when his second-half blunder at Bramall Lane on Saturday gifted all three points to Liverpool.Wilder said: “He has the raw qualities. As you have seen here, he makes big saves, but he has to learn from experience and he has to grow.”This is a big season for him individually. It is up to him how he develops. He has got first-class coaching from our point of view.”He has got team-mates that think a lot about him and as a manager, I do as well. He is an outstanding young goalkeeper but a lot will be down to how he takes it on to the next level.”He has proved himself at every level. He has come back from mistakes. He made a huge one last year against Leeds and came back and contributed and he made a couple in a high profile Championship game against Aston Villa and came back.”So that is the reaction, but from my point of view I don’t want him to make mistakes and he can’t afford to make mistakes to drag himself out of a hole.”First and foremost, he has to cut that out, because as with all the top goalkeepers that play, mistakes are very few and far between.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

4 days ago​Pochettino calls for unity amidst Spurs downturn4 days ago​Pochettino calls for unity amidst Spurs downturn

first_img​Pochettino calls for unity amidst Spurs downturnby Freddie Taylor4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino wants to see unity from his players.The Argentine manager knows the club is going through an uncertain period.The futures of many senior players are in question, with their contracts set to run out in the summer.But Pochettino believes the squad must stick together to achieve anything this season.He told reporters: “It is not the moment to talk [about transfers], when the time arrives we are going to take that decision in one way or another.”Now is the time to stay all together, all of the squad, with the staff and the fans and try and change the atmosphere.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Greek companies need 10 bn euros to surviveGreek companies need 10 bn euros to survive

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Restructuring the Greek business sector will require some 25 billion euros for the viable enterprises to stand out from the unsustainables, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates in a report presented this week in Athens.Titled “The Prospects of Greek Enterprises on their Way Out of the Crisis: Stars & Zombies,” the study is expressly in favour of the immediate liquidation of 650 problematic corporations with the write-off of 15 billion euros of debts by the banks, while the funding needs of the companies with sustainability features amount to 10 billion euros.The PwC study, which focused on 2,950 firms, has concluded that 650 enterprises have trapped funds as they absorb more resources than they produce and therefore deprive potentially healthy firms of the resources they have greater need of.According to PwC’s general director in Greece, Costas Mitropoulos, the liquidation of troubled enterprises and the write-off of those debts is feasible for banks as they have already made their provisions. Such an initiative would allow for the more efficient management of the firms that have resisted the pressures from the financial crisis and are showing potential.The survey found that 1,269 enterprises are showing cash flow and borrowing problems and require initiatives for restructuring, funding and share capital increases, with which the banks will have to deal separately and individually. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the economic climate favours the restructuring of enterprises, as it confirms the liquidity that exists in the market and the investment interest by private equity firms, with over 2,000 investment opportunities waiting.The debts of the 650 so-called zombies amount to 25 per cent of loan portfolios and their restructuring will release liquidity and assets worth 2 billion euros that will return to economic production, the study found. Source: ekathimerinilast_img read more

Sarri Marcos Alonso can improve defensivelySarri Marcos Alonso can improve defensively

first_imgChelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes that Marcos Alonso is a “very good player” but should work on his defensive aspect of the game.Alonso has been influential since joining Chelsea for £24 million in 2016. He has made 67 appearances for the West London club.The Spaniard seems to be flourishing under Sarri, adapting well to a back four formation, having played as a wing-back in former manager Conte’s 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 formations.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“Alonso played very well in three matches. I think he’s a very good player and he can improve in the defensive phase,” Sarri told Sky Sports.“He has physical qualities at the top level so I think he can do more in the defensive phase but I am not worried, he is a very good player but I think he can do more.”Alonso scored the winning goal in a 3-2 London derby victory against Arsenal on August 18 and provided two assists against Newcastle in a 2-1 Chelsea win last weekend.last_img read more