1 Mar
2021

Sustaining the momentum

first_imgFrom a Harvard Medical School (HMS) team that switched to reusable containers for sharp objects, thereby eliminating 11,000 boxes of waste, to a Harvard Business School (HBS) move to make its executive education programs sustainable, teams and individuals from around the University were recognized for their efforts through the Green Carpet Awards on Monday (April 11).Presented by the Office for Sustainability (OFS), the Green Carpet Awards honored 55 individual winners and seven teams, showcasing the creativity and passion that Harvard’s sustainability leaders bring to their efforts. The program, modeled after the Academy Awards, offered some lighthearted takes on sustainability, with an actual green carpet for winners to walk, a tongue-in-cheek music video about turning off lights, and student singers the Harvard Opportunes offering “Greening up Harvard’s Campus,” a takeoff on the Gladys Knight and the Pips tune “Midnight Train to Georgia,” pledging that they’re “working to find — ways to reduce waaaaste and crime.”Award winner Henry Kesner (right) dons a Kermit the Frog glove as he is congratulated by OFS Director Heather Henriksen.The event also featured several video messages to winners and supporters in the audience, with President Drew Faust assuring the audience that Harvard is on its way to achieving its sustainability goals and that its campus is a living laboratory for improvement programs.“We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. Our success will depend on each one of you,” Faust said.Later in the program, HBS Professor Robert Kaplan, an executive committee member of Harvard’s greenhouse gas reduction program, said that the University has been making progress toward its reduction goals, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent from 2006 levels by the end of 2010. When the emissions of 3 million square feet of newly opened buildings are eliminated from calculations, the reduction is much larger, 20 percent below 2006 levels, Kaplan said. The University’s goal is to cut overall emissions — including those from new construction — from 2006 levels by 30 percent by 2016.The Office for Sustainability was itself singled out for praise by several recipients for its role encouraging and supporting a variety of individual and group initiatives.Winners and finalists showcased the breadth of the sustainability effort at Harvard. In addition to the HBS green executive education program and the HMS sharps waste reduction program, team winners included the first School-wide Green Office program, at Harvard Divinity School; a green building project at the Harvard School of Public Health at 90 Smith St. in Boston; a solar heat and recovered steam heat system in the Canaday undergraduate dormitory; and a Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) building project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the LISE building. A comprehensive list of winners can be found on the OFS website.The awards program also honored Harvard Kennedy School’s Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development William Clark and FAS Senior Director of Operations Jay Phillips for leadership, with the Spengler-Vautin Special Achievement Award, named after two who played a pivotal role in fostering sustainability: Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation Jack Spengler, and former acting Vice President for Administration Tom Vautin, who retired last year.Harvard Kennedy School’s Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development William Clark (pictured) and FAS Senior Director of Operations Jay Phillips were honored for leadership with the Spengler-Vautin Special Achievement Award, named after two who played a pivotal role in fostering sustainability.Both Clark and Phillips said any achievements they have made in the area of sustainability were due to the inspiration and passion provided by those with whom they work. Clark praised Harvard’s overall efforts, but said there are two areas where more has to be done: transportation and campus biodiversity.OFS Director Heather Henriksen left the audience with a challenge, saying the stories of winners highlighted at the ceremony should inspire all to continue to innovate and to bring good ideas back to their Schools and departments.“We are counting on your creativity and leadership to help save the planet and help solve the global environmental challenges,” Henriksen said.last_img read more

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19 Sep
2020

Cricket News Rohit Sharma on the cusp of equalling Sourav Ganguly’s brilliant record

first_imghighlights Rohit Sharma needs just 46 runs to reach 8000 runs in ODIs.Rohit Sharma needs 76 runs more to reach 2000 runs against Australia.Rohit Sharma will equal Sourav Ganguly’s tally of reaching 8000 runs in 200 innings. Rohit also has a fabulous record against Australia. He has hit 69 sixes against them, which is the most any player has ever hit against Australia in ODIs. He also has seven hundreds, which is the third-most by a player in ODIs against the five-time World Champions, behind Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of nine tons and Virat Kohli’s eight centuries. If Rohit Sharma scores 76 more runs, he will become only the fourth player in history to score 2000 ODI runs against Australia. Sachin Tendulkar once again stands on top with 3077 runs in 71 ODIs against Australia at an average of 44.59. Desmond Haynes and Sir Vivian Richards of the West Indies are second and third respectively with 2262 and 2187 runs respectively. Heading into the final ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla, both teams will back themselves to win the series. India are playing at home and have not lost a series since 2015 while Australia are determined to break their rut in ODIs, having not won a bilateral series since January 2017 when they defeated Pakistan 4-1 at home. New Delhi: Rohit Sharma roared back to form in the Mohali ODI with a brilliant 95 and shared a 193-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan, who also showed his mettle with his 16th century. Rohit and Dhawan were unable to stitch some solid stands at the top for some games and it came as a welcome relief for Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which begins on May in England. The five-match ODI series is evenly poised at 2-2, with Australia staging a brilliant comeback with wins in the Ranchi and Mohali ODIs after India had won the Hyderabad and Nagpur ODIs. Heading into the final game at the Feroz Shah Kotla, which will be the last international assignment for India before the World Cup, there are a couple of interesting landmarks for Rohit. The Mumbai right-hander has 7954 runs from 205 matches and 199 innings. The Delhi ODI will be his 200th innings and he is just 46 runs away from reaching 8000 ODI runs. If he achieves this feat, he will equal Sourav Ganguly’s tally and become the second-fastest Indian player to reach the milestone. Ganguly had also achieved the feat in his 200th innings but he had played 208 matches when he achieved it against West Indies in the 2002 ODI in Nagpur.  For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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17 Sep
2020

SB : Syracuse to open home schedule with historic two games inside Carrier Dome

first_img Comments Published on March 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nicktoneytweets Facebook Twitter Google+center_img After an email from the Alabama athletic department planted the idea in Leigh Ross’ mind in 2006, she became captivated with the thought of the Syracuse softball team hosting a game inside the Carrier Dome.For the Syracuse head coach, the opportunity was too unique to pass up, especially when the Crimson Tide was offering to travel north for a three-game series. So Ross, then in her first season at the helm, promised to make the Carrier Dome host Orange softball one day.‘I didn’t even know we were practicing inside, so that email from Alabama was the first bug I got,’ Ross said of the email.It took almost six years, but Ross’ dream will finally take place this weekend. SU will play two games this weekend in the Carrier Dome – the first softball games played in Syracuse’s iconic arena.Though the Duel at the Dome tournament will feature Colgate and Canisius as the Orange’s opponents instead of an Alabama tripleheader, SU decided to take advantage of an early bye week in its Big East schedule to host the games inside.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Thursday, the crew at the Carrier Dome will transform the football and lacrosse field into a softball diamond for two games this weekend. Syracuse will play indoors for its first home game of the season Friday when it takes on Colgate at 7 p.m. The Orange will play the second game against Canisius on Saturday at 6 p.m.‘We don’t get to play too many home games because of the weather,’ Ross said. ‘I think players are excited to have friends and family come be a part of something like this.’Ross said SU plans on making the Duel at the Dome an annual tournament. Next year, the Orange anticipates hosting teams earlier in the nonconference schedule when the weather makes outdoor games impossible.Even though SU could play outside this weekend in the unseasonably warm weather, second baseman Stephanie Watts is excited to be part of the first home game in the Carrier Dome.‘The weather isn’t traditionally like this in March,’ Watts said. ‘We love to play outside, but I think this can be a great jumping off point for SU going forward. The Carrier Dome is such a landmark here, so I think it’s awesome for everyone involved.’Watts said that if Syracuse plans to make the Duel at the Dome an annual event, freshmen players may get the most from SU’s first Dome game. She said that younger players can get a feel for the Carrier Dome early. Then they can use that knowledge to their advantage against opponents later to establish a home-field advantage at the Dome.This Orange team may not yet know how the ball bounces on the Carrier Dome turf. But if this weekend is as big a success as Ross hopes, that knowledge could come in handy against marquee opponents.Catcher Lacey Kohl doesn’t want this game to be a novelty. The softball program can use the games this weekend to gain more national attention, and it has shown that the athletic department is devoting more attention to the softball program.‘It really means a lot that everything they’re doing is geared toward making the Dome more softball-friendly,’ Kohl said. ‘Even small things like screwing the bases into the turf make a difference. That’s what softball schools do.’What’s good for traditional softball powers should be good for the up-and-comers like SU. Two weeks ago, the Orange defeated three ranked opponents at the Citrus Classic tournament in Orlando, Fla. The team has also played Arizona, UCLA and California – three elite softball programs.A successful Duel at the Dome could mean more emails in Ross’ inbox from those teams about traveling to play SU for a change.‘I think ultimately it brings more attention to our program,’ Ross said. ‘It’ll be neat for the girls to play in this game.’[email protected]last_img read more

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12 Aug
2020

Double triumph for England at St Rule Trophy

first_img1 Jun 2014 Double triumph for England at St Rule Trophy England scored a double triumph at the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews when Alice Hewson won the U18 prize and combined with Meghan MacLaren and Bethan Popel to win the Nations Cup. Alice (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire) took the U18 honours with scores which included a nine-under par 67 on the Old Course. It was the best score of the final round and just one shot outside the women’s course record. Earlier, on the new Course, she has scores of 72 and 80 and finished tied fourth overall on seven-under par. Alice, 16, won the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale last week and clearly took her good form to St Andrews. Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) finished just ahead of her in third place overall, with scores of 72, 74, 71. Bethan Popel (Long Ashton, Gloucestershire) also beat par, finishing 14th on two-under par: 74, 74, 76. The England trio of Alice, Meghan and Bethan combined for a team total of 430, followed by France on 441, with Scotland and Belgium tied for third on 450. The individual championship was won by Scotland’s Jess Meek, who beat France’s Aaelle Carnet at the third hole of a sudden-death play-off. Caption: Alice Hewson (left) and Meghan MacLaren with the U18 and team trophies respectively.last_img read more

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12 Aug
2020

Three England teams selected for ÔSir Henry Cooper’

first_img Three mixed teams will represent England in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters at Nizels Golf & Country Club, Kent, from 16-19 June. Team one is: Sharna Dutrieux of Kent, Oliver Clarke of Lancashire and Charlie Strickland of Sussex. Team two is: Lily May Humphreys of Essex, John Gough of Berkshire and Harry Goddard of Hertfordshire. Team three is: Annabell Fuller of Surrey, Jake Benson of Nottinghamshire (image © Leaderboard Photography) and Arrun Singh-Brar of Surrey. The players: Team One Sharna Dutrieux, 17, (Wrotham Heath) tied second in the Critchley Salver, was third in the Hampshire Rose and was leading amateur in the Roehampton Gold Cup where she was fourth overall. She shared eighth place in the Scottish girls’ championship. Oliver Clarke, 17, (Hillside) was fifth in the Fairhaven Trophies and eighth in the recent Hampshire Salver. Last year he won the U17 trophy at the Irish boys’ amateur and was third overall; he also tied third at the Canadian International Junior Challenge. Charlie Strickland, 17, (Ham Manor) is a boy international who tied for the McGregor Trophy last year and was beaten in the three-way play-off. He shared fourth place in this season’s Berkhamsted Trophy. Team two Lily May Humphreys, 14, (Channels) is the English U14 girls’ champion. This season her results include winning the Fairhaven Trophies taking fourth place is the recent WPGA one-day event at Little Aston and finishing runner-up at the Critchley Salver. John Gough, 17, (Stoke Park) was eighth on the 2015 England boys’ order of merit after finishing second in the Telegraph Junior Championship and fifth in the Carris Trophy. He reached the last 16 of this season’s French boys’ international and was 11th in the Peter McEvoy Trophy. Harry Goddard, 16, (Hanbury Manor) reached the quarter finals of the French boys’ international and was ninth in the Fairhaven Trophies. Last season he won the North of England U16 championship and was third in the German Junior Masters. He was an U16 boy international. Team three Annabell Fuller, 14, (Roehampton) was runner up in the Scottish U18 girls’ championship and in the U16 spring championship at Hawkstone Park. She had top ten finishes in last year’s English and Scottish U14 championships. Jake Benson, 17, (Beeston Fields) tied for the U16 Hazards Trophy at last year’s English U18 boys’ championship, where he was 10th overall. He also helped England U16s to their clean sweep in their autumn home internationals. Arrun Singh-Brar, 17, (Foxhills) had top ten finishes in last season’s Peter McEvoy Trophy, the German Junior Masters and in qualifying for the British boys’ championship. This season he reached the matchplay stages of the French boys’ international championship. 6 Jun 2016 Three England teams selected for ÔSir Henry Cooper’ last_img read more

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12 Aug
2020

Pirates rally in 9th behind Alvarez and Marte; beat Blue Jays 6-5

first_imgPittsburgh Pirates’ Starling Marte (6) gets a hug from Pedro Alvarez, right, after Marte hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, May 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Alvarez had hit a two-run homer earlier in the inning to tie the game. The Pirates won 6-5. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates probably thought they were in for another long night.They arrived home in Pittsburgh at 3:33 a.m. Friday after the second game of their doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles went into extra innings. The Pirates appeared on their way to playing another late one Friday night when Pedro Alvarez hit a tying two-run homer off Sergio Santos in the ninth.But two batters later, Starling Marte followed with a winning drive into the bullpen in left-center, giving the Pirates a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.Manager Clint Hurdle, who moved Marte from batting leadoff to the seventh spot in the lineup Thursday and six-hole Friday, hopes the win can get his players and team some “traction.”“It’s been a while since Pedro has been able to ride one out of the ballpark,” Hurdle said. “Marte’s at-bats have gotten bigger, none bigger than that one. Those kind of at-bats can create a spark, create more momentum and more traction.”Marte knew the ball was gone as soon as he hit it.“That’s what I want,” Marte said. “No matter what spot I hit in.”Santos (0-2) entered with a 5-3 lead and allowed a leadoff single to Neil Walker. He struck out Andrew McCutchen, and Alvarez followed with his seventh homer this season. Pinch-hitter Ike Davis flied out, and Marte hit the first game-ending homer of his big league career.Alvarez’s homer broke a two-week home run drought for the third baseman who led the National League last season.“Obviously, (hitting the home run) feels really good,” Alvarez said. “It kept us in the game, but of course anytime I can get a clutch hit for the team, to contribute to a W, it’s huge.”Mark Melancon (1-1) pitched a hitless ninth for the win. After converting his first four save chances this season, Santos has blown three of his last four for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last nine games and continue to have issues in the bullpen.“We played such a great game today and it stinks to blow it,” Santos said.Toronto manager John Gibbons noted the injuries to reliever Casey Janssen and Dustin McGowan as aspects that have hindered the Blue Jays’ performance at the end of games.“It’s a totally different look and I think we’re suffering for it,” Gibbons said. “But the game doesn’t let you up.”McCutchen had three hits for Pittsburgh, which outhit the Blue Jays 17-10. The Pirates won for just the third time in 13 games and the fifth time in their last 20.Pirates starter Gerrit Cole allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, failing to reach the sixth for the first time in six starts this season. Cole said he was “a little off” Friday night.“I wasn’t executing a handful of pitches there,” Cole said. “They beat me on some good pitches.”Toronto’s Brandon Morrow gave up three runs and 11 hits in five innings. After walking eight batters in his last start, Morrow walked just one Friday.“I just forgot about that and went out and threw the way I’d been throwing before that,” Morrow said. “I wasn’t thinking about that and I don’t think it was strange to come out and have good command today.”In his first at-bat in Pittsburgh since 2008, Jose Bautista hit a two-out double in the first and scored on a double by Edwin Encarnacion.Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead on Jordy Mercer’s run-scoring, double-play grounder in the second and McCutchen’s RBI single in the third.Colby Rasmus hit his sixth homer of the season in the fourth, a two-run drive, and Bautista had an RBI double in the fifth that made it 4-2.McCutchen’s run-scoring single cut the deficit in the bottom half, but Toronto regained a two-run lead in the sixth on pinch-hitter Steve Tolleson’s run-scoring, two-out triple off Justin Wilson.Hurdle was keen not to forget about Casey Sadler making his major league debut Friday night. Sadler pitched two scoreless innings, gave up a hit and struck out one.“He was able to come in and keep the game right where it was,” Hurdle said. “Not to be lost in everything else that went on because he kept it right there at a two-run deficit.”NOTES: Bautista has a 12-game hitting streak and has reached based in all 29 games he’s played this season. … Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (2-3, 5.09 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday against Francisco Liriano (0-3, 3.97).last_img read more

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12 Aug
2020

Burnett back with Pirates for $8.5M, 1-year deal

first_imgA.J. Burnett (File Photo)PITTSBURGH (AP) – A.J. Burnett believes his right arm has one – and only one – season left in it. The pitcher has no intentions of letting it go to waste.Spurning a chance to remain with floundering Philadelphia, Burnett agree to an $8.5 million, one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.“This is where I belong,” Burnett said. “There are certain feelings you get, certain gut things and this was a no-brainer for me.”Burnett went 26-21 for the Pirates in 2012-13, helping the franchise return to the postseason in 2013 following a 21-year drought. He’ll receive $4.25 million less from the Pirates than he would have gotten from the Phillies under the player option he declined.“I didn’t want to make it about money,” Burnett said. “I wanted to make it an opportunity if I can come back and make the team better.”Pittsburgh attempted to re-sign Burnett last winter but he opted for a more lucrative deal with the Phillies.It didn’t quite work out.Dealing with a hernia all season, Burnett went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA in 34 starts. His 18 losses led the majors. He underwent surgery on Oct. 3 to repair the hernia and said he’ll be ready when the Pirates report for spring training in February.“I’m feeling good,” Burnett said. “I had relief the day I got out of that operation.”Good enough to return for a 17th season. He’ll do it in Pittsburgh instead of Philadelphia after he and the Phillies declined a $15 million mutual option, and the pitcher then turned down his player option. Shortly after the World Series ended, Burnett reached out to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington to see if there was any interest.“I told him I’ll pitch for you, I want to be in a place where I was really, really happy,” Burnett said.Burnett provided the Pirates with a jolt of legitimacy when he arrived in a trade from the New York Yankees before the 2012 season, though his final moments with the club were not his best. The Pirates started rookie Gerrit Cole over Burnett in Game 5 of the 2013 NL Division Series against St. Louis after the Cardinals roughed Burnett up in Game 1 of the series, and Burnett fumed.He spoke with manager Clint Hurdle for more than 30 minutes before he signed to clear the air and insisted any lingering animosity is gone.“If I had to do it all over again, I would handle it a little bit differently with (Hurdle),” Burnett said.Pittsburgh is searching for insurance in the starting rotation with Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez while also trying to bring back catcher Russell Martin. Huntington insists Burnett’s return won’t keep the Pirates from being as aggressive as they can be in the market.“We still have interest in adding to our club,” Huntington said. “A.J. gives us another quality starter. That doesn’t stop us from continuing to look to add other guys.”Burnett served as a mentor to several members of Pittsburgh’s young pitching staff, including Cole and left-hander Jeff Locke, who became an unlikely All-Star in 2013 thanks in large part to Burnett’s guidance.“Welcome back Batman,” Locke tweeted shortly after the deal was announced.Despite Burnett’s mediocre numbers last season, Huntington is confident Burnett can regain the form she showed during his previous stint in Pittsburgh, where he worked with pitching coach Ray Searage to revitalize his career.“We do feel the hernia hindered him some,” Huntington said. “We do believe there were other factors, some indicators that we still think there’s a good pitcher here.”One intent to help Pittsburgh, which fell to eventual World Series champion San Francisco in the wild card last month, get back to the World Series for the first time since 1979.“This is where I want to finish my career,” Burnett said. “I want to win a ring and I want to win a ring in Pittsburgh.”last_img read more

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19 Jan
2020

Marbury opts for final season with Beijing Fly Dragons

first_imgMOST READ In 2010, Marbury jumped to the Chinese Basketball Association, playing for Shanxi and Foshan before settling in with the Ducks and sparking them to CBA crowns in 2012, 2014 and 2015 before parting ways with the club last April.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return LATEST STORIES ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslationcenter_img View comments LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Former NBA superstar Stephon Marbury celebrates after his team, the Beijing Ducks, won their first-ever Chinese championship in Beijing on March 30, 2012. Led by former NBA badboy Marbury, who scored 41 points as the host team knocked off title holders Guangdong Tigers 124-121. AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO / STRFormer NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury said Wednesday he is headed back to Beijing for one final pro season, but will not be playing for the same Chinese Basketball Association squad.Marbury announced in an Instagram posting that he will play next season for the Beijing Fly Dragons after playing from 2011 through earlier this year with the Beijing Ducks.ADVERTISEMENT “I’m staying in Beijing for my last and final season. The other Beijing team,” Marbury wrote on Instagram beside a photo of himself and the Fly Dragons logo.“I have to put on for the city no matter the team. It’s a different mission and vision over here in the JING. The fans said stay so I’m staying. They said, ‘we will love you no matter where you go’ It’s hard to leave that type of love.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The 40-year-old point guard began his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996, taken fourth overall by Milwaukee but swapped to the T-Wolves for the rights to the player taken after him, Ray Allen.“Starbury” was an NBA All-Star for the New Jersey Nets in 2001 and Phoenix Suns in 2003 before joining his hometown New York Knicks from 2004-2009. Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano ONE Championship gets cash for major growthlast_img read more

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20 Dec
2019

Can President Donald Trump refuse latest offer from Jose Canseco?

first_imgAs evidenced by his latest outlandish offer to President Donald Trump, it’s clear that former Oakland A’s star Jose Canseco still likes swinging for the fences.With his tweet to the president Wednesday, Canseco is bidding not only to help run the White House, the notorious steroid user is also offering to pump up Mr. Trump.Hey little buddy @realDonaldTrump u need a bash brother for Chief if Staff. Got a secret reorg plan already. Also worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday. I …last_img

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18 Dec
2019

National crop commodity organizations looking to re-focus efforts moving forward

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest At the national level, corn, soybean and wheat commodity organizations are looking to assess their priorities for the future and focus on their strengths. There was an update outlining the plans for the future from each national organization at the December Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium held in Columbus.The National Corn Growers Association’s strategic plan will seek to enhance consumer trust, and related objectives. The plan will include strategies for key NCGA programs in that effort, including its participation in the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, CommonGround and the Corn Farmers Coalition.“We are looking into where we want to be at in five years with the development of a strategic plan,” said Anthony Bush, who serves on the NCGA Board and farms in Morrow County. “We felt like we were an inch deep and a mile wide and we felt like we really needed to focus on what we were good at. We are working on that and it will be coming out the end of January.”Ohio’s Jed Bower, of Fayette County, is serving on the NCGA Public Policy Action Team overseeing the development of the strategic plan.The American Soybean Association is also taking a strategic look at goals for the future.“ASA has gone through a large change in the past year. We are trying to find out where our pinpoint should be and it needs to be with our relationships with our senators and representatives on the important issues for us. We need to build domestic demand and expand our international market access,” said Bret Davis, who serves on the ASA board and farms in Delaware County. “The new ASA strategic plan focuses on demand goals, policy, trade and regulatory issues, and providing additional financial resources for policy work through new opportunities and providing states with flexibility to let them do what they do best.”These goals encompass a broad range of issues that will demand attention in the coming years.“High oleic soybeans are making a big difference in what our food systems are going to be needing. And aquaculture is a good place to use soybean meal in the food rations and that has been a real plus in the meal markets. It is a growing market that we can supply,” Davis said. “We are looking at freedom to operate too. If we can’t do the job that we are allowed to do by our consumers and regulators, it hurts in our pockets.”A strategy for the future certainly must include the recent changes in the Panama Canal, a key transportation boon for soybeans in particular.“We just went to Panama and got to see the Canal as it was being finished — what a difference that will make to allow us to move our beans to where they need to go,” Davis said.Other key issues include biotech labeling, a possible two-year extension on the biodiesel tax credit, and important trade relationships, including Cuba.“One of the great things I have seen in the last few years is that the soy industry is working so well together and our farmer-to-farmer relations have been fantastic and that is what it takes — working together for the soybean industry,” Davis said.David Schemm, a Kansas farmer with the National Association of Wheat Growers, talked about the importance of a strategic plan for the nation’s wheat growers.“The National Wheat Action Plan is in the beginning stages right now to get profitability back into wheat. It is not one single area but several areas that are needed to get profitability back into wheat right now. Mills are helping transition acres into organic wheat production to satisfy a market that they need more supply for. We are not saying organic is for everyone but it may work to increase profitability for some farms,” Schemm said. “We represent a huge part of the country geographically. Our major policy areas we have been working on for the past year are farm bill implementation, transportation and tax policy. We need to have one strong voice in agriculture on one united front on these issues. Grassroots engagement is the key.”The idea behind the Wheat Action Plan is to raise productivity so that wheat no longer loses acreage to corn and soybeans by being less economically appealing. NAWG calculates that for every $10 spent on public and private industry corn research in 2014, only 70 cents went into wheat research.Additional goals in the plan included genetic improvements for wheat yields, developing strong resistance to fusarium head blight (or scab), improved rust resistance for high moisture years, and drought tolerance. Opening trade barriers and expanding wheat exports are also key priorities.last_img read more

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