Rural Georgia Conference

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaThe 2004 Celebrating Rural Georgia Conference Aug. 16-18 inDalton, Ga., will focus on “positioning rural Georgia to prosperin the global economy.”Around 800 community leaders from throughout rural Georgia areexpected to attend the conference’s workshops on more than adozen topics. The program will include sessions on: CRG is a collaboration of public and private organizationscommitted to supporting rural Georgia. It allows people who liveand work in rural areas to come together for a common cause.The event will begin with noon registration Aug. 16 and end at 1p.m. Aug. 18. For more about the program and how to attend, visitthe CRG Web site ( call (404) 679-1588, or e-mail Leadership development.Rural health, education and human services.Entrepreneur and small business resources.Tourism and marketing.Quality growth.Historic preservation.Fine arts, leisure and recreation.Housing alternatives.Economic development.Public-private partnerships.Communications technology.Infrastructure financing.Community development.Innovative agriculture.Environmental stewardship.last_img read more

Black Shank Disease

first_imgApril showers washed away chemical treatments and provided moisture for infections in 2014, causing Georgia farmers to lose between 4 and 5 percent of the state’s 12,000-plus tobacco acres to black shank disease. Black shank disease doesn’t have the far-reaching impact in tobacco that tomato spotted wilt virus does, but it can still be devastating to some Georgia farmers, according to Paul Bertrand, University of Georgia plant pathologist.Bertrand said the 2014 tobacco growing season was one of the worst in Georgia for black shank disease. Officially retired, Bertrand works part time on the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Tifton Campus studying tobacco diseases.The key to avoiding a similar fate in 2015 is for farmers to choose more resistant varieties, he said.Farmers that have a history of black shank disease in their fields should plant CC 143, NC-925 or GL-925 varieties, he said. UGA researchers tested all three of these varieties last year in Georgia fields known for black shank disease, and each performed well despite disease-favoring conditions.“I believe that we had a full month (April) where infections were possible, and the primary chemical controls were subject to leeching out if they got too wet,” Bertrand said. “It was a combination of conditions favorable for infections and loss of chemicals.”Farmers impacted the most were in Coffee and Berrien counties, Georgia’s top tobacco-producing counties.“This year, it started early and we had some above-average losses. We had 20 to 30 percent losses in some fields,” said Coffee County agricultural and natural resources (ANR) Extension agent Mark von Waldner.Berrien County ANR Extension agent Eddie Beasley helped spearhead variety trial research in hopes of finding more resistant varieties that don’t compromise yield.“What we really want to do is find a variety that is totally resistant or that there’s such a small percentage of infection that you can grow it without having to use a lot of fungicides,” Beasley said. Unlike tomato spotted wilt virus, black shank disease does impact all tobacco farmers. Farmers that farm in fields with a history of black shank disease are subject to its destructive path, as the disease is always present in the ground.“I know a farmer in Coffee County that had a complete loss on 9 acres. That was 10 to 15 percent of his total acreage,” Bertrand said. “It doesn’t sound like much, 9 acres, but if you grow 90 acres, that’s 10 percent of your crop that’s gone. They’ve also lost chemical costs, fertilizer costs and plant costs.”Bertrand also attributes the disease’s effectiveness to an imperfect management system. Chemical treatments have to be applied to the base of the roots, since the disease moves upward through the plant. To control the disease, the root has to absorb the chemical before it leeches out. If it rains, which was the case for most of last April, farmers can’t get in the field to apply the chemicals, leaving their plants vulnerable.According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Coffee County produced 1,846 acres of tobacco in 2013, generating a $6.8 million farm gate value. Berrien was second at 1,461 acres, with a $5.3 million farm gate value.last_img read more

CAES Fulbright

first_imgFrom the time he left high school, University of Georgia doctoral candidate Fawad Khan knew he wanted to use his interest in biology to help farmers.Although he grew up in the city, he knew that a major part of his native Pakistan’s economy was farm based. If he wanted to improve people’s lives, he could make a big impact by working in agriculture.“Even though I was from the city, I saw how farmers worked and the challenges they faced,” Khan said. “I wanted to see how I could integrate my knowledge of agricultural sciences to help them improve their outcomes, to improve their farming practices.”It was that drive to improve the livelihoods and lives of farmers that led him to UGA as a Fulbright Fellow. The Fulbright Fellowship Program, which covers all of the expenses associated with earning a doctoral degree, is part of the larger Fulbright Program established in 1946 to improve international relations, cultural diplomacy and intercultural competence through the exchange of people, knowledge and skills. It is considered one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world.During their stay in the U.S., Fulbright Fellows are expected to share information about their home countries with their U.S. colleagues and with community groups. After completing their degrees, fellows return to their home country where they are expected to assume leadership roles in their fields while also sharing their experiences in the U.S. For Khan, his Fulbright Fellowship meant being able to take his research and career to next level.After earning his master’s degree, Khan spent two years as a visiting lecturer at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Layyah, Pakistan, and later was a full-time entomology lecturer for three years at Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture in Multan, Pakistan. “As my career progressed, I felt the need for better academic and research training,” Khan said. “The prestigious Fulbright Program provided me with a lifetime opportunity to pursue my dreams.”Khan is working under the supervision of Shimat V. Joseph, an assistant entomology professor at UGA’s Griffin campus. For his dissertation, he is looking at the use of beneficial insects to manage insect pests in different turfgrass systems.“Beneficial insects, including predators and parasitoids, play a role in managing the insects pests in different farming systems across the globe,” he said.In early June, Khan was one of three UGA graduate students to attend the 55th conference of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) in Washington, D.C. Khan’s attendance at the AIARD conference was funded with a scholarship from UGA alumnus Hiram Larew, who retired in 2015 as director of international programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “Like all states, Georgia has an important stake in international agriculture, so I’m very pleased that Fawad was able to participate in this year’s AIARD Conference, which was themed ‘Building Resilience in Global Agriculture,’” Larew said. “By attending, he had a front-row seat in important discussions that affect agricultural trade, science, policy and assistance. And he was joined by two fellow students who received Future Leader Scholarships from AIARD. Go Dawgs!”  Also attending this year’s conference were Chandler Mulvaney, a master’s student in agricultural and environmental education, and Chandler Levinson, a doctoral candidate in plant breeding, genetics and genomics.Both Mulvaney and Levinson were selected for AIARD’s Future Leaders Forum, a competitive fellowship program that includes the possibility of being awarded the AIARD Graduate Research Fellowship Grant.AIARD is an association of U.S. and internationally based members who have devoted their careers to global agricultural development and hunger alleviation. Members are from universities, nongovernmental organizations, private sector firms, consulting companies, government and donor agencies, and foundations.last_img read more

Ugly “Maters”

first_imgThe Tomato Festival in Cartersville, Georgia, includes awards to gardeners who grow the “Prettiest Tomato,” “Biggest Tomato” and, my favorite category, “Ugliest Tomato.” Why homegrown tomatoes are sometimes ugly is a common question I get as a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent.There are several tomato disorders that cause a variety of “ugly” deformities in tomatoes. Most of these disorders are caused by environmental stresses, insects or certain plant diseases. In most cases, the tomatoes may look bad, but they are still edible as long as the fruit are harvested before they start to rot. Many fruit rots are caused by decaying fungi and bacteria that will take advantage of deformed tomatoes, which ultimately shortens the shelf life of the fruit. It’s best to harvest ugly tomatoes slightly on the green side before they get really ugly and turn sour. Small blemishes can be cut away with a knife in order to salvage a few pieces for a fresh tomato sandwich. If you’re going to use the tomatoes for salsa or spaghetti sauce, then appearances aren’t that important anyway.One of the most common disorders of tomatoes is blossom-end rot, which causes the bottom of the fruit to turn black and leathery. This issue is caused by a calcium deficiency and can often be avoided by adjusting the pH of the garden soil based on a soil test. Changing soil pH with limestone takes time and should be started several months prior to planting tomatoes.Another common problem in tomatoes are growth cracks, also called rain check. These can form circular patterns that crack and split around the stem scar or radial cracks that split outward from the center stem. Rapidly growing fruit, especially on plants that receive high amounts of nitrogen fertilizer, are more susceptible to cracking. Wide fluctuations in rain and temperature can also cause the fruit to crack more readily. Some tomato varieties are more prone to growth cracks than others. Take note of those varieties that are most affected and consider avoiding them in the future. Tomatoes affected with “cat-facing” or “zippering” have thin, brown scars that start at the stem and extend part or all of the way to the blossom end of the fruit. These long scars resemble a zipper pattern and there is usually only one scar per fruit. This disorder is thought to be caused by flowers sticking together or flower anthers that remain attached to the ovary wall of newly forming fruit and is more common during cool weather. Again, certain varieties are more susceptible than others.Stinkbugs and leaf-footed bugs are sap-sucking insects that commonly feed on the fruit of tomatoes. Damage from these insects appears as small, yellow pinpricks surrounded by white, corky tissue under the skin. Sometimes the fruit becomes deformed as it grows after this type of insect feeding injury.Tomato spotted wilt virus is a common problem that causes the fruit to develop mosaic ring spots. On ripe fruit, these spots turn into obvious ring patterns, which become red and yellow. The only way to avoid this virus is to control thrips, the insects that spread this disease. There are several virus-resistant tomato varieties on the market today. For more information, read UGA Extension Circular 1089, “Troubleshooting Cultural Problems of Tomatoes,” at read more

Vellidis Professorship

first_imgGeorge Vellidis, professor in the department of crop and soil sciences in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has been named University Professor, a title bestowed on those who have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities.Vellidis’ research focuses on water resources and precision agriculture. He applies principles of engineering and the sciences to measure, model and manage the interaction between agricultural production systems and the environment. Vellidis is located at UGA’s Tifton campus, where he serves as director of academic affairs for the campus.Fostering students to have a positive impact on Georgia has long been a goal of Vellidis. In 2001, he began conducting surveys and market research to determine if there was a demand for an undergraduate major at the Tifton campus, located 200 miles from UGA’s main campus in Athens.His research showed that there was a significant demographic who wanted a degree from UGA but could not leave south Georgia for one reason or another. Vellidis was one of two leaders who helped establish the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences teaching program on the Tifton campus. Graduates of this program now populate many of the agricultural companies that provide precision agriculture and laboratory services in south Georgia. Vellidis was also one of the leaders who developed the Dual Master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture between UGA and the University of Padova in Italy. Eighteen graduate students have participated in this program since its inception in 2018.“Dr. Vellidis’ career at UGA exemplifies the spirit of the University Professorship,” wrote Samuel Pardue, dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in his nomination letter. “While at UGA, he has become an internationally recognized researcher in precision agriculture, but he has also contributed significantly to the university in many other ways.”Vellidis was a principal investigator for grants totaling $3.6 million used to construct the $8 million National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory facility in Tifton. He also played a key role in securing $1 million to fund the NESPAL Technology Development Center addition, a joint effort between UGA and the Tift County Development Authority.Among Vellidis’ numerous awards are the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research, the International Society for Precision Agriculture Pierre C. Robert Award and the UGA Richard F. Reiff Internationalization Award.University Professors receive a permanent salary increase of $10,000 and a yearly academic support of $5,000. Nominations from the deans of UGA’s schools and colleges are reviewed by a committee, which makes a recommendation to the provost.last_img read more

Green Mountain Power Engages Deloitte & Touche LLP

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corporation (NYSE: GMP)announced that effective immediately it has engaged Deloitte & Touche LLP as its independent auditor for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2002, replacing Arthur Andersen LLP.The decision to engage Deloitte & Touche was made after careful consideration by the Green Mountain Power Corporation Board of Directors and senior management. The decision was not the result of any disagreement between Green Mountain Power and Arthur Andersen on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure.”Arthur Andersen’s current difficulties and uncertain future convinced Green Mountain Power that this change was in the best interest of the Company’s customers and shareholders,” said Stephen C. Terry, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Legal Affairs. “We look forward to working with Deloitte & Touche in its new role as our independent auditor,” Mr. Terry added.last_img read more

Jon Isaacson joins Caleidoscope Communications

first_imgJon Isaacson joined Caleidoscope Communications as the company Controller. Isaacson was previously employed locally by RingMaster Software and lived and worked in Oregon where he was the Controller for the Mandala Agency for ten years. Jon graduated from the University of Connecticut, lives in South Burlington, and serves as a soccer referee for northern Vermont youth leagueslast_img

Burton makes Fast Magazine’s fast list

first_imgFAST COMPANY RANKS THE WORLD’S 50 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES:EIGHT OF THE 50 ARE BASED IN THE NORTHEAST(FAIRFIELD, CT, NEW YORK, NY, STRATHAM, NH, ARMONK, NY,BURLINGTON, MA, BURLINGTON, VT, CORNING, NY)NEW YORK, February 20, 2008 Fast Company magazine has announcedits “Fast 50” list of the world’s most innovative companies. Eight of the 50firms named to the 2008 list are based in and around the Northeast (Fairfield,CT, New York, NY, Stratham, NH, Armonk, NY, Burlington, MA, Burlington, VT,and Corning, NY). The Fast 50 firms in the Northeast that made the list are:No. 4 GE (Fairfield, CT)No. 12 News Corp. (New York, NY)No. 21 Timberland (Stratham, NH)No. 22 IBM (Armonk, NY)No. 24 Anomaly (New York, NY)No. 31 IRobot (Burlington, MA)No. 35 Burton (Burlington, VT)No. 38 Coring (Corning, NY)Expanded profiles of theses companies can be found at is external).The list also highlights how innovation can drive economic growth. From greenconsumer-products phenomenon Method to 100-year-old Corning, whichspends $2 million each workday on R&D, the list celebrates companies thatare redefining the rules of business through new ideas.Other notable 2008 Fast 50 firms include:No. 1 Google (Mountain View, CA)No. 2 Apple (Cupertino, CA)No. 3 Facebook (Palo Alto, CA)No. 4 GE (Fairfield, CT)No. 5 Ideo (Palo Alto, CA)The complete list and related stories appear in the March 2008 issue of FastCompany magazine (available on newsstands February 19 – March 25).Expanded profiles can be found at is external), where users canalso nominate their own Fast 50 Reader Favorite.Fast Company Editors are available to discuss the most innovative companiesand how new ideas and fresh initiatives can lead the U.S. to economic growth.About Fast Company magazine:Founded in 1995 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, LLC, award- winning Fast Company magazine ( is external)) covers the ideas,trends and visionaries that are sparking change and creating the future ofbusiness. With a total paid circulation of 746,161, Fast Company explores theprofound innovation, creative breakthroughs, best and “next” practices thatare driving the business world. # # #last_img read more

Vermont Small Business Development Center names Linda Rossi State Star

first_imgVermont Small Business Development Center names Linda Rossi State StarVtSBDC State Director, Lenae Quillen-Blume, announced that Linda Rossi has been selected as the 2008 State Star of Vermont Small Business Development Center.Linda Rossi, is the Assistant State Director for VtSBDC and responsible for state-wide marketing and public relations as well as strategic projects.”I am pleased to make this announcement and to recognize Linda for extraordinary contributions throughout Vermont”. Linda was chosen for her passion for the organization, her professional presence, and her unsurpassed respect and support for all of her VtSBDC associates. She has a strong commitment to VtSBDC and its strategic plan, execution and as well as branding of the organization as we move into the future. “It is an honor to accept this award, and to have the opportunity and pleasure to interact and support today’s business owners, tomorrow’s leaders, while collaborating with other champions of economic development.”Linda will be recognized for this honor at the national ASBDC conference in Chicago, IL in September. America’s Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration’s largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. With about 1,000 centers across the nation, the SBDC network assists approximately 725,000 small businesses every year in face-to-face counseling and training, in addition to assisting hundreds of thousands more small businesses through fax-on-demand and e-mail.last_img read more

Employer health care costs and employee waistlines to be trimmed by Vermont firms

first_imgVtrim, an online behavioral weight management program developed at the University of Vermont, and Vermont based HRSentry have partnered to offer the Vtrim Online program to employers nationwide.“The goal of Vtrim is sustainable, long-term weight loss.” noted Beth Casey Gold, M.S., R.D., Vtrim’s Director of Corporate Programming.  “Vtrim teaches participants how to manage what they eat; versus food restriction…weight loss follows naturally.”HRSentry’s CEO, Dean Haller said, “Health care costs are a major drain on business revenues…Vtrim’s clinically proven approach supports our mission to provide employers with HR programs that cut risk, enhance productivity and build the bottom line long-term.”The Vtrim interactive, online model is based on 18 years of research by Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., an obesity researcher at the University of Vermont.  Participants typically lose an average of 1-2 pounds per week over the course of the program.A number of Vermont firms, including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Green Mountain Power, Fletcher Allen Health Care, NRG Systems and Seventh Generation have incorporated Vtrim Online into their HR programming.“The results of Vtrim have had a profound effect on my work life. I have more energy and am more productive.” said Jan Blittersdorf, CEO at NRG Systems. “As I want my employees to reap the same rewards, NRG Systems now offers Vtrim to our employees. They benefit personally and our company benefits. Healthier lifestyles are integral to our corporate culture.”“By the way”, notes Haller, “HRSentry clients receive a 10 percent discount off Vtrim’s standard pricing.”About HRSentryHRSentry, a Vermont-based company, was founded by Dean E. Haller, who has more than 35 years of experience in Human Resources administration. HRSentry’s mission is to create, deliver, and support services and training that enhance an organization’s administration and management of Human Resource policies, practices, and procedures. HRSentry’s web-based HR Made Simple System provides human resource forms, policies, and procedures; links to federal and state laws, regulations, and resources.  All system content is kept in a “current” condition and updated as regulatory and other changes occur.  A subscription to the HRSentry HR made Simple System includes ongoing webinars, e-newsletters and alerts.About Vtrim OnlineThe Vtrim  Online Weight Management Program was developed by Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., a nationally recognized weight-loss researcher at the University of Vermont. Dr. Harvey-Berino’s concept is based on behavior changes: a systematic shaping of daily habits to help people move more and eat less. A dynamic team of health professionals and experts in the weight management field leads Vtrim.  All of Vtrim’s certified facilitators are highly trained professionals with health-related credentials and experience.Source: VTrim. 2.23.2010. Burlington. VTlast_img read more