VHCB’s Farm Viability Program helps farmers increase profits, expand, diversify

first_imgFarmers around the state are benefiting from in-depth, one-on-one business planning services provided by the Vermont Farm Viability Program. Since 2003, the program, which is administered by the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, has enrolled more than 375 farmers and ag-related businesses, providing on-farm business and financial planning as well as technical assistance ranging from veterinary services to marketing consultants. The program can help farmers to solidify their business skills, examine their farm’s profitability, plan for an expansion or diversification, transfer the farm to a new generation, and more.Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross said, ‘The Farm Viability Program is making a real difference for farmers across the spectrum’from dairy to beef to vegetable farms and for value-added producers like cheese makers’this program is giving farmers the benefit of an inside look at business planning decisions that can increase profits.  As a result, farms are expanding, diversifying, and hiring help’all good indicators for the industry and for Vermont’s economy.’                  Among the farms that have enrolled in the program are Millborne Farm in Shoreham, a dairy farm also producing yogurt drinks, Stony Pond Farm in Fairfield, where Tyler and Melanie Webb specialize in dairy and beef, and Bread and Roses Farm, a vegetable farm run by Westford native Chris Siegriest.Millborne Farm: Gert and Arda Schut operate Millborne Farm in Shoreham. They moved to Shoreham in 1999 by way of their homeland, the Netherlands, where they felt hindered from starting their own farm by a quota system. They farmed in Connecticut for 10 years before moving to Vermont and building up their herd to 160 cows. The Schuts began thinking about diversification in the early 2000s and enlisted the help of UVM’s Food and Nutrition Department to develop a drinkable yogurt, which they began to produce on the farm in 2005, using milk from their own herd.The yogurt business grew, but slowly, and in 2009 the Schuts enrolled in the Farm Viability Program to work with Al Curler, a consultant with UVM Extension, to develop a marketing plan for the yogurt. Following development of the plan, the Schuts were successful in expanding their drinkable yogurt operation tenfold’they are now utilizing 30,000 pounds of their own milk each week to make their own product and two other yogurt drink products packaged for private labels. A $6,000 implementation grant from the Farm Viability Program in 2010 matched with their own funds enabled the Schuts to purchase an additional processing tank and a large walk-in cooler to help them expand their value-added enterprise. Producing their own yogurt has allowed the Schuts to operate at a profit and provide employment for seven people while also helping them weather downturns in milk prices.      Stony Pond Farm: Stony Pond Farm in Fairfield is a small dairy and beef operation established in 2004 by Tyler and Melanie Webb. Tyler enrolled with the Farm Viability Program in 2005 to produce a business plan for the young farm, giving the couple a solid understanding of how to get their operation off to a sound start. Since then, the Webbs have established a very successful farm business specializing in dairy and beef cows. Using their business plan, the Webbs are refining and improving their operation as they continue to consider diversification strategies for the future.Since completion of their business plan, Stony Pond Farm has been awarded two implementation grants. A grant of $6,000 was awarded in 2009 and allowed for construction of a hoop house for their growing herd of cows. With the latest implementation grant of $3,500, Webb is finishing construction of a new, multi-purpose farm building. While sales at the farmers market and beef sales to wholesale accounts are booming, soon local customers will be able to purchase beef right on the farm. Now, with a central location for on-farm sales, Webb can increase his business potential and also be in a position to accommodate future value-added farm products. On Saturdays, the Tyler and Melanie can be found grilling their wildly popular grilled hamburgers at the Burlington Farmers Market!Bread and Roses Farm: At Bread and Roses Farm, Westford native Chris Siegriest and Laura Williams lease acreage between the Westford Green and the Lamoille River where they grow vegetables under the community supported agriculture (CSA) model. They have grown the business to offer 70 full-sized shares and they remain the only CSA in Westford. Additionally, the farmers have a strong social mission: they produce vegetables to fill 50 smaller shares for residents at a local senior housing development and offer subsidized shares through donations from other shareholders and a cost-share agreement with NOFA-VT. Chris and Laura completed a business plan with the Farm Viability Program in 2010, working with staff at the Intervale Center. According to Chris, ‘The Program was incredibly helpful for our business, especially in financial planning and analysis. Mark [Canella] helped walk us through our first loan, so we could establish a line of credit for the business which we used to purchase a bed shaper.’In 2010, Chris and Laura applied for an implementation grant from the Farm Viability Program. An award of $3,000, matched with their own funds, helped them purchase a cultivation tractor. Chris erected a greenhouse in 2010-2011 that is now pumping out vegetables that were spared exposure to the heavy rains this spring when many direct-seeded crops were lost.The Vermont Farm Viability Program works with private consultants and service providers such as the University of Vermont, The Intervale Center and NOFA-VT to deliver services. To produce a written business plan, farmers enrolled in the Farm Viability Program meet and work together with a consultant for approximately one year. In the second year, the program provides additional technical assistance and help updating the business plan. The business planning process involves the farmer in an assessment of the farm operation’s strengths and weaknesses and in an exploration of possible management changes to increase profits and meet production goals. Examples include consultations on keeping better production or financial records, financial benchmark analysis, meetings with crop or animal health specialists, new product enterprise analysis, estate and farm transfer planning, labor management, and value-added processing. Farmers who have completed business plans with the program are eligible for grants towards capital expenses or additional technical support to implement the business plan, when funding is available.The Farm Viability Program accepts applications quarterly, with the next upcoming deadline on September 30. To request an application, call 828-3370 or visit the website, www.vhcb.org/viability.html(link is external). Funded by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Farm Viability Program is a collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets with funding assistance provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Rural Development and private foundations, including the John Merck Fund.last_img read more

3 states OK recreational pot, 3 states OK medicinal marijuana

first_imgNBC 9 November 2016Family First Comment: Interesting that one (and possibly another, too close to call) said NO to pot.#notadonedealCalifornia, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, giving a huge boost to the campaign to allow pot nationwide. Six more states also voted on marijuana measures, while voters in California and Washington state toughened gun control laws.In Nebraska, voters reinstated the death penalty, reversing the Legislature’s decision last year to repeal capital punishment. Nebraska has not executed an inmate since 1997; 10 men currently sit on death row.In all, there were more than 150 measures appearing on statewide ballots. California led the pack with 17 ballot questions, including one that would require actors in porn movies to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Another would ban single-use plastic grocery bags.In all, five states considered whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Arizonans defeated the measure in their state. The outcome in Maine was too close to call early Wednesday.Overall, the results were hailed as historic by legalization activists, given that California is the most populous state. Massachusetts became the first state east of the Rockies to join the movement.Voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved measures allowing marijuana use for medical purposes. Montanans voted on whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.READ MORE: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/33657840/death-penalty-gun-control-pot-among-ballot-measure-issueslast_img read more

James “Jim Bo” Anthony Roberts

first_imgJames “Jim Bo” Anthony Roberts, age 82, of Delaware, IN passed away on Friday June 19, 2020 at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He was born March 28, 1938 in Batesville, Indiana; the son of the late Wayne and Virginia (Benham) Roberts. Jim grew up along with his brothers and sisters on the farm outside of Delaware.Jim attended school in Napoleon and was a graduate of the class of 1956. After graduation from high school, Jim enrolled in school at Purdue University. He, then, proudly served in the United States Army. After his service was complete, he returned home, where his sister would introduce him to Patricia Katzman from Mulberry, Indiana. His life would be changed forever and they were united in marriage on April 17, 1965. Recently they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. They were blessed with 3 children.Jim was well known by the local community. He spent 32 years working for Laughery Valley Ag Co-op. His work years began in the feed mill and ended up managing the farm store. Jim enjoyed attending and supporting his kids and grandkids in whatever event they were participating in. Jim never met a stranger and would strike up a conversation with any willing soul. Upon retirement from the Co-Op, Jim spent a few years in the security department at the Versailles State Park.Jim was a lifelong Delaware United Methodist Church, a 50 plus year member of the Masonic Lodge, and member of the Versailles Legion Post.Jim is survived by wife Pat, sons Bill (Debbie) Roberts and Mark (Anne) Roberts, daughter Linda Hoffman, grandchildren; Andi, Crista, James, Nathan, Molly, Elizabeth, and Suzanne, brothers Bill (Virginia) of Vevay, John (Marsha) f Rochester, and David (Linda) of Manchester. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandson Billy Hoffman, and sisters Lois Workman and Laura Lou.Visitation will be held on Tuesday June 23 from 4-7 pm. at Neal’s Funeral Home in Osgood. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday June 24 at 10 am, with doors opening at 9 am, also at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Jac-Cen-Del Scholarship fund. Online condolences can be left at Nealsfuneralhome.netlast_img read more

Flanagan: Gerrard deserves title

first_img Press Association After Sunday’s significant 3-2 win over Manchester City the clearly emotional Reds captain was at the centre of a team huddle dishing out words of advice to his team-mates. Gerrard, who is more desperate than most to claim a championship winners’ medal as it is the only honour missing from his trophy cabinet, effectively told the players they had to forget the result and turn their focus to struggling Norwich at Carrow Road next weekend. Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan believes no one deserves a league title more than captain Steven Gerrard. The England skipper is more than just a leader, he is an institution at the club and his determination to see through the job of ending a 24-year wait for a title in their final four games has been imprinted on his team-mates. “It is phenomenal. He has carried this club for years and he deserves this,” said young defender Flanagan. “I think all the lads are doing it for themselves but for also for Stevie as well.” Liverpool produced their trademark fast start at home and were 2-0 inside 26 minutes courtesy of Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel and, although they were pegged back after the break through David Silva and a Glen Johnson own goal, Philippe Coutinho struck the winner. While no one at Anfield is getting ahead of themselves, Flanagan believes the performance and result against City, now seven points behind them at the sharp end of the table, has proved they have the nerve to successfully negotiate the final month of the season. “They are a great side and we have sent a message out – it was a great performance and a great three points,” he added. “There are always nerves going into such a big game in the title race but as soon as the game is on you focus on that. “We knew they were going to come out strongly (in the second half) and there was a bit of sloppy defending for their two goals but we still showed our spirit and finally got the third goal. “We can believe now. All the fans are believing we can do it now and we said in the huddle we’ll go again next week as we’ve done nothing yet and that result has gone now. “We have to stay focused and go again at Norwich away, we have to keep going right until the end.” The two downsides to the victory were the very late red card shown to midfielder Jordan Henderson for his studs-up tackle on Pablo Zabaleta, which will rule him out for three matches, and the hamstring problem sustained by Daniel Sturridge, who left the ground limping heavily. “Sturridge felt tightness in his hamstring so we will see how that is in the next couple of days,” said manager Brendan Rodgers. “The only sour point to the game is Henderson’s red card. “He has just had a touch late on in the game, probably through tiredness, but he actually touches the ball as he stretches for it. “I felt that was a bit harsh and it is unfortunate as he has been brilliant for us.” Rodgers displayed his tactical flexibility again as, with the game being taken away from his side at 2-2, he made a switch which paid off. “Second half you expect City to come back and the first goal gave them momentum and we were unfortunate to concede the second,” he said. “I felt they started to get more energy so we changed from the diamond to 4-3-3 to open up the game a bit when we had the ball but also to protect the sides when we were defending and that allowed us to get some control back.” Neither Luis Suarez nor Sturridge came anywhere close to their best but the efforts of others meant they were not missed. “We don’t demand goals from the strikers, we just demand they give their best and some days they have off days but they are working for the cause, which is most important,” added the Reds boss. “Raheem Sterling’s goal was brilliant, showing great strength and then making the yard (of space) against top players and score with that composure is what we want.” last_img read more

Adam Cole – Football INDEX – The growing appeal of football trading

first_img Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season  August 21, 2020 Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Related Articles Share QPR names Football Index as new shirt sponsor August 21, 2020 Share Submit StumbleUpon Football INDEX is the world’s first football stock market, enabling users to buy and sell real money shares in the world’s top footballers.Detailing how the site accumulated 100,000 users across the UK, with a number of single trading days in excess of £1 million, as well as analysing future plans for expansion, Adam Cole, Founder and CEO of Football INDEX spoke to SBC. SBC: Hi Adam, could you reveal more about the appeal of Football INDEX?Adam Cole: The Football INDEX proposition is simple and appealing – build value in your portfolio (capital appreciation), earn dividends (ROI) based on your football knowledge, and ultimately sell at a profit. We are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and profits are exempt from Capital Gains.With Football INDEX, football ‘traders’ can earn dividends based on their football knowledge and the on-pitch performance and media profile of players in their portfolio. They can build a portfolio of players of their choice and aren’t restricted by selecting from a single team.Powered by Opta data, we have invested over £2.5 million in developing an innovative, proprietary platform and user-friendly app, allowing fans to earn dividends on their football portfolio 365 days a year, with multiple profit opportunities. Since launching in October 2015, the concept has rapidly gained traction.  SBC: What is the key target market Football INDEX aims to reach? AC: Football Index fills a vacant space between two massive markets – football sports betting and Fantasy Football – but has advantages over both. Fantasy Football, for example, requires an unflagging weekly commitment and there’s very little financial gain or reward (other than bragging rights).Football betting is the largest sportsbook activity in the UK. However, betting can be brutal and expensive – it is focused heavily on quick ‘event’ outcomes.With Football INDEX, we offer extended entertainment value and intellectual stimulation combined with the thrill of a bet. Our value proposition is unrivalled by any other product on the market. Our users – or ‘football traders’ – are typically smart football fans who find the concept of Football Index more intellectually satisfying and generally more rewarding than regular betting. Football fans in particular those who understand fantasy football and those with a an understanding of markets are a key demographic. Our users are spread across all age groups but are predominantly between the ages of 20 and 45. SBC: Can you outline some of the key factors that dictate whether a player’s value decreases or increases? AC: ‘Performance Dividends’ pay out to traders based on footballers’ on-pitch performance. Traders can buy players they consider ‘on form’ as we use Opta data measures – 40 points for scoring a goal to 1 point for a successful pass and minus 5 points for a yellow card.  As well as trading footballers for profit, customers have the chance of multiple ‘wins’ from a single bet. Football INDEX’s daily Buzz Chart is a UK media monitor which determines the trending footballer in the news each day. Any traders holding futures in the trending footballer receives a dividend payout per future held.  Payouts are made to the Top Defender (including Goalkeepers), Top Midfielder, Top Forward and Star Footballer, who is the day’s top performing player.  ‘Football traders’ only make a loss if they choose to sell at a loss.SBC: With coverage of football continually increasing, how important is it that you provide traders with an expansive database to trade from? Traders can currently buy shares in over 1,000 players from the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. We are currently in the process of expanding our product offering to 2,000 tradeable footballers. SBC: As sportsbooks grow by adding new markets and utilising more data, in what ways can football trading evolve to keep players engaged? AC: Longer term we have ambition to provide our service globally (where possible) and indeed our platform may be applied to any sport such as American Football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, cricket, rugby etc. We continue to invest in our technology and have a roadmap packed with new functionality, much of which is focused on delivering our users more data.SBC: How can football trading satisfy the instant gratification that is wanted by punters? AC: We offer both instant gratification and long term gains. Instead of the ‘bet’ being on a single outcome (e.g. Manchester United vs Watford), with Football INDEX, traders have the possibility of a micro win every day of the year for three years with our daily Buzz Chart which determines the trending footballer in the news each day. We refer to these micro wins as ‘dividends’ and they provide a yield for ‘instrument’.last_img read more

Friday May 29th Local Sports

first_imgMASON CITY — Todd Ciochetto is leaving the NIACC women’s basketball program to be the head coach at Seward County Community College in Liberal Kansas. Ciochetto has spent nine years at NIACC, the first three being an assistant coach with the last six seasons being the program’s head coach. He’s accumulated a 153-46 record, winning three Region XI titles, including this past season’s team that was 32-1 and was the top seed in the NJCAA Division II national tournament. Ciochetto was named the Division II National Coach of the Year both by the NJCAA and World Exposure Report. Ciochetto takes over a Division I junior college program that has been to the national tournament five out of the last six years and won the national championship in 2002. THIS WEEKEND:AM-1490/96.7-FM KRIB, kribam.com — 2013 Class 3A state baseball championship — Clear Lake vs. Assumption of Davenport — 7:00 PM Friday nightAM-1300 KGLO —- 2015 Capital One Bowl — Iowa vs. LSU — 1:00 PM Saturday afternoon IOWA CITY — Iowa athletic director Gary Barta still hopes Kinnick Stadium is full for the Hawkeyes’ season opener. Barta says they have looked at several different seating plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.KGLO News · 5 – 29 – Gbmay – 1Barta says more than 36-thousand season tickets have already been sold and says attendance may depend on how confident fans are that they will be safe.KGLO News · 5 – 29 – Gbmay – 2Barta says guidelines may change between now and the start of the season.KGLO News · 5 – 29 – Gbmay – 3Barta says as things begin to open up he is feeling better about what the football season might look like.KGLO News · 5 – 29 – Gbmay – 4Iowa is scheduled to host Northern Iowa in the season opener on September 5th. QUAD CITIES — The John Deere Classic near the Quad Cities has been cancelled due to restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the PGA Tournament’s effort to raise money for local charities is continuing. Last year “Birdies for Charity” raised a record of 13-point-82 million dollars.KGLO News · 5 – 29 – Jdccharity – 1That’s tournament director Clair Peterson who says as of now the charity program is being handled online.KGLO News · 5 – 29 – Jdccharity – 2The John Deere Classic was scheduled for July 9th through the 12th. IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 and Southeastern conferences have announced the matchups for their women’s basketball challenge for the 2020-21 season, with Iowa State set to host South Carolina on December 6, 2020.“South Carolina coming to Hilton Coliseum will give our fans a chance to see the team that ended last season No.1 in the nation and will be there to start this season,” head coach Bill Fennelly said. “This adds another major test to what will be one of the toughest schedules we have ever faced.”The Gamecocks ended the 2019-20 season as the nation’s No. 1 team with a 32-1 overall record, with the Cyclones ending the season with a win over No. 2 Baylor on Senior Day.Every team from the Big 12 will participate, while 10 teams from the SEC will take part. The format features five home games on campus sites for each conference per year.The inaugural challenge was held in 2014. The 10-team format began in 2016. Last season, the Big 12 Conference won the Challenge 8-2 in the most lopsided in the series history. Iowa State claimed a win over Alabama on the road in 2019.last_img read more

THIRTEEN COMPANIES SHORT-LISTED FOR 2012 ENTERPRISING DONEGAL BUSINESS AWARDS

first_imgA total of 13 companies have been short-listed as finalists in this year’s Enterprising Donegal Business Awards 2012, the most prestigious business awards in the County.Organised by Donegal County Enterprise Board, the awards are aimed at small and micro businesses in Donegal, and the winners will be announced at a black tie gala dinner in the Silver Tassie Hotel & Spa, Letterkenny, on Friday 23rd March.There are 4 categories in this year’s awards: Business Achievement, Business Development, Emerging Business and Innovation. Edenmore Farm Meats Ltd., Lifford, Inishowen Country Kitchen, Malin and Public Image Hair Salon, Ballybofey have been shortlisted for the Business Achievement Award; La Maison, Letterkenny, Moll Industries Ireland Ltd., Donegal Town and The National Hairdressing Academy, Bundoran are shortlisted for the Business Development Award. Claire the Baker’s, Carndonagh, O’Donnell’s Bakery, Laghey, Stateside American Restaurant, Letterkenny and Castlefinn Partnership Initiative (NorthWest Garden Show) will compete for the Emerging Business Award while Cargo Defenders, Lifford, Farm Feeder, Killybegs and JM Joinery, Pettigo are shortlisted for this year’s Innovation award.Michael Tunney, Chief Executive of the DEB said “This year’s finalists demonstrate the vision and commitment required to drive a successful business forward.“We hope the awards will inspire others around the County to make the leap and work on their business vision too”.There is an award for the winner in each category and an overall winner of the Donegal Business of the Year award. Previous winners of the overall award include The Swilly Group, Gartan Technologies and DS Environmental Services. Each year one of the winning companies goes on to represent Donegal at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin.Tickets for the Awards cost €25 and to attend, or for further information about the Enterprising Donegal Business Awards 2012, contact Celine Carroll, Donegal County Enterprise Board on 074 9160735 or email [email protected] Alternatively, you can visit the Donegal County Enterprise Board’s website at www.donegalenterprise.ie County and City Enterprise Boards are funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Union under the EU Structural Funds 2007 – 2013. THIRTEEN COMPANIES SHORT-LISTED FOR 2012 ENTERPRISING DONEGAL BUSINESS AWARDS was last modified: March 14th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal County Enterprise BoardMichael Tunneylast_img read more