Fireplaces Demand Safety

first_img* Many fire departments now offer first aid classes for people in their communities. At least onemember of the family should be familiar with first aid procedures. * Burning evergreens in the fireplace can be dangerous. When dry, evergreens burn like tinder.Their flames can flare out of control, sending sparks flying around the room. Be sure the flue is open. Use a screen to enclose the front of your fireplace to confine live embersand sparks to the fire box. “Used correctly, your fireplace is a source of warmth and cozy atmosphere,” says Dale Dorman,a housing specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “But be sure to follow therules to avoid fire risks.” Prepare for emergencies. Dorman recommends certain safety rules: * Keep the fire department, police, ambulance, doctor and other emergency numbers posted onor near your telephone. A fireplace can be warm and wonderful. But the evening news is sprinkled with stories of tragicfires that rob families of possessions, homes and even loved ones.center_img Use care with “fire salts” that produce colored flames when thrown on a wood fire. They containheavy metals, and can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation or vomiting if eaten. Keep themaway from children and pets. * Make an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in your home. See that eachfamily member knows at least two escape routes.* Don’t wear loose, flowing clothes, especially long, open sleeves, near the open flames of afireplace, stove or candle-lit table. * Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children. * Keep a UL-listed multipurpose fire extinguisher in your home. Know where it is and how touse it. * Plan for safety. Remember, there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminatepotential danger spots near candles, fireplaces and electrical connections.last_img read more

Gardener Gifts.

first_imgNow that the initial rush of gift buying is over, hopefullyyou have saved the receipts for the returns you are going to takeback after the holidays. You forgot, didn’t you — gardeners don’twear neckties.When in Doubt, AskAs a general rule, real gardeners prefer plants, tools, topsoilor other items over a necktie or a salad shooter. If you don’tknow what to buy the gardener on your list, use the old time testedmethod. Just ask! Or, if you want to be the recipient of the gift,use the method my daughters use; cut out pictures and tape themon the refrigerator or the bathroom mirror.What do gardeners want for Christmas?The choices are as varied as the gardening public, but watchout for the scrim shaded, pastel gardener’s catalogs; much ofthat merchandise is not meant for “real” gardeners.Gloves or a Hat?Gloves might do if they are the really tough goat skins. They’lllast for years and are extremely comfortable. And real gardenersdon’t wear $80 gardeners pants. Just take those old jeans andput some real neat patches on them. They’re “broken in,”they’re comfortable and they have plenty of wear left.Also, every gardener needs a really big gardening hat the biggerthe better for keeping the sun off. A hat with string ties isbest as it stays on better through all of the bending.Most gardeners have more equipment than they need, but theycan always use the right stuff. How do you get the right stuff?Ask!Tools Top the ListDo they need a new power hedge trimmer or just a new springtoothed yard rake? A really sturdy English turning fork is alwaysa favorite. My wife’s fork is 13 years old and has had one newhandle. Remember, most tools come in ladies’ sizes and are justas sturdy, only smaller.There are a host of other possible choices: A garden cart,a new plastic wheelbarrow, a compost bin or a swing or bench toenjoy the results of their gardening work.There are also many “dirty” gifts for the gardenerssuch as soil mixes, topsoil, compost, mulch, stepping stones,even flagstones for a patio.Don’t shy away from dirty gifts. They are sometimes the mostappreciated.What about a book? Southern garden books are relevant and useful.Southern gardeners have finally started to share their knowledgeand believe me, it’s vast. Or a maybe a coffee table book withexquisite pictures of English roses or panoramas of Italian estateswould suit your gardener.Herb Items are ‘Hot’The hottest gardening items are anything to do with herbs herbpots, also known as strawberry jars, both herb cookbooks and regularbooks, and herb plants.Speaking of plants, they can be the perfect gift. Some of usgarden for the sense of greenery, others for the show of colors,while others are drawn to the garden for that certain fragrance,but all efforts revolve around plants?What better gift? Has any gardener got “enough” plants?And, if plants aren’t ready at Christmas, do the next best thinggive them a picture and a promise. For plants, a real gardenerwill wait. Even better, make it special and put the picture ina card and place it under that first Christmas morning cup ofcoffee.Whatever you decide on, the thought of the gift is the mostimportant thing. Well, they can always use the necktie for thescarecrow.last_img read more

Better tomatoes

first_imgAre you ready for fresh tomatoes from the garden? University of Georgia Cooperative Extension recommends growing tomatoes in a garden or in containers for the best results. And, Spalding County Extension coordinator Wade Hutcheson has a few more suggestions to make tomato season even better.First, he says, strive to grow a healthy plant that’s not stressed in any way. Provide adequate nutrition, water, pest management and timely harvest. He gives these tried-and-true growing tips:Pick the right pot. For tomato container gardens, Hutcheson suggests using a pot at least as big as a five-gallon bucket. Make sure to drill drainage holes in the bottom of the container before planting the tomatoes.Select the right site. Tomatoes need at least six hours of sunshine per day. Avoid trees and hedges, and place garden-grown plants or containers in convenient locations.“Remember, you are going to have to water your plants, so don’t place them too far away from your home,” he said. “Plants in containers will dry fairly fast so check them daily.”Ventilation is also important. Tomatoes should be grown no closer than three feet apart to allow lots of air to move through them, which will aid in drying. Space plants 2 to 3 feet apart in rows 4 to 6 feet apart.Plant properly. When installing plants, Hutcheson says first gently pinch off the lowest leaves. Then place the plant deeply into the soil, up to the first set of true leaves. Firm the soil around the transplant.Do a soil test. Don’t fertilize until you get a soil test report. In general, add about a pint of starter fertilizer (make one by adding 2 tablespoons of 5-10-15 to one gallon of water and letting the mixture soak 24 hours) to the first watering, Hutcheson said.Fertilize lightly every two to three weeks until the fruit are about the size of a nickel. Then, stop until those first fruit come off. “Over-fertilization, especially with nitrogen, can lead to a 10-foot plant with no fruit,” he said. “It can also contribute to blossom end rot.”Water well. Tomatoes and other vegetable plants should be watered deeply and infrequently to encourage a deep root system. But don’t allow them to go dry. Drip or soaker hoses are efficient, productive ways to provide water.Give them support. When tomato plants begin to grow, they should be staked or caged. “Keep in mind the cage has to support a good bit of weight,” Hutcheson said. “It needs to be sturdy enough not to bend in the wind, too. Heavier cages tend to serve the purpose better.”Protect with mulch. Adding mulch around plants helps retain water. It also keeps soil from splashing onto the fruit, stems and leaves. Dirty plants can contribute to diseases, which can be difficult to deal with. Plants that show signs of disease should be pulled out of the garden to help slow disease spread.Watch for trouble. Common insect pests include whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars and hornworms. Regular scouting and proper control measures are a must.“No matter what, your results and your mileage may vary due to your cultural practices and the varieties you pick,” he said.For more information on growing tomatoes and other garden plants, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or check out our gardening publications online at www.ugaextension.org.last_img read more

Student-balanced Budget

first_imgNon-essential agencies of the federal government were shut down in October 2013 because politicians could not agree on how to fund them. Although balancing the federal budget may seem difficult, a University of Georgia economics professor taught his students how to do so in just one semester.UGA’s First-Year Odyssey Seminar program was established in 2011 seeks to broaden students’ horizons by placing them in small class environments with other first year students and engaging them with faculty, who may teach outside of their normal field of study.“They realized this all actually matters to them,” said Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who teaches the U.S. budget class. “It’s their money [and] they’re the ones (that are) going to get stuck with the bill.”In the most recent session of “Balancing the Federal Budget in Fifteen Weeks,” a UGA First-Year Odyssey class, 16 students learned about the federal budget then researched and evaluated proposals on ways to balance it. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that for the current fiscal year the federal government will spend $650 billion more than it makes. This imbalance would add to the national debt, which is estimated at $16 trillion.Existing proposal ideas range from increasing taxes on gasoline and income to cutting spending on programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. The UGA students’ proposal offered a savings of $702 billion; this would eliminate the $650 billion spending debt and leave a $50 billion budget surplus. Their ideas included immediately raising the age for Social Security eligibility to 70, decriminalizing and taxing marijuana, and cutting defense spending by 10 percent.To develop their plans, the class met once a week for 50 minutes and students were split into groups; each group chose to adopt current ideas and to present new ideas. Unlike existing proposals that projected a balanced budget within a few years, the Dorfman’s students’ ideas were required to reflect immediate savings.There are few to no impartial sources for examining federal budget reform. So Dorfman requires the students to note which proposals carried a conservative bias and which carried liberal bias. The students based their proposals on basic principles of economics and their own feelings about fairness, but had to include calculations demonstrating how much money each change would save.Dorfman offered feedback and verified that legitimate, reputable sources with correctly calculated savings were used. The students’ suggestions were split into three categories: revenue increases, spending, and program cuts. The class voted as a whole on which ideas to include in their final proposal.Houston Gaines, a first-year political science and economics major, was already interested in the topic but said it was nice to be able to look at actual numbers and determine a balanced budget. He was surprised by some of the findings.“Lots of shocking things,” Gaines said. “It may seem that we’re in trouble but we’re really in really deep trouble.”The partial shutdown in October lasted for 16 days and experts say it could happen again in 2014 if an agreement among Congress is not reached. Dorfman hopes to teach the class again in fall 2014.“I don’t think they’ll balance the budget this year,” he said, “so I think we can safely do the class again.”To read more about UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/departments/agecon/.last_img read more

Homemade Gifts

first_imgMany people are turning toward home canning as a way to show their loved ones how much they care during the holidays. While gifts from one’s own kitchen can mean a lot, it’s essential that the canner use the proper techniques so that everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season. “A common mistake that people make is trusting their friends (or) past family experiences more than science-based recommendations for home canning,” said Elizabeth Andress, Extension food safety specialist with the University of Georgia and director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation. “People also want to be creative and guess at the correct processing for their own recipes, while not understanding all the factors that contribute to the correct processing time and temperature.” By following the instructions and taking the right precautions, canners can avoid giving their friends and family members spoiled food or food poisoning for the holidays. Under-processing of canned goods, like meats and vegetables, may lead to the bacteria being inside of the food without the food showing signs of spoilage. It is important to use up-to-date canning instructions from dependable experts, like the National Center for Home Food Preservation or UGA Extension. Canning knowledge and equipment have changed since canning foods at home began generations ago and hand-me-down recipes could be potentially dangerous. “Giving home-preserved gifts adds a personal touch, but you do take on the added responsibility of vouching for the safety of the foods you give,” Andress said. “As tempting as it may be to impress your recipients with a brand new, never-before-tasted canned creation, the first measure of safety is to use tested recommendations from reliable sources.” Instead of experimenting with recipes, package time-tested, home-preserved gifts in creative ways. Be sure to use the correct jars. Some jars are intended for non-canning purposes, like crafts, and are not designed to withstand the heat or temperature changes of the canning process. When labeling jars, it is essential to let gift recipients know exactly what they are getting. Remember to include the date of creation of the goodies as well as a “use by” date. For most canned foods, a year offers the best quality for the food. If the jar allows it, try to include the ingredients of what is inside the jar; this is especially helpful for those with food allergies. Lastly, include instructions so recipients know how to properly store the home-canned foods. If you have a friend or family member who likes to preserve food at home, there are several great gifts that will make their canning experience easier and more enjoyable. “A new apron and a set of kitchen towels make great gifts. These may seem ordinary to some people, but will be appreciated by a person who enjoys food preparation,” Andress said. “Taking time this holiday season to select the perfect gift for the home food preserver will provide additional joy once food preservation season rolls around again.”For more information about canning, UGA’s “So Easy to Preserve” book offers many options for your home-canned jams, butters and other tasty treats. The book can be ordered at setp.uga.edu.last_img read more

Cotton Demand Down

first_imgThe rapid spread of COVID-19 has severely impacted the global cotton supply chain. An unexpected reduction in cotton mill use data is observed across all of the major cotton spinning countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Vietnam.Cotton spinning in China fell by upwards of 90% during the height of the pandemic in that country in early March. The spinning industry in China has begun to recover now but, with the anticipation of a decline in consumer consumption of apparel, the recovery of the spinning industry is limited for the current marketing year.COVID-19 is spreading fast in Turkey, India and Pakistan. Like China, recent travel restrictions in India, Pakistan and Vietnam are likely to have similar impacts on their spinning industry.World retail sales of clothing and textiles have also plummeted. Many “non-essential” businesses, including apparel stores, are closed to slow down the spread of the virus. In addition, with the rising rate of global unemployment, consumers’ use of dispensable income on apparel is also likely to be limited.The forecast for the current year’s world cotton consumption dropped 6.4% (7.6 million bales) in April 2020 compared to March 2020. The current forecast of world cotton demand is at 111 million bales, while the world cotton supply is at a relatively high level of 122 million bales.Global ending stocks are also projected to increase at the third-highest level for the past decade at 91 million bales. With supply outpacing demand and rising global ending stocks, we have seen downward pressure on global cotton prices.U.S. cotton acreage is projected to be nearly unchanged at approximately 13.7 million acres in 2020 after a decline in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings Report. However, the survey was conducted in early March and may not have captured the full effects of the decline in cotton prices since then.U.S. cotton exports are currently forecasted at 15 million bales, down 1.5 million bales from the April forecast. Since the China-U.S. trade dispute, the U.S. lost part of its cotton market share in China. Brazil and Australia have benefited from the loss of market opportunity for U.S. cotton in China.In the global export market, Brazil is becoming the largest competitor for U.S. cotton. U.S. ending stocks for the 2019-20 crop year are expected to increase to the highest ending stocks for the past decade at 6.7 million bales.The decline of global cotton demand, trade uncertainty, increased levels of global competition and economic recession due to the COVID-19 crisis all factor into continued downward pressure for U.S. cotton prices. July cotton futures for old crops closed at 55.84 cents per pound, and new crop December futures closed at 57.52 cents per pound on May 1.For more cotton news from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, go to ugacotton.com.last_img read more

Vermont has fourth slowest Internet service in nation: PCMag.com

first_imgTime is Money: PCMag.com Names the Fastest ISPs in AmericaVermont ranked fourth slowestNew York, NY (December 2, 2008)-In a world where time equals money, slow Internet connections have real-life business and quality-of-life implications. Fiber optic connections have proven themselves the fastest way online, but they’re still rare-and expensive. Which Internet service providers (ISPs) offer the fastest broadband? And in which state? After conducting over 200,000 individual tests as part of its third annual study, PCMag.com found that Verizon’s FiOS fiber-optic connections are indeed the fastest overall service, and Cablevision’s Optimum Online proved itself the fastest cable ISP in the United States. Likewise, Nevada, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are home to the fastest surf speeds-the full state ranking is below. PCMag.com’s “Best ISPs in America” list hits PCMag.com on December 2.To uncover the nation’s best ISPs, PCMag utilized the custom-designed SurfSpeed application (a utility that grabs pages from several popular Web sites to measure actual Internet surfing speed) and pored through data from over 17,000 profiles (that is, unique IP addresses).Cable vs. DSL: DSL and cable lines were for a time synonymous in people’s minds, but cable has clearly taken off in terms of sheer speed. Cable connections are 47 percent faster than DSLs. Cablevision’s Optimum Online tops the list, with an average nationwide SurfSpeed of 839 Kbps. And 61 percent of users declared themselves satisfied with the service. Even the slowest cable service provider (Earthlink, averaging 565 Kbps) was faster than some DSL providers, from CenturyTel at 520 Kbps down to Alltell’s measly 357. FrontierNet is the fastest DSL provider in the nation, averaging SufSpeeds of 724 Kbps. And, perhaps most importantly, just 27 percent of DSL users reported themselves satisfied.State by State: Analyzing regions offers insight and challenges, but the region with the fastest Internet service-the West-is just 14 Kbps faster than the slowest, the South at 551 Kbps. The difference between states, on the other hand, is shocking, with No. 1 Nevada offering residents Internet more than twice as fast as bottom-ranked New Mexico.The PCMag Fastest ISPs in America 2008 – State Ranking:RankingStateSurfSpeed (Kbps)1Nevada7812Virginia7653Pennsylvania7474New Jersey7275Connecticut7166New York7147Nebraska7078Oklahoma6959Massachusetts69510Maryland69111Illinois68112Georgia67913California66614Oregon66515Delaware64616Washington62517New Hampshire61518Minnesota60919Texas60520Ohio60021North Dakota59322Colorado56423Florida56224South Dakota56025Alabama55626Kentucky54727Michigan54428Missouri53929North Carolina53430Kansas52831Indiana52432Utah51733Rhode Island51634Arizona50535Tennessee47436Louisiana47037Idaho46138South Carolina45739Montana45540Maine42741West Virginia41742Mississippi41343Alaska40244Arkansas40245Wisconsin40246Iowa39847Vermont39148Wyoming37949Hawaii37850New Mexico322National avg557About the PCMag Digital NetworkThe PCMag Digital Network (www.PCMag.com(link is external)) is one of the world’s best-known publishers of leading technology-based digital content products. Its flagship property, PCMag.com, delivers comprehensive labs-based product reviews and the world-renowned PCMag Editors’ Choice Awards, the most trusted buying recommendations for technology products and services across the globe.Reaching more than seven million highly engaged technology buyers and influencers, PCMag Digital Network provides contextual marketing solutions that drive results. Brands within the Network also include ExtremeTech, Gearlog, Appscout, Smart Device Central, GoodCleanTech, DL.TV, Cranky Geeks, and PCMagCast. The Network’s content is delivered worldwide to readers across a multiple platform of Web sites, e-newsletters, Webcasts, broadband video, software downloads and RSS feeds to users in more than 20 countries.# # #last_img read more

Leadership Changes Announced at Downs Rachlin Martin

first_imgDowns Rachlin Martin PLLC,Business law attorney Paul H Ode, Jr of Burlington has been elected managing partner and chief executive officer of the law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. Ode took over on January 1 for John H. Marshall, who has held the post since the firm first adopted a managing partner governance model in 2002.Ode was elected by the firm s directors in December. He had previously served  as deputy managing partner and is a former chair of the firm s Business Law Group. He joined the firm in 1982 after completing a clerkship with U.S. District Court Chief Judge Albert W. Coffrin.Ode received the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2003 Community Excellence Award. He has served on the boards of directors of several community organizations including United Way of Chittenden County. He chaired the 2002 United Way campaign.Employment and Labor attorney Peter B. Robb, who practices from DRM s Brattleboro Office, will serve as deputy managing partner and chief operating officer. Robb is nationally known for his representation of management in employment and labor law, and has been the chair of the Employment and Labor Practice Group at the firm for many years. When he joined DRM in 1995, he had accumulated significant credentials in the labor and employment field as an attorney with Proskauer Rose in Washington, D.C. He began his career as a field attorney in Baltimore and later as chief counsel to Robert P. Hunter at the National Labor Relations Board and as a supervisory attorney and trial trainer for the Federal Labor Relations Authority.Eric D. Jones, who practices in both the Burlington and Lebanon, N.H. offices, will be the new chair of the Employment and Labor Practice Group. Jones represents regional and national employers in a broad range of matters, including the defense of employment disputes before state and federal courts and enforcement agencies. He regularly defends employers in lawsuits and administrative proceedings involving claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful discharge, wage & hour and leave law violations. Jones handles labor relations disputes, such as unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and labor arbitrations. He also counsels employers in establishing employment practices and policies and handling day-to-day human resources issues.Burlington attorney Thomas D. Kohler, an intellectual property litigator and patent prosecutor, was elected to membership in the firm as a director after first joining DRM in the fall. Most recently, Kohler was a partner in the San Francisco office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius. He brings to DRM not only years of experience in patent prosecution and IP law generally, but also expertise in litigation of significant patent disputes–an area that DRM has targeted for growth.DRM, with more than 85 attorneys and legal professionals in seven offices in Vermont and New Hampshire, provides legal services to local, national and international clients in practice areas that include litigation, business law, labor and employment, captive insurance, environmental law, trust and estates, family law, tax law, public utilities, real estate, health care, intellectual property, creditors rights, venture capital and insurance defense. The firm represents clients in legislative, regulatory and public affairs through the Government Affairs group. DRM is the law firm member for Vermont of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms.last_img read more

Mount Snow first resort in Vermont to open

first_imgMount Snow Resort,Mount Snow offered its earliest lift service opening in history last Saturday when the Discovery Shuttle lift loaded its first passenger at 9:30a.m. The early opening also made Mount Snow the first and only resort open in Vermont. The Launch Pad trail was filled with a dozen terrain park features and over 700 skiers and riders in attendance throughout the weekend.Lift tickets were sold for $10 or 10 non-perishable food items. All of the $5,000 and over 1,500 food items raised will be donated to the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry. This marks the second year in a row of Mount Snow donating its opening weekend revenue to charity. Last year they rose over $1,800 for the Guy Hawkins fund.Skiers and riders from as far north as Burlington and south as New Jersey made the trip for early season snow at the Fan Gun Capital of North America. The conditions did not disappoint and further proved the worth of Peak Resorts $9 million investment in snowmaking at Mount Snow over the past three seasons. On Sunday, the larger crowd of the two days was treated with some light snowfall by Mother Nature to add to the excitement of early season skiing and riding.For more information on Mount Snow please visit www.mountsnow.com(link is external).Source: Mount Snow. WEST DOVER (October 17, 2009)last_img read more

Organic farmers from North Carolina, Oregon & Vermont win top Stonyfield grants

first_imgThe Teagues of North Carolina, the Mahaffys of Oregon and the Beidlers of Vermont are the top three winners of the Stonyfield Organic Farmers Grant-a-Wish Program, which will fund a total of six innovative organic farming projects in the U.S. Consumers voted online for the winners after watching short videos about each one. All recipients are farmer-owners of Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, t he organic farmers’ cooperative which has supplied Stonyfield with organic milk for more than 15 years.‘It’s exciting that consumers are taking the time to get to know the farmers who grow their food and getting involved in ways like the Grant-a-Wish Program to help organic agriculture innovate and thrive,’ said Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield President and CE-Yo.”We are very proud of the Teagues, Mahaffys and Beidlers, and all our farmer-owners who entered their sustainability projects in the Grant-a-Wish program. We thank them for all they do each and every day to further the future of organic farming,’ said George Siemon, founding farmer and C-I-E-I-O of Organic Valley.The Teagues of Guilford County, North Carolina are the recipients of Stonyfield’s top $10,000 grant, which they will use to build a new, energy efficient feed mill to process organic grains for other organic dairy farmers in the southeast, as well as livestock growers and small farmers looking for local, organic feed. Their current mill, which is the only organic feed mill in the entire state, runs primarily by hand and is slow and inefficient. In addition to giving a big boost to organic agriculture in the region, George and Cherry Teague, who run the farm with their son Taylor, hope the new mill will help keep the next generation of Teagues on the farm. The Teagues have been Organic Valley farmer-owners since 2007.Tied for second place grants of $7,500 each are the Beidlers of Vermont and the Mahaffys of Oregon.Brent and Regina Beidler and their daughter Erin, of Randolph Center, Vermont, run one of the state’s few farms that grow organic grain in commercial quantities. They will use the grant funds to upgrade their antiquated seed cleaning equipment which will improve seed and flour quality, a benefit to the organic farmers who rely upon their grain. It will also help to provide increased food types to the local community, and help their farm to diversify and become more self-sufficient. The Beidlers have been Organic Valley farmer-owners since 2000.Peter and Kelly Mahaffy of Coos Bay, Oregon will use the grant to manage odor issues involved in using waste from the local seafood processors as their primary source of fertilizer. Their efforts will involve building a covered compost shed and adding a nutrient recycling system. As a result, they will generate nutrient dense organic compost ready to be used on their fields and shared with the community. The Mahaffys have been Organic Valley farmer-owners since 2003.Stonyfield also awarded three $2,000 grants which go to:Jon and Juli Bansen of Monmouth, Oregon, will use the grant funds to install a walk-through flytrap that vacuums flies off their cows. Fewer flies will result in reducing stress in the cows and increasing their productivity and milk quality. The Bansens have been Organic Valley farmer-owners since June 2000.Dana and Carol Shirk, who run a dairy farm with their five children in Tuscola County, Michigan, will use the funds to create an aquifer-fed farm pond that will support pasture irrigation and provide drinking water for their livestock. The Shirks have been Organic Valley farmer-owners since 2007.Jerry and Dotty Snyder and their eight children steward a 400 acre grass-based 50-cow dairy in Alfred Station, New York. Their grant will help build a pond for use by a hydro-electric generator that will provide needed power throughout the farm. The Snyders have been Organic Valley farmer owners since 2002.More than 70 organic farms applied for the Stonyfield Organic Farmer Grant-a-Wish Program. Six finalists were selected by a team of experts from Stonyfield and Organic Valley for their project’s environmental impact and ability to improve the long-term viability of organic farming. After viewing short videos describing each farmer’s project, nearly ten thousand consumers voted on-line for their first choice of grant recipient.‘The Stonyfield Organic Farmers Grant-a-Wish Program demonstrates how consumers, farmers and organic companies can partner with one another in ways that will help build and strengthen the organic community as a whole. I am proud to have been a part of this collaboration, and I salute the organic farmers who make it all possible,’ said Nancy Hirshberg, vice president of natural resources for Stonyfield Farm.For ongoing updates on the progress of each award recipient, visit Stonyfield Organic Farmers Grant-a-Wish Program on the web at www.facebook.com/stonyfieldfarm(link is external). For more information about Stonyfield Farm, visit www.stonyfield.com(link is external). For information about Organic Valley and its farmer-owners, visit www.organicvalley.coop(link is external).Stonyfield Farm: Dedicated to Healthy Food, Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy BusinessStonyfield Farm, celebrating its 27th year, is the world’s leading organic yogurt company. Its certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its use of organic ingredients helps keep over 180,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers known to contaminate soil, drinking water and food. To help reduce climate change, Stonyfield offsets all of the C02 emissions generated from its facility energy use. The company also started a nonprofit called Climate Counts (climatecounts.org) which shows people how they can help fight climate change by the way they shop and invest. Stonyfield also donates 10% of its profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth. For further information, visit www.stonyfield.com(link is external) or follow Stonyfield on Twitter @Stonyfield and @StonyfieldBiz, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/StonyfieldFarm(link is external).Organic Valley: Independent and Farmer-Owned Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,617 farmers in 33 states and three Canadian provinces, and achieved $621 million in 2010 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop(link is external), www.organicprairie.coop(link is external) or the cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop(link is external). Organic Valley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley(link is external). Londonderry, NH ‘ March 1, 2011 ‘last_img read more