Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable plant pathologist, has been named to the first class of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Award winners.Great American Media Services, publishers of Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News, give the awards to outstanding young professionals in the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry who demonstrate excellent commitments to making their marks through innovation and leadership. Dutta will be honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO on Dec. 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.“This recognition means a lot to me, moreso to my vegetable Extension and research program. I consider this achievement a collective effort of my team of field and lab personnel, county Extension agents, industry cooperators, and my collaborators from UGA and other institutions,” said Dutta, who also serves as an assistant professor of plant pathology in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.In just a short time working on the UGA Tifton campus, Dutta has been part of several research projects that have impacted Georgia vegetable producers. By demonstrating that growth-stage-based, targeted, protective copper applications can reduce the number of sprays in a season, Dutta and county Extension agents who focus on the onion industry helped Georgia onion farmers improve their management of center rot in onions. They recommended management practices with the potential to save growers $350 per acre.Dutta has also been instrumental in providing watermelon growers with management options for Fusarium wilt disease. The collaborative team of county Extension agents and UGA scientists, including Dutta, investigated strategies that involved methyl bromide alternatives and fungicides. They found that preplant applications of chloropicrin and three bimonthly applications of prothioconazole could significantly reduce cases of Fusarium wilt.“Through the new strategy developed in this project, sustainable watermelon production will be established, which our growers will readily accept,” Dutta said.Dutta, along with Cliff Riner, UGA Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center coordinator, led a research project to improve management of botrytis leaf blight in onions through early- and late-season fungicide spraying. In a multiyear study, the team demonstrated that early-season Fontelis applications improve the effectiveness of late-season fungicide treatments. This current recommendation has the potential to increase growers’ profits by as much as $1,000 per acre.“Based on a recent survey with the county agents, the adoption rate of this recommendation in 2018 is 40 percent. In upcoming years, it is expected to be widely adopted by our onion growers,” Dutta said.A native of Kolkata, India, Dutta earned his bachelor’s degree from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. He earned his doctoral degree in 2011 from UGA, where he studied under UGA plant pathologist Ron Walcott. Dutta joined UGA researchers Ron Gitaitis and David Langston’s vegetable pathology program in 2012, where he researched bacterial diseases of vegetable crops.
District 4 winners100-299 acres: Bucky Tyler; Irwin County; 162 acres; 5,976 lbs/acre 300-699 acres: Robert Davison; Brooks County; 442 acres; 5,605 lbs/acre 300-699 acres: Chip Dorminy; Irwin County; 637 acres; 5,633 lbs/acre 700-plus acres: Nellwood Farms/Hal Cromley; Bulloch County; 1,111 acres; 5,813 lbs/acre Fifteen of Georgia’s top peanut producers were honored this past weekend at the annual Georgia Peanut Achievement Club meeting on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The meeting recognizes Georgia’s highest-yielding peanut growers every year.“When you’re talking about yields from 5,800 pounds to 6,800 pounds, that’s still almost 2,000 pounds more than the state average. You can’t argue with that,” said Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist.UGA’s peanut research and Extension programs were key components for many of the farmers’ successful 2017 peanut seasons.“When you’re talking about Extension, we’ve got one of the best,” said Bucky Tyler, a winner in District 4. Tyler produced 5,976 pounds of peanuts per acre on 162 acres in Irwin County, Georgia.Tyler also thanked Irwin County Extension Coordinator Phillip Edwards for always “going to bat” for farmers.“It’s a big honor. We appreciate (UGA) holding the event. We thank the good Lord for sending us rain and making a crop,” he said.Eddie Miller of 4 Miller Farms in Seminole County, Georgia, was also a state winner. He produced 6,674 pounds of peanuts per acre on 931 acres. He credited UGA Extension specialists and county agents for helping him successfully grow this abundant yield. “Without the (specialists and county agents), we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Miller said.Monfort said that 90 percent of peanuts grown this year are Georgia-06G peanuts. UGA peanut breeder Bill Branch released Georgia-06G, the variety grown the most in Georgia fields, in 2006.During the meeting, the University of Georgia Peanut Team also held an open forum meeting with peanut producers and industry leaders Saturday in hopes of improving an industry that surpassed $624 million in farm gate value in 2016, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Seed quality, potential loss of insecticides, fungicide programs and water requirements were some of the main points of emphasis during the morning discussion.Monfort said that the peanut achievement program would not be successful without the continued support of the peanut industry. BASF, Bayer Crop Science, AMVAC, the American Peanut Shellers Association, the Georgia Peanut Commission and the National Peanut Buying Points Association, along with the UGA Peanut Team, support the Georgia Peanut Achievement Program each year.This year’s Georgia Peanut Achievement Club winners are:State winners100-299 acres: Matt Bryan; Baker County; 228 acres; 6,892 lbs/acre 300-699 acres: Chloe Rentz; Baker County; 324 acres; 6,865 lbs/acre700-plus acres: 4 Miller Farms; Seminole County; 931 acres; 6,674 lbs/acre District 2 winners100-299 acres: John Gaines Jr.; Baker County; 168 acres; 6,839 lbs/acre 700-plus acres: Jerry Jr. and Jeff Heard Farms; Baker County; 1,078 acres; 5,859 lbs/acre District 3 winners100-299 acres: Daniel Newberry; Jefferson County; 331 acres; 6,473 lbs/acre 300-699 acres: C&S Farms, Scott Moore; Dooly County; 388 acres; 6,473 lbs/acre 700-plus acres: Kerry and Lisa Hodges; Screven County; 735 acres; 5,893 lbs/acre District 1 winners100-299 acres: Hillside Farms/Mike Newberry; Early County; 255 acres; 6,718 lbs/acre 300-699 acres: Chase Farms Inc.; Macon County; 524 acres; 6,432 lbs/acre 700-plus acres: Jimmy Webb; Calhoun County; 903 acres; 5,821 lbs/acre
Julie Borlaug is continuing the legacy of her late grandfather, agronomist and Nobel laureate Norman E. Borlaug, and inspiring the next generation by advocating for innovation and technology in agricultural production to end world hunger.She will deliver the D.W. Brooks guest lecture, “Using Innovation and Technology to End Hunger and Poverty,” as part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) annual faculty awards celebration.The event, which is open to the public, will be held on Zoom at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 10, 2020, with a short Q&A session to follow.“Now is the time for us to demonstrate how our passion and dedication have found solutions to the major threats we face as a collective human species: food and nutrition security, environmental stability and sustainability,” Borlaug wrote in an Agri-Pulse column earlier this year, an example of her thought leadership and public communication about agriculture.Borlaug is vice president of external relations for Inari Agriculture, a seed company using data and biological science to transform plant breeding using approaches that significantly reduce inputs like land and water required to produce food and feed. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum last year.“Julie is the epitome of who we call an ‘agvocate’ — an agricultural advocate — who is using her skills and passion to solve and communicate global agricultural and environmental challenges,” said Joe West, interim dean and director of CAES. “We are delighted to have her speak to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.”Borlaug has developed agricultural partnerships between public, private and philanthropic groups to expand the mission to feed the world’s hungry. She previously served as director of strategic initiatives for Texas A&M Agrilife Research, associate director of external relations for the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, and director of development for the American Cancer Society. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from Texas A&M University and her master’s in business administration from the University of Dallas.Faculty awards announcedThe 2020 D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the college, will be given to five faculty members for outstanding work across the college’s mission areas. The 2020 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching goes to Gregory Colson, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, who has developed hands-on experiments and games for his classes to reinforce the material and give students a tangible experience to complement the theory lesson.The 2020 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research goes to Esther van der Knaap, a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, who has spent much of her career working to understand the genetic shifts that have occurred between ancestral, wild tomato varieties and modern, cultivated tomatoes.The 2020 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension goes to Tim Coolong, a professor in the Department of Horticulture, who primarily conducts vegetable field research but has worked on a broad variety of topics, from germplasm evaluation to food safety in vegetables to hemp production.The 2020 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service Extension goes to Phillip Edwards, a UGA Cooperative Extension county coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Irwin County, who has conducted 139 applied research trials resulting in more than 50 state and/or national presentations and posters. The 2020 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Global Programs goes to Bob Kemerait, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, who has been a leader in USAID-funded projects to improve peanut production among small-scale farmers in Guyana, Haiti and the Philippines and recently received a Fulbright award to work with faculty and farmers in the northern Philippines. “Although we can’t celebrate them together in person, we are delighted to honor these exceptional faculty members,” said West. “Each of them brings unique skills that strengthen our discoveries and dissemination of scholarly work through education and outreach programs. They exemplify the quality we strive for as a land-grant college.”The D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards is named in memory of the late D.W. Brooks, founder of Gold Kist Inc. Brooks started Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies in 1941. An alumnus and faculty member of CAES, Brooks advised seven U.S. presidents on farm and trade issues.For more information about this year’s event and to tune in to the D.W. Brooks Lecture on Nov. 10, visit dwbrooks.caes.uga.edu.
SymQuest Acquires Business Operations of UBIQ Imaging SolutionsSOUTH BURLINGTON, VT Larry Sudbay, President and Chief Executive Officer of SymQuest Group, Inc. has announced that the company has recently acquired the business operations of UBIQ Imaging Solutions, with offices in Portland and Bangor, Maine. In addition to serving its clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, the acquisition of UBIQ Imaging Solution’s business operations will allow SymQuest to also service clients in the Seacoast region, as well as the immediate inland areas of both New Hampshire and Maine.Designing, installing and supporting business technologies that handle the information flow of electronic and physical communications, SymQuest currently houses its headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont and has offices in Rutland, Vermont, as well as Plattsburgh, New York, and Keene and West Lebanon, New Hampshire. SymQuest employs 130 technology professionals. The acquisition of UBIQ will add 20 additional technology professionals.SymQuest has a history of growth and acquisition as evidenced by its purchase of IniNet, Inc. in Keene, New Hampshire in 2004; its expansion into the Plattsburgh, New York region in 2006; and most recently, its acquisition of UBIQ Imaging Solutions in Maine.”We are pleased to join forces with the UBIQ staff who share our standards of delivering service above client expectations and ensuring that clients are ahead of the curve in the fast-paced world of technology. In order to continue to provide our clients with the best resources, we must constantly evolve and geographical growth is a natural part of that equation,” says Sudbay.SymQuest’s Continued Pattern of GrowthSudbay founded SymQuest with Pat Robins in 1996 – a $10 million business at that time. SymQuest furthered its expansion with the acquisition of IniNet, Inc. in 2004. SymQuest gained a well-developed presence in the Keene, New Hampshire region. Founded in 1996, IniNet provided IT services, network design and consulting.Sudbay explains, “The integration of IniNet’s business and resources of technical people provides a remarkable advantage for our clients in New Hampshire, Southern Vermont and Massachusetts. We shared similar philosophies and cultures. As a result of the acquisition, SymQuest has increased market reach, providing better levels of service.”IniNet’s former owner and current Service Director for SymQuest’s Keene office, Scott Vickery adds, “IniNet had reached a stage of growth when an investment in resources and infrastructure was required for continued success. This was just an innate progression towards success for everyone involved: the clients and both the employees of IniNet and SymQuest.”In 2006, SymQuest opened their Plattsburgh office. The branch has experienced success in the region and continues to grow, establishing a solid presence for the company in the Northern New York market.Sudbay commenced talks regarding a potential acquisition of UBIQ Imaging Solution’s business operations with its President and Founder, Jim Chamoff in early 2007. Locally owned, the Portland-based company provides digital imaging products to businesses throughout Maine and southern New Hampshire, including a complete range of hardware and software options for corporate and small businesses. UBIQs products and services include color imagers, corporate printers, small office printers, faxes, document management, secure printing and cost accounting.Chamoff has a career spanning more than two decades in the office equipment business. Throughout his career, Chamoff has excelled in delivering his extensive industry knowledge, personal enthusiasm and business experience to clients in Maine and southern New Hampshire.”We are thrilled about working together. SymQuest brings vast resources and benefits to UBIQ and its clients, such as: IT expertise, a Network Operations Center and 24/7 remote monitoring capabilities.”UBIQ was formed in late 2001 and has experienced significant growth during the past six years. We have approximately 20 employees between our Bangor and Portland offices; so, increasing from 20 employees to 150 is a positive development for both our internal operations and the clients we serve.”What Larry and his team have built at SymQuest is more than impressive. I immediately realized that my vision for the future of UBIQ is precisely what SymQuest is today, and that we are moving in the same direction,” said Chamoff.”Going forward, SymQuest will continue to expand the areas we serve with a constantly developing range of services. Currently, we are successfully transitioning from an emergency-based support approach to a comprehensive management services package – a more proactive approach,” says Sudbay.
Group Urges Vermont Yankee License RenewalAt PSB Hearing They Note that Plant’s Power is Criticalfor Vermont’s Economy and Quality of LifeMontpelier, VT/September 15, 2008 – The Vermont Energy Partnership, a diverse group of more than 90 business, labor, and community leaders as well as individual energy experts today reiterated its strong support for the license renewal of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon.At the Vermont Public Service Board hearing Monday on the license renewal of the plant and through written remarks, more than a dozen Partnership members will comment on the plant’s importance and how it serves the public good. They addressed its safety record, its economic importance, and its role in mitigating pollution and keeping Vermont clean.Below are excerpts.On the Plant’s Overall Importance to Vermont”Vermont Yankee is a safe, highly scrutinized, and well operated facility that provides clean power to the region. Its license should be renewed. The continued operation of Vermont Yankee is vital to Vermont. It provides abundant and low-cost electricity, is an important component of our diverse power supply, produces practically zero greenhouse gas emissions, and provides substantial economic benefits for Vermont’s economy. For economic and environmental reasons, Vermont’s Yankee’s license renewal makes compelling sense.”Brad FerlandPresidentThe Vermont Energy PartnershipOn the Electricity Challenges at Hand”Today, Vermont Yankee produces about 70 percent of all electricity produced in Vermont. This baseload production is without carbon, sulfur, mercury, or nitrogen oxides, all of which contribute to air pollution. Any substitute will require additional transmission and sightings. With today’s technology, our baseload supply cannot be achieved through a combination of conservation, efficiencies and alternative supply. The alternative would have to be either coal or gas-fired generation creating pollution.”Milt EatonFormer Vermont Secretary of Development and Community Affairs and Retired U.S. Department of Energy OfficialOn Environmental Benefits”Vermont can proudly say it has one of the lowest carbon emitting electricity portfolios of any state in the U.S. largely because of Vermont Yankee’s operation. For over thirty years, Vermont Yankee has been providing Vermont with one-third of its electricity without emitting carbon, nitrogen and sulfur dioxides that destroy air, water and land quality.”Jennifer ClancyEnvironmentalistOn Economic Benefits”The value of Vermont Yankee for the Windham County community is immense. The plant provides hundreds of jobs and large tax revenues. Should Vermont Yankee not be re-licensed, Windham County would lose a major contributor to our economy. The electric rate, because of Vermont Yankee, helps to keep many of our local employers competitive in the world market.”Dart EverettBusiness Leader, Brattleboro, VTOn Safety”Vermont Yankee’s safety culture and practices ensure that the plant is one of the safest places in Vermont. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has nuclear energy experts at Vermont Yankee daily. These highly qualified individuals make sure that Vermont Yankee adheres to rigorous and comprehensive safety programs. Vermont Yankee has an excellent safety record and has consistently been given the NRC’s highest annual safety rating – green.”Dennis McMahonCommunity Leader, Chittenden County# # #
Citizens Bank,The Citizens Bank Foundation announced today a $15,000 grant to Vermont s Community Action Agencies as part of its Energy$ense program.The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity Inc., (CVOEO) will serve as the conduit to distribute the funds among the four other Community Action Agencies, which include BROC-Community Action in southwestern Vermont, Central Vermont Community Action Council, Inc, North East Kingdom Community Action, Inc and Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. CVOEO is a nonprofit agency whose mission is to address fundamental issues of economic, social and racial justice and to work with low-income people to achieve economic independence.The grant is part of Citizens Energy$ense program, a multi-faceted initiative to help homeless shelters, local nonprofits and consumers address heat, utility and other energy costs. The $15,000 grant from Citizens Bank Foundation will help with programs such as weatherization to reduce energy costs, at a time when our Community Action Agencies resources are stretched thin and demands for services are rising. While everyone s feeling the sting of high energy prices in a struggling economy, nonprofits, which run on exceedingly tight budgets, have really struggled this winter, said Cathleen Schmidt, Citizens Bank President for Vermont. By assisting worthy organizations such as our Community Action Agencies, we enable these groups to focus on their core programs such as weatherization to help low-income households coping with fuel costs. We re extremely grateful for the encouragement and financial support of the Citizens Bank Foundation, said CVOEO Executive Director Tim Searles. Our services are required more than ever now and every dollar helps. This generous contribution goes a long way toward helping us accomplish our mission.The Energy$ense program also includes two below-market interest-rate, unsecured loans for qualified borrowers to make energy-efficient upgrades or improvements to their homes. Customers who take advantage of the discount borrowing opportunity by March 31, 2009, will have the option to defer their first payment for 90 days. The two loans offered as part of the Energy$ense program are:The Citizens Bank Energy Efficiency Loan designed to help income-eligible borrowers and/or those who live in targeted geographies, finance weatherization projects to help make their homes more energy-efficient. The $1,000, 3% APR fixed-rate loan has a three-year term with a low monthly payment of $29.08 per month. There are no fees or closing costs associated with the loan. Under the same guidelines and for larger home-improvement projects, Citizens Bank also is offering a 5% APR on loans up to $10,000 at terms payable up to seven years.The EZ Home Improvement Loan a $1,000, 3% APR fixed-rate loan, is available to income-eligible borrowers, and/or those living in targeted geographies, who want to update their homes. Citizens is offering a 6% APR on loans for larger home-improvement projects, up to $10,000, payable up to seven years.To apply for an EZ Home Improvement Loan or Citizens Bank Energy Efficiency Loan, homeowners should visit a Citizens Bank branch or call 1-877-TOP-RATE. To be eligible, borrowers must live in a low or moderate-income neighborhood, or have income that is less than 80% of the median income.Through Energy$ense, Citizens is providing consumers information about ways they can stay warm and safe during the winter. Helpful tips include choosing electric heaters and extension cords that are UL rated, insulating pipes and water heaters, and installing carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.About the Citizens Bank FoundationCitizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation s support is focused on housing, community development and basic human needs. CFG s Web site is citizensbank.com.
The Sammis Family has purchased the historic 18-hole Montague golf club in Randolph. Immediate plans are to upgrade the facility with a new entrance driveway and golf paths, 36 new Club Car golf carts and 36 new Amish-made swinging benches on all Men’s and Ladies’ Tees. The golf course is open to the public. More information is available at www.montaguegolf.com(link is external).
In a clear sign that the recession may be easing, commercial and industrial investment in the second quarter fell 8.9 percent, according to the July 31 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This represents a stark improvement over the first quarter nonresidential construction decline of 39 percent.Compared to the change in GDP last quarter, most of the components within the category of fixed investment fell, but by a moderate degree. Among various components within the nation’s GDP, the biggest decline was in residential construction which fell by 29.3 percent. Investment in equipment and software was down by 9 percent during the quarter, after having fallen 36.4 percent the previous quarter.”Based on ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), infrastructure-related construction is set to accelerate significantly over the next several months.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban BasuOverall, consumer spending fell by 1.2 percent, lead by a 7.1 percent decline in consumption of durable goods. Consumption of services was up by 0.1 percent after having fallen 0.3 percent. Exports were down, but to a much lesser degree than the estimated 7 percent, while imports were down by 15.1 percent. The decline in the nation’s imports compared to exports indicates a contraction of the trade deficit. Government spending was up 5.6 percent; this important component contributed greatly to the softening in the decline of GDP growth.In all, real gross domestic product fell 1 percent during the second quarter of 2009 following a decline of 6.4 percent during the previous quarter. The second quarter of 2009 marks the fourth consecutive quarterly decline of GDP.What This Means“As predicted, the pace at which the U.S. economy is shrinking slowed significantly during the second quarter of 2009. It is important to note, however, that construction activities were not found to be an important factor in this improvement,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The moderation in the economic downturn was largely attributable to other factors, including a shrinking trade deficit and government spending.“Many nonresidential construction activities continue to be in sharp decline. This is particularly true within the commercial construction segments of the industry, which include construction related to office building, retail space, hotel, and other sectors particularly susceptible to business cycles,” said Basu.“However, certain nonresidential construction activities will help bring the economy out of recession over the next several months,” said Basu. “Based on ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), infrastructure-related construction is set to accelerate significantly over the next several months.”Source: Associated Builders & Contractors. July 31, 2009
1: Pictured (left to right): Doug Guthrie, Senior Vice President, Comcast Western New England Region, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation, Mary Alice McKenzie, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Karla Ballard, Vice President of Social Innovations for One Economy, and Pam Mackenzie, Area Vice President, Comcast Vermont. Comcast Cable,On Friday, June 4, Comcast and One Economy were joined by elected officials and community leaders at the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington in Vermont to celebrate the launch of the Comcast Digital Connectors Program. Burlington is the fifth city in the nation to roll out the digital literacy program, which teaches young adults about broadband technologies and how to put that knowledge to work and serve the local community. Comcast s David Cohen was on hand to help celebrate the launch and various elected officials, including US Senator Patrick Leahy and Vermont Governor Jim Douglas also attended and showed their support.
Vermont’s Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission will release its final report onJanuary 13, 2011 at 11 am in State House Room 11 in Montpelier. The Commission wascreated by legislative act in May 2009. The Commission’s purpose, as set forth by statute, wasto examine Vermont’s tax system and recommend improvements for the future. Thecommission’s final report will feature findings, recommendations, and a minority report. What: Commission hearing presenting the Commission’s recommendations to the Legislature. Who: Kathy Hoyt, Blue Ribbon Tax Structure CommissionWilliam Sayre, Blue Ribbon Tax Structure CommissionWilliam Schubart, Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission When: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Where: The State House, Montpelier, VT Room 11 www.vermonttaxreform.org(link is external)