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Female farmers

first_imgWomen own 13.6 percent of America’s active farms and their farms produce almost $13 billion worth of goods each year. Just like male farmers, they need access to business and technical information to help make their farms successful. But while many pride themselves on not needing a “women’s only” class on how to work the land or run a business, many other women simply feel more comfortable learning around other female farmers. That’s one of the motivations behind a recent series of female-centered classes offered by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. These programs will expand in 2016, but started this fall with a series of farm business classes based on the Annie’s Project curriculum as well as a hands-on equipment and cattle handling class. “Women in agriculture is such a hot topic, but, in reality, women have always been vital to farm families and agriculture as a whole,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension. “We are so excited to be able to deliver this targeted training and address the needs of this particular audience.” UGA Extension agents in Houston and Dougherty counties used the Annie’s Project curriculum to offer three-day workshops for female farmers in September. Annie’s Project is a program named in honor of Annie Fleck, a woman who spent her life learning to better herself as a business partner with her husband in Illinois. Deborah Murray, associate dean for extension and outreach in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, along with Martie Gillen from the University of Florida, secured funding for the project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency. The workshop received rave reviews in its first year. “Agriculture, in general, is a male-dominated industry. These sessions were designed to build up their knowledge, build up their confidence, kind of build up a bond between the women. That’s one thing I saw, the women really bonded with each other,” said Charlotte Meeks, UGA Extension county coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent for Houston County. Meeks is among the UGA Extension agents who have hosted the workshops for female farmers, a collaborative effort between Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agents and Agriculture and Natural Resources agents. The trainings were spread over three weeks in each county. “They really received a lot of information, on everything from taking a soil sample to growing vegetables to how to balance their farm books,” said Andrea Scarrow, UGA Extension Southwest District FACS program development coordinator. “The women are farmers, farm wives. It’s been amazing to see how they’ve interacted with each other.” In Houston County, one participant told Scarrow, “Being a woman, I go to the various meetings and nobody helps me.” During September’s workshops, approximately 40 women received agriculture-based information designed to further their knowledge. “I’m learning so I can find out what land I want to purchase and where I want to purchase it,” said Sister Karriemah, a participant in Dougherty County. “When I finally make my decision where to purchase the land, I have all this information and this place has the resources for me to come back to.” The women’s backgrounds differed greatly. Some were traditional farmers trying to gain information about production practices, others were widows of farmers looking to continue the family farming operation and others were retired and looking to learn a new trade. Later in the month in the northern part of state, a similar group of women learned a entirely different skill set at Women in Agriculture: A Hands-on Basic Training. Organized by Morgan County ANR agent Lucy Ray and Dade County agent Katie Hammond, their hands-on class focused on practical skills to help the farmers become more comfortable handling cattle and equipment. “It is one of those things where some women feel more comfortable asking questions and learning around other women,” Ray said. “I think the coolest thing about this class is not that it’s geared toward women, but that we’re offering a hands-on chance to practice some really important skills.” The women learned how vaccinate their animals by practicing on fruit, learned how to change the oil on their tractors, to drive newer model tractors and how to choose the correct trailers and field implements. For most women, it was that chance at the low-risk, hands-on practice of practical skills — like backing up a flat bed truck or moving cattle — that drew them to the oversold workshop. “I came just to learn how to change the oil in my tractor,” said Cyndi Ball, who runs an educational homestead farm in Statham, Georgia, and founded a growing national network of skill-sharing groups called “Ladies’ Homestead Gatherings.” “Even after all these years, I’m still taking my tractor in for that.” The class gave participants the confidence they needed to go home and start honing their newly learned skills. For more information about all of the programs offered by UGA Extension, visit extension.uga.edu.last_img read more

Duo to fly SA flag at World Cycling Champs

first_img19 February 2014Cycling South Africa has selected Bernard Esterhuizen and Nolan Hoffman to represent the country at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia, which takes place from 26 February to 2 March.Both the Opex (Operation Excellence) athletes have qualified for more than one event at the World Championships and, with the Commonwealth Games approaching, both men will have to deliver top-five performances to automatically qualify for the Games.PedigreeLondon 2012 Olympian Esterhuizen will compete in the 1km time trial (TT). He is a former Junior World Champion, and last year claimed to first places at the US Grand Prix of Sprinting.Hoffman won a silver medal at the World Championships in 2012 in the 15km Scratch. He will again compete in that event, as well as the 30km Points Race, having qualified for both by competing in the three 2013/2014 UCI Track World Cup rounds from early November 2013.Team manager Dean Edwards says the objective for the riders is to race to win, adding that there is a high level of expectation from them.‘Challenging for a medal’“Having spent three years as an Elite rider, we should start to see Bernard challenging for a medal in the 1km TT in the Elite ranks,” Edwards said.“It is a big step from Junior to Elite, but he has matured and has been based in the US, which helps a lot as he receives world-class coaching on international standard facilities.“I am expecting him to go top five in order to ensure he qualifies for the Commonwealth Games. The 1km TT will be Bernie’s main focus with the Sprint a secondary focus.”‘An achievement on its own’Edwards, who also serves as Hoffman’s Team Prinicpal with Team Abantu, said in a recent press release: “With just 24 riders from around the world qualifying and eligible to start in the UCI World Championships, Hoffman’s inclusion is an achievement on its own. It was an important objective to get him into both the events and he gave of his best to qualify.“It hasn’t been easy for him spending months travelling the world with minimal or sometimes no support staff, but he has put in the hard work and the results speak for themselves.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

10 months agoReal Madrid coach Solari frustrated after Villarreal draw: We had it in our hands

first_imgReal Madrid coach Solari frustrated after Villarreal draw: We had it in our handsby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari admitted frustration after their 2-2 draw with Villarreal.Santi Cazorla scored twice as Villarreal denied Real Madrid a chance to reduce the gap to La Liga leaders Barcelona.Cazorla’s curler earned the hosts an early lead before Karim Benzema’s header made it 1-1 after seven minutes.Raphael Varane’s header put Real ahead, but Cazorla’s late header moved Villarreal out of the relegation zone. Solari said, “We had it in our hands, we had to kill the match, then they pressed and scored the equaliser, they squeezed a lot, they are at home, they need the points. They attacked very well and we lacked depth.”On his decision to substitute Luka Modric, Solari explained, “He has given everything, Modric played with flu and has given us a lot of energy, everything he had, he made a great effort and a great match, when you leave everything you do not have energy for 90 minutes. “There are other players that can play, they are not Ballon d’Ors, but (Fede) Valverde at the moment he entered gave us energy and control, he has that stride and we are happy with the contribution of the youth.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Mary Robinson Says Climate Change Is A Human Rights Issue

first_imgIn a TED talk earlier this year, former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, outlined for the audience how she sees that climate change is actually a human rights issue, something she had not connected when she began as UN High Commissioner of Human Rights in 1997.When travelling in Africa, however, she kept seeing how climate change was stymieing villagers’ ability to grow food properly and prepare for their future. She cites Uganda’s long periods of drought, followed by flash flooding and then drought again, destroying harvests, livelihoods and infrastructure. She also cited Malawi, which suffered from unprecedented flooding in January 2015, which killed 300 people and lost livelihoods for hundreds of thousands.Robinson says that while the average Malawian emits about 80kg of C02 per year, the average American emits 17.5 metric tonnes. Ironically, people not contributing to global warming are suffering the consequences of it.Although it is generally agreed that we need to stay below two degrees Celsius of warming of pre-industrial standards, Robinson’s concern is that we’re on course for about four degrees. “We have to go to zero carbon emissions by about 2050,” she says, “if we’re going to stay below two degrees Celsius of warming. And that means we have to leave about two-thirds of the known resources of fossil fuels in the ground.”Although she sees great progress to cut emissions here and there, it is not enough, and she’d like to see better cooperation. “The reality is that this issue is much too important to be left to politicians and to the United Nations,” she says. “We face an existential threat to the future of our planet. And that made me realize that climate change is the greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century.”Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more

Danica Deckard dominating for Ohio State field hockey

Senior forward Danica Deckard is athletically explosive on the field. “Her first three steps will eliminate most defenders,” said women’s field hockey coach Anne Wilkinson. Deckard has led the Ohio State field hockey team’s offensive attack in previous years, and her senior campaign is shaping up to be her best campaign yet. Last season, Deckard earned second team All-Big Ten honors and led the Buckeyes in goals, netting 11 scores in 20 games. In the nine games she has played this season, Deckard has already amassed 10 goals. “She’s really very strong, a tough player to play against and she’s a goal scorer. She loves to find the back of the net and if there is a will there is a way for her,” Wilkinson said. Deckard does not take any credit when she talks about her wealth of goals, though. “Yeah, the goals are going in, but it’s easy when you have the people around you that are getting you the ball in the right place and the right time,” Deckard said. Wilkinson recruited Deckard out of Selinsgrove Area High School in Selinsgrove, Pa., and has seen her advance in her OSU career. She said Deckard’s strength and dynamic play stands out. “Her physicality, she is just really very strong,” Wilkinson said. “She gets a good clean reception on it, she’ll take off on you.” During their first four games, OSU totaled four goals and Deckard was the lone source of offense, scoring all four unassisted. After the 2-2 start, Deckard was reunited with fellow senior forward Berta Queralt who returned from time with the Spanish U-21 national team. “It’s been four years, we know a lot about each other, where we are going to move. It’s great to have one of your classmates that is also on your line,” Queralt said. Queralt has assisted Deckard on two of her 10 goals and Deckard has assisted Queralt on two of her six goals. Deckard’s collegiate success extends beyond the field. She is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Deckard’s ultimate goals for this year are the same as they’ve been most years, but the senior is not looking too far into the future. “Our goal is always to win the Big Ten outright and then go to NCAAs,” she said, “but we’re really just taking one game at a time and trying to win each game.” read more

Celebrate With a Slice Crypto Geeks Its Bitcoin Pizza Day

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 3 min read May 21, 2014 Register Now »center_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Grab a slice, Bitcoin lovers. It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day!  Delivery or DiGiorno? Nah, make it Papa John’s. It seems more fitting for this particular celebration. Let’s all raise a slice to Jacksonville, Fla., software programmer Laszlo Hanyecz.Four years ago today, Hanyecz laid claim to the ultimate crypto-nerd first. The early Bitcoin adopter forked over 10,000 bitcoins that he mined on his computer for about $25 worth of Papa John’s pizzas. Two hot, scrumptious pizza pies, to be exact.Internet legend has it that it was the first time anyone ever purchased anything using Bitcoin. And it was pizza. Go figure.Related: Nerds Rejoice. Google Glass and Bitcoin, Together at Last.That was back on May 22, 2010, when Bitcoin wasn’t worth jack — not a fraction (0.003) of a penny — not even as much as the gooey good cheese that topped the now legendary pizzas.With the price of a single BTC nearing $490 today, those same pies would cost upwards of $5 million worth of Bitcoin today. Yeah, we know Papa John’s promises “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” But, come on. It’s not that special.Naturally, the first thing Hanyecz did after ordering it was brag about it on BitcoinTalk, an early and still-popular Bitcoin discussion forum, even posting a mouthwatering pic of the pizzas for proof. “It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz later told The New York Times tech columnist Nick Bilton. “No one knew it was going to get so big. I’d say I ended up on top.”Now, before you kick off your pizza party, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. Bite first into Hanyecz’s historic BitcoinTalk pizza post, in which he describes his hankering for a pizza delivery paid in BTC:I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day.  I like having left over pizza to nibble on later.  You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a dealThanks,LaszloIf you happen to have some Bitcoin pizza money to spare, you can order yours now from PizzaForCoins.com, though it won’t be as cool as when Hanyecz ordered his back in the day, before Bitcoin went boom.   Related: 6 Crazy Things You Can Buy With Bitcoin (Paradise Included)last_img read more

Today everyone respects Arunachalam Muruganatham

first_imgToday, everyone respects Arunachalam Muruganatham, 52, a social entrepreneur who lives in the city of Coimbatore in South India. But there was a time, he says, when his neighbors were convinced he had lost his mind. Some even believed that he was a vampire.”It all started because I wanted to create a good sanitary napkin for my wife,” he laughs.That was back in 1998, when Muruganatham married Shanthi Natrajan. He saw that she would use torn rags to absorb the blood during the onset of her menstrual cycle. He was shocked to find out how common this practice was. Other women in the villages around Coimbatore would use whatever was at their disposal — wrapping small mounds of ash or sand in cloth to use as absorbents.Later that year, he began to experiment. He was intent on creating a cheaper sanitary napkin. “In the ’90s, the napkins were available in Indian stores and supermarkets, but because of high production costs, they were out of reach of many,” he says. And they weren’t always available in rural areas.At first, he thought he’d solved the problem when he wrapped tufts of cotton in gauze. Yet he soon realized that his handmade creation was flimsy and would disintegrate in minutes. It wasn’t easy to use either, his wife told him.But he wasn’t about to give up.Muruganatham’s single-minded obsession consumed nine years of his life and nearly cost him his marriage — but culminated with the invention of a machine that could manufacture low-cost, high-quality sanitary napkins. He was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014. In 2016, he won an Indian national award, the Padma Shri, given to civilians for their contributions to society.And this week, a Bollywood film called Pad Man, will premiere in India. Starring matinee idol Akshay Kumar, the movie tells his story.”I was concerned about personal hygiene and how this would affect a woman’s health,” says Muruganatham. “I realized that the lack of proper sanitary napkins restricted a woman’s mobility and stifled her confidence.”Indeed, improper menstrual hygiene is linked with fungal infections as well as urinary and reproductive tract infections. “It was something I was determined to help with,” says Muruganatham.A Man, A Mission, A MovieThe movie Pad Man tells the story of this 10th grade dropout, and how despite crushing difficulties and repeated failure, he succeeded in changing the lives of rural women for the better.The son of a textile weaver, Muruganatham had spent many years working in an iron welding workshop where he found he was good with his hands and enjoyed building things.”I believed I could manufacture cheaper sanitary napkins if I could just build a more cost-effective machine,” says Muruganatham.In the initial years, he enlisted his wife’s help. “He was always making rudimentary versions of sanitary napkins for me, weaving it from cotton and cloth,” says Shanthi. “At first, it was very embarrassing when he demanded my feedback.”Muruganatham was baffled by the secrecy and shame around what he viewed as a natural physiological change.And then there were the centuries worth of menstrual taboos and superstitions to contend with. “Many women believed that they were impure at this time. Shanthi once told me that milk would curdle if she were to handle it during her period,” he says.Even today, many taboos surround menstruation in India. Women aren’t allowed to enter a Hindu temple during their period. In some rural homes, they’re forced to live in a makeshift room outdoors, in isolation for a week.”I was determined to build the machine since I was convinced that proper sanitary hygiene and greater access to sanitary napkins would take the mystery out of it and help fight misconceptions,” says Muruganatham. “But every time I tried, the design would be faulty and it would churn out substandard napkins.” He asked his wife to test the quality of his test napkins but realized it’d take a long time to get feedback. “I had to wait a month [to test each new batch] and that slowed me down considerably,” he says.To speed up the process, he sought other volunteers. But most women were too embarrassed even to speak to Muruganatham. He approached medical students from a nearby university, thinking they’d have a more enlightened view of menstruation. They weren’t keen on giving him feedback either.And rumors were rife. “Everyone was saying such nasty things,” says Shanthi. “They said he was going out with other women, that he had a perverted interest in sanitary napkins. It was a very difficult time.” Misunderstandings cropped up between the couple. In 2000, Shanthi took the painful decision to leave.In spite of his estrangement, Muruganatham continued his fervent experiments. “I couldn’t allow myself to feel disillusioned. I needed to focus,” he says.It wasn’t until 2002 that he was able to uncover the list of materials that went into commercially manufactured sanitary napkins. He wanted to analyze why those napkins were successful and his weren’t. He learned that the commercially manufactured napkins used cellulose fibers derived from pine bark wood pulp, which allowed them to retain their shape even when wet. He included these ingredients in his own napkins.Goat’s Blood TestSince he wasn’t able to get more volunteers, he decided to test the quality of his sanitary napkins by wearing them himself. Nature hadn’t given Muruganatham a womb, but he didn’t let that stop him.In 2005, he fashioned a rubber pouch, which he fixed with a holster to his hip. Then he’d pay the local butcher to deliver fresh goat’s blood whenever there was a slaughter. (Goats are slaughtered more regularly than cows and pigs.) “I had to fill the pouch quickly to test the sanitary napkin, or else the blood would congeal,” he says. A tube led from the rubber pouch to drip blood into the napkin he was wearing, simulating menstruation. This proved an effective way to determine if the napkins held up and didn’t disintegrate. But Muruganatham reeked from the stench of animal blood. Neighbors, wondering out loud whether he was a pervert or a vampire, ostracized him.”The isolation proved good for me,” he laughs. “It helped me keep up my single-minded focus.”A Machine Is BornIn 2006, his persistence paid off. Muruganatham finally created a portable, semi-automated machine, powered by electricity, that could fit in a small space of about 11 by 11 feet and churn out two napkins a minute.The machine functioned like a kitchen blender. It would break down fine pine wood into fluffy pulp which was then shaped into rectangular strips. These strips were wrapped in cloth and disinfected in an ultraviolet treatment unit.The machine only cost about $1,500 to build. And the napkins could be sold for only 2 to 3 cents each, a tenth of the price of other commercially made napkins.”After so many years of being shunned and avoided — people would actually cross to the opposite side of the street if they saw me coming — the recognition felt surreal at first,” he says. “I could hardly believe it was happening.”In that breakthrough year of 2006, Muruganatham’s machine won an award at the National Innovation Foundation of India. Later that year, he received seed funding to start constructing the machines on a larger scale. His company–Jaishree Industries– was born. (Jaishree means ‘the honor of victory’) It was also the year that he reconciled with his wife, when she called him after watching him on a TV interview.Since then, he has supplied over 4,000 machines to women in India and has shipped over 200 machines to 27 developing nations across the world.His story gripped Bollywood actor and author Twinkle Khanna, who wrote about him in her second book — The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad — a collection of short stories. One of these fictional tales was based on Muruganatham’s life.She went on to produce the biopic Pad Man.”My primary motivation to make a movie on menstruation was to bring awareness to a subject that so far has been tucked away in shadows and like Voldemort is never mentioned,” says Khanna. “Pad Man, I am hoping, is more than a movie — it’s part of a movement where women are no longer hampered, embarrassed or held back because of their biology.”Her husband, leading man Akshay Kumar plays the role of Muruganatham. He’s no stranger to movies with a social agenda; he starred in Toilet — A Love Story, a 2017 movie that promoted the importance of indoor plumbingTrue to the Bollywood tradition, the movie has five songs. “Aaj Se Teri” pays tribute to Pad Man’s love for his wife. In “The Pad Man Song,” the leading man wears a pad, just as Muruganatham once did. The lyrics say how he never had an opportunity to go to college, but now, college students are studying his work.The song “Sayaani” covers the rituals surrounding a woman’s first period in India, from pouring turmeric water over her body to applying turmeric and sandalwood paste to her cheeks. The lyrics imply that the first period is a life-changing event that should be celebrated.Muruganatham laughs as he recalls the way he reacted when Khanna called him a couple of years ago to discuss film rights. “I didn’t take her offer seriously at first. I tried brushing her off. I said I was in London on a trip, and she said, great, let’s meet, because I’m in London too.” And so they did.Today, the movie has launched a viral social media campaign to get men talking about periods: The biggest Bollywood stars are posing with sanitary napkins in hand in the #PadManChallenge.There’s been some pushback, calling the campaign “a stupid marketing gimmick.”But Muruganatham is on board. In fact, he was the first to kick off this campaign on social media. “Its not about a photo,” he tweets. “Its all about breaking the taboo & initiating the conversation, Period!” Pun intended!Kamala Thiagarajan is a freelance journalist based in Madurai, South India. Her work has appeared in The International New York Times, BBC Travel and Forbes India. You can follow her @kamal_t Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2031/IMG9307.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more