Champs Windward Road make early move at INSPORTS Junior High Championships

first_imgDefending champions Windward Road Primary and Junior High lead the overall points standing after five finals on day one of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Junior High School Athletics Championship at Stadium East yesterday.Windward Road also lead the girls’ section with 35 points, while John Mills are in front in the male category on 17.50 points.The Oral Whilby-coached Windward Road won two finals yesterday to accumulate 52.50 points and lead ahead of main rivals John Mills, who won one final and have amassed 47.50.Whilby described the day as a very good one, noting that his team exceeded expectations after winning two five finals.Michaelia Wilson took the girls’ Class One high jump with a leap of 1.54 metres, while Kishuana Smith took the girls’ shot put open with a throw of 9.63 metres. They also took silver in the Class Two girls’ high jump and Class Three boys’ long jump.Calabar’s Kevin Smith won the boys’ Class Two high jump with 1.69 metres and Braeton’s Mickel Wilson won the Class Three long jump with 5.05 metres.”We had some good results and some valuable points are on the board, so it was a fairly decent first day,” said Whilby. “Tomorrow (today), we anticipate another good day; there will be 21 finals, and we expect to be out front again tomorrow.”They (John Mills) are in many finals, and we are also in most finals with two athletes, so it’s going to be a straight shoot-out between us and John Mills and may the best man win,” he stated.John Mills’ only finals success on the day came from Shella Hamber (4.32m) in the Class Three girls long jumpHowever, coach Ransford Spalding was pleased with his team’s performance on the opening day.”All in all, I am satisfied with the performance of my team; we are just four points behind and they are giving a good account of themselves,” he said.Twenty-one finals are scheduled for today’s second day, with the first event set to begin at 9 a.m.last_img read more

State Visit: A Time to Reflect

first_imgNow the long awaited State visit to the UK by President Zuma has taken place, John Battersby reflects on the historic occasion. Visit Reconnect Africa to read more.Gallery: Zuma’s UK state visitlast_img

Livestock and the 2018 Farm Bill

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseBy most accounts, the 2018 Farm Bill was a big win for livestock producers. Effective policy for the sector has largely been left out of farm bills in the past, but that trend appears changing in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.The 2018 Farm Bill is expected to cost $867 billion over the next decade and features major changes with dairy policy with higher coverage levels in the new Dairy Margin Coverage program (DMC). The DMC allows all dairy producers to insure margins up to $9.50 per hundredweight on their first 5 million pounds of Tier 1 production history. The DMC features lower-cost $5 margin coverage, allowing farm operations wishing to cover more than 5 million pounds of production to have a higher level of affordable catastrophic protection and expanded access to additional risk management tools allowing producers to participate in options including the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program and the new Dairy Revenue Protection program. The USDA has also indicated that the dairy programs will be an early priority for farm bill implementation and that producers will be able to sign up for their coverage retroactive to Jan. 1.Retired Ohio State University agricultural economics professor Carl Zulauf recently shared his thoughts on the dramatic dairy changes in the DMC provisions in Title I.“The highest margin levels for Tier I production are 9.50, up from $8. This is a big increase in coverage and a major change in payment levels for dairy. They lowered premiums at the same time and gave discounts,” he said. “It is clear that Congress wants this to be the dairy policy and they are trying to make it as attractive to producers as possible.”Zulauf and Christopher Wolf, with the Michigan State University Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, took an in depth look at the significant changes to the dairy sector in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Here are their observations from Dairy Provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill.This confirms a strong commitment to dairy policy based on the margin between milk prices and feed costs, not the price of milk and milk products as characterized dairy support policy prior to the 2014 farm bill.The 2018 dairy policy changes are clearly designed to increase payments to dairy farms, likely driven by concerns over financial stress in the U.S. dairy sector.The 2018 dairy policy changes most benefit small dairy farms in terms of dollars per hundredweight.When measured by percent change in profit or loss, mid-size dairies appear to benefit most.The analysis suggests that the 2018 dairy policy changes do not appear to alter the economies of size forces at work pressing dairy farms to get larger or differentiate out of commodity milk production. For example, no farm size has 2014-2017 losses turned into profits.The 2018 dairy policy changes do, however, raise a policy issue of potentially great importance: “Is DMC providing so much support that it increases the economic incentive to produce milk and/or reduce the willingness of financially stressed dairy farms to leave the sector?” To the extent the future reveals a “yes” answer, more milk production means lower milk prices and thus higher cost of the DMC program to the Federal government. Emergence of this outcome could mean that, in its desire to help financially struggling dairy farmers, Congress has created a DMC program that may cost so much that political friction for change emerges. In the past, this type of dairy policy has often resulted in various programs to buy out dairy herds. In short, whatever the future holds, DMC will likely be watched closely by both supporters and detractors, both within and outside the U.S. dairy sector.Ohio State University Program Manager for the Farm Management Program Ben Brown also urges caution with big farm bill wins for the dairy industry.“If I’m a dairy producer, I am happy with the program changes that were made and the refunds that will help with cash flow,” Brown said. “But there is a fundamental debate about the role of government in agriculture. The challenge for dairy is to have a program that meets your needs and operates in an effective way, but you don’t want to go so far that the next farm bill they come back and make big changes the other way because they felt it went too far. It is a like a pendulum that, if it swings too far, can swing opposite the other way. A prime example of this is what cotton had in the early 2000s. The next go around they were left completely out of the farm bill.”There are also farm bill livestock perks outside of Title I, Brown said.“For all of livestock there is actually the inclusion of the National Animal Preparedness and Response Program in the Miscellaneous Title. This is the really the first time we have seen the Miscellaneous Title have the biggest increase in funding compared to all of the other titles. At least we can’t find it. We went back to the ‘96 Farm Bill and we haven’t found one yet that had the Miscellaneous Title with the biggest increase in funding. Part of the reason that was such an increase was the inclusion of this program,” Brown said. “Livestock producers, for a number of years, have been advocating for a vaccine bank in this program — a storage facility for the diseases and the vaccines for them. They have been advocating for $150 million a year. The farm bill is funding it for $150 million over 10 years, so by far less than what livestock groups have asked for or wanted. But I think it is a positive direction because the first thing is always getting your foot in the door and I think this does that.”Growing global disease concerns help set the political stage for the inclusion of the National Animal Preparedness and Response Program, Brown said.“One reason we saw this is what we are seeing in Asia with the African Swine Fever. That is a very tangible issue that helped get that into the farm bill,” Brown said. “The next phase is implementation, and we don’t know how that will work yet, but this is a step in the right direction.”The Miscellaneous Title also includes provisions for the cleaning and distribution of wool and measures to help young farmers.“Congress has been working on the barriers for entry for young farmers and ranchers. There was a report in the 2014 Farm bill that outlined the problem, but there was no definite policy to work on fixing the problem,” Brown said. “This farm bill puts around $43 million a year into a young farmers and ranchers program to see if they can bolster some enrollment for young farmers. There are some states trying programs that could be part of our national policy. Iowa has a program that defers taxes for farmers who sell land to a young farmer. We’ll have to see what comes of this. I think this is the first step. I think this is the foot in the door that could be a really positive thing down the road.”Even though it has been signed by President Trump, there is still plenty of work yet to be done with the implementation of the bill.“The implementation is as important or more important than getting the farm bill passed. We’ll have to see how some of these things get implemented and if they are more relevant or less relevant based on how this goes. This is a win for livestock in this farm bill,” Brown said. “Given the large voting margins, I think there was something in this bill that appealed to everybody, whether you’re living in a rural area or an urban area.”last_img read more

Can the EDGE Green Building System Save the Planet?

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Drawing Lessons from Ancient RootsNatural Building In NicaraguaTales From Armenia A three-part approachEDGE was created by the International Finance Corporation, one of five organizations that comprise the World Bank Group. It has three component parts.First, there is free web-based software that is country and building-type specific (ranking a project against typical similar buildings). It recommends measures to reduce energy and water use, and includes sophisticated databases and calculations that make separate energy modeling obsolete. The software even projects the dollar return on investment for specific contemplated design features.Second, EDGE creates a new pass-or-fail green building standard for projects that are able to demonstrate 20% less energy use (from efficient HVAC systems, superior glazing, low-energy lighting, solar solutions, etc.) than the city-specific prototype; 20% less water (from low-flow faucets, efficient water closets, recycled water systems, etc.); and 20% less embodied energy in materials (from floor, roof, wall, and window construction approaches that have low embodied energy).Third, EDGE provides a third-party certification system geared toward greater marketability. EDGE is new, so there are few auditors today. However, Green Building Certification Inc. is a global certification partner for EDGE and the exclusive certification partner for EDGE projects in India. Certification will vary from country to country and is intended to be available at affordable rates.It is not yet clear that certification costs are low enough to encourage marketplace acceptance of EDGE certification. Even 20% reductions could be significantGreen building can save the planet, or at least the people on the planet. Today, significantly less than 1% of buildings in the U.S. are LEED-certified and that percentage obviously is much smaller across the globe. Maybe the answer outside of the U.S. is EDGE. And while it is premature to reach grand conclusions with the small number of completed EDGE projects, possibly there is much to be learned from the EDGE web-based software about how to expand the green building market within the U.S.Twenty percent less energy, 20% less water, and 20% less embodied energy in materials, in a large enough number of buildings, will save the planet. While Nepal is breathtaking, containing eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, the country is landlocked to the north by China and to the south and east by India. It’s a developing country with a low-income economy, ranked among the poorest of the 187 countries in the U.N. Human Development Index.Writing this post from Nepal, I think that it seems appropriate to discuss EDGE.EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is a green building certification system for new residential and commercial buildings in emerging markets and developing countries. Yes, think “like LEED” for the other 70% of the world.EDGE certification is available in over 120 countries around the globe, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The list includes Nepal, but not developed nations like the U.S.The photograph above was taken at a popular tea house in Dingboche, Nepal. It shows why LEED-type notions of interior water use reduction (e.g., WaterSense flush toilets) and energy reduction (e.g., LED lighting) have little if any application for the majority of buildings in most developing counties, where squat toilets with a bucket of water are the norm and the only illumination is daylight from a window. Stuart Kaplow is an attorney concentrating in real estate and environmental law. This post originally appeared at his website, Green Building Law Update.last_img read more

IoT Developments and its Effects on the Job Market

first_imgTags:#Internet of Things#Job Hunt What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Nida Shahid Follow the Puck AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts We are all, in one way or another, the offspring of the technological era. We depend on our jobs for our very livelihood. Moreover, the fear of losing our jobs due to the continuous advancements in technology grips a great many people. With the continuous evolution in the field of IoT (Internet of Things), where more devices are going online every day. Hence the need for human interference is reducing in various departments.Whereas, at the very same instance, breakthroughs are creating more positions of employment all around the world. Let us consider some of the most significant pros and cons IoT might have on the job market. Moreover, how organizations and individuals for the benefit of the entire society are effectively tackling various situations.IoT enabled Machines Taking over our tasksUndoubtedly, the primary objective behind the rapid application of IoT in our daily routines is to automate tasks and procedures. A simple machine can carry out the functions of multiple laborers; a flying drone can scan a large area in a very short period which might’ve taken days to cover by humans. Comprehensive security systems have taken over the tasks of guards protecting various premises, and this list of instances where machines are taking over the workload is endless.What is happening as a result of all this automation? Lesser human involvements, of course! Which results in lower job opportunities. However true is that machines aren’t yet capable of dictating a specific sphere of life entirely. Human involvement is, and always will be, integral, since AI does not possess the power to think spontaneously and tentatively like a human mind, yet.IoT Advancements leading to new opportunitiesThe industrial revolution came as the dawn of a new day. However expected, this change (although this was nothing short of a revolution) instilled a fear of unemployment among masses. However, it opened many unexplored avenues of employment, to their relief. Employment opportunities opened in areas such as railroad management, fuel related sectors, and track maintenance, etc.Advancements in science and technology have given rise to the digital world of the internet. Just turn on your smart device, connect it with the internet, and you would be able to browse through countless jobs that you can opt from, even, from home. Marketers, Bloggers, Chefs, Life Style trainers, and many more are using these new opportunities to make a decent living for their households.Companies are opening up new and unique designations related to IoT management all over the world, fulfilling the need for trained IoT professionals to run the machinery. In short, humankind and its skill set are evolving with the advancement in technology. Greater automation replaces the need for the workforce in lower tiers and opens up avenues for smarter brains on top of the hierarchy.  Businesses will undoubtedly benefit from the continuous evolution of IoT since their processes became lag-free; everything becomes transparent and more centralized for better control and efficiency.Factors related to privacyNew advancement techniques are being employed to protect the privacy of employees and organizations as a whole since massive chunks of data are uploaded on servers, but a potential intruder can also attempt to get inside of one of these servers and steal valuable information. That could result in the loss of millions of dollars for major corporations.Individual quality is also compromised with the advancements in IoT. Companies now keep track of the various activities of their employees while they are working inside an office environment and even after they have left the premises. We know that a wide variety of companies like Facebook, Google, etc. monitor our activities over the internet and sell them to companies so they can tailor and focus their ads according to the needs and wants of individual consumers. But this again is pretty debatable, and many consider this as an intrusion of privacy.Measures to take in the education departmentIoT will have a significant effect on the type and quality of education delivered in schools and universities. While choosing a profession, it is of utmost importance that counselors help their students keep in mind the changing dynamics of the world and urge them to hone themselves regarding the rapid advancements in technology.This is challenging educational systems positively, hence developing them along the way. This era shows how advanced learning techniques have enabled unique and innovative lessons. They are possible only by the application of these smart devices in classrooms.ConclusionBeing worried about what the future holds for us is only natural. We need to realize that advancements are inevitable for humans to be able to explore the new horizons. What we need to do is to have the ability to flow smoothly with the currents of expertise. Acquiring increased knowledge related to the new fields spawning at every turn is integral in becoming successful.Companies need to train their workforce and make them familiar to the proper use and application of IoT. With proper will and determination, the world at large, and we can benefit immensely from the implementation of IoT. After graduating from Business School, Nida found her love in reading, learning, discovering and writing about IoT, AI, and a diverse range of related topics. Nida lives to share her knowledge and love for mindful living. A proud dog parent, it’s her writing that brings most peace to her head and heart, after Gizmo. Yeah, his name is Gizmo, a true bundle of joy he is. Probably one of the most amazing things about her is her ability to stay relevant. Her work has been posted on multiple blogs and e-zines across the web. She believes in bringing Informative writing and knowledge together but never at the expense of a “Dayum-this-was-cool” kind of read. last_img read more