40 Under 40

first_imgUniversity of Georgia researcher Dario Chavez has been named to the Fruit and Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 by Fruit Growers News. The prestigious honor places Chavez within a small group of young professionals who are making remarkable contributions within the industry.A native of Riobamba, Ecuador, and part of an accomplished farm with a lineage spanning four generations, Chavez began his stint at UGA in 2014 as a researcher and UGA Cooperative Extension specialist.  He has since implemented groundbreaking research focusing on plant production and environmental sustainability with a focus on one of Georgia’s key crops — peaches.“The UGA peach research and extension program in the Department of Horticulture had been vacant for almost eight years before my hire,” said Chavez. “One of my major accomplishments is the setup and establishment of a functional research and extension program from scratch.”At age 36, his achievements in the peach industry have been remarkable and deserving of the important award, which he describes as “an honor and a great recognition.” His peers at UGA have since echoed the praise.“Since joining UGA, Dr. Chavez has established himself as an outstanding faculty member and an esteemed scientist,” said Leo Lombardini, head of the Department of Horticulture in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “He has been extremely productive in terms of the number of graduate students advised, peer-reviewed and Extension publications generated, grants acquisition, and overall impact on the peach industry.”While maintaining valuable progress in orchard management, tree longevity and other vital production efforts, Chavez has begun shifting his focus toward technological innovation by partnering with the Vellidis research group on the UGA Tifton campus to develop a SmartIrrigation application for peach crops.During his time at UGA, Chavez has not limited the scope of his work and research to the state of Georgia.He also evaluates and manages newly released rootstocks for peaches at various research farms and serves as a state representative of the NC140 Regional Rootstock Research Project.“Our main goal is to improve economic and environmental sustainability in tree fruit production through changes in rootstock use,” said Chavez of the program’s initiative. The project allows Chavez to collaborate with researchers from around the country to address high priority areas within the north central region and other parts of North America.According to Lombardini, Chavez’s recognition as part of this diverse class of researchers shows his dedication to improving a variety of practices within the industry, while also mentoring students and young researchers.He will be honored at the Great Lakes Expo Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market and recognized in the October 2020 issues of Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News.For more information on the Fruit and Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2020, visit fruitgrowersnews.com/class-year/class-of-2020. To learn more about the UGA Department of Horticulture, see hort.caes.uga.edu.last_img read more

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Morse to step down as head of welfare department

first_imgSecretary of Human Services Michael K. Smith Announces Change in Leadership for the Department for Children and Families Agency of Human Services Secretary Michael K. Smith has announced that James Morse will retire as Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families on September 30, 2005. Commissioner Morse stepped down from the bench in February of 2003 to accept the leadership position in what was then the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Commissioner Morse focused his energies on strengthening early childhood care, health and education, and leading the Department through the substantial reorganization of the Agency of Human Services. Secretary Smith also announced that Mr. Morse will be succeeded by Stephen Dale as Commissioner for the Department for Children and Families. Steve holds a masters degree in Education from Allegheny College and is a Certified Public Manager in Vermont. During his 30-year career in human services, Steve has been a manager in the Department of Corrections and the Department of SRS, was Director of the Baird Center for Children and Families, and for the past 11 months, has provided leadership for the reorganization of human services in the role of Deputy Commissioner of Field Services for AHS. The Department for Children and Families was formed on July 1, 2004, and includes programs for young children, child welfare and youth justice, economic benefits, child support, and programs to combat poverty. It also supports the new system of AHS Field Directors, who are responsible for the overall functioning of human services in each region of the state. Dale stated that, This is a very exciting time to be associated with human services in Vermont. The reorganization of AHS has created unprecedented opportunities to improve the way we deliver services to Vermonters. I look forward to continuing to work with our staff, our community partners, and those we serve to improve our responsiveness and effectiveness.###last_img read more

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Vermont Chamber Hosts Chinese Small Business Delegation

first_imgThe itinerary, with open press availability, includes:10:00 – 10:45 a.m. ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain1:30 – 2:20 p.m. Vermont State House, Montpelier2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Ben & Jerrys, Waterbury3:40 – 4:30 p.m. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, WaterburyVermont is the Shanghai Small Enterprises Trade Development Service Center (SSETDSC) delegations first stop on a 14-day tour of 8 other destinations. Many of these stops include high profile tourism destinations around the country, but here in Vermont, their visit is all business.Chris Barbieri, Director of the Vermont Chambers Asia Division, noted This delegation is coming to Vermont because of the relationship we have with the SSETDSC, and to pursue potential mutual business opportunities between the greater Shanghai region and Vermont. For a number of years, Barbieri has worked with the SSETDSC on economic and trade initiatives. Im delighted that the delegation chose to kick off their trip with a business visit to Vermont, stated Barbieri.The delegations visit comes on the heels of the Vermont Chambers agricultural outreach trade mission to China in October, where the SSETDSC hosted a luncheon for the visiting Vermonters. The Vermont Chamber has maintained international trade offices in Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan for a number of years, most recently under the leadership of Chris Barbieri, who lived in China for the past three years.###last_img read more

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Vermont high school teams compete Friday for Reserve Cup Championship

first_imgThe Competition: Teams will be placed in bracketed competitions the morning of the championship. Three preliminary competitions, consisting of three rounds each, will take place before lunch. The winners of the preliminary rounds will compete in the finals after lunch. Rounds are as follows The State Treasurer s Office, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, is holding the first-ever statewide high school competition to select a Vermont champion to compete this fall in the 4th Annual Reserve Cup competition in Boston. The purpose of the competition is to promote student interest in and knowledge of personal finance, economics and consumer affairs topics. Four-person student teams will compete against each other in a quiz-show style contest that tests individual and team knowledge. The winner of the competition will win the right to represent Vermont at the New England regional competition conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston each fall.  High schools participating in the competition are: Bellows Falls Union High School; Craftsbury Academy; Essex High School; Mill River Union High School; North Country Union High School & Career Center; River Valley Technical Center; Stafford Technical Center; and Windsor High School. Additional event partners are: Vermont Jump$tart Coalition and the TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation. Round One Questions: personal financeRound Two Questions: economicsRound Three Questions: (lightning round) open-ended topics in which teams compete directly against each other to answer questions.last_img read more

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Central Vermont Public Service to purchase Deerfield Wind power

first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) will purchase two-thirds of the output of Iberdrola Renewables’ planned Deerfield Wind Project in Readsboro and Searsburg, Vermont, under an agreement announced today.‘The project will add yet another clean, competitively priced energy source to CV’s power supply, while providing economic benefits from development of in-state generation,’ CVPS President Bob Young said. ‘This is an attractive addition to our portfolio, which we continue to build and diversify as planned and in compliance with state law mandating renewable power in our mix. Pricing for this project is very competitive with other wind proposals CV has reviewed, and equally important, the project is permitted by the Vermont Public Service Board and headed toward timely construction.’CVPS will purchase 20 megawatts of the project’s planned 30-megawatt output for nine years. Deerfield Wind is proposed to be built on U.S. Forest Service land, near the existing Searsburg wind project, in Readsboro and Searsburg. To protect sensitive contract negotiations with other parties, the price has been disclosed to regulators under seal.The project is designed to include 15 wind turbines, eight in Searsburg and seven in Readsboro, which will produce 30 megawatts of new capacity. The project is expected to produce enough energy to power about 14,000 average Vermont households.Deerfield Wind is being developed by Portland, Oregon-based Iberdrola Renewables. Iberdrola Renewables has become the second-largest wind operator in the United States, with installed capacity of over 3,800 megawatts ‘ over 30 percent of the company’s global capacity ‘ spread over 41 wind farms, including New Hampshire’s only commercial wind farm. Iberdrola Renewables is the U.S. division of Iberdrola Renovables, the world’s largest wind power company with more than 11,400 MW in installed capacity.Deerfield Wind has received a Section 248 permit from the Vermont Public Service Board. The project continues to work towards the satisfaction of all outstanding permitting conditions and requirements. Construction is expected to begin in 2012.‘Iberdrola Renewables is pleased to welcome CVPS to our growing list of customers and we look forward to supplying them from what will be our first wind farm in Vermont,’ said Martin Mugica, executive vice president for Iberdrola Renewables. ‘Once permitted, this project will create substantial long-term economic benefits, and will produce homegrown energy to be used locally.’CVPS, which has among the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, has been expanding its power supply in anticipation of the end of existing contracts with Hydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee. The company recently signed a new deal with Hydro-Quebec, starting in 2012, and announced several other renewable projects in the region. Under Vermont law, the state’s energy supply must contain 20 percent new renewable power by 2017. With the purchases now in the pipeline, CV is about four-fifths of the way to this goal. Recently signed contracts include:30.3 percent of the output from the 99-megawatt Granite Reliable Power wind project, to be built in Coos County, N.H., for 20 years starting April 1, 2012;The entire output of Ampersand Gilman Hydro, a 4.99-megawatt hydro unit in Gilman, Vt., for five years starting April 1, 2012;15 megawatts of round-the-clock energy from J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy for calendar years 2013 through 2015.CVPS also continues to expand its Cow Power generation; recently built a 50-kilowatt solar project on Route 7 in Rutland Town; improved a Passumpsic River hydro facility in St. Johnsbury; conducted a broad request for contract proposals contingent on Vermont Yankee’s relicensing; and announced plans to buy the Vermont Electric Power Division of Omya, including four large hydro-facilities on Otter Creek. CVPS plans to invest $12 million after closing to improve production from the Omya facilities.‘Through the state’s public outreach process and conversations with our customers, it is clear that Vermont policy makers and our customers want us to continue to expand our reliance on cost-effective renewable energy,’ Young said. ‘Along with Deerfield, these projects are among the most affordable renewable projects we have seen. While they tend to cost significantly more than conventional market supplies, they are much cheaper than alternatives with these characteristics.’Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. is an American company, incorporated in the U.S. and headquartered in Portland, Ore., with over 850 employees. It is part of the Iberdrola Renovables global group, the world’s leading provider of wind power with more than 11,400 MW of renewable energy in operation around the world, and more than 3,800 MW of that wind power located in the U.S. www.iberdrolarenewables.us(link is external)CVPS is Vermont’s largest electric utility, serving approximately 159,000 customers statewide. CVPS’s non-regulated subsidiary, Catamount Resources Corporation, sells and rents electric water heaters through a subsidiary, SmartEnergy Water Heating Services.Source: CVPS. 9.9.2010last_img read more

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Welch announces plan to fight health care reform repeal

first_img Click here for video of Tuesday’s reporter roundtable. Later Tuesday, Welch plans to speak at the year’s first meeting of the Democratic Caucus to urge his colleagues to support his proposed amendments. As of Tuesday at noon, 30 House members had signed on to the effort. On his way to Washington to begin his third term in Congress, Representative Peter Welch announced a new strategy Tuesday to fight efforts to repeal the new health care reform law. With Republicans poised to hold a vote on repealing health care reform next week, Welch will introduce four amendments to the repeal bill, which would protect the following provisions of the law: The elimination of lifetime limits on careCoverage of individuals up to age 26 on their parents’ health care plansA ban on discrimination against those with preexisting conditionsFree preventive care for seniorscenter_img ‘It’s time to get beyond the rhetoric of the election and recognize that repealing this law would hammer middle class families and bust the budget,’ Welch said. ‘Repeal would once again allow insurance companies to discriminate against those with preexisting conditions, impose lifetime limits on coverage, take away free preventive care for seniors and remove those under the age of 26 from their parents’ health plans. Every member of the House should have to vote on each of these important provisions.’ Welch, who will be sworn in to the 112th Congress on Wednesday, told reporters he will seek to find bipartisan solutions to creating jobs and reducing the deficit. But he said he plans to vigorously oppose any efforts to roll back the signature accomplishments of the 111th Congress, including health care reform, Wall Street reform, credit card consumer protections and increased student financial aid. During a press roundtable at Burlington International Airport, Welch told reporters he was returning to Washington early to round up support for amendments he will propose that would allow all members of the House to vote up-or-down on signature provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.last_img read more

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Governor signs bill to protect health care workers

first_imgCiting a sharp increase in the number of assaults on health care workers in recent years, Gov. Peter Shumlin today signed a bill that would make such assaults a crime with stiffer penalties.  The Governor signed the bill outside the Emergency Room at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, where health care workers requested the change following numerous assaultive incidents. ‘This bill will help us protect the medical personnel who, along with our law enforcement and firefighters, work to keep us safe and protected,’ the Governor said, shortly before signing the bill into law. The number of workplace assaults occurring in the health care industry is four times higher than in the private sector, advocates said. At the Central Vermont Medical Center, the number of incidents has jumped 100 percent in five years. In one case, for example, a nurse had his arm broken by someone visiting the Emergency Room; in another, a patient tried to bite an emergency room nurse, who was then attacked by the patient’s family member. Medical Center CEO Judy Tarr and hospital medical staff also joined the bill signing.The new law adds health care workers to assault laws already protecting law enforcement and firefighters.  A person convicted of simple or aggravated assault against a  nurse or other health care worker while on duty will face fines and imprisonment for not more than one year and up 10 years for repeat offenses. The court will take into account whether the defendant was a patient at the time and had a psychiatric illness, which might have exacerbated the situation. Source: Governor’s office. 5.12.2011last_img read more

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Brew’s Blog

first_imgClick here to subscribe to the Pharr Out BlogHey y’all,My name’s Brew Davis, a.k.a. Jen Pharr’s husband and her sherpa, pit crew, pack mule, what have you, for her AT record attempt. Jen told me this past winter that she wanted to give this thing a go, and I said “sure,” so here we are. Whenever folks hear what I’m doing this summer, they instantly decide that I’m either a) totally whipped or b) the greatest husband in the world. Well, the truth’s probably somewhere in between. There are plenty of extenuating circumstances and factors that make this trip fun for me. And just so you’re privy to what went through the ol’ cranium when I signed up for this gig, I’ll run through them real quick …I’m a teacher so I’ve got the time to kill.I love hiking and camping. I’ve gone out west the past two summers to hike in the Tetons, the Wind River Range, the Rockies, North Cascades, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, the Utah parks, and the Sierras. Except for a little stretch near Asheville, I haven’t hiked the AT at all so the thought of hiking parts of it with Jen sounds really cool.I love driving “blue highways” so the thought of driving them along the Appalachian Mountains is appealing. Now, if Jen were hiking through Nevada or South Dakota or something, I’d probably be laying on a beach somewhere drinking a Sweetwater 420.Other than a trip to Boston, I’ve never been to New England, and I want the real, backwoods Yankee experience.Speaking of…I can’t wait to try fresh Maine Lobstah. And…I want to drink a beer at Farley’s in Scranton, PA, setting for only the greatest sitcom of the 21st century, The Office. I can hear Michael Scott bustin’ the rhymes right now… “Ain’t no party like a Scranton party, ’cause a Scranton party don’t stop!”I’ve got a bunch of books I want to read- Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Last American Man, Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac, Naked by David Sedaris, Shelden Van Aucken’s A Severe Mercy- and this’ll give me time to do it.I love swimming in cold water. Last summer I swam at Crater Lake in Oregon and the water was fifty-one degrees. It was so cold it was hot, ya know? I’m hoping there’ll be some colder swimming holes in northern MaineDriving an hour or two every day will give me plenty of time to pray and think about God’s beauty and also to play some old CDs by my favorite musicians- Patty Griffin, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Chris Thile, Tony Rice, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, James McMurtry, etc.Getting bit by all those mosquitoes and black flies in Maine will make me appreciate the heat down South.I’ll get to hammer away at the ol’ guitar while I wait for Jen at the trailheads.We got new sleeping bags that zip together.I’m stocking up BIGTIME points for when I screw up later on.And finally…I love my wife and I want her to be happy. She really wants to set this record, so I want to help her do it.last_img read more

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Fear: The Whitewater Grand Prix

first_imgFearI have competed in many events in my life, but none are as ferocious and difficult as the Whitewater Grand Prix.Take 25 of the best paddlers in the world and challenge them to compete for two weeks against each other in some of the biggest whitewater they have ever faced. I’m honored to be invited, and excited to see what I can do against these athletes. I’m also nervous.I am 28 years old and have competed at an elite level in whitewater kayaking since I was 15. This means I’ve had a lot of incredible experiences throughout the world from the seat of my kayak, but it also means I have taken many risks. Whether running a 70+ foot waterfall first descent, surfing massive river waves, or running class V in the pitch black, I’m proud of what I have done in my career, and don’t regret a single decision that I made or risk that I took.But there’s no denying that my brain chemistry is changing, and I’m not quite as ready to “hang it out there.” I find myself asking how this is all going to play out for me. Athletically, I’ve never been stronger, but mentally this fear and respect is turning me into a much more conservative paddler.My experiences with fear have had many unscripted positive effects. My ability to manage adrenaline has led me to calmly avoid more than a few close calls in my car or navigate high-stress interpersonal interactions. It also helps me calculate risk in the business world without emotion. And the confidence that controlling my fear has given me means that I am very bold in life. I am not afraid to go after what I want, and as a result live a very happy and (by my standards) successful lifestyle.Dr. Bob Swoap, a sports psychologist who works with elite athletes to help them achieve peak performance, offered me some great insights into how our bodies deal with fear.The amygdala—the emotional center of the brain—becomes active as soon as fear or danger are perceived, he explained. When it lights up, the fight or flight response is triggered, resulting in adrenaline, a narrowing of focus, and an increased heart rate.This response can come from big water or from big moments in life, such as needing to give an important presentation, pass a critical exam, or nail a job interview. Physiologically, these are all handled in the brain the exact same way.“The critical component is the emotional transfer. These fight-or-flight functions can either paralyze us with emotions, or they can be channeled to lift us to performance levels that we didn’t think were possible,” explains Swoap.Apparently, this emotion transfer is what causes some people to choke in moments of extreme stress and others to excel. If used constructively, the narrowing of focus allows me to look positive and orient myself only towards my goal and not towards hazards, because my boat always follows my vision and body. Adrenaline is a game-face call to action, and I embrace it in any situation—on the river or in real life. It makes me feel alive and present.Dan Hartley, a strength coach at CrossFit Pisgah in Asheville, N.C., has worked with many elite athletes. One recurring quality that he has observed is a type of hyperfocus that—to the outsider—seems like fearlessness. “Particularly in those athletes who subject themselves to a rigorous training regimen, their goal has embedded itself in every part of their being, and impacts all facets of their lives. In the fervor of competition, their focus upon this goal has narrowed their perception of existence and consequence. They see only the end of the road, and there is no fear of failure.”One athlete who really embodies this trait is 18-year-old skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin. Made famous through her gold medal slalom performance in Sochi, Mikaela is a master of sports psychology and managing fear. Mikaela was known to wink at the camera before everything-on-the-line runs, and recovered calmly from a wild bounce halfway through her Olympics-winning run. Mikaela sees the world as one full of opportunities, rather than obstacles, and she visualizes all possible outcomes so that she is prepared for anything. Shiffrin’s coach says that while she is young, she is mentally the strongest skier on the circuit. Her approach reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar: “Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and capitalize on what comes.”It’s easy as an athlete to get caught up in the place, time, conditions, and other factors out of our control. But once we focus on the process rather than the outcome, things will work out in our favor.As I enter the next phase of my athletic career, my mentality has become more conservative. I will not be the one doing the wildest stunts anymore. I want to be around for the long haul and take part in all of life’s experiences, so that may mean changing my approach a bit. My new fear ideology will be based on one core tenet:Always trust my gut.This promise to myself may mean walking rapids that others are running, or passing on a river that I have styled many times simply because I’m not feeling 100%. It will mean not allowing peer pressure to sway me from the correct decision. And it will mean believing in any decision that I make with everything that I have, because life is self-fulfilling. When I do decide to push myself to my limits, I will commit with no doubt in my mind, and that belief will carry me through safely.A healthy fear has certainly developed in me through my experiences, and the massive rapids of the Grand Prix will be a mental test unlike any other. But as Dr. Swoap says, and I know in my heart, it’s all in the transfer.last_img read more

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Ruffwear and its Original Quencher Dog Bowl Turn 20

first_imgWhat started as a simple request from a friend is now celebrating 20 years of revolutionizing the way we play outside with our four-legged friends. While trying to give her dog Moqui a drink, Patrick Kruse’s friend Liz emptied half of her water bottle into a plastic bag and held it while the Rhodesian Ridgeback took a few slurps. Moqui then walked away and Liz was left holding a bag she couldn’t set down and she didn’t want to dump what was left back into her water bottle.That was 1992; Kruse was a kayaker and small business owner designing paddle sports apparel and accessories as part of Salamander Paddle Gear. With his experience in technical fabrics and design, he set out to build a waterproof bowl that would pack small for outdoor adventures. After 16 months of research, development, and testing, The Quencher dog bowl was created — the first known collapsible waterproof fabric dog bowl.The Quencher accompanied Patrick and Salamander to Outdoor Retailer in the summer of 1994. Set out on a table at the front of Salamander’s booth, the collapsible waterproof fabric bowl drew crowds, and a buyer at L.L. Bean placed an order for 8,000 units, setting in motion the official launch of Ruffwear and a new outdoor product category to enhance and inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions.“I had no idea that designing a collapsible waterproof bowl for outdoor-loving dogs would grow into a brand offering a full range of products,” said Kruse, founder/product development for Ruffwear. “Over the years we’ve listened to our customers and let them determine where we head next.”The driving force behind Ruffwear’s designs has always been solving problems — such as how to hydrate and feed your dog in the backcountry (Quencher Dog Bowl); how to protect paws from rough terrain(Summit Trex); and how to keep water-loving dogs safe (K-9 Float Coat). By combining technology, quality, fit, function and safety, the brand continues to evolve and lead in meeting the demands of adventurous canines.Ruffwear is committed to preserving open lands and waterways through partnerships with The Conservation Alliance and regional grassroots organizations. Based in Bend, Oregon, Ruffwear is available through specialty pet and outdoor retailers and at www.ruffwear.com.Quencher-Ruffwearlast_img read more

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