View Comments LeFou and Gaston are not going to like the sound of this. On March 3, Alabama’s Henagar Drive-In Theatre posted on Facebook, announcing that they will not be showing Beauty and the Beast at their theater due to the film featuring Disney’s first homosexual character. As previously reported, the film’s director, Bill Condon, recently confirmed that the character LeFou, played by Tony nominee Josh Gad, is gay.”It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing Beauty and the Beast at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out,” the Facebook post reads. “When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine. For those that do not know Beauty and the Beast is ‘premiering’ their first homosexual character. The producer also says at the end of the movie ‘there will be a surprise for same-sex couples.'””If we can not take our 11-year-old grand daughter and eight-year-old grandson to see a movie, we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it,” the post continues. “I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language. Thank you for your support!”The highly anticipated live-action re-make arrives in (most) theaters on March 17.Beauty and the Beast is the story of Belle (played by Emma Watson), who learns to look beyond the Beast’s (played by Dan Stevens) exterior and accept him for who he truly is. On that note, let’s watch Gad perform a clip of “Gaston” again. Josh Gad as LeFou in ‘Beauty and the Beast'(LeFou photo by Disney/Collage by Broadway.com)
Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA-ARS A whole lot of goat producers will be extremely interested in what Chris Ferland has to say at the fifth annual Goat-a-Rama April 7 in Tennille, Ga.Ferland is the feasibility analyst for the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. In one of two seminar sessions during the Goat-a-Rama, he’ll tell about his study of whether a goat slaughter and marketing cooperative is feasible in Georgia.”We’ve had calls from all over Georgia and several other states about the potential for a such a cooperative,” said Sidney Law, a Washington County Extension Service agent with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”A lot of people are planning to come a long way for that one session,” he said.All You Ever Wanted to KnowBut they’ll find much more to interest them than that. From a petting zoo to cheese-making to exhibits and a goat folks social, the Goat-a-Rama will provide just about anything anybody ever wanted to know about goats.Here’s something you may not have known: goat meat, or chevon (pronounced “CHEV’n”) has about the same calories as boneless, skinless chicken breast but 26 percent less fat. It also has more than twice the iron of chicken breast — significantly more even than beef or pork.The Goat-A-Rama will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Ag Center at 882 Grady Mertz Road in Tennille — near Sandersville, Ga. Admission is free.
By Sharron HannonUniversity of GeorgiaJosef M. Broder, a faculty member and administrator in theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences for 28 years, has been named associate dean of thecollege effective Aug. 15.Incoming CAES Dean Jay Scott Angle, who will assume his own newposition on that date, made the announcement. Angle comes to UGAfrom the University of Maryland College of Agriculture andNatural Resources. He succeeds Gale A. Buchanan, who stepped downas dean last Dec. 31 and retired from UGA on April 30. Broderserved as interim dean while a national search was conducted.”Joe Broder is exceptionally responsive to the needs of studentsand has also been instrumental in building new academic programsfor the college,” Angle said. “I am delighted that he has agreedto join the college’s administrative team in this position.”Arnett C. Mace Jr., UGA senior vice president for academicaffairs and provost, praised the appointment.”Joe Broder is recognized campus-wide as a leader and a strongspokesperson for the enhancement of educational programs of theUniversity of Georgia,” he said. “I have the utmost respect forJoe and his ability to provide effective leadership for theCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as well asthe university. He is one of the most capable faculty membersI’ve had the opportunity to work with at UGA.”Broder is a professor of agricultural and applied economics andholds the title of University Professor, which recognizes facultymembers for making a significant impact on the university.He has won many awards for teaching excellence, including UGA’sprestigious Meigs Professorship. He chairs UGA’s Teaching Academyand was a member of the Task Force on General Education andStudent Learning that spent the past year examining undergraduatelearning at UGA.Broder received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economicsfrom UGA in 1971 and joined the college faculty in 1977 afterearning master’s and doctoral degrees from Michigan StateUniversity.(Sharron Hannon is director of public relations for academicaffairs with the University of Georgia.)
• Monitor your credit report. It contains your SSN, present and past employers and a listing of all account numbers, including closed accounts. Watch for new accounts or activity on existing accounts you didn’t approve. An ever growing problemEach year, more than 500,000 Americans are victims of identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission, people whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years and thousands of dollars cleaning up the mess it causes. Victims of identity theft can lose job opportunities, be refused loans or housing, and even get arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. Once you’ve taken these precautions, watch for signs that your information is being misused. If you see signs, file a report with the police. Be sure to keep a copy of the police report to give to companies who need proof of a crime. By April SorrowUniversity of GeorgiaIn a single day you might write a check for daycare, charge a lunch bill, rent a car, change cable providers and apply for a credit card. These everyday transactions can give a con artist all the tools he needs to assume your identity and wreck your credit. “Identity theft is the fastest growing form of fraud in Georgia and across the country,” said Michael Rupured, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension consumer financial expert. • Shred old bank statements and junk mail credit card offers before throwing them away. • Limit sharing your SSN. Don’t print it on checks or use it on ID cards. Check your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a year to check for fraud. • Don’t carry extra credit cards or other important identity documents except when needed. Cancel unused credit card accounts. • Never give your credit card number or personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and trust that business. Tell the FTC if your identity has been stolen. This can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down thieves and stop them. The FTC can refer victims’ complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces. Complaints can be filed online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security office and follow its procedures to cancel documents and get a replacement. Ask the agency to flag your file so that no one else can get a driver’s license or any other identification document in your name. Call the toll-free fraud number of any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place an initial fraud alert. This will help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name. For less than $15, you can place a freeze on your credit information that blocks access to your credit report. Contact Equifax at 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com; Experian at 1-888-EXPERIAN, www.experian.com; and TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289, www.transunion.com. • Use secure computing methods to deter hackers from obtaining your information. Use safe passwords and change them often. Close accounts, call FTCIf you think your personal information may have gotten into the wrong hands, the FTC suggests closing credit card and bank accounts immediately. When opening new accounts, place passwords on them. When creating passwords, don’t use your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN, your phone number or a series of consecutive numbers. • Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three consumer credit reporting agencies. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT to remove your name from the list for two years. This will reduce the number of preapproved credit offers you receive. Add your name to the list of name-deletions of the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service used by banks and other marketers. Visit www.junkstopper.com to learn the addresses of where to send name removal requests. • Make copies of the contents of your wallet. Copy both sides of your driver’s license and credit cards. Thieves can get the information they need from stealing business records, mailed statements, through a phishing e-mail scam or by digging through trash. With a few account numbers, a Social Security number, address and phone number, a thief is equipped to assume someone’s identity. Follow this adviceThe risk of identity theft can never be completely eliminated, he said. But to improve the chances of avoiding it:
According to a University of Georgia poultry specialist, if chickens eat a bit of charcoal it helps lower the amount of ammonia in their manure, which can lead to happier, healthier and more environmentally friendly chickens.Casey Ritz, a UGA Cooperative Extension poultry scientist, has been researching charcoal as an additive to poultry bedding to control ammonia levels in chicken houses for the past four years. It was working, but he thought charcoal might be able to do more from inside the chicken.“Our question was, ‘if we feed it to chickens, could we stop ammonia production before it hits the ground?’” he said. High levels of ammonia in litter can affect a chicken’s growth and performance.One group of chickens was given feed with charcoal added. Another group received normal feed without charcoal. Ritz and his colleagues then took the chicken manure and incubated it. They found a significant drop in the amount of ammonia in the manure of the chickens fed the charcoal compared to the chickens who ate regular feed, he said.The researchers were initially worried that the chickens might not eat feed with charcoal in it. Chicken feed is usually light brown. The charcoal turns it black. Fortunately, the color didn’t bother the chickens. And, thanks to the charcoal’s affect on manure color, the researchers knew without a doubt which chickens had charcoal in their diets.Charcoal is very porous, making it an excellent natural filter. It has no nutritional value for chickens, so it would only be filler in their feed. The scientists now want to see how much charcoal needs to be added to a chicken’s diet in order to be effective.“We want to have the biggest bang for the buck with added char,” Ritz said. Right now, he thinks that number is between 1 percent and 2 percent of poultry feed. He’ll conduct experiments in the next few months to figure final formulation. Better fertilizerChickens produce ammonia through their manure, also called litter. The nitrogen in the feed they eat is converted into uric acid in their intestines. When charcoal is used in the feed, the bacteria in the manure convert the uric acid into ammonium, not ammonia. This makes the litter less odorous or harmful, and can make it a better nitrogen fertilizer for crops, too.“Chicken litter is a great fertilizer,” Ritz said. “But if we can enhance it a little bit, we’d make it even better. Chicken litter, from a volume standpoint, is only about 3 percent nitrogen. If we could enhance it a couple of percentage points, it would be a big deal.”Air qualityAmmonia dissipates quickly into the air. The human nose detects ammonia between 5 and 50 parts per million. “We can’t even get 5 parts per million very far outside of a chicken house,” he said. In other words, unless someone is standing inside a poultry house, it isn’t the ammonia that sinks; it’s other odors. Ammonia is not on the list of the Environmental Protection Agency’s six top air pollutants. But lowering it can help overall air quality. “When it really comes down to it, we need to stop ammonia before it’s made instead of trying to mitigate it after it is emitted,” Ritz said. “I think this is one of the strategies that has a good chance of success.”Next stepsNext, Ritz and his colleagues want to make the charcoal feed additive affordable for poultry producers and find companies that will produce and sell it as a poultry additive. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture must approve the use of charcoal as a commercial poultry feed additive. The charcoal is already approved for human consumption, he said.
Georgia cattle farmers will learn the latest research-based information at the annual University of Georgia Mountain Beef Cattle Field Day on April 17 in Blairsville, Ga.Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center. The field day ends at 3 p.m.Experts from UGA Cooperative Extension, Tennessee Farmers Coop, Blairsville Animal Hospital, Zoetis, APHIS VS Georgia and Chapman Fence will present information.This year’s field day topics will include antibiotic classes and uses for stockers, bovine respiratory disease, necropsies, animal traceability, mineral supplements and farm fence basics. The afternoon session will be held at the research and education center’s beef cattle unit/handling facility. UGA stocker feeding trial results will be presented there.There is no charge for the field day. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The field day is co-sponsored by AgGeorgia Farm Credit, Georgia Farm Bureau and Resaca Sun. For more information, call (706) 745-2655.
Feral hogs may be prime prey for hunters, but to Georgia farmers they’re the ultimate predator. They destroy farmland, eat away at a farmer’s crops and drastically reduce potential profits.Jay Porter, the University of Georgia Extension agent in Dooly County, says feral hogs cause about $1 million in agricultural loss each year. A 2011 survey conducted by UGA wildlife specialist Mike Mengak, revealed that more than $84 million was lost in the 41 counties that comprise the 41 counties in southwest Georgia.“It’s always been a problem in certain parts of the state, southwest Georgia being one of them. Pig populations grow so rapidly that it’s hard to control them,” Porter said. “It’s gradually becoming more of an issue, year in and year out.”Along with the major yield losses, feral hogs also leave aggravating messes for farmers to clean up. Porter said hogs destroy fields to the point where two or three passes are required with a tractor just to smooth the field so replanting can occur.“You’re looking at equipment costs, fuel costs and labor costs on top of your crop losses,” Porter said.Billy Sanders, a longtime Dooly County farmer, believes feral hogs are becoming increasingly problematic because of the excess rainfall the state has received over the past year. Feral hogs migrate close to water sources, such as Sandy Mount Creek in Vienna, which is just a couple of hundred yards from Sanders’ peanut field. Feral hogs destroyed 24 straight rows of Sanders’ crop last week.“In recent months, we’ve just got out of a severe drought that lasted several years, and it appears to me that being out of the drought and the water supply being more common for them everywhere, our damage is more widespread,” Sanders said.Four or five years ago, Sanders’ 60-acre peanut field was destroyed to the tune of $30,000. The devastation came after the peanuts sat in the field for three weeks because of excessive rainfall. As Sanders notes, what was initially a harvest operation quickly became a salvage operation.What’s the issue?Feral hogs are a major problem in large part because of their reproductive capacities. Charlie Killmaster, a deer and feral hog biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, says unlike deer, which breed in the fall and have their young in the spring, feral hogs breed when they’re ready and don’t stop. The result is a reproductive rate that is “just astronomical,” he said.“They can have their young as early as 6 months of age. Then the reproductive capacity is extremely high, on average, six to eight piglets per litter, up to 12,” Killmaster said. “You’ve got a relatively short gestation period of 114 days compared to deer which is 200-210 days. Theoretically, they could almost have three litters in one year.”The high populations are made worse by the animal’s unpredictability. They feed on peanut, cotton, wheat and other grain crops.Feral hogs particularly like nutgrass growing in cotton fields. Sanders has seen hogs dig a hole “half-knee deep” to get one small nut off a nutgrass plant. This makes the area unharvestable.Sanders and his family are in the process of harvesting wheat in spite of the fact that many fields are severely hog damaged. He won’t plant wheat again until the feral hog population is reduced.Feral hogs can also harm the environment. Killmaster said hogs root up nests of sea turtles, an endangered species. They also contribute to soil disturbance and interfere with tree regeneration. At times, pine trees have had to be replanted two or three times because hogs eat pine seedlings, he said.“Anywhere you have them, they’re completely destructive. They’re terribly damaging to any environment they invade,” Killmaster said. The peak times for hog damage are during planting and harvest seasons. During those times of year, it’s not uncommon for Dooly County Extension to receive a couple of calls a week about feral pigs damaging fields.Cracking down on the problemWhat can be done about a pest that reproduces rapidly and is difficult to target? One way is to crack down on the illegal transportation of hogs. Wild hogs are sometimes caught and transported to another location for hunting, which is illegal if done in an unfenced area. Transporting hogs can range from a pig in a dog box in the back of a truck to scores of swine in a 35-foot livestock trailer. “The problem is pigs breed frequently. When you move one or two hogs to a location — it only takes two hogs to make a breeding population — they will take over an area pretty quickly,” Porter said.One method he prefers for controlling feral hog damage is the use of corral traps, large enclosures that trap 20-30 pigs at one time.Porter and Killmaster were part of a brainstorming meeting held Friday, June 13. State and national officials were informed and educated about the dangers feral hogs pose to farmers and farm land throughout the state.“Our event today, in my mind, was to start a conversation, to get the powers-that-be together, see what the problem is and come together on a local, state and federal level, and find a solution that works for everybody and is cost effective,” Porter said. For more information about resolving human-wildlife conflicts, see http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.cfm?number=B1248.
The deadline to preregister for the University of Georgia Southwest showCAES recruiting event is this Friday, Sept. 11. Interested students and parents can preregister at students.caes.uga.edu.The event, set for Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, is open to students who wish to attend UGA or those interested in learning more about the UGA Tifton Campus.Southwest showCAES is designed to introduce high school and college students to the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the UGA Tifton Campus. Potential UGA students will meet with faculty and current students from the nine different departments within the college and will learn about all of the academic programs that are offered by CAES. Representatives from financial aid and university admissions will also be available to answer questions.After dinner there will be two breakout sessions: one for high school students who plan to apply to UGA in Athens, Georgia, and one for current college students considering a transfer to a UGA campus.“The exposure we receive from these events is very crucial. There are people in the Tifton community that do not realize they can get an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia here in Tifton,” UGA Tifton Admissions Counselor Breanna Coursey said. “It is really exciting to think about the number of people we have the potential to impact.”The event will start at 5:30 p.m. and is free to attend. However, preregistration is requested to adequately prepare for the dinner. For more information, contact Coursey at (229) 386-3077 or at email@example.com.The Sept. 15 event in Tifton is the first of two showCAES events that will be offered in south Georgia. On Thursday, Sept. 17, at 5:30 p.m., a similar event, Southeast showCAES, will be held in Statesboro, Georgia, at the Bulloch County Center for Agriculture.
As part of an irrigation efficiency study by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, a 29-person team of social scientists, agricultural economists, climatologists, agricultural engineers and UGA Extension agents from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is studying agricultural irrigation in order to increase the water-use efficiency in row crops common to southern Georgia.Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension, started the project in response to a report issued during the Georgia-Florida water wars, a legal dispute over water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. During the trial, Georgia was criticized for agricultural water use that, according to the report, had remained largely unchecked, Johnson said. “We’re working all the time to be more efficient and effective with our water use,” Johnson said. “(We’d) like to be able to show that we have promoted the adoption of technology and that we can document a decrease in agricultural water usage or at least obtain a higher (water use) efficiency with our water usage.”The team consists of 13 Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agents from Extension’s Southeast and Southwest districts. This year, each agent identified two local cotton farmers who they felt were progressive and willing to adopt technology. Three soil water-tension probes, each with three sensors, were installed in each of those farmers’ fields. The farmers irrigated using data from the probes, and they verified the information provided by an irrigation-scheduling smartphone app developed by team member and UGA precision agriculture expert George Vellidis.“We have to increase production with equal or less water. We feel like you can do that by adopting technology that helps you better schedule your irrigation,” said Calvin Perry, team coordinator and superintendent of UGA’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla, Georgia. “We’ve seen through research that, over a growing season, when you apply water is often as important or more important than how much water you apply. You can potentially increase yields and quality with the same amount of water if you put it on at those critical times.”This project allows for irrigation experts like Vellidis, Perry and Assistant Professor Wes Porter to familiarize county agents and farmers with Vellidis’ SmartIrrigation Cotton App and soil moisture sensors in an effort to increase adoption rates of these water-conserving tools. “The (Cotton App) consistently increases both water use efficiency and cotton yield over a standard ‘checkbook’ practice, both in wet and dry years,” Porter said. “This project is pivotal in leading an effort at advancing irrigation scheduling tools and technology adoption on farms across our state.” Johnson enlisted the help of Abigail Borron and Jessica Holt, assistant professors in the college’s agricultural leadership, education and communication department, to measure and understand producer and agent perceptions and behaviors associated with technology adoption. They are studying certain ideas, attitudes and beliefs to provide producers with water-use information, training and technology in the future. Agricultural economists Adam Rabinowitz and Amanda Smith are examining the economics behind the implementation of these irrigation efficiency practices, including costs and producer behavior. Gary Hawkins, a UGA Extension specialist in water resource management and policy, is working with Extension 4-H specialist Melanie Biersmith and agricultural climatologist Pam Knox to share the knowledge gained from this research with policymakers, Georgia residents and youth. “Extending the knowledge gained on the farm to these other citizens helps spread the word that farmers are working to better manage water resources to produce the food and fiber we use and consume daily,” Hawkins said.Ian Flitcroft, who manages the UGA Weather Network, and Extension ANR Program Development Coordinators Bobby Smith (Northeast District), Jule-Lynne Macie (Northwest District), Wade Parker (Southeast District) and Scott Utley (Southwest District) are part of the team.“Putting too much water on the crops does not help and can reduce water availability for other people,” Knox said. “Our project on the use of smart irrigation techniques that includes the monitoring of soil moisture will help make sure there is enough water available for everyone.”For more information on water conservation, visit caes.uga.edu/about/hot-topics/water.html.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce presents the 2003 Vermont Business and Industry Exposition (EXPO) on May 21 and 22 at the Burlington Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center. With over 20 seminars, nearly 200 booths, and 3,000 attendees, EXPO 2003 is proud to be the largest business trade show in northern New England.This year the EXPO theme is “Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Excellence: Survive and Thrive in the Vermont Economy.” Curtis Picard, EXPO Director, stated, “EXPO is built around keeping Vermont competitive in a rapidly changing global economy. Do businesses have the tools to compete and raise the bar for excellence? How do we keep our companies fresh and our ideas on the cutting edge?” From the sole proprietor to the larger ventures, Vermont has long planted the seeds of future growth with our entrepreneurs. The new EXPO seminar lineup reflects these themes and more.Other EXPO highlights include the IBM/Verizon Technology Pavilion featuring adaptive applications to maximize workplace efficiency for employees of all abilities; Governor Douglas’ Press Conference; the presentation of the prestigious Deane C. Davis Award sponsored by the Vermont Chamber and Vermont Business Magazine; the International Trade Luncheon honoring Tubbs Snowshoes as the Vermont International Business Council Exporter of the Year, and the Vermont Technology Luncheon featuring the Segway Human Transporter and 3-dimensional motion tracking by Ascension Technologies and Microprocessor Designs.After 19 years, EXPO remains the annual “reunion” of the Vermont business community. The ORCMacro on-site survey shows that EXPO offers:● 63% repeat attendees● More than half (51%) of EXPO attendees who visit EXPO for the networking● 90% attendees who feel that the seminars made EXPO more attractive● 87% of the exhibitors returning for EXPO 2003● EXPO attendees who have the authority to make decisions for their company For more information about EXPO, online attendee registration, exhibitors, or to view a detailed schedule, browse www.vtexpo.com(link is external).