New Sorghum Disease

first_imgPreliminary reports from Australia include several detrimental affects on animals fedinfected sorghum grain. Dairy and hog producers report poor weight gain, feed refusal andreduced milk production in their animals. Wilson said this is the first time he has seen a disease progress from “insignificant to globalimpact” in just two years. Also known as honeydew disease, ergot attacks sorghum florets before the seeds areformed. The infected flowers don’t produce grain, which reduces the grain yield. “It most likely won’t affect this year’s crop,” Wilson said. “I’d be surprised if any farmerseven see it this year.” Ten days later, the disease had spread across the entire field. “This is evidence of thedisease’s tremendous capability of spreading,” he said. Researchers expect the disease to spread through Georgia. But it’s unlikely to greatlyaffect meat prices here, said George Shumaker, an Extension Service economist with theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Jeff Wilson, a USDA plant pathologist, has found the disease in sorghum fields at theUniversity of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, Ga. “They’ve been spraying with fungicides which have added $20 to the grower’s cost of a50-pound bag of seed,” Wilson said. Georgia farmers grow sorghum mainly as a hog, poultry and wild bird feed. Each yearthey harvest an average of 30,000 acres of sorghum for grain. In future years, however, Wilson said farmers may have harvesting problems with theirlate-planted sorghum due to the disease’s sticky nature. Ergot is spread by wind, rain, insects and humans. It can be transferred from field to fieldon clothing and farm equipment.center_img Ergot, a fast-spreading disease that recently caused million-dollar losses in Australia, isnow in Georgia, says a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist. Wilson identified the first report of ergot in Georgia on Sept. 8 in a Tifton field. The firstsighting consisted of “a few isolated seed-heads.” The obvious external sign of the disease, Wilson said, is a sweet, sticky fluid exuding fromthe flowers. As the disease progresses, the sticky honeydew drops onto the seeds, leavesand ground, making the grain hard to harvest. The good news for Georgia growers is the disease’s timing. Today, after living with the disease for two seasons, Australian sorghum growers arereporting losses from 10 percent to 100 percent in hybrid seed production. The disease was first found on the Western Hemisphere in 1995 in Brazil. By ’96 it hadentered Mexico. Ergot was found in Texas in March ’97. One month ago, it was reportedin Kansas. Ergot was found in Australian sorghum fields in 1996. Less than a year later the diseasehas spread across the continent into all sorghum-producing areas. “When it costs more to produce grain,” Wilson said, “it costs more to feed animals andbuy meat products.” “Georgia sorghum is no more than 1 percent of the grain used for feed in the state,”Shumaker said. “It is hardly fed to cattle at all. Georgia farmers grow sorghum grainmainly as a feed for hogs and poultry.”last_img read more

Fewer Onions.

first_imgWhile most Georgians are hustling to finish last-minute shoppingfor the holidays, Vidalia onion farmers are plantingthe last of their fields and checking them twice.”Right now, most everything looks good,” said Reid Torrance,Tattnall County Extension Service director. “The majorityof growers will be through planting before Christmas, which isa little ahead of schedule.”Except for some damaging, warmer-than-normal weather in November,the tiny onion plants are well on their way to a fruitful spring.They just have to get through winter first.New Year, Less Onions Because prices have been so low recently, Vidalia onion growersare planting less of the crop in hopes of improving market prices.So there won’t be as many onions on the market next year, Torrancesaid.Georgia growers usually plant about 15,000 acres of the crop.Tattnall County farmers grow about half of those. This year, Torrancesaid, he expects farmers to plant about 1,000 fewer acres thanlast year.”The growers would like to see a reduction in acres,”Torrance said. “These guys need a good year to put some moneyin their pockets. Farmers have barely broken even on prices overthe past few years.”In an average season, fresh-market prices usually start high,then drop as the harvest continues. Over the past few seasons,however, Georgia farmers have produced an abundance of onions.This oversupply has lowered the price farmers get, said GeorgeBoyhan, a horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences. Barring any adverse weather, though,there should still be plenty of onions for shoppers next year.Extreme Weather Tough The onions don’t mind some hard winter weather. But high windsand extreme temperature swings can damage the crop.Onions take the hardest hit when temperatures drop into the lowteens after a spell of warm, sunny days. The onion is 90 percentwater. Low temperatures can cause the water in the tender onioncells to freeze and rupture.The Vidalia onion crop hasn’t minded the extended drought thathas gripped the state, either. In fact, the onions like it dry.”The drought doesn’t much affect the onion,” Boyhansaid. “Dry conditions keep disease pressure down.” Vidalia onions are planted under irrigation.Sweet Treat Available Now Shoppers don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy fresh Vidaliaonions, though. Small Vidalias, sold as salad onions, are in grocerystores now.The junior-sized onions are planted in early August. They arethen harvested until December, before they become mature. Theonions are good in stir fries and salads.”You can grow a lot of salad onions on a small number ofacres,” Torrance said. “It’s a nice niche market forsome growers.”Mature Vidalia onions are harvested in mid-spring, mostly in April.Controlled-atmosphere storage allows growers to extend the timethey can market the crop. But even the stored onions don’t lastfar past September, Boyhan said.last_img read more

Heat wave

first_imgA Georgia summer can have periods of consecutive days with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees. These abnormally hot conditions, or heat waves, are dangerous.Besides being uncomfortable, hot weather is a killer. The best defense against heat-related medical problems is going to a cool place to recover and drinking plenty of water.Since sweating is the body’s natural and very effective mode of cooling, it is necessary to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages should be avoided because they increase water loss from more frequent urination. Thirst is not a good indicator for your body’s water needs. If you are working or playing in a hot environment and don’t have to urinate once every few hours, then your probably not drinking enough water. Researchers have found that major heat-related health problems increase drastically on the third day of a heat wave. If the heat index at night doesn’t fall below 74 degrees, people and animals have a hard time recovering from the daytime heat.Heat-related health problems are a concern especially for the elderly, those with underlying health problems and those on medications that interfere with the body’s ability to cool.Check on friends and relatives during heat waves. Since the impact of heat is cumulative, check on the elderly a number of times during a heat wave. Consult the doctors of the elderly about proper hot-weather precautions for them.The homeless are at greater risk during hot weather. Because of the “heat island” effect of cities and towns, people spending the night outside are less likely to have the necessary recovery time. Additionally, the homeless can have problems getting an adequate amount of water to remain properly hydrated.Noticing the signs of a heat-related medical problem and getting swift help can save a life. The primary symptom of a heat stroke is that the person is very hot to the touch. The mental status of the person may be altered, too, and range from mildly confused to unconscious. Often the skin will not only be hot but also dry. However, it is important to realize that if the skin is moist, this does not mean that the person isn’t having a heat stroke. Anyone exhibiting heat stroke symptoms needs immediate medical attention and hospitalization. Call 911 immediately and move the person to a cool place out of the sun. Follow the instructions of the 911 operator. Cool the person by applying moist cloths or spraying with water, directing air from a fan or air conditioner over them. If the person can drink water, give him water.A person having a heat stroke can mimic a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The person might have slurred speech or stumble around. These can also be signs of other medical problems. If the person has been in the heat and is hot to the touch, assume that the person is in heat stroke and call 911.A basic first aid book will give more detailed information and treatments for heat stroke and other heat-related medical conditions.Animals that can’t get to well-ventilated shade and don’t have a ready supply of cool, fresh, drinking water are also at risk. A doghouse in an open pen doesn’t supply well-ventilated shade.As with humans, animals need recovery time. Getting pets the needed recovery time may mean bringing them indoors at night.Remember to consult your physician for explicit ways for you to avoid heat-related problems in your area this summer.last_img read more

Avian adventures

first_imgThe chicken was out cold when Brooke Chrisley tied her first surgeon’s knot. Her fellow students occasionally gently pinched the bird’s toe to make sure it was still anesthetized.Chrisley, an East Jackson High School junior, was one of 30 high school students who attended Avian Adventures, a three-day bird science camp hosted every June by the poultry science department at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The high schoolers came from as far away as Point Pleasant, WV, and as close as Athens, Ga. They learned about chicken anatomy, general microbiology, hatching, suturing and bird watching techniques. They also got to experience northeast Georgia by kayaking the Broad River.“My favorite part of the program was dissecting the layer hen,” Chrisley said. “That was pretty cool.”Discovering poultry scienceStarting with nine students in 2004, the program has outgrown its lab space.“It’s the biggest crowd we’ve had,” said CAES poultry science department head Mike Lacy. “We actually had to put people on a waiting list.”UGA poultry professor Mark Compton usually teaches undergraduates and graduates the intricacies of chicken anatomy or biomedical techniques. But for the camp, his classroom is filled with high school students.“When you handle these birds, I want you to treat them with respect,” he told the students before they started suturing.Shalandria Jackson, a senior from Decatur, took a break from practicing stitches on a purple sheet of latex. Her favorite part of the program was the microbiology, she said, seeing “the different types of bacteria from everyday things, especially the type and amount of bacteria that came off of my shoe.”Before Avian Adventures, she hadn’t thought of poultry science as a career option. “Now it’s really interesting,” Jackson said. “Now I’m considering it.”That’s the program’s point, Lacy said, to recruit students into poultry science and other agricultural fields. It also gives students the chance to practice science before they start college.“We usually get two or three students per year from the effort,” Lacy said, “and it seems interest in poultry science increases in every class.”These students not only add to UGA’s numbers, they also help Georgia’s poultry industry fill its job needs.Job outlookGeorgia grows more chickens than any other state. In 2008, Georgia’s broilers and eggs had a combined off-the-farm value of $5.48 billion, the state’s top agricultural industry. Avian Adventures is funded through the Harold Ford Foundation, which is part of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. The foundation finances recruitment programs at five other U.S. universities, because the poultry industry needs people.The week Avian Adventures was held, UGA poultry science professor Brian Fairchild was on the phone twice with poultry companies.“I got on the phone on Wednesday, and a guy from one poultry company was asking us if we still have any poultry graduates looking for a job,” he said. “I just got off the phone with another poultry company here in north Georgia. It’s the same thing.”The need for poultry science graduates hasn’t let up, despite the economic downturn.“When [a poultry company] loses a position, they hire back,” Fairchild said. “So we’ve been seeing steady hiring going on the entire time.”Ivelisse Milanes graduated with a poultry science degree in May. She took time out of her new job to help out with Avian Adventures.“It’s daunting and scary at the same time” to start training the next group of poultry scientists, she said, “but it’s awesome. If you do it right, you’re so proud of what can come of it, of what they can achieve.”Major decisionsChrisley knew she wanted to be a poultry scientist when she was five. “When everybody else had an imaginary friend, I had my Plymouth chicken,” she said.She works with chickens almost every summer, and she’s fascinated by the research that can be accomplished through the birds.Poultry science is also a passion for West Virginia junior Wes Davis. He tracked down the UGA program after attending a similar camp at North Carolina State University last year. He used Avian Adventures as a chance to check out the UGA campus.Davis wants to research alternative housing systems for laying hens, something he has been interested in since California passed Proposition 2, also known as the Standards for Confining Farm Animals initiative.“There’s a lot more research emphasis here,” Davis said, comparing the UGA program to other universities he’s visited.Other students who attended said medical school or veterinary medicine is their ultimate college goal. And now they’ve had surgery experience.“It’s so good to see young people who are interested and really care. They sort of shoot the stereotype of kids who aren’t engaged and don’t care about their future and the future of the world,” Lacy said. “All of these kids you can just tell are going to be successful in whatever they do, whether they end up in agriculture or not.”last_img read more

Home Remedies

first_imgGrits sprinkled over fire ant mounds, plastic bags filled with water to repel flies and high-frequency sound waves to chase away rats and mice—these are just a few non-chemical methods rumored to work as pest repellents.Jacob Holloway, University of Georgia undergraduate and graduate alumnus, put a few natural remedies to the test as part of his Master’s thesis for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The idea for this project came primarily from the book ‘1001 All-Natural Secrets to a Pest-Free Property’ by Myles Bader,” said Holloway, who conducted his work alongside UGA Griffin Campus entomologist Dan Suiter. “We got the book and decided to try a few of the purported all-natural cures for insect problems. Most are old wives’ tales that have been passed down, but a lot of the recommendations are ineffective and even dangerous.”Argentine ant controlHolloway focused on ways to control the Argentine ant, a major household pest in Georgia. “They are very prevalent in the metro-Atlanta area. Often, if you see ants trailing inside or outside, they are Argentine ants,” he said.Generally, Argentine ant populations are higher in the spring or early summer and start to decline in the fall. The book recommends the use of a tea made from soybean stems to control Argentine ants. “To make the soybean tea, we soaked the stems in water overnight, just like the recipe in the book,” he said.Holloway took this remedy a few steps further and also tested the use of dry and fresh tansy, fresh rosemary, fresh spearmint, and dry and fresh cucumber as ant repellents. For the study, 20 ants were placed in small shelters with the natural material to be tested. “We then watched to see if the ants stayed away,” Holloway said. The ants’ reactions were measured two and four hours after the material was introduced into the habitat. Most natural substances had no effectHolloway found the ants did not react to the tansy leaves, soybean tea or pieces of cucumber peel. Four stems of fresh rosemary cut into half-inch sections were also placed in the habitats. The fresh rosemary repelled “almost 100 percent” of the ants, he said. “There’s an existing product that contains rosemary oil, so I wanted to see how fresh rosemary fared.”Holloway was motivated to test the natural remedies in an effort to help consumers avoid wasting time and money on ineffective products. “If you use a product that doesn’t work, you are still right back where you were, but with less money in your pocket,” he said.Holloway’s trials were conducted on the UGA campus in Griffin. “Although the fresh rosemary repelled ants for four hours, I can’t promise anything after those four hours,” said Holloway, who now works with the U.S. Army to control pests on military installations.For more information on controlling Argentine ants, see UGA Extension publication no. C926 at www.Extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

Lawn Thatch

first_imgThatch is a layer of living and dead roots, crowns and lower shoots that often develops in lawns. It can weaken and even destroy a lawn if not prevented or removed. Cut grass regularly at the recommended height to maintain vigor and to avoid shock. No more than one-third of the leaf tissue should be removed with each mowing. Remove excessive clippings, especially during periods of rapid growth. Clippings may be left to decompose if mowing occurs at regular intervals. Remove clippings that accumulate on the surface. Nutrients are recycled to turf as clippings that filter into the turf canopy decompose.Collect and remove clippings once a thatch layer begins developing to avoid further buildup. Irrigate every seven days, or as needed in dry periods, to encourage deep rooting. Power rake as needed to keep thatch below a half-inch thick. For fescue, early fall is preferred; for summer grasses, like zoysiagrass and bermudagrass, rake mid-summer. Once thatch starts to form, conditions develop that may favor even more thatch. Top-dress every one or two years with one-fourth of an inch of weed-free manure or soil. Use a material that is similar in texture to the existing soil in order to encourage decay of thatch. Aerate the soil to lessen soil compaction and improve penetration of water, oxygen and fertilizer. (Aeration is the process of mechanically poking thousands of holes in the soil.) Power aerators that remove soil cores 2- to 3-inches deep are very effective and can be rented from hardware or tool rental stores. Leave soil cores on the surface to dry and crumble before mowing. Mow the dried soil cores to redistribute the soil microbes that decompose soil and thatch and aid in reducing thatch. Thatch development may go unnoticed in early stages. Lawns with a thick thatch layer may appear healthy in the spring and then suddenly die in large patches during summer heat and drought. As thatch builds up, the roots of new grass plants grow within the thatch layer rather than in the soil. When the lawn is exposed to hot, dry summer weather, the plants are unable to survive. Fertilize moderately and regularly to maintain vigor without excessive growth. Excessive growth as well as conditions unfavorable to the microorganisms responsible for the decomposition of decaying plant parts aid in thatch development. Rapid and excessive growth is likely to produce heavy thatch because plant material is being produced more rapidly than it can be decomposed. Zoysia grass and bermudagrass lawns usually develop thatch layers rapidly. They seldom die suddenly because these warm-season grasses are more tolerant of heat and drought. Avoid nonselective use of pesticides that hurt earthworms. Earthworms naturally reduce thatch as they collect it from the surface and mix it deeper into the soil. University of Georgia Extension recommends following these good cultural practices, starting when the lawn is new, to prevent or retard thatch from forming. Thatch buildup varies from lawn to lawn. Some lawns never develop a thatch layer, while others become thatch-bound within a few years of being established. The best lawn grasses are those that constantly reproduce new plants in order to renew the lawn. As old plants age and die, they decompose into fine, textured humus that becomes a part of the surface soil. Severe thatch usually leads to thin, diseased turf. Very thick layers of thatch may cause uneven surfaces that are difficult to mow. Thatch may develop over several years before noticeable damage occurs. Grass clippings from mowing do not contribute to thatch. However, once a thatch layer has developed, clippings further speed its formation. Accumulated thatch harbors disease-causing fungi and insects. It also prolongs high humidity, which favors disease, causes shallow root development and slows movement of air, water and nutrients into the soil. These factors contribute to the early death of grass plants. For more information on caring for lawns in Georgia, go to www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more

Garden Royalty

first_imgMention the word “ascot” and you probably think about a silky, men’s tie most likely worn by the upper crust of European society. Then there is the Royal Ascot horse race, where the word is associated with royalty and high society. Today, however, I want you to associate the word with ‘Ascot Rainbow,’ an evergreen, perennial euphorbia that is capturing the imagination of the gardening world.Botanically speaking, ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is known as “Euphorbia x martinii.” It is native to Australia, where the name “Ascot” is associated with an old, wealthy suburb of Brisbane. In truth, it is known as a spurge, which we most often associate with a host of terrible weeds. ‘Ascot Rainbow,’ however, is worthy of garden royalty.First, know that the plants are perennial in zones 5 to 9, which means much of the country can enjoy the incredible texture this plant offers the landscape border. They reach 20 inches tall, with an equal spread. I am plant-lusting them now in mixed containers where they have been partnered with other cool-season flowers like pansies, violas, kale and snapdragons. There is just something about the plant that holds my attention.The foliage is deep green, with golden margins in the cool season. This drop in temperature also fires them up with shades of red, pink and even orange. In spring and summer, the bloom is among the most unique as it features a cup of lime-colored bracts with red centers.The ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is drought tolerant, and boasts another trait that will thrill gardeners everywhere – they are rabbit and deer resistant. As you would probably think, a drought-tolerant euphorbia from Australia needs good drainage and thrives in full to partial sun.In a way, I think of them as evergreen perennials, but it helps in design if you consider them more as dwarf shrubs. Plant them in a cluster of three with ornamental grasses and perennials like purple coneflowers, rudbeckias and blue salvias. They fit this type of border, perfectly adding a great deal of interest from both leaf texture and bloom.If you are the lucky gardener with rocks or a slope, then let ‘Ascot Rainbow’ dazzle all of your visitors as you combine it with other drought-tolerant, tough-as-nails flowers. But as I have stated, you will treasure them as the thriller plant in cool-season mixed containers. They naturally form a rounded ball, and with a layer of pansies, including some trailing in front, they are most picturesque. If your container is large enough, then your options are limitless as you can use them with tall snapdragons, and dianthus and blue-leafed kale, which contrasts with the golden variegation of ‘Ascot Rainbows.’ You are the artist and simply using it will make your neighbors think, “Look who took a special gardening class!”Maintenance is easy. Remove old bloom stalks all the way to the ground in late summer or fall. Like other spurges, we grow this one not to be eaten, but to be enjoyed for the beauty and texture it offers your garden.Follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the University of Georgia’s Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.last_img read more

COVID-19 causing complex problems in the poultry industry

first_imgWhile many were watching the price of poultry plummet, workers in processing plants began testing positive for COVID-19, causing temporary shutdowns at more than 30 meat processing facilities across the nation, according to MEAT+POULTRY’s website, which has been mapping the cases at meatpoultry.com/articles/22993-covid-19-meat-plant-map.Together, that caused a complex problem for the poultry industry and for consumers.“Pricing has been gut-wrenching to watch over the past month,” said Todd Applegate, department head of poultry science, at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Currently, it has taken quite a nosedive, despite high demand. We are hoping that the experts are correct in their prediction that later this year we will see some decent price recovery.”On April 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) national composite weighted wholesale price was down 16.1 cents per pound from the previous week — to just 50.5 cents per pound. The same week in 2019 saw chicken fetching 96.3 cents per pound, March 2020 prices were 79.4 cents per pound and the three-year average was $1.02 per pound.The USDA composite price fell 33.2 cents per pound over the first two weeks of April. The price tumble was credited to the collapse of the food service industry following COVID-19 restrictions.The price drop caused slowing chick placement, which could diminish supply in the long-term.“Thus far, many processors have some positive cases among workers, but are closely following Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Centers for Disease Control guidelines to protect workers,” Applegate said. Interim guidelines from those agencies are available at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/meat-poultry-processing-workers-employers.html.“Generally, the processors are taking additional measures to protect employees, such as temperature checks on entry, separation of personnel as much as possible, additional sanitation steps, and if anyone has any symptoms — quarantine of people that would have had close contact,” he added. “Many also are paying at least an additional $1 per hour for essential worker pay.”MEAT+POULTRY’s latest map shows only one Georgia processing facility — Sanderson Farms in Moultrie, Georgia, as temporarily closed after about a dozen workers tested positive for COVID-19. The facility is due to reopen in another week. Yet some facilities across the country are reporting high absenteeism due to COVID fears among workers, despite the extra precautions.When the virus became a factor, “volume was up a few percentage points over this time last year,” Applegate explained. “So, depending on how diversified the product and customer mix is for each poultry company, they could be feeling the crunch now. Many are reducing the numbers of chicks sent to a grower in the short-term.”Companies that are primarily dependent on the food service sector, including restaurants and quick-serve restaurants, are hurting. But the resulting surplus isn’t showing up in volume or prices at the grocery store.“The loss of substantial business from the food service sector is causing quite a surplus into certain markets,” he said. “It isn’t as simple for companies to immediately insert a tray-pack line into their plants, if they don’t have the existing equipment, a supply side of retail packaging, and most importantly, contracts with the retail grocers. Some shifts are happening — but slowly, and it’s difficult to overcome prior hoarding activities, which now show some glimmers of slowing down.”Both the price and production of poultry continue to be highly volatile in the current market. And poultry markets have a significant impact on Georgia’s economy. Georgia is the leading poultry-producing state in the nation and one of the largest poultry-producing regions in the world. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia produced 32.4% of the U.S. broilers last year worth $4.5 billion. Egg production was valued at $948 million. The poultry sector brings in $24.6 billion to Georgia’s economy and employs 91,400 people.One more wrinkle in the chain was already a significant problem before the outbreak: transportation.“All the way around — even before COVID19 — truck drivers were in short supply. That has not helped the distribution chain for any food,” Applegate said.One bright spot in the poultry sector is the nation’s new surge in demand for eggs.“On the egg side, they have seen an amazing demand and pricing situation,” he said. “While we expect price bumps around Easter on most years, this is highly beyond the norm. Consumers are loving eggs and they’re flying off the shelves.”For more UGA poultry news, visit poultry.caes.uga.edu/news.html.last_img read more

Haskin takes over at Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom

first_imgThird Generation of Family Ownership Assumes Reins Waitsfield, VT A new generation takes the reins at Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom this week with the promotion of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Gregg Haskin to the position of President & Chief Executive Officer. After 50 years of managing the family owned company, Dana and Eleanor Haskin will step down from daily operations, but will remain active on the Board of Directors.The legacy left by my parents and grandparents will guide me into this exciting new chapter of my life, said Gregg Haskin. I grew up around this very unique business, witnessing it flourish tremendously. Im confident that the group of hard-working staff weve assembled over the years includes the exact balance of skills needed to head into the technically demanding future our business faces. The commitment to our customers remains at the center of all we do, how we operate, and what were all about. I look forward to working with everyone to guide the Company along this challenging path, doing whatever it takes to meet our customers needs. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I intend to make the most of it.Owning and operating a rural Independent telephone company has been such a wonderful experience for my family. Its a bittersweet moment, I am happy to have watched Gregg grow into the position, noted Eleanor Haskin. As Dana and I have grown older, we have realized that its time to step aside and let the next generation lead the Company into the future. We have assembled a strong Leadership Team and a very talented employee base to work side-by- side with Gregg and guide this Company through the next one hundred years. This strategy will ensure the goal of continued family ownership for the future.Gregg has been with the Company part-time since 1980, and full-time since 1986 working in the accounting department where he has served as manager and Vice President, taking over as the Companys CFO since 1999. Gregg will immediately assume the role of President & Chief Executive Officer. The Haskins other children are also active in the Company. Eric Haskin works as a Field Engineer and sits on the Companys Senior Leadership Team. Scott works as an Installation and Maintenance Technician. Their daughter Susan served as Customer Service Manager until her passing in July 2003, after a long struggle with breast cancer.Eleanor was born into the telephone industry, and at an early age she helped her mother and father repair the lines. Her father Alton Farr ran the Company in its infancy in 1907, and her mother Eunice Farr took over after his untimely death in 1940. Dana and Eleanor took over management of the Company in 1958. During her career, Eleanors involvement in the industry reached far beyond Vermont. She served three terms as President of the Telephone Association of New England (TANE) and 12 years as a Director. She was the first female President of both TANE and the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO). She also served on the Board of Directors for the Rural Telephone Bank, and served six years on the Board of Directors for the National Exchange Carriers Association, and was on the U.S Intelco Board of Directors. Eleanor graduated from the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, New York. Eleanor was President of WCVT from 1998 2005 and will assume the role of Board Chairman immediately.Dana Haskin was an officer in the United States Air Force and served in the Korean War. He served in the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) as a navigator and radar intercept offer flying F-89s. He remained with VTANG until 1984, retiring at rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Dana attended the University of Vermont school of Engineering on the GI Bill. Throughout his career, Dana was also active in the telephone industry holding a variety of positions including serving as President of the Telephone Association of New England. He served as WCVT President from 1965-1998 and remains Chairman Emeritus of the Companys Board of Directors.Source: WCVTlast_img read more

WinCycle Has Moved

first_imgWinCycle, the Windsor non-profit that refurbishes and recycles computer equipment, has moved its retail store to a new location: the Firehouse at Windsor at 147 Main Street. This new location, one flight down from street level, increases the size of our store and combines it with our recycling operation. Well be able to receive and process computer equipment in one building so there will be more for sale and more available for donation.Business hours have also changed. We are now open Thursdays from Noon to 8pm and Saturdays from 10am to 1 pm.WinCycle was founded in 2002 to address three important issues:” the growing volume of computer equipment in the waste stream,” the growing need of local schools for computer equipment, and” the need for education in basic computer skillsIt seems that every individual and business in the Upper Valley has old computer equipment that they no longer use. This equipment contains heavy metals and toxins that do not belong in landfills or in the air we breathe. In addition, while that computer may be obsolete to its original user, local schools and non-profits could use it. So dont throw that computer away, bring it to WinCycle! Our volunteers wipe hard drives clean of information and make any necessary repairs. Working computers are either sold in our store at low cost or are donated to local schools and non-profits. Computers that we cant fix are disassembled and recycled in an environmentally-friendly manner. WinCycle charges a recycling fee of $0.30 per pound on all equipment given to us. This fee covers the cost of preparing equipment for recycling, donation, or sale, and covers the recycling costs that WinCycle has to pay.Need a computer? Buy it used! Youll get good equipment for less money; youll reduce the volume and toxicity of waste going to our landfills or into the air we breathe; youll decrease the environmental destruction caused by mining, manufacturing and distribution; and youll support the local economy, local schools, and area non-profits.VolunteersWinCycle relies almost completely on volunteer labor. Volunteers of all skill levels are welcome on Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm. Come and enjoy learning more about computers while helping a good cause. Volunteers may also work towards earning a free computer 50 hours of work earns a volunteer a $200 gift certificate at our store.Announcing: WinCycle Youth Night to begin Monday, May 16Mondays from 4-8PM area youth can come to WinCycle to help with dismantling computer equipment, under adult supervision. Youth may work towards earning a free computer.Find us online at www.wincycle.org(link is external), or give us a call: (802) 674-6320.last_img read more