Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund to support farmers affected by Irene

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Agriculture has partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation to create the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund, which will assist Vermont farms that sustained damage from Tropical Storm Irene. The relief fund will pool contributions from donors and will make grants directly to farmers affected by the storm. ‘Following Tropical Storm Irene, the Agency of Agriculture received calls from many farmers seeking guidance about lost land, lost crops, and lost livestock, as well as calls from Vermonters interested in supporting farmers,’ said Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. ‘Until now, there was no designated fund to which we could direct callers. The Farm Disaster Relief Fund creates a vehicle where we can connect the resources of concerned donors to the needs of affected farmers who have suffered damages from tropical storm Irene.’  The Community Foundation and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross will work together in consultation with local organizations to distribute the funds, which will be used by farmers to replace infrastructure as well as help cover losses sustained from the storm. Representatives from the Foundation and the Agency of Agriculture will meet within the coming week to further define the guidelines of the application process to the Relief Fund. ‘People across the country are interested in helping Vermont farmers. As we all know, many of these farmers lost everything,’ says the Vermont Community Foundation’s President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. ‘These resources will help them get through the next few months and allow them to begin to rebuild, restore, and get back on their feet.’ The Agency of Agriculture works to facilitate, support and encourage the growth and viability of Vermont agriculture while protecting the working landscape, human, animal and plant health and the environment. Visitwww.vermontagriculture.com(link is external) for more information. The Vermont Community Foundation has been helping donors give to the causes and organizations they care about since 1986. We are Vermont’s largest and leading homegrown grantmaker. Together, our family of over 600 funds provides more than $10 million in grants per year. In addition, we help keep Vermont’s nonprofit community vital by offering endowment management and planned giving services, and providing leadership in charitable giving of all kinds. Visit www.vermontcf.org(link is external) or call 802-388-3355 for more information.last_img read more


Parks contribute to local quality of life

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion A timely article in the November 2017 magazine of the American Planning Association concludes: “Parks and recreation planning is more than fun and games. Parks contribute significantly to the quality of life for all, deliver a wide range of benefits beyond their borders, and hold immense potential for advancing sustainability in communities.”Parks, urban forests and green community elements help us manage stormwater, clean the air, provide places for relaxation and study and enhance health and wellness. Planners now know that the financial value-added can be measured. Once lost, mature forests can’t be replaced, especially in areas like rapidly developing southern Saratoga County.Communities as diverse as Madison, Wisc.; Vancouver, Canada; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Los Angeles County are all devoting significant resources to the preservation and enhancement of trees and forests within their communities. Clifton Park should follow the forward-looking examples above by preserving the complex of mature forest, wetlands and foot trails nestled between Clifton Park Center and Moe Road.Vote yes on Dec. 5 and urge the school board to sell 34 acres in central Clifton Park for public recreational use. A yes vote is a yes for a healthier, more sustainable and better southern Saratoga County. Keith MartinClifton Park More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesHigh-risk COVID exposure reported in Clifton ParkControversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning Boardlast_img read more


OEEC 2019: Energy Transition Live on the North Sea in 2019

first_imgThe Offshore Energy Conference program spans six sessions. Today we offer you a first look at the session titled Energy Transition Live on the North Sea in 2019, which will be held on 8 October.Guided by moderator Rene Peters, Business Director Gas Technology, TNO this session will look at what is happening on the North Sea right now.Europe and the activities taking place in the North Sea are leading in the energy transition. You will leave the session with an overview in mind on what is currently going on and can find out the best practices.Head to www.Offshore-Energy.biz to find out more on the conference. Registration will open shortly!last_img read more


South Africa extends mandate of is Forces in DRC

first_imgThe South African soldiers will be in DRC for one more year taking part in the Force Intervention BrigadeThe South African government has extended the mandate of its forces taking part in a UN peace keeping mission in DRC.The mandate of other SA soldiers in peace keeping missions in Sudan’s Darfur region and other Southern African Development Community countries will also be extended.The South African soldiers will be in DRC for one more year taking part in the Force Intervention Brigade, part of the U.N. MONUSCO peacekeeping operation in the Great Lakes country.The deployment of 1,388 troops in the DR Congo and 850 troops in Darfur Sudan has been extended by one year to March 31, 2016, according to a statement by the presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj.The intervention brigade has been given a special mandate to take on armed groups who have terrorized and created instability for years in the poor but mineral-rich region.U.N. and Congolese troops launched strikes in January against the remnants of a Burundian rebel group based in the borderlands of Eastern Congo.However, MONUSCO in February paused its support for a campaign against another rebel group – the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda – after Congo named to top posts two generals suspected of human rights violations.The operation is now going ahead without U.N. support.last_img read more


Limits on pesticides mean higher costs

first_imgFRESNO – State regulators proposed new rules Friday to meet a court-ordered deadline for cutting air pollution from chemicals used to kill pests, weeds and diseases in some of the nation’s most productive farmland. The proposed rules make California the first state to dictate how and where several widely used fumigants can be applied on fields statewide, said Glenn Brank, spokesman for the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. The restrictions would require any grower who uses fumigants to hire licensed people to inject them at a cost of as much as $40 million a year. The use of certain chemicals would be capped in areas in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley with especially dirty air. The directive, which the agency has the authority to set, centers on fumigants – gases that fruit and vegetable growers use to kill pests in the soil before planting. The chemicals have long been blamed for being part of the state’s air-pollution problem because they cause smog-forming gases when they evaporate from fields. In 1997, the state pesticide agency promised to adopt a plan for reducing fumigant emissions by 20 percent. The target went unmet, however, and several environmental groups sued in 2004, claiming the state violated national health standards for smog. Ruling in that case last year, a U.S. District Court judge in Sacramento made the voluntary reduction goal mandatory. The state has appealed the court order, but the regulations will go through with or without an appeal, Brank said. If they take effect as proposed, the required changes in their operations would cost growers $10 million to $40 million a year, making it the most costly pesticide regulation in state history, Brank said. The rules would hurt some growers more than others because some rely more heavily on fumigants. The additional costs could force the state’s strawberry growers – who provide about 88 percent of the nation’s strawberries – to take one-third of their land out of production, said Mary DeGroat, a spokeswoman for the 700-member California Strawberry Commission. “Air, water, soil – that’s our livelihood,” DeGroat said. “We’ve been trying our best to be responsible while still trying to make a living.” Many carrot, tomato and grape farmers also use the chemicals and would face high costs. Environmental groups objected Friday to a provision that would let chemical manufacturers monitor what they are supplying to the three restricted regions and allow the head of the state pesticide agency to let growers reduce emissions by methods besides the ones stipulated in the proposed rules, he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Other industries, such as oil refineries, automakers and paint manufacturers, have limits on smog-making gases called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, but this is the first time across-the-board limits were set for fumigant emissions, Brank said. The new rules would require farmers using fumigants to hire special commercial applicators and to incorporate low-emission techniques such as injecting the gases deeper into moist soil and covering fields with heavier tarps. The restrictions would also set caps on how much of the chemicals can be applied in the San Joaquin Valley, Ventura County and the Mojave Desert area – three of the growing regions with the worst air pollution. Nearly 36 million pounds of seven fumigants were used on California farms in 2005, according to the state. If adopted, the new regulations would reduce pesticide emissions by 30 percent to 40 percent, regulators said. They were immediately met with criticism both from growers, who said implementing them would cost them millions, and environmentalists, who said the rules are too lax. last_img read more