Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee recently joined his counterparts in the Northeast to write USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack encouraging him to consider the benefits of reinstating the federal support price for cheddar block and barrel cheese and non-fat dry milk back to the levels established by USDA last August. The action was coordinated by New York Commissioner of Agriculture Pat Hooker.“We are writing to add our voice to those you have heard in saying that the current pricing system is outdated, broken and needs to be addressed,” said Secretary Allbee. “In fact the current system devalues fresh, locally produced milk, potentially impacting our food safety.”The price for milk and cheese and non-fat dry milk has been extremely volatile over the last several months and recently has fallen dramatically. This situation is impacting the expected recovery in farm milk prices and will have a devastating impact on farm finances as farmers enter the 2010 planting and growing season.“Increasing the support price for cheddar cheese and non-fat dry milk had a profound and positive impact on the market last year with little cost to government. That same positive impact can again assist our struggling dairy farmers. I appreciate Commissioner Hookers leadership on this request and wholly support it,” said Allbee.Secretary Allbee commended USDA Secretary Vilsack on the attention USDA has taken to support the dairy industry and for visiting Vermont last month to hear straight from dairy farmers what they are experiencing.“While it may be difficult to sort through all the options and come to a consensus within the dairy industry, doing nothing is not an option. If this particular dairy crisis does not move the industry to act, the consequences will be disastrous for our dairy farmers, in fact we are already seeing the ramifications,” commented Allbee. “This action would be one option to ensure a fresh local supply for our consumers and a fair price paid to our farmers who produce it.”The economic impact of Vermont’s dairy industry is over $2 billion per year supporting thousands of jobs and rural communities across the state. Vermont is the largest supplier of milk to the Boston area. Currently, the cost of production of milk is far more than the price paid to farmers for their milk and over 50 operations ceased in 2009 drastically changing our communities and threatening our open, working landscape. Source: VT Dept of Ag. 3.15.2010###
The MET-CERTIFIED project has welcomed aboard the certification body Lloyd’s Register (LR) which will be providing its expertise to progress the development and global standardization of marine energy devices.The LR’s involvement with MET-CERTIFIED will assess the value of universal marine energy certification schemes to help provide confidence to private and commercial investors seeking to invest in marine energy projects.MET-CERTIFIED is an initiative that seeks to increase the adoption of insurable and therefore bankable marine energy projects through the development of internationally recognized standards and certification schemes, and by testing and verifying technologies against International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for marine energy converters.Peter Davies, Principal Specialist of Renewable Energy for LR says: “Certification helps to reduce perceived risks of new or upcoming technologies used in marine energy power generation projects and can help to increase market confidence in how devices perform and their structural integrity, as well as helping this sector attract previously untapped finance schemes and making exporting marine energy technology across the world easier.”The initiative has been backed by EU funding in the amount of €5.6 million received in December 2016, and covers England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium, known as the Interreg 2 SEAS region.MET-CERTIFIED is evaluating the entire process of certification, from concept to construction through to installation of a full-scale floating platform for tidal turbines with the support of a number of industry partners.The initiative is of huge importance to the marine energy industry and particularly for stakeholders wanting security and knowledge in how technology can be, and should be, certified – critical to stakeholder groups such as banks and insurers through to consenting authorities, end-users, test facilities and classification authorities, MET-CERTIFIED said.“Together with nine other partners from the Interreg 2 SEAS region we are working on standards and certification schemes for marine renewables both at the national and international level. LR will be providing updates to the project on current developments in standards and certification schemes.“Also we will be providing feedback to the standards and certification committees from a lessons learnt assessment by implementing the standards and certification schemes across eight test models,” added Davies.Millions of devices that contain electronics, and use or produce electricity, rely on IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems to perform, fit and work safely together.Likewise, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment (IECRE) in Renewable Energy Applications aims to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in renewable energy sectors to maintain the required level of safety.
With just two regular season games remaining, and given the bounce-back success of Head Coach Greg Gard’s 2018-19 unit, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (20-9) are fifth in the Big Ten with a chance to earn the coveted four seed in the conference tournament.So, what will it take for Wisconsin to earn that coveted four seed, and what do the Badgers need to do over their last two games regardless of seeding?Wisconsin already accomplished one task by defeating a soaring Penn State team at home. They will face an offensive juggernaut in Iowa on senior night and a tough Ohio State team on the road. There is a good chance they can lock up the four seed and earn the double-bye in the Big Ten conference tournament if they can win out.With fourteen teams in the conference, the top four finishers in the Big Ten’s regular season earn a bye through the first two rounds of the tournament, granting rest for those top four teams as well as favorable matchups.Last Tuesday night’s heartbreaking and exhausting last-second loss to Indiana in double overtime cost the Badgers a tie with Maryland for fourth in the conference at 12-5.Football: Alex Hornibrook to leave UW in pursuit of finishing his career elsewhereThe three-year starting quarterback for the University of Wisconsin football team Alex Hornibrook notified Head Coach Paul Chryst early Wednesday Read…At that moment, it seemed as if the Badgers chances for the four seed and double-bye had completely slipped through their fingers. But Penn State proved last Wednesday night that their hot streak is for real in a decisive win over Maryland at home.This means that Wisconsin sits in the same position of opportunity they were in prior to the Indiana loss, but this time with one fewer game to change their fortune.A half game up on Wisconsin, Maryland finishes their season with two home games. One against a top 10 team in Michigan and the other against a Minnesota team desperately searching for a big road win to build their bubble resume for the NCAA Tournament.Even though Wisconsin split their home-and-away series with Maryland this season, if both teams win out and finish 14-6 in conference, Maryland would win the battle for the four seed because this means they picked up more wins against the top three teams in the conference in Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State.Due to this, the only way Wisconsin can get the four seed and double-bye in the tournament is if Wisconsin finishes one game better than Maryland. This is entirely possible — however, the Badgers do not control a lot of their own destiny as they need Michigan and or Minnesota to beat Maryland. If the Badgers finish the season fourth in the Big Ten they would await the winner between the five seed — likely Maryland — and whoever wins between the 12 and 13 seeds beforehand, which could be a variety of teams at this point. This bye would give the team an extra day to rest and prepare while the five seed risks the chance of either losing before the matchup with the four seed or becoming fatigued as the conference tournament runs on consecutive days.Men’s basketball: As Badgers wrap up season, Ethan Happ’s free throw woes could end up costing themOne of the fundamentals of winning college basketball games is good free-throw shooting. As games come to an end, regardless Read…If the Badgers do not get the four seed it is highly likely they land the five seed, though a loss to Iowa could lead them to sixth. The lowest seed Wisconsin can get in the conference tournament is seven.Though this would take Wisconsin losing their final three games and Ohio State winning their final three games, we will label that possibility unlikely.Due to Wisconsin playing the 11th most difficult schedule in college basketball this year, their overall success against conference and non-conference foes and their ability to win on the road, the Badgers seem comfortably in the NCAA Tournament regardless of how their regular season ends. This should not deter them from playing their hardest over the final two games. There is a lot to play for and a lot for this team to clean up.Most notably, the Badgers need to improve their free throw shooting. On the season, the team shoots a lousy 64.6 percent from the charity stripe. Wisconsin’s methodical offense and stingy defense usually put them in low scoring close games and when you play those types of games you have to hit free throws throughout and especially at the end to ensure victory.Men’s Basketball: Badgers fail to finish in double overtime loss at IndianaThe No. 19 University of Wisconsin Men’s basketball team (19-9, 11-6 Big Ten) lost to the Indiana Hoosiers (14-14, 5-12), Read…If Wisconsin wants to make a run, this aspect of their game is priority number one for improvement.Additionally, the Badgers need to rely on role players such as Khalil Iverson, Brevin Pritzl, Kobe King and Aleem Ford to add to the scoring depth of the offense. Getting these guys more involved will open up more opportunities for the starters.“We need more people to contribute,” Iverson said. “It gives us a better chance of winning and … it takes the stress off guys who normally score most of the points for us.”Wisconsin also needs to be more consistent from deep. They rank as one of the top teams in the country in three-point percentage at 38.2 percent, but two of their past three games they have shot 27 percent and it almost cost them in one case and actually did in the other.“We’re going to take things one game at a time, every win moving out and every game is a huge opportunity,” sophomore guard Brad Davison said. “It’s also a huge challenge, we’ve got a big target on out back along with everyone else at the top of the Big Ten right now, so we’ve got to take it one game at a time.”Keep an eye out for these aspects of Wisconsin’s game over the course of these last couple games during the regular season.Improvement in these areas may go a long way in determining where the Badger’s regular season will end and how they will be ranked in the Big Ten Tournament.The Badgers will play Iowa at home Thursday at 7 p.m. before they finish out their season on the road versus The Ohio State.