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Press release: The Great Farm Challenge – Educating the next generation of farmers

first_img It’s great to see so many young people engaged and positive about the future of farming. It’s even better that they so clearly understand the challenges of diffuse water pollution. This is good farming that is good for the environment, planned at a landscape scale – this is the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan being put into practice. The students have gone above and beyond to find practical solutions for protecting water and air quality, assets and skills that will serve them well as tomorrow’s successful farmers. NFYFC is delighted that Leicestershire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs chairman and dairy farmer Alistair Hughes was part of the judging panel for an event that challenges young agricultural students to find solutions to improve water and air quality on farms. YFC members are aware of the challenges, demands and opportunities ahead for their farming future and NFYFC commends the achievements of this collaborative project. Young farmers with outstanding ideas for running a successful farm whilst caring for the environment and local water and air quality have been awarded the prestigious Great Farm Challenge Award 2019.Ideas brought forward in this year’s competition included using a tramline to reduce the risk of water pollution and methods to stop cattle from drinking directly out of rivers to avoid damage to river banks.Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming team, the Environment Agency and water companies for the areas involved – Severn Trent, Anglian Water and United Utilities – have awarded students from agricultural colleges from across the East of England, the North West and the West Midlands with the prestigious prize.Regional award ceremonies were held last week in recognition of over 150 young agricultural students’ collaborative and innovative solutions to future farming.The young farmers worked together on projects to assess and address the impact of different farm practices on their local natural environment and farm business. These projects were then developed into plans and presented to a panel of judges, with the participants demonstrating how they would care for the environment and run a successful farm whilst protecting local water and air quality.This year Natural England are proud to announce that the regional winners and runners-up impressed the judging panel comprising representatives from Natural England, Environment Agency, water companies and Young Farmers’ Clubs with their plans for managing a successful farm. The young farmers focused on minimising run-off from pesticides, nutrients and suspended solids such as sediment and algae that can be problematic for aquatic life, whilst also looking at ways to improve air quality and use water wisely on the farm.Geoff Sansome, Natural England’s Head of Agriculture, said: We’re delighted to be involved in this challenge as it is a great way to influence the next generation of farmers about how they can help us to care for the environment without impacting on their farm business. By creating the awareness of good water quality practices we will hopefully avoid problems in the future which could lead to increased water treatment costs and potentially affect the bill paying customer. Una McBride, Agricultural Advisor at Severn Trent, said: I’m delighted to see the Environment Agency and Catchment Sensitive Farming team working alongside water companies and agricultural colleges across England to reward young agriculturalists for thinking about ways to protect local water quality. I’m proud to be a part of the Great Farm Challenge and help to educate the next generation of farmers to think sustainably, and by sharing good water quality practices we’re reducing the issue of poor water quality – improving the local environment and farm businesses. This year marks the 8th Great Farm Challenge. Since the Challenge started in 2011, over 1,170 students and land managers have engaged and got involved in improving water and air quality through best practice on farms.Catchment Sensitive Farming is a partnership between Natural England, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency.The Great Farm Challenge is a joint partnership, led by Natural England, Defra, Environment Agency and regional water companies Severn Trent, Anglian Water and United Utilities. As a collective, the partnership continues to nurture the next generation of farmers and encourage strategic solutions for our young farmers to carry throughout their careers.Richard Reynolds, Anglian Water’s Senior Agronomist, said: We’re delighted to have been part of the Great Farm Challenge for the past eight years. It’s a great way for us to engage directly with the farmers of the future, raising their awareness of the whole water journey, from farm to tap and, the opportunities for farming businesses to thrive whilst protecting our water environment. It’s really encouraging to see so many of our future farmers so enthused about incorporating good water quality practices in to their own farming systems. Find out more about how we’ve been educating young farmers to improve water quality for all here. Using a case study farm, some of the agricultural students discovered the management of tramlines could be an effective way to reduce the risk of sediment and phosphorus pollution of surface water. These young farmers presented their plans to change the direction of the tramlines to reduce the amount of sediment and pesticides moving into the water course from crop spraying, and advised the farmer to plough across slopes to avoid tramlines moving down slope. To avoid soil run-off into the water course, the students also proposed adding grass or vegetative buffer strips or crop parallel to the water course to catch sediments and pesticides.James Eckley, National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Chief Officer, said: The Great Farm Challenge is a really important initiative and provides the farmers and advisors of the future with a practical and rewarding experience that will help develop their skills and techniques for protecting the water environment. It is vital that the farming sector focuses on issues like pesticide run-off, nutrient management and watercourse protection if we are to continue delivering world-class produce whilst protecting drinking water sources and wildlife. I was really impressed with the standard of the students taking part in the challenge and I look forward to working with them in the future. Huge congratulations to the winners and everyone else who took part. It’s important that we continue to support up and coming students and the Great Farm Challenge is an excellent way to do so. Notably, one college discovered the farm had not conducted soil testing in 15 years. Soil testing should be conducted every three years and is important for efficient nutrient management and for the assessment and minimisation of pollution of surface and ground water to conserve water quality, caused by agricultural practices.Others looked at ways to prevent cattle from drinking directly from the river to avoid poaching and river bank damage, and came up with the solution of using water bays for cattle to drink from instead of the river.The students noted that farmers could seek advice from their local Catchment Sensitive Farming Officers to find out what grants are available to help fund some of these actions.Madeleine Gardner, Environment Agency Environmental Specialist, said: Clare Bullen, Strategy Development Manager at United Utilities, said:last_img read more

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Phish Drummer Jon Fishman Kicks Off Tour With The Mallett Brothers Band In Rhode Island

first_imgPhish drummer Jon Fishman kicked off his tour with Portland, Maine rockers The Mallett Brothers Band last night at Matunuck, RI’s Ocean Mist. The band and drummer first collaborated in 2016 to help raise awareness for Bernie Sanders‘ run for president before joining forces again twice last year—including the re-opening of Fishman’s Lincolnville General Store back in November. Now, The Mallett Brothers are hitting the road with Fishman as their second drummer for a two-week adventure that is set to last through April 21.After tonight’s show at The Rack in Carrabassett Valley, ME, the band will regroup in Nashua, NH on April 7 before heading to Port City Music Hall in Portland, ME. Following a two day break, the tour will resume at Milkboy Art House in College Park, MD, the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY, the Westcott Theatre in Syracuse, NY, then Higher Ground Ballroom for a hometown throwdown in Burlington, VT, Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT. From there, the festivities will continue in Asbury Park, NJ at the House of Independents, Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA, Putnam Place in Saratoga Springs, NY, and will conclude at Once Ballroom in Somerville, MA.Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see Fishman performing Mallett Brothers originals on this east coast adventure! Check out some video clips from the tour opener below, courtesy of Instagram users tfazzino311 and carusod41. Mallett Brothers Band with Jon Fishman Tour3/30 Matunuck RI3/31 Carrabassett Valley, ME4/7 Nashua, NH w Dead Winter Carpenters4/8 Portland ME w Dead Winter Carpenters4/11 College Park MD w Peoples Blues of Richmond4/12 Brooklyn NY w Peoples Blues of Richmond4/13 Syracuse NY w Peoples Blues of Richmond4/14 Burlington VT w Peoples Blues of Richmond4/15 Norfolk CT w Peoples Blues of Richmond4/17 Asbury Park NJ w Dead Winter Carpenters4/18 Ardmore PA w Wallace Brothers Band and Mason Porter4/19 Northampton, MA4/20 Saratoga Springs NY w Eastbound Jesus4/21 Somerville, MA w Eastbound JesusFor more Mallett Brothers Band tour dates, head to the band’s official website.last_img read more

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Youthful wisdom, times 3

first_imgMany are called to accept their degrees during Morning Exercises. But only three are chosen to speak.This year, two Harvard seniors and one doctoral student from Harvard Medical School will deliver Commencement’s orations: English, Latin, and Graduate. They were chosen in a speech-writing competition held yearly by the Harvard Commencement Office.The orators represent a speaking tradition at Harvard that evolved from a 17th century requirement for seniors graduating from Harvard College: Defend your senior theses in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew.This year’s topics seem both timely and traditional: Know your personal worth. Embrace what is enduring. And maintain perspective, bolstered by friendship and everyday kindness.Here are the speakers:James P. McGlone, Latin speakerHarvard is full of eloquent people, but few of them converse in Latin. Ergo, James P. McGlone, 22, is interesting in a magnus or summus kind of way. The New Jersey native started studying the language of Cicero, Ovid, and Horace at age 12, topped that off with three years in high school, and then took two semesters’ worth in college. Latin is hardly dead or irrelevant, he said, since it lies at “the roots of our civilization,” and to this day has an influential beauty, logic, and order.“Knowing this language has improved the quality of my writing,” said McGlone of his English composition, and he foresees the rigor and order of Latin helping him in law school some day. (Both his parents are lawyers, and his mother supplied some early Latin lessons at home.) Last summer, McGlone spent five weeks sharpening his Latin at the Paideia Institute in Rome, where after graduation he will spend 10 months as an instructor.At Harvard, McGlone also took two years of Greek while studying ancient history; debated at the John Adams Society (usually in English, though “I’ve been known to start rambling in Latin”); took part in the University’s Roman Catholic chaplaincy from freshman year on; played softball on several Kirkland House teams; and wrote his senior thesis on the letters of St. Augustine, whose “Confessions” remains a moral compass. And nota bene: McGlone, with a passion for Irish music, has played the bagpipes since age 9. Kitted out in waistcoat, sporran, and kilt, accompanying his father and brothers, he still plays in parades and weddings with the Essex Shillelagh Pipes and Drums in New Jersey.McGlone will deliver the Latin oration this year, a five-minute speech he practiced in front of friends. But a sustained oratio in front of tens of thousands ratchets up the pressure, he admitted — you don’t need to be an oraculum to predict that. “I’m going to try to be more excited than nervous,” he said.As for the topic, said McGlone, “I don’t want to give too much away ahead of time,” but the title, “Quid durat?” (“What lasts?”), offered one hint, and McGlone offered another. The oration will touch on “what in life and in our shared Harvard experience is not fleeting but really lasting.”For McGlone, “the two major themes of my life” really endure, he said, in “my faith and my family — and Latin maps onto both.” McGlone prays his daily Catholic liturgy in Latin. All three brothers are studying too, and he plans to tutor one of his two sisters this summer. Mirabile!— Corydon IrelandJake Silberg, Undergraduate speakerIt was while on a medevac flight home from Italy, on a layover in Iceland, that 14-year-old Jake Silberg had the greatest meal of his life. After a month of intravenous fluids, Kentucky Fried Chicken tasted like a five-star feast.“It was delicious,” said the senior.Silberg was returning from what began as a family vacation but ended in his hospitalization for a large tumor between his large and small intestines. Tests revealed he had Burkitt’s lymphoma, an aggressive cancer but one that responds well to treatment. After chemotherapy treatments, Silberg eventually became cancer-free.After beating cancer, said Jake Silberg, “there were fewer things to be nervous about. It made me really want to enjoy everything that I did more, to take things in a more positive light.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe experience gave the teenager perspective far beyond his years. “It made me more outgoing,” Silberg said. “There were fewer things to be nervous about. It made me really want to enjoy everything that I did more, to take things in a more positive light.”That unbridled joy of life translated to his time at Harvard. A realization that students in less-affluent areas than his own New Jersey neighborhood often missed out on rich learning fueled a passion for education and inspired his social studies concentration with a focus on U.S. education policy. After a fellowship year to study the Spanish election system and a consulting job, Silberg hopes to go into public-sector education work.Aside from studying with “professors at the top of their fields,” Silberg said his most significant Harvard memories involve friends. Three of his closest high school classmates attended Harvard. He also made friends at Adams House and with the Immediate Gratification Players. He called the Harvard improv troupe “by far my most important activity at Harvard outside the classroom.”While he lauded the notion of Harvard graduates eager to change the world, he said that his Commencement-day talk will embrace “how we make a difference for people in our everyday lives.” That notion is close to his heart. During college he mentored a New Jersey teen with leukemia. That experience inspired him to speak about giving to others.“If I could impart one piece of advice, it’s how do we help others and make a difference for others even through very small actions. It’s so easy to be very busy. Just making a simple extra effort to remember the people who you care a lot about and who care a lot about you, and making time for them, can make a big difference for them, but also really helps you grow as a person.”— Colleen WalshAnna Wang Erickson, Graduate speakerAnna Wang Erickson vividly recalls a conversation she had a few years ago with an undergraduate who was frazzled because she’d done poorly on a test and wanted advice. A longtime resident tutor at Mather House and a Harvard Medical School (HMS) student, Erickson could relate to feeling panicked about possible failure and the effect that can have on self-esteem.She counseled the young woman to keep things in perspective, that grades and test scores were not the true measure of her value — or anyone else’s.“I told her that she had intrinsic worth and to remember that,” said Wang Erickson.“What I’m trying to develop in my speech is that if we really recognize that [we] have intrinsic worth that can’t be lost, then that should give [us] the courage to move forward” and try bold things, said Harvard Medical School graduate Anna Wang Erickson. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerIt was time-tested advice not only for the student, but for Wang Erickson, who recalled her experiences with frustration and failure as a chemistry concentrator at Princeton University and later as a Ph.D. candidate here at Harvard.“Because I’m also a student and trying to get experiments to work, and things fail, you can very easily feel like your whole identity is wrapped up in how well you do and all the accomplishments you have or don’t have,” she said, describing life in graduate school as akin to “long periods of failure on a daily basis punctuated only rarely by incremental progress.”“Every day when we do research, it can be really depressing” because success often appears “so far down the line,” Wang Erickson said with a laugh.Since 2009, Wang Erickson has studied gene regulation in Bacillus subtilis, a bacterium found in soil, as part of the biological and biomedical sciences program at HMS. She will receive a doctorate in molecular and cellular biology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. After graduation, Erickson will remain at Harvard for a postdoctoral year to complete her research. She hopes for a career in research and teaching.“What I’m trying to develop in my speech is that if we really recognize that [we] have intrinsic worth that can’t be lost, then that should give [us] the courage to move forward” and try bold things. And if those efforts don’t always work out, knowledge of personal worth “gives us the motivation and resources to persevere” and try again.— Christina Pazzaneselast_img read more

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Building Citizen Security in Central America

first_img Illicit cash threatens the region Central America’s geography of multinational borders, blind passages, dense jungles and extensive coastlines makes it vulnerable to smugglers. For a region accustomed to receiving millions of dollars in remittances each year from family members living and working abroad, the informal economy provides another degree of elusiveness for targeting drug traffickers and their profits. Cresencio Arcos, a former U.S. ambassador to Honduras and now an advisor at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, or CHDS, in Washington, D.C., noted that Central America’s informal economy makes it easier to move illicit cash. The nature of such a financial system and the size of remittances to the region make it an easier target for money launderers and corruption. “The drug trade is not a conventional threat. It is an insidious threat to all of us. Everybody is susceptible to it — the institutions, the individuals, the rich, the poor. Whoever gets in the way either gets out of the way or partakes,” Ambassador Arcos told Diálogo. “You got such an enormous amount of money flowing through there [Central America] by their standards … they’re much more vulnerable.” Brig. Gen. Roberto Rodríguez Girón of the Guatemalan Air Force, an instructor at the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, D.C., agreed that until money laundering is adequately targeted, drug traffickers will continue to pose a serious threat to the region. “The threats are not to one or the other, they are to all. … Day by day, it is more serious,” he told Diálogo. “We have organizations; but we do not have the resources.” Brig. Gen. Girón said bilateral and multilateral programs such as Plan Pueblo Panama and the Merida Initiative with the U.S. are helping, but he added that there needs to be broader participation and international funding devoid of political and ideological differences. Governments and law enforcement in Central America are taking a new approach to fighting drug traffickers and the billions of dollars in illicit cash that support them. Military, government and regional analysts interviewed by Diálogo say that while interdiction operations are still a priority, resolving the problem also requires regional support for better tracking of illicit funds and strengthening the legal framework to prosecute criminals. These factors, in turn, can help remove illicit cash from the economy and reduce the drug trade and violence that comes with it. North America’s drug demand has been fed in recent decades by a supply chain from South America. These drugs have traditionally been trafficked through Caribbean and Pacific routes. In the past few years, however, traffickers have shifted their focus to Central American routes. Cocaine trafficking by air, sea and land through Central America increased to startling levels after Colombian and Mexican authorities tightened controls and pressured drug cartels. To demonstrate the impact in Guatemala alone, the volume of cocaine shipments jumped from fewer than 7 tons in 2007 to 300 to 400 tons by 2009, reported intelligence firm Stratfor. The U.N. office on Drugs and Crime 2010 World Drug Report says the global drug industry nets $300 billion to $400 billion in profit annually. With cartels increasingly transporting drugs through Central America, the region is becoming home to tens of billions of dollars in illicit cash. Rising street-level crimes and higher homicide rates are a byproduct of drug smuggling in Central America. InSight, a Bogota-based organization dedicated to examining organized crime in the Americas, reports that drug-related violence accounts for 60 percent of all crimes in countries from Mexico to Honduras. In Guatemala, where criminal organizations like the Mexican Zetas cartel are staking claim to territory, 40 percent of the murders have been directly linked to narcotrafficking, according to the Brookings Institution, a U.S. think tank. By Dialogo April 01, 2011 What measurements has America taken to get free of its problems, economical, political, social, or religious. center_img SICA: A regional approach One such initiative on the minds of many is the Central American Integration System, or SICA, a regional group that met in Guatemala City from June 22-23, 2011, to confront shared problems from a transregional approach. SICA Secretary-General Juan Daniel Alemán, speaking in February 2011 at a panel discussion at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C., said money laundering was a key challenge in confronting drug trafficking. “This is happening in a horrible way in our societies, our ways of doing business and our style of life,” he said. “Day by day, narco activity is not only taking away the earnings of Central Americans, but it also connects our societies to narco dollars.” Nicaraguan Roberto Orozco, an investigator for the Institute for the Study of Strategic and Public Policy, or IEPP, explained how drug money enters the economy and influences the populace in communities with few government-supported social and economic development programs. “When the state is absent, organized crime achieves a social legitimacy. or, when there is not a vision for local development, narcotrafficking uses its principal power, which is not arms nor drugs, but money, ‘the pay for services in cash,’ ” he said at an IEPP conference on organized crime and border security in July 2010. Orozco explained that when drug traffickers play the role of the state or help to fuel economic activity with illicit cash, they become an accepted part of the community. “The economic compensation is one of the principal reasons why the actions of organized crime are legitimized.” It is for this reason that many stakeholders are looking forward to building on the progress and commitments made at the SICA meeting in Guatemala. Guillermo Pacheco, a Guatemalan instructor at CHDS, believes that as SICA’s rotating president, countries like his must exercise political will to strengthen their own internal institutions while also encouraging non-partner nations like Mexico to play a role before SICA can have an impact. “We cannot talk about a conference, or even a regional security strategy and strengthening SICA, if we do not have strong institutions in Central America,” he told Diálogo. Pacheco explained that countries can build on the credibility and trust that the populace already has for the Armed Forces to strengthen their police forces. In turn, the two groups can work together to address the drug problem. “There are many municipalities that are requesting a military presence,” he said, pointing to the population’s support for military action instead of local police addressing the security problem. “The problem is that there is no institutional framework that coordinates work between the Armed Forces and the police in Central America, in general.” Ambassador Arcos agreed that citizen security is a key factor that regional institutions can address with transregional efforts to train and equip the military and police. In turn, with greater citizen safety will come economic development, he explained. “Citizens don’t believe anymore [in the security apparatus] by and large because of all this corruption, violence, the drugs, the guns coming through,” he said. “Citizen safety is impacting the development of these countries … The general population is scared now.” Both Brig. Gen. Girón and Pacheco stressed political will as a key factor for the institutional changes that must take place. Pacheco said that political will for stronger internal institutions can help further the regionwide efforts at institution-building discussed at the SICA conference. “What we are trying to do is coordinate our security initiatives,” Pacheco said. “The role of SICA can raise institution building to a regional level that can impact the national level … not the power to do so, but it could have an influence.”last_img read more

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Big banks just claimed a constitutional right to a taxpayer subsidy

first_imgBig banks get a lot of free money from the federal government. And their lobbyists think they have a constitutional right to it.Each year, the government pays billions of dollars to banks to thank them for being part of the Federal Reserve system. These payments aren’t structured to influence or encourage any particular business activity — banks just get straight cash, no matter what they do. The subsidy is economically useless. It doesn’t push interest rates lower or boost pay for bank tellers or help more farmers qualify for loans. The money just goes straight to the bottom line, boosting bank profits.Late last year, Congress passed a law limiting these payouts, using the savings to help pay for a highway bill. While lawmakers originally proposed trimming the subsidy by $17 billion over five years, the legislation ultimately only cost banks $2.7 billion, thanks to a late compromise that allowed smaller banks to keep receiving full payment. Since the subsidies are scaled to the size of each bank, the lion’s share of the $2.7 billion will come from a small number of big firms.The top lobbyist for the American Bankers Association wrote a letter to the Fed last week calling the subsidy cuts “an unconstitutional taking of member banks’ property without compensation.” continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Three tough questions for your leadership team

first_imgMcKinsey & Company recently proposed a framework for helping C-level executives make critical decisions around transformation and growth. It includes three tough questions:Where is your growth going to come from?How can you grow now and tomorrow?How will you set up a strong growth engine?Confronting the questions requires credit union leaders to think expansively and often through a lens of data transformation.Question No. 1: Where is Your Credit Union’s Growth Going to Come From?Market incumbents having the greatest success with growth today have adopted or are on their way to adopting a platform mindset.Rather than brainstorming growth from a product-first mindset, platform thinkers consider the end-user experience first. They seek to solve problems faster, more thoroughly or in a way that’s actually enjoyable for the user.Co-creation is another go-to strategy of the platform thinker. We see examples of providers coming together from all different walks of life to build customer-centric models that wouldn’t be possible without collaboration.Tesla is one example. The automotive industry disruptor is bundling lifetime auto insurance with the cost of its cars. Shopping for auto insurance can be a hassle, so why not eliminate that pain point for Tesla customers?Nike is another example. The company built its own developer network to help startups build something new using Nike’s data and technology. When shoe innovators build on top of the Nike+ platform, the incumbent learns new tricks while retaining its dominant position in the athletic footwear industry.How can financial cooperatives – entities already wired for collaboration – work with potential disruptors to reimagine value for members?Question No. 2: How Can You Grow Now and Tomorrow?Exploration requires people to enter uncharted waters. Moving forward amid a series of unknowns requires testing, failing, testing again and maybe even failing again. That is uncomfortable for many leaders. But, it is how new discoveries are made.Among the discoveries many growth-minded credit unions have made in recent years is that collaboration with non-traditional partners can be an ideal way to explore the next frontier. Consider Stanford FCU’s recently announced partnership with Google to formulate a digital checking option. Or, Consumer CU’s collaboration with Apple, Samsung and Google to facilitate the use of digital wallets. Tinker CU has added Amazon Hub Lockers to its branches to make life easier for the online shoppers among its membership.How can your credit union link up with its own transformation ally or set of allies? As you consider partnerships through a future-state lens, you may also want to turn a critical eye toward existing vendors. Growth today requires leaders to look closer at what appears to be working well while also asking tough questions about what’s broken.Question No. 3: How Will You Set Up a Strong Growth Engine?When our team of data enthusiasts hears “Growth Engine,” there’s an immediate translation. Around our shop, “Growth Engine” is interpreted as “Data Engine.”That’s because we have seen the fruits of a strategy-first approach to data analytics. When harnessed and analyzed proficiently, data becomes the key to maintaining relevancy in a fast-changing environment.Strategic data analytics also gives credit union leaders the insight to more readily reimagine the value their cooperative can add to the lives of their members.Digital native companies reimagine their value every day. Amazon, for example, isn’t afraid to try its hand in legacy environments, like brick-and-mortar retail or print catalogs. Why? While it’s true the company has a fail-forward, agile culture, it also has data… data that can confirm (or refute) a strategist’s hypothesis.It’s amazing the bold leaps you can make with predictive models on your side.Consider, too, that data is the fuel that drives consumer experiences. Gathered from a massive and growing number of sources, data turns even mundane moments into magic. I love when the Pandora app senses I’m no longer sitting at my desk, but on a jog, and automatically changes my playlist from “Relax” to “Run.” That kind of moment would not be possible without data and the associated analytics to ignite it.By igniting their data, credit unions will transform – and achieve growth – faster. Within the movement, that means more relevant, more meaningful financial help for more people. 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Shazia Manus At AdvantEdge Analtyics, Shazia Manus applies a futurist view to the field of analytics, helping credit unions discover new possibilities for exceptional member experiences. Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group … Web: advantedgeanalytics.com Detailslast_img read more

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Knowing local conditions can help in spotting tularemia

first_imgFeb 24, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Knowledge of the local epidemiology of tularemia can help healthcare providers identify the disease and recommend locally appropriate prevention and control steps, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The report focuses on an uncommon route of tularemia transmission that was repeatedly found in recent cases in Wyoming: insect bites. Deerflies, horseflies, or other insects are considered the culprits behind 7 of 11 human tularemia cases that occurred there from 2001 through 2003, the CDC says in the Feb 25 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.Tick bites and handling of infected animals are the most common route of infection with tularemia, one of the six diseases considered most likely to be spread by terrorists. People can also contract it from insect bites, eating or drinking contaminated food or water, or inhaling the bacteria, according to the CDC.The illness, which is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, occurs in six syndromes, of which ulceroglandular is the most common. The disease can be fatal if left untreated, but the overall case-fatality rate in the United States is less than 2%, according to a review published in 2001.The recent cases in Wyoming might have stood out initially because of their numbers. Six confirmed and five probable human tularemia cases occurred from 2001 through 2003 in western and southwestern Wyoming, versus only 10 cases from 1990 through 2000, the report says.The outbreak, however, became noteworthy for another reason when investigators from the state health department learned that insects (deerflies, horseflies, flies and/or fleas) were the most likely mode of transmission in 7 of the 11 cases. In contrast, none of the cases in the preceding decade had been linked to insect bites. Six of the seven patients suffered ulceroglandular tularemia, and one had typhoidal tularemia, the report says.Most of the recent human cases were in southwestern Wyoming, and there were signs of a tularemia outbreak among rabbits in that part of the state during the same years, the article says. The state health department learned in October 2003 that two ill rabbits from the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge had tested positive for the disease. Refuge staff also noted higher numbers of sick or dead rabbits during 2002 and 2003.There was evidence of a possible link between the apparent rabbit outbreak and the human cases, according to the report. F tularensis isolates from the six confirmed human cases were classified into types A or B. Five of the six isolates were from southwestern Wyoming, where the rabbit outbreak was believed to have occurred, and all five were type A, the type usually associated with rabbits.In addition, the CDC reports that laboratory studies as far back as 1919 confirmed that deerflies can spread tularemia among animals.The lesson is that local conditions matter. “Because proper diagnosis and treatment of tularemia relies on a high index of suspicion and clinical presentation is related to the method of acquisition . . . healthcare providers should understand the local epidemiology of tularemia,” the report says. “On the basis of this knowledge, public health officials can recommend locally appropriate prevention and control measures.””In addition, a local epizootic of tularemia might correlate with an increase in human cases and should heighten awareness that tularemia might be a possibility in clinically compatible cases,” the article says.The findings were limited by patients’ possible recall bias, as well as the potential for unrecognized modes of transmission, the article says.CDC. Tularemia transmitted by insect bites—Wyoming, 2001-2003. MMWR 2005 Feb 25:54(7):170-3 [Full text]See also:CIDRAP overview of tularemialast_img read more

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No excuse for lax security at gun store

first_imgIt’s so disturbing that thieves were able to remove 40 guns from the Target Sports store in Glenville, with apparently no haste required on their part. Now there are 40 more guns in the hands of criminals. Will there be people killed with any of these stolen guns? Will some youngster be introduced to a life of crime with any of these guns? Will innocent people be shot, students, teachers, law enforcement? This fact can’t be denied regardless of the intended use for these guns.Are we supposed to be accepting of the fact that the alarm system malfunctioned? A fallible alarm system obviously has no practical use in a store that sells guns. Banks protect our money much better than that. Human life is a bigger priority and could be afforded the same protection.If stores can profit from the sale of guns, there should be laws that real security measures are in place.Margaret NixonMechanicvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the… Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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Find alternatives to opioid prescriptions

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The governor of West Virginia signed a bill recently making it law that medical doctors must refer their pain patients to either a chiropractor or physical therapist before they can prescribe opioids, and any insurance company doing business in West Virginia must have chiropractic coverage of at least 20 visits. It’s the first law of its kind in the country and will take effect in 90 days.Over two months ago, I met with Sen. George Amedore proposing he consider introducing a bill that would make it mandatory for every middle and high school student in the state of New York to undergo a biomechanical exam at the start of the school year, in addition to the current medical exam all students receive.Although eyes, ears, nose and throat are important, these kids start their sports seasons without anyone ever looking at their musculoskeletal systems. This is the very start of a broken system.Unfortunately, Sen. Amedore didn’t have the vision the governor of West Virginia had, and he gave me every reason why it wouldn’t work. Hopefully, we’ll have some politicians in New York state who are more willing to step up and figure out how to make it work. In this country every day, 115 people die due to opioid overdose, and it’s all because people are going to doctors who don’t understand musculoskeletal issues and write prescriptions for the relief of pain while never addressing the cause of the problem.Tim MaggsSchenectadyThe writer is a chiropractor and the developer of the Concerned Parents of Young Athletes Program.More from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%last_img read more

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