Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has showered praises on two distinguished outgoing Ambassadors accredited to Liberia from South Africa and La Côte d’Ivoire, respectively, for their “remarkable and outstanding” roles played in cementing the existing relationships between their countries and Liberia.Minister Ngafuan made the assertion last Friday at a farewell reception held in honor of South Africa, Ambassador Masilo Esau Mabeta and Ivorian Ambassador Kapieletins Soro’s.Minister Ngafuan expressed deep gratitude to the two Ambassadors for the cordial relations, and for working to expand the cooperation between their countries and Liberia. He said the ties between Liberia and South Africa, and La Côte d’Ivoire has grown even stronger, especially during the tenure of the two outgoing Envoys.While thanking the South African Ambassador for his instrumentality in ensuring that South African visas are issued in Monrovia, Minister Ngafuan said the country will miss him, “because he came with special thoughts in his own ways to achieve his goals, to which other government officials can attest. He knows all the villages, towns, counties across Liberia. So thank you very much for what you have done,” Minister Ngafuan told Ambassador Mabeta.While bidding the two Envoys farewell on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Minister thanked both for serving their respective countries well. By that, they have also served the continent well, and by serving the continent well, you have served mankind well.The Foreign Minister also paid special homage to Ambassador Mabeta’s wife, adding that she has been an integral part of all he husband success.He said under Ambassador Mabeta’s tenure, the relations between Liberian and South Africa have grown to a new level, especially with the issuance of South African visas in Liberia which, he noted, have considerably reduced the financial burden on Liberians. Also hailing the cordial relationship between Liberia and La Côte d’Ivoire, the Foreign Minister recounted Ambassador Soro’s excellent role in cementing the ties of cordiality between the two countries.He added that Ambassador Soro has worked closely with Liberia in solving most of the growing challenges, especially the cross border crisis between both nations, which he said was addressed through the quadripartite frameworks, which led to the holding of several meetings between the two sisterly countries and brought together their two Heads of State and government along with the two UN Missions in both countries.He stated that due to the mutual cooperation and commitment of Ambassador Soro, some of the obstacles facing the two nations’ relationships were brought to a peaceful settlement, which helped to avoid potential crisis in the region. He stressed that while the border crisis was at the state of escalating, the two countries’ presidents and their foreign ministers had to work “very hard” at improving the security situation along their common borders.For his part, Ambassador Soro thanked officials, who turned out to grace what he called special occasion. He specifically thanked Minister Ngafuan for the personal and official assistance his Ministry rendered him while he was on his tour of duty in Liberia.He also hailed the hospitality of the Liberian Government and people for the manner in which his country’s refugees’ issues were managed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
… urged to uphold ConstitutionTaking the brunt of the work off the shoulders of Government Ministers, President David Granger on Friday swore in members of the much anticipated Public Procurement Commission (PPC).Members of the new Public Procurement Commission pose with President David Granger at the Ministry of the Presidency on FridayAfter months of promise, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government on Friday installed the five-member Commission; a body which will oversee the awarding of contracts for public projects.The Commission, which will elect its Chairman at its first meeting, includes Emily Dodson, Carla Corbin, Ivor English, Nandkishore Gopaul and Sukrishnalall Pasha.Following the swearing in, President David Granger said the PPC is an establishment mandated by Guyana’s Constitution, which seeks to ensure the fair, equitable and transparent execution and works and procurement of goods and services, according to law.He said members of the new Board are now charged with constitutional duty of the Commission.“I charge you with upholding the constitutional duty of the Public Procurement Commission in being independent, impartial and fair,” the President told the Commissioners.The Guyana Constitution stipulates that the Commission shall consist of five members who shall have expertise and experience in procurement, legal, finance and administrative matters and that the President shall appoint the members of the Commission after such members have been nominated by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and approved by not less than two-thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly.The President said that the PAC of the National Assembly was responsible for the selection of the members of this Commission and this bi-partisan process of selection is a demonstration of however intractable political differences might seem, the bases for political agreement and consensus on matters of national interest should always be sought.Speaking with the media, Nanda Gopaul, a former Labour Minister and Permanent Secretary under the previous Administration, said he is happy with the confidence which has been reposed in him and the other members of the Commission by Parliament and the Government as a whole.He noted that the Commission will work to ensure that its integrity and the interests of the Guyanese people are priority in every decision that is taken.“I would do my utmost to ensure that the integrity is upheld and we are happy that the democratic system has worked. We are happy that the Parliament has put confidence in us, the members of the PPC and that the President has put the necessary systems in place to have the Commission established. We will work to ensure that the interests of the Guyanese people and the country as a whole are protected,” he said.Among the PPC’s key functions are, according to the Procurement Act, to “Monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with law and such policy guidelines as may be determined by the National Assembly; promote awareness of the rules, procedures and special requirements of the procurement process among suppliers, constructors and public bodies; safeguard the national interest in public procurement matters, having due regard to any international obligations; monitor the performance of procurement bodes with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works; approve of procedures for public procurement, disseminate rules and procedures for public procurement; and recommend modifications thereto to the public procurement entities.”
In? Jackson Martinez – Click the arrow to see more – The Porto striker has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 16 goals in all competitions, including six in the Champions League. Peppino Tirri, an agent that Porto have used to negotiate transfers before, says Liverpool are hoping to take the Colombian to the Premier League. Liverpool are in for Jackson, Tirri told Hetold Calcio News. (But) Porto wont yield an inch from their £27.5m release clause. With the Reds in desperate need of a regular goal scorer, Martinez may just be the signing they need to carry them into the top four at the end of the season. 7 7 In? Nathaniel Clyne – Click the arrow to see more – With question marks over Glen Johnsons future and the need to improve the defence, Liverpool may look to sign Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne. The 23-year-old has been one of the stand-out performers for the Saints and his impressive form led to a first England cap against Scotland. Clyne has reportedly been offered a new contract, but negotiations are believed to have stalled and Southampton may look to cash in while they can. Liverpool are no strangers to raiding the south-coast club’s talent pool and will hope that Clyne will shake off the advances of Manchester United to join Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert in the Reds’ squad. It’s been a disappointing Premier League campaign so far for Liverpool after their title challenge last year.Despite a more pleasing run of form of late, the Reds are still 15 points behind front runners Chelsea.The loss of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge’s struggles with injury have seriously affected Liverpool’s ability to score goals, while their frailties at the back have remained.Although Brendan Rodgers was able to strengthen his squad in the summer, many of them have failed to fire.£20 million signing Dejan Lovren’s poor performances have resulted in him losing his place in the starting XI, while Mario Balotelli is yet to score a Premier League goal for his new club.To keep up Liverpool’s top four ambitions, Rodgers may have to make a few January signings to change their fortunes, while dumping a few unwanted players.But who could arrive and more importantly, who could go? talkSPORT takes a look…Click the arrow above for Liverpool’s January ins and outs Out? Glen Johnson – Click the arrow to see more – Liverpool have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract for Glen Johnson, with the defender seeking a longer deal than is currently on the table. With the possibility of the right-back leaving on a free at the end of the season, a cash deal from any club in January may be too good to turn down. In? Edinson Cavani – Click the arrow to see more – Liverpool are reportedly set to battle it out with Arsenal and Manchester United for big-money signing Edinson Cavani. The 27-year-old is said to be unhappy with playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG and is available for £40 million. It is rumoured that Liverpool are prepared to pay that money to increase their goal tally, which has been largely disappointing so far this season. 7 7 Out? Lucas Leiva – Click the arrow to see more – Lucas is reportedly open to a January switch to Italian side Napoli and a reunion with long time admirer and former coach, Rafael Benitez. The Brazilians representative Henrique Coelho told Calciomercato that his client may seek a move away from Anfield for regular first team action. Is it possible that Lucas could leave Liverpool in January? Yes, naturally, said Coelho. Lucas is rumoured to be out of favour with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and despite a good run of performances, and he may look to discard the 27-year-old. 7 Out? Fabio Borini – Click the arrow to see more – The striker looked to be on his way out of Liverpool in the summer, but negotiations with Sunderland collapsed and Rodgers was stuck with the Italian. Despite making several League Cup appearances and picked to start against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, Borini has largely failed to feature in Rodgers plans. A new location for the 23-year-old has yet to be found and with Sunderland reportedly unlikely to make a fresh bid, Italy looks the most likely destination. 7 7 In? Petr Cech – Simon Mignolets string of poor performances this season has forced Rodgers to look into the market for some competition for the Belgian. Although Jose Mourninho has openly said he wants Petr Cech to stay, Chelsea are thought to be willing to listen to offers. Furthermore, Cech has spoken of a desire to play regular first team football, after enduring a long spell on the bench for the Premier League leaders. At 32 years old, Cech is certainly one of the few available goalkeepers with the experience needed to settle the nerves of Liverpools jittery defence.
Donegal star Karl Lacey has had surgery and will be out of action for at least three months.The Four Masters man had surgery on his hip yesterday and surgeons say it will be 12 weeks before he is able to train fully again.Lacey, the GAA’s Footballer of the Year, was due to be in Dublin tonight for The RTE Sports Awards. The bank official was nominated in the overall Person of the Year Award.However his surgeon advised against Karl making the journey to Dublin.LACEY RULED OUT FOR THREE MONTHS AFTER HIP OPERATION was last modified: December 23rd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAAHIP OPERATIONkarl lacey
1Amuntz, Drory and Nelson, “The structure of a plant photosystem I supercomplex at 3.4-angstrom resolution,” Nature 447, 58-63 (3 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05687.2Skourtis and Beratan, “Photosynthesis from the Protein’s Perspective,” Science, 4 May 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5825, pp. 703-704, doi: 10.1126/science.1142330.3The second paper also spoke of the efficient use of quantum mechanical properties of light: “The experimental data reported by Wang et al. also encourage renewed theoretical attention to the early events in photosynthesis. Models that include quantized nuclear dynamics seem particularly important, because high-frequency quantum modes influence fast electron transfer, producing nonexponential kinetics and unusual temperature dependence.”4“Wang et al. suggest that the slow protein dynamics discussed above may help to overcome reaction barriers produced by membrane potentials or by environmental factors that perturb the photosynthetic reaction center and potentially slow down the electron-transfer rate. Thus, protein motion could overcome reaction barriers produced by cellular factors that might otherwise perturb the electron-transfer kinetics.”Those who studied high school biology decades ago can revel in these facts about photosynthesis that are now coming to light (pardon the pun). At the time, our teachers and professors saw light going in, and sugars coming out, but were nearly clueless about what magic was going on inside. The black box is now opening, and we’re finding out that highly efficient molecular machines were there all along. So that’s how it’s done!(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 New tools of science are unveiling the secrets of what was long a “black box” in biology: photosynthesis. A paper in Nature last week1 described the structure of the plant PhotoSystem I complex (PSI) in near-atomic resolution. Next day, a paper in Science2 described some of the protein interactions that occur when plants turn light into energy for work. Both papers praised the exceptional efficiency of “the most efficient nano-photochemical machine in nature.” As is common in the scientific literature, the paper in Nature used engineering language when discussing photosynthesis. It referred to the “reaction centre” as a “light-harvesting complex” and to certain parts as “antennas.” The authors used the root efficient eight times in the paper: for example, “This highly efficient nano-photoelectric machine is expected to interact with other proteins in a regulated and efficient manner” – there are two instances in the same sentence. The paper ended:The complexity of PSI belies its efficiency: almost every photon absorbed by the PSI complex is used to drive electron transport. It is remarkable that PSI exhibits a quantum yield of nearly 1 (refs 47, 48), and every captured photon is eventually trapped and results in electron translocation. The structural information on the proteins, the cofactors and their interactions that is described in this work provides a step towards understanding how the unprecedented high quantum-yield of PSI in light capturing and electron transfer is achieved.The authors only referred to evolution once: “The two principal subunits of the reaction centre, PsaA and PsaB, share similarities in their amino acid sequences and constitute a pseudosymmetric structure that evolved from an ancient homodimeric assembly.” Yet this was stated dogmatically without any explanation of how that could have occurred. The paper in Science explored photosynthesis from the protein’s perspective. The authors of this paper also spoke of the “efficient transfer of electrons across biomembranes” and the “high efficiency of the reaction (an electron is transferred for each photon absorbed)” – i.e., there is no loss or waste of input. The authors discussed how certain protein parts physically move in response to their inputs. These movements among the chlorophylls and other parts modulate the speed of the downstream reactions. Rather than quote their jargon about biomechanics and biomolecular dynamics, let’s attempt an analogy that suggested itself from one of the illustrations: it’s like catching eggs dropping out of the sky into a soft, gentle net, where they can be safely transported to the kitchen. Those who prefer the original jargon can see the footnote.4
15 January 2004An overnight camp for hikers and archaeology enthusiasts is being built at Border Cave, a Middle Stone Age site in the Lebombo Mountains in northern KwaZulu-Natal with spectacular views over Swaziland.Already in place is an interpretive centre featuring dioramas and models that tell the story of pre-historic human existence at the cave, as well as of archaeological excavations since the 1930s.A self-catering camp consisting of two thatched rondavels (huts), built from locally quarried stone, is due to open in March. One- and two-day hiking routes in the rugged mountain landscape have been mapped out for visitors.The camp will be operated by the local Mngomezulu community, who will also guide visitors to the cave – which overlooks a 500-metre sheer drop into Swaziland – for a modest fee.The first known inhabitants of the “Elephant Coast” took residence in the Border Cave, a large overhang in the remote Ingwavuma district, some 200 000 years ago.Some of the oldest evidence setting human evolution in Africa apart from that of Europe has been found at the Cave, where anatomically modern Homo sapiens remains have been discovered and over a million stone artefacts excavated.Analysis of some of the stone tools has helped scientists to date the introduction of tools crafted into blades and points.In 1942 the Cave yielded the remains of infant, dating back about 100 000 years, buried in a grave with a shell ornament and red stain suggesting that the body had been painted – pointing to a people capable of abstract and symbolic thought who probably communicated in a fairly complex language.If concern with life after death is taken as a sign of religion, then this is also the oldest record of religion on earth.Also discovered in the cave was the Lebombo Bone, the oldest known artefact linked to the basic mathematical activity of counting. Dated to 35 000 BC, the Lebombo Bone is a small piece of baboon fibula which has been carved with 29 notches, resembling the calendar sticks still used by San people in Namibia.Animal bones found at the cave indicate that these prehistoric inhabitants lived on bushpig, warthog, zebra and buffalo.The camp and centre are a project of Amafa/Heritage KwaZulu-Natal, with financial assistance from Tourism KZN.Source: Tourism KZN
28 July 2006South African surfers came up trumps in the Red Bull Big Wave Africa, claiming a 1-2-3 finish as John Whittle captured the honours, becoming only the third winner of the event in its eight-year history.The reason for Whittle being only the third winner of the competition was that it requires certain conditions to be run – very special conditions, in fact. They don’t call it a big wave contest for nothing.Thankfully, this year Mother Nature complied with the wishes of the organizers and a huge storm that started off the Antarctic ice-shelf delivered the conditions sought at Dungeons off Hout Bay: waves of at least 15 feet.On Tuesday, the amber alert was given, warning the contestants that conditions with the potential for competition were approaching. On Thursday, it was green for go!Semi-finalsThe four surfers to advance from heat one to the semi-finals were Carlos Burle of Brazil and the South African trio of Sean Holmes – the champion in 2000 – Jason Ribbink, and Andrew Marr.Californian Greg Long, the champion in 2003, failed to make it beyond heat two. Emerging from that encounter with places in the semi-finals were South Africans Chris Bertish and David Smith, Australian Ross Clarke-Jones and and Grant Washburn of the US.Hawaiian star Jamie Sterling progressed from heat three, along with a trio of South Africans: John Whittle, Mickey Duffus and Thomas King Kleynhans.Holmes, Clarke-Jones and Andrew Marr won through from the first semi-final to face Whittle, Bertish and Sterling for the title.SA 1-2-3It proved to be SA all the way with the title on the line as they kept the international surfers at bay to finish first, second and third. John Whittle grabbed victory and glory, Andy Marr took second and Chris Bertish third.Whittle’s first prize was worth a cool R100 000.The Von Zipper Biggest Tube award (worth R5 000), for taking on the biggest barrel, went to another South African, Jason Ribbink, while Andy Marr added to the country’s list of titles by claiming the R25 000 Sensi Threads Biggest Wave award.Jamie Sterling was awarded the R10 000 Billabong Deep Throat Award for pushing the limits the most during the contest.DungeonsThe Dungeons reef, the first sea bottom that the ocean swells hit on their path shore-wards, has the ability to produce the biggest waves in Africa.The swells, generated across the South Atlantic Ocean, hit the Dungeon Reefs and rear up into giant right-hand breaking waves for brave souls to attempt to ride.Apart from the enormous waves, a few other elements to add to the mix of bravery needed to tackle Dungeons: ice-cold water, thick undulating kelp beds that cover the inside waters, and abundant sea life – including a few sharks that prey on the local seal colony. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
EcoTraining runs the first structuredfield-guide training course in South Africa,with a dedicated venue, a comprehensivecurriculum, and instructors who cut theirteeth at the finest game lodges in thecountry.(Image: EcoTraining) Students on the Field Guides Associationof South Africa 1 course learning toidentify animal tracks.(Image: Jennifer Stern) Each student gets a chance to be the“tracker” and occupy the hot seat.(Image: Jennifer Stern)Jennifer SternInnovative South African wildlife training company EcoTraining is going international, setting up a branch in Australia. The first camp will open in the Bamuru Plains area next to Kakadu National Park Region in the Northern Territory near Darwin in October 2008, offering a field guide course, with plans to add birding and indigenous culture courses.EcoTraining was started in 1993 by a group of bush guides from Londolozi and Sabi Sabi who realised that, with the end of apartheid, international tourists would pour into South Africa. And, they reckoned, wildlife and safaris would be a big part of the attraction. While food, décor and position play big role, it is the quality of the guides that sets a game lodge apart.So EcoTraining began to run the first structured field-guide training course in South Africa, with a dedicated venue, a comprehensive curriculum, and instructors who cut their teeth at the finest game lodges in the country. Around the same time, the Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA) was set up to – among other things – standardise field guide qualifications.Anton Lategan joined EcoTraining as an instructor in 1997. By the end of the year he and veteran field guide and wildlife photographer Lex Hes had teamed up with to buy the company. At the time they operated from a corner in the north of Sabi Sands with one Series 3 Land Rover, one bucket shower, one pit toilet and a few tents.Rough, ready, and part of natureThey’ve come a long way since then, with three dedicated camps, but they’re definitely not planning to go the luxury route. The camps are not fenced, and it’s happened more than once that course participants couldn’t get to the showers before supper because a small herd of elephants were snacking on the trees near the ablution blocks. But that’s what it’s all about. It’s part of the strategy to remind aspirant guides that they are an integral part of nature.The company offers a range of courses, including special interest courses such as birding, animal tracks and trailing, and wildlife photography. A course popular with both tourists and locals who fancy getting to grips with the bush is the Eco Quest course, on which trainees learn how to track, drive a 4×4, and approach dangerous animals in the wild. The emphasis is on getting a better understanding of nature and of animals, but it’s not tied to a career path.The mainstay of the company, though, is the field guide courses – Level One, Level Two and Trails Guide. These 28-day courses comply with the regulations and standards laid down by the Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training Authority, and the South African Qualifications Authority. But not everyone who does these courses wants to work as a guide. Some attend for their own personal development, and an opportunity to really learn about the bush.One such person was Mark Hutchinson, an Australian who visited South Africa to do the Level 1 course at Karongwe in the winter of 2006. He not only had a great time, he also saw the potential of the EcoTraining model, and approached the owners to negotiate setting up a branch in Australia.This was not EcoTraining’s first venture beyond South Africa’s borders. Of the 2 000 or so people the company has trained, a number are from Botswana, Namibia and Kenya. Some students are school leavers, others postgraduates, and some illiterate. Course participants span the spectrum from wealthy gap-year kids from Europe to rural people from African villages. EcoTraining aims to reach a wide audience with its conservation message through guide training.EcoTraining Australia is a partnership between Anton Lategan and Lex Hes of EcoTraining South Africa, and Australians Mark Hutchinson, owner of Fishabout Tours and Untamed Tracks, a travel audiovisual marketing company, and Charles Carlow, owner of Wilderness Australia, which runs a number of upmarket lodges.Plans are afoot to build more camps in Australia to take advantage of the extensive wilderness areas, the fascinating cultural heritage, and the abundance of interesting animals and plants. EcoTraining also plans to set up something more permanent in Kenya, and are negotiating with interested parties to set up bases in the Zambezi Valley.A role in conservationWhile field guide training is important to the tourism industry, there is a more serious reason to do it as well.“EcoTraining is uniquely positioned to play a role in conservation through our professional network, our experienced team and our commitment to our mission of teaching people about the natural environment,” says Lategan.“Well-trained professional guides inspire people throughout the world to become environmentally conscious and proactively involved in conservation. This has a kind of multiplier effect when you consider the repeated exposure guides have to tourists from all over the world on a continuous basis.”When asked about expansion plans, smiled and said, “We are a humble organisation with a serious mission, and an excellent foundation to build on. So yes there will be expansion, but I don’t see expansion as growth for growth’s sake. The natural world is being destroyed, and we need to stand up and be counted in whichever arena we are needed.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Related articlesSouth Africa’s national parksSouth Africa’s tourist highlightsHot idea keeps tuskers at bayRescuing the white rhinoTracking elephants across AfricaEcotourism reaps rich rewardsUseful linksEcoTrainingField Guides Association of South AfricaEcoTraining AustraliaSouth African National Parks
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The American livestock industry is looked at worldwide for its vigor, experience, and genetic command. Such expertise is valued internationally, as demonstrated by a recent trade mission to Israel by representatives of the Ohio Livestock and Genetic Export Council.Darke County’s Larry Baker, director of the Ohio Livestock and Genetic Export Council (OLGEC), recently helped lead a goodwill trade mission to Israel in November to observe livestock agriculture and help improve genetic practices of the desert country. He accompanied embryologist Dr. Emily “Em” Mowrer, DVM, as the two followed a batch of Ohio embryos headed for use in the country.The embryos were some of the first U.S. genetic material in the country since new health protocols had been established — a goal for Baker over a decade in the making. He first made a trade trip to Israel 13 years ago alongside Fred Dailey, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture at the time. That helped to open the doors for further talks about the need for genetic improvement.“Finally, 13 years later, we have a health protocol for semen, embryos, breeding and slaughter cattle, so that just shows us that sometimes it doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years to see a return on the investment,” Baker said.Israel boasts a nationwide dairy herd of 100,000 cows and 50,000 head beef. The country currently imports a heavy amount of feeder cattle due to their populations not being self-sustaining. Baker hopes to change that and, as a result, increase genetic business between Israel and Ohio — an international powerhouse in livestock breeding.“People in our state have no idea for the most part that Ohio is either number one or two every year in genetic exports,” Baker said, remarking how the value was clearly evident through the recent mission.These rocky fields of Golan Heights, close to the Syrian border, can make grazing a challenge.The mission was hosted by Erez and Katcha Cahaner and Thierry Moens through facilitation by the Negev Foundation. The three originally visited Ohio in May of 2016, buying a number of embryos for use in Israel.Baker said they took a liking to a number of Ohio cattle herds, including longhorns of Dickinson Cattle Co., a decision he was curious about until visiting Israel firsthand.“After I got there, I could see they have trouble with predators and harsh conditions. Longhorns may be able to help more in that way versus other breeds,” Baker said.High percentage Simmental are popular in the arid region, and Baker hopes further use of genetic science can help improve their beef heeds.“The embryos the group bought when they visited the U.S. were from the Ryan Ludvigson Red Angus Ranch in Montana plus two Ohio farms — Dickinson Longhorns and Maplecrest Farm through John Grimes,” Baker said.The main project of the nine-day mission began when Baker and Mower took delivery of the 59 embryos that were shipped from the U.S., valued at nearly $50,000. The following days found Mower educating livestock veterinarians and technicians on the proper technique for embryo transfer as well as artificial insemination. Education in this area is lacking in Israel, something the team hopes to improve in order to bring the Israel market to a healthier place for international genetic purchasing. By the end of the mission, Mower said approximately 40 cows had been implanted.One of the many highlights of the trip was a visit to the farm of Ariel Sharon. Sharon was best known as the Prime Minister of Israel from 2001-2006. He passed away in 2014 and his sons now run the operation.In a release, Dickinson Cattle noted the trip as the fulfillment of a longtime dream by Sharon to introduce Texas Longhorn genetics to the arid, rocky regions of Israel. The dream wasn’t fully realized before Sharon’s stroke in 2005.“The benefit of Texas Longhorn cattle genetics for the arid hills of Israel was first considered by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon,” the Dickinson Cattle Co. said in a release. “Unlike the Sharon plan for importation of live cattle, the Cahaner’s plan was to import a good number of frozen Texas Longhorn embryos. The embryos would be placed in their indigenous Israeli cows and full blood Texas Longhorn calves would be the result.”Baker and Mowrer also played host to agricultural specialists from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and Dr. Nadav Galon, director of veterinary services for the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Baker felt the ag leaders were impressed by their visit and would help open the door for further work.In their visits to various farms, Baker said the group found some key differences in the Israeli cattle trade from that of stateside. Most breeding lineage is unknown and many farms are working toward better understanding of rearing practices. Baker also noted differences in the slaughter process.“Their system of marketing beef in Israel is totally different than that of the United States,” according to the official report from the mission. “The dissecting of the carcass is completely different than that of the U.S. For the Kosher market, the animal has to be harvested under the direction of the Rabbi. They only utilize the front quarters.”The team also found proper vaccination protocol was lacking in some herds they visited. Certain illnesses that were having a major impact on herd health could be easily contained with correct inoculations.In addition to differences in livestock practices, the trip was unique in a number of other ways, including their accommodations. The group stayed in a kibbutz — pronounced ki-boots, they are collective communities of Israelis that live and work together. Originally, all kibbutzim were based in agriculture, though many have adopted high-tech manufacturing facilities over the years or other types of industry. Kibbutzim remain popular living-working situations in Israel and were a major part of the trade mission.Concepts of property ownership are also different in the Holy Land than in the U.S. The government oversees the entrusting of each piece of land.Following the trip, Baker said he believed Israel will never be a “huge market, but it will be a constant market for semen, embryos, and possibly feeder cattle in the future.”“I’m very optimistic about this mission to Israel and what benefits it may have in the future,” he said.