Ferndale scores four in sixth to beat Waldorf in NCS semifinal

first_imgFerndale >> Trailing late in the game with their season on the line, the reigning North Coast Section Division VI champions showed what being a champion is all about.Down 3-0 against a pitcher that had befuddled them for five innings, the Ferndale Wildcats (12-11) scored four runs in a wild sixth inning to snatch an NCS D-6 semifinal victory, 4-3, over San Francisco Waldorf on Friday at Ferndale High School, advancing to the section championship for the second-consecutive year. “It’s just a …last_img read more

Chico Nuts sweep doubleheader over Humboldt Eagles

first_imgChico >> On a typical afternoon in July there isn’t much shade to be had on the baseball diamond at Doryland Field, home to the Chico Nuts. And yet, even with no place to hide from Saturday’s sweltering summer heat, the Nuts kept their cool.Chico, an American Legion baseball team, swept a doubleheader at home against the Humboldt Eagles with an 11-1 victory in five innings in the opener followed by a 5-0 win in the nightcap.There were plenty of hits to be had across both games for the Nuts. …last_img read more

49ers Richard Sherman fully expects NFL labor lockout

first_img“I’m going to go out there and cover the guy I’m on and keep … Get 49ers news in your inbox. Sign up now for the free 49ers HQ newsletter.SANTA CLARA — Richard Sherman spoke up Thursday as the 49ers’ newly elected player rep and matter-of-factly predicted a 2021 NFL labor lockout.That buzzkill can wait.The 49ers open their season Sunday in Minnesota, and it can’t be understated what it means to also hear Sherman talk about his impending comeback from last year’s Achilles tear.last_img read more

SeaArk secures Saudi deal

first_img21 January 2008South African empowerment company SeaArk Africa has signed an agreement with the Al Faulk Group of Saudi Arabia, worth R70-million, to develop and remotely manage a commercial-scale pilot project to farm shrimp in that country.As part of the agreement, SeaArk will develop a commercial pilot plant at the existing open-pond prawn farming facility of the Al Faulk Group in the capital city of Jeddah, to establish the commercial viability of SeaArk’s advanced closed pond technology in farming a Mediterranean brown shrimp variety known as panaeus indicus.“In Coega in the Eastern Cape we are successfully growing a pacific white shrimp variety known as panaeus vannemai, while in Saudi Arabia we will be farming a species never before grown in a high-tech closed system,” SeaArk President Dave Wills said in a statement.“Together with our Saudi partners we aim to demonstrate that our innovative mix of science and technology has the ability to grow the Mediterranean prawns they are already farming faster, with a lower food consumption rate, with greater densities, and with higher barriers to infection and loss than in the open ponds they are currently using.”SeaArk’s patented technology, developed by local and international scientists over 15 years, combines closed specially designed ponds and computer driven control systems with advanced biological science, and is already dramatically changing the way prawn and shrimp are produced around the world.As with the company’s first international project in Zhanjiang, China, many of SeaArk’s patented processes in the Jeddah pilot project will be run remotely from their Coega research and development centre.The company’s patented biosecure indoor ponds and nutritional system allow producers to maximise size, growth, survivability and biomass – growing prawns two to three times faster than their competitors.“The agreement with the Al Faulk Group for the Saudi Arabian pilot plant is another huge vote of confidence in the technology we have brought to market maturity in our Coega plant,” said SeaArk CEO Gavin Watson.“For the second time following our partnership with the China Direct group, an international roll-out is making a huge contribution to the future of the Coega Industrial Development Zone and the Eastern Cape economy, with a very direct and positive effect on the lives of thousands of families in the surrounding communities, particularly Motherwell.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Taking African bush lore to Oz

first_imgEcoTraining 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 marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.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 Parkslast_img read more

Taking youth empowerment abroad

first_imgRay Maota Young people from disadvantaged rural communities in the North West province, including graduates who are unemployed, will be placed in internship programmes in the hospitality and tourism sector in several countries around the world.(Image: Hospitality Solutions) MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism, Motlalepula Rosho, said that the development of human capital through the programme is going to benefit public owned tourism assets like game lodges, and will also position South Africa to be in the top 20 tourism destination markets.(Image: North West Provincial Gorvenment)MEDIA CONTACTS• Lesiba Moses KgweleNorth West Provincial Government:Head of  Communication andSpokesperson+ 27 18 388 3705RELATED ARTICLES• Taking hospitality to new heights• Survey: SA is ‘extremely friendly’• Chef-training scheme kicks off• Chefs gather to help the hungryA leading NGO has come up with a plan that looks beyond South Africa’s borders for opportunities to help curb youth unemployment. The Ubuntu International Job Placement Programme was launched in Mahikeng, North West province, on 22 June 2012.Young people from disadvantaged rural communities in the province, including graduates who are unemployed, will be placed in internship programmes in the hospitality and tourism sector in several countries around the world. This is being made possible by the Ubuntu Institute.The institute is a social enterprise with non- and for-profit divisions within its structures. It was founded in the US in 2005 by Prince Cedza Dlamini, a member of the Swazi royal family who became a Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) spokesperson after completing his degree in international relations at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.How the programme worksThrough the programme, participants will have access to work experience of between six and 12 months, which will be facilitated by Ubuntu with the support of the provincial government. By 2015, the target year for countries to reach some of the MDGs, as many as 5 000 participants will have gone through the programme.To kick-start the project, Ubuntu will place 200 participants, who will earn about R20 000 (US$2 403) a month, and by June 2013 another 800 beneficiaries will make it 1 000 in the project’s first year.“This is a unique programme facilitating international jobs and graduate skills development programmes in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia,” said MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism, Motlalepula Rosho, who delivered the keynote address on behalf of Premier Thandi Modise.“The development of human capital through the programme is going to benefit public owned tourism assets like game lodges, and will also position South Africa to be in the top 20 tourism destination markets,” said Dlamini.The programme is being funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Jobs Fund at a cost of R46-million ($5.532-million) over its three-year life span. Other partners include the National Department of Tourism, Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa and the South African Graduates Development Association of South Africa.Part of the mandate of the DBSA is to invite innovative ideas for job creation from organisations across South Africa, be they in the public, private or NGO sectors.The programme also aims to assist government’s target of providing five-million jobs by facilitating workplace job placement for candidates when they return to the country at the end of their international exposure programme.Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel released the New Growth Path in 2010 which set job creation as a country priority, aimed at reducing unemployment by 10% by 2020 and creating at least five-million jobs.“The success and sustainability of the programme depend largely on the ability of government owned entities like Dirapeng Investment Holding and Mafikeng Hotel School to ensure that young people who participate in it are fully employed when they complete the placement training,” said Rosho.Tourism the key driver of economic growthRosho said the tourism sector is widely regarded as a key driver of economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and community upliftment.South Africa was recently represented by Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa at the International Responsible Tourism Conference in London.Responsible tourism is an approach to tourism management aimed at maximising the economic, social and environmental benefits while minimising the costs to destinations.Xasa said at the event that South African tourism will continue to grow and play a key role in the country’s economy through a stronger focus on emerging markets and responsible tourism. She also said sector strategy is aimed at making South Africa one of the top 20 destinations in the world by 2020.In terms of the strategy, South Africa aims to create 225 000 new jobs by 2020 while increasing tourism’s contribution to the economy from R189-billion ($2.272-billion) in 2009 to R318-billion ($3.822-billion) by 2015 and R499-billion ($5.996-billion) by 2020.“The youth employment problem in South Africa has created a renewed sense of urgency for action, and developing opportunities in tourism could be one of the solutions,” said Xasa.last_img read more

Mama Afrika feeds the nation

first_imgThe skills taught include basic cooking skills as well as advanced courses and more specialised courses such as cake baking and cake decorating, as well as flower arranging and various forms of art like mosaic art. (Image: Clover Mama Afrika, via Facebook)Women are often the ties that bind communities together, and are usually the people who care for those in need. This is particularly true for women living in underprivileged communities where banding together and supporting each other is often crucial to survival.The Clover Mama Afrika project identifies such women around the country and then supports them to become self-sustaining by providing and further developing their skills so that they can generate an income. This income helps them to support their communities and care for orphaned and abused children as well as the sick and elderly.Professor Elain Vlok, Clover’s manager of corporate services, is responsible for driving the Clover Mama Afrika initiative. Her passion, dedication and insight have led to the success of the initiative. Vlok believes that the programme’s on-going success is built on a generosity of spirit that is the very essence of ubuntu or “human kindness”.Established in 2004, the award-winning Clover Mama Afrika initiative has strived to restore some of the qualities of African tradition into modern life.“The wonder of this project is that we get people away from begging,” Vlok explains. “We help them to become sustainable. They can now bake their own fresh loaves of bread to feed their own people before they start selling the bread.”Apart from basic baking, the organisation also offers the women the opportunity to learn other skills through partnerships with groups such as Pick n Pay’s Good Food Studios, Chipkins and Food Creations.These skills include basic cooking skills as well as advanced courses and more specialised courses such as cake baking and cake decorating, as well as flower arranging and various forms of art.GET INVOLVEDIf you want to get involved in the activities of Clover Mama Afrika, visit its website for more details on how you can play a part in the ongoing growth and development of South Africa’s women and communities.If you’re interested in donating to the cause, look at the organisation’s wish list to get an idea of what resources it needs most. These include donations of money as well as nappies, toiletries and non-perishable foods.Through the initiative, individuals who think they fit the bill are able to become a Mama; if you are interested, email Clover Mama Afrika at info@clovermamaafrika.com or call the group on 011 471 1431.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of the people around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

USDA now making Dairy Margin Coverage Program payments

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on June 17 and has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019.“Times have been especially tough for dairy farmers, and while we hope producers’ margins will increase, the Dairy Margin Coverage program is providing support at a critical time for many in the industry,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With lower premiums and higher levels of assistance than previous programs, DMC is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country.  USDA is committed to efficiently implementing the safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and helping producers deal with the challenges of the ever-changing farm economy.”Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. To date, nearly 10,000 operations have signed up for the new program, and FSA has begun paying approximately $100 million to producers for January through May.May Margin PaymentDMC provides coverage retroactive to January 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment.The May 2019 income over feed cost margin was $9.00 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the fifth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the $9.50 level of coverage under DMC. Payments for January, February, March and April also were triggered.With the 50% hay blend, FSA’s revised April 2019 income over feed cost margin is $8.82 per cwt. The revised margins for January, February and March are, respectively, $7.71, $7.91 and $8.66.Coverage Levels and MPP ReimbursementsDairy producers can choose coverage levels from $4 up to $9.50 at the time of signup. More than 98% of the producers currently enrolled have elected $9.50 coverage on up to 95% of their production history. More InformationOn December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.For more information, visit farmers.gov DMC webpage or contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.last_img read more

Odisha says it will be part of PM-Kisan scheme

first_imgShedding its initial hesitation, the Odisha government on Thursday decided to be a part of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme and extend all support for its implementation in the State, a senior official said. The announcement was made on a day when a leading farmers’ body — Navnirman Krushak Sangathan — called for dawn-to-dusk strike against the State government’s “lack of concern” towards its demands.Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi said the Central scheme (PM-Kisan), which promises to provide ₹6,000 per annum to small and marginal farmers having cultivable land up to two hectares (about five acres), will be launched in Odisha on February 24, along with the other States.Earlier, after receiving a formal communication from the Centre about the mega farmers’ welfare scheme, the Odisha government had not shown any interest and dubbed it inferior to its own Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA), also meant for providing financial assistance to farmers.Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that the State was not implementing the Centre’s scheme for farmers over fears that all credit would go to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on Wednesday attacked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for depriving the farming community from taking advantage of the central scheme.Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Secretary Saurabh Garg said a list of around 12.45 lakh first-phase beneficiaries of the State government’s KALIA scheme will be given to the Centre for inclusion in PM-Kisan.According to PM-Kisan, the first tranche of ₹2,000 will be directly transferred to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts on February 24. The Centre will fund this initiative completely.Peaceful protestNormal life across Odisha was affected on Thursday due to the farmers’ strike. Though the protest — backed by the Congress as well as the BJP — continued peacefully, the police picked up about 200 protesters from different parts of the State, including 70 from Bhubaneswar.Holding placards and raising anti-government slogans, agitating farmers blocked roads in the city as well on national highways, prompting the police to undertake preventive arrest of the farmers.“We have made elaborate security arrangements to maintain law and order in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” Commissioner of Police Satyajit Mohanty told reporters.Mr. Mohanty claimed normal life in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack remained largely unaffected by the strike. Government offices continued to function with adequate attendance, but educational institutions, major shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport vehicles were off the roads.Situation in Ganjam, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kandhamal and Koraput districts remained by and large peaceful.NNKS leader Akshya Kumar alleged that the State government did not pay any heed to their demands for fair price, pension and prestige to cultivators, forcing them to call the strike.Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik, in a Twitter post, said, “Our ‘annadatas’ (providers of food) have suffered a lot due to the anti-farmer policies of the BJD and the BJP. Odisha Congress supports the bandh called by the farmers.” Odisha Agriculture and Finance Minister S.B. Behera termed the agitation “unfortunate”. “The timing is very wrong as it is being observed a day before the annual high school examinations… The strike has put mental pressure on students. It’s even more saddening that two national political parties have extended their support to the bandh,” Mr. Behera said.Authorities at Utkal University and Shree Jagannath Sanskrit University said they have postponed examinations scheduled for Thursday.last_img read more