Starting at Tiger Mountain Vineyards, the delegation learned about one of the fastest growing sectors of Georgia’s agricultural economy and how UGA is contributing to its success through research into grape production, food safety, and production research and economic development services. With agritourism, poultry and food manufacturing all playing key roles in northeast Georgia’s agricultural economy, the tour covered six points of interest — from Tiger, in the north Georgia mountains, to Flowery Branch, south of Gainesville. “Candidly, there’s nothing more important to the University of Georgia than its linkage with the agricultural industry,” Morehead said during one stop on the tour. “This tour gives the university a chance to showcase what the university does for the agricultural industry and how important that industry is, not only to the state today but to the future of the state.” Food processing businesses in Georgia employ about 60,000 Georgians and make a $12.5 billion contribution to the gross state product annually, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. From vineyards and vegetable patches to state-of-the-art food processing and food safety operations, agriculture in northeast Georgia is made up of a large and diverse set of enterprises. “This year’s tour was somewhat different,” Angle said. “We visited food manufacturing facilities, in addition to farms, to show the scope of our college’s contributions to the agricultural economy and to demonstrate the full spectrum of agricultural activities in the state — from farming to food safety and manufacturing value-added products.” Ag and natural resources tourism is a $142.3 million business in Georgia, according to the most recent UGA Farm Gate Value Report. “This tour is just another example of our efforts to help connect the dots, and we feel that we did that today with some great dialogue between the businesses visited and the members of our delegation,” Black said. University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead took time to learn more about the farms, factories and laboratories that contribute to the region and the state’s largest industry Wednesday during the president’s annual farm tour. This is the third year Morehead has joined Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and members of the Georgia General Assembly to visit local farms and food-based businesses around the state. In 2013, the delegation visited farms in northwest Georgia, and in 2014, they visited farms in southwest Georgia. This year the focus was on northeast Georgia. To round out the tour, the delegation visited Sonstegard Foods, a third generation business that provides eggs and a variety of egg products throughout the U.S. While the majority of Georgia’s poultry is raised for meat, eggs are a $7.79 million business in the state, according to the farm gate value report. While still in its infancy, the wine industry in Georgia makes an annual impact of $81.6 million on the state’s economy, according to a 2013 report from the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. At each stop, farm and plant managers shared ways in which UGA has contributed to their success and ways that the university could help in the future. Morehead also visited the headquarters of the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network in Gainesville, which is one of several state-of-the-art facilities built to protect the safety of Georgia’s most valuable commodity — poultry. Georgia’s poultry farmers produce $5.2 billion dollars worth of chicken and eggs each year, according to the farm gate value report. After touring the poultry lab, the delegation visited King’s Hawaiian Bakery to see how some those eggs are used. King’s Hawaiian Bakery, which produces sweet buttery rolls and loaves of bread, built a plant in Georgia in 2011 that now produces half of the nation’s supply of King’s Hawaiian Bread. Sen. John Wilkinson, chairman of the Georgia State Senate’s Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee; Rep. Terry England, chairman of Georgia House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee; and J. Scott Angle, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences accompanied Morehead and Black on the tour. Drew Echols, manager at Jaemor Farms and a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences alumni, explained how horticultural research at UGA has helped strengthen their vegetable and fruit production and helped the farm to grow into an agritourism destination that attracts visitors from all over the country. While in Tiger, they also visited Hillside Orchards, a top producer of specialty jams, jellies and ciders. They then traveled to Jaemor Farms, in Alto, where many of Hillside’s products are sold. “Each year our farm tour proves to be an excellent opportunity to showcase the impact UGA has on the lives of everyday Georgians,” Angle said. “It’s also a great chance to learn about the issues and the opportunities facing Georgia’s farmers and how we can help.” For more information about the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences visit caes.uga.edu.
NEW YORK — So far, so smooth for California Chrome. It has been fairly clear sailing for the chestnut colt through the first two legs of the Triple Crown.He parlayed trouble-free trips in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness into victories, setting the stage for a possible Triple Crown sweep on June 7 in the Belmont Stakes.The 1 1/2-mile Belmont, known as “The Test of a Champion,” is the longest of the three races in the series. And, in many respects, the cruelest.Only 11 horses have swept the three races, Affirmed the most recent in 1978. Since then, 12 horses have captured the first two legs without completing the equine hat trick.There is a quiet confidence in the California Chrome camp that they possess the long-awaited Triple Crown champion.“The horse is doing great, I couldn’t ask anything more from him,” said Alan Sherman, the assistant trainer to his father Art Sherman. “I’m looking forward to the race. I think if he runs his race, he’s going to be pretty solid.”By all outward indications, they have every reason to feel that way. Since the Preakness, California Chrome has not missed a beat. His one workout was terrific, the morning gallops strong and steady, the appetite hardy.That continues the pattern for California Chrome throughout this Triple Crown attempt.Of course, there were some minor glitches, like a mild throat irritation that produced a couple of coughs before the Preakness. And, the brief flap surrounding California Chrome’s nasal strips. The Belmont Park stewards quickly reversed their ban on the strips, ending the threat California Chrome would skip the Belmont.Aside from that, it’s been all business.The day before the Belmont was a typical morning for California Chrome, another day without a hitch. He visited the paddock, getting acquainted with the area and the stall where he will be saddled. Then, it was out to the track for a leg-stretching gallop.“He’s training outstanding,” Sherman said. “Nothing seems to bother him too much. He’s pretty cool.”Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, an objective observer, echoes that sentiment. “That horse is as smooth as can be, when he works, when he gallops,” Zito said. A two-time Belmont winner, Zito does not have a horse in this year’s race.California Chrome and his 10 rivals will run the longest race of their lives, one lap around Big Sandy, Belmont’s deep and often tiring track.“I feel more confident coming into this race than I did any race,” said Art Sherman, who at 77 is overseeing the best horse of his career. “I’m getting pumped up.”The Belmont could be a redemptive moment for jockey Victor Espinoza, who saw his bid for a Triple Crown aboard War Emblem end in defeat at the 2002 Belmont after a stumble at the start.“It has to be a super horse to win that,” Espinoza said.Weather should not be a factor. The forecast calls for sunny skies with temperatures in the low 80s at the expected 6:52 p.m. Eastern post time. A crowd of around 100,000 is expected to pack the expansive grandstand for a chance to see history, and an end to the longest Triple Crown drought.There are 10 other horses in the race itching to play spoiler.Commanding Curve, for one, will be looking to close the gap. He rallied from 18th in the Kentucky Derby for finish second, only 1 3/4-length behind California Chrome.Commanding Curve skipped the Preakness, getting an additional two weeks of rest for the Belmont. He is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, a partnership headed by Terry Finley.While everyone wants to win, deep down most wouldn’t be too upset seeing a Triple Crown winner. “Sure, we’d love to win,” Finley said. “We’re like most of the other connections, we want California Chrome to win if we don’t.”(MIKE FARRELL)TweetPinShare0 Shares
zoomIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Croatian shipping company Uljanik Plovidba has decided to dispose of Kastav, the oldest ship in its fleet, in the first phase of the company’s financial restructuring process. On June 21, Uljanik Plovidba signed an agreement with an undisclosed party for the sale of the 52,600 dwt tanker.The completion of the transaction and the vessel’s delivery are expected in the next two weeks, according to the company.Built at 3 Maj Shipyard in 2009, the MR2 tanker has a capacity of 57,752 cbm.Although the buyer of the chemical/product tanker has not been identified by Uljanik Plovidba, VesselsValue’s data shows that the ship has been purchased by a company from Turkey. The Turkish company reportedly bought the 195-meter-long tanker for USD 15.1 million, less than the vessel’s market value which currently stands at USD 17.09 million.Kastav was one of nine vessels in the company’s fleet comprising bulkers and tankers.In early May, Croatian Tax Administration and Ministry of Finance blocked Uljanik Plovidba’s bank accounts due to the ongoing legal process related to the company’s indebtedness. The accounts were unblocked by the end of the month.World Maritime News Staff