Nicholas Afoa Hakuna matata! Native New Zealander Nicholas Afoa, a vet of The Lion King in Australia, is to take on the role of Simba in the West End production in May. The hit tuner is playing at the Lyceum Theatre.Other new members of the cast joining next month include: Etian Almeida, Jonathan Andre, Janique Charles, Zinhle Dube, Sandile Gontsana, Kwesi Jeffers, Stephanie Lo, Sadia McEwen, Khaya Maseko, Daniel Monteiro, Nosipho Nkonqa, Dominique Planter, Antoine Murray-Straughan, Kayode Salina and Ricardo Walker.Based on the popular Disney film, The Lion King opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997, and won six 1998 Tony Awards in 1998, including Best Musical. The show has spawned 19 productions worldwide and has been translated into seven different languages. It has been running for 17 years in London. View Comments
By April ReeseUniversity of GeorgiaBe sure your Christmas dinner is properly cooked. Calibrate your food thermometer so the reading is accurate.Elizabeth Andress, an extension service food safety specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, warns cooks of the risks associated with an inaccurate thermometer.”Be sure to calibrate your thermometer before checking temperatures, or they don’t mean anything,” Andress said.There are two ways to check the accuracy of a food thermometer, she said. The preferred method uses ice water, the other boiling water. Many food thermometers have a calibration nut that can be adjusted.Method 1: iceAndress suggests using an ice-water slush to calibrate your thermometer. “The ice method is a much easier process to manage than boiling water and very accurate no matter where you live,” she said. “Boiling temperatures will vary with altitude.”She lists five easy steps that can make your holidays safer. For example, water boils at 212 degrees, so if the thermometer reads 214 degrees, it’s 2 degrees too high. So when you’re cooking ground-beef patties, which must reach 160 degrees, add 2 degrees and cook the patties to 162 degrees.Digital food thermometers don’t have a calibration nut under the head. But their accuracy should still be checked by one of these methods.Some digitals have a means of calibration described on their package. If they can’t be calibrated, try changing the battery. If that doesn’t make them read accurately, replace the thermometer. More informationFor specific information on how to calibrate or use your food thermometer or on recommended safe food temperatures, call your UGA Extension Service county office (a href=”https://testsecure.caes.uga.edu/personnel/countydistrict.cfm”>https://testsecure.caes.uga.edu/personnel/countydistrict.cfm). Or call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-800- 535-4555) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). The boiling method may not read accurately due to varied atmospheric conditions.”Remember that water boils at a lower temperature in a high altitude,” Andress said. “Check with the local Cooperative Extension Service or health department for the exact temperature of boiling water in your area.”If you have a food thermometer that can’t be calibrated, it’s still important to check it for accuracy.”Small inaccuracies should be taken into consideration when using the food thermometer,” Andress said. “Replace the thermometer if it’s more than a few degrees off.” Method 2: boiling waterThe United States Department of Agriculture suggests boiling water as an alternative method for checking accuracy. Make a 50/50 ice and water slush — at least half ice. The more ice the better, but you need water to fill in all the air spaces around the pieces of ice. Make it deep enough to stick the whole sensing area (tip) of the thermometer into the middle of it.Immerse the thermometer stem into the slush, making sure the tip doesn’t touch the container side or bottom.Wait until the temperature reading stops changing. This may take 5 to 10 minutes. Once you think it has stopped, make sure it stays the same for 3 full minutes.The temperature should read 32 degrees F. If it doesn’t, turn the calibrating nut under the dial or face until it does read 32.Clean and sanitize the thermometer and its case before using to check food temperatures. Bring a pan of clean tap water to a full rolling boil.Immerse the stem of a food thermometer in the boiling water, at least 2 inches, and wait at least 30 seconds. Make sure the reading on the thermometer isn’t still changing.Without removing the stem from the boiling water, hold the adjusting nut tightly in place under the head of the food thermometer with a suitable tool and turn the dial head so the thermometer reads 212 degrees F.
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia’s economy “must grow from within” in the 21st century, Gov. Sonny Perdue told the 150 participants at the Georgia Summit on Entrepreneurship March 20 in Tifton, Ga. Local entrepreneurs, he said, will be the root of this new growth.Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center and the Georgia Economic Developers Association sponsored the two-day summit at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.The program focused local, state and national leaders in entrepreneurship on one question: How can Georgia fan and sustain the flame of entrepreneurship, especially in the state’s rural economies?Homegrown planThe top economic-development strategy in Georgia’s future is encouraging entrepreneurship, Perdue said.The state must create an atmosphere that encourages, promotes and nurtures people who want to take a “homegrown” risk for profit, he said. That’s especially true for those who want to stay in their communities and add to the local economy and job market.For years, Perdue said, Georgia successfully lured companies with low business costs and cheap land and labor. This model and strong economic times helped Georgia become the fastest-growing state east of the Rocky Mountains. That was the past.”The world has changed,” he said. Global trade and stiffer international competition have “moved our traditional jobs overseas.”Due to this shift and the current economic downturn, the state moved from No. 1 in job creation to dead last in 2002, he said.Georgia will continue to recruit businesses from other states and countries. “But I think that game is about played out in the cost of it,” he said.Community leadCommunity leaders will have to take the reins and guide this new entrepreneurial spirit in Georgia. Rural communities can no longer wait for “the state to ride in on a white horse and deliver a company that will employ all the residents” with long-term jobs.”Those days are gone,” he said. “And you know it as well as I.”The communities that will thrive will be those that commit to growing their own economies. If communities do this, he said, the state will do its part.”We will give you the resources to support you as you set your own economic course,” he said.State’s partPerdue charged the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism to broaden its mission and provide more opportunity for entrepreneurship statewide.”It will act as a clearinghouse for state resources, coordinating efforts between our universities and local colleges and nonprofit support shelters,” he said.Entrepreneurs at the summit said Georgia needs a one-stop, easy-access place for financial, business and personal advice. Georgia entrepreneurs who were guest speakers attributed much of their success to the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Georgia.Perdue said he understands the risk in starting a business. He was an agribusiness entrepreneur in Houston County in the mid-1970s.”I look forward in hearing your ideas on how we can do this job better,” he said. “I’d like to suggest that this summit become an annual event.”
Savannah Bee Company served its Grill Honey on melted brie with raspberries. But, the honey tasted just fine by itself and earned the grand prize at the 2010 Flavor of Georgia food product contest. Do you have a recipe that combines Georgia-grown ingredients into something tasty? Then sign up for the 2011 Flavor of Georgia contest. The winners will be announced during Georgia Ag Day March 22, 2011.Judges look for market-ready foods – either commercially available or prototypes – from across the state. Categories include barbecue and hot sauces, confections, dairy products, meat products, snack foods, and jams, jellies and sauces. Entries are judged on flavor, best use of Georgia ingredients, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and originality.The contest is only a starting point for many winners, said Sharon Kane, University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development economist and contest director. “The majority of last year’s contestants, 80 percent, saw an increase in their sales and business contacts following the contest,” she said.Previous winners have received national attention. Candy-flavored Fondarific was featured on the Food Network show Ace of Cakes. Hot Squeeze Sweet Heat Chipotle sauce is now sold in thousands of stores. White Oak Farm products are sold through Whole Foods and Sysco. Online registration is now open and will run through Feb. 18, 2011 at www.flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.edu. For more information, call (706) 542-9809 or e-mail email@example.com.The annual food contest is sponsored by the CAED in partnership with the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Commission, Georgia Agribusiness Council and UGA Department of Food Science and Technology.
Fraser firs top the list of favorite Christmas tree varieties, but almost all the Fraser firs sold in Georgia come from North Carolina. One University of Georgia horticulturist is working to change that by popularizing a hybrid that combines Fraser firs with their Japanese cousins — Momi firs. Climate wrong and fungus strongGeorgia’s hot summers and mild winters make it difficult for farmers to grow Fraser firs in most of the state. They will grow in north Georgia, but the downside is the tree can be affected by the root fungus Phytophthora infestans. If not treated, it can kill infected plants.Fir trees also produce new growth very early in spring, which makes them susceptible to the freezing temperatures that sometimes pop up in late March and damage Georgia crops. “When new shoots start to grow in early spring, they are often severely damaged or killed by the below-32-degree temperatures that we often have during the spring here in Georgia and much of the Southeast,” said Mark Czarnota, a horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Breeding a new FraserUsing a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, Czarnota is working to find other alternatives for Georgia Christmas tree farmers. Working in association with Georgia Christmas tree growers in Lovejoy and Terrytown, Ga., Czarnota grafts Fraser firs onto containerized Momi fir rootstock on the UGA campus in Griffin, Ga.A native of Japan, the Momi fir (Abies firma Siebold & Zucc.) made its debut in Georgia in the early ‘90s. Momi firs are more tolerant of the Phytophthora fungus and of Georgia’s weather, but they aren’t perfect. “The planting culture of Momi fir is very different from most other Christmas tree species that growers were currently growing,” he said. “Needless to say, Momi firs’ first introduction was a miserable failure.” He has been grafting Fraser firs onto Momi firs for the past 17 years. In the beginning, it took 10 years for him to grow an 8- to 9-foot tree. “I can now produce a 5- to 6-foot tree in five to six years,” he said. Growers in the Southeast also weren’t happy that it takes six to eight years for the tree to reach a desirable Christmas tree size. Traditional Georgia Christmas tree species like Leland cypress and Virginia pine are mature enough to sell in three to four years. When it comes to growing Christmas trees, the sooner a tree matures, the sooner the farmer can take it to market. Momi firs can grow in Georgia, but farmers have to be careful to provide irrigation to young plants for two or three years and adjust soil pH to around 6.5, he said.Needs to grow quicker Worthington was one of the first growers to try to grow firs in the Georgia piedmont region. He hopes to someday grow enough Fraser firs to avoid buying from growers in western North Carolina. One of Czarnota’s collaborators, 84-year-old Earl Worthington, grows Christmas trees in Lovejoy, Ga. “I don’t expect it to take over the market, but it would be a great addition,” he said. “A lot of work needs to be done in selecting good Momi grafting stock for desirable uniformity. It’s a lifetime project, and great potential exists in trying to cross Momi fir with other firs.”Others working on project, tooResearcher John Frampton at North Carolina State University is trying to cross breed Momi and Fraser fir to breed a hybrid Phytophthora-resistant fir. In the meantime, he is encouraging North Carolina growers to plant Momi-Fraser grafts. Czarnota hopes to combine the hardy Momi fir rootstock and Fraser scion, or shoot, into a tree that will grow throughout much of Georgia and the Southeast. The biggest problem he now faces with grafting efforts is the inconsistencies. “Some (of the trees) turn out very yellow, some very stiff, some are green all year, some flush early and some flush late,” Worthington said. “Grafting trees is definitely a project for someone with patience.”
The Strong African-American Families project, launched in South Georgia in 2008 by the University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research and UGA Extension, has strengthened families and helped promote positive health outcomes, according to CFR Director Gene Brody. “Positive parenting not only has a protective effect on risky behaviors, but it also appears to be promoting health among a population that is at risk for diabetes, cancer and stroke,” Brody said Monday at the SAAF program impact meeting in Tifton. The SAAF project, a joint partnership between the CFR and UGA Extension, was launched five years ago in eight rural Georgia counties with a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Nearly 500 families from Coffee, Colquitt, Crisp, Mitchell, Sumter, Turner, Tift and Ware counties were recruited to participate in the project, a seven-week, family-centered workshop that has proven to enhance family relationships and help prevent substance abuse among African-American adolescents. On Monday, three mothers who participated in the program with their children told project organizers that the project had strengthened their families. “Everything I learned (in the SAAF project) is going to take us further into our future,” said Sabrina Morris, a Tifton resident and single mother who participated in the program with her son. Project participant Kimberly McKennon credited the program with improving her relationship with her young daughter. “We communicate better,” McKennon said. “Before, we couldn’t talk. Now, we talk about everything.” More than 300 youth, ages 11-13, and their guardians participated in the program. The SAAF project team, which included CFR staffers and Steve Kogan, Ted Futris and Don Bower — all researchers in the Department of Human Development and Family Science in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences — partnered with FACS and 4-H Extension faculty to refine their strategies for engaging African-American families. Together, they trained community professionals,— SAAF Extension Educators — and reached out to schools, faith-based organizations and other community stakeholders to reach African-American families. “The program started by engaging schools and faith-based groups,” Futris said. “All this was done so we could develop trust. Ultimately it’s that trust that builds support for a program to be sustainable.” Greg White, a Tifton native and research assistant with the CFR, was one of the SAAF Extension educators. p He taught courses with parents and their children on topics such as “Handling Peer Pressure,” “Dealing with Temptations for Early Sex,” “Goals for the Future” and “Dealing with Unfair Situations.” “You ought to see how they interact,” White said. “They’re hugging; they’re laughing; they’re loving. That’s all the feedback I need.” Monday’s session ended with a discussion of the program’s future. Futris and Kogan will present findings from the five-year project at the Society for Prevention Research annual conference in Washington, D.C., next month. “We’re exploring ways to continue to sustain the program in these communities as well as exploring ways to offer programs similar to SAAF to a broader audience that are tailored to the unique needs of other families in these communities,” Futris said. To see a photo gallery of Monday’s event, click here.
Teach your kids about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Let them watch TV in their workout gear, but during commercials, it’s on! Change exercises with each commercial. Create an easy garden without digging up your yard. Use staw bales as natural containers to grow fall veggies like crispy red radishes, carrots or kale. Instructions can be found on GeorgiaFACES at http://tinyurl.com/UGAhaybalegardens.Younger kids love Cosmic Yoga (www.cosmickids.com/category/watch/). With each episode around 20 minutes and dozens of episodes to choose from, your kids will be yoga masters before long.Use some of the kids’ activities on WalkGeorgia.org. Have chores? Make it a workout! Take the laundry up the stairs five times before putting it away, pull some weeds or rake the yard. If they have siblings, let each child choose one activity for 15-30 minutes and switch off activities in the middle. Foot races and shooting ball go together like peanut butter and jelly.Make a YouTube playlist of exercise videos for kids — perfect for any rainy day.Visit WalkGeorgia.org, where there are lots of fitness demos that can teach kids classic moves for the gym or exercises they can use right at their school desk.With a little guidance, your children can learn for an extra 180 hours this school year, but shhhh! For them, we will just call it “after-school recess.” Don’t forget to track their 180 “after-school recess” hours on WalkGeorgia.org, and make sure to reward their hard work in the spring. For most parents, fall is a whirlwind of after-school meetings, tight schedules, homework and dwindling family time. Even after the dash becomes daily routine, the hours between school and dinner often get lost in the shuffle. To rescue these important hours, assign your kids the task of hosting “after-school recess” during that time each day. Research proves that kids have better behavior, experience less stress and are more focused when they get regular, heart-pumping exercise. No matter how they decide to do it, your entire family can benefit from a little more active play. “After-school recess” also allows children to explore the types of exercise and physical activities they enjoy, which will foster good habits they can carry into college and beyond. Not all kids are athletic, and encouraging movement allows you to shift their focus off of achievement and onto personal responsibility, time-management and fitness. We all struggle with finding the right ways to get and stay fit, so here are some suggestions for ways to get them moving:
The University of Georgia is combining its expertise in agriculture and economic development into a one-day conference later this month. “The partnership between UGA Extension and the Small Business Development Center is a great example of Cooperative Extension and public service working together and pooling our resources to offer better service to our clientele,” Johnson said. Farmers face the same challenges as any small business, and that’s where the SBDC and university’s other resources can help, Finney said. She regularly works with her local UGA Extension office when advising clients and hopes this conference will be a gateway to the entire lineup of assistance UGA offers. The UGA Small Business Development Center, a unit of Public Service and Outreach, along with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension will host a Georgia Farm Business Education Conference in Tifton on Feb. 25. Agriculture is the biggest industry in the state with a value of $14.1 billion in 2014, according to UGA’s Farm Gate Value report released last fall. The conference runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $69, or $49 for attendees who register before Feb. 12. Experts from across the university will discuss topics such as cash flow, agritourism and exports. The program was designed with an eye toward the variety of needs for a wide range of businesses related to agriculture. “We do work across units,” Finney said. “It was very important to bring the entities together to have a complete program. I think when people realize the resources the university has, they just get more exposure to what they can come back to after the program.” “UGA is known for resources for agriculture and agribusiness,” said Debbie Finney, UGA SBDC Albany area director. “We wanted to focus on the business side of farming. But at the same time, you can’t do that without bringing in experts from both sides.” Laura Perry Johnson, UGA’s associate dean for Extension, said her office was excited to work with the SBDC on the conference. For more information or to register, see www.georgiasbdc.org/georgia-farm-business-education-conference.
When it comes to the goal of feeding the world’s growing population, the only certainty is that it will take a multipronged approach.To help facilitate the collaboration that is going to be necessary, faculty members at the University of Georgia recently convened food security experts from across the nation to discuss how UGA scientists and students could build a more food-secure world. The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ (CAES) inaugural Global Food Security Summit brought together the leaders of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) with researchers and policy makers to discuss priorities in the realms of food production and food protection.“The things that we do matter because, by all estimates, by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet,” CAES Dean and Director Sam Pardue told the crowd. “When I was a child there were 3 billion. Things have changed dramatically, and we are going to need more food. We’ll need 30% more food by 2030; 2030 is not very far away. This is a task that we take very seriously.”The summit was unique because it looked at the issues facing farmers, researchers and nongovernmental organizations in one conversation, as one system. Everyone benefits from a food-secure world, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.“Our Farm Bureaus are interested in this discussion because we know how important it is that all people have adequate food,” Duvall told the crowd. “We know that as people are fed, they get up and develop their lives, they become closer to the middle class, they have more money to spend, and they can buy the products that we sell. So waters that rise lift all boats — it would lift them up and lift us up too — and that’s what life really is all about.”A panel on scientific barriers to increasing food production included participants such as CAES Professor Wayne Parrott of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Fort Valley State University Department of Biology Chair George Mbata, USDA NIFA Director Scott Angle, Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Austin Scott and Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut Dave Hoisington.Their discussion on logistic, economic and social barriers to technology adoption by farmers, and strategies for ensuring appropriate technologies is available to farmers around the world.A second panel focused on food distribution, trade and nutrition. The group, made up of foods and nutrition Professor Alex Anderson of the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS); Samara Sterling, research director at The Peanut Institute; Professor Lynn Bailey, head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition in FACS; Tom Schaetzel, nutrition director for CARE; Ellen McCullough, assistant professor in the UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; and Maura Barry Boyle, senior deputy assistant administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security.Their discussion focused on the cultural factors that lead to inequitable food distribution. It also focused on the failures of trade and subsidy policies, and the research needed to craft policies that ensure food security around the world. To find out more about how CAES contributes to the global effort for food security, visit caes.uga.edu.To see some of the comments made at the summit, visit www.youtube.com.
University of Vermont president Dan Fogel announced Wednesday that Tom Vogelmann has been appointed as the eleventh Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). He has been acting as Interim Dean of CALS since July of 2008.Mr. Vogelmann came to Vermont in 2002 as a Professor of Plant Biology and Chair of the Department of Botany and Agricultural Biochemistry. A graduate of Syracuse University (Ph.D.), Washington State University (M.S.) and the University of Vermont (B.S.), Dr. Vogelmann worked for eighteen years at the University of Wyoming where he was Professor of Botany and served as the interim Chair of the Department of Botany. This position is key to helping move Vermont agriculture forward. I have worked with Dr. Vogelmann during his tenure as interim dean and he clearly understands the importance of the Land Grant mission of the University to the state of Vermont, said Roger Allbee, Secretary of Agriculture.CALS is one of seven academic units offering undergraduate degrees at the University of Vermont. CALS programs emphasize the life sciences, agriculture and food systems, environmental stewardship and the preservation of healthy, rural communities. Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences learn how to make a difference in our changing world. Rigorous course work, research in state-of-the-art labs, hands-on experiences, and relevant internships provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to solve important societal problems and ensure a more sustainable planet. Tom understands how vitally important it is today to serve all aspects of agriculture in Vermont. I look forward to working with him on the many challenges and opportunities facing agricultural prosperity in our state, commented Allbee.Dr. Vogelmann has received numerous awards and other recognitions for his teaching, research, and service, including the Robertson Lecture for outstanding contributions to plant physiology conferred by the Australian and New Zealand Societies for Plant Physiology. He also received the Presidential Award for outstanding research, the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Research, and the Elbogen Award for Outstanding Teaching, all at the University of Wyoming. Most recently, he received the Joseph E. Carrigan Award for Excellence in Teaching and Undergraduate Education in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UVM. Dr. Vogelmann specializes in plant physiology and has published more than eighty scientific papers in refereed journals, books, and technical proceedings.