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  • Pizza Farm

    first_imgThere’s nothing exotic about a pizza, but for many students the origins of their favorite slice — the stalks of wheat or the dairy cow that produces milk for mozzarella — might as well be from another planet. Recently, more than 800 Metro Atlanta elementary school students got a behind the scenes look at where pizza comes from at University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Pizza Farm. UGA Extension and Georgia Department of Agriculture officials hosted the end-of-year field trip at the State Farmers Market in Forest Park as a way to help urban and suburban children make the connection between agriculture and the food on their plates.They learned how wheat plants are processed into flour to make pizza dough and were able to examine tomato plants and taste and smell the herbs that go into pizza sauce. The students also saw a dairy cow and learn how much feed and water she needs to make the milk that is used to make cheese.Food doesn’t just come from the grocery store “A lot of young people don’t have agriculture in their backgrounds, and they really don’t understand where their food comes from,” said Beverly Sparks, associate dean for Extension at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “I think events like this really help them realize that food does not come from the grocery store. In an event like this we’re helping them understand what all it takes to produce a pizza.”Kisha Faulk, a UGA Extension agent in Fulton County, helped lead the charge to develop a agricultural awareness curriculum for the program. “There is a lot to learn from a pizza,” Faulk said. “By walking through the parts of the pizza, you can learn about the dairy cows that we have here in Georgia, the wheat that we grow here and use in our mills. We have information about tomatoes and herbs that we use in sauce. And we even have live animals, that we use for our toppings.”Diet and exercise are keyIn addition to learning more about what it takes to produce the food that is sold in restaurants and the grocery store, they also learned how a pizza fits into the My Plate dietary guideline for proper nutrition. They also learned the importance of exercise and fun ways to get active through a dance party. Getting students interested in where their food comes from can help make them more interested in nutrition in general and hopefully more apt to make healthier decisions about food, Faulk said. The teachers who brought their students said Pizza Farm was a fun and educational way to wind down the school year, with one calling it the best field trip that she and her class had taken. Adults learned, tooState Senator Valencia Seay, who represents Clayton County, visited the Pizza Farm along with elementary school students from her district. She said she identified with the young people at the farmers’ market. Growing up in in-town Atlanta, Seay had no experience with farming when she was first elected to the George House of Representatives in 2001 and was immediately assigned to the agriculture committee. “Coming out of the city of Atlanta, being a city child, I was never around farming,” said Seay. “I was never around animals. That was not a part of who I was, but I was determined to find out more about what drives the state of Georgia. And today I’m so excited to have Pizza Farm Day here at the Georgia State Farmers market in Senate District 34.”Faulk and the rest of the team who put on the exhibition are already planning next year’s event. They hope to expand the event and invite even more students to the Pizza Farm. “The part of the Pizza Farm that I love the best is just the pure excitement when kids are going through the different stations,” Faulk said. “We are so busy in the urban center that we miss out on some of the simple things in life and on some of the important things that make us healthy and happy.” For more information on UGA Extension in your county, call 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

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  • Dairy Production

    first_imgGeorgia’s hot and humid climate presents challenges for the state’s dairy farmers. A newly hired University of Georgia scientist hopes to find some solutions. Sha Tao, a dairy scientist who specializes in heat stress physiology, joined the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science on the Tifton Campus on July 1. He was hired to study heat stress nutrition, management and physiology. Seventy-five percent of his time will be spent conducting research and 25 percent will be spent sharing his findings through UGA Extension.“Nationwide, heat stress is a billion dollar problem, especially in the southeastern states like Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. The summers are hotter and longer,” he said. When cows are exposed to temperatures above 70 degrees, their milk production level decreases, Tao said. “In the summertime, cows produce less milk; they have a hard time getting pregnant, and they also have some health issues.”Tao will research heat stress physiology in dairy cattle and find answers to questions like: How can cows better cope with summer temperatures that exceed 90 degrees every day? And, how can cows produce more milk when they eat less in order to produce less body heat? “It’s a very important research area for the Southeast, given our really hot, humid climate. That climate is very challenging to dairy cows,” said Joe West, who was a dairy scientist prior to becoming the UGA Tifton Campus assistant dean. “I think the heat stress research and Extension programs that Dr. Tao will deliver are very important,” West said. “As our animals get more productive, they’re even more subject to the effects of hot and humid weather.”West equates it to running instead of walking in hot weather. “You’re going to sweat more if you’re running,” he said. “Cows work harder as they get more productive. Heat stress will continue to be a problem. If global warming proves to be a reality, it will be a greater problem.”Georgia’s dairy industry has been successful despite its warm climate. According to UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, dairy generated $338.3 million in farm gate value, accounting for 22 percent of the livestock and aquaculture sector. Despite those numbers, West says there is a milk deficit in the Southeast. The bulk of Georgia’s milk is imported from other parts of the country. If more production is generated in Georgia, milk would cost less for Georgia’s consumers. “You don’t see cows all over the countryside like you would in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania, but the dairy industry is a fairly large industry in the Southeast and in Georgia. This is, despite the climate, a very good place to dairy because you can grow a lot of forage crops. Since we have something growing year round, we can recycle our waste nutrients very effectively,” West said. Macon County was Georgia’s top dairy county in 2012, generating $47.3 million in farm gate value with 13,000 head of cattle. Brooks County was second with 10,000 head of cattle and $40 million in farm gate value.last_img read more

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  • 17-year Cicadas

    first_imgWhat has large, red eyes, translucent wings and an undulating, 7-kilohertz chirp that sounds like the background music to a horror movie? Georgians can find the answer over the next few weeks by traveling north into the state’s mountains to witness the emergence of the latest brood of 17-year periodical cicadas.The harmless insects will start emerging from their underground burrows in late April, then spend several weeks making a racket, mating, laying eggs and dying. They won’t be seen again until 2034.Entomologists have identified 12 broods, or distinct groups, of periodical cicadas. This brood, Brood VI, last emerged in 2000 across far northern Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. There’s no good way to know exactly what parts of the state will see the most cicadas, but based on previous emergences, several thousand could be seen coming out of the ground in the mountains.Early reports indicate the cicadas emerging as far south as Cobb County, Georgia, already this month, so their range may have spread. Most of the Southeast sees an annual population of “dog day” cicadas emerge in July. Periodical cicadas are noteworthy because of the long periods they spend underground between emergences.The periodical cicadas’ novelty and their sheer numbers make them one of the most bizarre and awe-inspiring phenomena in nature. “It’s a good excuse to get out in the woods and enjoy nature,” said Nancy Hinkle, a cicada enthusiast and professor of veterinary entomology at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “It’s something your kids will remember because it only happens every 17 years. There’s a good chance that the next time it happens, they can take their children out to see them.”Periodical cicadas emerge from under trees that are at least 17 years old. The tree had to be present 17 years ago when the female laid her eggs to start this generation. If the tree where the eggs were laid was cut down or the area is paved, the nymphs die and no cicadas will emerge The last brood of 17-year periodical cicadas, Brood II, emerged in 2013.Periodical cicada emergences are always a great chance for citizen science, said Rick Hoebeke, associate curator of arthropods at the Georgia Museum of Natural History at UGA.The museum, which houses hundreds of thousands of individual insect and spider specimens, is always looking for intact periodical cicadas to add to its collection.Documenting the location and time that the insect was found helps scientists track the movement and health of cicada populations. However, it’s hard to build a well-rounded collection of data on the species since each brood only emerges once every 13 or 17 years, he said.Members of the public who want to contribute cicada specimens should send them to Hoebeke at the Georgia Museum of Natural History, Natural History Building, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7882. Take note of where — an address or landmark — and when the specimen was found. The best way to ship a cicada carcass is packed in tissue paper in a small, sturdy box, like a business card or animal crackers box. Whole specimens will be included in the museum’s collection of arthropods.For more information on the museum, visit naturalhistory.uga.edu.Cicada PrimerThe first clue in finding a cicada is the sound. Male cicadas “sing” to attract mates by vibrating special organs called tymbals, thin membranes on the sides of their abdomens.When thousands of lonely male cicadas emerge at once to try and out-sing each other, the noise can be heard from miles away.“The females comment on the sound of the male cicadas by clicking their wings,” Hinkle said. “But it’s hard to hear.”Cicadas only sing during the day, which makes them easy to differentiate from other musical insects, like crickets and katydids.Depending on the population size of the newly emerged insects, their presence may be pretty obvious. Periodical cicadas have covered trees, sidewalks and the forest floor during some emergences. Other times, observers have seen only a few at a time.Cicadas’ most recognizable feature is their bright red eyes. And while periodical cicadas are smaller than their annually occurring cousins, they’re still fairly large by insect standards — about an inch long.When cicada nymphs emerge from the ground, they are wingless. The nymphal skin then splits down the back, allowing the pale-winged adult to emerge. Thousands of these empty shells, called “cast skins,” will be found on tree trunks in emergence areas. The adult cicada darkens as its new skin hardens.Cicadas pose no threat to humans, crops or other animals. They don’t bite, and they’re not poisonous.In extreme cases, scientists have seen the insects damage trees when they insert their eggs into the bark of a tree’s twigs and branches. This damage is usually only seen in young trees playing hosts to hundreds of cicadas and is not typical.“The main message here is that cicadas will not attack your garden or your plants, and they won’t hurt the trees where they lay their eggs,” Hinkle said. “Everybody is concerned that they will behave like locusts, but they’re not locusts. They don’t even have biting mouthparts. They can’t eat.”They can, however, be eaten.Pet dogs and cats, as well as birds and raccoons, usually gorge themselves on the insects as they start to emerge.“Dogs and cats are intrigued by cicadas, which make entertaining pet toys,” Hinkle said. “While cats merely bat them around and watch them spin, dogs like to eat them. Cicadas are not poisonous, so dogs can enjoy them with impunity. Just don’t be surprised if the dog gorges on cicadas and then isn’t interested in supper.” “Humans also eat cicadas,” she added. “But I can’t share my secret family recipe.”For more information about periodical cicadas in Georgia, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/node/2659.last_img read more

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  • Mexican paloverde

    first_imgI’ll never forget that rare cold morning at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Monarchs and queen butterflies — cousin butterflies — were roosting in the retama trees waiting for the sun to warm them for flight. I had already fallen in love with the trees’ flashy display of thousands of yellow blooms, but also the green bark that seemed so prevalent.Retama means “broom” in Spanish, but the green bark gives it another common name: Mexican paloverde, or green tree. I love both names, but officially its name is “Jerusalem thorn.” It has nothing to do with Israel, and the thorns in the tree are not a reference to Christ or the Crucifixion. According to the University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the name comes from a corruption of the Portuguese and Spanish word “girasol,” which means “turning to the sun.”Like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, I’ll use paloverde. The paloverde is known botanically as “Parkinsonia aculeata” and is native from central Texas, west to Arizona and south through Mexico, actually reaching South America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture map shows distribution and establishment throughout the South, including Georgia and South Carolina.Historic Southern landscapes are rich with allées such as those picturesque, old plantations lined with a garden walk or avenue of stately live oaks. At the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia, we have a crape myrtle allée, and at the National Butterfly Center, we had a paloverde allée. Both are rewarding in their performance and classic design.Right now at the Coastal Botanical Gardens, our paloverde trees are putting on quite a show. They are completely covered in blossoms. The flowers have five yellow petals, but one petal has a honey gland and turns an orange-red, giving the blooms a distinctive bicolored look. It is doubtful that we will ever find butterflies roosting in the fall like I saw at the National Butterfly Center, but I can tell you that our paloverde blooms are swarming with pollinators of all types.The paloverde is about as tough of a tree as you can grow. Should the drought be so severe that it defoliates the tree, the stems and bark take up the task of photosynthesis, hence the green bark and stems. This also happens when cold causes the leaves to fall. The paloverde is cold hardy in zones 8 and warmer. As a point of reference, they are growing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and are part of the Texas A&M Earth-Kind Landscaping program.The Coastal Botanical Gardens’ oldest specimen is planted in the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden and is probably the only place in the world where you can see the bright yellow flowers of a paloverde against a backdrop of red foliage from a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple. We have also been planting some in the new Sun Garden.Paloverde trees will reach around 15 feet in height, possibly 25 feet. They are graceful in their pendulous state, but do remember that they are armed with spines. Select a site that is well-drained and receives almost full sun. They do not require or want a rich, moist soil and are capable of surviving on 12 inches of rain a year. Luxuriant, moist soil can lead to rampant reseeding. It has not been a problem in Savannah. This is a fine tree for those in zones 8-11 who are looking for both drought and salt tolerance.Follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.last_img read more

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  • Fairy Rings

    first_imgMany residents have noticed mushrooms popping up in lawns and landscapes this season. When the “fungus among us” forms a circle or arc pattern, it’s commonly known as a fairy ring. According to medieval folklore, they were thought to appear after a band of fairies had danced in a circle. In some cases, fairy ring mushrooms can cause turfgrass discoloration or abnormal growth in lawns.More than 50 different mushroom species can cause fairy rings. Fairy ring mushrooms are decomposers that grow in soil with high levels of organic matter and in areas where trees were recently removed. Old tree stumps, logs and roots that are buried in the soil begin to decay and are colonized by various mushrooms.Growths of fairy ring fungi begin in the center of a ring (e.g., near a tree stump) and expand outward in a uniform, circular pattern over time. Mushrooms might only be visible during periods of wet weather, particularly in the fall.Fairy rings can grow as large as 15 feet in diameter and cause the grass to have a different color or texture than the grass outside the ring. Half arcs or semicircular ring patterns can also occur. Depending on the conditions, grass with fairy rings can be denser, greener and faster growing, or browner and drier than surrounding grass.The good news is that fairy ring mushrooms do not typically cause the grass to die in home lawns. These mushrooms are mainly viewed as a nuisance and will often disappear as weather conditions change. Waiting for them to disappear naturally is usually the best approach. However, they may reappear during the next rainy season or return for many years, depending on how much wood or organic debris is buried in the soil.If you want to try to manage fairy ring mushrooms, spraying a fungicide is typically not effective. Consider routine core aeration of your lawn, which can improve drainage and reduce thatch buildup that harbor fungi. Fall is an excellent time to aerate tall fescue lawns.In some cases, fairy rings cause the lawn to form a dense, green ring of grass due to the decay of organic matter. In this situation, adding nitrogen to the surrounding lawn can help green up your grass and mask symptoms of the problem.Mushrooms can be concerning if you have small children or pets that might accidentally eat them. Discourage children and pets from eating mushrooms, as they may be poisonous. I taught my son at a young age that mushrooms are fun and interesting to look at, but we should never touch or eat them unless they come from a grocery store. The majority of mushrooms might not be lethal, but they could cause severe gastrointestinal distress.If mushrooms are problematic, consider raking or hand removing the mushrooms with gloves and disposing them in the garbage.For more information, see University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Bulletin 1233, “Turfgrass Diseases in Georgia: Identification and Control.”last_img read more

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  • IRS drops plan to change captive insurance tax status

    first_imgIRS drops plan to change captive insurance tax statusThe Coalition for Fairness to Captive Insurers, CICA and VCIA are pleased to report that today (February 20, 2008), the Internal Revenue Service announced that it is withdrawing proposed IRS Regulation §1.1502-13(e) on consolidated returns that would have adversely affected single parent captive insurance companies. Consequently, the public hearing requested by the Coalition on this issue which was scheduled for February 29th has been cancelled.”We are thrilled that the IRS and Treasury Department have chosen to withdraw the portion of the proposed regulation involving captive insurance companies,” said Dennis Harwick, Co-Chair of the Coalition and President of the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA). “This welcome, but unusual, action is testimony to the strong technical response that the Coalition developed for the IRS and the on-going conversations that we had with representatives of the IRS and Treasury Department about the technical and policy flaws of the proposed regulation.””This decision removes the uncertainty that has hung over the captive industry since the IRS regulation was proposed last fall,” said Molly Lambert, Co-Chair of the Coalition and President of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA). “We would like to thank all of the Coalition members who helped with both the technical and political response to the proposed regulation. The forceful and unified response of the captive industry, captive regulators, state governors, and affiliated organizations played a key role in convincing the IRS to withdraw the proposed regulation even before the formal hearing.”The Coalition for Fairness to Captive Insurers was formed last fall shortly after the IRS published its proposed regulation and CICA and VCIA determined that those regulations would have a serious negative effect on many single parent captive insurance companies. The Coalition, CICA, and VCIA made a commitment to engaging the best legal minds to prepare a detailed (39 page) technical response to the proposed regulation, along with a coordinated political effort to oppose implementation of the proposed regulation. “We are gratified that the substance of the arguments put forth in the Coalition’s technical response appears to have been a key reason for the IRS’s decision,” says Harwick. “In addition, it seems clear that marshalling support for the captive industry’s position on Capitol Hill was also critically important to this successful outcome. Our thanks to everyone, inside and outside the Coalition, who helped with this effort.”# # # #last_img read more

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  • Vermont General Fund Revenue Results Below Targets

    first_imgYTDYTD%MarchMarch%Tax ComponentFY 2007FY 2008Change20072008ChangePersonal Income 357.53  392.88 9.89% 15.56  17.49 12.40%Sales & Use 169.91  174.91 2.94% 16.17  16.63 2.84%Corporate 49.19  51.02 3.72% 19.57  13.02 -33.47%Meals & Room 89.67  95.57 6.58% 10.76  11.33 5.30%Insurance Premium 47.66  47.67 0.02% 7.07  1.73 -75.53%Inheritance & Estate 17.14  9.38 -45.27% 3.90  0.26 -93.33%Real Property Transfer 9.68  8.65 -10.64% 0.84  0.75 -10.71%Other 57.17  55.83 General FundToday, Secretaryof Administration Michael K. Smith released the General Fund revenue resultsfor the month of March, the ninth month of fiscal year 2008. General Fundrevenues totaled $68.72 million, -$7.74 million or -10.12% less than the $76.46million consensus revenue target for the month. The resulting fiscalyear-to-date General Fund revenue total of $835.91 million is -$1.09 million or-0.13% below the recently revised consensus forecast of $837.00 million. “TheGeneral Fund results for the month were adversely affected by certain taxreceipts that were received in February but included in the March target. However,it should be noted that excluding the timing item, General Fund revenue forMarch was still below target.”Vermont is beginning to feel the impact of the nationaleconomic condition. We are in for a rough period,” said Smith, “hopefully,short in duration, but nonetheless Vermont will be impacted by the national economy.”The monthlyconsensus cash flow targets reflect the most recent fiscal year 2008 ConsensusRevenue Forecast that was agreed to by the Emergency Board on January 16, 2008. Normally, theStates Consensus Revenue Forecast is updated two times per year, in Januaryand July. However, this year, due to concerns about the national economy, theEmergency Board will be meeting on April 15, 2008 to consider revising the consensus revenueforecast.MonthlyPersonal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and arereported Net-of-Personal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax for March ($17.49million) was above target by +$3.63 million, with the fiscal year-to-datePersonal Income Tax results showing above target performance of +$4.86 million or+1.25%, and +$35.35 million or +9.89% ahead of the prior year-to-date. “WhileNet Personal Income Tax remains above target, we are watching a trend of abovetarget refunds that, if it continues, could reduce the favorable results in NetPersonal Income Tax. Although Corporate Income Tax was +$0.15 million ahead oftarget for the month ($13.01 million vs. $12.86 million) and +$2.29 millionabove target year-to-date ($51.02 million vs. $48.73 million), we are concernedfor future results; we are beginning to see some erosion in corporate profits,”said Smith.”Theconsumption taxes are softening and are of concern,” Smith noted. The Rooms& Meals Tax of $12.83 million fell below target again this month (by -$1.50million or -11.73%). Sales and Use Tax was essentially on target for the month($16.63 million vs. $16.62 million) and remains only slightly above targetyear-to-date at $174.91 million (+$0.37 million or +0.21%).Smith noted that, “The Other General Fundcategories are also of concern, with below target results for both the month(-$10.01 million or -49.38%) and year-to-date (-$6.76 million or -5.27%).” TheOther General Fund category includes Insurance Tax, Estate Tax, Bank FranchiseTax, Telephone Tax, Liquor Tax, Property Transfer Tax, Fees, and Other Taxes. “TheInsurance Tax fell below target again by -$9.10 million or -83.99%, only someof which was due to prior month timing. Estate Tax also fell below target by -$1.9million or -88.29% for the month,” said Smith. Year-to-date, through March, theEstate Tax, which is always difficult to predict, was -$4.98 million or -34.69%below the year-to-date target. General Fund By Major Element (In Millions) Montpelier, VT – Secretary of Administration Michael K. Smith Announces that GeneralFund and Transportation Fund Revenues Were Below Target and Education Fund RevenuesWere Slightly Above Target for March. All Funds May Fall Short of Existing FiscalYear 2008 Revenue Targets.last_img read more

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  • SBA awards presented today on Burlington’s waterfront

    first_imgThe Small Business Administration awards celebration will be held this evening, June 10, 2009, from 4-7 pm under the Discover Jazz tent at Burlington Waterfront Park. The awards program is presented by Vermont Business Magazine and the SBA.The principal award will go to Mark Bonfigli, CEO and Founder of Dealer.com, Burlington, who is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2009 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year. Bonfigli was selected for outstanding leadership related to his company’s staying power, employee growth, increase in sales, innovation and contributions to the community.Bonfigli’s company, Dealer.com, is a leading provider of online marketing solutions to the automotive industry. Dealer.com offers award-winning website design incorporating dynamic video, user-friendly management tools, search engine advertising and metrics and web analytics. Dealer.com’s suite of online marketing solutions creates a 360 degree view of auto dealers’ online and traditional marketing investments and results. Dealers can easily track spending and determine which activities lead to the highest return on investment, allowing them to streamline advertising and marketing efforts to increase sales.Bonfigli founded Dealer.com in 1998 to offer automotive dealers a “best in class’ solution for their Internet marketing needs. At the time, the Internet auto market was dominated by two large companies, but Bonfigli persisted. Despite difficult times in the automotive industry, 2008 saw the highest annual revenue increase in the company’s eleven-year history, for a five-year growth rate total of 1,225 %. According to Bonfigli, more of the top 150 largest dealer groups in North America use Dealer.com Internet marketing services than those of any other provider.Bonfigli attributes the company’s success to employee creativity and hard work, under his guidance, and Dealer.com provides over 200 full-time employees with high wage jobs, training and the potential for career growth. Dealer.com permits employees to work flexible schedules and provides numerous seminars and workshops related to career growth, personal financial planning, nutrition and other topics. The company recently opened the doors to its new 60,000 sq. ft. headquarters featuring a state-of-the-art health club, indoor basketball court, indoor tennis court, indoor track and an organic foods café. The building is LEED certified, meaning it is environmentally responsible, and incorporates solar panels and natural light to help limit carbon emissions. “Dealer.com employees drive our success and are the heart of the business,” commented Bonfigli. “The company would not be so successful without the many talented and hard-working people dedicated to offering our clients the best service and technology. I am honored by the award and share it with everyone who is part of the Dealer.com team.”Firmly committed to helping improve the community by giving back, Dealer.com supports local charitable events and holds regular fund raisers to benefit local charities. In an innovative partnership with the state of Vermont and VT HITEC (Health Care and Information Technology Education Center), the company provided job training to local Vermonters and overcame the difficulty of finding highly skilled IT workers in the area. Bonfigli has more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience in the auto industry, including 10 years as the co-founder of EARTHCARS, Inc., a New England-based automotive retailer. Bonfigli was named as a Finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the New England Region and his company has received numerous recognitions including the Deloitte & Touche Tech Fast 50, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, the Inc 5000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., and several automotive industry awards for being the leading Internet marketing solution for auto dealers.As Vermont’s Small Business Person of the Year, Mark Bonfigli will compete for the national title at National Small Business Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C., May 17-22. Mr. Bonfigli will be locally honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration on June 10th at a ceremony presented by Vermont Business Magazine, Waterfront Park, Burlington. Cost is $35 per person.The Burlington Small Business Award celebration will also honor the following winners of the 2009 Vermont Small Business Champion Awards: Jim Sault, General ManagerPorter Music Box, RandolphSmall Business Exporter of the YearTara Lynn Scheidet, OwnerTara Lynn Studio, SuttonSBA Young Entrepreneur of the YearJohn Vincent, OwnerVincent’s Drug & Variety Store, WaterburyJeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small BusinessGail Wheel, President & OwnerWheel House Designs, Inc., Hyde ParkMicroenterprise SuccessMatt Cota, Executive DirectorVermont Fuel Dealers Association, MontpelierFinancial Services ChampionMajor Randall K. Gates, State Family Program DirectorVermont National GuardVeterans Small Business ChampionSteven Paddock, Assistant Director, AgribusinessVermont Small Business Development Center, MiddleburyHome-Based Business ChampionMary Peabody, Community Development SpecialistUniversity of Vermont Extension, BerlinWomen in Business Championlast_img read more

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  • Vermont Grocers’ Association elects new chairperson

    first_imgThe Vermont Grocers’ Association has elected Darcy Nutter of Price Chopper Supermarkets as its new Chair. Darcy is a zone manager for the family owned chain with responsibility for their southern Vermont stores as well as their New Hampshire markets and some of their New York locations. Also elected were Todd Keyworth of Harborside Market as Vice Chair and Dwight LaFountain of Jiffy Mart as Secretary-Treasurer.She has been a member of the VGA board of directors since 2003 and has served on various committees including the association s government affairs committee, convention committee and executive committee. Darcy co-chaired the 2007 convention. The most rewarding part of the zone manager position to her is the human connection with people, and making a difference in their professional lives. Darcy was the first woman selected for this position at Price Chopper, and strives to set a strong and proud example of what women have to offer in the business world.Darcy has been married for 33 years to husband David and they have four children; Amy, Bradley, Sabrina, and Carly. They reside in Arlington, VT.In addition, the following people were elected or re-elected to serve on the organization s board of directors: Patrick Crowl of the Woodstock Farmers Market, Kathy Miller of The Elmore Store, Pat Breen of Grand Union Markets, Clem Nilan of City Market, Burlington, Kim Crosby of Vermont Roots, Rutland, Mike Baker of Baker Distributing, Colchester, and Doug Tschorn of the Wayside Country Store in West Arlington, VT.Bill MacDonald of the Waits River General Store was also recognized at the ceremony for his service as VGA Chairman the past two years. Mr. MacDonald will continue to serve on the organization’s board as past chair.The Vermont Grocers’ Association is a statewide organization representing approximately 700 stores and 245 suppliers to the industry. The elections took place at the association s annual meeting at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel on September 12, 2009. Source:last_img read more

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  • Nokian Tyres acquires Maine Wholesale Tire in move to solidify distribution

    first_imgNokian Tyres,Nokian Tyres, Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, University Wholesalers,  has purchased Maine Wholesale Tire, a Portland, Maine based tire distributor. The new entity will operate under the University Wholesalers name. The operation gives us a much stronger presence in Maine and will enable us to improve levels of service to our dealers there and also in southern New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts, said Jari Lepisto, General Manger Nokian Tyres, Inc.One of the former owners of Maine Wholesale Tire will remain as management staff to ensure a smooth transition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.About Nokian Tyres, Inc.Nokian Tyres, Inc. is the North American subsidiary of Nokian Tyres P.L.C. of Nokia, Finland, a leading manufacturer of winter and performance tires for cars and SUVs.  Located in Colchester, Vermont, the company employs 135 people and services over 1500 retailers in North America selling Nokian products. The company also owns and operates 12 Vianor retail tire and service centers through the Northeast.Source: Nokian.  COLCHESTER, Vt. (September 18th, 2009)-last_img read more

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