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Youth leaders propose teen court plan

first_imgLA MIRADA – Typically, when La Mirada High School students come together in the annual Youth in Government program, they often propose a new city program of some kind. But not this year. This group of 19 youngsters – five of whom were elected as “mock” council members and the other 14 who were staff – decided to look inward and proposed two programs dealing with their own school. They proposed expansion of teen counseling and a new teen court program. The teen court would provide another avenue for disciplinary intervention by having student offenders “sentenced” by their peers. “We wanted to have some kind of program that would target at-risk youth to bring them up to our level,” said junior Sonal Singh, who played the role of city manager. The latter would range from one-hour detention to up to 40 hours of community service. The students also recommended increasing awareness of the services of Straight Talk, a counseling organization, by having representatives on campus more often and publicizing it more. This year’s ideas of a teen court and expanded teen counseling were supported by city and school officials. “They have great possibilities,” said La Mirada High School principal Don Jones, who added that he thought both were quite possible. “These are great programs,” said Mayor Pete Dames said. “I only hope we see these programs before us and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.” mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Singh said teen court would allow some student offenders to be questioned, judged and sentenced by a jury of their peers. She said the goal was to create links between students, teachers and parents, as well as offenders. It would be a “collaborative effort to reduce youth crime and disobedience and encourage offenders to accept responsibility for their action,” she said. Students would be referred to the teen court for minor problems, but not for drugs or weapons violations, Singh said. Student jurors would listen to a student prosecutor and student defense attorney and then, by majority vote, would recommend a sentence. last_img read more

Press release: Gauteng – an attractive and competitive investment destination

first_imgThere are more than R300-billion worth of investment opportunities in Gauteng that are still to be tapped into. The Inspire Gauteng Tourism, Trade and Investment Conference taking place this week will showcase these opportunities.The Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng will host the Inspire Gauteng Tourism, Trade and Investment Conference, which looks to raise awareness about the investment opportunities that exist within the province. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)Johannesburg, Monday 23 October 2017 – Brand South Africa will join the Department of Tourism and the Gauteng Growth Development Agency in partnering with Inspire Gauteng Tourism , Trade and Investment Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 October 2017, at Maropeng Cradle of Humankind.The aim of the conference and exhibition is to raise awareness around the R300 Billion plus investment opportunities and ease of setting up and doing business in the Gauteng province, thus positioning the province as a much sought-after investment destination.Themed “Unleashing Gauteng’s Investment Potential through Smart Partnerships, Economic Cooperation and Industrialisation” the main objective is to create a platform that will introduce national and international business partners to the vast opportunities available to further industrialize and create employment opportunities within the Gauteng Province.Media are invited to attend as follows:Date: 24-25 October 2017Time: 8:00 for 8:30Venue: Maropeng Cradle of HumankindRSVP: tsabengn@brandsouthafrica.comFollow the conversation #CompetitiveSAlast_img read more

More Green From Beans – 3

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Darcy MaulsbyProgressive Farmer Contributing EditorAs he looks across his fields spanning the flat terrain of northern Iowa, Mike Riggert isn’t just seeing rows of soybeans. He’s thinking about ways to adjust his seeding rates.“For years, we planted a flat rate of 150,000 seeds per acre, but we’ve definitely cut back on seeding rates in the last two or three years,” said Riggert, who farms with his brother, Brian, near Whittemore.It’s a targeted process for Riggert, who plants soybeans in 30-inch rows and has been experimenting with variable-rate seeding. In some cases, he has dropped rates as low as 80,000 or 90,000 seeds per acre. In other places, like high-pH areas that tend to stunt the plants, Riggert has planted 175,000 seeds per acre. In fields with neutral soil pH and adequate fertility, he typically plants 120,000 seeds per acre.“You can get good yields with lower planting populations if you pay attention to detail,” said Dan Bjorklund, seed team leader for MaxYield Cooperative, which serves the Riggert farm. “Mike planted slow enough to singulate, and he’s counting 80 to 100 pods per plant where the seeding rate is 120,000.”Riggert saw no yield loss with his lower planting rates in 2018. “Those areas didn’t yield more than expected, but they yielded the same as when we used higher seeding rates in years past. We came out ahead, because we didn’t plant more seeds than necessary.”Soybean farmers are finding ways to boost revenues despite market and trade challenges. This story is the third in a six-part series, More Green From Beans. The series looks at ways soybean farmers are finding ways to answer trade challenges by boosting revenues through switching up agronomics and finding new markets.SURVEY STUDIED OPTIMAL DENSITYDeciding the right seeding rate is one of the most influential factors for increasing soybean profitability since seed cost is one of the most expensive inputs.“I’ve been in this business 20 years, and farmers have talked about soybean seeding rates every year,” stated Seth Naeve, a University of Minnesota Extension soybean agronomist. “The thing to remember is that different fields respond differently to various planting populations.”Soil type, soil fertility and weather conditions affect final stand establishment. “We don’t look at variable-rate seeding as a way to get more soybean bushels,” Naeve added. “It’s really a way to save on seed costs.”Ignacio Ciampitti, an associate professor of crop production and cropping systems at Kansas State University, teamed up with Corteva Agriscience to study optimal plant density by yield environment.Researchers created a soybean database of seeding rates ranging from 69,000 to 271,000 seeds per acre, including final number of plants and seed yield. The results were classified by low-yield environments (less than 59.6 bushels per acre (bpa), medium-yield environments (59.6 to 64.1 bpa) and high-yield environments (more than 64.1 bpa). They found that:— Optimal plant density decreased by 24% from low (127,000 plants per acre) to high (97,000 plants per acre) yield environments.— The optimal density ranged between 109,000 to 144,000 plants per acre for the low-yield environments; from 77,000 to 114,000 plants per acre for the medium-yield environments; and 76,000 to 117,000 plants per acre for the high-yield environments.“It’s a myth that one of the best ways to increase soybean yield is just to plant more seeds,” Ciampitti said. “It depends. In a high-yield environment, you might be planting too high of a seeding rate. In a low-yielding environment, you might need to increase your soybean seeding rate.”NO YIELD DRAGJoe and Suzanne Shirbroun have found this to be true on their northeast Iowa farm. They began experimenting with various soybean seeding rates in 2015 through the Iowa Soybean Association’s On-Farm Network, which offers research opportunities focused on agronomics, cropping systems and more.“Standability issues pushed us,” said Joe Shirbroun, whose fields near Farmersburg are defined by rolling hills. “We were growing high-yield beans, but they were falling down.”The Shirbrouns, who plant in 15-inch rows, had been seeding a flat rate across all their soybean acres to get about 150,000 plants per acre. “We didn’t realize that having planting prescriptions would pay for soybeans like they do for corn,” said Amos Troester, the Shirbrouns’ Pioneer seed associate.The Shirbrouns began experimenting with lower plant populations in higher-yielding environments. “We can get down to 90,000 plants per acre in the low-lying areas, while our highest seeding rate is about 160,000 in other areas,” Suzanne Shirbroun said. “We didn’t see any yield drag with the lower seeding rates. Our yields were maintained, or they went up.”KEEP IT SIMPLEHow does geography affect soybean seeding rates? A series of studies financed by the United Soybean Board was conducted in 2012 and 2013 across the Midwest and Mid-South to examine high-input soybean production practices. Results showed that maximum yields were obtained between 100,000 and 165,000 seeds per acre across all nine states.In the southern states (Arkansas, Kansas and Kentucky), seeding rates between 130,000 to 170,000 seeds per acre were needed to obtain maximum yields. This response was consistent across production systems, regardless of whether they included a large number of yield-enhancing treatments like seed treatments, fungicides, growth promoters, etc.“You might assume you’d need much lower seeding rates in the South and higher seeding rates in the North, but that wasn’t always true,” Naeve said.Don’t get too concerned about specific prescriptions, however, he adds. Keep things simple, agrees Shawn Conley, a soybean and small grains specialist at the University of Wisconsin. “It’s not worth your time and money to hire someone to write a planting prescription. Buy a bag of seed per acre. Each bag contains about 140,000 seeds. Plant 120,000 seeds in higher-producing areas and 150,000 seeds in lower-producing areas.”Also, stay focused on Agronomy 101 basics. “Soybeans require management, just like corn,” Bjorklund said.Maintain a good soil-fertility program focused on potassium — a vital nutrient for soybeans, Conley said. Plant seeds 1 to 1.25 inches deep, ensuring good seed-to-soil contact. Also, plant as early as possible, as long as soil conditions are fit. “You get one chance to do it right,” said Bjorklund, who noted that mudding in beans can cause compaction, which can hinder seedlings from emerging evenly.Riggert began planting his 2019 beans on April 25. “This was much earlier than ever before,” he added. “The earlier-planted beans at lower populations have been superior, though, when you start counting nodes and pods.”Seed treatment is another key to success, especially with early-planted soybeans, Riggert said. It helps protect seedlings from diseases lurking in cold, wet soil, including sudden death syndrome. “When you start dropping your seeding rate, you need a strong seed treatment program,” Bjorklund said.Control weeds by using pre-emerge programs, multiple modes of action and a residual program to manage yield robbers such as waterhemp, Conley said. “While farmers get bored with the basics and want to talk about applying nitrogen or using molasses to boost soybean yields, the basics still matter the most,” Conley said.As for seeding rates, start small if you want to try cutting back. “Take baby steps,” Joe Shirbroun advised. “Take 20 acres of your farm, and learn from that.”(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Basics to Using social media to market your business

first_imgAdvertisement Social Media Marketing is a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social media marketing primarily covers activities involving social sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes.Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’ goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a plan in mind is like wandering through a forest without a map, you’ll only end up lost. Create a social media marketing plan and brainstorm about your goals: what are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media? What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?Here are some tips to get you started.Offer a peek behind the scenes. Offering a sneak preview of new products, services, or features online can help build demand and provide critical feedback to help smooth the launch. Invites comments from customers. Demonstrate what your company does.Because multimedia is so integral to social media, getting connected allows you to express your company’s value proposition beyond words.be careful what you say about others. While recounting negative experiences with others won’t necessarily lead to a court battle, it’s best to steer clear of name-calling.Interact with visitors. Just putting up a blog or a Facebook fan page won’t do much good if visitors sense the flow of conversation only goes one way.Reward customer loyalty. Through social media, companies can run promotions more frequently.See what people are saying about you. A quick search for mentions of your company on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites can yield a goldmine of information concerning your reputation.Make amends with dissatisfied customers, quickly.  This helps prevent negative posts about your business.Don’t go on the defensive. A harsh rebuke of your business on social media can not only bruise your ego but also hurt your livelihood. But resist the temptation to lash out in public. And keep in mind that you can’t please everyone.Find potential customers. A quick keyword search can help you find prospective customers who may not be aware of your company but could nonetheless benefit from your product or service.See where your customers are. A growing number of social networks are designed specifically for users on the go, and some, such as the mobile application Foursquare, offer tools specifically for businesses.use Foursquare to gather data on how many people visit your location and send promotional offers to frequent customers.Let customers help each other out. Including a customer forum on your website or social network profile can help enhance your customer service while building a sense of community.Help others promote you. Social media can help you find passionate customers who are more than willing to spread the word about your company.Cultivate relationships that lead to sales. Encouraging followers to visit your shop. They will soon begin tweeting orders through the site as well.Don’t promote too aggressively. While social network users have proven to be open to marketing—especially if it involves a discount—they’re not flocking to Facebook or MySpace to hear sales pitches. If your profile or blog reads like an ad, it will turn visitors away.Connect with potential partners. Because LinkedIn is designed specifically for professional networking, businesses can find a host of valuable contacts there. Josh Steinitz, CEO of NileGuide, a trip planning website based in San Francisco, used LinkedIn to find business partners by identifying companies of interest and then asking his existing contacts to provide introductions. A third of the company’s inquiries resulted in eventual partnerships. – Advertisement – Various social media marketing sites will require different techniques, so develop a unique strategy tailored for each platform. This is a brief overview on how to use social media for marketing according to each platform’s unique environment.Facebook’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy that begins with creating a Facebook Business Fan Page.  You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience. Social media marketing for business pages revolves around furthering your conversation with audiences by posting industry-related articles, images, videos, etcGoogle+ is the new Facebook competitor, and it promotes the same fun, casual atmosphere. On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group. You can also try hosting video conferences with Hangouts and experiment using the Hangout feature in some fun, creative ways. Some social media marketing ideas: if you’re a salon, host a how-to session on how to braid your hair. If you own a local bookstore, try offering author video chatsTwitter  lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your industry or related fields, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return. Mix up your official-related tweets about specials, discounts, and news updates with some fun and quirky tweets interspersed. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget answer people’s questions when possible.  Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible.LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media marketing sites. LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals. Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations makes your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established and earns trust.YouTube is the number one place for creating video content, with can be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral,” but in reality those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos.Information from Wordstream and Inc. used in this article.last_img read more