USDA makes it easier to transfer agricultural land through CRP changes

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Lanon Baccam announced that beginning Jan. 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer an early termination opportunity for certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts, making it easier to transfer property to the next generation of farmers and ranchers, including family members. The land that is eligible for the early termination is among the least environmentally sensitive land enrolled in CRP.This change to the CRP program is just one of many that USDA has implemented based on recommendations from the Land Tenure Advisory Subcommittee formed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2015. The subcommittee was asked to identify ways the department could use or modify its programs, regulations, and practices to address the challenges of beginning farmers and ranchers in their access to land, capital and technical assistance.“The average age of principal farm operators is 58,” Baccam said. “So, land tenure, succession and estate planning, and access to land is an increasingly important issue for the future of agriculture and a priority for USDA. Access to land remains the biggest barrier for beginning farmers and ranchers. This announcement is part of our efforts to address some of the challenges with transitioning land to beginning farmers.”Baccam made the announcement while touring the Joe Dunn farm in Warren County, located in central Iowa near Carlisle. Dunn is the father-in-law to Iowa native and former Marine Aaron White, who with his wife, are prospective candidates for the early termination program. Baccam was joined by Farm Service Agency Iowa State Executive Director John Whitaker when meeting with Dunn and White.“The chance to give young farmers a better opportunity to succeed when starting a farming career makes perfect sense,” Baccam said. “There are Conservation Reserve Program acres that are rested and ready to be productive, an original goal of CRP. The technical teams at USDA will tell us which ones can terminate from the program with little impact on the overall conservation efforts. When they do, we’ll be ready to help beginning farmers like military veteran Aaron White.”Normally if a landowner terminates a CRP contract early, they are required to repay all previous payments plus interest. The new policy waives this repayment if the land is transferred to a beginning farmer or rancher through a sale or lease with an option to buy. With CRP enrollment close to the Congressionally-mandated cap of 24 million acres, the early termination will also allow USDA to enroll other land with higher conservation value elsewhere.“Starting the next generation of farmers and ranchers out with conservation and stewardship in mind is another important part of this announcement,” Baccam said. “The land coming out of CRP will have priority enrollment opportunities with USDA’s working lands conservation programs through cooperation between the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.”Acres terminated early from CRP under these land tenure provisions will be eligible for priority enrollment consideration into the CRP Grasslands, if eligible; or the Conservation Stewardship Program or Environmental Quality Incentives Program, as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.According to the Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land survey, conducted by USDA in 2014, U.S. farmland owners expect to transfer 93 million acres to new ownership during 2015-2019. This represents 10% of all farmland across the nation. Details on the early termination opportunity will be available starting on Jan. 9, 2017, at local USDA service centers. For more information about CRP and to find out if your acreage is eligible for early contract termination, contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or go online at To locate a local FSA office, visit read more

Hoop’s Tark The Shark Dead at 84

first_imgLAS VEGAS — He couldn’t stop fighting the NCAA any more than he could give up chewing towels courtside. Jerry Tarkanian built a basketball dynasty in the desert, but it was his decades-long battle with the NCAA that defined him far more than the wins and losses.The coach who won a national title at UNLV and made the school synonymous with basketball died Feb. 11 after several years of health issues. He was 84.Tarkanian battled an infection since he was hospitalized Feb. 9 in Las Vegas with breathing difficulty, said his son Danny Tarkanian, a point guard on his father’s teams in the 1980s.“He fought and fought and fought,” Danny Tarkanian told The Associated Press.Tarkanian put the run in the Runnin’ Rebels, taking them to four Final Fours and winning a national championship in 1990 with one of the most dominant college teams ever.His teams were as flamboyant as the city, with light shows and fireworks for pregame introductions and celebrities jockeying for position on the so-called Gucci Row courtside.He ended up beating the NCAA, too, collecting a $2.5 million settlement after suing the organization for trying to run him out of college basketball. But he was bitter to the end about the way the NCAA treated him while coaching.“They’ve been my tormentors my whole life,” Tarkanian said at his retirement news conference in 2002. “It will never stop.”The night before he died, fans attending UNLV’s game against Fresno State draped towels over the statue of Tarkanian outside the campus arena. Tarkanian is depicted in the statue chewing on a towel while sitting in a courtside chair urging his team on.Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a longtime family friend, said Tarkanian’s legacy was far more widespread than just in Las Vegas, where he made UNLV a national power and was a bigger star than anyone playing on the Las Vegas Strip.“Jerry’s mark on American athletics is significant not only because of his coaching ability, but also his fearlessness in taking on the brutal NCAA,” Reid said. “They controlled, bullied and tried to embarrass him, but he never stopped fighting until they cried uncle.”Tarkanian’s wife, Lois, said her husband fought health problems for the last six years with the same “courage and tenacity” he showed throughout his life. His death came just days after the death of another Hall of Fame coach, North Carolina’s Dean Smith.“Our hearts are broken but filled with incredible memories,” Lois Tarkanian said in a family statement. “You will be missed Tark.”Tarkanian was an innovator who preached defense yet loved to watch his teams run. And run they did, beginning with his first Final Four team in 1976-77, which scored more than 100 points in 23 games in an era before both the shot clock and the 3-point shot.He was a winner in a city built on losers, putting a small commuter school on the national sporting map and making UNLV sweatshirts a hot item around the country.His teams helped revolutionize the way the college game was played, with relentless defense forcing turnovers that were quickly converted into baskets at the other end.He recruited players other coaches often wouldn’t touch, building teams with junior college transfers and kids from checkered backgrounds.His teams at UNLV were national powerhouses almost every year, yet Tarkanian never seemed to get his due when the discussion turned to the all-time coaching greats.That changed in 2013 when Tarkanian was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, an honor his fellow coaches argued for years was long overdue.Though hospitalized in the summer for heart problems and weakened by a variety of ills, he went on stage with a walker at the induction ceremony.“I knew right from day one I wanted to be a coach,” Tarkanian said. “Coaching has been my entire life.”Tarkanian’s career spanned 31 years with three Division I schools, beginning at Long Beach State and ending at Fresno State, where Tarkanian himself played in 1954 and 1955. Only twice did his teams fail to win at least 20 games in a season.But it was at UNLV where his reputation was made, both as a coach of teams that often scored in the triple digits and as an outlaw not afraid to stand up to the powerful NCAA.He went 509-105 in 19 seasons with the Runnin’ Rebels before finally being forced out by the university after a picture was published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal showing some of his players in a hot tub with a convicted game fixer.UNLV was already on probation at the time, just two years after winning the national title and a year after the Runnin’ Rebels went undefeated into the Final Four before being upset in the semifinals by the same Duke team they beat by 30 points for the championship the year before.Even after losing four of his starters off that team and being on probation, Tarkanian went 26-2 in his final year at UNLV.His overall record is listed several different ways because the NCAA took away wins from some of his teams, but the family preferred to go with his on court record of 784-202.Tarkanian’s style evolved as he was able to recruit better players, and the Rebels were all about running and shooting. But the core of his high flying offenses was great defense, and Tarkanian drilled them constantly in practice to commit to nonstop pressure and create turnovers.“Everything had to be full speed intense,” he once said. “A lot of coaches want guys to be loose for games. I never wanted them to be loose. I wanted their hands sweating, their knees shaking, their eyes bulging. I wanted them to act like we were going to war.”That was also the way Tarkanian approached his dealings with the NCAA. His program at Long Beach State was put on probation after he left for UNLV and it wasn’t long before UNLV was also on probation and the NCAA was demanding Tarkanian be suspended for two years.But he sued to overturn the penalty and remained as head coach, though NCAA investigators became a common sight in Las Vegas over the years.The sad-eyed Tarkanian was born to Armenian immigrants Aug. 8, 1930, in Euclid, Ohio, and attended Pasadena City College before transferring to Fresno State, where he graduated in 1955.He coached high school basketball in Southern California before being hired at Riverside City College, where he spent five years before moving on to Pasadena City College.He was hired at Long Beach State in 1968 and went 23-3 in his first year, then led the school to four straight NCAA tournament appearances, including the 1971 West Regional final, where Long Beach led UCLA by 12 points at halftime only to lose by two.While at Long Beach he got into his first dispute with the NCAA, writing a newspaper column that questioned why the organization investigated Western Kentucky and not a powerful university like Kentucky.Never shy about challenging the NCAA, Tarkanian once famously said: “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky, it’s going to give Cleveland State two more years’ probation.”By the time he moved to Las Vegas in 1973, Tarkanian was considered one of the rising coaching stars in the country.He quickly built a name for what was then a small school and by his fourth season at UNLV he had the Runnin’ Rebels in the Final Four, where they lost 84-83 to North Carolina.It would be another decade before UNLV made the Final Four again, and the Runnin’ Rebels were in three in five years, including the national championship season of 1990.In the final that year, UNLV used its pressure defense to blow out Duke 103-73 in one of the most dominant performances in championship game history.It all happened with Tarkanian on his chair courtside, chewing on a moist towel that was always left carefully folded underneath his seat.The towel chewing, Tarkanian would later say, was something he started doing during long practices when he could not stop to go to a drinking fountain.After being forced out at UNLV, Tarkanian briefly coached in the NBA, going 9-11 with the San Antonio Spurs before being fired in a dispute with ownership.He would later return to Fresno State, where he had six straight 20-win seasons before finally retiring in 2002.Tarkanian was a fixture at UNLV games in his later years, watching from a sideline seat next to the court that was named after him. Tarkanian is survived by his wife and four children.___By Tim Dahlberg, AP Sports Writer. 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Mount Salem Recommended Itself – PM

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Mount Salem community in St. James “recommended itself” as a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO).Addressing a press conference at Jamaica House on Friday (Sept. 1) to announce the first ZOSO, the Prime Minister said the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) requested the operations in Mount Salem based on the trend of criminal activity in the community and its environs.According to information provided by the police, some 12 gangs are operating in the area, which has recorded 54 murders since the start of the year, 16 in the Crawford Street district alone.In 2014, there were 46 murders in the area, with the figure increasing to 70 in 2015, and 85 in 2016.“Mount Salem recommends itself when you look at the murder statistics as one variable, ” Mr. Holness said.The operations in the area, which began on September 1, will last for 60 days.Major Godfrey Sterling of the JDF and Superintendent of Police, Kirk Ricketts are jointly in charge of operations in the Mount Salem special zone.Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeny has been named Deputy Chairman of the Social Intervention Committee, which is to be established within five working days.The Prime Minister said the operations will seek to dismantle all the gangs and create a safe community.He said that the success of the operations will be determined by the reduction in murders, the return of public order, entrenchment of the community-building exercise “and a general determination that the community is now in a state where it can manage its own peace.”He noted that if the objectives are not achieved, the law provides for the extension of operations following approval by Parliament.The Prime Minister said that other zones will be declared in short order.The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures Act) provides for crime-fighting and community development initiatives in communities where a zone operates. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Mount Salem community in St. James “recommended itself” as a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO). According to information provided by the police, some 12 gangs are operating in the area, which has recorded 54 murders since the start of the year, 16 in the Crawford Street district alone. Addressing a press conference at Jamaica House on Friday (Sept. 1) to announce the first ZOSO, the Prime Minister said the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) requested the operations in Mount Salem based on the trend of criminal activity in the community and its environs. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Dieselgate sees Toyota gain in Europe

© 2018 AFP Toyota to stop selling diesel cars in Europe The Japanese company is the world’s third largest car manufacturer but it has always struggled to match that impact in Europe. But the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal that blew up at Volkswagen in 2015, heavily discrediting diesel technology, has created a new opening for Toyota, which was the first car maker to market hybrid engines two decades ago.”If there is one manufacturer that has taken advantage of ‘dieselgate’ it is Toyota,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Germany-based Centre for Automotive Research.Experts have noted that while major European manufacturers spent years betting the house on diesel as their environmentally friendly alternative, Toyota was making itself the industry leader in hybrids, which are powered by a combination of gasoline and electric generators. Other manufacturers, notably Suzuki and Kia, have long-standing commitments to hybrid, but “Toyota was the first and focused all its efforts on developing and positioning the technology as a good alternative” to diesel, said Felipe Munoz, an expert at London-based auto industry analysts Jato Dynamics. Diesel in declineToyota’s hybrid model sales in Europe jumped 45 percent last year. ‘Focus on hybrid'”We will not develop new diesel technology for passenger cars, we’ll continue to focus on hybrid” vehicles, said Johan van Zyl, president of Toyota Motor Europe.Having that focus ahead of the competition may have given Toyota an edge, but experts warn that maintaining the advantage is far from assured. Dudenhoeffer believes Toyota “is benefitting today because of its successes of the past”, not because it remains a leader in innovation.He highlighted the “48-volt light hybrid” engine that some experts say will grow in popularity by improving performance while still allowing makers to meet emissions standards. Renault and Volkswagen are already using the new technology, but Toyota is not. Longer term, experts believe the hybrid market will also continue to weaken, with 100-percent electric cars ultimately taking the lead over the next decade.Toyota is trailing its main rivals Nissan and Renault in 100-percent electric cars but has vowed to catch up through sustained investments in the emerging technology. Toyota is the world’s third largest car manufacturer Citation: ‘Dieselgate’ sees Toyota gain in Europe (2018, March 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Toyota is trailing its main rivals Nissan and Renault in 100-percent electric cars Toyota has emerged as a clear winner from the ‘dieselgate’ scandal Last year, nearly 15 percent of Toyota’s sales in Europe were from diesel vehicles, down from 30 percent in 2012.On the eve of this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Europe’s first major car show of the year, Toyota said it will stop selling diesel cars in Europe, beginning the phase-out this year. “Since last summer, we have seen people in dealerships who we’d never seen before and who always drove diesel,” said Toyota’s spokesman in France, Sebastien Grellier. Four out of every 10 Toyotas registered in Europe are hybrids, a number that rises to six out of 10 for France. A particular success has been the compact SUV—the Toyota C-HR—introduced at the end of 2016. Toyota says that 90 percent of the vehicle’s sales are hybrids. Meanwhile, as awareness grows about diesel engines spewing out nitrogen oxide and harmful particulates, diesel sales in Europe are plummeting.The market’s future has been further imperilled by plans in major cities such as Paris to ban diesel, while pro-diesel legislation across the continent is rapidly being scrapped. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An auto industry turning away from diesel and European drivers increasingly favouring hybrid cars: add it up and the result is clear—advantage Toyota. read more