Pennsylvania Expands Industrial Hemp Research Opportunities

first_img December 06, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Pennsylvania Expands Industrial Hemp Research Opportunitiescenter_img Innovation,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – After a successful inaugural year in which industrial hemp was reintroduced in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf today announced the commonwealth will significantly expand the opportunities for this promising agricultural crop in 2018. From fewer than 50 total acres in 2017, next season’s crop could cover 5,000 acres or more.For 2018, the commonwealth will permit up to 50 individual growers or institutions of higher education to grow up to 100 acres apiece. Institutions of higher education also may partner with individual growers to produce larger quantities of hemp. Last year, the department limited the number of growers to 30, each of whom could grow no more than five acres.“Hemp had a long history in Pennsylvania until it disappeared from the landscape half-a-century ago, but now, I’m excited that we’ve brought it back and we’re creating new agricultural opportunities in the process,” said Governor Wolf. “Last year was a learning experience for growers and the Department of Agriculture alike, but even with the small-scale research pilot projects of 2017, it was clear there is a tremendous enthusiasm among growers. Our expanded program is designed to capitalize on this interest in 2018.”The 2014 federal Farm Bill paved the way for Governor Wolf to sign Pennsylvania’s Industrial Hemp Research Act (Act 92) into law on July 20, 2016, which allows researchers from institutions of higher education and individual growers contracting with the state Department of Agriculture to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.“The 2017 growing season was incredibly informative for us,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “We learned about the challenges of sourcing seed, controlling weeds, harvesting, and finding markets. Each of last year’s 14 projects taught us something valuable and we’re pleased that every one of those project leaders are likely to reapply next year. We expect to see the full potential of this industry in 2018.”For thousands of years, industrial hemp was grown to produce fiber, food and seed; more recent uses include biofuel and materials to replace fossil-fuel-based plastics. However, when marijuana, a different variety of Cannabis sativa, was federally outlawed in 1937, industrial hemp also was prohibited even though it did not produce levels of the chemical delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) sufficient to provide any psychoactive effect. Under state and federal law, THC levels must not exceed concentrations greater than 0.3 percent.Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act, passed in April 2016 and regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, requires that cannabis for medical use be grown at a permitted growing facility. Medical marijuana must meet strict requirements for purity and specific chemical concentrations.Aspiring hemp growers should review the new parameter document to understand the permitting process, then complete and return the 2018 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program permit application and application fee before the January 19, 2018 deadline. Permit applications and additional information is available on the Department of Agriculture website.Growers who participated in the 2017 pilot research program may opt to renew their permits to continue an existing project from the previous season, or they may submit a new project. All applications to participate in the 2018 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program must be received by 4:00 PM on January 19, 2018.Research projects might explore a range of topics including planting methods, such as seed variety trials, fiber or seed yields, optimum fertility levels, pest management; harvesting techniques or product marketing options; or conservation, remediation or biofuel.The permitting process will outline reporting requirements and restrictions related to THC levels, plant management, transportation, branding, and other legal responsibilities.last_img read more

Angels 2018 spring training primer: Catchers

first_imgMOVES THEY COULD MAKEDealing Perez seems to be the most logical catching move for the Angels between now and opening day. The other transaction the Angels might consider is an extension for Maldonado, who is a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. The Angels love Maldonado, and would probably like to keep him beyond 2018, but long-term deals for catchers are tough, so it could come down to how many years Maldonado, 31, would be seeking. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As the Angels head toward the first workout of spring training on Feb. 14, we are providing a breakdown of how they stand with their roster. This is the final installment, following looks at the rotation, the bullpen, the infield and the outfield. Players acquired this winter include the method of their acquisition in parentheses. This week, the catchers:2017 RECAPThe Angels went into camp a year ago hoping that Martin Maldonado would earn the bulk of the catching duties, and he more than delivered. Maldonado was so good defensively, and he hit so well in the first half, that the Angels had him catch a major league-high 137 games. He won a Gold Glove, unseating four-time champion Sal Perez. The workload, however, clearly had an impact on Maldonado’s offense. After posting a .725 OPS in the first half, he dropped to .539 in the second half. Juan Graterol beat out Carlos Perez for the backup job, largely because of his defense, but he hit .202 with a .457 OPS, leading the Angels to look for an upgrade at that spot.HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWThe Angels once again figure to have Maldonado do the bulk of the catching. Manager Mike Scioscia, a former catcher, suggested that simply having gone through one season with so many games will help prepare Maldonado to stay stronger down the stretch if the Angels ask him to catch a similar number of games in 2018. However, they also took out an insurance policy, adding veteran Rene Rivera (free agent). Rivera, 34, is Maldonado Lite, an outstanding defensive catcher with a powerful arm. Offensively, he has a career .620 OPS, but last year he posted a .736 mark, splitting his season between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs. If he can produce at a similar level in 2018, providing enough days off that Maldonado can perform all year the way he did in the first half of 2017, the Angels would be thrilled with the duo.THE NEXT LAYERGraterol and Perez are back, but neither figures to have a spot in the majors unless Maldonado or Rivera get hurt. In Perez’s case, that’s tricky because he’s out of options. Coming off a season in which he had a .925 OPS at Triple-A, Perez seems unlikely to clear waivers to stay in the minors with the Angels. He could be a trade candidate during the spring. Graterol has options. After those two, the Angels have Taylor Ward, their top pick in the 2015 draft. He is likely to start the season at Double-A, and he could be in the majors in September.last_img read more

The Real Problem with Education

first_imgEducation is back in the headlines, marred by the Ebola-sized interruption, and by government’s hasty missteps to fill the classrooms after a long, unproductive year. But the Ebola effect is just the tip of a massive iceberg. At the base of this iceberg are thousands of ghost faculty members, in whose names bank accounts are being filled with thousands of taxpayer dollars. Further up the food chain are middle managers at the Ministry of Education who remain lost on the true number of Government teachers, and who don’t care to know, as long as they get their paychecks at month’s end. At the top is a succession of PhDs and Master’s degree holders who could not seem to handle this mess of a sector, even if they wanted to. As with the Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage, it only takes the tip of an iceberg to sink a ship. That is exactly what Ebola did – to our education system, our health system, and the economy as a whole. But the fact is, disasters happen. The key is employing the right strategies to rebuild. The trouble is, our President seems indisposed to make any real headway in the sector. Whether to fill her quota of political appointments; or to avoid protests by angry students or parents; the President has, time and again, compromised the quality of Liberia’s education system. Take, for example, the decision to reopen schools, while Liberia had not yet been declared Ebola Free. While this decision put students and teachers at high risk of encountering another outbreak, angry parents, anxious to salvage what was left of the 2014 academic year, won the fight to reopen schools. And reopen they did… for a few months. Now the same parents are indignant at having to pay full tuition twice this school year.Another example: students rioting at the University of Liberia. The Brownell saga made it clear that Liberia’s flagship university needs to overhaul its admissions process, and scale down student intake to accept only the emotionally and intellectually qualified. As it stands, though, UL is a breeding ground for many a two-dimensional sycophant who talks big, knows little, and fans around Senators calling, “Chief, chief!” Still another example: two successive Nimbaian Ministers with PhDs, hired to be sitting ducks floating easily over the filthy pond that is the education sector. We embrace their tribe, but sadly, it should not have been a criterion for their appointment. And another: the usual story that keeps Liberia in the chokehold of corruption: personnel who refuse to name and shame those who exploit the system.Let’s not forget the occasional protests over salaries by teachers who barely speak enough English to justify their employment. How does the government respond? By paying them… after a payroll cleanup exercise that only massages a problem that requires sandpaper. On the flip side, the new Minister, swelling from his success at the small Civil Service Agency, seems overly confident in his ability to turn the system “from mess to best.” He may impress some with this goal, but we are amused. Firstly, he has only two years to work this miracle – if he lasts that long. Secondly, he is already making all the wrong enemies by snubbing his first budget hearing, and playing hardball with the legislature and students, when he has not yet built the political capital to do so. This is a recipefor disaster. Our only question to him is this: if Mary Broh could not win, what makes you think you can?Evidently, the real problem with Liberia’s education system rests in the politics. Our President, Education Ministers and the personnel further down the chain all fall on the two extremes of the political spectrum: on one side, you have those who cower in the face of public dissent; on the other end are those who have courage but lack wisdom or political acumen.To restore balance to our education system, the leadership in the sector must grow a spine and make the tough decisions; kill their egos and develop partnerships that lead to positive results; stop lamenting about textbooks, just shut up and get the job done, because our future depends on it. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgNatasha on tonight’s showMiss Donegal Natasha McFadden has landed herself a brand new car in tonight’s edition of the hit RTE show Winning Streak.The Newtowncunningham woman also bagged €8,000 in cash.Nastaha had been hoping to get some money towards a deposit on a new house…and ended up with a Toyota Yaris worth €15,000. And she was so unlucky on the show as she hoped to Spin The Wheel for a chance to win €500,000.Her No1 ball popped up twice….but she didn’t manage to pick wheels with her first two chances.Natasha has just started work as a restaurant manager in Letterkenny was joined on the show by 24 family and friends.Lucky boyfriend Chris Coyle has been promised something special out of the winnings. Meanwhile criminal Edward Hutch (39) who has 189 convictions for a range of offences, including theft and motoring offences won €33,000 on the show.Edward’s brother Ross played the gameshow in his place, and he won a car worth €25,000, and €8,000 in cash. MISS DONEGAL NATASHA WINS CAR AND CASH ON WINNING STREAK was last modified: September 20th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalNatasha McFaddenWinning Streaklast_img read more