O.C. Fishing Club Hosts Boys and Girls Surf Fishing Tournament

first_imgThunder and lightning didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of 84 kids who participated in the Ocean City Fishing Club’s 43rd annual Boys and Girls Surf Fishing Tournament Saturday morning.The two-hour event was curtailed after just a little more than hour of fishing, when the first thunder claps sounded and radar indicated lightning strikes just two miles away. “Everyone cooperated when we had to call a stop to the event because of the storm coming,” said Ed Hoban, the fishing club’s chairman of the event.The tournament was held on the beach near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge. “It’s safety first,” Hoban said. “You have to do the smart thing. No sense putting anyone in harm’s way.” Up until that time, the children were excited about winning prizes donated by local merchants and organizations. Top prizes included new bikes, trophies and ribbons.Danielle Audet, 10, of Lumberton, led the girls division, and Justin Lowery, 11, of Woodstown, represented the boys division, each catching the largest fish. Both caught summer flounder. Danielle’s fish measured 16.25 inches, while Justin’s fish was 15.5 inches. “It was very exciting to catch such a big fish,” Danielle said. “I felt it was there on my line and then I thought I might lose it.”  All of the boys and girls who fished in the tournament received prizes, ranging from backpacks and magnets to gift cards and food certificates. The first, second and third place winners who caught the most fish in each age category took home a rod and reel, along with place ribbons. Despite thunderstorms that cut short the tournament, kids still went away with some catches and ribbons. (Courtesy Ocean City Fishing Club)First, second and third place winners in the 8-10 age group were Luke Whitworth, Kyle Markley and Julia Roman. Whitworth and Roman also were overall winners of the most fish caught by a boy and a girl, with Luke landing eight bluefish and Julia catching two fluke. In the 11-13 age group, Justin Lowery took top hook, followed by Finn Seeger and Jack Reiscke. With just two winners in the 14-16 age category, Adam Madkour came in first followed by Andrew Mattia. Andrew Mattia, 14, of Furlong, Pa., said he’s participated in the tournament a couple of times and credited his grandfather with teaching him how to fish in salt water. He caught a six-inch kingfish during the tournament.In all, the kids caught 32 fish, many of which were small bluefish, some fluke, and a smattering of other species, including sea robin. Courtney Stimson, 13, of Monroeville, has participated in the tournament for three years. She reeled in the first fish, which was a 9.25-inch kingfish. “I didn’t think I had anything on my line at first,” she said excitedly. “But I just kept reeling in and there it was.” Fishing club volunteers had the children’s parents or guardians sign waivers for insurance purposes and register the boys and girls. Club members also manned the beach with measuring devices to record sizes of the fish the youngsters caught.“It’s the first year we had waivers to sign,” said Frank Pizzutilla, Ocean City Fishing Club president. “It’s a smart thing to do and I want to thank everyone for understanding and cooperating.”In addition to measuring fish, volunteers also helped the younger anglers cast and gave fishing advice to those who were novices. The fishing tournament was held in cooperation with the Ocean City Department of Recreation.Fishing is good at the Ocean City Fishing Club Boys and Girls Surf Fishing Tournament. (Courtesy Ocean City Fishing Club) Kids had some great catches at the 2018 Ocean City Fishing Club’s Boys and Girls Surf Fishing Tournament. (Courtesy Ocean City Fishing Club)last_img read more

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Caribbean specialist chips in

first_imgEnco Products is launching its first mainstream snacking range. The new range consists of green banana chips, plantain chips and sweet plantain chips, and will be available in 85g bags.Enco, a division of Grace Foods UK, is a market leader in the UK’s Caribbean food and drink market, and is launching the snacks as an alternative to traditional savoury snacks.”The new, exotic range will enable people to experience a tasty, new snacking experience,” said George Phillips, Enco Products’ commercial director. “It will also provide retailers with an incremental profit opportunity by providing a major point of interest on-shelf.”The range is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians. It is available packed in outers of 12.RRP: 79p[http://www.gracefoods.co.uk]last_img

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News story: Post-Monarch review finds too many passengers flying unprotected

first_imgToo many air passengers are flying without adequate protection against the insolvency of their airline, a government-commissioned review has reported.The review found passengers must have clarity and confidence about the risks of airline insolvency and how they are protected when they travel.The current protection landscape does not give passengers enough support, is often confusing, and can lead to some passengers paying twice for the same protection while others, whether they know it or not, go unprotected.The Airline Insolvency Review was established by the Department for Transport following the collapse of Monarch in 2017, and has today (12 July 2018) published its interim report.Peter Bucks, Chair of the Airline Insolvency Review, said: The publication of the interim report follows extensive consultation, including 2 public evidence sessions held in London and Manchester.This has allowed the review team to discuss issues raised in the responses to the call for evidence, as well as offering those with an interest the opportunity to speak directly to the chair and review team. It represents a progress report on its analysis to date and sets out the programme of work it intends to undertake to inform its final recommendations.Recommendations will be developed as part of the final report, due to be published at the end of the year.Information on the availability of alternative capacityThe review looked at the capacity available on the world’s busiest route, London–New York. It found that for some airlines with high market share, even on this route, using existing alternative capacity would not be sufficient to enable all passengers to complete their journeys without significant delay. The analysis found that in the case of British Airways, there would be nearly four passengers chasing each available alternative seat.Even looking beyond routes between New York and London and including all major US hubs and all UK airports, there would still be at least 2 passengers for each available alternative seat. The review concluded that sufficient capacity was only therefore likely to exist for all airlines if European hubs were used and passengers undertook journeys with multiple legs.The review’s analysis also showed that the position is likely to be worse for short haul holiday flying, where highly seasonal, mainly outbound routes are common and lead to very low availability of alternative capacity.The review estimates the availability of charter aircraft to repeat a Monarch style operation, to be currently limited to around 60 aircraft outside the peak season. It is therefore not sufficient to deal with the larger airlines operating to and from the UK.Information on the risk of insolvencyThe review assessed the insolvency risk of the top 17 UK airlines that account for over 80% of the UK’s air passengers. The average risk of any one insolvency is around 25% in any one year. For the 11 airlines with publically available credit ratings the average probability rises from 6% this year to 13% in 15 years’ time.On average an airline insolvency would impact 500,000 passengers in 2018 to nearly 900,000 in 15 years’ time.This analysis is based on the average risks of companies with those credit ratings across all sectors. The risk in the aviation sector may be larger or smaller. For example, this analysis does not take into account the possibility that more airlines may cease trading through mergers and acquisitions than is the case across other sectors and hence avoid insolvency.Datasets for airline insolvencies amongst operators to and from the UK are very limited and single insolvency events would have undue significance in any analysis. For these reasons aviation specific insolvency data have not been used to generate this risk analysis. The review will be sensitivity testing these results against other metrics in the future. Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Air travel clearly brings huge benefits, connecting people from all over the world, but when an airline goes out of business, it can affect large numbers of people who can often look to their government and the taxpayer to assist them in their hour of need. Too many do not have protection of their own, too often requiring the taxpayer to step in. Even though airline insolvencies are relatively rare, we need to be prepared to deal with the consequences for passengers when one occurs. Ensuring all passengers can get home requires organisation, funding and in many cases more than simply rebooking onto other flights. The interim report is a key milestone in the Airline Insolvency Review, giving the opportunity to reflect on the views we have heard to date and setting out our initial conclusions. In the next phase of our work, we will continue to engage openly with interested parties as we develop concrete proposals to address these complex issues. Switchboard 0300 330 3000 Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Findings of the review so far have shown that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to repatriating passengers in the aftermath of an airline failure — the best approach will depend on the airline and circumstances of the failure.In the event of an airline insolvency, the review has identified that the most effective option is to keep the fleet of an insolvent airline flying. However, this is not without considerable challenges, risk and expense.Therefore it is necessary to ensure a range of options are available, including using existing alternative capacity where possible and chartering additional aircraft. This approach will be described in more detail in the final report.Other findings of the interim report include: the risk of an airline insolvency is significant and if it were to happen, could affect large numbers of people, as was seen in the cases of Monarch and Air Berlin current protection measures — such as travel insurance, credit cards, ATOL protection — often overlap, meaning that some passengers have paid for protection twice and others have no protection at all there are limits to the numbers of passengers that can be handled by existing capacity and Monarch-style charter operations — this means that larger UK airlines would need to be kept flying in administration to ensure passengers are able to make swift returns home and avoid long delays repatriating passengers is likely to require additional sources of funding than are currently available, if the burden is not to fall to the taxpayer — the review is exploring how these additional funds could be made available the review will look at the role that awareness-raising among passengers can play, but is sceptical it will deliver a solution to protect the taxpayer fully from the risk of intervention in larger airlines’ failures Aviation, Europe and technology media enquirieslast_img read more

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Press release: International summit to crack down on sexual predators in the aid sector

first_img Email [email protected] Announcements to include new Interpol pilot in Asia and Africa to stop predators using the aid sector as a cover to harm vulnerable people This is a pivotal moment. The entire international aid community is in one place, as it looks to change for the better the way the aid sector works. Our message to sexual predators using the sector as a cover for their crimes is ‘Your time is up’. This summit will consolidate the work we have done to date to tackle exploitation and abuse and we will be announcing concrete practical actions and new law enforcement tools, which will bring about significant changes. We are demanding tough commitments from donors, NGOs and other aid organisations. We are not complacent. We realise there is much work still to do, but this a moment to say: ‘No more’. We have to give the people that we are here to help the protection that they need. General media queries (24 hours) At the summit Ms Mordaunt will announce that DFID and Interpol are launching a pilot to help stop sexual predators from being able to move between aid organisations without being caught.In addition, the UK will support NGOs, particularly small organisations, to strengthen their systems and processes via a new platform, which will include access to specialist investigators.The UK is supporting NGOs to test a new passport for aid workers to prove an individual’s identity, provide background information and vetting status. This will make it easier for employers to gather up to date information on applicants.DFID will also support the UN Victims’ Rights Advocate to establish a Victims Statement of Rights. This will provide clear, guidance to organisations on how to put victims and survivors first and improve support.Ms Mordaunt will announce the new Interpol project, named Operation Soteria after the Greek goddess of safety, will include deploying teams of specialists to two regional hubs in Africa and Asia to strengthen criminal record checks and information sharing between all 192 members, including high risk countries, and help ensure a more robust law enforcement response against individuals.Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said: The pilot will be led by Interpol, ACRO Criminal Records Office and Save the Children who are coordinating NGO’s participating in the project. This is a five-year project with an initial one-year phase focused on testing the online platform, which will build on existing Interpol systems. This is a £10 million project, in which the UK has taken a leading role. It will commit £2 million, subject to approvals for the inception phase. For more information on the previous safeguarding summit in March visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/safeguarding-summit-statements-by-the-international-development-secretary-and-dfids-permanent-secretary Telephone 020 7023 0600center_img A critical part of Interpol’s mission is to protect the most vulnerable members of society from the most dangerous. This is all the more important when sexual predators attempt to exploit the very people – be it men, women or children – they are supposed to be safeguarding from harm. International donors, who collectively provide over 90 per cent of global official aid, the UN, international financial institutions and a range of UK-based organisations (NGOs, contractors, research organisations and CDC, the UK’s development finance institution) will make concrete commitments at the summit.The summit follows an event in March co-hosted by DFID and the Charity Commission where Ms Mordaunt challenged UK-based international development charities, regulatory bodies and independent experts to drive up standards to ensure the aid sector protects the people it serves. As part of this, DFID put in place new, enhanced safeguarding standards for the organisations the department works with. Today’s event will focus on the international community.Notes to editors: Safeguarding Summit 2018: Are you listening?Free-to-use photographs from this event are available to download hereInternational Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will call on the global aid community to take action today, saying “enough is enough”, as the Department for International Development (DFID) and the international aid sector clamps down on sexual predators abusing the most vulnerable people around the world.Speaking ahead of the International Safeguarding Summit in London today (Thursday 18 October) Ms Mordaunt said: Summit’s theme to be “Putting People First” – with the focus on preventing abuse and improving support for victims and survivors If you have an urgent media query, please email the DFID Media Team on [email protected] in the first instance and we will respond as soon as possible.last_img read more

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News story: Overspeed at Sandy South Junction

first_img factors influencing the actions of the driver the rules and procedures applicable to the application, implementation and advanced communication of speed restrictions, including the ways in which train drivers are made aware of the existence of emergency speed restrictions any relevant underlying management factors This item has been moved to the National Archives as RAIB has published its report describing this incident. See report 10/2019.,At around 14:32 hrs on 19 October 2018, an LNER service from Aberdeen to London’s King’s Cross passed through an emergency speed restriction of 20 mph at approximately 120 mph (193 km/h).The emergency speed restriction had been applied at around 13:50 hrs on the previous day because track maintenance staff had found a defect (a crack) in a crossing, part of a set of points. Marker boards and associated automatic warning system (AWS) magnets were in place to provide warning of the emergency speed restriction and denote where the restriction commenced and terminated. The driver of the train had not received any notification of the existence of the emergency speed restriction prior to the journey.No injuries were caused and no damage was recorded to the train, which continued to London King’s Cross.Our investigation will establish the sequence of events. It will also consider: Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.We will publish our findings, including any safety recommendations, at the conclusion of our investigation; these will be available on our RAIB website.You can subscribe to automated emails notifying you when we publish our reports.last_img read more

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Mono introduces new deck loader

first_imgMono has unveiled an Integrated Deck Loader designed to take the strain out of manually loading each oven deck. The new equipment is “ideal for artisan bakers”, according to the company, as it is designed to load products directly onto the oven sole, reducing manual handling of the dough. This alleviates undue stress on the final product and helps to ensure even heat distribution, which Mono said is perfect for traditional oven-bottom bread.The loader also reduces the risk of bakers burning themselves on hot oven components, according to the supplier, which added that the loader can increase productivity, save time between bakes and reduce energy from heat loss during door-open times on loading.Earlier this month Mono launched a new oven range, following consultation with bakeries.last_img read more

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Watch Bob Weir’s Pristine New Live Video Of Solo Acoustic “Blue Mountain”

first_imgGrateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir recently released his first complete batch of solo songs in over 30 years, and has been celebrating his new album with a countrywide tour. Titled Blue Mountain, the album sees Weir pick up the acoustic guitar and hone in on his cowboy roots. The music is stripped down, feeling comfortable in the well worn pages of Americana.Before Weir embarked on his tour, or even released the new albun, the guitarist held an intimate performance at the McKittrick Hotel in New York, NY. As Weir returns to the Big Apple tonight, he’s shared a brand new video from that intimate celebration of Blue Mountain.In the new clip, Weir takes on the title track, performing a solo acoustic rendition of the beautiful song. Watch him below.Weir is set to perform two nights at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY beginning tonight, October 14th. Enjoy!last_img read more

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Innovative clusters

first_imgA few visitors got a first glimpse of how Old Quincy House will look after the completion of the renewal process next year, thanks to a tour of a full-scale mockup of the soon-to-be-renovated accommodations. The model, constructed at One Western Ave. by Harvard Planning and Project Management (HPPM), showcases improvements and upgrades to rooms on a typical Old Quincy corridor.“The mockup is an example of a modernized, upgraded space that faithfully preserves the historic character of Old Quincy House,” said Dean Michael D. Smith of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). “It allows us to test designs and configurations before we move into construction late this spring. Just as the test project is designed to inform a future House renewal effort, the model is designed to inform the test project, and it seems we have a combination of elements that really excites people.”“The general approach is to keep as much of the old building material as possible, if it’s still serviceable and if it will last,” said Mark Johnson (left), Harvard’s vice president for capital planning and project management. Johnson was joined by Steve Needham, HPPM’s senior director of project management, during the tour.The mockup — which consists of a bathroom, a common room, and two bedrooms — represents a cluster community, one of the project’s key components. Although half of the rooms in Old Quincy will continue to be suites of bedrooms and a common room, the rest will come in clusters, featuring a common room shared by 10 to 16 students, who live in single or double bedrooms. Students in the suites and clusters will share hall baths. A small number of the suites will be two-story duplexes with baths.  The primary hall bath configuration will consist of two toilets, two showers, and two sinks in stalls with a high level of privacy that will be shared by 8 to 10 students. Single unisex baths will also be provided for additional privacy and convenience.Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds said that the new configuration will enable significant improvements in residential life.Two model bedrooms were also featured, both a single and a double (pictured). The renovation maximizes the number of singles available to residents.“The Old Quincy test project is the result of a long conversation with students and faculty about how to renew the House,” Hammonds said. “The cluster arrangement will allow us to eliminate walk-throughs, maximize the number of single rooms, and transform the lower level into common space, all of which will boost quality of life for the House’s undergraduate residents.”Enhanced tutor communities, an important element in Old Quincy’s renewal not included in the mockup, will provide additional cohesion to the clusters. Each tutor will have a similar number of students and live in an apartment that is physically central to his or her  community. Each will have a common room with a fireplace that is a visual center for his or her group.“Tutors reinforce the values and strengths of House life,” Hammonds said. “The test project will improve the clarity and boundaries of their communities, which are a critical component of the learning experience at the College.”Steve Needham, HPPM’s senior director of project management, and Merle Bicknell, assistant dean for FAS physical resources, began their tour in a cluster bathroom. The space included two showers, two sinks, and two toilets with stall doors that ran nearly from floor to ceiling to maximize privacy. The room also sported cubbies for residents’ toiletries.“The cubbies are actually a request of students who participated in the feedback committee we convened,” Bicknell explained. “They won’t be locked, but will give the students a chance to leave their things here. That way, they don’t have to carry wet or soapy items back to their rooms, or leave them lying around the common bathroom space.”The bathrooms include cubbies for toiletries, which was a request made by students.Next door was a model of a cluster common room with large, comfortable chairs and an ornamental fireplace. When the test project is complete, wireless Internet access will flow through the space, and flat-screen TVs will be mounted above mantelpieces, wired for easy connection with students’ Xboxes and PlayStations. Architect Steve Kieran said that these rooms will be the hubs of smaller communities throughout the House.“Each cluster is centered on a shared commons with a fireplace, wall-mounted television, and comfortable lounge furnishings,” Kieran said. “There will be artwork and other things that represent the cluster both here and in the halls.”Just down from the common space were two model bedrooms, a single and a double. Both included sturdy oak dressers, desks, and beds. The single was compact, but not cramped. With both beds on the floor, the double still felt roomy and, with the beds bunked, would be positively spacious. Best of all, Needham said, the rooms’ size and configurations would maximize the number of singles available to residents.“All the seniors and half the juniors will have the opportunity for a single, if they choose,” he said.Sustainability is prominent in the renewal plan, which aims for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The entire building envelope will be insulated, and the windows replaced to increase conservation and comfort. Mark Johnson, Harvard’s vice president for capital planning and project management, said that the Old Quincy Renewal will also emphasize recycling and reuse. Wood floors will be re-sanded and refinished, rather than replaced. Doors will be resized to fit new entrances. Even the rain that falls on Old Quincy will be captured and used to supply wastewater.“The general approach is to keep as much of the old building material as possible, if it’s still serviceable and if it will last,” said Johnson. “The most sustainable option is always to use existing materials. To the extent that we use new materials, they will be subject to rigorous sustainability review.”Needham said that the improvements to Old Quincy are also sustainable in a different way: They are designed to last. The bathroom finishes and other renovations should be good for 50 to 75 years and should serve generations of students well.“Over time, you’ll change things like the fixtures, faucets, etc.,” Needham said. “But I think that the materials we’ve chosen are very durable. They’re easy to maintain and should stand up to undergraduate use.”Quincy House Co-Masters Lee and Deborah Gehrke came away from the tour feeling excited about the impending renewal project. Although they were impressed with the updates and improvements, they were most pleased that the model still felt like home.“The renewed space had the unmistakable look and feel of Old Quincy,” said Lee Gehrke. “It was very reassuring, and increased our excitement about the project.  We’re looking forward to the ground-breaking ceremony in May!”last_img read more

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Better Together ND aims to foster religious dialogue, community

first_imgWhile Notre Dame is a Catholic university, the students and community members that make up the Notre Dame community are not all of one faith or background. Better Together ND, a leadership program sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns (CSC), aims to foster conversations between people of different religious and humanistic beliefs through workshops and events. “It’s [a] leadership program that trains and prepares students for an environment containing people with multiple intersectionalities,” sophomore and student leader for Better Together ND Meenu Selvan said. “It’s a series of workshops that teaches students how to interact with other leaders from different backgrounds to unite in solidarity for a common cause and to organize.”Director of leadership formation for the CSC Melissa Marley Bonnichsen said the groups are made up of undergraduate and graduate students who meet up to discuss their different life experiences and how they have impacted their beliefs — religious or otherwise. “The groups are open to anyone who [welcomes] interfaith dialogue and collaboration including students who come from any religious experience or non-religious experiences and or who identify as atheist, agnostic or secular humanist,” Marley Bonnichsen said in an email.Senior and student leader Heather DiLallo said the only requirement is the willingness to have a conversation with people who may have vastly different beliefs than what one is used to.“All we ask is that every student has ears to hear what others have to say and respect for the dignity of each person, no matter how different they are from you,” DiLallo said in an email.  Photo courtesy of Melissa Marley Bi Members of Better Together ND gathered for a winter celebration dinner in November. The club has its first spring meeting Thursday.Selvan said she decided to become involved with Better Together ND because she currently serves as the director of faith and service for student government and wanted to improve her ability to work with people who have different beliefs. “I wanted to be equipped with the skills to collaborate with leaders who [represent] individuals with specific faith-based identities,” Selvan said in an email. “I wanted to transform Student Government’s space intended for faith to be more inclusive of interfaith work. Better Together ND has provided me [with] the skills, resources and platform to accomplish this.”Marley Bonnichsen said that amid a divisive political climate in the United States, it is important to focus on what brings us together. “We must be able to get to know people who are different from us, who may agree and disagree and have different lives in order to understand our shared and partnered future together,” she said. “It is in this place that I believe that we can then strive together for the common good regardless of our background or story, race, ethnicity, religion or political alignment … But mutual respect and understanding are necessary and critical first steps in the process if we are to go far together.”Senior and student leader for Better Together ND Isabel Weber said the initiative can help to demonstrate that there are lots of different ways to be religious — or even to simply care about the world at large.“Reaching out to different world view communities helps us create lasting solutions that foster unity rather than division,” Weber said in an email. “I also think Better Together will help people see that faith is not so homogenous here as people might think. Even within Catholicism, there is a wide diversity of faith practices, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to help others.”Weber said one of the reasons she decided to get involved with Better Together ND was because her parents are an interreligious couple and she grew up celebrating both the Catholic and Jewish faiths.“I know firsthand how much goodness and love can come from interfaith dialogue,” Weber said in an email. “My parents have so much more that unifies them than makes them different, and I firmly believe that holds true for all humans of all belief systems.”DiLallo said she is part of a minority faith tradition at Notre Dame and that during her time at the University she has learned extensively about Catholicism, but not much about other faiths or beliefs. This, she said, fuels her belief that Better Together ND is an important initiative at Notre Dame today. “This is a great way to start dialogue and help people who may have never deeply interacted with someone outside their own faith background to really learn and grow,” DiLallo said. Marley Bonnichsen said the ultimate objective of Better Together ND has been to facilitate conversations between people of different beliefs, faiths and backgrounds. “This goal highlights the importance of relationships and my hope is that the participants will remember this each time they engage in a larger conversation or debate about what’s happening in our world, that they’ll remember it when they vote, that they will remember it when there is conflict around them and when it seems so hard to understand the others’ point of view,” Bonnichsen said. Better Together ND will be hosting its spring launch meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Coffeehouse. Tags: better together ND, Catholicism, Center for Social Concerns, interreligious dialogue, religionlast_img read more

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Farmland conservation

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia citizens like to see fertile farmland and crops near urban areas and are willing to pay to preserve them, according to a University of Georgia survey.“The loss of farmland to urban and related development is an issue of considerable interest in Georgia, especially in rapidly urbanizing counties,” says John Bergstrom, an economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Bergstrom is collecting and analyzing Georgia data from a survey that asked citizens what farmland they value and how much they’d pay to help preserve it through the purchase of agricultural conservation (or PACE) programs. The survey was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Similar surveys were conducted in Ohio and Maine.PACEPACE programs are used to secure farm conservation easements. These easements are agreements between landowners and government agencies or private land trusts to place legal restrictions on the development of agricultural land in return for money to the landowner.Most Georgians in the survey believe the protection of farmland is consistent and compatible to environmental protection and that the family farm should be preserved in Georgia. But they prefer to protect farmland near urban areas. And they want that farmland to look fertile and be used to grow livestock and crops for human consumption.Protection moneyAnd they’d be willing to pay a one-time tax, possibly as a checkoff on state tax returns, to protect this land. According to the survey, Georgians would be willing to contribute $62 per household to preserve 100,000 acres or $81 to preserve as much as 2 million acres.Most survey participants also believe farmers aren’t wealthy.The survey was mailed to 1,000 randomly selected households in Georgia. The response rate was just over 25 percent. Bergstrom said this was a lower response rate than he had anticipated, but high enough to justify the findings.PACE programs can be financed by public and private money. But funds, he said, can be limited. He said this survey can help those administering such programs gauge what farmland citizens want to preserve.Bergstrom is completing a paper about the survey.In 2003, Georgia had about 10.8 million acres of farmland and about 49,000 farms, according to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service. In 1954, Georgia had about 24 million acres of farmland and about 165,000 farms.How much a landowner is given per acre to preserve land varies, Bergstrom said. But last month the Athens Land Trust, a private organization, secured $500,000 to buy a conservation easement for 63 acres of farmland in Oconee County, Ga. The funds came from the USDA and the Georgia Greenspace Program. This was the first time Greenspace funds were used to buy such an easement in Georgia.last_img read more

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