Volume XXVIII Number 1 Page 6 By Faith Peppers University of Georgia Gardening can be an expensive hobby. But, it doesn’t have to be. You can have beautiful flower gardens or bountiful vegetable gardens without spending a fortune.”One of the biggest costs to gardeners is pesticides,” said Marco Fonseca, the Master Gardener coordinator for the University of Georgia Extension Service, in Griffin, Ga. “You can cut those costs by buying high-quality plants.”Timing trickThe trick to getting good plants is timing.”Most garden centers put out fresh, new plants on Thursday and Friday,” Fonseca said. “Saturday’s high traffic can leave plants trampled and mishandled.”On Monday, plants can be damaged and mislabeled from the busy weekend gardeners. “Monday is not a good day to buy vegetables,” he said.Seedy decisionSave money on seedling plants for vegetables that have large seeds, too. “Never buy plants that have large seeds like cucumbers, squash, melons, corn or beans,” Fonseca said.”Some people feel like you’re buying time by buying seedlings,” he said. “But you aren’t, because these seeds will germinate and grow at about the same rate as the seedlings.”Problems are more likely to arise with transplants than seeds, too, he said.”In most cases, those plants don’t grow very well until the soil temperature is around 65 or 75 degrees,” he said. “That’s when the seeds will germinate anyway. So just plant seeds for these vegetables.”Start with fresh seedsSome gardeners swear by saving seeds from year to year to shave cents off the price of gardening. Fonseca says it may be more trouble than it’s worth.”I don’t think it’s worth saving seed from one year to the next,” he said. “Seeds are probably the (smallest) expense in the garden. Plus, companies change cultivars all the time. They grow and harvest seeds from all over the United States and the world, and they also have very modern, temperature-controlled storage.”Saving seeds on your own requires growing the plants to seed, collecting the seeds and then properly drying and storing them for next season. That’s not so easy under uncontrolled conditions.Fertilizer costsAnother big expense in the garden is fertilizer. Two things can help you cut these costs: compost and soil tests.Home compost bins can help you improve the condition of your soil and add nutrients back into the soil. All you need are a few supplies to build the bin and plenty of grass clippings, leaves and food scraps to make compost.Many gardeners waste money on fertilizer by using too much or the wrong type. A simple soil test can help you find out precisely what your soil needs so you don’t overfertilize.”The most economical way to fertilize your garden is by using slow-release fertilizer based on the recommendation for your soil analysis,” Fonseca said.Precious waterOne of the most precious garden expenditures, besides sweat, is water. While the drought is all but over in Georgia and many areas have eased watering restrictions, it’s still a good idea to conserve.”Water only when needed,” Fonseca said. “Often just once a week is more than sufficient.”He also recommends installing low-cost soil meters (tensiometers) to let you know when and how much to water.To get more information on gardening to conserve water or Xeriscaping (water-wise planting), or to get a soil test kit, contact your county UGA Extension office.(Faith Peppers is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
The University of Maine and the University of Vermont are joining forces this fall to offer a research-based online weight management course that helps college students develop healthy eating and exercise habits.”Vtrim Online” is a one-credit, semester-long course based on clinical research by Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., a nationally recognized obesity researcher at the University of Vermont. Her concept is based on behavior changes: a systematic shaping of daily habits to help people move more and eat less.”There is a groundswell nationwide for universities to provide preventative health programming to students,” says Harvey-Berino. “It’s an ideal time in their lives to learn healthy eating behaviors for long-term health and earn college credit, too.”Vtrim arms students with the tactics and knowledge to sustainably combat weight gain through behavior modification — altering reactions to emotional and environmental stimuli through reinforcement of a new behavior, or a reduction in unhealthy behaviors. The University of Vermont has offered Vtrim since 2009.The entire program takes place online. Students are guided by a trained instructor, with whom they meet online weekly for a class in which lessons are discussed in a structured text-based chat room. Individual progress is tracked with online tools, including a food journal and exercise tracker. Students receive expert feedback on their progress.At UMaine, Rod Bushway and Susan Sullivan of the Food Science and Human Nutrition faculty and Ph.D. student Doug Mathews have worked to make the class available to students at UMaine.”We expect a great deal of student interest in the course,” Sullivan says. “Vtrim provides a good opportunity for UMaine students to learn about behavior modification techniques while benefiting their own health.”Though some students sign up to lose weight, most enroll to learn healthy behaviors. Students work with instructors to set realistic goals and establish healthy lifestyle perspectives.Typical weight loss has been 1-2 pounds per week for students in previous classes and 83 percent of people completing Vtrim achieve a clinically meaningful weight loss of 5-10 percent.Obesity continues to grow as a public health problem. Obesity prevalence is 19.1 percent for men and women aged 18-29 years, according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and obesity rates increased in 28 states in 2009, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”The University of Maine is proud to be part of a solution to the escalating trend of obesity and unhealthy eating and exercise habits,” says Robert C. White, associate provost and dean of the University of Maine’s Division of Lifelong Learning. Vtrim is being offered through the division’s continuing and distance education program.The course is open to all degree and non-degree students.http://www.uvm.edu/vtrim/vtrim-for-undergrads/(link is external).SOURCE University of Vermont. ORONO, Maine, Aug. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ —
8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jonathan Lay As Senior Advisor at CU Grow, Jonathan Lay helps banks and credit unions use digital marketing to tell stories that sell. He brings over a decade of digital marketing experience … Web: www.cugrow.com Details Send emails. A marketing research firm found that if an email included a link to a video, click-through rates increased 2-3 times. While you can drive them directly to the page on which your video is hosted, I would suggest you instead create a landing page specifically for the video. This ensures that your audience is not distracted by the other content on the video hosting site. Furthermore, a study by Eye View Digital found that using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. Upload them to your social media channels. Use your existing social media channels as another method to distribute your video content. But when doing so, think about the intended audiences of these videos. For example, if one of your online videos highlights your credit union’s business services, it may perform better in your LinkedIn networks versus your Facebook page.Explore YouTube ads. This is a relatively new frontier. YouTube allows for very targeted messaging based on general demographic data, such as age, gender and location. So if you have a video with a targeted message for a specific market segment, exploring YouTube ads could provide you with additional way of distributing your video content. And while we have written about why financial institutions should turn off YouTube advertisements, this shouldn’t preclude you from exploring this avenue.Reuse them in the future. Part of an effective content marketing strategy is to reuse previously generated content. While this is not applicable for time sensitive messages, evergreen video content can be reused and redistributed over time. One of our clients has implemented this strategy. On their Facebook page, this credit union has recently been reposting videos from a two-year old educational series along with tailored messaging written around the approaching holiday season. And people have been commenting on these posts, despite the fact that the credit union had previously published the same videos on their Facebook page a few months ago.Prove Your Video Distribution WorksOne of the most glorious attributes about digital marketing is that consumer actions are measurable. And these metrics allow for a better understanding and refinement of these digital processes, including online video distribution.Once you begin to employ the above tactics in your video distribute strategy, begin to review the analytics and see how consumers are behaving in regards to each of these methods. Improve the processes along the way to find further success in a digital economy. “If you build it, he will come.”The words of the mysterious voice in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams continue to echo throughout the credit union industry twenty five years later, specifically when it comes to building digital channels.There’s just a slight adjustment to the quote: “If we build it, they will come.”“If we build a website, they will come.”“If we have a Facebook page, they will come.”“If we produce online videos, they will come.”While it is quite possible that each digital channel can suffer poor execution due to this flawed philosophy, it’s this last point that I would like to focus on.Just Because You Use YouTube Doesn’t Mean You Will Get ViewsAs more credit unions start to explore online video as a method to market to specific consumer segments, the strategy in which these videos are distributed must be discussed.There’s a stat that many marketers like to use in an effort to demonstrate the validity of needing an online video presence, specifically when it comes to YouTube.“YouTube is the number two search engine, just behind Google,” they say.That’s a true statement. But when I hear it, my immediate rebuttal is, “But are consumers searching for your credit union on YouTube?”There’s a pause as people consider this counterargument.I continue. “While your credit union might have a few videos, are consumers actively searching for your financial institution on YouTube? Or are they searching for the next Taylor Swift video? Or the latest cat clip? Be honest with yourselves.”At this point, people begin to understand that just because a credit union has a YouTube channel with a few videos doesn’t necessarily mean these videos will get views. Now let me modify the words of the voice from Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they may not come.”This is where having a distribution strategy comes into play.Online Video Success Begins by Developing a StrategyThe production of online videos requires a strategy, which should include the methods of distributing these videos. Otherwise, it’s like a cook preparing an intricate seven-course meal without having a waitstaff to serve the food.The most common mistake I see credit unions make is that they upload their video to YouTube and stop there. Their distribution plan has been completed and another task has been checked off the list.But when a video is uploaded to YouTube, it is not the end, but the beginning of the distribution process. Because unless you have built a large base of subscribers to your YouTube channel, which most likely isn’t the case, these videos will be alone in a vast sea of digital content.Like any other piece of your content marketing efforts, you need to drive consumers to your online videos. Here are a few methods to explore when developing a strategy to distribute them.Embed them on your website. Sometimes overlooked, embedding videos on a credit union website provides a quick way to distribute your video. But look beyond the home page. For example, if you have a short educational video about the home buying process, embed it within the mortgage section of your website.
continue reading » Engaging members and maintaining their loyalty is a topic that lies at the core of the credit union industry’s mission. And for almost 30 years, Creating Member Loyalty™ (CML) has addressed that fundamental concept.“Through the years we’ve always delivered one consistent message: Loyalty comes from an unrelenting focus on member needs, not sales quotas or pushing product,” says Carla Schrinner, implementation manager and senior master trainer with CML.“Credit union clients often approach us because they want to shift the culture within their organization,” Schrinner says. “They want to be more strategic about engaging their members, and that requires different behaviors from the organization and from staff to see results.”The program starts with a “deep-dive assessment” of a new client’s current practices. “Sometimes senior management will describe the credit union one way while staff will see it very differently,” says Schrinner. The goal is to bring clear perspective to everyone on where the credit union will realize its greatest gains, and then provide the implementation strategy and training necessary to move the needle. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
continue reading » Last year’s CUNA CFO Council Conference award winners (left to right): Ent CU, represented by Dan LeClerc; Julie Renderos, Volunteer of the Year, of Suncoast CU; Paul Meissner, CFO Professional of the Year, of CU of America; and Amanda Brown, Heritage Trust FCU. CUNA CFO Council is now accepting nominations for its 2018 awards, to be presented at the CUNA CFO Council Conference, May 20-23, in Austin, Texas. The awards honor outstanding credit union finance professionals and breakthrough solutions in their field, as well as outstanding service to CUNA CFO Council.“Finance is an extremely complicated field that involves many responsibilities and requires strong financial and strategic instincts,” said Bryanna Tapley, CUNA CFO Council executive committee chair. “With these awards, we recognize finance professionals who have overcome these challenges to the benefit of their credit union.”CFO Professional of the Year recognizes an individual who exemplifies excellence in credit union financial management, has strengthened their credit union’s financial position and embodies the cooperative ideals of the movement. Nominations for this award are due March 12, 2018 and entry materials must be submitted by April 9. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A new Trump Administration directive that subjects the NCUA’s rules and guidance to Office of Management and Budget review represents improper interference in agency activities, four former NCUA board members said Monday.Last week the OMB announced that beginning next month, all guidance and rules issued by independent agencies, such as the NCUA, CFPB and other financial regulators, must be submitted for review by the budget office. If the rules or guidance is deemed to be “major,” it also will be required to be submitted to Congress under the Congressional Review Act.Congress then would have to decide whether to accept the rule. If Congress votes against it and the president signs the resolution, the agency is prohibited from issuing a similar rule.NCUA officials have declined to comment on the new policy, saying they are still reviewing it.
If you need to contact the department and you don’t have an emergency, you can leave a voicemail at 67-687-2641. If you have an emergency, the department asks you contact 687-1010. The department says this number should be used for emergencies only. OWEGO (WBNG) — The town of Owego Highway Department will be closed until Oct. 13 following a positive case of COVID-19 at its facility. Other inquires can be directed to Town Supervisor Donald Castellucci Jr.’s office at 607-687-0123 option seven.
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Topics : Aboriginal Australians are exempt from immigration law, the country’s top court ruled Tuesday, in a historic decision that found indigenous people born overseas cannot be deported.Australia had been trying to deport two men — Papua New Guinea citizen Daniel Love and New Zealand citizen Brendan Thoms — under laws that allow a convicted criminal’s visa to be cancelled on character grounds.Both men identify as Aboriginal Australians, each has one indigenous parent, and they have lived in the country since they were small children. But the judges could not agree on whether Love was under a three-part test that considers biological descent, self-identification and community recognition.Lawyer Claire Gibbs, who represented the men, hailed the decision as “significant for Aboriginal Australians”.”This case isn’t about citizenship, it’s about who belongs here, who is an Australian national and who is a part of the Australian community,” she told reporters in Canberra.”The High Court has found Aboriginal Australians are protected from deportation. They can no longer be removed from the country that they know and the country that they have a very close connection with.”The case marked the first time an Australian court has considered whether the government has the power to deport indigenous people.But it also touched on the contentious question of how Aboriginality is defined in the law.Gibbs said she was “confident” that they would eventually be able to prove Love’s status as he was “accepted by his community as Aboriginal” and had “biological proof” that he was a descendant of the First Australians.Lawyers will now pursue compensation claims on behalf of both men, who Gibbs said had suffered “severe embarrassment” and been “subject to ridicule” as a result of being Aboriginal men held in immigration detention. Love, who served time for assault, and Thoms, who had been jailed for domestic violence, have been battling in the courts to stay in Australia, arguing that they may be “non-citizens” but they are also not “aliens”.The High Court ruled in a decision that split the judges 4-3 that Aboriginal Australians “are not within the reach” of constitutional provisions relating to foreign citizens.Indigenous people have inhabited the vast continent for more than 60,000 years, while the modern nation’s constitution only came into force in 1901.Thoms — who was already recognized as a traditional landowner — was accepted by the court as Aboriginal.
Shortly after the charges were announced the president aimed to distance himself, saying: “Don’t know anything about the project at all.””I think it’s a very sad thing for Mr. Bannon. I think it’s surprising,” Trump said, adding he felt “very badly” and he hasn’t “been dealing with him for a long period.”Manhattan federal prosecutors said Bannon, the organization’s founder Brian Kolfage, venture capitalist Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea “received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.”The initiative began in 2018 as a GoFundMe campaign to raise money organizers said would go towards the border wall Trump had promised during his 2016 campaign, which Bannon orchestrated. Another Trump aide indictment Prior to leading Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, Bannon — a brash, aggressively conservative proponent of US nationalism — headed the far-right outlet Breitbart News.Once a prominent voice in the president’s ear, Bannon was behind some of Trump’s most controversial moves, including his ban on some travelers from abroad and the decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement.After frequent clashes with others in the White House including Trump, Bannon was pushed out in August 2017.Half a dozen close Trump associates have been indicted or convicted since he took over the White House, including several key leaders of his 2016 campaign effort.Roger Stone — the president’s longtime ally who was convicted on felony charges including obstructing the congressional Russian collusion probe — was the first person directly involved in Trump’s campaign to receive clemency. Topics : Former top Trump strategist Steve Bannon was arrested and charged Thursday along with three others for defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in a Mexico border wall fundraising campaign — a blow to the Republican incumbent.The online crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall” raised more than $25 million, prosecutors said, which the defendants promised would be used on construction but which they instead funneled to their own pockets.The arrest is the latest in a string of high-profile criminal probes into Trump’s inner circle, and comes just months before November’s vote the Republican hopes will win him re-election. One week after launching, the online appeal took in $17 million, which raised suspicions at the crowdfunding site and prompted it to temporarily shut the campaign down. GoFundMe said organizers would need to identify a legitimate nonprofit where the money was headed or it would be returned.The four men began using both a Bannon-controlled non-profit and a Shea-led shell company, as well as vendor agreements and fake invoices, to conceal their tracks, court documents said.Prosecutors say the men gave repeated false assurances to donors, vowing that all funds raised would go “only directly to wall!!! Not anyone’s pocket.”Kolfage, a 38-year-old based in Florida, at one point even urged donors to purchase coffee from another company he ran, saying it was the only way to keep “his family fed and a roof over their head,” prosecutors said. Hiding their tracks Bannon, 66, publicly called himself a “volunteer” in the operation.Some donors wrote personally to Kolfage saying they were low on funds and skeptical of online fundraising, “but they were giving what they could because they trusted Kolfage would keep his word about how their donations would be spent,” the indictment said.Kolfage — a US Air Force veteran — repeatedly assured them their money was safe, but in fact, prosecutors say he took more than $350,000 for his own use, funding personal expenses including boat payments, a luxury SUV, a golf cart, cosmetic surgery and credit card debt.Badolato, Shea and Bannon each received hundreds of thousands that went to expenses including travel, hotels and consumer goods, according to the documents.Bannon in particular received over $1 million of the donations which he funneled through his non-profit, using some of it to pay Kolfage while a substantial sum lined his own pockets.The men learned their scheme might be under federal criminal investigation in approximately October 2019, when they began crafting additional measures to conceal it, prosecutors said.All four men are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.