Financial Concerns Top of Mind with Commodity Classic Attendees

first_img By Gary Truitt – Feb 28, 2020 SHARE Home Indiana Agriculture News Financial Concerns Top of Mind with Commodity Classic Attendees Facebook Twitter SHARE Previous articleSouthern Indiana Spring Planting Challenges Looking More LikelyNext articleFinancial Concerns Top of Mind at Commodity Classic and a Challenging Planting Season Coming to Southern Indiana on the HAT Friday Morning Edition Gary Truitt Financial Concerns Top of Mind with Commodity Classic AttendeesCommodity Classic brings some of the nation’s most progressive producers together. However, with continued concerns about  diseases, trade, and lower prices, many here concerned about managing their operations in uncertain times.The opening session on Thursday dealt with that question of managing a farming operation in the midst of uncertainty. Presented by the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, Dr. Jason Henderson said the ag economy is in a plateau.“In a plateau, we see sideways movement in commodity prices and very slow demand.”Henderson noted, historically,  plateaus last about 10 years, adding, “What really takes us out is a new surge in demand.”He said it was the Russian grain deal in the 1970s and the ethanol boom and China trade in the 1990s, “So we need to look at our next source of demand either increased exports or domestic demand.”Purdue Ag Economist Michael Langemeier urged farmers to find ways to lower their cost of production.”You don’t want to do anything that will hurt yields or lower production, like cutting fertilizer, but there are some costs that can be reduced.”He also suggested growers look at ways to diversify their operation, saying, “Look around and see if there are some new things you can do — perhaps growing non-GMO corn or white corn.  Look for opportunities that fit with your current operation.”Langemeier urged growers to think hard before making any equipment or other major capital investments.  Exceptions might be investing in farmland or improved tiling in your operation. He noted these typically help improve the efficiency of a farming operation.A survey of those attending Classic indicated that farmer optimism is beginning to slide. Center Director Dr. Jim Mintert said those attending Classic are slightly less optimistic than farmers overall. Facebook Twitter Financial Concerns Top of Mind with Commodity Classic Attendeeslast_img read more

Tony Phillips – A tribute by Sylvia Macdonald

first_imgTony and Barbara Phillips met at a party, they sat on the floor together, and talked, and talked. Barbara says: “At the end of the party, I knew that was the man I wanted to marry.”Tony felt the same. He said not so long ago: “I love her so much. In conversations they have always built each other up, paid each other compliments. Sounds like a good recipe – for a happy marriage. At work Tony had outstanding business acumen, Barbara has wonderful creative talents. Their wit and humour always bounced off each other. And they never stopped holding hands, it was their trademark as a couple.Tony would always phone me up with the latest news and was so proud when daughter, Jane, recently got the MBE in the Philippines, and he immediately said – it was with the support of his other daughter, Andrea, over here.His big love, apart from Barbara and family, was business. He started up with a cheque in the form of £97.76p from the finance company where he worked, went to deposit it at the bank and walked out with a £750 loan to start his own business.He began by opening fabric shops, then a travel agency, a restaurant and a bar. He became a respected Tory councillor. Tony told me one day, chuckling, that he’d left the bar to be run by a manager. One day, the manager decided to hire strippers. Of course the press loved that one – and when then prime minister Margaret Thatcher came down to visit the local MP, she said: “What’s that dreadful man Tony Phillips doing down in Gloucester?”So Tony started again. He opened a bakery known as Jane’s Pantry. One shop grew steadily to 9 and, with the help of Barbara, his managing director Neville Morse and all the staff, it expanded into bakery catering, chocolate-making and also a food van delivery service. Janes Pantry has always prided itself on quality ingredients in all the baked goods. Tony would not compromise on ingredients or price. He monitored every penny of outgoings and income. He was brilliant at business. His mind was razor-sharp. Two of the things he really cared about were accuracy and truth.How did he become British Baker’s magazine’s columnist? I heard him speak at a National Association of Master Bakers annual conference. He was dissecting the balance sheet with devastating accuracy, but an equal amount of wit and humour. I thought: “If this man can write as he speaks, he’ll be a brilliant columnist for British Baker. And so he was. The Simple Country Baker, as he was known – was simply – the best! It would sometimes take him less than 20 minutes to write out a column. He’d sometimes read it to me first and I’d say: “Great” – or else “NO!, you can’t say that – it wouldn’t be ‘politically correct’.” Then I’d hear peals of laughter and he’d say: “Well it’s just right then!”He was proud, too, of Neville. He said: “ He’s marvellous in the bakery and no-one could work harder. He started with me 26 years ago, as a trainee baker, and is now the best MD the business could have.”It was extraordinary that, as well as becoming the Master Bakers’ president and chairman, Tony became the first-ever English president of Retail Confectioners International, comprising over 300 top confectioners in the USA. Years ago, Tony popped over to look at some equipment, was invited to their conference, then to become a member and last year ended up as president. When he became ill in September, they flew their flag at half-mast, brought it down, folded it and sent it here to Barbara and Tony. It was a mark of their great affection and respect. It moved Tony to tears. Although very kind, Tony pretended to have a stiff upper lip. It wasn’t real. He was actually quite an emotional man, full of love, who enjoyed making use of the talents God gave him.As a Christian I discussed faith with him. And, two years ago, he asked me to take him down a King James version of the Bible. He used to pray and recently he said he looked forward to starting to go to church with Barbara and Andrea as a family. But it was not to be. He was very brave towards the end, exhorting Barbara to pick up her life after her period of mourning. Finally, when Tony first launched personalised chocolate bars, he let people choose their own message, including. ‘Congratulations’, ‘Thank you’, ‘I love you’. Those are exactly the words he would want to say to you, his family, friends, and readers who have worked hard in life and have your own special memories of A Simple Country Baker and his comment in BB. Sylvia MacdonaldEditor.last_img read more

USC to play on in WNIT

first_imgA dominant second half propelled the USC women’s basketball team to a 62-50 victory over BYU on Wednesday and into the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.Leading the way · Junior guard Briana Gilbreath, pictured here against UCLA, scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, leading USC to a 62-50 victory over the Cougars in Provo, Utah. The Women of Troy now advance to the Elite Eight of the WNIT for the first time in the program’s history. – Kelvin Kuo | Daily Trojan Trailing at the break, the Women of Troy (22-12) opened the second half on fire, scoring on five of their first six possessions to turn a six-point deficit into a 36-31 lead.“At halftime we talked about how this could be our last game,” said senior center Kari LaPlante.  “In the second half we sucked it up and pushed through [our fatigue]. We were able to catch our wind and that’s what made the difference.”Junior guard Ashley Corral was instrumental during the run, scoring seven of USC’s first 11 points opening the second half.For the third straight game, Corral gave USC a much-needed scoring punch off the bench, finishing with 10 points and a pair of three-pointers.The Women of Troy outscored BYU 37-19 in the second half and held the Cougars to 23 percent shooting.USC shot 48 percent after the break, attacking the basket and getting easy scoring opportunities.“We didn’t follow the game plan in the first half,” LaPlante said. “In the second half we actually did what we were supposed to do.”That sharp shooting was not present for the Women of Troy early in a first half marked by a flurry of missed shots and turnovers.USC went through a pair of long scoring droughts in the first half, going without a basket for nearly five minutes during one stretch and getting outscored 10-0 to close the half.USC held a 25-21 lead with three minutes left in the first half before turnovers brought its momentum to a sudden halt.The Women of Troy only attempted one more shot before halftime, turning the ball over on four of their final five possessions.BYU seemed to capitalize on every mistake USC made during this time, scoring the final 10 points of the half to take a 31-25 lead into the break.At the break, BYU forward Mindy Bonham led all scorers with 15 points, although USC held  the senior guard to just six points in the second half.“We really are a second-half team,” said freshman forward Cassie Harberts. “In the first half we were a step slow everywhere and we weren’t doing our coverages on defense.”Junior guard Briana Gilbreath led USC in the first half with eight points and five rebounds.Sophomore forward Christina Marinacci missed all five of her field goal attempts, but collected seven rebounds for the Women of Troy.Winning the rebounding battle has been a barometer for USC’s success all season, and the team was able to capitalize yet again on Wednesday.The Women of Troy grabbed 43 rebounds and held BYU — even with its 6-foot-7 center in Jennifer Hamson — to just 34.BYU’s Kristen Riley finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Riley Hall also scored 10 points in the losing effort.For USC, Marinacci led the team with 10 rebounds, and also chipped in eight points of her own.Gilbreath led the Women of Troy with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists.Senior guard Jacki Gemelos chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds, while Harberts contributed 11 points and five rebounds.“It’s nice that we can continue our season,” Harberts said. “With every game and practice, we’re getting better.”USC is now set to face either Wyoming or Colorado in the WNIT Quarterfinals on Sunday.last_img read more

USC defense must blend old with new

first_img“Inside the 20s” runs Thursdays. To comment on this story, email Nick at [email protected] or visit Every year, across the country, the same thing happens: Schools hire a new head football coach or new assistants. Once spring practice starts, the new schemes and playbooks that each new coach brings are proclaimed to be so much better than those that came before.Sure enough, early returns on new USC Defensive Coordinator Clancy Pendergast and his 5-2 defense are positive, and many are happily envisioning a 2013 season in which the spread offenses of other Pac-12 schools are utterly befuddled by Pendergast’s revolutionary new strategies.But we’re smarter than that.We know that, for the most part, the onus will be on both returning players and incoming freshmen to improve upon last season’s underwhelming performance, in which the Trojans finished fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring defense and seventh in total defense. Though these numbers were not awful, they definitely are not at the standard that should be expected of USC and its bevy of four- and five-star defensive recruits.Though much will be made of Pendergast and his ability to “fix” the USC defense, whether or not that will be accomplished will mostly come as a result of returning players getting better and new players making an immediate impact.For the former, the Trojans have a number of candidates. USC returns seven starters on the defensive side of the ball from a season ago, a group that does not include senior defensive end Devon Kennard, a starter from 2011 who missed all of last season because of injury. Each player had varying levels of success last year and all definitely have room for growth.Chief among those who need to make the biggest leap is junior linebacker Lamar Dawson. Dawson was one of the most sought-after prep players in the country in 2011 and was given the honor of wearing jersey #55 in his first season on the team. The Kentucky native took over the starting role midway through his freshman season and started nine games last season, recording 77 tackles, good for fourth on the team.But Dawson’s impact on defense has been a bit underwhelming. He has shown an inability to stand out, at least among fans, and has made few “big plays.” He recorded only two tackles behind the line of scrimmage last year and has just two interceptions and one forced fumble in his career.To be blunt, much more was expected from Dawson when he arrived on campus. Injuries have played a part in his relative ineffectiveness. He’s dealt with an ankle sprain each of the last two seasons, but a large reason why USC’s defense faltered a year ago was because of Dawson’s failure to establish himself in the middle of the field, something that he will have to do this year if the defense is to make any significant strides.Of course, there is always the possibility Dawson gets benched in favor of a more successful combination of linebackers. But at 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, he has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing offenses, and the coaching staff would much rather have him earn playing time than get beaten out by someone else.USC also has the luxury of several freshmen who can make an instant impact on the defensive side. The player that seems to be the leading candidate to play right away is defensive back Su’a Cravens. The versatile player has already received rave reviews from USC players and coaches alike during the first few spring practices of his career. He’s even drawn comparisons to former players Nickell Robey and Robert Woods, who started in the first game of their freshman seasons.What makes Cravens’ expected impact even more exciting is that it will come in the secondary, an area in dire need for the 2013 Trojans. USC ranked sixth in the conference in pass-defense efficiency last year and must replace three starters: Robey and safeties T.J. McDonald and Jawanza Starling. The only returning player with any starting experience is defensive back Josh Shaw, a Florida transfer who has played both cornerback and safety.Having Cravens step in right away would be huge, because the last thing the secondary needs is a revolving door situation at multiple positions, much like last year’s second cornerback spot. And with fellow freshman defensive back Leon McQuay III also standing out in the early going, it isn’t hard to envision a tandem of Cravens and McQuay as a mainstay on the backline for years to come.Change for the sake of change is not a good thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Trojans’ new 5-2 defensive scheme will hinder its performance next season. What it’s going to come down to is how all this amassed talent can gel together. And if returning and incoming players can create some semblance of synergy, then performances like last year’s awful Oregon game will be nothing but a distant, terrible memory.last_img read more

Floyd Little thrives in all-encompassing role for Syracuse administration

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm Contact Brett: [email protected] | @Brett_Samuels27 A Syracuse recruit sits in a chair in a Manley Field House office. On the walls around him, he sees a framed No. 44 jersey, a painting of three Syracuse football legends and a movie poster for “The Express.”Sitting across a desk from him, five feet away, is Floyd Little.“Sit back for a minute,” Little tells him, his voice soft and gravelly, a nearly hypnotic whisper. “Just close your eyes…just close your eyes.”“Where do you want to be in five years?” he asks.He’s giving them permission to daydream, something they don’t get a chance to do in class. He starts to notice the student-athlete drift away in thought.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“OK, open your eyes,” Little says. “I’m going to tell you how to get there.”Little leans over and lets the kid know he’s just like him. He’s just people. Nothing special.But that isn’t exactly true. Little is in seven halls of fame, was selected to five Pro Bowls, retired from the NFL as the sixth-leading rusher of all-time and is the only Syracuse football player to be named an All-American three times.“I can’t motivate you,” Little said. “I can only inspire you to motivate yourself.”As the special assistant to the athletic director, some days it’s Little’s job to inspire commits. Others, he might attend a women’s basketball game — a team whose games he refuses to miss.In 2009, after spending about 30 years as a Ford dealer, Little spoke with then-athletic director Daryl Gross about returning to Syracuse, where he became a household name as a player from 1964-1966. Little had been back every once in awhile, but now his role at SU is full-time.His job requires him to do “a little bit of everything.” He mentors student-athletes. He meets with recruits. He mediates and acts as a soundboard for frustrated employees who need to vent. And he recently served as a “mentor” to the transitioning athletic directors in April and May.“There’s an instant respect you get with Floyd,” former interim AD Pete Sala said. “He’s the real deal, that’s all I can say. He did it the right way.”In public, Little is an ambassador for the athletics program. He’s shown on the big screen shaking hands with the “Hero of the Game” and other special guests during home games at the Carrier Dome. He watches games from the sidelines, giving feedback to players with a thumb’s up, down or sideways.He’s taken student-athletes from different sports under his wing. He’s worked with Durell Eskridge, Cam Lynch and Terrel Hunt of the football team.After Syracuse lost 34-24 to then-No. 8 LSU, Little spoke to a locker room of players who didn’t want to say anything positive. Linebacker Zaire Franklin reflected on the few plays that could have turned the game. Scott Shafer said he wanted to “win the damn game for this town.”“You won,” Little told the team after the game. “The score didn’t determine who won this game, you won this game.”Interacting with student-athletes is a large part of Little’s job. But he also serves as a face of the athletic department, and his legend never escapes him. Sitting at his desk, he pulls out a stack of cards and letters, tucked behind a “swear jar,” from families, players and fans he’s influenced.Little recalls an experience where a man wrote to him, hoping that his 90-year-old father could meet Little, his hero.When Little obliged, the old man was so emotional he couldn’t speak when Little went to hug him and take a picture together. The man’s son told Little his father was in tears on the ride home.Little said he’s seen athletes like Reggie Jackson or Bill Russell tell fans to “get the hell out of my way.” He’s seen the pain on the faces of fans who are ignored by their favorite players. It’s his role to make up for them, he says, and be the guy anyone can approach.“It helps me know I’m making a difference,” Little said. “Changing lives, for me, is what makes a difference.”His ability to connect with people is what made Little the choice for Chancellor Kent Syverud to help guide current vice president and chief facilities officer Pete Sala when he was named interim athletic director in March.Sala said he’d often ask Little to speak to a student-athlete before bringing them to him for a difficult conversation.Little offers the perspective few others can — he’s been in an SU student-athlete’s shoes, and he’s achieved at the highest level. It gives him instant credibility, Sala said.When Mark Coyle took over as athletic director in July, one of the first people he met with was Little. The two grabbed a slice of pizza at Varsity and chatted in a booth, sitting a few inches from a portrait of Little that hangs on the wall.When Coyle first started, people both inside and outside the school were coming at him with requests and ideas.“What I’ve found to be a great help to me is that (Floyd) has this ability to slow everything down and make it manageable,” Coyle said, “and then he’s on to the next thing.”Little has had three jobs in his lifetime: a professional football player, a car dealer and a special assistant to the athletic director at Syracuse University. The last one, his current job, is his favorite, he said.On Nov. 14, Little will be honored for what led to his first job when his statue is unveiled at Plaza 44 outside the Ensley Athletic Center. Little’s statue will stand next to monuments for Ernie Davis and Jim Brown.Not only has Little been an athlete, he’s recognized as one of the best.“No one to learn from better than a Hall of Famer,” said SU commit Moe Neal, who met with Little in September.And when one recruit after another comes to sit opposite him in his office, Little’s voice, as low and raspy as it is, always commands respect.When those recruits and their parents listen to Little’s pitch, they stand up and walk out the door. Little hears a conversation as they make their way down the hallway.“You know where you’re going, don’t you?” he hears the parent tell the kid.“These are some of the best times of my life,” Little said. “I think I’m using the kids to keep me young.” Commentslast_img read more