New Study Shows Importance of Infrastructure Investments

first_img A recent study funded by the United Soybean Board and soy checkoff’s Global Opportunities program proves the deterioration of U.S. highways, bridges, rails, locks and dams continues to threaten U.S. soybean farmers’ competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The study – titled Farm to Market – A Soybean’s Journey – shows how soybeans and other ag products move from the farm to customers and the weaknesses of the system. New Study Shows Importance of Infrastructure Investments Home CROPS New Study Shows Importance of Infrastructure Investments Facebook Twitter SHARE Facebook Twitter Improvements to the transportation infrastructure would make movement of U.S. soy and other ag products more efficient – saving U.S. soybean and grain industries nearly 145.9-million dollars a year. USB Director Dale Profit says the entire transportation network has been vital to the U.S. soy industry and it must be protected for the U.S. to remain the preferred soy source around the world. By Gary Truitt – Aug 21, 2012 SHARE Source: NAFB News Service Previous articleIndiana Farmer Elected to U.S. Grains Council Board of DirectorsNext articleFarmers Back Romney Gary Truittlast_img read more

NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir talk about 2024 voyage to the moon

first_imgABC NewsBy Ashley Schwartz-Lavares, Allie Yang and Andrea Amiel, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Just two years after they made history conducting the first all-woman spacewalk, Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are hoping to be the first woman — or women — on the moon.In 2024, NASA is working to get humans back on the moon with its Artemis lunar exploration program. Meir says the program is about humankind’s inherent desire for exploration and all the unanticipated benefits from it that will help push science forward.“We are still learning new things every day from the samples we brought back from the Apollo missions with newer technology,” Meir said of the missions, which spanned from 1963 to 1972.“For all of the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, math — there were so many resources put behind all of that back in the Apollo program that we saw a huge burgeoning of all of these industries that had ramifications and effects and benefits well outside of the space sector as well. So, we can really expect this from the Artemis program as well,” she said.Koch also said research from Artemis will help us get closer to the goal of exploring Mars.“This is really a stepping stone to [the] eventual exploration of Mars, and even deeper into our solar system, and getting a chance to really explore some of those deep philosophical and scientific questions that we have,” she said. “Are we alone? Is there life, precursors of life or evidence of life once on Mars out there? Really big things that have some potential to change how we see ourselves in the world and in the universe.”The astronauts selected for the Artemis missions will work on different aspects of the mission for NASA, such as developing new spacesuits, Meir said.“Our particular training for the first missions has not yet started, even though we’ve identified the cadre of NASA Artemis astronauts. Generally, we don’t assign people until about a year-and-a-half to two years before the mission,” she explained. “That’s when the really specialized training will start, and then you can expect … all of those crew members to be heavily involved in all of the scientific objectives, all of the different hardware, the spaces that they’ll be using, and that will be some full-time training at that point.”Both women have gone through this process. In October 2019, they conducted the first all-woman spacewalk from the International Space Station together. They were tasked with replacing a controller that regulates the batteries that store the station’s solar power. The mission lasted seven hours and 17 minutes.Last year, Meir and Koch were named two of Time’s 100 most influential people. Mae Jemison, the first Black woman in space, wrote that Meir and Koch were at an “orbital altitude of 250 miles, velocity of 17,500 m.p.h.”“Men’s physiology, perspectives, values, measurements, comfort and ambitions have mostly been the default template for designing major human endeavors,” Jemison said. “I believe that Koch and Meir, by their sheer skill and execution, shift us closer to a template based on intelligence, agility, capability, integrity, courage and excellence.”Koch says it’s difficult to imagine all the ways the first woman on the moon will impact girls around the world.“It’s a time when we are recognizing those that came before us,” she said. “We are inspiring future generations and we’re doing it all in a time when we collectively recognize how important it is to explore for all and by all… So it’s exciting to be a part of a mission at a time when we’re ready to take every talent, every innovative idea that’s out there and apply it to mission success and see what we can do together.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Pistorius fall-out: Nike moves to limit brand damage

first_img“I am the bullet in the chamber” ran the strapline for the Nike advert featuring Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius.As the South African athlete faced charges of “premeditated murder” in a Pretoria courtroom following the shooting dead of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, his sponsors went into crisis-management mode.Nike swiftly pulled the unfortunately-worded ads, as the perils of celebrity brand endorsement were brought sharply into focus once again.Mr Pistorius, who has strongly rejected the murder charge, is thought to have earned several million pounds from sponsorships with Nike, BT, Thierry Mugler, Oakley, and Ossur, the Icelandic firm that makes the prosthetic carbon fibre blades he wears for races.But in the brutal world of sports sponsorship, the “Blade Runner” stands to lose everything, even presuming his innocence.When asked whether Nike was considering terminating Mr Pistorius’ sponsorship deal, thought to be worth about $2m, a spokesman told the BBC: “We are continuing to monitor the situation closely. It is a police matter.” Another of Mr Pistorius’ sponsors, M-Net Movies, a South African pay TV channel, pulled its TV ad campaign featuring the athlete, tweeting: “Out of respect and sympathy to the bereaved, M-Net will be pulling its entire Oscar campaign featuring Oscar Pistorius with immediate effect.”‘Damaged goods’John Taylor, director of a sports sponsorship company and a veteran of the industry, told the BBC: “Even if Pistorius is found innocent, he is damaged goods. Brands need to act quickly and distance themselves from him; they cannot afford to wait until the case is heard.“It’s not like rats deserting a sinking ship, it’s just the sensible thing to do.”Nigel Currie, director of sports marketing agency Brand Rapport, agrees, saying: “This is very different to the Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong cases; this is life and death. There’s no coming back from this.”But none of his sponsors has yet formally broken links with the Olympic and Paralympic athlete, and most are remaining tight-lipped. Telecommunications group BT, which was recently shortlisted in the Best Sponsorship of a Sport Team or Individual category of the Sport Industry Awards 2013 for its campaign featuring Mr Pistorius, said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”Fashion house Thierry Mugler, which chose Mr Pistorius as the face of its A*Men fragrance in 2011, said: “We have no comment at this stage.” And Ossur said it was “highly premature” to make any decisions regarding its relationship with him.Even his South African management agency was saying little on Friday. Peet van Zyl, joint managing director of In-Site Athlete Management, told the BBC: “Oscar has been my client for six years. It’s my business to know how much he earns in sponsorships, but we’re not in any position to give you any comment at the moment given the sensitivity of the situation.”Martial languageThe global sponsorship industry is worth an estimated $50bn (£32.2bn; 36.4bn euros) a year, according to consultancy IEG, with more than 80% of that being spent on sports. Nike, which makes annual revenues of over $24bn, spends tens of millions of dollars on sports sponsorships a year. For example, its recent sponsorship deal with Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish golfer, will reportedly cost the company $100m to $125m (£62m to £77m) over five years.When its previous brand ambassador, golf titan Tiger Woods, was exposed as a philanderer in 2009, Nike stuck by him even though many other brands cast him adrift.“Nike’s whole golf proposition was built around him. They had spent millions of dollars and simply couldn’t afford to drop him”, says Alan Ferguson, managing director of The Sports Business, a sports marketing consultancy.Nike chooses sports stars that seem to embody and reinforce its high-energy brand. “My body is my weapon. This is how I fight,” says one video featuring Mr Pistorius and other South African athletes. Its 2012 annual report contained a headline: “We are on the offense. Always.”As Oscar Pistorius demonstrated values of tenacity, valour and triumph over adversity, it made him an obvious fit with the sportswear giant. But in the light of recent events, Mr Ferguson warns: “I think many brands will be taking stock and re-evaluating their celebrity endorsements now. At the very least they will be doing more detailed background checks on their sports stars.”Tattooed on Oscar Pistorius’ back is a quotation from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (9: 26-27): “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”In the unforgiving, hard cash world of sports sponsorship, Mr Pistorius could find himself being disqualified, whether innocent or guilty.last_img read more

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