70 Youths Get Skills Training

first_imgAs a means of empowering young people of Nimba for self-sustainability, a local NGO—Kpodo Rural Development Foundation (KRUDF), has begun training 70 youth in Bahn, Nimba County.The director of KRUDF, Mr. Joseph Menlor, explains that his organization is committed to the training of young people of Zoe Geh District.He said Zoe Geh with over 120,000 population doesn’t have any vocation training opportunity for its youth thus leaving most of the youth without skills with most of them now been turned into motorcyclists.He said, KRUDF believes in union in diversity and therefore seeks to empower the young people so they can be self-reliant.The 10-month training program, which was formally launched on May 15, covered four courses including electricity, masonry, agriculture and building trade. It is funded by the Norwegian Refugee Council and Swedish International Development Aid/SIDA.The orator at the commencement program of the graduates, Mr. Horace Yansine, stressed on the important and role of private sector in our community of which he said reduction of poverty and unemployment had been left with ordinary business people and even farmers.Mr. Yansine maintained that private sector serves as agent of change in our society and urged them to be fair and accountable, transparent and go against self-greed.He urged young people to be focused so as to contribute positively to the development of their community, the county and the country at-large.“Be serious in what you are learning and encourage your friend to join you in the training,” said Bahn City Mayor, Angie Dopoe.Meanwhile, KRUDF Director Menlor called on the government and philanthropists for support so they expand the program.He said his organization has decided to embark the construction of a building, which will house the vocational wing of the program.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Flyers to enter game two with large cushion

first_imgThe Prince George Mohawks have a huge deficit to overcome if they want to emerge victorious in the 2011 Savage Cup.Friday night, in the first of two final games of the tournament, the Fort St. John Flyers beat Prince George 6-0, outshooting the Mohawks 41-20.Clayton Pool got his first start of the tournament in net for the Flyers, making 20 saves for the shutout.- Advertisement -Since the disqualification of Penticton from the tournament, the format has changed, where Fort St John and Prince George play both Friday and Saturday. The winner of the Savage Cup is determined by the team that scores the most goals in those two games. Prince George had many opportunities to reduce the deficit, as they were awarded seven power plays, one of which was a four minute double minor, another a five minute major. Unfortunately for the Mohawks, they were unable to capitalize on any of those man advantages.  The two teams will play the final game of the tournament saturday night at 8 p.m. The Mohawks will have to score more than six goals and allow none to be scored on them. If they are unable to accomplish that, the Flyers will win this year’s Savage Cup.Advertisementlast_img read more

Former MPAA head Valenti suffers stroke, is in hospital

first_imgThe MPAA said Tuesday that Glickman would have no comment at this time. The two men had remained in regular contact with Valenti continuing to remain active behind the scenes and keeping a full calendar at his office in Washington, D.C. “In an unofficial way, he’s always there to provide counsel to Glickman or me or any studio executive,” Fithian said. “He’s just as important as a background leader as he was out front.” During his 38 years heading the MPAA, which represents the interests of the major movie studios, Valenti devised the ratings system in 1968 that is still in place today. Prior to his MPAA career, Valenti was a special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was riding in the presidential motorcade Nov. 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. Valenti was aboard Air Force One when Johnson was sworn in as president. Valenti, a diminutive man with a Texas drawl and white hair, had lately been working on his memoirs. One of the anecdotes he could share is about the day he announced his retirement as MPAA head to theater owners and movie industry figures at the 2004 ShoWest convention at Bally’s Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. After a prolonged ovation, the usually reserved Valenti choked up. “I didn’t realize how emotional this time would be,” he said. Earlier that day, he told reporters he had mixed feelings about it all: “When you have done something for so long, it’s difficult to tear yourself away from it.” greg.hernandez@dailynews.com (818) 713-3758 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Jack Valenti, who spent nearly four decades as head of the Motion Picture Association of America, was hospitalized in Maryland after suffering a stroke, the MPAA said Tuesday. News of the stroke, which occurred last week, had been kept private and little information is being released about the condition of the 85-year-old Valenti. He is being cared for at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “His family tells me that doctors are encouraged by his progress to date,” Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Barry Meyer, a longtime friend of Valenti, said in a brief statement released by the studio. Valenti appeared robust at last month’s Directors Guild of America Awards, where he worked the red carpet with his wife, Mary Margaret, and Dan Glickman, his successor as MPAA head. Valenti told the Daily News at the DGAs that he was still keeping a breakneck schedule, which included frequent trips to the West Coast. Mary Margaret Valenti and their children asked Meyer to “express their deep appreciation of the outpouring of love, support and prayers.” National Association of Theater Owners President John Fithian, who considers Valenti a mentor and good friend, said Tuesday that he is optimistic about Valenti rebounding from this health crisis. “He’s the toughest leader I’ve ever met, so to me it’s a temporary setback,” Fithian said. “He’ll be giving speeches and writing books and inspiring people in no time.” Valenti officially announced his retirement from his job as president and chief operating officer of the MPAA at the ShoWest convention three years ago this month. He served for an additional six months before being succeeded by Dan Glickman, a former secretary of agriculture under President Clinton. last_img read more

West Ham blow: New setback for Andy Carroll as striker ruled out for SIX weeks

first_imgWest Ham striker Andy Carroll is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has revealed.The 26-year-old suffered a knee injury during the midweek draw with Southampton and scans have since shown he suffered a medial ligament tear.It is the latest setback in the career of the former Newcastle and Liverpool hitman.Carroll has been beset by injury problems since moving to Upton Park for a club record £15million fee in June 2013 after a year-long loan spell. A serious heel injury meant he made just 16 appearances for the Hammers last season, while he missed the first four months of this campaign with ankle trouble.Allarydce is yet to discover the full extent of the latest problem, but expects the giant hitman to be sidelined for at least a month.“I think a full diagnosis is yet to come, it will probably be by the end of the day,” he said.“It is likely to be a few weeks, the medial ligament on the side of his knee has a tear in it from a fairly innocuous collision.“Hopefully (he will only miss) four to six weeks if we are lucky, depending on Andy’s recovery rate. It is a big blow for his and a big blow for us but it is one we have to cope with.“It is traumatic when someone is going through a period when in a short time they overcome one injury and another occurs.”Whilst Carroll will be missing for the FA Cup fifth-round clash at West Brom on Saturday, Allardyce will welcome Mark Noble and captain Kevin Nolan back into his squad for the fixture at the Hawthorns. 1 Andy Carroll last_img read more

South Bay reaction: Disappointment

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“Chris didn’t do it in high school, I’m sure.” When Donnels was briefly with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he and teammate Todd Hundley apparently were supplied with performance-enhancing substances in 2000 by former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, the Mitchell Report said. Mitchell said Benard’s admission came from his former San Francisco Giants manager, Dusty Baker, who described himself as “close” to Benard and told Mitchell’s investigators that he was “completely shocked.” South Bay high school players expressed frustration about the findings in the report and disenchantment with boyhood heroes like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, Eric Gagne and Paul Lo Duca. “It’s a form of cheating,” said Banning’s Michael Ponce, a catcher and first baseman for the baseball team and a quarterback for the football team. “It makes me feel bad because I know I’ve worked hard, and it got me down because it means you have to take steroids to be good. I don’t like it.” Release of the Mitchell Report reverberated across the South Bay on Thursday as coaches and athletes learned that a pair of local baseball standouts were on the list. Among the 85 ballplayers mentioned in connection with steroid use were former South High and Loyola Marymount star Chris Donnels and former Harbor College stalwart Marvin Benard. Jerry McIlvaine, a 25-year coaching veteran in the South Bay who coached Donnels on South Torrance’s 1984 CIF title team, said he was surprised to learn about Donnels’ involvement. “But here he is, the All-American kid who’s going to (LMU) and he’s a great player,” McIlvaine said. “But all of a sudden, in order to compete with the other guys who are using, you have to get bigger and stronger. It’s a crime that the ones who don’t do it are going to lose their jobs to the ones who do. Banning pitcher and shortstop Frankie Sixtos said he would get in the face of any teammate found to be using steroids. “I lost a lot of respect for the players named,” said Sixtos, whose older brother Rafael fought his way up from Banning and Harbor College to the minor leagues. “They lowered our chances of making it, for the ones who are doing it the right way. Ever since I heard about the steroids, I see the game differently. There’s no more fair play.” Like McIlvaine, other local coaches said they understood why so many major leaguers turned to performance-enhancing substances. “When your living depends on performance and you think one guy is cheating, it’s natural for the other guys to want to be able to compete with them,” said Mira Costa baseball coach Mike Neilly. “It’s something that needs to be cleaned up and addressed by baseball.” John Gonzalez, a coach at Banning High School in Wilmington, said the pressure to perform may be a mitigating factor. “People expect great things from these athletes,” Gonzalez said. “They go to games and they want to see 450-foot bombs, not the singles hitters. They want to see the guys throwing 93-95 miles per hour, not the guys throwing 85-86. “It’s unfortunate, but with all the big contracts and the money, a lot of guys feel they have to do it.” One local coach said money is the driving factor for struggling athletes who turn to steroids. “If you’re in the minor leagues and you’re not making it to the big leagues because you’re not hitting 20 homers a year, your career is on hold,” said the coach, who asked that his name not be used. “If you make it to the big leagues, you get a guaranteed salary and maybe millions of dollars a year. You’re financially set for life. “Do you think you would be tempted to use steroids?” McIlvaine said perhaps baseball should take a cue from horse racing to combat performance enhancers. “When a horse has a good day, they test it. Every winner is tested,” McIlvaine said. “Maybe if Barry Bonds hits three homers in a game, you test him afterward. But if he strikes out four times, you don’t test.” Palos Verdes coach Evan Fuginaga said he agreed with Mitchell that baseball needs to focus on prevention rather than punishment. “It’s better to look forward rather than backward,” Fuginaga said. “The focus needs to be on the way we test, not on who needs to be punished. These are guys that a lot of people look up to. In some ways, it makes you ask where we are as a society.” tony.ciniglio@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

HISTORIC DAY AT CROKER: BRILLIANT DONEGAL STUN DUBLIN – TWICE!

first_imgRyan McHugh: Donegal two goal hero.Donegal 3-14 Dublin 0-17Donegal’s senior footballers produced one of their greatest ever performances to defeat “unbeatable” Dublin in their All-Ireland semi-final clash at Croke Park and keep alive the hopes of an historic double for the Tir Chonaill county.Having earlier watched Declan Bonner’s Donegal minors reach their first ever All-Ireland final, Jim McGuinness’s men put in a stunning performance to defeat the reigning champions and red hot favourites to retain Sam Maguire on a day that will live long in the memory of fans of the Ulster champions. After a shakey start Donegal fought back with two goals for Ryan McHugh and Colm McFadden to send shockwaves through the Croke Park foundations, winning by an astonishing six points.Donegal got off to the a great start, Colm McFadden firing over a free in the first minute to put the Tir Chonaill men ahead.However, Dublin were three ahead within four minutes, putting over four unanswered points.Karl Lacey put over a lovely point in the 13th minute to settle the nerves but Dublin hit back with three unanswered points to open up a five point advantage in the 20th minute. Michael Murphy kept his nerve to successfully convert a free in the 21st minute to keep his side in touch.Funston and Kavanagh exchanged points before Durkan got down brilliantly to push out what looked an almost certain goal from Connolly.Connolly made amends with an excellent point which was followed by two unanswered points for Donegal to put three between the sides in the 28th minute.Murphy had an excellent chance to reduce the arrears but his weak shot from 20 yards fell tamelessly short.But he made up for the miss with an excellent long distanee point immediately afterwards. Ryan McHugh put Donegal ahead when he took advantage of poor Dublin defending when slid the ball to back of the net two minutes from the break.A late Dublin point saw Donegal switch ends with a one point advantage.McHugh sent the Donegal fans estatic two minutes after the start of the second with his second goal of the game before he tore through the Dublin defence to set up McFadden who put over the bar to put five between the sides.Dublin hit back with two unanswered points but a brilliant team move ended with  Frank McGlynn putting Donegal back in front by four points on a scoreline of 2-10 to 0-12 in the 44th minute. The Donegal fans were in dreamland in the 46th minute when another brilliant Donegal team move was finished off with McFadden waltzed the ball to the back of the net to open up an unthinkable seven point lead.McFadden put over another free to put his side eight ahead.Unanswered points from Connolly and Brogan saw the shell-shocked Dubs reduce the deficit to six points with 20 minutes remaining.McHugh was denied what looked almost certain hat-trick when Dublin keeper Cluxton produced a brilliant one-handed save to push his shot over the bar.Two more points saw Dublin continue to nibble away at the lead, reducing the deficit to five points with 14 minutes remaining.After Walsh replaced McGee, who was black carded, two points from Paddy McBrearty made it a seven-point game in the 64th minute.However, by then Dublin – who added a late consolation point –  were “broken” and when they final whistle sounded  the Donegal celebrations brought back memories of that All-Ireland win two years ago.What a day!HISTORIC DAY AT CROKER: BRILLIANT DONEGAL STUN DUBLIN – TWICE! was last modified: September 1st, 2014 by johngerardShare 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:all-irelandcrokedonegaldublinparksemi-finallast_img read more

Deal struck over luxury hotel plan

first_imgA threat to challenge in court or on the ballot plans for a massive public subsidy for a luxury hotel at the Los Angeles Convention Center was averted when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a deal Monday to placate the owner of the rival Westin Bonaventure to allow conversion of one-third of the facility to condominiums. Villaraigosa said a week of intense negotiations led to an agreement with Bonaventure Hotel owner Peter Zen, backers of the l.a. live development near Staples Center and the union representing the city’s hotel workers. The city can now proceed with the $270 million financing package for AEG Entertainment, which plans to build a 56-story hotel and entertainment complex near the Convention Center – a project expected to result in more than $5 billion in new construction and jobs for the city. In return, the Westin Bonaventure will be given permission to convert 400 of its 1,200 rooms into condominiums at some future date while providing three years of job protection for hotel workers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “This is a win-win situation,” Villaraigosa declared at a City Hall news conference. “We were able to bring together people who had legitimate differences and come to a common solution.” The plan, approved by the City Council on Sept. 30, gives Wolff Development and Apollo Real Estate Advisors a $16 million, below-market loan from the Community Redevelopment Agency and $4 million in city fee waivers. The city also has agreed to forgo room-tax revenues from the hotel for 25 years. Zen had vowed to fight the plan in court or at the polls because he said it would have given the new hotel an advantage over his hotel and others in downtown. The newly announced condominium-conversion plan will allow the Bonaventure to remain competitive, he said. Villaraigosa said the conversion would bring in an estimated $2 million in new property tax revenue, which would more than make up for the loss of any hotel bed tax from the Bonaventure. More importantly, the mayor said, is Zen’s agreement to drop his opposition to the new hotel, which is seen as key in reviving activity at the Convention Center, which costs taxpayers more than $30 million a year in operating losses and other subsidies. “Everyone knows the Convention Center is a white elephant,” Villaraigosa said. “Angelenos all remember the downtown of the 1940s and ’50s and there has been a vision for a number of years to recapture that. “A Convention Center hotel is absolutely necessary if we are going to have a vibrant downtown, a downtown that people want to visit. A Convention Center hotel is the key.” Mark Lieberman, president of L.A. Inc, the group charged with bringing conventions to the city, said meeting planners all cite a need for newer, better accommodations near the Convention Center. “What they tell us is, If you will build it, we will come,” Lieberman said. “The hotel is absolutely essential.” Tim Leiweke, head of AEG Entertainment, said the success of the l.a. live complex rests with the hotel’s construction. “It is the key feature,” Leiweke said. “This is a defining moment in Los Angeles history. I think people, 10 to 15 years from now, will look back at this day as the moment of monumental accomplishment.” Leiweke said he hopes to break ground this month on some of the projects, with a goal of completing the hotel by 2009. And, he said, l.a. live is only the beginning of the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles. He estimated that the Bonaventure condominium conversions would mean an additional $50 million in work, and that other downtown hotels would be making major renovations to compete for convention visitors. However, some have questioned whether the deal is in the best interest of taxpayers, and whether enough new convention business can be generated to justify the expense. “It’s one of those things that drives me crazy,” said Joel Kotkin, senior fellow at the New American Foundation. “I keep asking, Why are we building this hotel? If we have a white elephant of a Convention Center, which everyone agrees to, then why are we building this hotel? “The convention business is basically cyclical. They keep moving around from city to city. And, how many large conventions are we going to get to justify this? “We already get a lot of the smaller groups that don’t need a convention center. And, if it is going to be so profitable, then why should the public pay for it?” But Leiweke said the public-financing package is critical to showing investors the city is committed to the hotel’s success and to the future of l.a. live. Villaraigosa said he is confident of the project’s success, with estimates that at least 10 million people a year will come to the l.a. live venue. Leiweke said his goal is to compete with Times Square in New York City, which draws 37 million visitors a year. Maria-Elena Durazo, business manager of UNITE NOW, which represents hotel workers, said the agreement is important to her members because of the guarantees of job security. “We had a situation in Beverly Hills where 500 workers lost their jobs when a hotel converted to condos,” Durazo said. “Under this agreement, we know what will be coming and our workers will have some protections.” Leiweke said AEG also would be working with new hotels being planned for the area and others to see that they hire union workers. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 rick.orlov@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Gunman wounds 6, takes hostages at shopping mall

first_img Inside, Stacy Wilson, 29, of Bonney Lake heard a popping noise and turned around. “I saw the gunman randomly shooting. I ran with a group of women to Victoria’s Secret,” Wilson said. She said they crouched behind a wall in the store, and when the shooting stopped, an employee ran out and closed a security gate at the front. Wilson said she heard 15 to 20 shots. “He was walking backward and shooting. I couldn’t see his face,” she said. “Everyone was running and screaming.” A man told KING-TV the gunman was smiling as he fired an assault rifle in bursts of four to five shots. The man said he told his daughter and grandson to run and then hid in the back of a store with his wife and granddaughter. He says they helped a woman who was shot in the leg, bandaging the wound and wrapping her in blankets. A woman who said she made eye contact with the “very clean-cut” gunman before he opened fire told Northwest Cable News, “When I heard the shooting I thought, This is a joke. … I couldn’t believe this was actually happening, that someone would do this.” Betz Dejarnatt, who works at the J.C. Penney store, said workers were herded into dressing rooms and offices, then police took them outside to a parking lot. Six people were taken to hospitals, most with minor injuries, according to Tacoma Fire Department Deputy Chief Jon Lendosky. One person was in critical condition at Tacoma General Hospital, spokesman Todd Kelley said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals While the suspect was in the music store, employee Joe Hudson was able to pick up a phone call from The Associated Press and say he and others had been taken hostage. He said little more but could be heard telling others that he was talking to the AP. Susan Serveau said she also called her daughter, Kathy Riggans, 24, a manager at Sam Goody, as soon as she heard about the shooting. “She was upset and scared. She was crying,” Serveau said, standing in a parking lot near the mall. “All she would say was that she was OK.” Authorities said they began getting calls about 12:15 p.m. that shots had been fired inside the Tacoma Mall. The first caller said a gunman “was in the mall, walking along, firing,” Fulghum said. State Patrol and police units from nearby agencies clustered around an entrance at the south end. TACOMA, Wash. – A gunman opened fire inside a busy shopping mall Sunday, wounding at least six people and taking three others hostage in a music store before he surrendered to a SWAT team, authorities said. Witnesses described seeing a clean-cut man walking backward through the mall, firing a rifle. At least six people were wounded, one critically, as shoppers and store clerks scrambled for cover. Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said the suspect was 20 and lived in Tacoma, but he had no other details or possible motives. The gunman came out of the Sam Goody music store without a gun and surrendered to the SWAT team, Fulghum said. He said police were interviewing the victims and the three hostages – two men and a woman – to determine what happened during the nearly four hours he was inside. last_img read more

DONEGAL WOMAN CROWNED WORLD POWER-LIFTING CHAMP – AND SMASHES WORLD RECORD!

first_imgDonegal woman Sinead Doherty enjoyed double success at this weekend when she was crowned world champion and set a new world record.The 23-year-old Letterkenny woman travelled to Telford University to take part in the World Drug Free PowerLifting Association event.A member of FitHub Letterkenny, the former NUI Galway Arts student only started weightlifting a year ago. Owner and head coach at Fithub,Neil Barrett, said it was a fantastic achievement.“Sinead has worked hard and trained hard for this and it is well deserved. She has put so much work into it. We are all so proud of her,” he said.In February, Sinead managed a deadlift of 140kg to win her category and lift her first weightlifting trophy at the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Competition.Sinead’s lift then was also a new ‘record’ but at she has only been registered for two months instead of the obligatory three, it could not be recognised. But now it’s official – World Champion and new World Record!She previously told Donegal Daily how she got into weightlifting.“It was my sister who dragged me to my first CrossFit class. It was a taster class and I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t really into anything at the time. I had done some rugby but I wouldn’t have said that I was fit.“But I soon got addicted to it and I looked forward to traveling up from college on Saturdays to train. I never wanted to be skinny. I wanted to be fit. When I started lifting Neil said that I was a natural so it went from there.”DONEGAL WOMAN CROWNED WORLD POWER-LIFTING CHAMP – AND SMASHES WORLD RECORD! was last modified: June 14th, 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:power liftingSinead Dohertyworld championworld recordlast_img read more

Lab-Produced Meat on Rise

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — In March 2017, Australian real estate mogul Tim Gurner advised millennials to quit wasting money on expensive avocado toast and coffee if they struggle to buy their first homes.The avocado market suddenly surged and continues to thrive.In the food business, consumer preferences and demand can change at the speed of light in the internet age.Responding to sudden changes in consumer demand is something farmers — by the nature of the business — find difficult to do.For example, Arlington, Nebraska, farmer J.P. Rhea seized opportunity in organics, but completely remaking his 11,000-acre farm didn’t happen overnight.“Dad always said you have to adapt to survive,” Rhea told an audience at the Food and Ag at the Intersection symposium in Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday.“The main lesson is, as farmers we have to adapt. Going to organics is completely changing everything I’ve ever done. We’ve got to dramatically rethink risks if we want farmers to dramatically change production systems.”The growing development of a cell- and plant-based meat industry is attempting to respond to market demands from millennials. Many millennials want food produced with certain attributes — environmentally friendly, made with animal welfare in mind, and so on.TAKING NOTICEJarrod Sutton, vice president of domestic marketing for the National Pork Board, said the milk industry’s 14% loss of sales to alternatives such as almond milk, is a reason the pork industry should take notice of the alternative meat industry.“The lesson for us is to be aware and understand how consumer trends are changing,” Sutton said. “There’s going to be jabbing back and forth. It is the new reality. Meatless Monday is a thing. We have to stay in the dialogue and make sure the facts are presented.”Sutton said the cell-based and plant-based protein markets are “about saving the earth.”“They’re pouring a lot of money into this,” he said. “It’s Silicon Valley. It’s about failing slow.”Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and head of the ag economics department at Purdue University, said although news stories don’t feature a lot of good news for the meat industry, there continues to be rising demand for animal proteins.His research shows beef demand is highest among conservative Republicans, but as education levels grow the divergence increases.“Beef demand is becoming increasingly polarized over time,” Lusk said. “Conversation about meat consumption are going to become more difficult over time.”In addition, he said when consumers have the same price points for real beef and beef alternatives, demand for beef doesn’t really change.“Even if real beef is more expensive, demand for real meat stays over time,” Lusk said.GROWING INDUSTRYBruce Friedrich, executive director of theGood Food Institute, said plant-based and cell-based meats have a $3.7 billion market. Currently there are more than 25 companies operating in the space.Friedrich told DTN in an interview the market provides some opportunity for traditional row-crop and livestock farmers.“Obviously … there are quite a few cattle ranchers who are making an excellent living, but there are not a lot of chicken farmers or pig farmers that are making an excellent living,” he said.“And slaughterhouse jobs are not exactly coveted. This is a net advantage for those sorts of folks. It should be a net advantage for people who are farming crops, because it will allow them to get higher prices for other legumes, primarily. Pea protein, chickpea protein and lupine are being turned into plant-based meat. So you end up with a situation where you can go to more crop rotation, less mono-cropping, basically turning back the clock. The plant-based stuff should end up with a lot of opportunities for farmers.”More traditional food companies are launching plant-based segments in their businesses in an attempt to respond to the market quickly.For example, Tyson announced plans this year to launch vegan plant-based products. Archer Daniels Midland is entering the plant-based protein space with its pea-based proteins.On Thursday, Beyond Meat launched its initial public offering, raising about $240 million in selling 9.6 million shares at $25 each. The company is valued at about $1.5 billion. The plant-based burgers and sausages company based in El Segundo, California, faces competition from the likes of Tyson and Burger King.Earlier this week Burger King announced plans to launch the plant-based “Impossible Whopper.” In addition, Tyson was an original investor in Beyond Meat, but sold its shares to launch its own business.Friedrich said the question remains about how fast Beyond Meat can scale up production. It could take five to 10 years, he said.FOOD COMPANY INVESTMENTSWhen it comes to cell-based meat companies, the likes of Tyson and Cargill have invested in a company called Memphis Meats. Tyson also has invested in a company called Future Meat Technologies.Cell-based meat companies are working feverishly to scale up the technology. That involves using a cell from a single animal and essentially immortalizing the animal through growing meat in a laboratory at a rate far faster than livestock producers who raise animals.“So that one cell can lead to the production of millions and millions of pounds of meat,” Friedrich told DTN.“For farmers who are treating animals well, and for farmers who are focused on regenerative agriculture, our hunch is that you’ll see more of a market for that. The market for that is pretty small at the moment. There are significant opportunities for farming. It’s the nature of any changing economy. Families are changing how they feed their families, it is a market that is growing more and more and more. It will be extremely lucrative, and should be something farmers should be looking at.”Steve Lerch, founder of Story Arc Consulting, said the food system is moving toward a benefits-driven system, because consumers have more information at their fingertips.Food companies and farmers face a challenge to keep up with changing consumer preferences.For instance, Lerch said consumer are beginning to lose interest in the GMO debate, while companies began responding five years ago by moving toward offering GMO-free products.“There are quick, simple things [you] can do to catch waves,” he said.“Companies don’t have to create waves. There is value in telling consumers something. If Burger King today created a message that there is no rubber in our hamburgers, they get benefits from this. Some people may then begin to think, ‘Does McDonalds put rubber in its hamburgers?’”Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(BAS/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more