USDA seeks public comment on postponed GIPSA rules

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the implementation of the Farmer Fair Practices rules. GIPSA is a USDA agency that facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products. One purpose of GIPSA is to promote fair and competitive trading practices for the benefit of consumers and agriculture.On April 11, 2017, the USDA announced that GIPSA delayed the implementation of the Farmer Fair Practices rules until October 19, 2017. The delayed Farmer Fair Practices rules were originally set to be effective on December 20, 2016. According to the USDA, the delayed rules would protect chicken growers from retaliation by processors when growers explore opportunities with other processors, discuss quality concerns with processors, or when refusing to make expensive upgrades to facilities. GIPSA concludes that the Farmer Fair Practices rules alleviates these issues. However, several livestock groups argue that the delayed rules would have adverse economic effects on the livestock industry.During the delay, the USDA is seeking public comment on the Farmer Fair Practices rules. The comment period offers the agricultural community an opportunity to suggest what action the USDA should take in regard to the Farmer Fair Practices rules. The USDA asked the public to suggest one of four actions that the USDA should take:Let the delayed rules become effective2. Suspend the delayed rules indefinitely3. Delay the effective date of the delayed rules further, or4. Withdraw the delayed rulesAfter receiving public comments, the USDA will consider the comments and make an informed decision regarding the delayed Farmer Fair Practices rules. According to Drovers, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently visited Kansas City, Missouri to speak with farmers, ranchers, and industry members. During the event, Secretary Perdue responded to a question about the GIPSA rule.“We’re going to look at it very closely,” said Perdue.last_img read more

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BlockChalk Shares “Lessons Learned” From Raising Seed Funding

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Company blogs are a good way to post press releases and make staff and product announcements. But they’re always particularly helpful when startups use them to share “lessons learned” from various stages of the entrepreneurial process.Last month, anonymous neighborhood messaging service BlockChalk announced that it had secured a $1.5 million investment, the company’s first. Today BlockChalk updated its blog today with some of the lessons the founders learned from raising angel investment.1. Find Early SupportersBlockChalk points to the importance of securing the support and advocacy of an angel investor, in this case Joshua Schachter, founder of . Schachter was able to play a key role in investor introductions and referrals, product advice, and pitch feedback. 2. AngelList PwnsAngelList is a service run by VentureHacks that helps put entrepreneurs in touch with angel investors. As BlockChalk describes, the process of honing a pitch for the AngelList was a beneficial act in its own right, but the AngelList helped them cultivate investor interest. Venture Hacks have also written about the BlockChalk funding today.3. The Team Is Key BlockChalk stresses the importance of a sold founding team in being able to attract investment. The founders’ backgrounds in business, their connections within the industry and their history of technical expertise improved their ability to raise funds. And Nivi echoes this in his Venture Hacks post today: “I think the foundation of BlockChalk’s fund-raising story is the pedigree of their team: Stephen Hood is the former head of product at del.icio.us, Dave Baggeroer is part of Stanford’s d.school faculty, and Josh Whiting is a former senior engineer at craigslist and former head of engineering for del.icio.us.”As the BlockChalk founders write, “It’s hard to go it alone. It’s probably also not smart in most cases. A powerful team is greater than the sum of its parts, and investors know that.”4. Continue to Tweak Your PitchJust because you’ve honed your pitch doesn’t mean you’re done. Continue to solicit feedback and revise and refine your presentation.”This shouldn’t be just a surface exercise. Your pitch is an extension of your product and your business, and any learnings should flow in both directions. “5. The Blessing and the Curse of the PrototypeWhile the feedback you receive from investors when they hear your pitch is important, it will never replace the feedback from actual users. BlockChalk describes its “soft launch” of a prototype in the hopes of getting early feedback. However, the prototype had an unintended consequence, as some potential investors thought the prototype was the finished product. In retrospect, says the blg post, “If we could do it again we might have launched our prototype under a different brand. Or perhaps emblazoned it with the word “beta”, or even “alpha”. But at some level this is the price you pay for having a “product” before you have funding. Prototyping is a double-edged sword. Be prepared for both blades!” Photo credits: Flickr user dixieroadrash audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#start#tips Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Banking Fees Add Up

first_imgLately there’s a lot in the news about checking accounts and debit card fees. So, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at checking account features.A recent survey by The New York Times found that the average bounced check fee is now $30.83, which is a record. In addition, many banks are abandoning their free checking account option, but may offer accounts that allow customers to avoid fees by maintaining a certain balance or by electing for direct deposit. When shopping for a checking account, watch for account features that should raise “red flags,” such as the inability to link the account with a savings account or overdraft fees on debit card transactions. To help service members avoid excessive fees, encourage clients to ask about the specific features of an account before moving their business to a new bank. The Center for Responsible Lending offers banking and lending resources.However, this guide doesn’t address the recent trend in debit card usage fees. What are you hearing about debit card fees? Bank of America has taken a lot of flack for their $5 debit card fees, but many other banks have already instituted fees or are considering implementing fees in the future.Military-affiliated credit unions often charge fewer fees than standard banks.Fortunately, service members and other consumers have other options. Opening an account with a credit union and smaller community bank is often the first step toward avoiding or reducing banking fees. Regardless of the advantage of avoiding fees, research has shown consumers are often hesitant to change banks because they have become accustomed to how a bank operates, even if they don’t care for the fees associated with services. As more users move to online banking, the thought of switching over all their online accounts may seem like more trouble than it’s worth. However, a closer look at how quickly these fees add up might make it worth the annoyance; like the 3,200 people who decided to become new customers at Navy Federal Credit Union. Earlier this month, the Navy Federal Credit Union reported 3,200 new accounts opened in just one weekend. Many new customers had left behind banks that now charging debit card fees.Are your clients paying these fees or changing financial institutions to avoid fees?Beyond debit card fees, what are the features we need to look for when shopping for a transaction account?What are the features likely to get an account holder into trouble?last_img read more

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Olympics 2012: Krishna Poonia gears up, practices hard in US

first_imgPoonia trains for the 2012 Olympics at Portland, Oregon, in the US.Krishna Poonia is charged up. The discus thrower is excited because she won the gold at the Portland meet in the US on August 14 and disappointed because she finished fourth at the Asian Championship in Japan in July.”My,Poonia trains for the 2012 Olympics at Portland, Oregon, in the US.Krishna Poonia is charged up. The discus thrower is excited because she won the gold at the Portland meet in the US on August 14 and disappointed because she finished fourth at the Asian Championship in Japan in July.”My personal best is 61.5 metres and it needs to improve. My coach is helping me reach the 62 metre-plus mark. I am expecting even longer throws as I peak early next year. I know what it means to make it big at London,” the 29-year-old Commonwealth Games champion told india today in an email from Portland, Oregon, where she is training for the Olympic Games in London in 2012.Poonia, coached by 1976 Montreal Olympics champion Mac Wilkins and assisted by her trainer husband Virender, will be in Portland till November before returning home. Every day, she trains for seven hours, competing with discus throwers from local colleges. Virender, 32, who monitors his wife’s 6 a.m.-11 a.m. and 2 p.m.-3 p.m. schedule, is confident she will do well in London. The schedule that Wilkins has drawn up for Poonia gives her time to meet local Indians, far removed from that of Chinese athletes, who train in isolation. “We talk every week to our 10-year-old son Lakshya in Jaipur who lives with my parents,” says Virender, adding: “he was delighted to hear about Krishna’s gold medal.”Poonia, who won the gold at Portland with a season best of 58.88 metres, knows that’s nowhere near enough for London. Li Yanfeng got China’s first world discus title on August 28 with a throw of 66.52 metres at Daegu, South Korea.advertisementPoonia feels the London Olympics will be the toughest test for her. “And I know if I lose, it will be a loss of face.” Overcoming a niggling knee injury that hampered her training in April 2011, she is now confident of achieving the qualifying mark (62 metres). “When I started, I was doing 59 metres, but my troubled knee affected my throw. But with the pain gone, I am confident,” she says.Poonia says that it is rare for a discus thrower to get it right in the very first attempt. “Hopefully, any scare I suffer will be during the qualifiers and it will be smooth sailing after that to the podium. I will have to bring more timing and speed,” she says. The sooner she does that, the better her chances in London.last_img read more

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