Johannesburg, Friday 08 March 2019 – International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This day was identified for well over a century ago, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.This year’s campaign theme #BalanceforBetter, is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. How will you help make a difference? The United Nations Women is an entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women supports #BalanceforBetter. This is done through putting emphasis on achieving a gender-equal world that requires social innovations to work for both women and men, leaving no one behind. It begins with making sure that women’s and girls’ needs and experiences are integrated at the very inception of technology and innovations.Africa has and continues to make strides in achieving gender-equality, with women like, Aja Fatoumata C.M. Jallow-Tambajang a Gambian politician and activist who served as Vice-President of the Gambia and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the Liberian President and the first democratically-elected female President on the African continent. While in South Africa, a country with a widely admired constitution ranks 2nd place out of the G20 members, with at least 42% seats in parliament held by women. Another first for the country is Phetogo Molawa, who became the first woman of colour to take command of the SA Air Force.As the country celebrates International Women’s Day, Brand South would like to remind all South Africans, to play their part towards progressive change, that promotes constitutional awareness of a free and fair society for all. To this end, and in strengthened efforts to elevate women’s voices, the organisation has partnered with W-Suite, a platform for advocacy and action aimed at bringing woman into key leadership and operational roles, particularly in the C-Suite across organisations, markets and governments.Brand South Africa’s Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said; “it is important that we are very much aware of what the Constitution’s promise to women is and live up to it. The W-Suite is a platform that reminds women to have the power to act, and if we know this reality we become aware and believe that we uplift each other”.The W-Suite media launch will be held on 20th March 2019 at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Johannesburg, more details to be shared closed to the time.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to promote pride and patriotism among South Africans, to contribute to nation building and social cohesion.Social Media:Facebook: @OfficialBrandSouthAfricaTwitter: @Brand_SAInstagram: @BrandSouthAfricaAbout W-SuiteW-Suite a platform for advocacy and action towards bringing more women in key leadership and operational roles particularly in the C-Suite across organisations, markets and governments. W-Suite provides a platform whereby all relevant stakeholders can engage on how we can collectively increase women’s influence on the Africa Union’s development programme (NEPAD) and towards the attainment of Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want.Social Media detailsFacebook: W-Suite ZATwitter: @ZaSuiteInstagram: @wsuitezaHashtag: #WSuiteSummit2019
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorASSUMPTION, Ill. (DTN) — Jeff Brown has taken to keeping changes of clothes in his tractor this spring. Home may only be 15 miles or so away as the crow flies, but most nights this spring he wasn’t sure when he’d see it next.The Blue Mound, Illinois, farmer has been racing the rain. On Sunday, the long-range forecast started calling weather to move in Tuesday night or maybe Wednesday morning. Bri-Mac Farms still had 2,000 acres to go before he could sleep.Brown is by reputation meticulous about planting — about everything, really. But he loves the preciseness of this ritual and the fresh start it brings each year. Spring is a clean slate and a promise. At least, it always has been.A perennial winner in the National Corn Grower Yield Contest, Brown is among the first to embrace modern innovations — whether it is technology or genetics. He subscribes to the yield-winning philosophies that every kernel of corn needs to emerge together. He has many of the planting tools to deliver just the right amount of pressure to tuck every baby seed in just right. Before he started farming full time in 2018, he saw and learned a lot as a company representative for Monsanto about how to make the most of every field.Nothing, however, prepared him for #plant19. “This year we have definitely learned who is in charge,” he said reverently.Across the landscape on Sunday, puffs of dust indicated other farmers in the same scurry to plant whatever they can as fast as they can. He knows them all and knows many are experiencing similar frustrations now that May has slipped away and with it, some of the yield potential for both corn and soybeans.Those yields and the pressure to produce are even more critical now that prices might finally be responding to the reduced planting prospects. Having a crop this year could potentially be more lucrative than was ever dreamed when farmers picked out hybrids and varieties last fall — tariffs notwithstanding.Still, making profits while others struggle isn’t how Brown, or most other farmers, prefers to operate.“Planting in June,” he spits out the words as if the stripe of dirt that decorates his cheek has somehow slipped and he’s tasted it for the first time.“Farming at night might be a blessing this year. At least when we look behind us, we can’t see all the agronomic sins we’ve committed,” Brown said. “There have been plenty of them this year.”He clicks off a list of things he thinks this crop will need to push past the subpar conditions. Ironically, more rainfall will be needed, especially if the corn gets lazy and roots higher in the soil profile, instead of pushing deeper for moisture. Heat units are needed — but not too many at pollination time.While an early harvest potential grabs headlines, he’s more worried about what conditions will be like in July.It’s not the first time that rain and even ponded conditions have held planting hostage, and it won’t be the last. This year differs in that about the time a field became fit, it would rain again and again. “We just never have caught much of a break. Usually we get bigger breaks,” he said.Brown knows he’s not even in the worst of this current farming fiasco and feels bad even complaining about it. He can name friends and fellow farmers stretched out along rivers that likely will not plant at all this year and others that have planted fields now flooded. Shoot … you don’t even have to be along a river to be weathered out this year.Central Illinois caught a small break in mid-May and a fair amount of corn was planted at that time. But black cutworms have already shown up to feast on those first fields to emerge — cutting down the young seedlings where they stand.He proactively sprayed for black cutworms last week. “They were small and going to be around long enough to do some real damage to some of the best fields we had so far,” he said.The tractor groans slightly as it pulls across land that is dry on top, but still too damp for ideal underneath. This pull is not something an experienced driver hears as much as feels.A tractor and field cultivator toiled all night in this spot the previous evening, opening up the soil to promote drying. The winds, which might ordinarily be a drawback for other practices such as spraying, came along strong to give the field a “good enough for this year” go-ahead.As a waterway comes on the horizon, Brown checks his first impulse to drive across it. The giant tractor stops just short of a deep, washed-out crevice hidden in a tumble of grass and weeds. These fields so carefully mapped have changed in a way no automation yet available can detect. “That’s what 23 inches of rain in a month will do,” he said.He backs the tractor up and works around the bottleneck. The phone rings as he gets to the far end of the field. It’s his wife, Amy. She’s arrived with dinner and is positioned as far away from the tractor as possible in this field.Brown chooses the most direct guidance line and heads for the dinner bell — only to have a different alarm begin to beep about halfway through the field. Row No. 23 isn’t getting full population. Deep breath … these are not welcome interruptions when the operator’s brain is running on pure adrenaline mixed with coffee or Red Bull or both. He discovers the hopper lid wasn’t properly sealed. A “please let that be it” look momentarily flashes across his face as he climbs back up to take the driver position.Anyone that knows Brown can tell you he’s looking thin these days, even for this extremely lanky guy. Inviting smells are coming from the slow cooker in Amy’s car and she starts to dish up sandwiches. He tells her only one, but she makes him take two. He waves off the other offerings, downs a bottle of water, swallows one sandwich and gnaws on the second, as he stalks back toward the planter.Then, he stops, turns around and comes back to give Amy a quick kiss and a thank you.Planting seasons like these don’t happen alone. There’s a big crew of people in the background — including the equipment dealer, various input reps, and it’s incredible how important the fuel guy becomes, Brown noted. Most of all, there is a list of family and farm partners pulling together to outpace a rain that at the moment they don’t want and in a few days they will likely need.As evening falls, Brown’s son Marshall arrives to run the planter so Dad can sleep in the truck for a few hours. Meanwhile, his other son, Walker, is in another field replanting and patching in areas that were previously too wet.“Everyone is learning on their own and the heat is on,” Brown said. The familial resemblance between these men is strong, but the streaks of dirt outlining their features on this evening make it more remarkable. The agrarian war paint might be comical under other circumstances, but this year it almost seems symbolic.When the June 5 prevented planting date turned over, Brown and the Bri-Mac farm crews had met the deadline. Relief and accomplishment mixed with a feeling of being blessed. “We know many farmers this year are not so fortunate,” he said.The sleepless nights because they weren’t farming, or because they were farming, may be temporarily behind them. Still, there’s no real rest for the weary. It’s already time to sidedress nitrogen in corn and tackle weeds in fields where residuals are quickly losing their hold.But for now, Brown and his boys will head home to take a shower, and ironically, those seeds so hastily planted will soon need one too.Pamela Smith can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members In 2008, when my business partner and I decided to form a design/build firm, we agreed to build to the highest standard of sustainability and to do so cost-effectively. With all our projects, we hoped to achieve a synergy between designing for human comfort, building in response to the site, and achieving long-term durability. We quickly agreed that the Passive House standard, which was just being introduced to the United States, would be the most comprehensive and clear measure of our success. To demonstrate that we had the ability to reach the standard, we built our first prototype, a house we called the GO Home. To reach the Passive House standard in Maine’s cold climate, we developed a new way to design and build homes collaboratively. The GO Home, completed in 2009, was Passive House certified, achieved LEED platinum, and was named the U.S. Green Building Council’s residential project of the year.Since building the GO Home, we’ve refined our design-and-build approach in completing several other high-performance projects. This house in Bath, Maine, is based on one of our design-plan packages that delivers (depending on the site) a house that could meet the Passive House standard, that’s comfortable and attractive, and that has a modest base cost—roughly $160 per sq. ft. Here is how we achieve such grand results on such a low budget. Design it to be compact Wendy and Bill came to us because they were interested in building the smallest and most sustainable home they could for their retirement. Of the plans we offer, they chose to work with our 1000-sq.-ft plan, which includes one bedroom; two bathrooms; an open kitchen, dining, and living space; and a small study.The shape of the house was influenced by…
Barcelona defender Dani Alves takes a bite out of a banana that was thrown on the pitch by a supporter of Villareal. Many saw the act of throwing the banana as a racist insult.Barcelona defender Dani Alves’ calm and indifferent reaction to a racist taunt during the club’s Sunday tie against Villareal has helped gather quite a lot of support for him. During the match that Barcelona won 3-2, a Villareal supporter – in a racist gesture – threw a banana on the pitch, near the 30-year-old Brazilian. Alves, however, reacted by picking up the banana and taking a bite out of it before going on with the game and setting up a goal in Barcelona’s dramatic come-from-behind victory. Alves’ club has condemned the incident and backed its player. “Barcelona totally supports and stands with player Dani Alves after the insults he received Sunday at the Villareal ground by certain people at the game,” the club said in a statement. Villareal’s reaction was a move in the right direction towards “converting grounds into areas where sports take priority and where the bad behaviour by some people is, first, isolated and then, eradicated for good,” Barcelona said. “I have been in Spain 11 years and it has been the same for 11 years. You have to laugh at these backward people,” Alves said after Sunday’s game. “We are not going to change it, so you have to take it almost as a joke and laugh at them.”