National 4-H Congress.

first_imgMore than 1,300 U.S. teens will come to Atlanta Nov. 26-30 for the 78th National 4-H Congress. “‘Make the Difference,’ the theme of this year’s Congress, tells the story for these young people,”said Susan Stewart, National 4-H Congress director. “Chosen from their history of leadership in communities in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, each of these young people comes to Atlanta with a desire to increase their ability to lead,” she said. Education Programs The youths, ages 14-19, will attend educational programs and cultural events in Atlanta. They will hear from Atlanta media mogul Ted Turner, Paralympic gold medalist and author Scot Hollonbeck and Miss America 2000, Heather French. Town Hall Meeting On the last day of Congress, the youths will have a town hall meeting, hosted by WAGA Fox 5 Atlanta’s Amanda Davis. They will discuss ethics issues for young people. Over the summer, more than 1,000 4-H’ers conducted surveys in their hometowns. The delegates will choose from more than 19 educational programs. The topics will range from investing in the stock market and youth leadership skills to biotechnology in agriculture and finding balance between economics and environment. “Congress delegates will return home better able to ‘Make a Difference’ in their own communities,” Stewart said. “The knowledge gained during their stay in Atlanta will be used to make positive changes in communities across the nation. Atlanta provides an excellent backdrop for the diversity of cultural experience National 4-H Congress offers.” Making Better CommunitiesDelegates will learn community service, too, from a hands on point of view. They will perform community projects around the city including clearing nature trails for wheelchair access for the Cobb County Association of Retarded Citizens, visiting patients at the Veteran’s Hospital, packing food for AIDS homebound patients at Project Open Hand and helping chefs at the DeKalb County Schools’ test kitchen make cookies for needy organizations and shelters. “In 1998, National 4-H Congress delegates spread across Atlanta and participated in a wide variety of projects,” Stewart said. “The youths are encouraged to start similar community service projects when they return to their own communities.” The survey, developed by the North Carolina Extension Service, will reveal the views of more than 2,000 people nationwide. It will help show how youths form ethical standards. At the 4-H Congress town hall meeting, the delegates will discuss what the survey means to them.last_img read more

Safe Veggies.

first_imgPhoto: Darbie Granberry Apply them only after the vegetables have been harvested.Fully incorporate them into the soil.And wait at least three months before planting food crops in the garden.Don’t use them on perennial vegetables and root crops. Watch Out for Animals, TooSpeaking of animal manure, living animals often visit the garden. Pets, deer, racoons, rodents and birds can carry human pathogens and may contaminate the garden with fecal matter.Be aware of this potential problem. Keep on the lookout for the telltale signs that they’ve been active in your garden. If animals or birds do visit your garden, take measures to keep them out.By applying chemicals properly, using composted manures and keeping animals out of your garden, you can help make sure your picture-perfect vegetables are not only fresh and nutritious, but also safe to eat. Garden vegetables are free of human pathogens unless they become contaminated. The task for gardeners is pretty simple: don’t mess up a good thing. The key to food safety is preventing contamination.Until recently, the term “safe” vegetables meant mainly that they were free of harmful chemicals or contained them in such low concentrations that they didn’t threaten anyone’s health.There was, and still is, a lot of emphasis on using only pest-control chemicals approved for vegetable crops, applying them at the prescribed concentrations and frequencies, and allowing for ample waiting periods before harvesting.These safeguards are still essential in helping keep garden vegetables safe.Prevent, Reduce ContaminationIn the late 1980s and ’90s, a number of produce-related illness outbreaks prompted the 1997 start of a federal program to help keep fresh produce safe.This new initiative stressed preventing and reducing the contamination of fresh produce with human pathogens (living things that make people sick).The concept of safe food was broadened to include being free of disease-causing microbes such as Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, Shigella, etc., and parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora.Producing “safe” fresh vegetables in the garden is fairly easy, because vegetables aren’t a primary source of human pathogens. Fortunately, the bacteria, fungi and viruses that sometimes make plants sick don’t make people sick.How Veggies Get ContaminatedHow do garden vegetables get contaminated with the “bugs” that make people sick?The most likely source in the garden is animal manure. But animal manures are good for the garden. They contain essential nutrients that help plants grow. And their organic matter improves soils.The good news is that gardeners can reap manures’ many benefits and still grow vegetables free of human pathogens.Use composted manures.The heat generated during the composting process destroys human pathogens. Besides making the food safer, properly composted manures are much more helpful to the garden than raw manures.Must Be Properly CompostedKeep in mind, though, that improperly composted manures are likely to contain as many pathogens as raw manure. Don’t use them.If you aren’t sure the manures you want to use have been properly composted: You work hard to make your nutritious garden crops look and taste good. Work at keeping them safe, too.last_img read more

Australia says cyber attacks rise, cites 4,500 hacking attempts in one day

first_imgCyber attacks against Australia have increased in frequency in recent months, Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said on Friday, as the country released its first cyber security threat report which cited 4,500 hacking attempts in one day.Australia said in June it would strengthen cyber defenses after a “sophisticated state-based actor” spent months trying to hack all levels of the government, political bodies, essential service providers and operators of critical infrastructure.Australia believes China is responsible for the attacks, sources told Reuters. Beijing denies it is behind the attempts. Canberra earlier this year issued a rare public cease and desist warning, seen by analysts as aimed at China.”I can assure you all today that threat has not diminished since then – in fact, it has increased,” Reynolds told reporters.Australia’s first ever cyber security threat report on Friday showed authorities responded to 2,266 incidents and received 59,806 cyber crime reports in the 12 months to June 30.The report noted two notable periods of attack. Topics :center_img In October 2019, malware called Emotet targeted sensitive personal and financial information. At its peak, Australia recorded 4,500 attempts in one day.The second spike was in April in what Australia’s cyber intelligence agency said were criminals taking advantage of COVID-19.The report does not include Australia’s most prominent cyber attack, an online assault on the country’s parliament and three largest political parties in February 2019.Reuters reported that Australia had quietly concluded China was responsible for that cyber-attack.Australia has never publicly identified the source of that attack, however, and China denied it was responsible.last_img read more