Chicken feed add-ins

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaIn recent years, poultry farmers and the U.S. ethanol industry have been in an economic fight over corn, which is used to feed flocks and make biofuel. But there could be a viable solution. Biofuel leftovers can be turned into chicken feed.“Biofuels are just another competitor for corn,” said Amy Batal, a poultry nutritionist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “There’s so much demand, and many people have been freaked out that there are not enough supplies of corn.”Ethanol demand has driven corn demand in the U.S., which produced 6.5 million gallons of ethanol in 2007, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.Mixing in algaeCompanies are now looking to use the oil in algae to make biodiesel and hope to feed the remaining algae meal to poultry and other livestock. Batal’s research will determine if it is a feasible feed additive.Biofuel byproducts like algae meal can be added to chicken feed, but first nutritionists like Batal have to make sure they are safe for chickens. And in the case of algae, that they won’t make the meat taste like seaweed-wrapped sushi.“If they use it, we have to know how it will affect not only performance but also if it will affect palability of the diet, pellet quality and can it flow through a feed mill,” she said.She also wants to determine if and how algae might affect chicken meat and eggs. For example, “if you feed them too much fish meal, chickens can have a fishy taste,” Batal said.Ethanol leftoversAlongside her algae research, Batal works with more common corn-based ethanol and biodiesel byproducts like glycerin and distiller’s dried grains.Distiller’s dried grains have been around since whiskey was first brewed. Due to the ethanol industry, there is a lot more of it now. It’s an acceptable feed because it has protein, fat and phosphorus, Batal said. Currently, 80 percent of distiller’s dried grains goes to feed cows, 8 percent goes to swine and 6 percent to poultry.The problem with the grain, she said, is that its quality can vary, and it isn’t always available. But recent improvement in shipping straight from ethanol plants to feed mills has helped.Biodiesel byproductBatal is also studying the use of pure-grade glycerin which can be used in cosmetics and soaps. The kind she is studying ranges in consistency from clear and water-like to dark and solid.“What we’ve found is there’s pretty much no one in the poultry industry using glycerin commercially,” she said. But as more companies are making biodiesel, the glycerin glut is increasing. “If they can get a handle on the variability of glycerin and the price drops you may see glycerin in some poultry diets,” she said. “Our studies have shown that it’s relatively safe depending on what it has in it.”She’s found that glycerin may be used in small amounts as a partial fat replacement in broiler diets. Too much of it will keep chicken feed from forming into pellets, though, the preferred form for chickens.In the case of both distiller’s grains and glycerin, Batal said that poultry producers should always test the products before they add them to feed. There will likely be more byproducts from alternative fuels to use in the future, she said.“A lot of the ethanol industry is not mature,” she said. “They’re still making modifications to make more money, which affects their byproducts.”(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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Master of Biomanufacturing

first_imgThe University of Georgia was awarded federal stimulus funding to launch a new program to meet the workforce needs of Georgia’s growing biotechnology industry.The three-year, $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will create a new Professional Science Master’s program in biomanufacturing and bioprocessing. Only 21 of 210 universities were selected to receive the award.“The focus of a PSM is different from the traditional undergraduate, master’s or doctoral degree,” said Timothy Davies, co-director of the UGA program and a research scientist in biochemistry and molecular biology. “It allows individuals to pursue advanced scientific training in a particular sector of industry while developing a strong foundation in business practices. It equips students with the skills that industry requires.”“This … is an exciting first at UGA, providing a more direct connection between graduate training and workforce development in an area of intense need in this country,” said David Lee, UGA vice president for research. “This is a prime example of a new trend in workforce-directed academic/industrial/government partnerships.”The degree program is awaiting approval from the University Council Executive Committee and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. There are about 200 PSM programs nationwide. The eight to 10 students in the UGA program will study biofuel/biochemical, industrial/environmental or pharmaceutical areas. Courses will be taught by faculty in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Pharmacy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Terry College of Business, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Bioenergy Systems Research Initiative and Faculty of Engineering. The biomanufacturing training facilities at UGA are unique in the Southeast and state-of-the-art for industry, Davies said. Strong industry links will enhance students’ experiences through seminars and guest lectures, lab-based case studies and internship opportunities. The NSF funds will support recruitment and fellowships for new master’s program students. The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Centers for Innovation and Georgia Bio will provide industry contacts and expertise. The Georgia BioBusiness Center, UGA’s technology incubator, will foster links between students and regional start-up companies.last_img read more

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Forage Quality

first_imgHigh quality forage is essential to beef cattle’s nutrition and beef producers’ bottom lines, said University of Georgia Extension forage specialist Dennis Hancock.Focusing on forage quality helps farmers keep overall costs low, he said. “That means two things. First, it doesn’t cost as much for us to supplement and provide enough energy and nutrition to the animals that we’re trying to feed. Secondly, and more importantly, it ensures those animals are getting all of their nutritional demands met, so we have high reproductive efficiency,” Hancock said.Growing high quality forage requires proper management on the beef producer’s part. Timely harvest is crucial, as the maturity of the crop is the primary factor affecting the forage’s fiber content and digestibility. The amount of fiber in the forage determines how much of the forage can be consumed. The digestibility of the forage determines how much energy is available to the animal. Hancock said beef producers should sample their forage periodically. This allows the beef producers to decide what quality of forage can be fed to each class of livestock. Lower quality hay should be reserved for dry cows, while higher quality hay should be set aside for cows with calves. Sampling allows the beef producer to determine the different quality of feed being fed to his or her cattle.“We recommend folks sample each lot of hay (individual cutting from an individual field). Say a producer has four fields and he harvests his hay four times per year, that’s eight different lots of hay. Naturally, through the year, some of that hay is going to be better than others,” Hancock said. “If they inventory it or have it in a barn in a certain way, and they know where it’s at, they can determine what they need to feed based on how the quality matches the livestock they’re feeding.”A dry cow doesn’t need nearly as much energy as a lactating cow. It doesn’t make financial and management sense to feed the same forage to both, Hancock said. One animal is being overfed, while the other is being underfed.Hancock said it can be a struggle to maintain good body condition in cattle, especially when forage quality is so low. This was the case two years ago, when Georgia experienced one of the wettest summers in recent memory. The rain delayed harvest, which resulted in more mature hay. This made its quality lower than normal. To make matters worse, Georgia experienced a very cold and wet winter, which sharply increased the need for energy and nutrition for the cattle.“Unfortunately, there’s a mentality that all hay is hay, that there’s not any differences. In reality, there are a lot of differences. Sometimes we can have a bad year, like we did in 2013, and the quality suffers,” Hancock said. “The only choice they have at that point, if they’re dealing with low quality forage, is to provide more supplemental energy. The problem was that feed costs were also very high at that point, too. With feeding a cow herd, emphasizing forage quality is crucial to keeping total cost low.”last_img read more

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Irrigation Startup

first_imgRemote moisture sensors and smart irrigation rigs are promising to revolutionize the way farmers use water, but soon this same technology may be available to landscape managers and, eventually, homeowners.University of Georgia horticulture student Jesse Lafian has received a $5,000 grant from the UGA Office of Sustainability to develop a solar-powered, automated irrigation controller. The novel system will be tested at the UGArden student-run vegetable farm and at the crescent-shaped flower bed by the Miller Plant Sciences Building on the university’s Athens campus. Lafian received the grant earlier this month.The technology is being tested as part of Lafian’s startup, Reservoir LLC, a business he launched in early 2016 and plans to grow after his graduation in May 2017.“I have been working on conservation-related projects since graduating from high school,” said Lafian, a fourth-year student from upstate New York studying at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “When I started this project, I wanted to create an accurate and affordable way for researchers to measure plant-available water in soil. Fortunately, it has evolved into an opportunity to reduce irrigation and expenses for many different customers.”Lafian moved to Athens to work as a research assistant in the UGA College of Engineering in 2014 after receiving his associate’s degree from Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, New York, and completing a National Science Foundation-funded oceanography internship. He began completing his bachelor’s degree in fall 2015.Lafian has applied for a patent on his sensor, which measures soil moisture in a novel way. He plans to sell his technology initially to managers of high-end landscaping companies, and then to other types of customers, such as farmers, golf course superintendents and homeowners.“Jesse’s system works fundamentally differently from the sensors I have used in the past,” said Marc van Iersel, a professor of horticulture at UGA, smart-irrigation pioneer and Lafian’s adviser. “The soil moisture sensors I have been using measure how much water is in the soil, but not how tightly that water is held in the soil. Some – or much, depending on soil type – of the water in the soil cannot be extracted by plants because the soil holds it too tightly. Jesse’s sensor measures exactly that: how tightly the water is bound to the soil. That tells us whether the plants can actually use that water.”Lafian’s sensor will be able to control irrigation automatically based on plant-water availability, meaning sprinklers will only engage when plants have restricted access to water and will only run as long as it takes to restore adequate moisture. Today, most automated irrigation systems are controlled by timers, regardless of soil moisture conditions.Lafian’s invention is a particular kind of soil moisture sensor called a “tensiometer.” Conventional tensiometers can be used to control irrigation systems, but they require constant supervision, making them unsuited for large-scale commercial applications. Lafian’s tensiometer doesn’t require nearly as much upkeep.“What makes my device different is that it is maintenance-free,” Lafian said. “Regular tensiometers are mostly used in laboratory settings. They are impractical for large-scale field use because they must be monitored every few days to make sure they are still working correctly. If a landscape manager had 100 regular tensiometers on 100 different properties, it would be impractical to check them all every few days.”Lafian developed his idea for the tensiometer in fall 2015 while taking a “Soils and Hydrology” class as part of his horticulture degree coursework. In spring 2016 he turned his idea into a business, and in the fall he participated in the Idea Accelerator program run by Thinc. UGA and Four Athens, a local technology incubator. This eight-week entrepreneurship program helped Lafian identify the initial target market for his sensor. “I knew my tensiometer would be useful from the start, but I was not sure exactly who would benefit the most from it,” Lafian said. “During the accelerator program, I conducted 45 interviews with potential customers, and I got the best response from managers of high-end landscaping companies.”Several managers at leading landscaping companies nationwide have already asked if they can test his prototype when it is ready. Lafian is using the grants he secured this year to develop and test the technology so that field trials can begin.Lafian has previously raised grant money for this project – $2,000 from UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) and $1,500 from the CAES FABricate entrepreneurship program. That money has gone into testing various materials for the sensor.This new grant from the Office of Sustainability will allow Lafian to hire UGA students in computer science and engineering to help fine-tune the device’s electronics and user interface – a cell phone app that will allow customers to view soil moisture data remotely. It will also fund the production of several prototypes, which will be tested at the UGArden and in the Carlton Street flower bed.For more information about smart irrigation research at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, visit caes.uga.edu.last_img read more

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FAVIP

first_imgFrom farmhand to future veterinarian student, Cassie Powell has dreamed of working with animals for a long time.This spring, Powell was selected for the University of Georgia’s Food Animal Veterinary Incentive Program (FAIP), a specialized program for preveterinary students. The program guarantees students’ admission into UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine if they agree to study food animal veterinary medicine. The program also helps to ease the transition from undergraduate classes to veterinary school and helps cover some of the cost of tuition.Powell is the first person to enter the program as a transfer student. She graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with an associate’s degree in May and now attends class at UGA in Athens.She grew up in Johnson County, Georgia, on her family farm, where everyone helped work with the animals. Her grandfather owned a feed and fertilizer store and raised cattle, which piqued her early interest in agriculture.Powell raised and competed with cows for seven years and show pigs for 12. Her experience showing animals helped her ti realize her passion for caring for them. She became convinced that, in the agriculture industry, the humane treatment of animals is paramount.She has done everything from shadowing her hometown veterinarian to pulling blood for animal blood testing, and she’s even helped birth a calf. “Experiences like these are just assurance that I want to be a food animal veterinarian. I am determined to become one, because it is more than a passion for me,” Powell said.The practice of food animal veterinarians is declining, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, so students like Powell are crucial to the future success of the field. For this precise reason, the UGA FAVIP is committed to students in order to obtain future food animal veterinarians for underserved communities. The goal is to help ensure safe, healthy and prosperous food animal production in the future.Although Powell’s exact career path is yet to be determined, she knows that she’s on the right track to turn her passion for animals and their well-being into the career of her dreams.For more information about UGA’s FAVIP, visit www.caes.uga.edu/students/undergraduate-programs/preprofessional-studies/pre-vet/favip.html.last_img read more

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Vermont Law School: EPA under siege

first_img Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree and two post-JD degrees, the Master of Laws in Environmental Law and the LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers). The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Centerand the South Royalton Legal Clinic. For more information, visit www.vermontlaw.edu(link is external). With Republicans Attacking the EPA, 2012 Could Be a Turning Point for Environmental RegulationBy Professor John Echeverria and Student Sara ImperialeSUMMARYHouse Republicans and Republican presidential candidates have launched unprecedented attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, saying environmental regulations are hurting the economy.Among the other things causing Richard Nixon to turn over in his grave may be Republican attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, which the former president and Congress established in a bipartisan response to public demand for cleaner water, air, and land. Since Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections, they have introduced an unprecedented number of measures designed to weaken longstanding environmental protections and block the EPA from putting forth new regulations. Moreâ ¦  With Republicans Attacking the EPA, 2012 Could Be a Turning Point for Environmental Regulation EPA and White House Clash Over Ozone Standards Powder River Basin’s Abundance of Coal at the Epicenter of Energy Development Activists Claim Victory, Temporarily, on Disputed Keystone XL Pipeline EPA, Transportation Department Step Up Sector-by-Sector Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Federal Appeals Court Settles Roadless Ruleâ ¦for Now Fukushima Fallout Affects Global Energy Security, Cost, Safety, Grid Reliability U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under Federal Common Law Landmark Settlement Under the Endangered Species Act Combating Climate Change Through Enforcement: EPA v. TVA Vermont Law School,Vermont Law School today released its second annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List today, spotlighting the nation’s most critical environmental law and policy issues of 2011 and how they may play out in 2012.The Watch List (see below) is available at http://watchlist.vermontlaw.edu/(link is external)This year’s report contains 10 essays, plus a Special Mention essay and three additional issues to watch in 2012. The issues were chosen based on their significance to the environment and public well being and whether a key development is expected in the coming year. ‘This year’s Watch List is especially important given the continuing fallout from theFukushima nuclear disaster in Japan,’ Dean Jeff Shields said. ‘We also saw unprecedented attacks on the EPA as well as the Obama administration’s mixed messages on environmental issues, which have been confusing to the public, conservationists and industry alike. Our Watch List helps to clarify these issues and others that are so critical in the coming election year.’last_img read more

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San Antonio utility closes Deely coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享KSAT:On the last day of 2018, CPS Energy officially closed its coal-fired Deely plant that has been open since the late 1970s. The Deely station was part of the Calaveras Power Station on the Southeast Side near Highway 181 and Loop 1604.The decision was made in 2011 due to the plant needing many environmental upgrades and a big push from the local environmental community. CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams said the much-needed environmental upgrades are what ultimately shut its doors.“From an environmental standpoint, it was the right decision,” Gold-Williams said.Gold-Williams said that while CPS Energy is steering away from coal, there is another option being considered. “I think a lot of it will be focused on gas and then new technologies coming down the pipe,” Gold-Williams said.“Coal is not the cheapest. Gas is … arguably.” And it’s “consistent, great for reliability and very cost effective,” Gold-Williams said.More: CPS Energy closes coal-fired Deely plant in operation since ’70s to focus on cleaner energy sources San Antonio utility closes Deely coal plantlast_img read more

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Macquarie, Siemens form energy-as-a-service unit targeting U.S. corporate renewable market

first_imgMacquarie, Siemens form energy-as-a-service unit targeting U.S. corporate renewable market FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Units of Macquarie Group and Siemens AG are forming a venture named Calibrant Energy, that will invest in the emerging energy-as-a-service (EaaS) sector in the United States, according to a joint statement on Monday.Electricity generation is forecast to increasingly move away from traditional structures involving large fossil fuel-burning power plants, towards localized systems using renewable energy and battery storage, known as distributed energy.For entities embracing this model, they can choose to ‘outsource’ their power systems to a specialist entity, in the same way firms hire technology platforms rather than develop their own systems – so-called software-as-a-service (SaaS).Set up by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, and Siemens’ Smart Infrastructure and Financial Services units, Calibrant Energy will build the energy infrastructure at no up-front cost and then manage it for customers including companies, municipalities and hospitals, the statement said.Calibrant aims to utilize Macquarie’s capital and Siemens’ technology, as it competes to grow in the space. According to a June forecast from consultancy Wood Mackenzie, around $110 billion of investment could be made in distributed energy in the period 2020-2025.Other professional investment firms are also seeking to tap into distributed energy. Last month, Blackstone Group launched its own platform. Carlyle Group and BlackRock Inc have such joint ventures with Schneider Electric and General Electric, respectively.[David French]More: Macquarie, Siemens units create U.S. distributed energy joint venturelast_img read more

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2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour in the Blue Ridge

first_imgThe Fly Fishing Film Tour (otherwise known as F3T) is back, and is bigger and better than ever, quickly becoming one of the most exciting and dynamic outdoor film tours making the rounds nationwide.Founded in 2007, the F3T is a unique  presentation of fly fishing cinema, growing quickly each year as it continues to add cities to the roster. Important to the festival’s mission and success, F3T is dedicated to supporting local fly shops and conservation groups that form the backbone of the sport’s educational and environmental efforts.A portion of ticket sales from each show go to support fishing and habitat-related conservation groups. In 2013 the group raised $250,000 for conservation partners including Trout Unlimited, Wild Steelhead Coalition, Bonefish Tarpon Trust, Utah Stream Access Coalition, Stop Pebble Mine and more.For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, click here. To win tickets to Thursday night’s show in Asheville, N.C., at Highland Brewing, answer our trivia question below and email Dusty with your answer!For more information, check out Asheville’s local outfitter Hunter Banks for specific details on Asheville’s showing of the F3T.Here is Your Trivia Question:The conservation group Trout Unlimited was founded in 1959 in which U.S. state?Email your answer to dusty@blueridgeoutdoors.com to win a pair of tickets to Thursday night’s F3T showing in Asheville!Winner will be drawn and announced Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST. Must be able to attend the event on Thursday night in Asheville to win!10257930_10152433348552009_1825391635906482823_nlast_img read more

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More Power to You, Girl.

first_img“Where’s that fella of yours?”In the midst of setting up the Go in the pouring rain, I turn around to see an older gentleman standing beside the Jeep, clad in a cotton t-shirt and matching gym shorts. He seems unaware of my discomfort with his presence.“There isn’t one,” I reply bluntly.A nervous knot begins to pulse in my stomach. Most conversations that begin with the mention of a guy, a boyfriend, a partner of any sort, usually end up in me getting feisty and defensive. Plus, he’s standing in the pouring rain without even a floppy hat on to at least allude to the fact that he might at least recognize it’s precipitating.No. Instead, he stands there soaking up every rain droplet like a sponge as he eyeballs my every move.“I could have sworn I seen one.”“Nope. Just me.” I say, hoping he picks up on my shortness.I return to my tasks, hustling now to assemble the rig and disappear inside. I’m tired, hungry, wet, cold, and now, feeling very much self-conscious and alone. There are times when I crave the company of others, and times when I’d rather hole away in the woods or turn invisible. Right now, I’m feeling the latter.“Well I’ll be damned! It was you I saw then,” he says, suddenly starting to chuckle.My patience drained, I rip back the hood of my rain shell so he can more clearly see my face, my piercing gaze that, in my mind, says “beat it, buddy.”“You don’t see many ladies camping out in the woods by themselves,” he says, still smiling. “More power to you, girl.” With this last comment, he nods and winks, turning his back and retreating into the misty fog.I stand there incredulously, watching him slowly shuffle down the road. He didn’t ask me about the Go, which is usually the first question I receive, oftentimes before even a greeting of any sort. He didn’t ask me what Blue Ridge Outdoors was, or what I was doing as a lady camping out in the woods by myself. Though initially I was suspicious, wary, he proved to be harmless.That’s been the case for the most part since I hit the road in April. I have yet to encounter an individual who made me feel truly uncomfortable or in danger. While I think that speaks to the good nature of people in the South, in the back of my mind, I still find myself mulling over worst-case-scenarios, escape plans, potential weapons of defense. It sounds a little irrational, but I’m not ignorant of what can happen.That being said, I also feel that, in general, women are much safer traveling alone than society tends to portray. I’ve received concerns from friends, family members, the boss, even total strangers. Yes, I agree, I absolutely need to keep my wits about me on the road, but not simply because I’m a woman. Anyone traveling alone at any time should be conscious of their surroundings, and I think that’s just the key to mitigating being cornered or ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time: be aware (that and mad judy choppin’ skills – Kung Fu Hillbilly’s got the hook up if you need a crash course).For instance, I don’t go on a run in an urban area in the evening by myself. Or if I do I tell someone and bring a headlamp. I don’t wear clothing that draws unwanted attention (you’re lucky to catch me in anything but the same Eddie Bauer skort and shirt I rock almost every day). I don’t wear make up. I don’t smell bad, but I certainly don’t smell good either. I don’t go to bars alone. I have yet to camp out in a parking lot overnight.But these are really just matters of preference, and not so much things I believe that women should not do at all. If you want to don a cute dress, throw on some perfume, a pair of heels, and hit the town solo, do it. Same if you want to pack your bag and hike for days on end. There’s nothing, and should be no one, stopping you.Recently there have been a lot of TV commercials released that have in some way addressed our perception on women and how the manner in which we treat young ladies can drastically impact their decisions later in life (see the latest Always and Verizon commercials for examples). In a time when, in my opinion, children are over-coddled anyway, I find it particularly irritating when girls are met with hesitance, doubt even, on their abilities to handle the adversities of adventure or traveling solo.There are amazing women in this world who have conquered unimaginable feats: to mention just a select few, Tori Murden McClure, the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean; Kira Salak, the first woman to traverse Papua New Guinea and the first documented person to kayak solo 600 miles down the Niger River; Zoë Romano, the first woman to run unsupported across the U.S.A. and the first person to ever run the Tour de France.These women are strong. Smart. Passionate. Determined. They don’t take ‘no’ for an answer and they don’t seem to think twice about diving headfirst into the unknown, solo. What if the way in which we respond to a young girl’s dream about circumnavigating the continent of Africa by kayak deters her from ever fulfilling her potential and becoming the next McClure or the next Romano?Now, this is not to say that we should disregard the statistics and tell women they have no need to be concerned when traveling alone – harassment of any sort is not an issue to take lightly at all. But I think in general, I’d like the paradigm to shift to one that discourages a sense of helplessness, doubt, and overprotection, and fosters, instead, a curiosity for the unknown, the faith to achieve the impossible, and the strength to do it all with the grace of a woman.More power to you, girls.last_img read more

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