Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast for Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Today – A mix of sun and cloud. High 25. UV index 7 or high.

Tonight – Partly cloudy. Low 13.

Photo of the day

Greg Devries and Peter Fragiskatos (Facebook)

The Government of Canada continues to support the agri-food industry as it reduces emissions and adopts sustainable practices that lead to more efficient use of water and energy.

Member of Parliament Peter Fragiskatos (London North Centre), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, announced on Monday an investment of up to $3.7 million for two Chatham companies to collaboratively reduce their environmental footprint, while making their operations more productive and competitive.

Government officials say the investment is enabling Greenfield Global to install new Dutch technology that pipes waste heat and carbon-dioxide across the road to Truly Green Farms, reducing the greenhouse energy costs and boosting tomato yields.

“Sustainable agriculture improves the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the jobs in our communities,” stated Greg Devries, President Truly Green Farms & Cedarline Greenhouses.

“Truly Green has developed an innovative partnership with Greenfield to use waste heat from its ethanol process to boost the production of our greenhouse tomatoes. This investment is helping us become the first greenhouse of its kind to be warmed by waste heat. It will also make us one of the most energy-efficient greenhouses in North America.”

Howard Field, President and Chief Executive Officer of Greenfield Global, said the environmental benefits of ethanol production can extend well beyond the gas tank.

“This investment is helping Greenfield convert what was previously waste heat vented from a heat stack at our ethanol facility in Chatham, into the heat needed to grow greenhouse tomatoes with lower energy use and heating costs,” he said.

“Working with greenhouses, we are expanding opportunities for sustainability both in our products and how we produce them.”

More details:

– Greenfield Global is a world leader in specialty alcohols and the largest ethanol producer in Canada.

– Truly Green Farms has 45 acres of tomato production, with another 45 acres to be built.

– The project has generated 200 new jobs since it was conceived in 2012.

– This repayable investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative.

“The environment and the economy go hand in hand, and our government knows that supporting sustainable solutions in agriculture will spur clean innovation, create jobs, and lead to a stronger agricultural sector,” stated Fragiskatos.

“This project is a great example of two Chatham companies working together to improve greenhouse yields, while lowering their environmental footprint.”

Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is a five-year (2013-2018) policy framework for Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector. GF2 is a $3 billion dollar investment by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments and the foundation for government agricultural programs and services.

GF2 programs will focus on innovation, competitiveness and market development to ensure Canadian producers and processors have the tools and resources they need to continue to innovate and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.

In addition, an effective suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs which includes AgriInvest, AgriStability, AgriInsurance, and AgriRecovery will help farmers in managing risk due to severe market volatility and disaster situations. Through AgriRisk Initiatives, governments will also help the industry in its efforts to research, develop and implement new agricultural risk management tools.

The Mandate Letter of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food commits to implementing a new multi-year agricultural policy framework to replace GF2 in 2018.

Third annual Workplace Wellness & Recognition Workshop set

Did you know that on average we spend seven to ten hours per day at work?

Employers may reap the benefits of a healthy workforce through reduced absenteeism and improved productivity however, imagine the health impact workplaces could have on their community. Workplace wellness programs give employees the tools they need to live healthy lives at work, at home and in their community.

Chatham-Kent employers looking for ways to develop strong links between health, safety, and wellness initiatives are invited to the third annual Workplace Wellness Recognition workshop. This FREE half-day workshop will be held in Chatham at the Bradley Conference Centre on October 19, 2017. Through brief presentations employers Aarkel Tool and Die Inc. in Wallaceburg, Growing Together Family Resource Centre in Chatham, and KSR Dresden Industrial in Ridgetown will share the trials and triumphs of implementing and maintaining their workplace wellness programs.

This workshop will also focus on mental health and community initiatives. Research has found that mental health problems and illnesses account for approximately 30% of short – and long-term disability claims and are rated one of the top three drivers of such claims by more than 80% of Canadian employers. The estimated economic cost is 51 billion per annum. Learn how not to be part of this statistic from employers who have been trained on and implemented the 13 psychological standards. You will also learn about the Convo Plate a new mental health initiative in our community.

Employers looking to get more involved in their community will learn how they can support Super Kids; a physical activity and healthy eating initiative for children 0-12 years of age. As well as Greener Communities, a tree planting initiative that willimprove the health of our communities and conserve resources for future generations and creating shade for sun protection.

Throughout the day there will be opportunities for networking with other workplaces, the presenters and public health staff regarding community programs.

Take this opportunity to invest in the wellbeing and performance of your employees to help build a thriving and productive workforce. Advanced registration is required. To register visit the Eventbrite website at https://workplacewellnessrecognition2017.eventbrite.ca

For more information on the workshop or more workplace wellness resources visit https://ckphu.com/2017/09/third-annual-workplace-wellness-recognition-workshop/

Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit: How to safely thaw a turkey

A frozen turkey is safe. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that are present before freezing will begin to grow. Thawing a turkey unsafely can increase your chances of getting sick. You should never thaw on the counter, in the garage, on the back porch, in a brown paper bag or even using a dishwasher. Really! Those methods are unsafe. There are Only 3 safe ways to defrost a turkey and keep you and your family safe. The safe thawing methods are:

– In the refrigerator

– In cold water or

– In a microwave oven

Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended)

This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. This does take some time, so allow one day per 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds). If your turkey weighs between 8 – 10 kilograms, you will need to allow about 5 days for thawing. Once thawed, the turkey is safe for another 1 – 2 days in the fridge before cooking.

Cold Water Thawing

For the cold water method, leave the turkey in its original wrapping and submerge in a sink full of cold running water. It is important that the water be cold, so that the turkey stays at a safe temperature. With this method, allow 30 minutes of defrosting time per 0.45 kilograms (1 pound). So an 8 -10 kilogram turkey will take about 10 hours to thaw using this method. Once the turkey is thawed, cook it immediately.

Microwave Thawing

Before you commit to thawing your turkey in a microwave oven, check your owner’s manual for: the size of turkey that will fit in it; the minutes of cooking time per kilogram/pound; and the power level to use when thawing a turkey. Remove all outside wrapping and place the turkey on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak. Use the defrost function based on weight. As a general guideline, allow 6 minutes per 0.45 kilograms (1 pound) when thawing the turkey in the microwave. Be sure to rotate several times, and even flip it over during the thawing process.

If the turkey starts to actually cook instead of defrost, let it rest for 5 minutes or so before you resume thawing. Once the turkey has thawed, cook it immediately

Thaw your turkey safely and keep you and your family healthy.

For more information contact CK Public Health at 519-352-7270.

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If you have a suggestion, story idea, column idea, or if you want to say hello… drop me an e-mail at aaron@sydenhamcurrent.ca.

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