Science & Technology
Soy Checkoff Partners with Goodyear to Develop New Tire PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by United Soybean Board   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:34
The United Soybean Board (USB) continues to drive demand for U.S. soy, thanks to a partnership with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Goodyear recently announced field tests for a new tire featuring U.S. soy that the company says may offer consumers increased tread life and a greener alternative to those manufactured solely with petrochemicals.“The soy checkoff welcomes the opportunity to partner with Goodyear in bringing this tire to the market,” says Russ Carpenter, a soybean farmer from Trumansburg, N.Y. and chair of the USB New Uses program.

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Jason Smith of Midland Communications Explains Evergreen Contracts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Janet Dufour   
Friday, 05 October 2012 09:18
Industry Leader to Lend His Expertise and Years of Experience to Help SMBs Avoid Getting Locked Into Telecom Contracts

DAVENPORT, IA - October 4, 2012 - A vicious trend has developed among prominent carrier service providers called auto-renewals also known as "evergreen" clauses. Evergreen clauses are essentially an agreement between two parties that is automatically renewed or after each contract term, until canceled by the either party. For businesses, this means that you can easily become locked into contracts with poor service providers. Imagine attempting to cancel your services with a current provider, only to find out that you are contractually obligated to continue paying another year for a service you're completely unhappy with.
Hidden in your carrier service contract is language that automatically renews your services, preventing any opportunity to explore options to optimize or reduce cost on your carrier services. Be wary of auto-renewal verbiage sent by the carrier along the lines of: "Unless notified within 90 days of contract expiration date of intent to cancel services, contract will automatically renew for the same term at the same time." Locating the auto-renewal clause can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. One way find this verbiage is to call the customer service line of your carrier service provider to obtain the termination date of your contract and request this in writing. This simple process alone can save you thousands of dollars.
Ironically enough, these contract restrictions are often avoidable. In the case of "evergreen" clauses businesses have two options. On the one hand, you can avoid being locked into contract by making sure that you notify your carrier that you'd like to cancel services in writing, prior to the expiration of the specified term. These can vary from one contract to the next. On the other hand, you can consult with a Unified Communications provider, like Midland Communications, who has been helping businesses deal with "evergreen" contracts for several years. Whichever approach you take, it's vital that you periodically review your carrier service contract and acknowledge the termination date.
"Small to mid-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy and they need all of the help they can get to continue fueling our nation's economic growth," states Jason Smith, Vice President of Midland Communications. "We get a great deal of satisfaction when we can help our customers get out of these contracts and get back on the fastrack to profitability." Midland Communications is a leading unified communications provider that specializes in:
*       Examining current connectivity (phone lines and internet) to analyze cost/effectiveness in order to make recommendations. If you're paying a long distance phone bill, we can eliminate it.
*       Evaluating specific business needs, as they relate to Voice and IT services, and customize solutions accordingly.
*       Most likely if your phone system is more than 3 years old we can cost justify a new system while eliminating the two risks of technology: Cost and Obsolescence.
*       Educating our clients on the advantages of new technology and partner with them to increase their profitability and give them a competitive advantage.
Midland Communications has earned its position as the market leader by educating its customers on technology solutions that either create competitive advantages for them or increase overall profitability.


Midland Communications began more than 60 years ago in 1946 as the Worldwide Marketing Arm of Victor-Animagraph Projectors. In 1977 a communications division was formed due to a partnership with NEC America. Today, As a distributor of NEC America, for 33 years, Midland Communications has a customer base of more than 3,000 satisfied customers that include general businesses, government agencies, Universities, colleges, hospitals, and hotels.
Midland provides a wide range of communication services including VOIP, PBX and key systems, Wide Area and Local Area networking, computers, Computer integration, voice mail, CCIS, and video conferencing and paging systems. Our philosophy is simple, provide quality products at a fair price, backed by an average emergency response time of twenty minutes, and the best service in the industry. For more information on Midland Communications, call (563) 326-1237 or visit


Comment Period Reopens for Midwest Wind Energy Conservation Plan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:38
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the comment period for accepting information and ideas from the public on a proposal to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan for wind energy facilities in the Midwest.  The new comment period ends Dec. 3, 2012.

The Service is leading development of a Habitat Conservation Plan for the Midwest that will conserve endangered species, such as the Indiana bat, and promote development of clean energy.  Partners in the development of this plan are eight Midwestern states, the American Wind Energy Association, representing a consortium of wind energy companies, and The Conservation Fund.  The Service is asking the public to help identify issues that are important to them as the plan is developed.  The incidental take permit(s) will cover participating wind energy facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

While it is well known that some species of bats are particularly vulnerable to striking turbines at wind energy facilities, the purpose of the plan is to develop conservation measures such as siting of turbines or facilities, minimizing adverse effects from construction and operations, and mitigation of adverse impacts through the development of a strategic mitigation strategy for the long-term conservation of species.  The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to “take” – harm, harass or kill -- animals on the Endangered Species List; therefore a permit is needed if take is expected to happen.  The proposed plan is required to obtain an incidental take permit(s) for participating wind energy facilities in the Midwest.

The Service is requesting information and comment concerning the planning process, permitting approach, the interaction of wind facilities and species, scientific data that may help inform the plan or monitoring of impacts, and any other information that interested parties would like to offer.  Comments may be mailed to: Regional Director, Attn: Rick Amidon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458; faxed to:  612/713-5292 (Attn: Rick Amidon); or E-mailed to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  The deadline for receiving comments is December 3, 2012.

More information on habitat conservation plans and endangered wildlife can be found at:
.  Information about the role that the Service plays in wind energy development and the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife can be found at

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

Loebsack Applauds 2013 Biodiesel Renewable Fuel Standard Volume Increase PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:07

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today commended the Administration’s decision to approve an increase in biodiesel usage through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from 1 billion to 1.28 billion gallons for 2013.  Loebsack has led efforts in the House of Representatives to ensure the inclusion of a biodiesel standard in the RFS, as well as to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit.

“The updated standard will bring more certainty to the biodiesel industry,” said Loebsack.  “This growing industry creates good paying jobs for Iowans and helps to shore up rural economies.  This updated standard for 2013 will help ensure that biodiesel continues to thrive in Iowa and provide employment and economic growth.”


Biodiesel -- RFS Volume Increase announcement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:46
Friday, September 14, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley commented today about the final number released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the Renewable Fuels Standard volume increase.  Senator Grassley joined other senators six months ago in sending the attached letter urging OMB to act on this decision.

“This decision was too long in coming, especially with the negative impact the lack of certainty about policies in Washington is having on America’s economy.  Biodiesel is a very good example of the impact that regulatory decisions and tax policy have on jobs and the economy.  Biodiesel has been a highlight of the Renewable Fuels Standard so far, so moving ahead with this increase is good news for plant workers going forward.  Along with creating jobs, biodiesel helps to expand renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on foreign oil.”

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