A Plan To Build South Dakota’s Largest Organic Crop Farm

On Tuesday, March 6th, 2018, General Mills announced its plans to create the largest organic crop farm in South Dakota. Gunsmoke Farms, near Pierre, is planing to convert 53 square miles to organic crops by the year 2020. These crop will supply General Mills’ line of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese.

In conjunction with the Oregon-based Xerces Society, Gunsmoke farms has agreed to take part in adding 100,000 acres of bee and butterfly habitat near crops. Gunsmoke farms will convert 3,000 acres of land into pollinator habitat.

Of course, this is a huge move that requires a lot of planning. Many things must be considered, like sustainability and the quality of the soil. This is why General Mills is teaming up with Midwestern Bio AG, a company based in Madison, Wisconsin. They are working to plan a soil building and crop rotation program that will lead to the maximum amount of sustainability.

Like many larger food companies, General Mills has bought smaller food companies while changing its own products to meet the demands for healthier, more organic foods. It bought Annie’s in 2014 for a sum of $840 million. General Mills hopes to double its organic crop acreage by the year 2020. It also wants to cut down on greenhouse gas omissions twenty-eight percent by the year 2025.

General Mills will measure the amount of progress that this program brings by looking at the quality of the soil, the crop yields and the extent to which communities are affected in positive ways.

As of now, there isn’t much organic agriculture in South Dakota. In the 2016 growing season, there were only 86 certified organic farms in the whole state, with a total of 115,780 acres. A little more than half of that organic land consisted of rangeland or pasture—not crops.

Chiefs Make Trade With Rams

The Kansas City Chiefs have already made news this off season. The team make headlines throughout the NFL when Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins. Alex Smith was coming off of an outstanding season that saw him going to the Pro Bowl. The Chiefs decided it was time to look to their quarterback of the future, and Smith became expendable.

Now, the Chiefs are making more news on the trading front. The Chiefs’ star cornerback Marcus Peters is going to be traded to the Los Angeles Rams. The complete details of the trade have not yet been finalized. NFL teams are not allowed to officially finalize trades until the official trading season begins on March 14.

Marcus Peters had several great seasons during his time with Kansas City. Over the last three seasons, Peters had 19 interceptions. This total led the entire NFL during that three year period. So far in his career, Peters has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice.

One of the reasons mentioned for the trade of Marcus Peters was Peters’ relationship with Andy Reid who is the Chiefs’ head coach. Last season, Marcus Peters picked up a penalty flag that was thrown against him, and he threw it up into the crowd. Coach Reid decided to suspend Peters for one game due to Peters’ unsportsmanlike conduct on the field. This didn’t go down well with Peters, and the Chiefs ended up losing the game in which Peters was suspended.

The Los Angeles Rams were looking for top players for the team’s secondary. Trumaine Johnson is expected to leave the Rams, so the team needed a player to fill Jackson’s shoes and provide the pass coverage needed to keep the Rams’ highly-ranked defense running on all cylinders.

Bill Approved To Spread Advertising About Wisconsin

The Assembly in Wisconsin has approved a bill that pertains to a $6.8 million advertising campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to attract young people to the state of Wisconsin. There is a shortage of workers in the state, with about 100,000 jobs up for grabs.

The Republicans are generally in support of the advertising campaign, while the Democrats generally aren’t. The Democrats believe that the state of Wisconsin needs more than just an ad campaign to attract Millenials. They hold the belief that discrimination and a lack of better jobs play a role in the shortage of young workers.

In the Assembly, the bill for this ad campaign passed 67-28. Seven Democrats voted for the bill, along with the Republicans. This bill is currently on its way to the Senate.

As the bill was being debated in the Assembly, a Democrat from Milwaukee, Daniel Riemer, read comments from people who he went to school with. The comments were about why those people left Wisconsin. The reasons included racial discrimination, fear that the University of Wisconsin would be hostile toward scientific research and the fact that there were better jobs in a variety of other states. Some politicians agreed that Wisconsin may be a place where not everybody feels welcomed.

The funding for advertising will expand an ad campaign that already exists from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. It will be expanded from Chicago to other cities in the Midwest.

Republicans believe that attracting young people is matter of informing them. People who are uninformed about Wisconsin may not know about what the state has to offer. When people think of Wisconsin, they may think of cheese curds, Packers and not much else. However, there is much more to Wisconsin than those things.

Amazing Food Scene In Fargo Is Putting Midwest City On The Radar Of The Elite

Fargo, North Dakota, the frozen “glorified farm town” of the frigid Upper Midwest is gaining major respect from East Coast food snobs as one of the hippest foodie destination in the U.S.

A Washington Post article recently called Fargo’s revitalized downtown a “hip scene.” This is where lovers of gourmet foods will find a selection of eateries that are making waves across the culinary culture of America.

One such establishment is Mezzaluna. It was recently named the best restaurant in North Dakota by MSN. But it also received high praise from the likes of luxury travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler and the online restaurant-reservation service Open Table.

But another aspect of Fargo’s on-the-rise food scene is a new proliferation of food trucks that are serving up some simply amazing street vendor fare. They offer delicious designer hot dogs, tacos and barbecue creations. Many of them operate year-round, even in the winter months of this northern city where temperatures routinely plummet below zero, and that’s not including wind chill factor.

If you’re looking for superior ethnic grub, Fargo has it covered. The selection of Asian dining establishments is amazingly robust, including the popular Kobes, a Japanese steak house featuring teppanyaki chefs cooking on the tabletops for delighted guests.

Another popular ethnic choice in Fargo serves Indian food – the Everest Tikka House. Technically, this establishment is in Moorhead, Fargo’s sister city in Minnesota just on the other side of the Red River.

Fargo’s burgeouning food scene is the product of a booming North Dakota economy that has experienced unprecedented growth over the past decade because of its surging energy industry. Even though oil prices have slumped recently, the powerful economy here has put Fargo on the map as a major USA Midwest destination city.

U2 Make History on the Album Chart

The Irish rock band U2 first broke onto the music scene in a very big way in the early 1980s. They released a string of hits that made them one of the most successful bands of the decade. Their album ‘The Joshua Tree’ won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1987. It is now considered one of the greatest rock and roll albums ever recorded. However, U2 did not simply fade away into obscurity after a few years of success like many other bands. The hits just kept coming in the 1990s. U2 has had the remarkable ability to remain relevant in an ever-changing music world. They have continued to release multi-platinum albums on a regular basis.

U2 has seemingly done everything that a band can do in a career. However, they just accomplished something that had never been done before. They became the first recording artist to have a number one album in the United States in four straight decades. This is a true testament to the band’s extraordinary longevity and very loyal fan base. ‘Songs of Experience’ is their latest album to reach the top of the charts. It is the eighth album in their brilliant career to be number one in the United States.

Lead singer Bono said that he is surprised that people still care about their music after so many years. He never expected the band to be together 35 years after it was formed. He went on to say that he believes people relate to their music because they cover themes such as love, loss and achieving your dreams. They also have many songs that cover various political themes which strike a chord with people around the world. This has led to U2 becoming one of the biggest-selling bands in history.

Muskegon

Growing up in West Michigan and having travelled throughout the Midwest with my family multiple times, I have come to conclude that the Midwest is one of the best places to live in the United States. There are many wonderful communities that are very family friendly that are located in the Midwest. Though it might sound a bit biased, West Michigan is home to a lot of these wonderful communities. Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Grand Rapids, Norton Shores, and Ferrysburg are all great communities to live in. However, there is one community in particular that I have always enjoyed. This is the community of Muskegon.

As a community and a city in general, Muskegon has a lot to offer. The Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Muskegon Risers soccer club are two local sports teams that are very fun to watch, especially for those who love watching live sports. Pere Marquette Beach is definitely one of the cleanest and nicest beaches to visit in West Michigan. Its long shoreline and unique qualities make it a tourist attraction in the summer. If you are a pet owner, Pere Marquette also has a dog beach. If you enjoy hiking, make sure you visit Hoffmaster State Park. This park is just south of Muskegon and offers many trails and beaches. As far as communities go, there are many small communities within Muskegon that I’d recommend. Some of these communities include Glenside, Beachwood-Bluffton, and Lakeside. These communities are relatively close to Lake Michigan and are family friendly. These communities have fun parks like McGraft Park, Seyferth Park, and Beachwood Park.

In the end, Muskegon is a great city to live in. The city offers many things to do that are fun for the whole family. Like I said earlier, there are many safe and nice communities within Muskegon.

The First Look At The New David Bowie Documentary: The Last Five Years

Even in the twilight of his career and life, David Bowie continued to break down boundaries in the sonic world. Bowie’s last albums and his musical, Lazarus, were his final artistic statements to shake the rock and pop worlds. He completed the last two while secretly fighting cancer. The inner and outer worlds of that era will be explored in the upcoming HBO documentary, David Bowie: The Last Five Years. The trailer was released today, and the film will air on Bowie’s birthday, January 8th.

This television special is preceded with the 2013 companion piece, David Bowie: Five Years, a documentary about the first five years of Bowie’s career. The way that any visionary artist closes their career is typically a lightyears difference, and that is exactly the case here with The Last Five Years. HBO is taking Bowie fans on a journey through the throwback rocker The Next Day, the fantastical musical Lazarus, and the esoteric jazz-rock swansong Blackstar.

The documentary tells the story through photographs, interviews with his collaborators, and never-before-seen footage from the Bowie vault. Throughout, the people that worked with him detail his creative process, philosophies, and struggles within his enigmatic final creative sprint. The story of these swansongs is arranged, made up of words from old friends all the way to new millennium colleagues.

Much like many of Bowie’s projects, the list of guest appearances is star-studded, Blackstar-studded if you will. This includes producer Tony Visconti and guitarist Carlos Alomar, who have been mainstay studio collaborators with David Bowie for 40 years. The director Ivo Van Hove and writer Enda Walsh both worked with Bowie for the making of the musical Lazarus. Viewers will also hear stories and anecdotes by other collaborators; Toni Basil, Earl Slick, Gail Ann Dorsey, Gerry Leonard, Catherine Russel, Sterling Campbell, Zachary Alford, David Torn, Donny McCaslin, Maria Schneider and Robert Fox.

Grand Haven

All throughout the Midwest, there are very nice communities one can live in. A lot of these communities are very affordable and family friendly. Growing up in West Michigan, I have fell in love with a lot of the smaller communities around this side of the state. Some of these communities include Holland, Norton Shores, Ferrysburg, and Spring Lake. However, there’s one community that I especially like. This is the City of Grand Haven.

Grand Haven is a wonderful community along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan. The community itself is relatively small with around 11,000 residents living there. In Grand Haven, there are many fun things to do especially in the summer. If you’re into hiking, I’d recommend checking out Hoffmaster State Park. Here, you’ll be able to hike along many trails and experience the beauty of Lake Michigan. Grand Haven State Park is a big tourist attraction in the summer, especially during Grand Haven’s annual Coast Guard Festival. I have to say that this beach is definitely one of the best beaches to visit in West Michigan. Both the location and quality of the beach make it a wonderful spot to visit. It is within walking distance to many great shops and attractions. If you want to get something to eat, I highly recommend trying Butch’s Beach Burritos. They have some of the best burritos around and their food is amazing. For dessert, you can walk across the street to Pier Peddler. Pier Peddler is an ice cream shop that serves tasty, hard ice cream at a very reasonable price.

In the end, Grand Haven is a great community not only because of its excellent location but also because of the things to do. If you aren’t planning to live here, I’d highly recommend renting a place here in the summer. It truly is a beautiful community.

The Dangers of Cell Phones in U.S. Prisons

If you’ve been following business news, especially within the corrections industry, you may have heard that cell phones are managing to find their way into many prisons across the country. On the surface, this probably doesn’t sound overly problematic; however, wireless communication in the hands of criminals can lead to devastating consequences. Such was the case for Robert Johnson, a former correctional officer with South Carolina’s Lee Correctional Institution. Johnson, who served more than 15-years as a correctional officer, was shot and nearly killed in his own home. And according to NBC Miami, the shooting was orchestrated by a prison inmate with access to a cell phone.

 

In his role as a correctional officer, Johnson was often tasked with confiscating contraband from inmates within the prison; during one of his inspections, he confiscated a package with a street value of $50,000-dollars. The same cell phone that was used by an inmate to orchestrate the delivery of the package was the same one used to plan, as well as execute, the shooting that nearly ended Johnson’s life. Of course, this is by no means an isolated incident; cell phone use amongst inmates is becoming more prevalent in state prisons. As a result, companies like Securus Technologies are investing heavily in technology that ensures the safety of prison personnel, and also, governs communication between inmates and the outside world.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Securus Technologies, they are a Dallas-based company that specializes in criminal and civil justice solutions, aimed at state prisons. In an effort to reduce the number of crimes carried out by inmates, the company has collaborated with the FCC (federal communications commission) to launch a wireless containment system, which is intended to disrupt cellular signals even if an inmate manages to gain access to a cell phone. Obviously, because this technology encroaches on an inmate’s ability to communicate with friends and family, Securus has made it a point to ensure that they, as well as the prison systems that utilize this technology, are in compliance with the FCC.

 

Considering the number of inmates currently in state prisons, the likelihood of confiscating all cell phones is rather low. Wireless containment solutions is an effective way to monitor and disrupt phone calls as needed. Ironically, there was a time when cell phone use among inmates was unheard of; however, times have changed, and Securus Technologies has also changed with the times. In fact, the company spends over $600 million per year in upgrades to safety and security protocols, which ultimately benefits their clients.

 

So, whatever happened to correctional officer Robert Johnson? Well, he has made a full recovery, and he is a tremendous proponent of controlling cell phone use in state prisons. In fact, according to postandcourier.com, an online news source, Johnson is scheduled to go before the FCC to share his personal story and his thoughts regarding why inmates should be denied cell phone access.

 

Taylor Swift Has the Number One Selling Album

Taylor Swift’s career shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. She has yet another number one album in the United States to her credit. ‘Reputation’ is her latest album to reach the top of the charts in America. It has been number one for two consecutive weeks. The last album to do that in the United States was Jay-Z’s most recent album. Swift’s album reaching the top spot prevented the new album from country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill from debuting on top. Their album is called ‘The Rest of Our Life.’

It is interesting that Swift would block McGraw and Hill from the top spot on the album chart. This is because Swift began her career as primarily a country artist before eventually crossing over into pop music. She admits to being heavily influenced by the music of both Hill and McGraw. Swift would later record a song with McGraw that became a big hit. This is the fourth straight album that Swift has released that has been at the top of the charts for its first two weeks of release. It has already sold almost 1.5 million copies.

Taylor Swift has been able to do what most of her pop music counterparts have not. She has been able to maintain a huge fan base who will keep buying her albums year after year. This trend does not seem like it will be coming to an end. Many pop stars lose their young fans when they get older and get interested in other types of music. However, Swift’s audience of young girls has grown up with her. Therefore, they relate to her in a much different way than most fans of a musician. Swift has announced that she will be going on tour again in 2018.