University of Georgia Extension’s new peanut agronomist says Georgia’s crop shows potential despite a prolonged drought.“The crop has looked good, up until the last three weeks. We’re dealing with very dry conditions, and we really, really need a rain,” said Scott Monfort, who arrived on the UGA Tifton Campus on Aug. 1. Monfort says this year’s peanut crop is also experiencing insect issues as well, including lesser cornstalk borer and spider mites, which are related to the dry conditions. Despite the weeks of little to no precipitation, chances of a productive peanut season are still good, providing it rains during the last half of the growing season.“Right now the crop looks good and has the potential of yielding very well, maybe just a little bit under that from last year,” Monfort said. “If the rains will come, we can look at a very, very good year.”He estimates 590,000 acres of peanuts are planted this year with about half being irrigated.Monfort’s role as Extension peanut agronomist is to work closely with UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ research agronomist Scott Tubbs to help implement new technology into peanut production statewide. He will also assist Georgia peanut farmers and keep them apprised of the latest developments regarding one of Georgia’s top row crops. “I think this is one of the most important positions, just for the fact this position really works and coordinates with all the other peanut specialists. I will hopefully make the program run more efficiently and try to promote everything that’s being done in peanuts,” Monfort said. “I think it is a very out-front position that is here to promote everything that we do in the university.”Georgia is the country’s leading producer of peanuts. According to UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, the farm gate value generated from Georgia’s 2012 peanut crop was $891.8 million. Joe West, assistant dean on the UGA Tifton Campus, says the Extension peanut agronomist position plays a big role for that success.“The peanut industry is huge here. In Georgia, we produce almost 50 percent of the peanuts that are consumed in the United States,” West said. “There are always challenges in crop production so having scientists who are tuned in to the latest advances is essential. And the Extension peanut agronomist will translate technical data to the growers.”UGA Extension specialists like Monfort transfer highly technical data to farmers who in turn become more effective, more sustainable and more profitable, West said. “Given the nature of the industry here, especially in south Georgia, this is a really critical position, and we’re pleased that Dr. Monfort is here to support the peanut industry,” he said.Monfort replaces longtime UGA Extension peanut agronomist John Beasley who now heads the agronomy department at Auburn University.For more information about Georgia’s peanut crop, go to extension.uga.edu.
Your home may be filled with an invisible radioactive gas called radon. If test results come back at or above 4 pCi/L, radon mitigation is necessary. If the test results are between 2 and 4 pCi/L, there is still enough risk of excess exposure that radon mitigation is recommended. On average, 1 in 15 homes will test at, or above, the acceptable level of radon gas, which is 4.0 picocuries per liter (4 pCi/L). Eliminating radon in your home is relatively simple. Radon mitigation companies can reduce radon levels by up to 99 percent.Go to www.ugaradon.org for a list of certified mitigators in your area. Because radon is heavier than air, radon levels in the home are highest at ground level. Babies, young children and pets are at a higher risk since they are closer to the ground. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the decay of uranium found in most rocks and soil and ranks as the second-leading cause of lung cancer and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test with a radon kit. The kits are available from University of Georgia Extension and can be ordered at www.ugaradon.org or by calling your county Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.Radon kills approximately 22,000 people every year and 822 a year in Georgia alone, making Georgia the No. 1 state in the southeast for radon-induced lung cancer. Every year, more deaths in the U.S. are caused by radon gas than by drunk driving accidents.Because of the danger of radon exposure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month.The air pressure inside your home is typically lower than the pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation, causing your house to act like a vacuum and draw the radon in through foundation cracks or other openings. Radon testing should be done every two years, even with a radon reduction system in place, to ensure safety. Testing should be done at the lowest livable area of your home, and the test kit should be placed at the shortest person’s breathing level.
The University of Georgia Department of Horticulture will host an Ornamental Horticulture Research Field Day at UGA’s Durham Horticulture Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. This biennial showcase will cover a wide variety of topics, from pollinators and native plants to hardy hibiscus and herbicide trials. Gardeners and landscape professionals will also gain a behind-the-scenes look at new plant varieties being developed by UGA researchers. “Quite honestly, if you’re a plant geek of any kind, you are going to enjoy this field day,” said Matt Chappell, field day organizer, associate professor of horticulture and greenhouse production specialist with UGA Cooperative Extension. Researchers will cover topics to include hardy ornamental hibiscus breeding, selection of flowers for pollinator protection, adaptation of native species to managed landscapes, new ornamental plants for Southern landscapes, new woody ornamentals and ornamental herbicides, new ideas on the care of boxwood shrubs, organic weed control for watermelon, and pumpkin and watermelon breeding and high-tunnel production. The Durham Horticulture Farm, located at 1221 Hog Mountain Road in Watkinsville, is a 90-acre research farm just 10 minutes from UGA’s main campus in Athens, Georgia. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., and tours will start at 9 a.m. The $25 registration fee covers the field day at the Durham Farm, lunch and parking passes for the Trial Gardens at UGA, located on UGA’s main campus, and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on South Milledge Avenue in Athens. For more information about the field day, please visit http://tinyurl.com/OrnamentalFieldDay2015 or call 706-542-2471.
Two years into the job, University of Georgia peach specialist Dario Chavez is pleased with the development of his research program. The new research peach orchard in Griffin, Georgia, is filled with over 130 different peach tree varieties, several newly grafted potential varieties and a host of trees for irrigation and fertilization studies, all in an effort to help growers of the crop that gave Georgia its nickname — the “Peach State.”In addition to the new orchard in Griffin, Chavez travels to Bryon, Georgia, to work with U.S. Department of Agriculture rootstock breeder Tom Beckman and to meet with Georgia peach growers. There are currently more than 10,000 acres of Georgia land devoted to growing peaches, and Georgia ranks third in U.S. production of the fruit.“At the end of the day, the growers are comfortable with what they are doing,” Chavez said. “They are planting new orchards every year and it’s a stable production system. They are making money and supporting the economy.”Chavez says Georgia peach growers offer a “really high quality” peach and are typically second- and third-generation farmers. “There’s a lot of tradition and a large knowledge base in growing Georgia peaches,” he said.Under Chavez’s leadership, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences graduate students on the Griffin Campus are looking at Georgia-grown peaches from a new perspective. Like their forerunners, the UGA scientists are still working to help Georgia farmers grow the crop as efficiently as possible, but they are also searching for ways to produce a crop that consumers want to purchase and eat.“We are focusing more on fruit quality. Consumers buy the peaches for appearance, but then, when they bite it, they may have a different opinion about the eating experience than their opinion about the fruit appearance alone,” he said. “Looks are not an indicator of quality.”To help peach breeders create varieties that consumers will love, UGA graduate student Catherine Belisle is leading a peach quality project using information collected through consumer taste panels. Under the direction of Chavez and CAES sensory scientist Koushik Adhikari, she is having consumers taste peaches and provide feedback.“We are looking at aroma, flavors, textures and other characteristics from people who taste the peaches for us,” she said. “Then we will cross reference this information with instrumental data in the lab.”If consumers like the aroma of a particular peach variety, the UGA scientists search for the compounds that create the aroma, she said. They also measure the sugars, acids and volatiles, or aromas, of the peaches and compare them to the consumer panel input.“The aroma is the most interesting part. [The panelists] are picking up a lot of fruity, citrus, peach and, with a white-flesh peach, floral aromas,” she said. “Then we use the instruments to find the compounds that are responsible for those aromas.”Belisle has been working with Georgia growers to test 45 varieties of peaches, five varieties per week during the summer growing season for the past year and a half. “Peaches have basically been my life and it’s a sweet life,” said Belisle, who admits she has never bought peaches, but has eaten her fill at work. “My lab mates and I evaluate the peaches together at night while we are rounding out the day and do our own makeshift study.”Belisle, Chavez and Adhikari will share their results with Georgia peach growers. This information will also be used to select for varieties that could be used in breeding new peach varieties in collaboration with the USDA.Another study within Chavez’s program is being conducted by UGA doctoral student Bruno Casamali. Under the direction of Chavez and CAES horticultural physiologist Marc van Iersel, Casamali is using the new UGA Griffin Campus peach orchard to conduct irrigation and fertilization tests.“We believe the fertilizer numbers [that Georgia growers] use are based on California studies, which involve totally different climatic conditions [than we have in Georgia],” he said. “We want to make sure that growers apply the best rate for reproductive growth and good foliage in the spring and summer and good, quality fruit with good yield at harvest.”Georgia peach growers traditionally don’t irrigate their trees until the third year of growth, Chavez said.This is the first year of study, which is funded in part by the Georgia Peach Council.According to the 2014 Farm Gate Value Report, peaches grown in Georgia generated a farm gate value of $53.5 million. Peach County produced the most peaches with 2,500 acres, followed by Macon County with 2,060 acres. Peaches are the second most popular fruit grown in Georgia, behind blueberries.In the future, Chavez plans to study new production systems for growing peaches. “I’d like to do density studies and see if planting peaches closer together or farther apart changes the game any while using the new, upcoming rootstocks like MP-29,” he said.
A pesticide collection event has been scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cordele State Farmers Market. This event will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.The Georgia Department of Agriculture is hosting Georgia Clean Day, a free program that allows pesticide applicators to safely dispose of old, unusable or cancelled pesticides. This event is open to all private and commercial applicators with the understanding that the event is designed for farmers and lawn care, golf course and pest control companies in Crisp and surrounding Georgia counties.Some pesticides that have been used in the past are now in need of proper disposal. Pesticides in leaking containers or those that have been disposed of improperly may cause environmental damage by contaminating water supplies or harming people and wildlife. State and federal laws make it illegal to burn, bury or dump pesticides in conventional landfills. Georgia Clean Day is a program to help dispose of old, unusable or cancelled pesticides safely with a hazardous waste contractor.According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Clean Days are the best way to dispose of unusable pesticides. Other forms of disposal can be costly and often force growers to dispose of pesticides illegally or keep them until a better disposal method is created. In response to environmental concerns, the Georgia Legislature passed a bill to help facilitate the collection of unusable pesticides. Since the start of Georgia Clean Days in 1994, over 1 million pounds of pesticides have been collected for disposal.The Georgia Department of Agriculture requires preregistration for this event. Registration forms should be returned to Ricky Hayes, Georgia Clean Day waste disposal coordinator, by Sept. 26. For more information, contact your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent or Ricky Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit agr.georgia.gov/georgia-clean-day.aspx.
Two interventions created by the University of Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) team have been added to the national SNAP-Ed Toolkit.Both Food eTalk and Food Talk: Better U are included in the United States Department of Agriculture SNAP-Ed Toolkit, a collection of evidence-based interventions designed to improve the lives of SNAP-eligible participants by encouraging healthy food and lifestyle choices.Both curricula were classified as research-tested, evidence-based interventions. While many people know that SNAP provides resources for millions of Americans in need of food assistance, most are less familiar with SNAP Education SNAP-Ed, the program that teaches Americans using SNAP how to lead healthier lives at home, in school and at work. The program aims to increase the likelihood that participants will choose physically active lifestyles and make healthy food choices.UGA SNAP-Ed is delivered through the UGA Cooperative Extension network in partnership with diverse stakeholders and communities across the state.“This is a significant milestone for UGA SNAP-Ed, attesting to the quality and strength of our unique strategies combining rigorous systematic evaluation and collective capacity of UGA and UGA Cooperative Extension to develop and implement innovative, evidence-based, culturally-tailored nutrition education and obesity prevention for low-income Georgians,” said Jung Sun Lee, UGA Athletic Association professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without the wonderful support from our funders and the hard work of all involved faculty, staff and graduate students. We look forward to our continued achievements to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles of Georgians in coming years.”Food eTalk is an innovative, user-centered, smartphone-based eLearning nutrition education program tailored to the specific access and content needs of SNAP-eligible adult Georgians.The program features six 10-minute interactive lessons, cooking videos and just-in-time learning videos. It includes a mobile-first interface, user-friendly navigation and even a Southern-accented voiceover, in addition to lessons focused on sodium reduction, increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, food resource management principles and food safety.Food Talk: Better U is a series of four 90-minute classes taught by paraprofessionals focusing on improving healthy weight management practices tailored for SNAP-eligible adult Georgians.The curriculum includes both nutrition and physical activity components as weight management and obesity prevention strategies and helps participants improve portion control, decrease intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and make better food choices.Each class includes a sharing session, an instructional lesson, physical activity, goal-setting, a cooking demonstration and taste-testing featuring healthy versions of traditional Southern dishes.All interventions in the SNAP-Ed Toolkit were reviewed in a collaboration between USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS); the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA); and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the USDA.The UGA SNAP-Ed program reaches around 2 million Georgians a year through direct, online and social marketing interventions and has received more than $20 million in funding since its founding in 2013.For more about the national impact of UGA Extension’s partnership with SNAP-Ed, visit www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/uga-snap-ed.
Leahy Ensures That VermontIs A Big Winner In New Farm Bill –Major Boosts For State’s Dairy,Organic,Anti-Hunger And Lake Champlain Priorities ORGANICSAs the father of the national organic standards andlabeling program and author of the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act, SenatorLeahy remains organic agriculture’s leading champion and has again madethe further development of organic agriculture a top priority in the FarmBill. Vermont has taken a strong leadership role in transiting to organicagriculture and now leads in the nation on a per capita basis in organic farmconversions – now with more than 500 organic operations; more than 200are dairies. In Vermont and elsewhere across the country, organic agriculturealso is beginning to create major new export opportunities for U.S. farmproducts. Organic Certification Cost Share – The 2008 Farm Bill provides $22 million in guaranteed funding for a national organic certification cost share program to assist producers of agricultural products in obtaining certification under the National Organic Program established by Leahy under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Each producer will be eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the costs of certification, not to exceed $750 annually. Last year Vermont producers received $165,000 under this Leahy-led effort to assist organic certification. VermontHighlights2008 Farm BillMay 14, 2008Renewal & Expansion Of MILCProgram;More Funds For Lake Champlain Cleanup;Expanded Help For Vermont’s Anti-Hunger Efforts;Another Big Boost For Vermont’s Organic Sector DAIRY FarmlandProtection Program (FPP) — The highly successful and popularFarmland Protection Program was created by Senator Leahy in the 1996 Farm Billand grew out of Vermont’s “Farms for the Future” program. Preserving Vermont’s agricultural lands helps to combat urban sprawl andkeep Vermont farms viable. Funding for FPP will be increased by more than$700 million over the life of the Farm Bill, allowing FPP to provide matchingfunds to help purchase development rights to keep productive Vermont farmsin agricultural uses. Total FPP enrollment in Vermont since inception ofthe program is 50,000 acres. “First and foremost,” Leahy said, “this bill makes adramatic improvement in the MILC program that will better help Vermont’sdairy producers compete for a fair price. By adding the feed costadjuster, the MILC program target price will help keep pace with skyrocketingproduction costs. And increasing the payment rate and eligible productionwill be essential when the price of milk drops. These improvements willhelp ensure that dairying remains a vital part of Vermont’s economy andVermont’s heritage.” Leahy led the MILC negotiations on theAgriculture Committee, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch(D-Vt.) worked outside the committee to build support for the plan. Organic Conversion Assistance — The 2008 Farm Bill will expand eligibility of the Environmental Qualities Incentives Program (EQIP – see above) to directly assist producers by defraying the substantial costs of implementing conservation practices when transiting to organic production. During the required three-year conversion process, producers – especially smaller farms — often struggle to complete the conversion to organic production. This new initiative will offer producers up to $20,000 per year for up to four years of financial assistance to help in the conversion to organic production. Organic Data Collection — The Farm Bill will provide $5 million in mandatory funds to ensure that data on the production and marketing of organic agricultural products is included in USDA’s collection of data about agricultural production and marketing. This mandate and these funds are vital in establishing adequate crop insurance coverage for organic crops in the future.Organic Research — The Farm Bill makes a major commitment for the first time to funding research in organic agriculture. The bill provides $78 million in new mandatory funds for organic agriculture research and extension, to enhance the ability of organic producers and processors to grow and market organic food, feed and fiber.Organic Crop Insurance Reform – The bill will bar USDA from charging unnecessary and unwarranted premium surcharges on organic crop insurance policies. NUTRITIONThe nutrition title of the Farm Bill, like theSenate’s earlier version, contains crucial anti-hunger efforts such asstrengthening the Food Stamp Program and The Emergency Food AssistanceProgram. Senator Leahy has long been a leader on these programs, whichoffer a vital safety net to millions of Americans and thousands ofVermonters. In recent months the number of Vermonters receiving FoodStamps has risen to a 15-year high, with more than 53,000 individuals receivingFood Stamp help. The new funding for the Food Stamp program in the FarmBill will mean that as many as 23,000 Vermonters will receive as much as $1.5million in new food assistance each year. The bill includes initiativesto encourage better health and nutrition for children and seniors and tosupport self-sufficiency and food security in low-income communities. Italso includes a new program authored by Leahy that will assist low-incomepeople by helping food banks acquire perishable food that would otherwise bewasted. Strengthening Food Purchasing Power of Low-Income Vermonters — When calculating the Food Stamp help an individual or family receives, the rules of the program allow a standard deduction for the cost of such items as housing, utilities and transportation. A decade ago, the standard deduction was frozen at $134, a move that has caused significant erosion in the purchasing power of Food Stamps, as costs for these items have risen and benefits have not kept pace. The 2008 Farm Bill increases the standard deduction from $134 to $144 and indexes it to inflation, ending the erosion of benefits and increasing Food Stamp assistance for 20,000 Vermont families.Working Families with Childcare Expenses — Food Stamp rules allow households to deduct up to $175 per month for the cost of childcare, but this deduction has not been adjusted in more than a decade and now covers only about a quarter of the monthly cost of childcare in the United States. To better support working families, the 2008 Farm Bill will eliminate the existing cap on the deductibility of childcare expenses. As many as 1000 Vermont families are expected to benefit from this provision.Food Stamp Asset Reform — Despite broad agreement about the importance of family savings, the Food Stamp “asset test” has remained largely unchanged since implemented in 1977 and fails to exempt tax-preferred savings accounts from the current asset limit. To encourage savings among low-income families, the 2008 Farm Bill will increase the current asset limit to keep pace with inflation and exempts tax-preferred education and retirement accounts from counting against the asset limit. Minimum Benefit – When calculating the monthly benefit for a Food Stamp recipient, if the amount they are eligible for is less than $10 they are guaranteed the minimum benefit. Seniors and individuals with disabilities make up a significant portion of households that receive the minimum benefit, which for more than 30 years has remained at $10. For the more than 3000 Vermonters who receive the minimum benefit, the 2008 Farm Bill will increase the level to $14 a month and index it to keep pace with increases in the cost of food.The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) — TEFAP provides commodity food products to food banks across the country, which then distribute those products to food pantries and other community food providers. The Farm Bill will provide more than $1.2 billion in mandatory commodity purchases for distribution through food banks. This will nearly double the commodity purchasing clout the Farm Bill will offer to the Vermont Foodbank, with an additional $1 million through the first five years of the bill — enough to provide 770,000 additional meals for low-income Vermonters through the food bank and local food shelves. Fruit and Vegetable Program — To promote child health and nutrition, the Farm Bill expands the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to include every state in the country, targeting those benefits to low-income children. The proposed funding level would ensure that Vermont receives at least $2.25 million a year to assist in providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to children at school.Senior Farmers Markets and Community Food Projects — Funding for two programs fathered by Senator Leahy — the Senior Farmers Market Program (which provides vouchers for WIC recipients and low-income seniors to use at farmers markets), and Community Food Projects, (which promote self-sufficiency and food security in low-income communities) – are increased by $5 million annually in assured funding in the Farm Bill. In Vermont, Community Food Project grants have supported the farm-to-school projects which increase access to fresh, healthy, local Vermont foods. Rural Food Bank Infrastructure Grant Program – After consultations with the Vermont Foodbank about the amount of food — especially perishable items — that could be donated to charity but instead are wasted, Senator Leahy proposed the creation of a new targeted grant initiative. This new program in the Farm Bill will provide grants to assist emergency food organizations in acquiring some of the 96 billion pounds of food that are wasted each year. For example, the Vermont Foodbank typically cannot afford to receive donated produce from west of the Mississippi due to the high cost of transportation. This means that substantial amounts of fresh produce available from Western specialty crop states are lost to low-income Vermonters during the winter months when local sources are not available. By tapping the new Leahy program, the Vermont Foodbank will be able to provide fresh produce and healthy food products at no cost to low-income households and individuals who otherwise could not afford these nutritious foods. He said the bill’s anti-hunger efforts will make a difference inthousands of Vermonters’ lives. “When the economy sputters,families suffer in many ways, including hunger and poor nutrition. Thisbill is a chance to make a bad situation better. More than 53,000Vermonters rely on federal nutrition programs each year, while thousands morewill receive assistance on an emergency basis to help them through difficulttimes. The $10.4 billion in additional anti-hunger relief in this bill isvital, and it comes at a crucial time.” COMMODITY PROGRAM REFORM Senator Leahy led abipartisan coalition in working for several months to secure renewal of andimprovements to the basic safety net for dairy farmers, the Milk Income LossContract (MILC) program. In the end the MILC program received one of thelargest funding boosts of any commodity in the Farm Bill. In addition tothe difficult achievement of extending the MILC Program for five years, Leahyand his allies succeeded in including provisions that will expand the MILCprogram in three important ways: 1. Feed CostAdjuster – For the first time in nearly a decade the $16.94 perhundred weight MILC target price will increase when feed costs increase. The new Leahy-authored feed cost adjuster will increasethe MILC target price any time the composite monthly price of feed (corn,soybeans and alfalfa hay) rises above $7.30 per hundred weight. For themonth of April, for example, the new MILC target price would be $19.13 perhundred weight.2. Payment Rate – In 2002 when the MILC program wasestablished, whenever the federal minimum price for fluid milk in Boston fellbelow $16.94 per hundred weight, participating dairy farmers were eligible forpayments on 45 percent of the difference. In the Fiscal Year 2006 OmnibusReconciliation Bill, the payment rate was reduced to 34 percent in order tomake it possible to extend the program until the Farm Bill could be rewrittenin 2008. The 2008 Farm Bill will restore the original 45 percentpayment rate for the MILC program. 3. EligibilityIncrease – Currently producers are eligible to receive MILC paymentson 2.4 million pounds of production per year (approximately 125 cows). The 2008 Farm Bill will increase the eligibility to 2.985 million pounds peryear (approximately 165 cows). Of Vermont’s approximately 1100dairies that average about 120 cows per operation, more than 85 percent ofVermont’s farms now would be fully eligible for MILC payments under theFarm Bill. Dairy Product Price Support – The 2008 Farm Bill establishes individual product prices for cheddar cheese, butter, and nonfat dry milk. Commodities — The bill extends the current farm safety net through the 2012 crop year, retaining current base acres and establishing base acres for newly eligible crops. Target prices for crops are rebalanced and direct payments are maintained.Average Crop Revenue — A new Average Crop Revenue option is added for farmers, including fixed payment rates, recourse loans, and a state-level revenue program for covered commodities and peanuts. The new Farm Bill advances key Vermont agriculture, anti-hunger andenvironmental priorities championed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the mostsenior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee of either party, who was aprincipal architect and negotiator of the bill. Father of the national organic standards and labeling program, Leahynoted that organic farming has become the fastest-growing sector of Americanagriculture and is especially robust in Vermont. “This bill makesthe organic option a realistic option for more farmers in Vermont,” hesaid. “That’s good for smaller farms in particular, andit’s a solid investment in growing Vermont’s economy.” CONSERVATION/LAKECHAMPLAIN CLEANUP Agricultural conservation, responsible stewardship andenvironmental quality are important to Vermont’s farmers and communitiesand were high priorities for Senator Leahy in writing the 2008 Farm Bill. Several years ago as chairman the Agriculture Committee, Leahy crafted andenacted the first “Green Farm Bills” which forged partnershipsbetween farmers and environmental goals, and since then the Farm Bill hasbecome the most significant ongoing nationwide funding source for conservationand environmental quality efforts such as the cleanup of Lake Champlain. Several of Leahy’s conservation initiatives began as pilot programs inVermont, proved themselves, and since then have expanded nationwide. Muchof the available funding in the 2008 Farm Bill for Vermont will be directed toaddressing the water quality challenges in the Lake Champlain Basin. Thiscrucial cleanup funding will be added to the more than $100 million SenatorLeahy has already secured in Lake Champlain cleanup funds. EnvironmentalQuality Incentive Program (EQIP) — A program created bySenator Leahy in the 1996 Farm Bill, EQIP has quickly become a major factor inthe ongoing efforts to clean up Lake Champlain. Phosphorus levels are oneof the foremost challenges in the Lake’s restoration, and EQIP helpsproducers implement new practices that reduce the phosphorus loading in theLake and its tributaries. With an increase in funding of $3.4 billion over ten years, theprogram will continue to help producers comply with the State ofVermont’s water quality regulations and assist dairies in implementingenvironmentally beneficial changes in their operations. The final version of the Farm Bill, filed in Congress only Tuesday,would not only renew but also expand the basic safety net for dairy farmers,the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program; it would bring to Vermont recordlevels of funding and wider access to farmland conservation programs that havebecome crucial engines in the cleanup of Lake Champlain; it would dramaticallyincrease support for food banks and the Food Stamp program; and it would offermore support to help farmers make the transition to the booming organic sector. The 2008 Farm Bill takes significant strides in reforming who iseligible to receive commodity program payments. First the bill tightensthe adjusted gross income eligibility test by setting new standards for farmcommodity and disaster program benefit eligibility. To receive farmprogram benefits, an individual’s non-farm income may not exceed$500,000. If farm income exceeds $750,000, an individual will no longerbe eligible to receive direct payments. In addition, this Farm Bill alsoincreases transparency and accountability through the creation of a new directattribution rule which will link farm program payments directly to individuals,rather than to corporations and partnerships. Finally, the three-entityrule, which previously enabled a farmer effectively to receive twice theenacted payment limit, has been eliminated. Leahy said improvements in the Farm Bill’s conservation programswill help limit phosphorus runoff into Vermont’s streams, rivers, andLake Champlain. “These conservation programs have helped farmersbecome partners in achieving some of Vermont’s most pressingenvironmental goals. These investments on the farm are important buildingblocks for real on-the-ground action for cleaning up the Lake.” Rural Energy for America Program — Funded in the Farm Bill at $250 million, this program (previously called Sec Below are Vermont highlights of the final 2008 Farm Bill, releasedWednesday by Leahy’s office: $15 Million Small State Minimum – The Leahy “Regional Equity” provision he sponsored in the 2002 Farm Bill will be increased from $12 million to $15 million a year per state. This Leahy effort helps bring more Farm Bill resources to Vermont and other Northeastern states. This Leahy provision requires that Vermont and each state receive an allocation of at least $15 million a year in the following working-lands conservation programs: EQIP, FPP, Grassland Reserve Program, and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. This small state minimum guarantees that states like Vermont will receive the necessary program funding to better help farmers in their stewardship of the land.Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) – A program especially important to Vermont, AMA provides $15 million a year in mandatory funding to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality and erosion control, by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.Public Access – The bill will create a new $50 million grant program for states that run programs to encourage owners of private land to allow public access for wildlife-related recreation such as hunting, fishing and birding. ENERGY/RENEWABLEENERGY WASHINGTON (Wednesday, May 14) — Vermont’s clout in agriculturepolicy again is paying big dividends as Congress races to finish work on a newbipartisan five-year Farm Bill. The House Wednesday passed the newlynegotiated Farm Bill by a veto-proof vote of 318 to 106, and the Senate has setits vote on the bill for Thursday. The Senate is also expected to passthe bill with more than enough votes to override a threatened presidentialveto.
Green Mountain Power Proposes “Solar Rates”to Spur Vermont’s Solar Energy MarketCOLCHESTER, Vt. — Green Mountain Power Corp on May 15, 2008, announced a groundbreaking new approach to accelerate the adoption of solar energy by Vermont homes and businesses.In a request for a new service filed with the Vermont Public Service Board today, Green Mountain Power proposed the adoption of solar net metered electric rates, which are designed to make solar energy an important part of Vermont’s mix of cleaner energy sources.Green Mountain Power Chief Operating Officer Mary Powell said renewable energy sources like solar must play an increasing part in Vermont’s energy future.”This proposal will make solar energy more attractive to homeowners and businesses in Vermont,” Ms. Powell said. “We are doing everything we can to encourage the adoption of solar energy. It is good for Vermont economically and environmentally.”Ms. Powell said such a change in the way Vermonters pay for solar energy could help ease congestion on power lines, delay the need for new power line construction and reduce peak energy demand in hot summer months when demand for energy is highest.Andrew Perchlik, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont, said, “This new service could revolutionize the solar market in Vermont. We are excited that Green Mountain Power has taken a leadership role in promoting solar energy in Vermont.”The program would work in conjunction with existing “net metering” programs in which Vermonters using solar power feed energy back into the grid when it is not needed in the home or business. Under the new solar rates program, customers would now be paid by Green Mountain Power for all solar energy generated at a rate of six cents per kilowatthour above and beyond the nearly 13 cents per kilowatthour net metering benefit.”In summer, sunlight and solar electric production tend to be greatest at the time people are calling for the most electricity through air conditioning and other needs,” Ms. Powell said. “This is a win-win for customers and the growing solar industry in Vermont. Green Mountain Power intends to be a leader in driving the solar energy market.”Powell said the proposal has the following benefits:1. It helps reduce the need for fossil fuel energy sources on the New England electric system.2. It helps accelerate the market for solar energy by offering an attractive rate to customers that is economical for the utility.3. It “shaves” peak demand during high-demand, hot summer days by relying on the sun rather than fossil fuel generation.The new incentive rates, if approved by the Vermont Public Service Board, would be available to all Green Mountain Power customers connected to the electric grid.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external)) is an electric utility owned by Northern New England Energy Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro, a leading Québec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont. Green Mountain Power transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves approximately 94,000 customers.– 30 —
Mike Tuttle, President and CEO of Merchant’s Bank, and the 2008 Community Campaign Chair, announced the official results of the campaign at the Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration, May 6th. The campaign raised $4 million. In his remarks to the crowd of over 375 people, Tuttle said, “In spite of an incredibly difficult time economically for so many people, those who were able, gave a little more, and people just seemed to want to help in any way they could. We are thrilled with the outcome and amazed at the goodwill of so many people. We are very fortunate to have hundreds of generous contributors who willingly donate their time, their talent, and their money to make life better for everyone in Chittenden County.”The “Top Ten” combined campaigns (total of employee and corporate/organizational gift) were also announced, with a new company joining the ranks this year — NRG Systems. The “Top Ten” collectively raised over $1.7 million in the 2008 Campaign.IBM CorporationFletcher Allen Health CareDwight Asset Management CompanyUniversity of VermontGeneral Dynamics Armament & Technical ProductsGreen Mountain Power CorporationMerchants BankGE Healthcare IITS USA CorporationHickok & Boardman CompaniesNRG SystemsDINSE KNAPP McANDREW, ENGELBERTH CONSTRUCTION and GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER AWARDED TOP CAMPAIGN HONORSBill Schubart, prominent local business leader, and former owner and CEO of Resolution Inc., emceed the Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration last week and presented the three major Community Campaign awards. The top honor, Campaign of the Year, was awarded to Dinse Knapp McAndrew. Gretchen Morse, Executive Director of United Way, praised the work of the law firm during the selection process. “Our friends at Dinse Knapp McAndrew always raise the bar on their fundraising efforts, but additionally they serve on boards, are community leaders, volunteer with many local nonprofits and help shape local policy. We are so thankful for support from such a wonderful organization. They truly LIVE UNITED throughout the year.”The Keyperson of the Year Award was presented to a workplace campaign committee: Jan Ferro, Todd LaMothe, Penny Collins & Jeff Brosseau of Green Mountain Power. The four were lauded for their spirited leadership which inspired their co-workers to get involved and to “give back.” The LIVE UNITED Award was made to a company whose industry was strongly impacted by the downturn in the economy, Engelberth Construction. In spite of that, the folks at Engelberth were praised for their unwavering commitment to the community by giving, advocating and volunteering throughout the year. Mike Tuttle and John Cronin present the framed Live United tee shirt to Engelberth Construction. Commenting about the award recipients, Bill Schubart said, “United Way is the organizing principle of our Chittenden County community. It observes, measures, and invests in our community to ensure the wellbeing of us all….It is my pleasure to help sing the praises of all the volunteers, organizations and donors who give, advocate or volunteer with United Way. I congratulate all three companies for their exemplary work for all of us.”NEW UNITED WAY BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED, 2009 COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN AND STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRS NAMEDAt United Way’s recent Annual Meeting, board members and officers were elected. President of the Board for a three-year term is Don Rendall of Green Mountain Power. Vice President is Theresa Alberghini DiPalma of Fletcher Allen Health Care; Secretary is Robert Cain from Paul, Frank + Collins; and Treasurer is Susan Pelkey Smith of Gallagher Flynn and Company. For a complete list of board members and standing committee chairs.
Seamons and Sloan will remain members of the Office of the Chief Executive reporting to West. Seamons joined Entergy in 2007, bringing a wealth of experience from RHR International, a management consulting firm specializing in linking managerial effectiveness, organizational performance and business strategy. He holds a doctorate in psychology fromBrigham Young University and is a member of the American Psychological Association. He has been active in adult leadership training for the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church. He served on several boards including the advisory board of Michigan Gas Utilities, the board of advisors with the Greater Detroit Area Chamber of Commerce and the board from Autonomous Solutions, Inc.Sloan joined Entergy in 2003, with over 30 years of legal experience both in the United States and abroad. Prior roles included vice president and general counsel at GE Industrial Systems, managing partner in the Brussels office of McKenna and Cuneo LLP, partner at Pepper, Hamilton and Sheetz law firm in Washington, D.C., and vice president and director of the Sovereign Credit Management Division at the First National Bank of Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Harvard Law School.Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers inArkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 15,000 employees.Additional investor information can be accessed online at www.entergy.com/investor_relations(link is external).In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in (i) Entergy’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, (ii) Entergy’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, and (iii) Entergy’s other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms, (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs, (d) nuclear operating and regulatory risks, and (e) legislative and regulatory actions, and conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and in subsequent securities filings. Northstar Vermont Yankee,In his first major reorganization in more than 11 years, Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J. Wayne Leonard has named Entergy leaders to new roles effective as early as June 14.The reorganization will enhance organizational effectiveness and performance by strengthening local regulatory presence in the Northeast and consolidating commercial and risk functions for Entergy’s wholesale commodity business associated with non-utility generation. Internal restructuring was identified as a critical near-term action following the April 5 announcement of the decision to unwind the business infrastructure associated with the proposed spin-off. Pursuant to that announcement, Entergy is seeking to preserve options and capture value expected from the proposed separate non-utility nuclear generation and nuclear services companies. At the same time, Entergy is creating a more focused corporate structure, while also providing further development of proven leaders.New leadership roles include:Rod West, currently president and CEO, Entergy New Orleans, Inc., has been promoted to chief administrative officer for Entergy. Reporting to West will be Robert Sloan, Entergy’s executive vice president and general counsel; Terry Seamons, Entergy’s senior vice president, human resources and administration; and Entergy’s executive vice president, external affairs to be named at a later date.Richard Smith, currently Entergy’s president and chief operating officer, has been appointed president, Entergy wholesale commodity business. As president of that business unit, Smith will be headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., where other critical regulatory efforts associated with license renewal are also located. More details about this business will be announced in the coming weeks.Mark Savoff, Entergy’s executive vice president, operations, has been named chief operating officer and adds responsibility for nuclear operations to his organization. “As we consider our opportunities and challenges, it is clear certain key areas need to be staffed differently for the future we are facing,” said Leonard. “This team is hungry for success and has the knowledge, skills, integrity and will to achieve our aspirations. The leadership team is represented by those distinguished in their professional domains, having proven themselves in various fields of intense challenges from the courtroom to the classroom to athletic arenas to the service of their country in the armed forces. The new organization recognizes the value we place on understanding and meeting our customers’ needs, with two current jurisdiction presidents promoted into the Office of the Chief Executive. I am confident this organization will serve our stakeholders well as we continue to strive for success in a tough environment.”The reorganization creates an organization solely focused on commercial, governmental and regulatory affairs, and financial and risk matters for Entergy’s wholesale commodity business associated with non-utility generation both nuclear and fossil. It also aligns accountability for generation operations both utility and non-utility within a single organizational structure at Entergy and maintains the ability to leverage functional scale in areas like nuclear. At corporate, we have a more focused structure with clear responsibilities and accountabilities. Our corporate functions have deep talent and a long record of success. Maintaining the status quo will not be good enough, not for a company with our aspirations, despite challenges in the economic climate. West’s assignment will include aligning our efforts with urgency and purpose to support the business units’ needs, with the same relentlessness and aggressiveness he has displayed in every facet of his life.”West is a proven, hands-on leader. A trained and successful regulatory litigator, he was promoted to president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans in January 2007, after having served from 2004 as the company’s director of electric distribution operations. In that role, West managed New Orleans’ electric distribution system and its rebuilding after the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He also received high marks for his role in leading the hurricane-ravaged utility out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than 20 months. West joined Entergy in April 1999 as senior regulatory counsel where he represented the company in its regulatory litigation group. In September 1999, West transitioned from legal to management to head Entergy New Orleans’ regulatory group where he was responsible for direction and outcomes of regulatory proceedings. Prior to joining Entergy, West was senior attorney (commercial litigation) in the New Orleans office of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, L.L.P. fromJanuary 1998 until he joined Entergy. Prior to this, he spent five years with the New Orleans-based law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P. West, active in civic and charitable endeavors, is an executive committee member of the New Orleans Business Council and the Executive Leadership Council, as well as a member of the boards of directors of both First Bank and Trust and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. He is past chair of the Louisiana State University System Board of Supervisors and currently serves on the board of trustees at his alma mater, Notre Dame. He was a highly prized recruit at Notre Dame where he lettered three years as outside linebacker and tight end for Lou Holtz and the Fighting Irish, and played on the 1988 National Championship football team. He received both his juris doctorate and master of business administration from Tulane University.Smith is the natural leader for Entergy’s wholesale commodity business associated with the non-utility generation business, having presided over the generation function since April 2007 and given his considerable financial acumen and regulated utility economic background. The new structure brings a unified approach as the company moves through the final phases of the non-utility nuclear license renewal process and is expected to facilitate actions to pursue and capture the achievable value of the existing business as well as expanded growth opportunities. Three groups are expected to report directly to Smith, with leadership to be named in the near future with expansive skills in regulatory matters, commodity and financial markets and risk management. Before joining Entergy in September 1999, Smith held several executive positions at Cinergy Corporation, including president of Cinergy Resources, Inc., the non-regulated retail supply business, and vice president, finance, energy business services. Smith is a graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and obtained his master of business administration from the University of Indianapolis.Savoff joined Entergy at the end of 2003 with accountability for the business operations of fossil generation, transmission, system safety and environment, supply chain, system planning and performance management, and adds nuclear operations in this reorganization. Before joining Entergy, Savoff’s career at General Electric spanned 25 years and included numerous leadership positions in addition to his role as technical expert in boiling water reactor technology. Prior to his promotion to vice president and corporate officer at GE Power Systems, Nuclear Energy, he was general manager of GE’s global nuclear fuel business and led the turnaround of GE’s global nuclear services business. He also served as president of Reuter-Stokes, a wholly-owned GE subsidiary that supplies environmental and gas turbine monitoring equipment, components for radiation detectors, harsh environment sensors and sensors for monitoring nuclear power plant output. Savoff is on the boards of directors of Navigator Technology, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Southeastern Electric Exchange. He previously served as a member of the boards of the Nuclear Energy Institute, Reuter-Stokes, and Global Nuclear Fuel. Savoff is a certified Six Sigma greenbelt. He is a nuclear engineering graduate of the University of Florida where he is a member of the advisory council for the School of Nuclear Engineering and the dean’s advisory board for the College of Engineering.John Herron, president, chief executive officer and chief nuclear officer for Entergy Nuclear, will report to Savoff and remains a member of the Office of the Chief Executive. He will continue to provide the leadership on which the excellence in the nuclear program is built. He is characterized as an operator’s operator, with a depth of experience in all aspects of running a nuclear power facility. Under Herron’s leadership virtually every plant has achieved or is on record reliability runs. Prior to his career in nuclear power, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1978. He was attached to the USS Tullibee and the SIC NPTU Windsor, where he was an instructor at the Nuclear Submarine Prototype School. Before joining Entergy in February 2001, he began his career in nuclear operations at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation, with subsequent plant manager roles at Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station and Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah nuclear plant. He served as site vice president at TVA’s Browns Ferry nuclear plant. He graduated from Franklin Pierce College.Conley has the breadth and depth of professional and civic experience required to lead human resources and administration and to advance Entergy’s corporatewide inclusion and diversity initiative that is among Entergy’s aspirations. Entergy currently has more than 20 employee-directed diversity and inclusion councils and affinity groups throughout seven states and mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all employees and managers. She will also serve as a member of the Office of the Chief Executive. Conley’s professional career includes a long list of leadership roles in the electric utility industry. She served as president of Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company, president and chief executive officer of Cadence, a joint venture of Cinergy, New Century Energies and Florida Progress, and in a number of other varied roles before joining Entergy in 1999 as vice president of investor relations. She took over the top job at Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana in 2000. As president and CEO, she led the restoration efforts after back-to-back strikes from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and again from hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. A respected business leader and advocate for economic development and education, Conley serves on numerous boards including the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor’s Cultural Economy Foundation, Teach for America, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Economic Advisory Council, Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, andLouisiana State University E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. Conley is a graduate of Ball State University, having also earned a master of business administration from that university where she sits on the School of Business board.Mohl has held various leadership positions with several energy companies over the past 28 years, with responsibility for wholesale power operations, fuel and generation procurement, marketing and trading, commercial negotiations, and business development which provide invaluable experience as he succeeds Conley. Mohl joined Entergy in 2002 where he was responsible for the procurement of all limited- and long-term fuel and generation resources and in 2007 added responsibility for system planning and operations. He is an experienced witness before regulatory bodies. Mohl began his career in the power industry at Public Service Company of Colorado, now an affiliate of Xcel Energy, before moving to Koch Industries where he held a number of senior leadership roles in various gas and power businesses. Mohl graduated from Regis University from which he also earned his master of business administration.Marsh moves from the finance organization as he takes on the role of system planning for utility operations. Marsh began his career as an associate at a municipal investment bank, after which he developed his management and strategy background through the master of management program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He joined Entergy in 1998 and moved through several financial communications, planning and strategy positions, including a three-year tenure at Entergy-Koch, LP, the joint venture between Entergy and Koch Industries. Recently, Marsh co-led efforts to organize and then subsequently unwind the non-utility nuclear spin-off organizations. Marsh’s undergraduate degree is from theUniversity of Notre Dame where he also played for the Fighting Irish football team and remains an active alumnus.Rice’s breadth of skills in city government, along with prior regulatory and legal experience at Entergy and two highly regarded law firms, provide exceptional experience as he takes on the top role at Entergy New Orleans. Like West, Rice began his first legal private practice position in Louisiana with Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P. following which he joined Entergy in the legal department. Between 2002 and 2005, Rice was recruited into city government as the city attorney and later took the critical role of chief administrative officer for the City of New Orleans. In 2005, Rice was recruited back to private practice as partner at the law firm of Barrasso, Usdin, Kupperman, Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C. following which he returned to Entergy as director of regulatory affairs for Entergy New Orleans in January 2010. Rice is a graduate of Howard University and earned his juris doctorate from the Loyola School of Law. After graduating from Howard University, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army and served as a military intelligence officer with the 101stAirborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky. While in the Army, he earned the Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge and was awarded the Army Commendation and the Army Achievement Medals.Other members of the Office of the Chief Executive who will continue to report to Leonard include:Leo Denault, Entergy’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. Denault has served as the CFO since 2004. In each of the past five years, Denault has finished among the top five CFOs in electric utility industry rankings by Institutional Investor magazine, including ranking as the best CFO for the past two years. In his prior position, Denault’s responsibilities were continually expanded from corporate development to include strategic planning, investment analysis and risk management processes, including serving as lead negotiator in the creation of the Entergy-Koch, LP joint venture. Denault joined Entergy in 1999, following a career at Cinergy Corporation culminating with his role of vice president, corporate development. Denault played a lead role in PSI Energy’s defense of a hostile takeover attempt that occurred during that company’s merger with Cincinnati Gas and Electric to form Cinergy. Thereafter, Denault was involved in every major investment transaction, including the acquisition of generation, distribution and trading businesses in the U.S. and abroad. Denault graduated from Ball State University and earned his master of business administration fromIndiana University.Gary Taylor, Entergy’s group president, utility operations. Taylor joined Entergy in 2000, bringing 20 years of nuclear expertise, substantially all with South Carolina Electric & Gas Company’s V.C. Summer Station where he certified as senior reactor operator and shift technical advisor, among other leadership roles. Taylor ultimately served as chief executive officer of Entergy’s nuclear businesses before moving to his current role. Taylor is a member of the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Greater New Orleans. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute as well as the boards of the Foundation for Nuclear Studies and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and is past chair of NEI’s Low Level Waste Management Working Group. Taylor graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and received his master in nuclear science and engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program and the INPO Senior Nuclear Plant Management course. He is a member of the National Physics Honor Society and was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force with the rank of captain. SOURCE Entergy Corporation. 6.7.2010. NEW ORLEANS, PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — West, Smith and Savoff will report to Leonard.Renae Conley, currently president and CEO, Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., will be promoted to executive vice president to lead Entergy’s human resources and administration organization during 2011. Seamons will retire at the end of 2011 after Conley’s transition into the position is complete. In the interim, Conley will assist Seamons in human resources assignments and also lead the corporatewide inclusion and diversity initiative. She will report directly to Leonard during a portion of her interim assignment.Bill Mohl succeeds Conley as president and chief executive officer, Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, having most recently served as Entergy’s vice president, system planning and operations, and will report to Gary Taylor, Entergy’s group president, utility operations.Charles Rice has been appointed president and chief executive officer, Entergy New Orleans, replacing West and will also report to Taylor. Rice currently serves as director, regulatory affairs, Entergy New Orleans.Andrew Marsh, currently Entergy’s vice president, planning and financial communications, will become Entergy’s vice president, system planning and operations, replacing Mohl and will report to Savoff.