EXCITING EXCHANGE Both men then tried to stamp their authority on the fight, and there was an exciting exchange over the last 20 seconds of the round, which was a signal to spectators that they were in for a fistic treat. And so it was. The excitement continued into the second round as a confident and sometimes cocky Gardener scored repeatedly with hard punches to the head and body. Lewis had his moments of ascendancy, but it was Gardener who scored consistently and methodically in the third round, which produced a lot of action and had spectators on their feet cheering wildly as the tempo of the fight increased. Things reached a crescendo in the fourth round as Gardener let loose with a barrage of punches. Lewis was not able to keep him at bay and he was hurt in this round. After a quick burst of two-fisted action from Gardener, Lewis seemed ready to fall and would have quite likely hit the canvas if he had not been caught up in the ropes. Referee Owen Nelson ruled this a knock-down, however, and gave Lewis an eight count. Gardener was all over him at the bell. When Gardener came out for the fifth and final round, he was more conservative and appeared winded. This was not surprising, however, as it was the first time that he had gone beyond three rounds. Lewis was not able to capitalise on this, however, and Gardener was able to end the fight on cruise control, and a with a victory neatly tucked away in his pocket. There was one amateur bout on the card which saw Samuel Grant of Sugar Olympic Gym scoring a points victory over Collel Hogg from Boys’ Town. Hard-hitting Michael ‘The Wasp’ Gardener moved one step closer to his goal of being the 2016 Wray and Nephew Contender champion when he scored a brilliant victory on points over his more experienced rival, Ramel ‘Sub Zero’ Lewis, at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Wednesday night. It was a unanimous decision as Judge Ransford Burton scored the fight 49-45, Laurence Neufville 49-46, and Peter Richards 50-45. This was easily the most exciting fight in the competition so far, and spectators had a lot to cheer about. Both men had signalled beforehand that they would be throwing a lot of punches, and they kept their word. The action started immediately after the signal to start was given, and it was Lewis who landed the first decisive punches. Gardener retaliated very quickly, however, and three jabs followed by a hook to the body sent the signal to Lewis that he was in for a hard night. The Gardener camp had something to think about before the round ended as he was cut over the left eye by a punch. The doctor examined it and ruled that it was nothing serious.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts after missing a shot against Italy’s Marco Cecchinato in the tie break of the fourth set of their quarterfinal match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )Novak Djokovic is facing the gravest crisis of his career after a shock French Open defeat to Italian journeyman Marco Cecchinato left him contemplating missing Wimbledon to rebuild his game and reboot his state of mind.The 31-year-old Serb slumped to an epic 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 7-6 (13/11) quarter-final loss to world number 72 Cecchinato, a player who had never won a match at the majors before this year’s Roland Garros.ADVERTISEMENT Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial LATEST STORIES ‘Life is difficult’What was particularly frustrating for Djokovic on Tuesday was the manner of his defeat.He may have had to call two medical timeouts for a neck and right leg injury, but chance after chance was squandered.Three set points came and went in the 12th game of the second set, three break points were wasted in the sixth game of the fourth before he blew the chance to level the tie at two sets apiece in the ninth game.He had another three set points in the gripping fourth set tiebreaker, the third of which flew into the Paris evening sky off an ugly ballooned forehand.There was still a hint of the old Djokovic magic as he desperately clung on, saving one match point with a no-look backhand volley.Djokovic, attempting to reach a 32nd Grand Slam semi-final, knows there are lingering problems in his game.A ranking of 22 is the lowest for 12 years, a consequence of his long-standing elbow problems and indifferent form.He hasn’t made the final of a tournament since winning the Wimbledon warm-up at Eastbourne last summer.He won just two titles in 2017 compared to seven in 2016 and 11 in 2015. This year too has been a rollercoaster.He was knocked out of the Australian Open in the last 16 by Hyeon Chung, then ranked at 58.Taro Daniel, the 109-ranked Japanese player, stunned in him in Indian Wells before Benoit Paire, at 47 in the rankings, knocked him out in Miami.In what was becoming a familiar tale, Martin Klizan, at 140, stunned him in Barcelona before there were signs of life with a semi-final run at Rome where it took Rafael Nadal to snuff out his challenge in the semi-finals.“It is difficult. Many things in life are difficult,” said Djokovic.“Any defeat is difficult in the Grand Slams, especially the one that, you know, came from months of buildup.“And I thought I had a great chance to get at least a step further, but wasn’t to be. That’s the way it is.”At least Djokovic can look to old rival Roger Federer for inspiration.It may be two years since Djokovic’s last Grand Slam triumph, but Federer went almost five years from Wimbledon in 2012 until the 2017 Australian Open before he added to his majors collection. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina The last of his 12 majors was secured at Roland Garros in 2016 when he completed a career Grand Slam.That was the year he also became the first player to break through the career $100 million prize money barrier.But his last run to a semi-final at the Slams was when he went onto finish runner-up at the 2016 US Open.The Djokovic resume lists 68 career titles but he’s only won four since his French Open triumph in 2016.That Paris win came after three final defeats in 2012, 2014 and 2015.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? 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Djokovic, a former world number one and 12-time Grand Slam title winner, had previously only been beaten by a player ranked lower than 25-year-old Cecchinato at the majors on two occasions — Marat Safin at Wimbledon in 2008 when the maverick Russian was at 78 and 117th-ranked Denis Istomin at last year’s Australian Open.Tuesday’s defeat left Djokovic shell-shocked, so much so that he threatened to skip the forthcoming grasscourt season and, by extension, Wimbledon where he is a three-time champion.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I don’t know if I’m going to play on grass — I’m just not thinking about tennis at the moment,” said Djokovic who opted to conduct his post-match media duties on Tuesday in a minor conference room, which had already been shut up for the evening, far away from the waiting cameras.His career statistics which used to sing of record-breaking feats now make grim reading. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding 2022 Olympics gear up with legacy venues Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has concluded a two-day training workshop targeting people living with HIV and Ebola Survivors to scale up efforts of ending stigma and discrimination. The workshop was organized with support from UNAIDS from 18th to 19th March, 2015 at a local hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.A total of 30 members of the Liberia Network of PLHIV (LIBNEP+) and Ebola Survivors Association in Liberia (ESAL) attended the workshop.It focused on addressing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and Ebola survivors in Liberia, using the Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention (PHDP) strategy and developing a work plan for inclusion in the Global Fund HIV Concept Note.The primary goals of PHDP are to improve the dignity, quality, and length of life of people living with HIV and others in similar circumstances.Speaking at the opening, UNAIDS Country Director-Dr. Betru Woldesemayat disclosed that UNAIDS is developing a new global Strategy 2016-2021 that focuses on ensuring that 90 percent of people infected with HIV know their status and will receive treatment.It is about time that Liberia ends all forms of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and as Ebola survivors, he said.“Stigma and discrimination will come to an end if you the people affected, stigmatized and discriminated against see this as an opportunity to collaborate with government and other partners to promote universal human rights,” Dr. Woldesemayat noted.Making a PowerPoint presentation during the workshop, Mr Isaac Ahemesah, UNAIDS Rights, Gender, and Community Mobilization Adviser, said if positive health, dignity and prevention strategy is fully operational, it will have beneficial impact on people living with HIV and Ebola survivors’ partners, families, and communities, including reducing the likelihood of new infections of HIV.“This means you have to consider yourselves as more than patients, not to be treated as vectors of transmission, a responsible party in the prevention of HIV and to help stop all forms of stigma and discrimination,” Mr. Ahemesah maintained.During the interactive workshop, members of two networks (people living with HIV and Ebola Survivors) spoke of the burden of stigma and discrimination on their various networks.On behalf of Ebola Survivors, Mr. Korlia Bonarwolo, president of the Ebola Survivors Association in Liberia expressed appreciation for the joint initiative.“Together we can eliminate Ebola and HIV from Liberia,” Mr Bonarwolo intimatedMr. Joe Joe Baysah, president of the network of people living with HIV thanked UNAIDS for its continuous support to the network and various associations that are members of the network. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The department is working with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems on another effort to protect airliners from such portable missiles. In that effort, the concept is to place sensor and missile defense packages on each individual aircraft. That effort has a price goal of getting to under $1 million per aircraft by the 1,000th unit. However, with some 6,800 airliners flying the nation’s skies, outfitting jetliners could cost as much as $11 billion, according to a 2005 Rand Corp. study. That price tag prompted Congress to push for other alternatives, resulting in Project Chloe. The department has $1.7 million in its 2007 budget to pursue the research. An additional $11 million to continue the effort is called for in the Bush administration’s 2008 budget request. The department recently issued a call to industry to come up with ideas for carrying out Project Chloe. “We’ll let industry come back to us with solutions,” Wilson said. The department’s solicitation states the effort will be based on existing systems and component technologies rather than attempting to develop new technologies. Northrop Grumman believes the Global Hawk aircraft it produces for the Air Force fits the Project Chloe concept. “With Global Hawk, it’s relatively easy to add a new sensor package into the airplane and test it out,” said Ed Walby, the company’s vice president for business development for Global Hawk. “Global Hawk could do multiple missions. You could carry communications equipment or cameras and take pictures of the bad guy that fired the missile.” Global Hawk aircraft are capable of flying at an altitude of 65,000 feet, above storms and some six miles higher than jetliners normally fly, for more than 35 hours at a time. During a single mission, Global Hawk’s sensors can survey 40,000 square miles. Earlier versions of the Global Hawk can carry 2,000 pounds of sensors and electronic gear. A larger version, capable of carrying 3,000 pounds of gear, is now being produced. Global Hawks have now flown more than 6,000 hours and 260 missions in support of the global War on Terror, and the family of Global Hawk aircraft has accumulated more than 10,000 flight hours over all missions, Northrop Grumman officials said. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Global Hawk, the unmanned reconnaissance aircraft looking for terrorists in the Middle East, could be used to protect airline passengers in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security is conducting a research project to see if aircraft could be flown above airports to protect jets from what is referred to as MANPADS, Man-Portable Air Defense Systems. The effort, dubbed Project Chloe, is in its very early stages, but DHS officials hope to conduct flight tests this summer to check out the concept. “The basic concept is you would put the MANPAD sensor and defeat system on a Global Hawk, Predator, or even a manned aircraft, put it up at 65,000 feet and see how the sensors act,” said Kerry Wilson, manager of the Project Chole for DHS. Flying above other air traffic, a long-endurance aircraft, such as a Global Hawk, could use sensors to detect an incoming missile. A laser could be used to confuse the missile’s guidance system and direct it away from jets. The department has not settled on a platform to carry out the tests, but it is very aware of the Palmdale-built Global Hawk’s capabilities. DHS has used an artist’s rendering of a Global Hawk using such a missile deterrent system in briefings on their advanced research projects. There are at least 27 terrorist groups that have acquired shoulder-launched missiles. Interest in pursuing a protective system surged after a November 2002 attack against an Israeli jetliner in which two shoulder-launched missiles were fired as it was taking off from an airport in Kenya. That aircraft escaped serious damage. About a year later, a cargo jetliner was damaged by a missile while taking off from an airport in Baghdad. Homeland Security officials say that while there is no credible, specific intelligence information about planned shoulder-launched missile attacks against U.S. commercial aircraft, they are aggressively pursuing technologies to counter the potential threat.
The MLS lineup, with 14 players chosen by All-Star coach Gerardo Martino of Atlanta United, includes former Juventus star Sebastian Giovinco, who led Toronto FC to last year’s MLS crown.Juventus comes off a seventh consecutive Serie A title.Mexico’s Jonathan dos Santos of the Los Angeles Galaxy, who helped his homeland advance past the World Cup group stage, and Peru’s Yoshimar Yotun of Orlando City, who helped set up his team’s first World Cup goal in 40 years in Russia, are among the MLS midfielders.England striker Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls was among two All-Star picks made by MLS commissioner Don Garber.Two US goalkeepers were selected, Brad Guzan of Atlanta and Zack Steffan of Columbus.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Zlatan Ibrahimovic of LA Galaxy looks to pass during the Major League Soccer match against Atlanta United in Carson, California on April 21, 2018 © AFP/File / Frederic J. BROWNNEW YORK, United States, Jun 29 – Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Spanish striker David Villa will lead the Major League Soccer All-Stars against Italian giant Juventus in the MLS All-Star Game, the league announced Friday.The select squad from the North American league for the August 1 showdown at Atlanta includes players from a record 16 nations, including five from this year’s World Cup.
There were a series of heartfelt tributes before kick-off, with Sala’s photograph appearing on the front cover of the matchday programme and the two captains, Sol Bamba and Andrew Surman, laying floral tributes on the halfway line before what the club called a “silent reflection”.Sala’s name, in the colours of his native Argentina, was also spelled out behind one of the goals as supporters held cards aloft.Bobby Reid scored a fifth-minute penalty and the Cardiff players celebrated by running towards the dug-out to hold up a blue shirt bearing Sala’s photograph.Reid scored again just after half-time, racing onto a pass from Aron Gunnarsson to roll the ball home.Cardiff and Bournemouth players observe a moment of silent reflection for the missing Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson © AFP / Geoff CADDICK“The crowd were amazing and it’s been a very emotional 10 days,” Cardiff boss Warnock told BT Sport.“It can’t be helped and I thought we played well against a decent team like Bournemouth. We worked on a system and it worked a treat today.“Emiliano Sala would’ve been really proud of us tonight.”“Emiliano was a super guy,” he told the BBC. “I met him for a couple of months and it just got hold of me walking across to the fans — it is an emotional time. It was great for the club to get the win today.”Sala was travelling from France to join up with his new club in a light aircraft on January 21 when it went missing close to the Channel Islands.Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline on Wednesday.A privately funded search for the missing plane would begin on Sunday, conditions permitting, the scientist leading the mission said on Saturday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cardiff players warm up in T-shirts bearing the image of missing Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala © AFP / Geoff CADDICKCARDIFF, United Kingdom, Feb 2 – Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said Emiliano Sala would have been “really proud” of the team after they beat Bournemouth 2-0 on Saturday in their first home match since the plane carrying their new Argentine signing disappeared.Programme notes, penned by owner Vincent Tan and the rest of the Bluebirds’ board, said events had shaken “Cardiff City to its very core” and that they were now playing for Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.
0Shares0000Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan were the only Italian team not to advance to the Champions League last 16 © AFP / Miguel MEDINAMILAN, Italy, Dec 14 – Inter Milan on Saturday cancelled coach Antonio Conte’s press conference ahead of their league game against Fiorentina because of “an offensive letter” published in a leading Italian sports daily.“Yesterday (Friday), the Corriere dello Sport published an offensive letter towards our coach, justifying its aggression in the comment,” the Italian team said in a statement on Twitter as journalists were waiting for the start of the press conference. “In order to send a signal to all media that they must ‘guarantee respect of people,’ we will not hold a press conference today.”In the letter, a Bologna fan wrote he “enjoyed seeing the great Inter outclassed by Barcelona B”, who had shown the Italian side’s “worn-out” coach how to play football.“I contest this beatification of Conte who in his career despite the victories has never shown a good game,” the letter continued.It added that despite spending over 150 million euros ($166 million), more than any other Italian team, Chinese-owned Inter could not beat Slavia Prague and lost to Borussia Dortmund.The editor of the letters’ page Italo Cucci added a comment, stating that Inter have “thrown away the Champions League and maybe the rest too” by loaning Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint-Germain, adding: “Slogan: No Icardi, No Party”.Corriere dello Sport have already been under fire following their controversial “Black Friday” headline earlier this month ahead of the first Serie A meeting between Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and former Manchester United teammate Chris Smalling, now playing for Roma.Inter Milan are two points ahead of Juventus at the top of the Serie A table before Sunday’s trip to Fiorentina, but were the only one of Italy’s four teams not to advance to the Champions League last 16.0Shares0000(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)
West Ham United have reinstated academy coach Mark Phillips after investigating his involvement in a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).The Hammers suspended Phillips in October after he attended a DFLA march through London and later defended the group on Twitter, which has been accused of Islamophobia and racism. 1 The club have reinstated Phillips for his part in the march “West Ham United can confirm that following suspension and subsequent investigation, academy coach Mark Phillips has been reinstated to his role in accordance with employment law, and has been reminded of his responsibilities,” a club statement said.West Ham launched an investigation due to concerns Phillips’ social media posts may have broken club regulations and he was suspended.It is understood the club’s inquiry found there were not sufficient grounds for dismissing Phillips for breaching the Hammers’ social media policy and bringing the club into disrepute.But Phillips, who coaches West Ham’s under-18s, has been given a final warning over his conduct.
South African jazz maestro Hugh Masekela died on 23 January 2018, aged 78, following a nine-year battle against prostate cancer.Almost never seen without his trusty trumpet, Hugh Masekela was more than just a legendary South African musician; he was a global iconoclast who celebrated his continent and its people through his music. Masekela died in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 23 January 2018. (Image: Wikipedia)CD AndersonMore than just an internationally acclaimed musician, “Bra Hugh” was a South African cultural iconoclast for more than 50 years, whose work was the soundtrack of a political movement and gave a voice to the people of South Africa.Hugh Ramopolo Masekela was born in 1939, in the Kwa-Guqa township of Witbank, Mpumalanga. Musically inclined from a young age, Masekela was inspired to find his calling in jazz music by Kirk Douglas in the film Man with the Horn; he was particularly fascinated by the trumpet.Early life and careerHe received his first trumpet at the age of 14, a gift from anti-apartheid cleric Archbishop Trevor Huddleston; and it seemingly never left his hands since. He quickly became a master of the instrument, as well as of the flugelhorn and cornet. He played in a number of bands in high school and as a young adult, including Huddleston’s Jazz Band youth orchestra, the Manhattan Brothers and the legendary Jazz Epistles, alongside fellow future legends of South Africa music, Abdullah Ibrahim, then known as Dollar Brand; Kippie Moeketsi; and Jonas Gwangwa.The Epistles were a regular house band for the Sophiatown cultural and political boom of the late 1950s.Masekela got his big break when he joined the cast of Todd Matshikiza’s jazz opera, King Kong, which toured the world in 1961. During a tumultuous political period in South Africa, which included the Sharpeville massacre and the injustices of institutionalised apartheid, Masekela chose to live in exile following the London run of King Kong.In exileHe spent the early 1960s mastering his musical craft at the London Guildhall School of Music and at the Manhattan School of Music. At the time, he met fellow African political exiles and anti-apartheid campaigners, including American actor Harry Belafonte, with whom he worked to bring the real story of apartheid and racial discrimination to the world’s attention. He was married to fellow King Kong cast member and exile Miriam Makeba from 1964 to 1966. Although they divorced, Masekela and Makeba had a lifelong personal and musical friendship until the latter’s death in 2008.His growing canon of recorded work increasingly took a political slant, particularly on the album, The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela, released in 1966. Masekela scored his first US top ten hit with an African-infused instrumental version of the Jimmy Webb pop hit, Up, Up and Away, in 1967.In 1967, Masekela and his band played their first breakout high-profile show, the Monterey Pop Festival, alongside the era’s biggest musical legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Booker T and the MGs, and Otis Redding. Masekela featured in the official film and soundtrack of the festival.His 1968 single, Grazing in the Grass, reached number one on the US pop charts. The song became his signature for much of the 1970s and was later featured in a number of film soundtracks, including The Last King of Scotland and The Lion King.A return to AfricaMasekela continued to record and tour prodigiously throughout the 1970s and 1980s, circling ever closer, both musically and physically, to Africa. He toured across Africa with the likes of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and Ghanaian jazz band Hedzoleh Soundz, as well as with fellow South African exiles Makeba and Gwangwa. In 1974, he was one of the organisers of the Zaire 74 festival, which brought together the best of African and American soul and jazz artists to compliment the Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Forman in Kinshasa.During this time, he also featured on recordings with US rock band The Byrds and jazz pop trumpeter Herb Alpert, as well as on the early solo albums of Paul Simon, with whom he would later work on the 1987 Graceland album and tour.During the 1980s Masekela made his African home base Botswana, opening a music school and once again recording with big names in African music, as well as working with ANC cultural organisations in exile to formulate a cultural manifesto for a free South Africa sometime in the future.His 1987 hit, Bring Him Back Home, was adopted as the anthem calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and other South African political prisoners, as well as a call-to-arms for African exiles around the world to return to their motherland. Masekela finally got to play the song live for Mandela himself when he was released in 1990.HomecomingThe musician had returned to South Africa around the same time. He continued to record and mentor new generations of South African musicians. In 2004, he published his entertaining and candid autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela, in which he highlighted not only his successes but also his struggles with homesickness and alcohol abuse. In the book, he vowed that his story was not yet over; he was determined to keep on creating new music that celebrated his country, the continent and its people until the day he died.A number of top music and academic awards were bestowed on Masekela throughout his life, among them the National Order of Ikhamanga in 2010, an honorary doctorate in music from the University of York and Rhodes University, and an African Music Legend Award.In one of his final performances, in 2016, Masekela reunited in Johannesburg with Ibrahim to perform as the Jazz Epistles again, to not only celebrate the history of South African music but also to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the historic 16 June 1976 youth demonstrations.Masekela is survived by his wife, Elinam Cofie, and children, Pula Twala and Selema “Sal” Masekela, from his previous relationship with Jessie Marie Lapierre.Five from Bra Hugh: five memorable Hugh Masekela songs to celebrate his life and artSource: Wikipedia, South African History Online, News24Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Lori CullerDTN HR ColumnistProductive farms must work together as a team. Each employee plays a role on the team, whether it’s to operate heavy equipment or manage finances from behind a desk. The team should be built on a solid foundation of communication, trust and accountability. The question is: How can a group of employees create and sustain this type of bond? When there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to run the business, troubleshoot challenges, and keep staff abreast on policies, rest assured that there are tools available to help. Technology changes with the seasons, making it a challenge to stay current. While it takes time and energy to utilize the newest resources, it ultimately improves efficiency and communication among the staff. Imagine having a snapshot of productivity at the end of each day. Everyone would be on the same page, ready to hit the ground running the next morning. Research shows that effective team communication generates highly engaged employees which improves retention and productivity, leading to quantifiable financial returns. STEPS TO IMPROVING COMMUNICATION 1. Create and follow a formal communication process. As the farm grows, creating protocol for planting/harvest updates and to plan changes are vital to streamlining operations. The danger in not having a formal process is that employees will communicate at random or use various mediums leading to dropped communication or miscommunication. 2. Choose one main communication channel for daily correspondence. It can be cumbersome to check text messages, emails, and the intranet for updates, particularly in the farming industry when most employees are mobile. Use one main method to communicate. 3. Keep material relevant. Messages should be short, simple, provide clear direction, and ask for a response if one is needed. USING TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE Clear and real-time communication is what will keep a team productive. Regardless the size of the team, there are technological solutions available, from team messaging to field tracking devices. How often has a phone call come in while the operator is driving a piece of equipment? There is no pen, and it’s dangerous to stop and take notes. Here are some ways to help: 1. Tetra (https://asktetra.com) is a program that will take notes during a phone conversation so the listener can focus on what is being said. This tool will turn the phone conversation into text documents immediately after the phone call is over. Notes can then be shared with team members. 2. Wrike (https://www.wrike.com/…) and Basecamp (https://basecamp.com) are both useful project management programs. With multiple employees working on a project, files must be shared and tasks must be assigned. These programs allow those involved to check on progress, create to-do lists and documents, even message back and forth. 3. GroupMe (https://groupme.com/…) is a free app which allows users to have a private chat room for different groups. Consider a text when a large storm is moving in and the planters need direction. A GroupMe text may be the easiest solution when a cattle manager is looking for someone to work late on evening. 4. Harvest (https://www.getharvest.com/…) and Tick (https://www.tickspot.com/…) are time-tracking apps where you can track how your team is doing by tracking their hours and deciding who is overworked and who can take on more tasks. You can also track their hours by project and see how much time is being spent on each acre. There are several options for your company to stay updated on technological advancements without falling behind in the field. For example, take an online training course or hire an intern. Every small step in the right direction will yield better results. Are you unsure about adding more technology to your operation? Stick to the tried-and-true team building activities that organization were first built on. Don’t let obstacles, such as time restraints, get in the way. While opportunities to host weekend retreats or after-hour events may be limited, make it a priority to fit team-building activities in a regular workday. They can also help employees work better as a team instead of individually and help them adapt to change or simply boost morale. (Note: The software mentioned in this article are not endorsed by AgHires) ** Editor’s note: Lori Culler grew up on a vegetable and grain farm and is the founder of AgHires (https://aghires.com/…), a national employment recruiting service and online ag job board based in Temperance, Michigan. Email email@example.com and find other labor management tips under Resources at www.dtnpf.com.(ES)© Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.