Business roundup

Sheri Walker • Updated Dec 5, 2017 at 9:22 PM

Workshops to help direct farm marketers set for January

Direct farm marketers, agritourism operators and key team members for these businesses are invited to learn how to improve communication and create positive, rewarding personal and professional relationships at four upcoming workshops.

The Improve Communication and Build Better Relationships with Real Colors Workshops will be held on four dates across the state: Wednesday, Jan. 10, in Jackson; Thursday, Jan. 11, in Murfreesboro; Wednesday, Jan. 17, in Greeneville; and Thursday, Jan. 18, in Harriman. Check-in and networking will begin at 9 a.m. local time. Sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. All times are local.

Pre-registration and pre-payment are required no later than five business days prior to each event. Space is limited due to the interactive nature of the workshop.

There is a registration fee of $20 per person. Lunch will be provided. Register online now at tiny.utk.edu/RealColors.

This workshop fulfills a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program requirement in the Agritourism, Fruits and Vegetables, and Value-Added diversification sectors.

For information, call 931-486-2777 or email Megan Bruch Leffew, Extension Specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture at [email protected]

Baker Donelson named as winner of 16th annual M&A Advisor Awards

Baker Donelson has been named a winner in the 16th annual M&A Advisor Awards.

The annual awards, presented by The M&A Advisor, recognize the industry's leading M&A dealmakers.

Baker Donelson was named a winner in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Deal of the Year (Over $100 Million) category for its involvement in the acquisition by Medical Properties Trust Inc. of the real estate interests of nine acute care hospitals operated by Steward Health Care System LLC and an equity interest in Steward. Baker Donelson served as legal advisor to Medical Properties Trust in the October 2016 transaction, which was valued at $1.25 billion. 

Steward is the largest for-profit hospital system in Massachusetts. Baker Donelson, which was chosen from more than 650 participating companies to receive this award, was recognized at the Awards Gala on Nov. 13 in New York.

RMA announces crop insurance policy changes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency recently announced changes to its crop insurance policies.

Major changes for 2018 focus on conservation compliance certification and choice of unit structure based on the risk management needs of producers.

To offer producers increased flexibility, RMA has removed the June 1 certification deadline date from the conservation compliance provisions and will instead refer to the premium billing date. This will allow the conservation compliance certification process for crop insurance to be administered more consistently with the way it is administered for other USDA programs.

RMA is also streamlining its services by now allowing a policyholder to select an enterprise unit for either irrigated or non-irrigated practice. Policyholders may also choose the most appropriate unit structure on the other practice, be it a separate enterprise unit or optional or basic units. These changes reduce the burden placed on producers and makes crop insurance more accessible.

RMA worked closely with its stakeholders to identify the changes, which were published Nov. 24 in the Federal Register.

Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at www.rma.usda.gov.

Zoo Knoxville discounts winter admission

Zoo Knoxville is offering $5 off admission tickets during Kroger Discount Days, Dec. 1 through Feb. 28.

During Kroger Discount Days, guests can discover why winter is an enjoyable time to visit the zoo. Many animals, including red pandas, river otters, elephants, gorillas, red wolves, lions and tigers, enjoy the cooler temperatures.

On days when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, some animals will be moved indoors, but visitors can still see many in their indoor viewing areas. The Pilot Flying J Wee Play Adventure is a popular indoor area that’s an entertaining stop for creative play during visits as well.

A December trip to the zoo may even include a visit to Santa’s Village, a special holiday encounter and photo opportunity with Santa Claus. Santa’s Village will be open for holiday photos and Christmas wishes Dec. 14-17, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. each day in the heated Kids Cove tent.

Discounted tickets can be purchased at the zoo ticket window during regular zoo hours and online at zooknoxville.org. Discounted admission tickets must be used by Feb. 28, 2018, and cannot be combined with any other promotion, discount, or coupon.

Currently, the zoo is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Admission and ticket sales stop one hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit zooknoxville.org.

Have business news? Email Sheri Walker at [email protected]

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