By Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaWith the fast-rising popularity of angel trumpets, many gardenersare wanting to start propagating them. But surprisingly little iswritten about how to do it. Volume XXXINumber 1Page 24 For the record, brugmansias, which most people know as angeltrumpets, and some of the closely related daturas are very easyto propagate. The trick is to know when to cut and what to use ascuttings.Cuttings are best taken in June and July. The trick is to takecuttings from branched stems.Straight stems will lead to tall plants that bloom late in thesummer — maybe. Branched stems are “mature” and will bloom a fewweeks after you establish them in the garden.Root cuttingsYou can root cuttings in a mix of peat and sand kept moist. Or,place 4-inch to 6-inch stems in a glass of water, just as youwould an African violet leaf.They root rather fast. Even large stems can be rooted in 5-gallonbuckets. Once you’ve transplanted them to pots or the garden,they’ll need a few weeks of shade to develop extensive roots.Slowly expose them to more sun, and your brugmansias will bepoised to take off.Seeds, though, are another matter.Remember that like most plants, seedlings will vary from theadult. Brugmansia seeds are weird-looking things, similar to aflat bark chip. Pealing off the brown covering speeds germinationbut requires a bit of skill.Be carefulWear gloves when you do this, or at least wash your hands rightafter processing the seeds. Both brugmansias and daturas arepoisonous if eaten, especially the seeds and leaves. Handling theplant isn’t dangerous in itself.Daturas germinate slowly and irregularly, and you’ll needpatience. Both species require warm, moist soil conditions togerminate. It will take at least one summer season, and sometimeslonger, to see the first flowers.To learn more about brugmansias and daturas, visit the AmericanBrugmansia and Datura Society Web site (www.abads.net).(Paul Thomas is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)
“Gardening in Georgia” is a coproduction of GPB and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The 2007 season is made possible through an underwriting gift from McCorkle Nurseries and support from the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association.More on “Gardening in Georgia” can be found at www.gardeningingeorgia.com. Digging tools, building bogs, killing grass and having fun with the kids highlight the April 26 “Gardening in Georgia.””Gardening in Georgia” airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations across Georgia each Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.Georgia gardening guru and retired University of Georgia Extension agent Walter Reeves hosts the show. Each episode features valuable gardening information specific to Georgia soils, climate and growing conditions.Having an artificial bog is a great way to grow and appreciate a different class of plants than you normally grow in your garden. Kathryn Gable at the Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Botanical Garden shows how to make a simple bog in a tub and plant carnivorous plants to enjoy with your children.Viburnums are often overlooked as landscape plants, but they pack a lot of punch. Doublefile viburnum offers tier upon tier of white flowers in spring. And with its ball-like flower head, snowball viburnum gives the look of a hydrangea in late April. See some great examples of these tough shrubs.A sharp stick was the first digging tool. See how far we’ve advanced in hand-powered, soil-moving tools. Show host Walter Reeves shows several different shovels and the tasks they’re designed for.Get a demonstration of a fun project to do with kids, too. Reeves shows how to make a garden caterpillar out of clay pots, string and a bit of paint.Finally, find out the importance of carefully reading the label on a weed-killer bottle before you cause streaks of dead grass in your lawn.
By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaWhen Ron Walcott talked to high school students at a recent Georgia Daze breakfast, he had five new ways to entice them to come to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – five, full-ride scholarships for minority students.The scholarships, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture multicultural scholars grant, are welcome news as the college and the agricultural industries they support work to recruit more minorities into agriculture-related careers.“There are all these jobs over here through our college, and all these people who need jobs who are not in our college. There’s a big disconnect,” said Walcott, who is the CAES assistant dean for diversity and multiculturalism and an associate professor of plant pathology. “The jobs that are here are very fruitful and rewarding.”CAES graduates are in jobs from Chick-fil-A corporate offices to Capitol Hill. They’ve gone on to work at top-level jobs in horticulture, poultry science, food science and engineering. They now work for various government agencies, in forensic pathology and as environmental advocates.When Walcott is talking to highly qualified minority students through various CAES programs like the Georgia Daze breakfast and the Young Scholars Program, a full ride from other universities is often what pulls them away from UGA. The summer-long Young Scholars Program allows high school students who show a high aptitude in math and science to intern in CAES labs. “We have to have something to offer them,” said Jean Bertrand, CAES assistant dean of academic affairs. “They’re going because of such good scholarships. Receiving these scholarships is the only way we could compete.”CAES has slightly higher minority numbers than other UGA colleges.“CAES is fortunate to have many talented faculty dedicated to diversity,” said Louise Wicker, a CAES professor of food science and technology. In the past year, CAES received two USDA grants – the $150,000 multicultural scholars grant and a $142,000 higher education challenge grant. The HEC grant, directed by Wicker, helps undergraduate minority students gain research and job experience in UGA labs at the Athens, Tifton and Griffin campuses. It also provides funds for faculty, staff and students to improve their mentorship skills in science, technology, engineering and math.Walcott is developing a network of high school teachers who serve underrepresented populations in Georgia’s metro areas. He wants to show them what agricultural careers really entail so they will send students his direction.In the past few years, CAES has seen a slight increase in minority populations. In 2007, CAES had 55 Asian students, or 3.9 percent of the population, up from 33 students in 2003. In 2007, the college had 62 African-American students, or 4.3 percent of the population, up from 35 students in 2003.In fall 2008, CAES had 1,588 undergraduate and 414 graduate students, a record enrollment. “We need a more diverse pool of students to serve the more diverse industry,” Bertrand said. “And we need our industry to become more diverse to serve our even more diverse society.”Walcott said one way to entice students into ag-related majors is to get agriculture on their radars. Most don’t know about agriculture or what they know is wrong. Whether they make it a career or are simply advocate for agriculture, he wants them to think, “Oh, ag. Oh, that’s so cool.”He sees education as the “only real way you can change your class, your chance to earn money and your outlook on life in your lifetime,” he said.Walcott grew up in Barbados. Instead of making basketball a career or becoming a medical doctor, he moved to Iowa State University and went into plant pathology.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Robinette gently places Rosie the tarantula in the student’s hands. Rosie has been traveling from middle school to elementary students for the past few hours, stopping for the occasional break in her plastic terrarium.Rosie isn’t just helping students get over their fears of the hairy and scary creatures of the bug world. She’s a teaching tool, a vital part of Robinette’s hands-on learning program at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Robinette and UGA students in her entomology service-learning classes will introduce insects to about 10,000 children this year. Rosie will go along to some of the visits.“Being able to touch insects makes learning more tangible,” Robinette said. “They can look at it, hold it in their hands and count its legs. There’s a relationship with the brain and hands-on learning. It all comes together in the experiential learning realm.”Getting their hands dirtyChildren learn better when they’re actively involved in the lesson, said Diane Bales, a UGA Cooperative Extension child development specialist and professor with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.And while science – such as handling insects or building a miniature roller coaster to study velocity – is a perfect fit for involved learning, Bales said teachers and parents should be building hands-on projects into their lessons no matter what the subject.“Basically, that’s the way children learn,” she said. “They’re very experiential. And having the opportunity to do things themselves is going to connect more to their brains.”Back away from the worksheetsBales teaches college students how to teach preschool and elementary children. She said sometimes she has a hard time convincing even her students that a worksheet is not necessarily the best way to teach. “It’s a hard sell,” she said.Adults often have a hard time letting go of control of learning situations. “When the teacher lets go, students have the opportunity to learn something that is as, or more, valuable than what we thought they would learn,” Bales said. “Having a teacher as a facilitator requires a deeper level of thinking than worksheets and fill-in-the-blank handouts.” She said it’s also important that parents understand that the projects their children bring home aren’t just extra busywork. It’s a way students can learn to plan, meet a deadline, write multiple drafts and budget their time and energy.Test score troubleThe battle between worksheets and hands-on learning partly stems from schools trying to meet the mandate of No Child Left Behind. Each school must make what is called adequate yearly progress, or they will be considered a failing school.It’s the fear of failure that drives many schools and teachers to try to cram as much knowledge into their students as possible.“A lot of teachers do less hands-on activities because they’re concerned about getting kids ready for standardized tests,” Bales said. “A lot of focus is conveyed on getting information to students the quickest way possible.”Robinette considers test scores when she helps her students plan an insect zoo at a school. She creates a lesson that hits on certain Georgia Performance Standards, a structure which helps regulate what teachers teach and students learn. The more students learn, the more they are aware of the world around them, she said. After that first safe introduction to insects, they’re not as afraid of them. And they also learn a safer way to use chemicals like pesticides.Robinette’s ultimate goal is to encourage students to become entomologists. But until they are ready for college, she encourages them to just get their hands on science.“How can we expect kids to sit, sit, sit and be, be, be?” she said. “The goal should be to create a better learning environment.”For more information on the UGA insect zoo, visit www.ent.uga.edu/insectzoo, or contact Robinette at 706-542-1238 or email@example.com.
Elizabeth Andress, professor of foods and nutrition in the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named the 2012 recipient of the National Award for Excellence in Extension for her long-term success in combining research and education in food safety. Andress, co-author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Complete Guide to Home Canning,” is project director for the National Center for Home Food Processing and Preservation. She also served as an editor of the past two editions of “So Easy to Preserve,” as well as co-producer of a video series by the same name, both of which provide step-by-step instructions on preserving a variety of foods. “The committee was obviously impressed with the nationally renowned work that you have done in food safety/food preservation. Your use of the electronic media to reach thousands of participants was also well noted,” said James Trapp, associate director of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and chair of the awards committee, in a letter to Andress. Andress, who has secured more than $5 million in grants for her programs and research, has served as a technical consultant to the U.S. Customs Service regarding food packaging and has served on the Georgia Department of Human Resources Advisory Committee for Implementation of New Food Service Regulations. She also coordinates statewide delivery of the ServSafe food handler manager certification and staff programs, and supports a variety of consumer food safety educational programs and 4-H project work. Andress also teaches undergraduate courses and mentors graduate students in the field of food preservation and safety, in addition to providing in-service training to Cooperative Extension educators in other states. Andress earned a bachelor of arts degree from Albright College in Reading, Penn.; a master of science degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State College; and a Ph.D. in food science from Pennsylvania State University.
Georgia’s livestock producers may see higher profits in 2014 due to lower feed prices and higher consumer demand. However, those lower feed prices, and flat demand for corn for ethanol, may hold down profit margins for Georgia row crop farmers.University of Georgia experts with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences shared their economic predictions for Georgia’s commodities during Georgia Ag Forecast seminars held across the state Jan. 24 through Jan. 30 in Macon, Athens, Lyons and Bainbridge. Each forecast event focuses most on the commodities grown in that region of the state.“We have led these ag forecast events for the past seven years to provide farmers and other ag business leaders with the most up-to-date information, so they can prepare for the growing year,” said CAES Dean and Director Scott Angle. “I think it’s a mixed bag this year, depending on the commodity you are working with.”Despite a small dip in some prices, commodity prices are still reasonably high compared to a few years ago, Angle said. “In agriculture, we are going to have ups and downs, but overall I feel really good about our industry,” he said. “We are becoming a world player in food production.”CornCorn acres are expected to decrease after Georgia’s second best record yields of 175 bushels per acre in 2013. Georgia acres are expected to drop to below 400,000 in 2014 from last year’s 460,000 harvested acres. U.S. and worldwide corn supplies are up, and UGA Extension ag economist Nathan Smith expects farmers in the major growing areas of the Midwest to switch some corn acreage to soybeans. Corn grown for ethanol use has “leveled off,” and domestic use has increased, Smith said. “Overall ethanol profit margins are higher, but corn will need some growth in the fuel market besides feed use and export,” he said.PeanutsPeanut acreage will likely be up this year compared to last, but exports will be down.“There was a 38 percent decline in Georgia peanut acreage in 2013 due to higher prices in cotton and corn. More farmers switched to these crops,” said Smith. “This year will be more representative of a normal cycle.”Demand for peanut butter was hurt when retail prices were raised in 2012, but consumption should rebound. Candy and snack consumption should lead growth in domestic peanut usage, Smith said. Soybeans/Wheat“Grain and soybean growers have enjoyed a good run of prices since 2007. However, the run appears to be over as U.S. and foreign producers have recovered from short production years,” Smith said. Soybean and wheat prices are expected to fall in 2014.Soybean acres and exports are expected to increase, but exports will slow down once China begins buying soybeans from Brazil, he said. “The U.S. and Brazil grow about the same size crop. South America is our big competitor for soybeans going to the export market,” Smith said. “We may grow a few more acres in the U.S. this year and maybe a few more in Georgia.”Due to lower prices, wheat acreage in Georgia will likely decrease to 270,000 acres – down from 420,000 in 2013.CottonUGA Extension cotton economist Don Shurley says world demand for cotton is “improving slowly.” He expects production in Georgia to increase slightly in 2014. “Cotton and peanuts are the two large crops in Georgia. The price of cotton may be down a little bit this year, compared to where we were this past year, so profit margins are going to be tighter,” Shurley said. “The good news is that fertilizer is going to be a little bit cheaper, but diesel fuel is still very expensive and farmers are still going to pay a lot for chemicals.”DairyGeorgia dairymen can expect to see a “slight improvement” in prices and an increase in exports to China and the Pacific Rim. Georgia farmers produce more milk now from fewer cows. Lower feed prices mean they should end the year with a profit for a change, said UGA Extension livestock economist Curt Lacy.Some 240 Georgia dairies are collectively expected to produce about 1.55 billion pounds of milk this year. Since 2010, milk production per cow has increased nearly 10 percent through efficiency gains. BeefBeef producers are also expected to fare well this year, too, since herd sizes are smaller. A decline is expected in total red meat production, including veal and lamb. Unfortunately for cattlemen, the economy directly impacts the demand for beef and other protein products, Lacy said. Consumers have more disposable income to spend on groceries than they did a few years ago, but still not as much as they did before 2008. “The reality is that most folks don’t have any more disposable income than they did six or seven years ago due to higher taxes, higher fuel prices and other expenses,” he said. “It’s really hard to push higher prices on to consumers at the retail level because they don’t have any more to spend.”PorkUGA experts expect pork producers to continue to struggle as they have the last several years. “Pork prices were high (last year), but feed costs were, too, and farmers couldn’t overcome that,” Lacy said. Farmers are also battling porcine epidemic diarrhea virus – a highly contagious virus that is deadly to piglets. Confirmed in 22 states, but not in Georgia, the virus appeared last April and could reduce domestic pork production by 2 to 3 percent, Lacy said. It poses no threats to human health or food safety.PoultryGeorgia poultry farmers are expected to produce more broilers this year. About 20 percent of those birds will go overseas. Georgia once sold most of its exported poultry to Russia, where a fledgling poultry industry is now being developed. Georgia’s excess broilers will likely be headed to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, said UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development Director Kent Wolfe. With corn prices leveling off this year, poultry producers may see larger profits this year. The industry in general is on track to grow by about 3 percent, he added. MiscellaneousHoney prices are expected to rise this year and next, as the number of hives decline in GeorgiaOverall demand for timber should pick up as international demand increases. The popularity of wood pellets for burning also continues to increase. Farmers may experience sticker shock on expenditures like farm tractors and self-propelled combines/harvesters, but UGA experts say the value of disposable inputs (seed, fuel, feed, fertilizer, chemicals and animal health products) will remain in check. The forecast events for Cartersville and Tifton were postponed due to the winter snowstorm that hit Georgia on Jan. 28.
Since 2000, University of Georgia entomologist Dan Suiter has taught pest control operators across the Southeast how to control termites and other household pests. He does this on the UGA campus in Griffin at a training facility built by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.The facility, formally called the Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Center, includes an outdoor classroom with different home foundation types. “By seeing the different construction types up close, the technicians can visualize what they do every day,” said Suiter, a UGA Extension entomologist. “Our training center lets the pest control operators see that the pesticides don’t travel the same way through the different foundation types, and they can visualize how a termite might get in.”Since the training center opened, Suiter, other UGA entomologists and GDA experts have trained thousands of pest control operators across the Southeast. Now the training facility is expanding, allowing pest control operators to learn how to control pests in commercial kitchens and schools and pests like bed bugs in bedroom settings.“Over the past year, we’ve had some real movement, and we’ve expanded into commercial kitchens. Pest control companies have to go in and control roaches and rodents around food, so operators needed to be trained,” he said. “We are also building a bedroom and plan to start holding bed bug workshops, and we are adding an indoor classroom, too.”UGA also plans to offer training on how to control pests in schools. The UGA pest control training workshops typically include a day of lectures followed by a day of hands-on insect identification and pest control training demonstrations in the outdoor classroom. Pest control operators receive continuing education credits for attending the workshops.Suiter also leads a 10-week pest control certification program on the UGA Griffin Campus. The course costs $195, but is free to all U.S. veterans. The current session concludes on Nov. 25 and the next 10-week session begins on March 31, 2016.“We are trying to get new people into the industry,” he said. “It’s a well-kept secret. In the pest control business, it’s never the same from one day to the next, and it’s really interesting. And, you can make a really good living in it.”Suiter says February, March and April are the peak hiring times for pest control companies. “I had a man tell me he never really considered the pest control industry, but now he’s been working in it for 30 years and put three kids through college,” Suiter said. “The pest control business is almost a recession proof business. It may be because people spend more time at home when they don’t have income to go out, and they don’t want to be there with bugs.”The next series of two-day workshops on the UGA Griffin Campus are scheduled as follows: bed bug control workshop, Feb. 11, 2016; commercial pest management workshop, Feb. 25, 2016; termite control workshop, March 10-11, 2016, and March 24-25, 2016; and 10-week certificate program, March 31-June 9. For more information on the workshops, call Suiter at (770) 233-6114 or see the program’s website at www.gabugs.uga.edu.
My friend Gerald Klingaman, retired horticulturist with the University of Arkansas, uses the term “deutzia renaissance” for the new love surrounding this fuzzy heirloom that has been around for ages. If you haven’t discovered the old-fashioned fuzzy deutzia, then make it a high priority. Your landscape deserves it. Klingaman said, of using his deutzias with azaleas, to spread out the glorious spring bloom. At the Columbus Botanical Garden, we used it against a backdrop of bald cypress, cryptomeria or Japanese cedar, and the picturesque dawn redwood. The pendulous branches with what seemed like thousands of small, white, lightly scented, star-shaped flowers created quite the picture.At the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia, we are using two large specimens behind cold-hardy palms and in partnership with heirloom crinum lilies. The look is cottage tropical, certainly pleasing to the eye and entices you to sit a while. I did just that after another friend, Jason Powell, owner of Petals from the Past in Alabama, mentioned bees and butterflies in conjunction with this nostalgic plant. As I actually paused to sit on the nearby bench, I did notice that there were a variety of bees visiting the top of our 9-foot bushes. That makes the shrub a winner in my book.Fuzzy deutzia is known botanically as “Deutzia scabra” and is native to Japan and China. It seems most gardeners are surprised to find out that it is in the Hydrangeaceae, or hydrangea family, where we find another heirloom: the English dogwood, or mock orange. It is deciduous, which might be the reason it lost some of its luster for a generation or two. Today, gardeners recognize the beauty of a landscape. As the leaves fall, you get to see the form and texture our plants possess.As I have hinted in mentioning our two 9-foot-tall shrubs, you will need to give fuzzy deutzia plants the space to be all they can be. They can reach 10 feet tall and spread 8 feet or more. They are in full bloom in Savannah now and will be in full bloom around May 10 in Columbus, Georgia. With a wide range of hardiness from zones 5 to 8, there will be a fuzzy deutzia blooming somewhere in the United States from April through June.Fuzzy deutzia plants prefer fertile, well-drained soil and bloom best in full sun. I can tell you that they perform very well in partial sun in Savannah as well. Maintenance is easy. This is a shrub that looks best when allowed to develop naturally. Always prune out dead wood, but if you find the need to really prune, do so after spring flowering as it blooms on old wood. As the name suggests, the leaves are rather rough and slightly hairy on both sides.They are still sold generically at most garden centers, but you may find the ‘Pride of Rochester,’ a pink selection called ‘Pink Minor’ and an even showier one called ‘Strawberry Fields.’ I assure you whether you get a white generic or a named selection, this shrub will be your spring extender or summer welcome. At the Coastal Botanical Gardens, we have fuzzy deutzia, oakleaf hydrangea and Virginia sweetspire all blooming in sequence, which could be partnered for the start of your magical white garden. Follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru.
BURLINGTON, Vt.–Champlain College is offering a new Information Security degree that will put students on the front line of the information technology battlefield. Students will learn to fend off information loss and computer intrusions–including threats from nefarious hackers, debilitating viruses, stealthy Trojan Horses and denial-of-service attacks.Starting in the fall, the program joins Champlains Computer Networking and Computer & Digital Forensics programs to create a unique and comprehensive team of undergraduate offerings in this dynamic IT arena. Information Security professionals keep undesireables out of their networks, said program director Gary Kessler, when describing the difference between the programs. Computer forensics professionals investigate the problem once someone has gotten in.A bachelors degree and a seven-course professional certificate will be introduced in the fall. These will also be available online in the coming academic year so working professionals can attend class via the Internet. Some of the new courses include Software Security, Web Security, Securing the Enterprise Network, Business of Information Security and the Information Security Senior Project.New lab tools will allow for infowar exercises; teams of students will build servers and try to protect them from another team that is trying to attack the server.Champlains InfoSec program takes an innovative approach by first allowing students to earn an associates degree in Computer Networking before earning their bachelors degree in Information Security. Were going to make sure people are knowledgeable about administering networks and then well teach them how to secure them, said Kessler, a nationally recognized security expert. It will make our students far more aware of what they are securing.Our graduates will be able to switch hit between network administration and information security–and we believe that will make them desirable in the workforce, Kessler said.The need for educated information security professionals is borne out by hard data. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, IT positions are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations through 2012. Early career paths upon graduation include information security manager, network security administrator, firewall administrator and information privacy officer.What we are seeing is more information technology in the business place: cheaper prices leading to more computer equipment, more computers leading to an increased requirement to build networks, and more networks leading to increase vulnerability and exposure of information and information systems, Kessler said.Jobs are found in both the private and public sectorsincluding positions related to homeland security. All of our countrys critical infrastructures have technology vulnerability, Kessler said. The need for trained professionals is spelled out in The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, published by the White House in February 2003. This document lists five information security priorities, and the third priority is training programs. In addition, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants named information security as the top technology affecting the accounting profession, noting that it is an integral part of how America does business today.Jobs in this field are all but guaranteed to not be shipped overseas due to several factors, Kessler said, including the need to get assistance on the premises quickly, in addition to very real national security concerns.Chris Pache, a Champlain College student from Rindge, N.H., with a penchant for networking, will transfer into the new program. I like learning about detection and prevention, he said. I used to try to see how my files got infected and how I could have avoided it.Pache is used to having dormmates come to him with computer problems and he thinks his skills will serve him well in the future. I think quality network administrators with security knowledge are in high demand, he said.More information on the new program is found by visiting http://www.champlain.edu(link is external) or by calling Champlain College at 800/570-5858. Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private, career-oriented college with 1,700 full-time and 850 part-time students.# # #
Vermont Announces Annual Summer ‘Vermont Fuels Your Vacation’ PromotionMONTPELIER, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas has announced that the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing will kick off its third annual fuel-themed tourism promotion to encourage visitors and Vermonters to explore the state this summer. “Vermont Fuels Your Vacation” is a 15-week promotion featuring a $100 gas card giveaway every week. Vermont residents and non-residents can register to win at www.VermontVacation.com/fuel(link is external) and gas cards may be used at participating gas stations in Vermont. Entries will be accepted from June 16 through late September with the first gas card giveaway drawing on June 23.”Vermont is well positioned geographically because it is within a 300-mile radius of more than 80 million people who may opt for shorter drives and closer destinations this summer,” said Governor Douglas.Six of ten (59 percent) Americans who are currently planning a trip with their car, truck or SUV this summer will not change their travel plans even with additional increases in the price of gas, according to the Travel Industry of America.Still, travel-related fuel promotions are continuing to grow in popularity. Established in 2006, the “Vermont Fuels Your Vacation” promotion received an average of 240 entries per week last summer. Several inns and lodging properties around the state are currently offering fuel-saving packages and gas card promotions to attract visitors as well.”The cost of gas continues to be a topic of concern for people, so this promotion is definitely a great way to attract visitors and encourage residents to explore all of the great things Vermont has to offer,” said Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. “The ‘Vermont Fuels Your Vacation’ clearly resonates with consumers and provides a positive twist on some of the constant coverage of rising fuel prices.”Visitors make an estimated total of 13.4 million trips to Vermont. Thirty-seven percent of those visitors come to Vermont during the summer, making it the busiest time of the year in terms of total visitors. Total direct spending by visitors adds an estimated $1.57 billion to the Vermont economy annually and supports more than 36,000 jobs for Vermonters.###