In an effort to encourage children to read, ten-year-old Buhle Mthethwa will launch her book, The Big Fat Naughty Cat, on 2 December in Johannesburg.Buhle Mthethwa started writing The Big Fat Naughty Cat when she was nine years old. (Image supplied)Brand South Africa reporterBuhle Mthethwa, a 10-year-old girl, is on a mission to instil a culture of reading in her peers, one book at a time, starting with The Big Fat Naughty Cat. This is the young author’s first book. She wants to encourage children to read and write from an early age.The initial book launch takes place on Saturday, 2 December 2017 in Sandton, Johannesburg. Other book launches will follow from February 2018 in Cape Town and Durban.Buhle also plans to launch her book club, targeting children between the ages of four and 14. She enjoys helping those of her peers who cannot read properly, to read using books from the local library.SummaryThe Big Fat Naughty Cat is the story of Lira, her family and a cat. It is ugly, dirty and fat and is always hungry. Lira picks the cat up and takes it home, where she cleans it. It is welcomed into the family home with love.But Lira and her family are disappointed when the Big Fat Naughty Cat does not appreciate their kindness. Find out more about how the cat’s greed destroys Lira, her family and even friends, in The Big Fat Naughty Cat.Book launch detailsPlace: Profound Conference Centre, 181 Corlett Drive, Bramley, SandtonTime: 11:30-13:00Contact details:Email: [email protected]: @BuhleTheAuthorTwitter: @Buhle82047985You can also follow the conversation by using these hashtags on social media: #Learn2Read and #BookLaunch.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Master brewer Moritz Kallmeyer believes microbrews have more personality.Microbrews produce in a month what industrial brewers can in a day.MEDIA CONTACTS • Moritz KallmeyerMaster brewer and distiller+27 12 804 8800.Sulaiman PhilipDedicated hobbyists and beer-loving entrepreneurs have spurred a growth in the craft beer industry in South Africa that is offering up a varied array of fresh, bold tastes.Moritz Kallmeyer, master brewer and distiller at Drayman’s Brewery and Distillery in Pretoria, is one of the people at the forefront of the South African craft brewing industry. South African palates are evolving and over the past few years brewers in the country have produced craft beers that can hold their own with the best that America and Europe have to offer, he argues. “We don’t have the same drinking habits as Europeans, who can have a glass of beer with lunch. Beer drinkers want to have three or four beers at a go. Fruity and flavourful beers are popular, but they can’t be too satiating.”Invention and originality are the key – taking a base recipe and experimenting until you discover something that appeals to your personal taste – such as the double chocolate stout from Bridge Street Brewery in Port Elizabeth. It is the creation of brew master Lex Mitchell, the godfather of South African microbrewing.Mitchell’s lifelong interest in beer began in high school and his education continued once he started working for South African Breweries (SAB). At the brewery giant he had access to brewing magazines that charted the growth of the microbrewing industry in England in the 1970s. In 1983, his home brewing experiments became a business when he opened Mitchell’s Brewery in Knysna in Eastern Cape, the first microbrewery in South Africa. At one point, Mitchell’s was the largest brewer in the country, after SAB, which controlled more than 99% of the market.“South Africa does not have a history like England’s, where you have beers like Old Peculier that have been brewed for hundreds of years, but I believed that there were guys like me who wanted to have variety.”Slow foodAccording to Dylan Roach, one time marketing and sales director of Mitchell’s Brewery Gauteng, the microbrewery industry is doubling year on year but it is still just 1% of the South African beer market. It has grown in tandem with the slow food movement. The slow food movement, which took hold in South Africa in the late 1990s, is about preserving and appreciating local food culture and protecting biodiversity. As more and more people seek out local alternatives to mass produced food, they are also embracing the handmade nature of microbrewing. Like slow food advocates, microbrewers believe in traditional products made using regional produce and small scale artisanal production.Today’s microbrewing industry has grown out of the home brewing subculture, a hobby that has been popular among South African men for decades. Kallmeyer says that every brew master he has spoken to has a story of a dad or an uncle whose garage was taken over by buckets and bubbles. “A lot of that beer ended up being an undrinkable green muck. The shift towards craft beer really began when home brewers exchanged syrup base for dry hops and barley.”For the majority of South Africans, sorghum beer is the mother of craft brewing. First brewed in the Nile Delta, the recipe followed the migration root of tribes moving south in search of cattle grazing and space. Sorghum brew isn’t for everyone: it’s a sour, milky beer that keeps fermenting in the container. Commonly sold in cartons with dried rivulets of beer on the packaging, this “worm” is a sign that the beer is ready to drink. Lucy Corne, co-author of the guidebook African Brew, found sorghum to be sour, slightly off tasting, but refreshing. “Two sips quenched my cultural curiosity and my desire to be polite.”Big growthThe industry has grown from a smattering of local breweries in 2009 to close on 60 craft breweries spread across the country. SABMiller, previously SAB and now the biggest brewer in South Africa and the second largest in the world, has slowly begun embracing the country’s craft beer industry. It sponsors beer festivals, an annual university brewing challenge, and now a contest to crown the country’s best microbrew.Kallmeyer says he is uncomfortable with the influence that SABMiller is beginning to exert in the industry. “If all South African beer drinkers were still content drinking clear, bland, fizzy beer the craft beer industry would not exist nor be growing at such a fast rate. Don’t get me wrong, commercial breweries make impeccable quality beer, but craft beer drinkers are looking for a lot more flavour and character in their beers, even to the point of being rustic. Craft brewers are also attracting female beer drinkers, something SABMiller has not been really successful at doing. We have created a new industry and now there is a feeling that they want to step in and capitalize on it.”Others disagree with his view. Jonathan Nel at Three Skulls Brew Works in Johannesburg, a former brand manager at SAB, it can only help the industry: “Economies of scale aside, if SAB feels the need to be present at craft beer festivals then the same festivals can only benefit from the cheque book and marketing provided by SAB. When all is said and done, the craft beer drinkers will decide who gets their hard-earned cash and respect, and my money’s obviously on the little guy.”Fans of microbrewing tend to be young and computer savvy. The birth and growth of the industry can be tied directly to the growth of the internet. When Kallmeyer first opened Drayman’s in 1997 he struggled to make a living. But the web has made the world smaller and made it easier for like-minded people to find each other. “Guys were asking themselves why they could not have the same beer experience as someone in Seattle. They found one another online and started sharing information about regional brewers.”CreativityFor the growing number of beer entrepreneurs, being able to cater to different tastes allows them a certain amount of creativity. “Beer drinkers want more flavour, different flavours, different beer styles and even different bottle sizes or glasses,” explains Nel. “One of the major positives about being a small microbrewery is that you can be agile. If a product doesn’t work you can change it. That is not to say we are an industry built on excess, but rather one that will break the rules, not for the sake of being a rebel, but because we can and we will.”Microbrewing is also a driver of employment. Its hands on production approach means it is a labour intensive process that can use as much as 100 times more labour as a commercial brewer. For some brewers this is reason enough for the government to relook at the legislation covering their business. “In Europe there is a clear distinction between guys like us and commercial brewers. There is recognition that the industry is a driver of development that needs to be nurtured,” Kallmeyer points out.Beer was first brewed in Babylon more than 8 000 years ago and the process is based on strong scientific principles. They are principles that are tested and judged annually in the SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge. First held in 2006, its purpose is to encourage appreciation of craft beer and beer culture among students. The 10 South African universities with breweries on campus compete against each other to produce a variety of different craft beers. This year’s winner, the University of Pretoria, has also been the most successful team; it has won on three other occasions – 2008, 2010 and 2011.English theologian GK Chesterton once said that a man would discover why beer was invented after a 10-mile walk along a dusty road. Most microbrewers would consider 10 miles about as far as they would want to ship their beer; they want them served close to home at peak condition. Regional originality is a part of the charm of craft beer and gives beer lovers a reason for a road trip, order up something new and take a long slow sip.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dwane Miller, Extension Educator, Agronomy, Penn State UniversityWhile many parts of Pennsylvania have yet to take a cutting of hay in 2018, I was on a farm in Chester County in mid-May where first cutting alfalfa/orchardgrass was made the previous week. As you head to the field this year, it’s important to pay attention to cutting height in your hay crop. One of our goals as farmers is to maximize our yield; however, cutting a hay crop too low can lead to several negative issues.The introduction of the disk-type mowers (discbines) allows for cutting very close to the ground. I’ve seen many fields that have been “scalped” right to ground level. This differs considerably from the older sickle bar mowers (haybines), whose technology required some level of stubble height remain. Stand longevity can be compromised when the crop is cut too low. As a general rule, alfalfa can be cut closer to the ground than our grass hay crops. We need to think about where energy reserves are stored in the crop. For alfalfa, carbohydrates are stored below ground in the taproot. Our grass hay crops store their energy above ground in the stem base or tillers. Frequent mowing at a close height will continue to deplete these energy reserves, resulting in stand longevity issues.The second consequence for mowing too close to the ground is increased ash content of the forage. All forage has a natural ash content of approximately 6%. However, mowing too closely with disk mowers can add soil to the crop, and increase the ash content by as much as 10% to 12% (18% ash content in total analysis). If we all had table-top smooth fields, it would also be much easier to make a closer cut across all fields. However, things such as groundhog holes and the unevenness of fields can add to increased ash content of our harvested forage.So, the million dollar question is how low can you go? The best answer is…it depends! The first question I always ask is: is it a solid stand or a mixed stand? If you have grasses involved, you must keep cutting height higher than a pure stand of legume, if you want to keep the grass in the stand. Keep in mind these are minimum recommendations; it’s okay to mow higher than the numbers below. Here are my minimum cutting height recommendations:Alfalfa or clover2 inches minimum. Some literature shows a cutting height of 1 inch will not reduce stand longevity, but remember the increased ash content issue. Also, keep in mind that frequent cutting at early maturity will continue to deplete carbohydrate reserves. One cutting of alfalfa should be allowed to reach the bloom stage each year.Cool season grasses (Orchardgrass, Timothy)4 inches during the establishment year3 inches minimum during production years. This is where we see most of our stand longevity issues. Frequent cutting of cool season grasses at a low height will continue to deplete energy reserves.Mixed standsYou must manage for the predominant species. Do you have a grass stand with some alfalfa, or an alfalfa stand with some grass?Alfalfa with some grass: 2.5-inch minimumGrass with some alfalfa: 3-inch minimum (if you want to keep the grass stand!)
One of the ways salespeople were taught to uncover a compelling reason for their dream client to change or the source of their dissatisfaction, was by asking the single question, “‘What’s keeping you up at night?” I am not certain where this question originated or who provided this as a choice for salespeople, but ‘it’s been around for as long as anyone can remember, and lately has fallen out of favor. Instead, you are supposed to know what should be keeping your dream client awake at night, a better strategy if you want to be a consultative salesperson.However, if you are meeting with an executive level stakeholder in one of your dream clients, there is no doubt that something is keeping them up at night, even if you might ask a better question than “‘What’s keeping you up at night.”The Sources of InsomniaIf you meet with and sell to executive level stakeholders, you can make some assumptions about what might have their attention and what might be of concern.Growth: There are very few executive-level stakeholders who are not concerned about the growth of the business. The CEO is responsible for leading the organization into the future, a future that will need to be better than the present as measured, in part, by revenue or profit or market share or some other financial growth. The work the marketing executives do is to drive growth, and even the IT director needs to ensure the infrastructure supports growth, with the proper tools, technologies, and support in place.Strategy: An executive leader will always be concerned about their strategy. If they are confident in their approach, ‘they’ll be concerned about the execution. If the plan is right, and the implementation is good, they’ll be concerned about what comes next, how they might find a more significant competitive advantage. Many will be interested in hearing about what happens next and how they get their first.People: Great companies are built on great people. Executive leaders work very hard to surround themselves with the most competent people they can find, knowing that better players make for better results. There are not many executives who aren’t concerned any acquiring and retaining the best talent available to them. ‘They’re often concerned about improving the caliber of their team and their workforce.Gaps in their thinking: Effective executives don’t like surprises (even good ones). What keeps them up at night is sometimes their concern that there is a gap in their thinking, that they have a blind spot that will become a problem for them later. They worry about not knowing what they don’t know.Systemic (Wicked) ProblemsThere is another category of concerns, one with more power to compel change.Systemic Problems: Even though all of the categories above might rise to the level of being a systemic challenge, there are challenges in some verticals that are inherently difficult to overcome. In the medical field, for instance, it is tough to compel patients to follow the doctor’s orders, an example being stats showing that 50% of people prescribed insulin for diabetes miss necessary injections. At the time of this writing, there is a shortage of truck drivers, making it more difficult and more expensive to move goods.The areas where systemic problems and challenges don’t often get the attention they deserve, making these areas especially effective in helping to compel change. It is difficult for someone in an executive leadership role to ignore the systemic challenges—or potential solutions. Nor is it easy for leaders to ignore the problems of growth, strategy, people, or the unknown.Asking Better QuestionsSome questions are better than others. What is problematic about asking “‘What’s keeping you up at night,” is that it doesn’t indicate you have any idea about what should be keeping them up at night and that you lack a theory as to what your dream client might be doing better.In Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition, I outlined a process for capturing mindshare, developing an executive briefing that outlines the systemic challenges that provide context for a conversation about why your dream client should change now. In that chapter, I shared ideas about how you can develop views and values that allow you to address the challenges your dream client’s struggle with, opening up the conversation and creating an opportunity to help them improve (the core of what we do as salespeople).Sticking with the diabetes example above, instead of asking “What’s keeping you up at night?” you might ask: “What initiatives are you currently pursuing to increase compliance with the doctor’s prescription and plans for their patients, and how much improvement have you seen over the last 12 months?”There is a lot in that question, so let’s unpack it. First, it presumes that there is a compliance issue, which may or may not be accurate, but because it is a systemic challenge based on human behaviors, it’s a pretty safe bet. Second, it presupposes the person you are asking has initiatives around the improvement in an outcome. While it could be true that they have other, more critical initiatives, the systemic challenges tend to be worth a conversation, if there are ideas that would help improve results. Finally, the statement about improvement over 12 months is a request for an objective measure of success in an area where improvement is difficult at best.I am not sure asking, “‘What’s keeping you up at night?” accomplishes as much as another question might. It tends to miss one of the primary goals of discovery now: Helping the client discover something about themselves (or for themselves).