MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.

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Harry Keutzer

HARRY KEUTZER

MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at hivemodern.com.

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at hivemodern.com.

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at normann-copenhagen.com

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at moooi.com.

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at maharam.com.

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This $20 ice cream is made with dairy grown in lab—and it sold out immediately – CNBC

Agri-tech start-up, Perfect Day, released a line of real ice cream made with lab-grown dairy that costs $20 a pint on Thursday — and it sold out in hours.

“We were completely blown away by the response,” co-founder Perumal Gandhi tells CNBC Make It.

Perfect Day’s cultured dairy is created by taking cow’s milk DNA and adding it to a micro-organism like yeast to create dairy proteins, whey and casein, via fermentation. Those dairy proteins are then combined with water and plant-based ingredients to create a dairy substitute that can be used to make ice cream, cheese, yogurt and a slew of other dairy products.

Gandhi, 28, says the dairy substitute is nutritionally identical to cow’s milk and tastes just like it. In fact, while Perfect Day Foods at least considers its product “vegan” and lactose-free (since lactose is a sugar found only in mammals’ milk), federal law actually requires them to put “contains milk” on any labeling because its protein is identical to cow’s milk on a molecular level and could cause allergies.

Co-founder Rayan Pandya, 27, says the process to make the dairy is similar to what plant-based “meat” start-up Impossible Foods is doing using heme, a molecule in soy plants that’s identical to the heme molecule found in meat. Using heme, Impossible Foods is able to make its vegetarian meat substitute taste and feel like beef without using animals.

The limited edition run of 1,000 three-packs of Perfect Day ice cream — a pint each of Milky Chocolate, Vanilla Salted Fudge and Vanilla Blackberry Toffee for $60, which costs closer to $100 with dry ice shipping — was the first and only product released by Perfect Day Foods (which has been working with the Food and Drug Administration since 2014) to drum up buzz. The pints, which were sold on the company’s website, will be delivered to customers in three to four weeks, according to the founders.

Perfect Day Foods

Perfect Day Foods

One writer who got an early taste of the product said she was surprised how creamy and smooth it was and claimed it tasted just like real ice cream. Another reviewer, who has been a vegan for years, said while the product is good (and creamy), it may not be for people who believe dairy is detrimental to your health.

Pandya says while the $20 a pint is high, they decided on the cost based on other premium direct-to-consumer ice creams being shipped on dry ice in the U.S. Most of the premium pints on the web today range from $12 to $17 a pint.

For any future ice cream made with Perfect Day’s dairy proteins, the company plans to work with ice cream manufacturers rather than produce and sell it themselves, according to the founder. And the company plans to forge partnerships with brands and food manufacturers to ultimately become a dairy supplier. Perfect Day says it already has several deals in the works but declined to disclose any names.

This story has been updated and revised to clarify the process by which the animal-free dairy is created. 

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

Don’t miss: A performance-enhancing pill based on the gut bacteria of elite athletes is in the works

Sitting at work may not be as bad for you as sitting watching TV

Perfect Day Foods founders, Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi

Perfect Day Foods

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You can buy cow cuddles for $75 an hour at this luxurious bed and breakfast – INSIDER

  • Mountain Horse Farm, a luxurious bed and breakfast and glamping site in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, now offers visitors the opportunity to cuddle with cows.
  • For $75, guests can spend an hour playing and snuggling with the farm’s two cows: Bonnie and Bella.
  • Suzanne Vullers, the owner of Mountain Horse Farm, told INSIDER that guests are often surprised at how “smart and funny” the cows are.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Pet owners are very familiar with the therapeutic and joyous effects of spending time with cats and dogs, but there’s one barnyard animal that’s surprisingly cathartic to relax with.

Mountain Horse Farm, a luxurious bed and breakfast and glamping site in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, now offers visitors the opportunity to cuddle with cows. Yes, cows.

Bonnie the cow licking a guest during the “Cow Experience.”
Mountain Horse Farm

Suzanne Vullers, the owner of the Naples farm, told INSIDER that she had long offered therapeutic interactions between horses and guests at the 33-acre ranch, but only after a trip to the Netherlands did she think to incorporate cows into the mix.

“After a visit to our home country, the Netherlands, we learned about cow cuddling,” Vullers said. “We felt it would be an amazing addition to the wellness work we were already doing.”

So in the spring of 2018, Vullers began introducing the farm’s two cows — Bonnie and Bella — to visitors. For $75, guests can spend an hour enjoying the company of their newfound bovine friends.

While the cows often sit and are receptive to cuddling, they are also free to roam and play during their interactions with humans.

Read more: Dad serenades herd of cows to practice with his new saxophone, captivating them with ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Isn’t She Lovely’

“Choice and respect are the key words,” Vullers said. “When you spend time with them, you enter their space, and connecting with them is as much their choice as it is yours. When that connection happens it’s magical because it comes from a mutual desire. Giving them that freedom and choice makes all the difference.”

Bella the cow snuggles with a visitor.
Mountain Horse Farm

Vullers says that in addition to enjoying their time with the cows, guests often find that the experience is “a wonderful way to be mindful.”

And even though the interaction between the cows and humans is often relaxing for both sides, Vullers said guests quickly learn how playful, smart, and funny cows can be.

“Guests are surprised that cows are so much fun,” Vullers said. “They’re surprised that they know their names and come over when you call for them.”

Mountain Horse Farm is a luxurious, 33-acre bed and breakfast in upstate New York.
Mountain Horse Farm

Mountain Horse Farm offers the “Cow Experience” once or twice per day, three to four days per week between May 1 and October 31. Sessions are private and each party is capped at four people. Participants must be at least 12 years old to spend time with the cows.

You can reserve an hour with Bonnie and Bella on Mountain Horse Farm’s website and follow up with them on the farm’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Cow slaughtered in Home Depot parking lot after escaping meat market – New York Post

A young cow escaped slaughter at a Connecticut meat market — only to have its throat slit in public in Home Depot parking lot, according to a new report.

The gory scene prompted the closure of the Saba meat store in Bloomfield, which kept livestock on its premises to be prepared in accordance with Islamic law, NBC Connecticut reported.

The cow dashed out of Saba on Saturday and ran across the street to the hardware store — with employee Badr Musaed and a contractor Andy Morrison hot on its trail.

Morrison, who was doing renovation work at the meat store and was armed with a bow and arrow, tried to help Musaed corral the cow while the local police also responded.

Dash camera footage obtained by NBC shows the officer trying to box the bovine in with his cruiser — and Morrison attempting to shoot it with his weapon.

“As the cow ran towards the employees, Morrison shot at the cow, however he missed and the arrow struck the wall of the Home Depot,” the police report said.

Suddenly, Musaed whipped out a foot-long knife and slit the cow’s throat as other Saba employees wrangled the animal.

The officer was stunned over the disturbing act.

Saba Halal Live Poultry
Saba Halal Live PoultryJessica Hill

“You know this is a big — this is a problem. This is not something that can be done,” the cop said, according to the recording.

A Saba employee replied, “We try to do our best, you know,” to which the officer responded, “OK, but you guys get, like, you get a leash … this kid here just watched you slit a cow’s throat.”

“They come in our store all the time,” the worker said.

“OK, but we’re not in your store right now,” the officer answered. “You’re in the back of Home Depot.”

Musaed was ticketed for creating a public disturbance. Morrison was told by police that he, too, would’ve been charged had there been more people in the area when he tried to shoot the cow.

The police report indicated that neither he nor his coworkers appeared remorseful.

Soon after, Saba was shuttered for various violations after local, state and federal agencies investigated.

No one answered the door at Saba when NBC knocked for a comment.

Neither Morrison nor Musaed responded to calls from the network.

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BEEF expands its Rally™ Footprint with Sturgis® Beef Throw Down event – Tri-State Livestock News

PIERRE, SD – South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) looks to expand beef demand through a continued partnership with the City of Sturgis as the official meat of the 2019 Sturgis ® Motorcycle Rally™. The venue allows beef to reach nearly a half million consumers from all over the world throughout the ten- day event scheduled for August 2-11, 2019.

New to the event this year is the “Sturgis® Beef Throw Down.” Join the fun as we travel the beautiful Black Hills area with FoodNetwork professional chef Justin Warner. Warner will be judging destination location restaurant’s signature beef dish alongside designated South Dakota beef producers!

The “Sturgis® Beef Throw Down” judging will take place August 5-7, 2019 with the winner announced at noon MST on August 8th during the 79th Sturgis ® Motorcycle Rally™ on the Rally™ Point Stage. The winning restaurant will receive a trophy to display in their establishment as well as team slot in the Sanford International Senior PGA Pro-Am tour taking place September 18-19, 2019 in Sioux Falls, SD.

“We really wanted to expand our footprint with the Rally this year so we worked alongside the City of Sturgis in the development of the “Sturgis® Beef Throw Down,” states Suzy Geppert, SDBIC Executive Director. “We know that one of the main draws for Rally attendees is the beauty of the Black Hills in western South Dakota and many of them spend a lot of time on their bikes touring. We wanted to be able to allow attendees the ability to incorporate beef into their experience so we established an opportunity to do just that.”

Rally attendees will have an opportunity to take an optional “Sturgis® Beef Throw Down” tour. Attendees will start when they check in at the Sturgis® headquarters where they will be given a Sturgis® Beef Throw Down Passport that contains all participating restaurants. Attendees will then travel to participating restaurants and purchase the signature beef dish at each location on the map. The restaurant will stamp the passport to confirm the signature beef dish was ordered. Participants bring the stamped passport back to Rally™ Point for a chance to win one of five prize packages that include $100 up to $500 in Beef Bucks alongside beef swag! Attendees must have a minimum of three destination locations stamped to qualify for entry! Passports may also be downloaded at sdbeef.org.

Participating restaurants include Red Rock in Wall, Alpine Inn in Hill City, FLYT in Deadwood, Baker’s Bakery & Café in Custer, Country Side Grill in Rapid City, T-Grille in Deadwood, Knuckle in Sturgis, Loud American in Sturgis, Sliders Bar & Grille in Rapid City and Vertex Sky Bar in Rapid City.

The SDBIC will once again participate in the Mayor’s Ride and the VIP Social on Monday August 5th as a sponsor of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™.

For more information please visit http://www.sdbeef.org or follow us on Facebook!

–South Dakota Beef Industry Council

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Wild video shows cow chased to its death in Home Depot parking lot – New York Post

This cow was dead meat.

A wild video shows the moment a slaughterhouse employee slit an escaped cow’s throat outside a Connecticut Home Depot.

Dashcam footage of the high “steaks” chase shows the employee pursuing the young cow, killing it — then leaving it to writhe on the pavement next to the store in Bloomfield.

The bloody rodeo began when the calf escaped from the neighboring Saba meat store, which keeps livestock on site, and hoofed it through the Home Depot parking lot, according to NBC Connecticut.

Saba employee Badr Musaed ran after the creature with a foot-long knife, and was joined by Andy Morrison — a contractor working on the meat shop’s construction, who happened to have a bow and arrow and fired one shot, missing the moo-ving target, the station reported.

cow being chased
The cow was chased through a Home Depot before its gory death.Bloomfield Police Department

In the video, Musaed can be seen from several yards away slitting the cow’s throat — much to the dismay of police officers and other onlookers.

Afterwards, a cop could be heard telling Musaed he has beef with the way the animal was killed, according to NBC.

men killing cow
A group of men ganged up on the escaped cow.Bloomfield Police Department

“This is not something that can be done,” the officer says. “You guys get, like, you get a leash … this kid here just watched you slit a cow’s throat.”

A worker at Saba declined to comment to The Post about the incident Friday.

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New TB Tests Could Enable More Cow Vaccination – Bovine Veterinarian

Skin tests that can distinguish between cattle that are infected with tuberculosis (TB) and those that have been vaccinated against the disease have been created by an international team of scientists. The traditional TB tuberculin skin test shows a positive result for cows that have the disease as well as those that have been vaccinated against the disease. By distinguishing between these two groups, the new tests will facilitate the implementation of vaccination programs that could considerably reduce the transmission of this infectious bacterial disease from cattle to cattle and humans.

“TB kills more people globally than any other infectious disease. In fact, three people die every minute from the disease,” said Vivek Kapur, professor of microbiology and infectious diseases and Huck Distinguished Chair in Global Health, Penn State. “What is less widely known is that cattle in many low- and middle-income countries are not only infected with and suffer horribly from tuberculosis, but also represent important reservoirs for transmission of the disease to humans through the consumption of unpasteurized milk or dairy products and co-habitation with infected animals.”

The team created its tests–which are described in the July 17 issue of Science Advances–by targeting specific proteins, previously identified by scientists from Denmark and the United Kingdom, that are missing from, or not secreted by, the widely used vaccine strain, called BCG. The ability to express these proteins were lost when the bacterium was adapted for use as a vaccine more than a hundred years ago. By indicating the presence or absence of reactivity to these “missing” proteins, the new tests can distinguish between an animal that is infected with the natural form of the disease and one that has been vaccinated.

“Our diagnostic reagent is a simple cocktail of synthetic peptides representing antigens that are present in the naturally occurring TB bacteria but not recognized by the immune system following BCG vaccination,” said Sreenidhi Srinivasan, graduate student in molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences at Penn State. “These antigens, when applied to the skin, cause an immune reaction in cows that have TB, whereas no reaction occurs in animals that have been vaccinated with BCG.”

The publication also highlights a promising alternative test format based on a recombinant fusion protein that is comparable in performance to the peptide cocktail. This protein has been developed for the United Kingdom government to be compatible with its potential cattle vaccination program, although the peptide-based test potentially obviates regulatory hurdles in countries that place greater restrictions on the use of products from genetically modified organisms.

The team assessed the usefulness of its test in cattle in the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and India.

“It worked beautifully, exceeding the performance of the traditional test by clearly differentiating vaccinated from infected cattle,” said Kapur.

Kapur noted that the BCG vaccine, which was developed in the early 1900s from the bacterium that causes disease in cattle and is the world’s most widely used vaccine in humans, has remained largely unused in cattle due to the potential to complicate diagnosis. In fact, the European Union, the United States and many other countries prohibit its use in cattle mainly for this reason.

“While BCG rarely provides sterilizing immunity for either humans or cattle, it has been shown to be effective at preventing a substantial number of infections and protecting against the more severe forms of human TB,” he said. “However, the inability to tell whether a cow has the disease or has simply been vaccinated has prevented governments from implementing cow vaccination programs, leaving both animals and humans vulnerable to infection.”

Instead of vaccinating cattle, many countries have used a “test and slaughter” approach to control TB in these animals. The highly successful method effectively eliminated TB in the United States nearly 100 years ago and is still used in high-income countries around the world. Unfortunately, test-and-slaughter remains unfeasible in most low- and middle-income countries, where small and marginal cattle owners cannot afford to lose what often represents their primary source of income and nutrition. Additionally, in some countries, such as India, the slaughter of cattle is illegal due to the animal’s cultural and spiritual importance.

Treating TB-infected cows with antibiotics is not feasible either. While humans who contract TB often can be treated–as long as they do not contract a strain that is resistant to antibiotics–treating cows with antibiotics is expensive and can remove the animals from their service of providing milk, sometimes for years.

“The novel diagnostic test we have developed has the potential to replace the current standard test that has been in use for close to a century now,” said Srinivasan. “Apart from being economical and easy to manufacture and to standardize quality control, the new tests enable reliable differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals, which is one of the most important limitations of the current method. Access to such tests pave the way for implementation of vaccination as an intervention strategy in settings where test-and-cull strategies are not affordable for socioeconomic reasons.”

###

Other authors on the paper include Laurel Easterling, graduate student in animal science, Penn State; Maroudam Veerasami, director, Cisgen Biotech Discoveries Private Limited; Gareth Jones, Sabine Steinbach, and Thomas Holder, research scientists, Animal and Plant Health Agency, United Kingdom; Martin Vordermeier, team leader, Animal and Plant Health Agency, United Kingdom, and professor of immunology, University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom; Aboma Zewude, veterinary laboratory technologist, Adis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Abebe Fromsa, associate professor, and Gobena Ameni, professor, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Douwe Bakker, technical consultant, Lelystad, The Netherlands; Nicholas Juleff, senior program officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Glen Gifford, Chargé de Mission, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), France; and R.G. Hewinson, Sêr Cymru Chair, University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for International Development in the United Kingdom, supported this research.

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New tuberculosis tests pave way for cow vaccination programs – Science Daily

Skin tests that can distinguish between cattle that are infected with tuberculosis (TB) and those that have been vaccinated against the disease have been created by an international team of scientists. The traditional TB tuberculin skin test shows a positive result for cows that have the disease as well as those that have been vaccinated against the disease. By distinguishing between these two groups, the new tests will facilitate the implementation of vaccination programs that could considerably reduce the transmission of this infectious bacterial disease from cattle to cattle and humans.

“TB kills more people globally than any other infectious disease. In fact, three people die every minute from the disease,” said Vivek Kapur, professor of microbiology and infectious diseases and Huck Distinguished Chair in Global Health, Penn State. “What is less widely known is that cattle in many low- and middle-income countries are not only infected with and suffer horribly from tuberculosis, but also represent important reservoirs for transmission of the disease to humans through the consumption of unpasteurized milk or dairy products and co-habitation with infected animals.”

The team created its tests — which are described in the July 17 issue of Science Advances — by targeting specific proteins, previously identified by scientists from Denmark and the United Kingdom, that are missing from, or not secreted by, the widely used vaccine strain, called BCG. The ability to express these proteins were lost when the bacterium was adapted for use as a vaccine more than a hundred years ago. By indicating the presence or absence of reactivity to these “missing” proteins, the new tests can distinguish between an animal that is infected with the natural form of the disease and one that has been vaccinated.

“Our diagnostic reagent is a simple cocktail of synthetic peptides representing antigens that are present in the naturally occurring TB bacteria but not recognized by the immune system following BCG vaccination,” said Sreenidhi Srinivasan, graduate student in molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences at Penn State. “These antigens, when applied to the skin, cause an immune reaction in cows that have TB, whereas no reaction occurs in animals that have been vaccinated with BCG.”

The publication also highlights a promising alternative test format based on a recombinant fusion protein that is comparable in performance to the peptide cocktail. This protein has been developed for the United Kingdom government to be compatible with its potential cattle vaccination program, although the peptide-based test potentially obviates regulatory hurdles in countries that place greater restrictions on the use of products from genetically modified organisms.

The team assessed the usefulness of its test in cattle in the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and India.

“It worked beautifully, exceeding the performance of the traditional test by clearly differentiating vaccinated from infected cattle,” said Kapur.

Kapur noted that the BCG vaccine, which was developed in the early 1900s from the bacterium that causes disease in cattle and is the world’s most widely used vaccine in humans, has remained largely unused in cattle due to the potential to complicate diagnosis. In fact, the European Union, the United States and many other countries prohibit its use in cattle mainly for this reason.

“While BCG rarely provides sterilizing immunity for either humans or cattle, it has been shown to be effective at preventing a substantial number of infections and protecting against the more severe forms of human TB,” he said. “However, the inability to tell whether a cow has the disease or has simply been vaccinated has prevented governments from implementing cow vaccination programs, leaving both animals and humans vulnerable to infection.”

Instead of vaccinating cattle, many countries have used a “test and slaughter” approach to control TB in these animals. The highly successful method effectively eliminated TB in the United States nearly 100 years ago and is still used in high-income countries around the world. Unfortunately, test-and-slaughter remains unfeasible in most low- and middle-income countries, where small and marginal cattle owners cannot afford to lose what often represents their primary source of income and nutrition. Additionally, in some countries, such as India, the slaughter of cattle is illegal due to the animal’s cultural and spiritual importance.

Treating TB-infected cows with antibiotics is not feasible either. While humans who contract TB often can be treated — as long as they do not contract a strain that is resistant to antibiotics — treating cows with antibiotics is expensive and can remove the animals from their service of providing milk, sometimes for years.

“The novel diagnostic test we have developed has the potential to replace the current standard test that has been in use for close to a century now,” said Srinivasan. “Apart from being economical and easy to manufacture and to standardize quality control, the new tests enable reliable differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals, which is one of the most important limitations of the current method. Access to such tests pave the way for implementation of vaccination as an intervention strategy in settings where test-and-cull strategies are not affordable for socioeconomic reasons.”

Other authors on the paper include Laurel Easterling, graduate student in animal science, Penn State; Maroudam Veerasami, director, Cisgen Biotech Discoveries Private Limited; Gareth Jones, Sabine Steinbach, and Thomas Holder, research scientists, Animal and Plant Health Agency, United Kingdom; Martin Vordermeier, team leader, Animal and Plant Health Agency, United Kingdom, and professor of immunology, University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom; Aboma Zewude, veterinary laboratory technologist, Adis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Abebe Fromsa, associate professor, and Gobena Ameni, professor, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Douwe Bakker, technical consultant, Lelystad, The Netherlands; Nicholas Juleff, senior program officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Glen Gifford, Chargé de Mission, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), France; and R.G. Hewinson, Sêr Cymru Chair, University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for International Development in the United Kingdom, supported this research.

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This newly renovated luxury lodge in South Africa is a nod to the country's diverse arts and crafts – ELLE India

The surrounding landscape informs much of the colour palette for Phinda Homestead, a contemporary Zulu-inspired bush home located on a private reserve. Here, shades of burnt clay serve as colour accents, and basket ware inspired by traditional Zulu weaving populate key spaces. Handmade clay pots, hand blown glass, nguni cow skin, beadwork, and other Zulu flourishes feature in special and surprising ways too. Traditionally, where clay was scarce, baskets were made into vessels, using the native ilala palm, the leaves of which are soaked in a dye made from dung or natural pigments. The plant grows abundantly in the marshy habitats, and so, is a renewable resource that works well as a design material. 

ENTRANCE AND VERANDAH:

A circular reflection pond at the entrance marks the spot where a giant Marula tree once stood before a fire burnt down the previous homestead. The reflection of the water creates a sense of calm as you enter the house, and to complement its circular form, Debra Fox and Christopher Browne of multidisciplinary agency Fox Browne Creative, who helmed the renovation in December 2018, created a still life installation, combining contemporary hanging planters made by South African designer Joe Paine, woven Zimbabwean basket ware, and traditional handmade Zulu clay pots. These are grouped on a sleek metal table crafted by the design team at The Urban Native, a contemporary South African furniture and product design firm. Its products are defined by the juxtaposition of abstract ethnic cultural graphics and motifs with the functionality, look, and feel of classical European mid-century and Bauhaus furniture silhouettes. 

DINING ROOM:

The dining table and massive sliding doors that lead into the kitchen are the heroes of this room. These are one-off pieces, made from fallen hardwood by a master craftsman from the design workshop, One Good Tuesday. At one end of the room, a large beaded mirror made by Sithabe African Crafts—an initiative started by women who were brought together by their love of South Africa and its crafts—is mounted on a handwoven reeded Zulu mat above the bespoke sideboard. Above the dining table, a collection of woven Ghanaian baskets is grouped together to create striking pendant lights. Finally, woollen handloom rugs from Shuttleworth Weaving, a women’s cooperative in the Midlands region of Kwa Zulu Natal, anchor the space. 

The exterior of andBeyond’s Phinda Homestead villa

The villa’s pool

The circular reflection pond at the entrance marks the spot where a giant Marula tree once stood 

In the dining room, the large table and the doors are made from fallen hardwood by a master craftsman from the design workshop One Good Tuesday

Delicately hand cut and engraved calabashes, used as lights on the outdoor dining deck

Hanging planters by South African designer Joe Paine, woven Zimbabwean basket ware, and traditional handmade Zulu clay pots are grouped on a sleek metal table crafted by The Urban Native

Local influences find their way into the kitchen too, where culinary artistry uses indigenous materials for presentation

In the suites, a large woven circular reed mat, an homage to Zulu tradition, acts as a dramatic headboard as well as a room divider

A custom armchair by Casamento

In the bathroom, hand strung reed curtains made by the women of a craft cooperative are used to frame the bath

In the sitting room, archival botanical prints of the native fever tree create a feeling of being in the bush, even when inside

SITTING ROOM:

18th-century archival botanical prints of the native fever tree, a popular image of the African bushveld, are hand-printed on linen wall hangings, creating a feeling of being in the bush, even when inside. The reserve is well known for its cheetah population, so, custom embroidered retro armchairs evoking the animal were designed in collaboration with furniture designers Casamento in Cape Town. To make them, Casamento used traditional techniques to create handcrafted furniture in natural fibres, with embroidery, cross-stitching, tapestry work and painting. It is the only upholstery studio in South Africa that is dedicated to a foam-free environment, and constantly explores recycled and natural fibre alternatives for its products. 

BEDROOMS:

In the suites, a large woven circular reed mat acts as a dramatic headboard and room divider. It pays homage to the Zulu tradition of weaving, while also referencing the reflection pond at the entrance. By the bed, hanging hand blown glass pendant lights, finished with Zulu beadwork detail, were commissioned from a young South African artist, and hand strung reed curtains made by the women of a craft cooperative frame the bath, giving the bathroom a natural, organic and tactile feel.

Photographs: andBeyond

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