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America’s Farm Co-ops Set Records in 2011

first_img SHARE Home Indiana Agriculture News America’s Farm Co-ops Set Records in 2011 Facebook Twitter America’s Farm Co-ops Set Records in 2011 Facebook Twitter Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives posted record sales and income in 2011, surpassing the previous record sales year of 2008 by $10 billion while besting the old income record by $500 million. Dallas Tonsager, under secretary for Rural Development, made the announcement on the Secretary’s behalf, kicking-off National Cooperative Month. Tonsager said co-op employment levels remained strong, with cooperatives employing 184,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, up slightly from 2010.“These new cooperative sales and income records for 2011 underscore the strength and productivity of the nation’s farmer- and rancher-owned cooperatives, and the vital role they play in the nation’s economy,” said Tonsager. “Primarily because of mergers, the number of farm co-ops continued to decline, but memberships and asset values are up.”Net income before taxes for all agricultural co-ops was a record $5.4 billion, eclipsing the previous high of $4.9 billion, set in 2008. Net income was up more than 25 percent, or $1 billion, from 2010.The year also saw double-digit increases in prices for dairy products, cotton, livestock and grains and oilseeds. Farm production expenses also increased by double-digits in 2011, with feed, fertilizer and fuel prices leading the upward trend. The 2,285 surveyed cooperatives had sales of $213 billion, exceeding 2010 sales by more than $40 billion.Top 100 Ag co-opsUSDA’s annual list of the nation’s 100 largest agricultural cooperatives, also released Tuesday, shows that they also had record sales and income in 2011. The 100 largest ag co-ops reported revenue of $148 billion in 2011, an increase of almost 30 percent over 2010, when revenue totaled $113 billion. Net income for the 100 top co-ops was $3.17 billion, up from $2.35 billion in 2010. The previous top 100 co-op records were $130 billion for sales and $2.42 billion for income, both marks set in 2008.CHS Inc., Saint Paul, Minn. – an energy, farm supply, grain and food co-op – was once again the nation’s largest ag co-op, with $36.9 billion in revenue in 2011. It was followed by Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, Mo.; with $12.9 billion in revenue. It traded places from 2010 with third-ranked Land O’ Lakes Inc., St. Paul, Minn., a dairy, food and farm supply co-op, with $12.8 billion in revenue in 2011.Iowa is home to 14 of the top 100 ag co-ops, the most of any state. It is followed by Minnesota with 13, Nebraska with 10, California with 6 and Wisconsin with 5. The biggest gains on the list were made by cotton cooperatives, due primarily to sharply higher cotton prices in 2011. Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative, Garner, N.C., made the largest jump, rising from 129 in 2010 to 71 on the 2011 list. It was followed by Calcot Ltd., Bakersfield, Calif., which climbed from 131 in 2010 to 85 in 2011. The next eight biggest gainers on the list were all grain or mixed (grain and farm supply) co-ops, due largely to high grain prices.Two Indiana co-ops are in the top 30. CountryMark Co-op moves from 19th to 17th with 2011 revenue of $1.566 billion, and Co-Alliance with revenue at $1.04 billion. The ranking of 27th is 5 spots better than 2010.Most Ag co-op sectors see gainsLooking at the entire ag co-op sector, grain and oilseed sales by cooperatives climbed by almost $14 billion in 2011, while dairy product marketing increased by $8 billion. Cotton sales increased more than $1.5 billion while livestock and sugar sales both gained more than $600 million. Sales of farm supplies increased by $10 billion, primarily due to increasing energy prices. Farm supply co-ops recorded gains of more than $3 billion for petroleum products, while sales were up by $1 billion for fertilizer, feed and crop protectants.Marketing of food, fiber, renewable fuels and farm supplies by cooperatives experienced 24 percent increases over the previous year, according to the annual survey conducted by the Cooperative Programs office of USDA Rural Development. Gross business volume of $213 billion was the largest ever, as was net income before taxes.The value of cooperative assets in 2011 grew by about $13 billion, with liabilities increasing by $11 billion and owner equity gaining $2 billion. Equity capital remains low but is clearly showing an upward trend, with an 8 percent increase over the previous year.Patronage income (refunds from other cooperatives due to sales between cooperatives) fell by more than 11 percent, to $613 million, down from $674 million in 2010.Farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives remain one of the largest employers in many rural communities and also provide jobs in many cities. The total farm co-op workforce of 184,000 was up slightly from 2010. While full-time jobs at co-ops increased by 1,800, the number of part-time and seasonal employees declined by 1,600.There was a continued downward trend in farm numbers, with USDA counting 2.2 million farms in 2011, down about 10,000 from 2010. The number of farmer cooperatives continues to decline; there are now 2,285 farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives, down from 2,314 in 2010. Mergers account for most of the drop, resulting in larger cooperatives.Producers held 2.3 million memberships in cooperatives in 2011, up 2 percent from 2010. The number of U.S. farms and cooperative memberships are now about equal. This does not mean that every producer is a member of an agricultural cooperative. Previous studies have found that many farmers and ranchers are members of up to three cooperatives, so farm numbers and cooperative memberships are not strictly comparable.For more in-depth information about how the nation’s agricultural cooperatives performed in 2011, see the September-October issue of USDA’s “Rural Cooperatives” magazine at: https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_Coop_RurCoopMag.html.President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Previous articlePork Producers Can Take Steps to Ready for Flu SeasonNext articleSpecialist Warns Wheat Farmers to Observe Fly-Free Planting Dates Andy Eubank By Andy Eubank – Oct 2, 2012 SHARElast_img read more


moe. Forges A Bass-Heavy Performance At Birmingham’s Iron City

first_imgLoad remaining images Riley has found many ways to demonstrate his love beyond simple attendance. Besides acting as a extra pair of hands when needed he also penned a set list for his 200th show that, as played by the band, has moved into legend. Blonder first heard moe. in 1995, and decided to book the band in Ft.Collins immediately. His first live experience with them must have had some effect, judging from the devotion he has shown since. Blonder offered, “If I hadn’t lived so far from the band’s home stomping grounds for the last decade I would surely be over 500 by now.”Birmingham saw Wes Rizzo, new lighting designer for moe., hitting a marvelous stride in just his second outing. The long time fan has spent the last few years tirelessly working towards his dream job and was dead set on delivering his best for the fans. Rizzo even went so far as to reach out to Blonder in regards to his favorite colors, then made a special package to use throughout the evening. “I’m working for moe.,” Rizzo said the next day, “But I’m also never going to forget where I came from and the famoe.ly we are part of.”Sneak peeks at new material have been a regular feature on this leg of moe.’s perpetual tour and Iron City got theirs early. Percussionist Jim Loughlin sang “Don’t Wanna Be” while peppering the tune with delightfully catchy runs along his vibraphone. The tune has quickly become a audience favorite, and it worked well alongside the following “Bearsong.”As “Bearsong” simmered down moe. took the first of many chances to create thematic instrumental territory linking it to a wild “Billy Goat.” Guitarists Chuck Garvey and Al Schnier wowed the crowd with their lightning fast musical baton passing and their bluesy fret board pyrotechnics. A group of teenage fans who had been holding up a sign requesting their favorite jam, “Blue Jeans Pizza,” were delighted when the tune’s opening bass lines kicked in.The grooving dance party tune “George” got everyone hot and sweaty before sending them to intermission buzzing about how solid the first set had and the promise held for the upcoming second stanza. A comical pump fake on the beginning of the set came as drummer Vinnie Amico was late to the kit due to an animate discussion with Schnier. The guitarist took to the microphone to explain that they were working on remembering which of The Who’s songs were on which albums. With that matter finally settled moe. opened with a stirring take on Pink Floyd‘s ode to determination, “Fearless.”After Garvey’s tour de force slide work on the solo, moe. switched out instruments and took sizable gulps from their onstage beverages, a sure sign of long jams to come. Bassist Rob Derhak stands front and center onstage, and in their sound. With setlist needs fluctuating from night to night, it is only natural for one night to occasionally seem to focus on one member’s contributions over the rest. This night, it was all Derhak, as he mowed down several of his most frenzied bass slapping tunes with a palpable vigor and enthusiasm that was a wonder to witness.Beginning with a full out assault on “Tailspin” through a wild and winding first half of “Timmy Tucker,” Derhak showed his signature control and sense of groove to full extent. He handled vocal duties as well, flowing from baritone to falsetto effortlessly as “Time Ed” sprung to life, keeping a rock steady pulse for the dancers to follow at the same time.True moe.rons agree that you can’t go wrong with some well timed “head,” and as the familiar first notes started all attention was riveted on the stage, with the climax doubling back to finish out the “Timmy Tucker” jam. moe. still had one other ace up their collective sleeve in the form of a blistering “Sensory Deprivation Bank” that showed the fans that though the night was ending there was still a little left in the tank.To survive as long as moe. has, there are sure to be recognizable eras that are more and less favored by long time followers. That any band can keep such devout fans through decades of ebbs and flows is a true testament to the power of music to reach us on a deep and meaningful level. moe. has seen new blood added in crew and fans alike, while still pleasing their longest lasting fan vanguard. The renaissance moe. has enjoyed the last few years shows no sign of stopping, and the band and fans wouldn’t want it any other way!Setlist: moe. | Iron City | Birmingham, AL | 2/18/17Set 1: She, Don’t Wanna Be, Bearsong > Billy Goat, Blue Jeans Pizza > GeorgeSet 2: Fearless, White Lightning Turpentine, Tailspin > Timmy Tucker > Time Ed > head. > Timmy TuckerEncore: Sensory Deprivation Bank, Johnny Lineup Jam band heavyweights moe. forged new fans, delighted some of their oldest and dearest followers and delivered an instant classic show at Birmingham, Alabama’s Iron City. Wildly exuberant fans danced maniacally as swirling lights and epic jams lured them out past the warning signs of sanity during a two set scorcher. Though some fans began lining up two hours before the doors were set to open, there was even more momentous acts of love going on this warm February evening.Over the course of moe.’s 27 years, a cadre of super fans has naturally formed, generally known as moe.rons. Almost pathologically dedicated to the music that has enthralled them these fans chase songs and the band around the world in a clearly recyclable circle of love. Two such die hard followers, Osid Riley and Barry Blonder, marked staggering anniversaries in Birmingham, hitting the lofty totals of 250 and 350 shows apiece!last_img read more


The revolution within

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img


Starlets kick off AWCON preps in Nairobi

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma issues instructions during a training session at teh Utalii Grounds on October 29, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – National women football team Harambee Starlets kicked off training in Nairobi on Monday afternoon ahead of next month’s African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Ghana.Head coach David Ouma had a squad of 15 players in training with most of the other players yet to arrive in camp after the weekend Premier League matches. However, all should be in by Tuesday morning before the team starts intense training. “We have just started some light training as we assess the players to know who is fit and who is not. We are expecting the rest by tonight so from tomorrow, we will step up the training as we prepare for Ghana,” Ouma said as the team went through their paces at the Utalii Sports Club.United States of America based striker Marjolene Nekesa will however be unavailable for selection as her club has declined to release her, saying they have their Conference finals coming up and need the striker with them.Harambee Starlets striker Mwanahalima Adam goes up against teammate Jentrix Shikangwa during a training session at teh Utalii Grounds on October 29, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaMeanwhile, fellow forward Esse Akida should be joining the team by next week with the Football Kenya Federation having already sent a request letter to her Israeli club Ramat Hasharon.Meanwhile, skipper Wendy Achieng believes that despite the short period of training the team has, they will still be able to prepare well and be ready for AWCON.Starlets were informed of their participation in the Cup of Nations 13 days ago after FKF’s appeal over Equatorial Guinea’s use of ineligible players went through.“It’s a short period yes, but we are ready. We have been training with our clubs and our fitness levels are okay. It’s just about firming up small tactical issues and we will be okay. We will be ready to perform better than we did in 2016,” Achieng noted.Starlets are scheduled to play against a Women’s Premier League select team in a friendly match on Wednesday at Utalii while a date is yet to be confirmed for the game against Uganda.The team will leave early for Ghana where they will play a friendly against the hosts before they start their campaign on November 18.Starlets are pooled in Group B alongside defending champions Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia against whom they will start their campaign.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


Questions raised over role of Letterkenny’s Litter Warden

first_imgMajor concerns have been raised about the current position of the Litter Warden in Letterkenny.Cllr Ciaran Brogan brought the issue to the fore with the local authority yesterday after it emerged that the previous litter warden had moved to another role.Cllr Brogan asked the council environment section to clarify the role of the current warden and said:  “We have had a lot of success with Tidy Towns over the years and that didn’t happen by accident. We have had a lot of good work with residents associations around the town “The litter warden we had went well beyond the call of duty and we need to make sure we have the same full-time dedicated service to match what is needed. I am calling on senior management to invest in that as a matter of urgency.” Questions raised over role of Letterkenny’s Litter Warden was last modified: November 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Winter weather impacts cattle markets

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University ExtensionA major winter storm this past week extended in a belt across the middle of the country from Denver east to the mid-Atlantic coast. Heavy snow hit parts of feedlot country across eastern Colorado, Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, southern Iowa and the eastern Corn Belt. Much of Nebraska and the northern Plains along with the Texas panhandle were spared the worst of the snow but rain has created wet, sloppy conditions in many places that will impact cattle performance in feedlots and in the country. Recent weather may delay fed cattle marketing enough to help support fed cattle prices or push prices higher. Whether or not weather impacts are widespread enough to noticeably impact overall market conditions, cattle producers in many areas face significant management headaches due to the weather.Winter weather often impacts feedlot performance and efficiency. Feedlots typically post the lowest seasonal average daily gains (ADG) for cattle marketed in March to May, which reflects cattle fed over the previous four to six months. This likely includes the negative impacts of winter weather on feedlot performance but also partly reflects the fact that feedlots place the highest proportion of lightweight cattle (which have lower ADG) in the fall and feed them through the winter. Feedlots also experience poorer feeding efficiency in the winter with the highest feed to gain ratios of the year posted for cattle marketed in February and March. This occurs despite the fact that lightweight cattle placed in the fall have lower feed to gain ratios relative to heavier feedlot placements. This again indicates the impact of winter weather on cattle feeding. Not surprisingly, feedlots post the highest animal morbidity and mortality rates for cattle fed through the winter.In Oklahoma, wet, sloppy conditions are a major challenge, especially across the southern half of the state. Oklahoma cattle producers are reluctant to complain about moisture in a place that so often suffers from drought but exceptionally wet conditions this fall and winter have created significant headaches for cow-calf and stocker producers. The past six months is the wettest for the period on record for the statewide average and regionally is the wettest period for the south central region of the state and the second wettest for the southeast and west central regions. The southwest, central and north central regions have seen the fifth, sixth and seventh wettest periods, respectively, in the past six months.Cold weather increases animal maintenance requirements and boosts feed needs. The Oklahoma Mesonet provides a cattle comfort advisor to help producers adjust cattle management in adverse weather conditions. The cattle comfort index is based on temperature, wind, relative humidity and solar radiation. As has often been the case recently, rain or wet conditions that produce a wet hair coat on cattle mean that the calculated cattle comfort advisor index must be adjusted even lower. In these conditions, cattle producers need to increase the quantity and often the quality of feed for cattle to avoid production losses or impacts on pregnant or lactating cows or for stockers.last_img read more


Australian girls supreme in gymnastics

first_imgAustralia made it a grand double in team gymnastics when their women took top honours at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex on Tuesday.The Aussie men had reigned supreme in the corresponding event on the first day of the Commonwealth Games and it was the turn of the girls a day later.Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan, Emily Little, Lauren Mitchell and Georgia Wheeler teamed up to add another gold to the Aussie tally. It was a similar scenario to the one in the men’s team event with England and Canada taking silver and bronze respectively.India – represented by Debjani Samanta, Priti Das, Meenakshi and Dipa Karmakar – finished eighth among as many teams. The difference between the top two teams was 5.5 points as Imogen Cairns, Laura Edwards, Jocelyn Hunt, Becky Wing and Charlotte Lindsley settled for silver.Catherine Dion, Kristine Jana Ann Klarenbach, Emma Leigh Willis, Gabrielle May and Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette claimed bronze for Canada with 154.750 points.Malaysia, Scotland, Singapore and New Zealand finished fourth to seventh. None of the Indians qualified for the individual all-round final, but Dipa has made it as a reserve.Among individual apparatus, the Australians came first in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercises while England were best in the beam. Mitchell was the best individual on show with a tally of 56.950, followed by Little (53.600) and England’s Cairns (53.500).last_img read more


Gabby Douglas Reveals the Extent of Pain She Felt

Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas/Instagram)After facing a barrage of online criticism and harassment during the 2016 Olympic Games, gymnast Gabby Douglas is finally speaking out.The three-time gold medalist, who was heavily criticized about her hair at the 2012 Beijing Olympics, faced similar condemnation this year along with accusations of a lack of patriotism and poor sportsmanship. For Douglas, the recrimination was hurtful.“I had [to] take off social media before the Olympics,” Douglas told Teen Vouge on Facebook Live Wednesday, Dec. 21. “Then, after team finals in Rio, I Googled myself and there was just so much noise. First, it started with me not having my hand over my heart, then my hair, then me not being supportive. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have no idea where this is coming from.’ It was hard.”Online commenters reignited the 2012 fury over Douglas’ hair during the Games in Rio De Janerio, Brazil, in August. One person proclaimed the 20-year-old’s tresses “makes me so mad.”Then, Douglas stood at attention during the national anthem but didn’t place her hand over her heart like the rest of her Final Five teammates. In reaction, a Twitter user deemed Douglas a “sorry American.” Finally, when teammate Simone Biles won gold in the women’s individual all-around, Twitter took aim at Douglas for allegedly feeling salty over the triumph.“Every single day, I’d come back to the village after every single training practice and I literally bawled my eyes out,” Douglas said. “I would cry and cry and cry because people were being so mean.”The judgment visibly took a toll on the gymnast towards the end of the Olympics, when USA Today reported Douglas seemed to be holding back tears as she scrolled through her phone.Douglas also addressed criticism about her serious demeanor during the 2016 Games, noting she had simply grown up since she last competed in the Olympics at age 16.“Going from 2012, I was this smiley, bubbly Gabby,” she explained. “And in 2014 to 2016, I was like, ‘I’ll be a little more mature, a little more sass.’ And everyone was like, ‘What’s wrong with her? She’s not smiling, something’s wrong.’ And I’m like, ‘No, this is mature Gabby.’ I love to laugh, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t put me in a category, you know? Let me do what I need to do out on the floor.”Douglas has advice for other people who have dealt with cyberbullying: Don’t change.“There’s [sic] people out there that love you guys and your life is very important and very valuable,” she said. “Always be strong and you can overcome it, you really can.” read more


James Holzhauer Broke Jeopardy But Is Broken So Bad

Life as a longtime “Jeopardy!” champion is a strange one, chronologically speaking. Holzhauer has been watching the world wonder when his streak will end, all the while knowing exactly when it would happen. On its taping dates, the show records five episodes back-to-back, with just a change of clothes in between. The episodes don’t air until much later. If he could alter time, maybe buy a time machine with that $2,462,216, would he have approached the game any differently?“The only things I would do differently from the start of my run: never wear a sport coat, which interfered a little with my buzzer form, and use gel insoles in my dress shoes,” Holzhauer said.“Both were fixed by the second taping day.” Note: This article discusses the results of the June 3, 2019, episode of “Jeopardy!”James Holzhauer claims not to remember many particulars of how he lost on “Jeopardy!” for the first time, other than that he blanked on a clue about the city of Albany and his opponent quickly took control of the board, landing a game-changing Daily Double. Before long, it was all over. Monday’s episode marked the end of Holzhauer’s two-month reign as one of the winningest, and certainly the most radical, champions in the decades-long history of the trivia game show “Jeopardy!”Holzhauer finished Monday’s game in second place with $24,799 behind Emma Boettcher’s $46,801. But during his 32-win run, he averaged about $77,000 per game — an average nearly identical to the record for the single richest game ever played before he took the podium in early April. In the process, he laid claim to the entirety of the top 10 highest-scoring games of all time, including one single half-hour haul of $131,127. It was a historic run driven by immaculate trivia knowledge, disciplined strategy and calculated aggression.But other records will forever remain just out of reach. Holzhauer’s streak ended with total winnings of $2,462,216 — less than $60,000 shy of Ken Jennings’s record $2,520,700 which was amassed over a nearly incomprehensible 74 straight wins in 2004. Holzhauer will sit second on the all-time money list until the arrival of some other great champion. (Or he might sit there forever, which seems more likely.)1These records are for the show’s “regular season” play, ignoring its occasional special tournaments.“I played every day exactly according to my game plan, so I have no regrets,” Holzhauer told FiveThirtyEight a few days before the fateful episode aired. Holzhauer rewrote swaths of the show’s record books. But his biggest contribution may be to “Jeopardy!” strategy. Holzhauer exploited the game’s Daily Doubles to their fullest, hunting them down and betting big on them. Over his 32 wins (and one loss), Holzhauer — a professional sports bettor from Vegas — not only got significantly richer but likely changed how the venerable game show will be played. Holzhauer was such an effective and alien force that opponents began to mimic his style out of desperation, like growling at a hungry lion in hopes of scaring it away. They hopped wildly around the game’s board whenever they could, picking big-dollar clues early, searching madly for the Daily Doubles and betting big when they found them — just the sort of unalloyed aggression that had quickly become Holzhauer’s trademark and the fuel for his success.“Many of my opponents played like I do, but I’m not sure they would have done so without provocation,” Holzhauer said. “You don’t want to inadvertently make your opponents play a better strategy. In a sense, I may have helped bring about my own downfall.” The insoles seem to have worked. Holzhauer has earned a spot in the pantheon of the “Jeopardy!” greats, and he gives himself prominent placement there. “I think there is a nebulous top three of Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and me,” he said. “Ken’s 74-game streak remains the most impressive achievement in the show’s history.”Rutter is no slouch, either — he has won more money than any other “Jeopardy!” contestant, and he’s a man who has never lost to a human. Rutter’s initial winning streak was ended by the show’s rules at the time, which limited a defending champion to five appearances. But between those appearances and the show’s Tournament of Champions, Ultimate Tournament of Champions and Million Dollar Masters, Rutter won $4,688,436. (Here’s a free idea for the “Jeopardy!” producers: Holzhauer vs. Jennings vs. Rutter in the Ultimate Tournament of Ultimate Champions.)A couple of days after we first emailed, however, Holzhauer followed up to amend his initial assessment. “Amidst all the people comparing me to Ken and Brad, I totally forgot about the two greatest Jeopardy champions of all time: Cindy Stowell, who won six games while dying of cancer, and Eddie Timanus, who’s … blind and was an undefeated five-time champ in his initial run. It’s impossible for me to compare myself to them, so perhaps they should be in their own category.”Holzhauer’s plan for now is a return to normalcy. “The 19-year-old version of James would be thrilled by the opportunities” that the winning streak has brought his way, “but married parent James is hoping to keep his home life settled.”The game that made him famous, however, has been left unsettled. Lots of esteemed competitive pursuits have been “broken” lately. Baseball. Basketball. Even the spelling bee just last week. An innovative strategy or an outlier talent can deeply alter the games we’ve played for decades. In the process, the cadence or tenor of the game might be rendered unrecognizable for someone who hadn’t seen it in a few years. These innovative strategies are often driven by mathematical analysis, data and statistical rigor — things that a sports bettor from Vegas must embrace in order to eat. I asked Holzhauer if “Jeopardy!” now belonged in this category of sabermetrically altered pursuits.“I can see the parallels, for sure,” he said. “At its heart, all these shifts are just attempts to increase your chances of winning. Why would anyone not want to maximize their chances?”Plenty of outlets have written that, thanks to Holzhauer, “Jeopardy!” is now broken. But there’s art in that. While the game may look a bit different than it did before, it may also be closer to perfection — to an ideal expression of trivia game-show strategy. Broken is beautiful. From ABC News: read more

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