HEMPSTEAD, Texas â€“ Neal McCoy has twice been named entertainer of the year, and his showmanship is one reason why he will be the featured entertainer at the Waller County Fair and Rodeo.
The exposition, set for Friday, Sept. 25-Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead, will include four top-flight concerts, with McCoy closing the fair on Oct. 3.
â€śWe have worked to get the kinds of acts that everyone will enjoy when they come to our fair and rodeo,â€ť said Steven Pfeiffer, the Waller County Fair Boardâ€™s entertainment committee chairman. â€śIâ€™m very excited about our concert lineup from start to finish.â€ť
All associated with the event should be excited. The series begins Texas-born artist Aaron Watson, who released his most recent album, â€śThe Underdog,â€ť earlier this year. Watson, who released the rodeo hit â€śJuly in Cheyenneâ€ť in 2013, has been around the music industry for better than 15 years. He will perform Saturday, Sept. 26.
Jeff Woolsey, who grew up on the north side of Houston, was raised around traditional country music. He started his own band at age 19, and throughout the 1990s, he and his band were big hits on the dancehall circuit. The group was the 1994 band of the year in the Houston area. After a few years away from the trade, he returned to the music scene in less than a decade ago playing the music he loves. He takes the stage Thursday, Oct. 1.
Country legend John Conlee has been a top act for decades with memorable hits like â€śRose Colored Glasses,â€ť â€śMiss Emilyâ€™s Picture,â€ť â€śCommon Man,â€ť â€śIâ€™m Only in It for The Loveâ€ť and â€śGot My Heart Set on You,â€ť just to name a few. He performs Friday, Oct. 2.
â€śWe have a strong group of entertainers coming to town, from traditional country with Jeff Woolsey and John Conlee to Aaron Watson, who has been taking country music by storm,â€ť said Dustin Standley, the fair boardâ€™s sponsorship chairman. â€śItâ€™s very exciting for us to have this kind of show for the people who come to our fair.â€ť
McCoy, who won his entertainer of the year awards in 1998-99, has released 34 singles to country radio. He had back-to-back No. 1 singles with â€śNo Doubt About Itâ€ť and â€śWinkâ€ť in 1993. He had three platinum albums and several top-10 hits in the 1990s and 2000s.
In addition to the concerts of top artists, the newly remodeled Ole Wagon Wheel dance hall will feature dances throughout the week:
EDITORâ€™S NOTE: Guest columnist Graeme Menzies is a director of marketing communications at the University of British Columbia and was the director of communications at the Vancouver (British Columbia) 2010 Winter Olympics. Born in Alberta, he now lives in Vancouver.
The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association has announced that it is replacing its old logo with something new, but a lot of cowboys are saying, â€śWhoa!â€ť
Some of that reaction was probably anticipated. For those in the design business, resistance to new logos is almost a proverb, and examples are logos disasters are plentiful. Ad Age magazine cites the 2010 re-launch of The Gapâ€™s iconic logo as one of the most colossal brand missteps in recent history. But there are plenty of other examples: the London 2012 Olympic Games logo (cost: $800,000) was widely lambasted; more recently, the University of Californiaâ€™s updated monogram was ridiculed as â€śan aerial view of a flushing toilet.â€ť
What about the CPRA? Is its new rodeo logo a no-go?
The announcement boasted that the new logoâ€™s stylized hat represented both genders and honored Western heritage. Fans of the old logo have been left wondering what that means. Was there a problem with the cowboy image â€“ was the cowboy too masculine? Surely there was no serious concern that the cowboy image failed to represent western heritage. What about the bold red Canadian maple leaf? Did someone think it was un-Canadian to be so blatantly patriotic?
Members of the CPRA, which has 1,400 members and sanctions more than 50 rodeos in Canada each year, were confused. Some were downright angry. Ted Stovin, a former bull rider and the main force behind the website EverythingCowboy.com, felt so strongly about the logo change he posted a lengthy blog about it, even including dozens of examples of how other sports organizations represent themselves through graphic design. Response to his article came fast and furious.
CPRA member Mac McKie wrote that the new logo communicates nothing about Canada and â€śas far as rodeo, only resembles an abused hat after the rodeo dance.â€ť
Jake Vold, whose family has a proud multi-generational rodeo reputation, was a just as flustered by the move.
â€śI canâ€™t believe they took away the maple leaf,â€ť said Vold, a bareback rider that has qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Others complained that the new logo looks too much like the city of Calgaryâ€™s â€śHeart of the New Westâ€ť logo, doesnâ€™t represent rodeo sports, is too bland, fails to leverage the history and brand equity of the old design, and â€świll look like hell on a belt buckle.â€ť Ouch!
Are these criticisms legitimate, or is this proverbial resistance that one comes to expect?
Yes and no, said Marty Yaskowich, vice president of strategy at DDB, a renowned communications and design agency in Vancouver, British Columbia.
â€śBrand design is definitely one of the most challenging areas of marketing because there will always be differing opinions on what looks good,â€ť he said. â€śYou really have to separate the subjective from the strategic. The real question, when evaluating the logos, is whatâ€™s the strategy behind it?â€ť
Yaskowich, whose cousin is two-time PBR Canadian champion bull rider bull rider Aaron Roy and who has experience working with major international and iconic Canadian brands, said much of the criticism could be ameliorated if the strategy for the change was more transparent.
â€śThere could have been a strategic decision to create a new public-facing logo that is more about promotion of dynamic, exciting, rodeo events while also creating a more accessible and friendly brand to attract a broader audience,â€ť he said. â€śThere may be a strategic rationale for the change â€¦ there may be business reasons behind this, but they are not immediately clear.â€ť
I like the old logo. It has the unsophisticated charm that only a legitimately established organization can pull off; that kind of old-school authenticity is hard to come by these days. But youâ€™d get no argument from me if, like the Toronto Maple Leafâ€™s logo, it was given a periodic design refresh.
Feedback from CPRA members may have had an effect.
â€śThe old CPRA logo has not changed,â€ť said Dan Eddy, the CPRAâ€™s general manager. He noted that the Pro Rodeo Canada logo is a brand of the CPRA.
While not categorically contradicting the original intent to replace the old one entirely, Eddyâ€™s comment holds out some hope that the beloved old logo may not be on its way to the slaughterhouse after all.
Graeme Menzies is an international marketing and communications professional, who also is the author of The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers.
Contact: Jim Laird
STARKVILLE, Miss.â€”Fourteen Mississippi State staff members are new participants in the universityâ€™s 2015-16 Leadership Excellence for Accomplished Professionals program.
LEAPâ€™s goals include the advancement of knowledge and enhancement of leadership skills, along with direct practical work applications for selected employees.
During the intensive four-month program, members meet with campus and community leaders from various areas to explore and more effectively develop their administrative proficiencies. Conflict resolution and decision making, managing change, effective team building and employee performance management are among session topics.
â€śThese 14 already are leaders and the LEAP program is designed to help them reach the next level and help move MSU forward,â€ť said Darrell Easley, learning and development manager for MSUâ€™s human resources management department.
Chosen through a competitive nomination and selection process, this yearâ€™s group includes:
â€”Jana Berkery, associate director of annual giving, MSU Foundation;
â€”Doug Carpenter, tax compliance officer, Office of the Controller and Treasurer;
â€”Nicole Cobb, grants and contacts administrator, Sponsored Programs Administration;
â€”Shonda Cumberland, business manager, Bagley College of Engineeringâ€™s computer science and engineering department;
â€”Jacob Forrester, construction administrator, Facilities Management Administrationâ€™s planning, design and construction administration department;
â€”Trey Harrison, outdoor adventures coordinator, Division of Student Affairsâ€™ recreational sports department;
â€”Scott Kolle, project manager, Research and Curriculum Unit;
â€”Bart Prather, associate director, Facilities Management Administrationâ€™s campus landscape department;
â€”Jordan Ramsey, associate director, Office of Internal Audit;
â€”Jodi Roberts, assistant director and Institutional Review Board officer, Office of Research and Economic Developmentâ€™s research compliance department;
â€”Anne Skinner, benefits manager, Human Resources Management;
â€”Hal Teasler, videographic coordinator, University Television Center;
â€”Amelia Treptow, assistant director, Center for Student Activities; and
â€”Blaire Wilson, coordinator, Divison of Student Affairsâ€™ honor code office.
For additional information about LEAP, contact Easley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-325-2203.
MSU is Mississippiâ€™s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.â€”Artworks by faculty members in the College of Architecture, Art and Design are on display at Mississippi State University.
Free and open to all through Oct. 24 in the Visual Arts Center Gallery, the exhibit features works in diverse media. They include painting, sculpture, photography, furniture design, graphic design, fiber art and printmaking.
Located at 808 University Drive, The Visual Arts Center Gallery is one of several campus venues that regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Exhibit hours for the gallery are 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 1-4 p.m., Saturday, as well as by appointment. For more, visit bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.
Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art departmentâ€™s coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippiâ€™s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
The G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans at Mississippi State will host the fall semester Green Zone training on Wednesday [Sept. 16] and Thursday [Sept. 17] from 2-5 p.m. in Fowlkes Auditorium in Colvard Student Union.
The training program has been planned for a Tuesday or Wednesday in order to accommodate teaching and meeting schedules. This training will cover how to be an active listener, various issues and concerns of veterans, resources that can be utilized to help veterans, and Titles III and IX concerns.
The purpose of this training is to encourage awareness of and advocacy for student veterans, service members and dependents at MSU, who comprise 11% of the total student population. Many faculty and staff members across campus are showing their support of the Green Zone Initiative with stickers and posters displayed in their offices or workspaces. These items are to show designations of "Green Zones" or veteran-friendly areas where veterans can come for mentoring or for advice. More faculty and staff volunteers are needed.
Refreshments will be served. RVSP to Julie Kirk at email@example.com.
(NewsUSA) - Helping your baby sleep through the night is one of the great milestones of parenthood. Establishing good sleep habits and patterns early can help babies learn how to sleep, which is a key component in a baby's happiness, and makes for less exhausted (sort of) parents.
Gerber Good Start Gentle's sleep consultant Christina Gantcher advises parents to focus on the Three E's: Eating, Environment, and Education.
* Eating: Poor feeding can impact your baby's ability to sleep well. If your baby doesn't seem to be eating at regular intervals or gaining weight at an appropriate pace, talk to your lactation consultant or pediatrician.
* Environment: You can facilitate better sleep for your new baby by creating a quiet, dark environment in a dedicated area. Remember, babies should always be put to sleep on their backs; supervised tummy time should occur during the day when baby is awake. Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep with no loose blankets, pillows or toys nearby. Try to follow a bedtime routine to help baby recognize cues to associate with going to sleep, such as a bath or book.
* Education: Learn about your baby and you'll soon recognize his or her cues about being ready to sleep, such as eye rubbing. Don't neglect naptime. Remember that infants are typically only awake for short periods, and daytime naps can aid nighttime sleep. When you feel your baby is ready, try placing him or her in the crib when they are drowsy but still awake, so they can start learning and remembering how and where they fell asleep.
Gantcher also advises parents to be as consistent as possible with a sleep routine, but be patient as you learn the habits of your individual child. Sleep helps give babies energy and puts them in the mood to learn and explore the world, and a rested baby often means a happier family, too.
As part of their desire to help support parents through their journey and provide them with the confidence they need to help their baby sleep through the night, Gerber Good Start Gentle has sponsored Christina Gantcher as their sleep consultant on Gerber's panel of experts. Gantcher will be available to provide free, personalized, one-on-one phone consultations five days per week.
To sign up for a consultation with Gerber Good Start Gentle's sleep consultant, please visit Gerber.com/experts or call the Gerber Parents Resource Center 24/7 at 1-800-284-9488 for help in scheduling an appointment.
(NewsUSA) - Owning a pet comes with a lot of benefits -- but caring for a pet can also have an unwelcome impact on your budget. According to the ASPCA, owning a dog or cat can cost up to $1,000 in the first year, and many people end up spending much more. The good news is, you can cut your pet care expenses without compromising your pet's health and wellbeing. Here are a few tips to save money on pet care:
1. Don't skip the vet.
If you're trying to save money, it can be tempting to cut back on veterinary visits. But, according to Julie Ciarmella of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, "an investment in preventive healthcare can reduce your long-term pet healthcare costs." Why? Because regular check-ups can prevent expensive complications down the road.
2. Get by with a little help from your friends.
Dog-walking, pet-sitting and kennel services can be one of the most expensive aspects of owning a pet. You can save money by taking the "you scratch my dog's back, I'll scratch your cat's chin" approach and tapping into a network of other pet owners in your area. Neighborhood dog parks are great places to meet like-minded pet lovers; or you could try good old fashioned advertising.
3. Choose high-quality pet products that give you more value for your money.
Reaching for the cheapest product can feel like a thrifty move, but you may be surprised by the impact "cheap" products can have on your budget. For example, cheaper clay cat litter needs to be changed more often -- so cat owners go through bag after bag. World's Best Cat Litter is an alternative that harnesses the concentrated power of corn for long-lasting performance. You'll use less litter, replace it less often, and save money in the long run.
In the end, remember that what your pet needs most is love. Keep things simple and invest in high-value products where it matters, and you'll be on your way to a pet-care budget that works for you.