Orange Launches Major Music, Fashion Talent Search for Young Liberians

first_imgThe Management of Orange Liberia has announced the launch of the 2019 Orange Talents, which is a new major program to discover Liberia’s next big musician and fashion designer.   The announcement was made at the company’s head office on Capital Bypass on January 30th.Mr. Noel Chateau, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Orange Liberia said the Orange Talent was being held as part of the company’s ongoing effort to empower young Liberians by discovering new talents and giving them the support and exposure needed to reach the next level.  “We know that there are a lot of amazing talents in Liberia and so we want to use this platform to expose those talents and give them an opportunity to make a big entrance on the national stage,” said Mr. Chateau  who went on to say that the Orange Talents was opened to young people between the ages of 18 – 35 from the fifteen counties.   “The participation of young people from every county is very important to us,” Mr. Chateau concluded.The music component of the competition is being organized by Billikon Entertainment, which was represented by its Chief Executive Officer Mr. Lyee Bility while the fashion component is being spearheaded by the House of Fashion also represented by its Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Courage James Sackie. Both Executives welcomed the partnership with Orange Liberia and said that it would have a significant impact on Liberia’s music and fashion industries.For his part, Mr. Bility highlighted that auditions would take place in five locations ahead of the finale in Monrovia. He pointed out that auditions would take place at the YMCA Gym in Monrovia on March 8th and 9th, at the Methodist Gym in Ganta on March 22nd and 23rd, at the Gboveh High School in Gbarnga on April 5th and 6th, at the City Cinema in Kakata on April 19th and 20th and at Elizabeth Village in Buchanan on May 3rd and 4th.   The Grand Finale will be held on May 18th in Monrovia with one winner walking away with a cash prize of US$1,000 and the production and marketing for a new album. Each two days of audition and concert would give the chance to applicants to demonstrate their talents and win their ticket to the Grand Finale, sharing the stage with renowned artists.Mrs. Sackie explained that the fashion component would have one audition on the 30th of March at Courage Fashion shop, TM Mall, Mamba Point in Monrovia. Once that audition will have been completed, qualified candidates would participate in a series of elimination rounds leaving 5 finalists who would design a collection for a fashion show scheduled to take place at TM Mall in Monrovia on June 1st.   “For many of these young people, it will be the first time for their designs to be included as part of a major fashion show, and that alone is an incredible achievement.”  She noted that one winner would walk away with a grand prize of US$1,000 as well as the chance to have their products displayed and sold at the House of Fashion.Mr. Chateau explained that participants interested in joining the competition may submit their application online at or by calling the Orange hotline for free by dialing 111 and informing the representative that they wanted to have and application filled to participate in the 2019 Orange Talents.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mayor jettisons school takeover

first_img“We’ve had debates. We’ve had arguments. We’ve been to the Legislature. We’ve been to the courts. We’ve been to the ballot box. We’ve enjoyed victories, and we’ve shared defeats. “Today we’re here to declare together that the time for debate is over. With this superintendent and this board in place, I am confident that we can forge the partnership envisioned by the Romero Act.” Struggle for control The Romero Act – or Assembly Bill 1381 – was authored by Villaraigosa and the teachers union and would have given him partial control of the district. It was passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor but declared unconstitutional after the LAUSD filed a challenge in court. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Friday that he will not appeal a judge’s ruling that his LAUSD-takeover plan is unconstitutional but will work instead to take advantage of the “unprecedented opportunities” offered by new district leadership. His announcement came during a morning news conference at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, where he and his former Los Angeles Unified School District adversaries shared hugs, kisses and laughter – an event that stood in sharp contrast to the acrimony that’s marked the past 18 months. With the election Tuesday of his two reform candidates to the school board, Villaraigosa said he believes he can work through the system rather than through the courts to solve myriad problems in the district. “This has been a tough and contentious year,” he said. An LAUSD official estimated Friday that the district spent more than $1 million battling the Romero Act. Villaraigosa formed a private political committee to promote his effort and spent more than $1.1 million in contributions to help get the bill passed last year. He also spent at least $11,000 in taxpayer money, much of it in travel for his staff. While it was ultimately unsuccessful, Villaraigosa said Friday, AB 1381 created a framework for working with the board and Superintendent David Brewer III to develop an immediate action plan. Their efforts will center on setting higher standards for students; creating small and safe schools; reducing bureaucracy; reinvigorating the curriculum; involving families and communities; redirecting more money to classrooms; and creating partnerships with businesses and community groups. The mayor is likely to be given oversight of a cluster of low-performing schools, where he can launch a pilot project to improve student achievement. Reforming Los Angeles’ public schools became a key priority early in Villaraigosa’s administration, when he blasted the LAUSD for lagging student test scores and a dropout rate he pegged as high as 50 percent. “I will not accept the status quo, and neither should you,” Villaraigosa told the United Chambers of Commerce luncheon Nov. 17, 2005, prompting school board member Julie Korenstein, who was in the audience, to storm out of the meeting room. But Korenstein stood front and center with the mayor Friday, saying she and other board members were looking forward to working with Villaraigosa. “I think it’s going to be a new day. … I believe we can partner with the mayor,” she said, patting Villaraigosa on the hand. “It’s time to lay down the sword and it’s time to work together.” School board President Marlene Canter said she considers herself aligned with the mayor’s four allies on the board – current member Monica Garcia, along with Yolie Flores Aguilar, Tamar Galatzan and Richard Vladovic, who will take office July 1. “It’s a new beginning. How great it is that we can take now our collective energies and passion and commitment and values and desire and every skill that we have and put them all forward together for the kids,” Canter said. A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, also was present for the event along with City Council members Wendy Greuel, Jose Huizar and Richard Alarc n. Duffy, who worked with the mayor in drafting AB 1381, said the teachers union wants to be part of the team. “UTLA and its 48,000 members are committed to partnerships with the mayor, with the district, with parent community groups and with the business groups around the city … and we will move ahead together,” Duffy said. Lost opportunities The only discordant note Friday was sounded by David Tokofsky, who is being replaced on the board by Galatzan. He did not attend the news conference but issued a statement saying the city’s proper role in education is providing public safety, building affordable housing and developing adequate recreational facilities. He also blasted the mayor for the lengthy and costly fight over AB 1381. “The public should not forget the 1 1/2 years of human energy and public funds lost on AB 1381,” he said. “AB 1381 caused many opportunities to partner and change our schools in Los Angeles to be lost.” Staff Writers Harrison Sheppard and Rick Orlov contributed to this report. (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Zito pitches Giants past Dodgers 11-2 in season finale

first_imgLOS ANGELES – For one of the few times this season, Barry Zito pitched like a $126 million man. He hopes the performance gives him something to build on for next year. Zito allowed two runs in eight innings, light-hitting Omar Vizquel homered, and the San Francisco Giants completed their worst season in 11 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-2 Sunday. “He finished on a great note. He threw great today,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s nice to end a difficult season with a win.” Zito (11-13), who signed a $126 million, seven-year contract last winter, had a disappointing first season with the Giants. But he was on his game in the finale, retiring 18 of 20 batters in the first six innings while his teammates built a 9-0 lead. “It’s just important for me always to compete,” he said. “A lot of guys were dying to get out of here. I was taking it as seriously as any other start. I’ll just take this into my offseason and come out ready to go next year. “We have a lot to build on. It’s good we can get out of here on a good note at the end of a disappointing season.” The Dodgers know all about disappointment. Preseason favorites to win the NL West, they lost 11 of their last 14 games to fall out of contention. “It’s just been a tough last few weeks,” Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre said. “When you put all your heart and soul into the game you love and you’re not successful as a team, it’s real frustrating. It’s not a matter of being relieved that it’s over, because you knew you were a pitch here or a hit there from turning it around.” Dodgers owner Frank McCourt expressed his disappointment before the finale. “We should be playing next week,” he said. “It’s sort of an odd place I’m at right now. I feel the fans’ disappointment. I share it. On the other hand, I feel something very positive here. The future is very, very bright.” Zito allowed five hits – three singles by Matt Kemp, a two-run homer by pinch hitter Delwyn Young and a double by Pierre. The 29-year-old left-hander walked none, struck out four and finished with a 4.53 ERA. The Dodgers (82-80) and Giants (71-91) brought up the rear in the NL West for just the second time since divisional play began in 1969. Barry Bonds, dressed in street clothes, declined to speak with reporters before the game, and indicated he wouldn’t be hanging around long during it and wasn’t see afterward. The 43-year-old Bonds, baseball’s single-season and career home run leader, played his final game in a Giants’ uniform Wednesday in San Francisco. Pedro Feliz had four hits and rookie Nate Schierholtz added three for the Giants, who finished with their worst record since 1996, when they went 68-94. The Giants took a 1-0 lead off Eric Stults (1-4) in the first on Randy Winn’s RBI double. The hit raised Winn’s average to .300, and he was replaced in left field in the bottom of the inning. “It’s nice on a personal note,” Winn said. “It’ll be nice to look back at 10 years from now. The season itself was a disappointment, We expected to play better.” The Giants blew the game open by scoring five runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Guillermo Rodriguez, a two-run homer by Vizquel, his fourth of the season, a throwing error by catcher Russell Martin and Feliz’s run-scoring single. Stults, making his fifth big-league start, allowed 11 hits and six runs in four innings. Kevin Frandsen hit a two-run homer and Schierholtz added an RBI single off D.J. Houlton in the sixth to make it 9-0. Young’s second big league homer, which landed halfway up the left field pavilion, came one out after Kemp started the seventh with his third single. Pinch hitter Eugenio Velez hit a two-run triple off Jonathan Meloan in the ninth for his first career RBIs to make it 11-2.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgThe MacCumhaills girls celebrate their winSEAN MacCumhaills girls are U-16 County Champions after a victory over Burt in the final.Right from the throw in everybody knew this would be a closely fought game and no one was left disappointed.It was a very even first half with Sean mac Cumhaills just in front at the interval. Half time score was Sean Mac Cumhaills 2-03 CLG Beart 1-02. The second half was more of the same, with individual battles all over the field.Burt scored a point and Mac Cumhaills scored two. Final score was Sean Mac Cumhaills 2-05 and CLG Beart 1-03. This was a brilliant display of hurling by both teams and everyone involved should be commended. Outstanding for Mac Cumhaills were Laura Browne and Shania Bradley.Scorers for Mac Cumhaills were Laura Browne 2-04, Chloe Kennedy 0-01.Scorers for Burt were Lucy Murray 1-00, Rhianne Mc Dermott 0-01, Leanne Kelly 0-01 and Chloe Downey 0-01. This victory adds to Sean Mac Cumhaills great haul of trophies and achievements in Camogie this year. The under 12’s were beaten League finalists, the under 14’s won the Donegal Feile, the Ulster Feile and made it to the Semi Final of the All Ireland Feile in Limerick and now the under 16’s are County Champs. The future of Camogie looks bright in the Twin Towns.The U-16s celebrateMacCUMHAILLS U-16 CAMOGIE TEAM CROWNED COUNTY CHAMPIONS! was last modified: August 1st, 2013 by John2Share 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) Tags:BeartBURTcounty finalMacCUMHAILLS U-16 CAMOGIE TEAMlast_img read more


first_imgGLENSWILLY GAA NOTESThe next Club meeting will be held on Monday September 29th at 9pm.A new initiative by the club will take place this Saturday morning Sept 27th, In conjuction with Olympians A.C Athletics will commence for children of seven and older. This is a fantastic opportunity for our children to get involved in a new sport. The initiative is spearheaded by Martin O Donnell who has vast experience in the track and field area.Children between 7 and 10 are on from 10.30am. to 11.30am. and 11years and older are from 11.30 am. to 1pm. Each child are asked to bring €1 with them and all are welcome.Next Sunday is the start of the County Championship and Kilcar are the visitors, throw-in is 1.30 pm. for the Reserves and 3pm. for the Seniors.Finally, hard luck to our three County men Michael, Neil and Cormac it didnt happen on the day for both teams but nonetheless they have brought us on a fantastic journey and there is no doubt they have done us all proud.GAA NEWS: GLENSWILLY STARTS NEW ATHLETICS INITIATIVE was last modified: September 23rd, 2014 by StephenShare 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) Tags:Glenswilly GAA noteslast_img read more


first_imgManager Davy McLaughlin is cheered off the coach at the Clanree HotelDONEGAL’S Ulster Championship winning Senior Ladies football team were given a rapturous reception when they returned to the county tonight.The Clanree Hotel laid on red carpet and champagne as the history-making Donegal girls arrived home.A garda escort and a cavalcade of supporters did a tour around Letterkenny before making their way to The Clanree, the team’s official sponsors. Winning captain Katy Herron carried the Ulster Championship trophy aloft to roars of excitement from fans who had waited their arrival home.And there was an extra special cheer for team manager Davy McLaughlin as he joined the party inside.It’s Donegal’s first Ulster title at this level in what has been a magnificent year for ladies football in the county, with the U21s winning an All-Ireland title under McLaughlin’s stewardship and the U14s winning an Ulster title and finishing runners-up in their All-Ireland series.Two Ulster champions together. Susanne White (Killybegs), U14 County player and Ulster Champion pictured with Ulster Senior Ladies Champion Geraldine McLaughlinThat’s why we’re Champions…That’s why we’re Champions…celebrations at the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny this eveningHello Katy…captain fantastic with the silverwareClanree Hotel manager and ladies football stalwart Micheal Naughton celebrates with some of the players  HISTORY GIRLS PICTURE SPECIAL: DONEGAL LADIES GET RED CARPET TREATMENT AT CLANREE HOMECOMING was last modified: July 26th, 2015 by John2Share 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) Tags:clanree hoteldonegal ladiesHOMECOMINGpicture speciallast_img read more

Men’s Basketball Pushes Past UNI, 83-77, On Legends Weekend

first_img Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats 1350 ESPN ESPN+ Listen Live Watch Live Next Game: The win, in front of a crowd of 5,632, was the Bulldogs’ 18th of the season to equal the 2011-12 team for the most wins in the last decade. At halftime of the game, the Bulldogs honored former players as part of Legends Weekend, including the 1969 Final Four team. To further commemorate the 50th anniversary of that historic season, the Bulldogs wore jerseys modeled off those worn by the 1969 team. Photos – 1 Drake retook the lead but did not lead by more than two possessions until an Ellingson jumper with 1:07 left gave Drake a five-point, 75-70, cushion that forced UNI to foul in the final minute. The Bulldogs continued to get defensive stops and made eight-straight free throws in the last minute to emerge with the victory. “It was an exciting weekend for us and a great crowd to see an in-state rivalry game,” said Drake head coach Darian DeVries. “I’m really proud of the guys. I thought they made some big plays down the stretch and gave us the plays we needed to close things out.” at Southern Illinois 2/12/2019 – 7 p.m. Senior Nick McGlynn (Stoughton, Wis.) had many of those big plays for Drake (18-7, 7-5 MVC) as he scored 17 second-half points to finish with 22 points. Two minutes into the second half he became the 25th Bulldog to record 1,000 career points. He also added seven rebounds. Photos – 2 Box Score (HTML) Box Score (PDF) center_img Story Links Drake owned a 40-36 lead at halftime following a first half that saw 17 lead changes. The Bulldogs stretched that lead to seven points in first four minutes of the second half on a McGlynn layup before UNI briefly took the lead on a Spencer Haldeman three-pointer with 9:21 remaining in the contest. Freshman AJ Green led UNI (10-15, 5-7 MVC) with 19 points on 20 shots with five assists. D.J. Wilkins (Merrillville, Ill.) added 18 points and matched a career high with five assists in 40 minutes of action. Brady Ellingson (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) also never left the court and finished with 12 points. Tremell Murphy (Griffith, Ind.) posted 15 points and eight boards while his brother, Anthony, added nine points and seven rebounds. DES MOINES, Iowa – Fueled by a raucous crowd and generations of former players, the Drake University men’s basketball team defeated visiting UNI, 83-77, Saturday afternoon at the Knapp Center. “We knew going into this game it was going to be a physical dogfight and we needed to be true to us and execute from start to finish,” McGlynn said. The Bulldogs return to the road for their next contest, Feb. 12, when they travel to SIU to face the Salukis.Print Friendly Version As a team, Drake shot 50 percent from the field and 17-of-18 from the free-throw line to secure the win. Full Schedule Roster last_img read more


first_imgDDTV: Simply click on the video above to watch Nikki Bradley abseil off Fanad Lighthouse. Nikki’s challenge is just the latest physical activity she has underwent as she continues to raise awareness on Ewing’s Sarcoma. She launched her awareness campaign Fighting Fit for Ewing’s in 2013 and continues to be an inspiration for many.Below is her account on her recent challenge in Fanad.A Very Different View Of The Wild Atlantic Way:Nikki Bradley became the first woman ever to successfully abseil off one of Ireland’s best known Lighthouses on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 to raise awareness for her ongoing campaign, Fighting Fit For Ewing’s. Nikki was granted exclusive access to Fanad Head Lighthouse which is on the Wild Atlantic Way by Irish Lights Commissioner, Brian Kelly and completed the abseil under the guidance of renowned climber and abseiling expert, Iain Miller owner of www.uniqueascent.ieIain was the first person to ever complete the abseil off the lighthouse – he did so in 2013.When recounting the experience Nikki said “I cannot believe I actually did it! When I climbed out over the railing and looked down, my heart somersaulted in my chest.“Trusting the rope enough to step out over the edge was the hardest part but once I did it my adrenaline kicked in and I glided down with ease.“This was my most rewarding challenge to date and I am proud of myself for going through with it. I did it three times in total and would have done it more if I could. Once you push the fear aside it becomes addictive!” .Nikki uses physical activity to highlight the importance of exercise for rehabilitation and knows first hand how important it is. She easily stands out from other fitness enthusiasts due to the fact that she underwent hip replacement surgery, for the second time on her right hip before her 27th birthday.Nikki was treated for a rare form of bone cancer in 2003 called Ewing’s Sarcoma and was left with chronic pain when radiotherapy destroyed her right hip.She has undergone invasive surgery in Ireland, England and Australia with no success. Left with severe nerve damage and a leg length discrepancy of 11cm, Nikki struggles daily with pain and lack of balance but that would not deter her from abseiling off one of Donegal’s most iconic buildings.“I have made a conscious effort to keep fit for the past number of years and the benefits have been life changing for me. “I am a regular in my local Crossfit box and I am currently on week five of a twelve week six pack challenge.“I am also in training for an upcoming Guinness World Record attempt which is due to take place in five weeks. In May 2015 I broke the unofficial record for the fastest female to complete a 5k on crutches and I hope to do it all again in September”To date Nikki has kayaked, rock climbed, dived, climbed both Muckish Mountain in Donegal, which took six hours, and Mount. Errigal.Her abseil off Fanad Lighthouse was her most terrifying yet exhilarating and she claims that “This is just the beginning. I am not done yet. Through my campaign I encourage people to set challenges for me, which is how the idea for the abseil came about. I want the Irish public to push me to the limit!”DDTV: WATCH THE FIGHTER NIKKI BRADLEY ABSEIL OFF FANAD LIGHTHOUSE was last modified: August 14th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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)Tags:newsSportlast_img read more

Flowering Plants Do Big Bang in Darwin’s Face

first_imgThere’s a big bang in botany.  The flowering plants, reported Science Daily, “evolved very quickly into five groups.”    The claim is based on the investigation of plant genes by scientists in Florida.  Their work “showed that a stunning diversification of flowering plants they are referring to as the ‘Big Bang’ took place in the comparatively short period of less than 5 million years — and resulted in all five major lineages of flowering plants that exist today.”    In both the fossil record and the genes, the picture is one of abrupt appearance followed by stasis, without any recognizable cause:“Flowering plants today comprise around 400,000 species,” said Pam Soltis.  “So to think that the burst that give [sic] rise to almost all of these plants occurred in less than 5 million years is pretty amazing — especially when you consider that flowering plants as a group have been around for at least 130 million years.”   Robert Jansen, professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, said the two papers set the stage for all future comparative studies of flowering plants.    “If you are interested in understanding the evolution of flowering plants, you can’t do that unless you understand their relationships,” he said.    Botanists predating Darwin have long recognized that flowering plants, which comprise at least 60 percent of all green plant species, diversified abruptly shortly after they appeared.    “The details, and especially the cause of, this diversification — Darwin’s “abominable mystery” — has been a hot topic in botany ever since.    “One of the reasons why it’s been hard to understand evolutionary relationships among the major groups of flowering plants is because they diversified over such a short time frame,” Jansen said.The scientists cross-checked their phylogenetic tree built by comparative genomics against the fossil record, and sure enough, the emergence was rapid.  The cause of this rapid diversification was called “mysterious.”  Twice the article referred to the fact that Darwin called the abrupt appearance of flowering plants an “abominable mystery.”  Two papers from the work were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Boring.  Same cop-out for 160 years.  They see creation, and call it evolution.  The only mystery here is why they get away with it.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Life and lessons at Laurel Valley Creamery

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Kayla Hawthorne, OCJ field reporterNick and Celeste Nolan operate a 25- to 30-cow dairy on their family’s homestead in Gallia County. The family of eight has been working on the farm for 13 years and making cheese for nine of those years, which is a full-time job for both parents.The property was owned by Nick’s grandparents and was a dairy farm from 1947 until 1990. In 2001, Nick and Celeste moved their family back to the farm.“Nick worked for General Mills in Wellston as a project engineer. And then in 2005, they outsourced his position and we had [already] bought the farm and [were] just kind of hobby farming,” Celeste Nolan said.Their hobby farm included hay, Scottish highland beef cows and goats, which she called her “gateway animals.”“We had just moved out here and were just kind of playing,” Celeste said. “We were buying what we could afford.”After Nick lost his job, they decided to go all out and buy dairy cows to start milking. The goal all along was to make cheese at Laurel Valley Creamery.“So we milked from 2005 to 2009 and then in 2009 is when we started making cheese,” Celeste said. “We milk mostly Jersey cows with some Normande crosses. We’re a grass-based dairy so that grass is our cows’ primary component of their diet. We take all of the milk from those 30 cows and turn it into cheese on the farm.“You can’t make a living as a dairy farmer, period, in the state of Ohio anymore. Thirteen years ago it was different but not drastically different. It’s just hard with the Federal Milk [Marketing] Order and the competition — all of those things. We always had a hard time getting someone to come pick up such a small quantity of milk 13 years ago.”She said the only way for them to make it financially in the dairy business was to make cheese.“We decided to do cheese because, well it cost the least amount to get into,” Celeste said. “And then cheese is like the most non-perishable perishable. You can age cheese and you don’t have to have a market for it right away. So it enabled us to kind of build a market and build product at the same time. You can put cheese on the shelf and let it age and then figure out how to sell it, as opposed to fluid milk [which] you have to have a market for it the day you make it.”To start the creamery, the Nolans needed to build an Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected cheese making facility. Nick used his food manufacturing background to build the cheese house and keep everything up and running. According to Celeste, the process was unique because, at the time, there were not many farmstead creameries.At Laurel Valley Creamery, they typically make around 500 pounds of cheese per week.“You normally get about a pound of cheese per a gallon of milk. That’s a rough estimate but it’s a good one to go by,” Celeste said. “Milk is 86% water, so the other 14 percent is what gets turned into cheese. The 86% is turned into waste.”The creamery is licensed to be a raw milk cheese producer and a fresh cheese producer. To make raw milk cheese, the milk is cooled after milking, then warmed up just a little before starting the process of turning lactose into lactic acid. After the acid is formed, a coagulant is added to make the protein and fat bind together, which makes the cheese.“Our gruyere and our country jack is made out of raw milk. All the other cheeses we make are fresh milk cheeses,” Celeste said. “And when I do those, the process is the same except I go up to 145 [degrees] and I keep it there for 30 minutes and I cool it down.”Any cheese that is less than 60 days old has to be pasteurized (or “fresh”), according to Celeste.“So I can’t sell anything less than 60 days old. Some of them I like to sell at 90 days but I sell them at 60 days anyway because of production,” Celeste said. “I just sold some 18-month-old cheese.”The two raw milk cheeses are normally aged somewhere between three to eight months.“There’s nothing wrong with them before [they’re aged] but they definitely are different. They’re more complex. They’re tastier. They have a not-so-basic flavor,” Celeste said. “They’ve really came a long way, you can tell.”Besides cheese, the Nolans also have hotdogs made, which they call a Farmfurter, out of hogs and dairy beef that they raise on the farm.“We cook those at the Athens farmers markets on Saturdays at a grill there. We sell frozen ones as well,” Celeste said. “We’re selling probably 10 to 15 pounds of hotdogs every week. We’ve had five different batches of hotdogs made since we started doing the hotdogs and the last one has been the best. Each time they’re getting closer and closer to what is the ideal.”The family usually has five sows on the farm to raise hogs for the hotdogs. They finish out roughly 100 pigs per year.“Up until this point, we’ve treated meat like a commodity,” Celeste said. “We’re going to work harder to direct market that, like build a brand with it the same way we have with cheese.”The hogs are fed the waste from cheese making. They also feed spent grain from a brewery in Huntington, W.Va., that purchases their cheese. The beef that goes into the hotdogs is from their cull cows or bull calves. The bull calves that they don’t raise for meat get sold to local families.“We try to raise a few for our hotdogs, but we need a little bit more infrastructure,” Celeste said. “A lot of moms will actually buy a couple dairy beef cows and feed them all year and then sell them for their Christmas money. I’ve got a few people that I do stuff like that with. We try to raise all of our own replacement [heifers]. In order to keep dairy cows milking, you have to have them bred. We try to have a calf per year per cow. Someday I won’t have a cow payment.”Laurel Valley Creamery sells their cheese and hotdogs at farmers markets in Athens and Gallia counties as well as local food consignments stories in Athens, Huntington and Columbus. A long-term goal is to get a processing facility on the farm to make some dried, cured meats.“We have a mobile food license so we do some pop-ups,” Celeste said. “We do an event at the Bob Evan’s Farm Festival every year.”There are certainly environmental and economic challenges for the small farm, but Celeste said the emotional ones are probably the biggest.“It’s doing it every day. Like milking twice a day for 13 years — there’s no time away, there’s no breaks. It’s a lot,” Celeste said. “And staying motivated to do it every day, or keeping everybody motivated to do it every day is the biggest challenge. We do everything ourselves. We milk the cows, make the cheese, package the cheese, deliver the cheese — all of those things. Everything is so much work and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.”But she welcomes a change in weather because it allows her to switch up the routine. Celeste also said that her favorite part about the creamery, the farm, and the business is the same as the challenge: doing it every day with her family.“I like that the only person I’m reliant on is my family. And I like that I get to spend time with them every day, kind of,” Celeste joked. “I just feel like the things that we’re teaching the kids are beneficial to them in whatever endeavor that they’re going to move forward with.“I hope that I have all this business and someone wants to take it over and grow it into an even bigger business that can support even more families. Just, I think, [my children] knowing that they’re important and knowing that their contribution is valued and important to our family is a good thing for them to feel included in it.”Celeste is proud that she can show her children a life and give them skills that she did not have growing up.“[It’s a skill] being able to feed themselves, and all of them will have that,” Celeste said. “I was not a farmer. Milk was in the fridge, that’s where it came from. It came from a store. It never dawned on me that it came from a cow.”“Society doesn’t exist if we’re not feeding it,” she said. “If that’s the only thing they learn then that’s good enough.”last_img read more