Solar Panels And The Irs}

Solar Panels And The IRS


Solar panels seem to be an excellent way to generate less costly electrical power. They seem a good way to heat water, as well as the air inside homes.

Solar panels and the IRS should be friends, since the government purports to be seeking alternative energy sources. The U.S. government should give tax credit to those who invest in solar panels. But does it?

The value of solar panels in the IRS’ eyes is shown in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for Individuals. In 2006, inflation adjustment figures were given, but the act remains basically the same.

Energy Policy Act of 2005 for Individuals (EPACT) – Summary

Individuals can make energy-conscious purchases, and receive tax benefits for doing so. The law provides tax credits for making your principal residence, which must be in the U.S., more energy efficient. It also gives tax credits for buying specified energy-efficient items, including alternative motor vehicles such as hybrids.

Solar panels, says IRS, will earn tax credits if they are on your main home, and that home is in the U.S.

Most of EPACT remains in effect throughout 2007. Many think it will be renewed or expanded in 2008.

Detail Regarding Solar Panel Tax Credits

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 makes a tax credit available to those who add qualified solar panels to their homes in the U.S. The IRS allows one credit equal to 30 percent of the qualified investment in a solar panel up to a maximum $2,000 credit. The IRS also allows an equal credit for investing in a solar water heating system. You could credit of up to $4,000, $2,000 for solar panels, and $2,000 for solar water heating.

Whether you add solar panels or a solar water heating system, you cannot use any part of it to heat a hot tub or swimming pool.

Solar panels, for IRS tax credit qualification, must be placed in service between December 31, 2005 and January 1, 2008.

State Rebates or Tax Incentives and the IRS

You may find that your solar panels are eligible for state rebates or tax incentives. Your state’s energy office website may have more information on that. If your state or utility does give incentives for installing solar panels, the IRS tax credit applies to the basis remaining after you have taken state incentives.

Example: Your $10,000 solar panel array receives $5,000 in state tax incentives. It would then be eligible for a credit equal to 30 percent of $5,000. Your Federal IRS tax credit would be $1,500.

To locate any tax incentives your state may offer, simply search on the state name with the words solar incentive, without quotation marks.

Wouldn’t a Tax Deduction Be Better than a Tax Credit?

Normally speaking, a tax deduction is less valuable to you than the same amount of tax credit. A tax deduction takes away a percentage of the tax you owe the IRS. But a tax credit reduces your tax, dollar-for-dollar.

Solar Panels absent IRS Credits

Even if EPACT had not been signed into law, and the IRS offered no tax credits, solar panel installation could still be a wise investment. Many find that a solar panel array pays for itself within 3 to 4 years. They then save money on electricity for many years with little maintenance.

So, while tax credits are welcome, you may still want to do more research into the potential savings of solar panels.

Disclaimer: Please note that the author is not a tax professional and cannot offer you tax advice. The information above is for educational purposes only.

2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about solar panels at

. Anna has posted articles on that site about various applications of this useful technology. If you want to place a

solar panel tracking kit on your home

, you won’t want to miss her article on the subject.

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Preventing Dog Bites

Submitted by: Craig Lawson

People do not think about dog bites as being a traumatic event but what if the victim is a child? Each year there are 800,000 children admitted to the hospital with injuries resulting from bites from a dog. They are especially damaging to children because they are closer to the dogs height so it is easier for them to be bitten in the face or on the neck. Also, their smaller size allows the teeth to penetrate deeper and cause more damage. Some injuries are so severe that a plastic surgeon has to be called in for reconstructive surgery and have resulted in post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Sometimes, several plastic surgeries are required to limit the amount of disfiguring of the face, ears or wherever the bite occurred. Many of the parents of these children have had to hire an Atlanta dog bite attorney to protect their rights in court and get compensation for their injures.

Some of the ways to avoid being bitten is:

Choose your dog carefully and make sure its personality is a good fit for your family and gets along well with others.

Never leave children alone with a dog unsupervised.


Give your dog gradual exposure to other dogs and people from the time that they are puppies. If they have not been socialized and are thrust into a tense situation then they may react by biting.

Do not play aggressive games with your dog or allow them to bite you while playing. That reinforces the idea that it is ok to bite a human. What is a play bite to a grown up could seriously injure a child.

Teach your child to always ask the animals owner before petting or playing with it, don t just go up and put your hand toward it head and start petting.

Never run from a dog or startle it while sleeping.

If a dog is threatening you, do not look it in the eyes. Remain still and calm and if possible, back away slowly.

When you or your child are meeting a dog for the first time, let it sniff your hand before trying to pet it. When you do pet it stay away from the head and tail at first, it will calm the dog and let it know that you have friendly intentions. If the dogs growls, do not get any closer to it. If the dog is wagging its tail, it is probably okay.

If these precautions do not work and you are bitten then you should contact an Atlanta dog bite attorney. Some people have lost work or incurred serious debt from medical bills resulting from a dog bite. If the owner is uninsured or is fighting your right for compensation then an Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer can help you. If you cannot find an Atlanta dog bite attorney then an Atlanta personal injury attorney may be able to help you if they have experience in the area.

About the Author: Article was written by Craig Lawson with Clickready Marketing on behalf of The Law Office of Donald W. Singleton. For more information on an

Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney

, visit his website at


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How To Design A Travel Business Using Artificial Intelligence?

What makes a holiday wonderful is those family trips that can help you refresh and spend time with your loved ones, while for travel businesses, this means Gold!

With the market flooded by millennials today, customer tours are on the high. Custom tours are those tour packages that are specifically designed for consumers according to their preferences and schedule. That is the sole reason, consumers search for experiences than the actual hotels.

Today, travel businesses around the world are building experiences rather than tours and travel packages. This has led to the acceptance of intelligent technologies like Artificial Intelligence into the design structure of these experiences.

Intelligent Travel Agents(ITA):

Intelligent Travel Agents or ITA is the amalgamation of ML(Machine Learning) and the travel-purchase behavior of the consumers. This is considered as a radical innovation as it ensures consumer engagement through “Smart Services”.

For example, you are at the airport, waiting for your flight and suddenly your entry gate to the flight is changed, you are instantly notified through an ITA regarding the same, without you even leaving your Social Media site.

ITAs uses machine learning techniques to identify the optimum pricing, comfort, and relevance to any particular traveling activity through real-time data analysis and processing through an algorithm trained for the same.

Take an example of the “Virgin Trains Alexa Skill”, launched in 2018, it allowed the passengers to book their tickets directly from Amazon’s Alexa device. This is a prime example of an ITA operating through an intelligent voice bot.

Travel Intelligence-The Personalized Learning:

Artificial Intelligence technologies have a wide acceptance in the business of tours and travels, due to their ability to learn from the real-time data and come up with unique and relevant solutions for the consumers.

There are three different learning models in the Artificial Intelligence that needs to be explored for designing algorithms that can use real-time data to learn specific travel knowledge and use the same to provide more personalized experiences to the consumers.

These three models are:

  1. Supervised Learning
  2. Unsupervised Learning
  3. Reinforcement Learning

Supervised learning uses the data available to train the machine under human supervision. The unsupervised learning model helps machines to learn on their own without guidance or human intervention. But, reinforcement learning targets a particular dataset for training the machine for specific scenarios.

When it comes to travel intelligence use of any of the above machine learning algorithms can be used based on the type of personalization required.

Real-Time Preferences:

In the travel and tourism business, the necessity of real-time preferences have gained traction. Especially in the costing and expenditure aspects of the business, real-time preferences have played a huge part.

Just take an example of online taxi-booking services, transport is an important aspect of any travel and tourism business and this has been revolutionized through the on-demand business models equipped with ML tools that help dedicated app developed through a mobile app development company to predict the total fare of a ride by taking into account all the real-time preferences of the riders.


Once these intelligent machines account for real-time preferences they tend to self-optimize making the very consumer searching for the right experience to be their travel agent. They provide a bouquet of product bundles in the most optimum possible way.

These machines can convey their bundled packages through a mobile interface, voice assistants or other intelligent means. They also impact the consumer’s travel behaviors and purchase behaviors.

Value-Added Services:

A concierge of services is offered by the tours and travel businesses these days like in-flight support, luggage support, lounge access, hotel transfers, medical support during tours, etc. With travel intelligence, these services can be further enhanced.

As these intelligent machines, use real-time preferences as the reference data to train the algorithm for self-optimization and provide enhanced value-added services.

The Role Of Virtual Personal Assistants:

VPAs or Virtual Personal Assistants are the new revolutionary technology that is changing the fundamentals of the purchase behavior of consumers. Current VPAs in the market are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Home, Google Now, etc. These VPAs understands the natural language voice controls and processes knowledge acquisition.

With the intelligence in their algorithms, these VPAs can be leveraged by the tours and travel businesses to recommend products and activities related to travel. Many enterprises and businesses around the world are already using such technologies for marketing and even sales of the travel business.

Chatbots and Travel Businesses:

Chatbots have become quite useful in the current market scene, as many consumers and travelers always need real-time assistance with their issues during the travel. Chatbots can provide real-time assistance during the travel and also recommend personalized packages to the consumers.

One of the important aspects of intelligent systems is collecting important user’s data, this can be achieved with a series of questionnaires that occur during a chatbot-to-human conversation that almost replicates the natural conversation. Chatbot often excels at natural interactions and collect user’s data that can help the chatbot’s algorithms to learn from them.

Top AI travel companies:

  • Hopper-Boston & Montreal
  • Pana-Denver & Colarado
  • Baarb Inc.-Los Angeles & California
  • UTrip-Seattle & Washington D.C.
  • Claire-San Carlos, California
  • Amtrak-Washington D.C.
  • Hipmunk-San Francisco, California
  • Instalocate-Palo Alto, California
  • Mezi-Sunnyville, California

Signing Off:

The cycle of travel intelligence leading to the integration of real-time preferences and further self-optimization that leads to enhanced value-added services certainly leads to revolutionary change into the travel-distribution and travel-behavior of the travelers. Artificial Intelligence has truly transformed the travel business into something more than a regular business activity.

There are concerns around the data protection and regulation in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technologies that can expose the user’s data to data risks and identity thefts.

But, many regulatory bodies around the world are in the process of developing data regulations for data collection, mining, and analysis in the most secure manner to ensure proper adoption of such intelligent technologies with security and safety. So, if you are into a travel and tourism business, just go for an AI-based model to rip the fruits of intelligent labor!

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Common Causes Of Hip Replacement Complications

By Ricky Bagolie

As total hip replacements become more common, so do complications associated with the procedure. Even leading manufacturers have acknowledged problems related to their own hip implant devices.

Chronic pain and impairment of daily function (such as walking, climbing stairs and even standing up from a sitting position) due to severe hip arthritis are the most common reasons for total hip replacement. Unfortunately, these problems – and worse complications – can re-appear following corrective surgery.

Your physical condition, activity level and weight all play roles in the longevity of a prosthetic hip, as does the accuracy of implant placement during surgery. The risk of complications also increases as you get older.

The most frequent cause of hip replacement failure is dislocation. Your chances of this happening are most likely during the first few weeks after your surgery. If the muscles surrounding your hip are weak or you’re overweight, you’re more prone to dislocation. Your best bet is to avoid strenuous exercise or activities that put stress on your hip in the weeks following your surgery.


Blood clots following surgery are also a possibility. Leg pain and redness – often in the calf area – are sure signs you’ll want to follow up with your surgeon. Blog clots that dislodge and travel to your lungs are dangerous and can lead to death. To reduce your chances of blog clots, incorporate leg exercises into your daily routine.

Loosening of your implant is relatively common and can occur when you have weak bones due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis. Less likely possibilities are infection and breakages of your hip replacement. Infections can be severe because the body is unable to attack bacteria that live on implants. In some cases, removal of the implanted hip is the only way to cure the infection.

In March 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, announced a high failure rate with its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system (the company is in the process of phasing out the device). This failure can cause metal particles to separate from your implant and release into other areas of your body, leading to soft tissue damage, inflammation and even bone loss. The only solution of implant failure is a revision surgery.

Similar problems have also been reported with the Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement component. As a result, sales of the Durom Cup in the United States were suspended.

Lawsuits are currently being investigated nationwide related to hip replacement failures for implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics and Zimmer. If you’re experiencing pain or new problems following your hip replacement surgery and have an implant from one of these manufacturers, you may be eligible for a settlement.

A lawyer experienced in dealing with manufacturers of defective medical devices can help you figure out if your hip complications are the result of a faulty hip implant. In most cases, you can get a free case review to learn your legal options and get the answers you need.

About the Author: A personal injury and workers’ compensation trial lawyer, Ricky Bagolie is co-founder of Bagolie Friedman, LLC, a personal injury law firm with offices in New Jersey, New York and Florida. Get more of his free tips and insider ideas for protecting your rights after an accident at

, as well as information about hip replacement lawsuits at



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Non Homeowner Loans For Individuals Without Security For Collateral

By Kenneth Robert

It is a known fact that our homes mean much more than the simple security of four walls and a roof over our heads. More often than not, a home is a sound investment made by an individual that not only provides him physical security form the outside world but also financial security as and when he needs it, because we all know that house can be one of the best forms of collaterals when we are looking for a secured loan. However, even if you do not happen to own a house yet and are only a tenant, it does not imply that you cannot get financial support when you need it. Many financial lenders have specific provisions for the non homeowner in the form of non homeowner loans, which can come to your rescue when you are faced with a financial crisis.

The non homeowner loans are one of the most feasible forms of unsecured loans that can help any individual who does not have a property to be placed as security against any financial loan which he applies for. Many companies offering such non homeowner loans have their own websites on the internet and they are the best source of information in case you too are a potential buyer looking for unsecured loans. However, as the loans are unsecured due to lack of collateral, they are considered to be a high risk investment for the financial lender and hence, the rates of interest on such loans are usually higher compared to the traditional, secured loans.


So, if you have decided to opt for the non homeowner loans, it is advisable to get a fair picture of the market before you make the final application for the loan. Since most financial lenders will have their own websites, you can easily compare the various rates of interest offered by each lender and judge the terms and conditions of each loan scheme. Only when you are completely satisfied with the offer, should you finally apply for the loan that best suits your financial needs and condition. Usually, the website of the selected lender will have an online application form, which you need to fill up with your basic, personal details and employment history that helps the lender assess your repayment ability.

Once the financial lending agency receives your online application for the non homeowner loans, their executive will get in touch with you promptly. The loan amount is usually transferred to your account within 24 hours of the loan application, but may take up to 2-3 days, depending on the loan mount. As the entire transaction is more or less carried out online, starting form the loan application to the loan repayment, it is hence, one of the most convenient and fast method of getting instant access to ready cash without the security of a house to be put up as collateral against any loan. So, apply now from the comfort of your home or office and say goodbye to all your financial worries.

About the Author: Kenneth Robert is an expert financial advisor therefore he can tell you how to look better, live better and breathe better by giving you tips to improve your finances. To know more about non homeowner loans,No income proof secured loans visit


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Cleaning Tips And Tools

By Edwin M. Leyva

Tips for Cleaning Your Clothes at Home

You dont have to dry clean your delicate clothes all of the time. You will find out that there are a few alternatives to washing nice clothing items.

Find out what material your clothes are made of. The type of material will dictate the type of washing that you can provide. You will likewise determine the right amount of care needed in order to wash the materials.

You might also want to consider washing these materials separate from the other clothes you have. Take your nice clothes and wash them one by one. This is the most ideal set up as different fabrics will require different conditions.


Be aware that cashmere might only be suitable for hand washing with warm water. Avoid putting it into a washing machine even at low speed. The temperature of the water should not be too warm or hot. Very high temperatures can make the clothing item shrink. Shrunken clothing items will be the last things that you want to have.

Wool is another delicate material. Avoid wringing out the excess water when you have to dry it. Letting it air dry is recommended. Wool can be hand or machine-washed. Make sure that you put it to a gentle-wash setting when you have to machine wash it. Cold water is recommended.

Going to specialized leather cleaners will be your best action when you want to clean a leather item. They will have the right knowledge and materials. Leather is very delicate and will require care that will not be readily available in your home.

Another delicate material that you can clean at home is silk. Spot cleaning silken items can be easily done. You can dab the stains and try to remove them. You may also use specialized liquid cleaners. Leave it to the professionals when you have to clean the whole clothing item.

Stains on delicate clothing materials have to be removed as soon as possible. The longer you let them stay, the more difficult it will be for you to remove them. Inspect the clothes that you have before you decide to wash them. You have to take care of stains before you launder your clothes. You risk the chance of making the stain spread if you just wash the whole material.

Be patient and remove the stains only with gentle rubbing. Never rub vigorously as that can damage the material. You are also advised against using hot water on the stains. Another key is removing the stains as soon as possible.

Different stains will require different cleaning methods. For lipstick stains, blot the item with wet cloth. For cotton, you may use alcohol and not risk damaging the material. If there are blood stains, remove them as soon as possible. If the blood has dried as you left it for quite some time, using hydrogen peroxide will help.

Oil is another stain that may be difficult to remove. Your best solution will be to use hot water to remove the stain from the fabric. Make sure that the fabric can withstand the temperature of the water. If you have very delicate fabrics, the temperature of the water can be lowered down.

About the Author: Edwin M. Leyva is a medical practitioner who loves sharing information about

landau scrubs


urbane scrubs free shipping

as well as other subjects.


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Things You Won’t Do For Cash

Submitted by: Marlonhn Noel

The way you operate your home business may possibly also include moral concerns. There are persons who make anything for getting effective. It is up to you to determine if a profitable enterprise does well worth the selling price of pricks of conscience.

Values are private: there are generally people today who really don’t have any predicament performing some thing you’d under no circumstances do. When it arrives to enterprise, only you know where your line in the sand is. There are number of events when you confront with moral dilemmas in an every day conditions, but to test yourself, consult by yourself this question: if there is an activity that issues your private values, and someone would give you a large quantity of revenue to do that activity, what would be your choice? How significantly need to be the volume of funds to improve your thoughts?

Judgement-earning can be a good deal less difficult, if you have the solutions to these “what if” issues. It signifies you know specifically what your moral compass is, and you will not sense resentment for leaving out organization opportunities that don’t match your values. Or you do not come to feel poor about choices you made and turned out to be as well a lot for your rules.


Have you ever before had the feeling that you have been just “hunting and acting the part” in your perform everyday life? Or that in some way you were carrying out activities that played to your weaknesses and left you feeling drained? Or maybe even that “if everyone would just do what I require them to….” it would all be less difficult and greater?

First of all, if you have, you are not alone. As an executive coach, I hear several of my customers express these emotions at various factors in their lives. Some of the indicators of this kind of disconnect in between “the real you” and the “you at work” are:

Overwhelm and Rush. You constantly have also substantially to do, and under no circumstances adequate time to do it, and trying to keep all individuals balls in the air is sporting you out. If you could just add a handful of a lot more hrs to the day it would all get the job done out…

Urgency overload. Almost everything is vital and has to be done now, and even tiny problems come to feel like significant crises.

“Silver bullet” mentality, or “upcoming week/month/year I will be in management…”. This can very easily come to be a pattern in your existence wherever there is normally heading to be time to take pleasure in your everyday living following the subsequent (major contract/marketing/elevate/startup/joint venture/consumer). It will all be better as quickly as….

Externally-driven Aims and Priorities. This seems like striving for goals and focusing on priorities that will garner exterior recognition, like a title, an revenue stage, an award – simply because of what other individuals will think of you when you get there.

The worst component is that these signs or symptoms are inclined to feed 1 another, and you can discover on your own in a spiral of pressure extremely rapidly. I simply call this the “Driven Life”.

But, there is an option I phone the “Purposeful Life”, and its signs consist of:

About the Author: Bitoech driven firms assessment.


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Umbrella Companies: Quick Tips}

Submitted by: Ed Lebbon

People nowadays simply leave the comforts of their office jobs for the freedom and flexibility of freelancing or becoming self-employed. It may be easy but have you ever though t of the long term liabilities involved such as tax affairs and accounting issues? Sure working on your own terms maximizes the time and increases the effort you have for the maximum amount of money you earn, however, there are always legal issues that one must deal with.

The only choice contractors, freelancers and the self-employed have would be to go through an umbrella company. Basically umbrella companies handle all the tedious paperwork involved in tax affairs and accounting issues. They make sure you become tax-efficient and that you comply with legislation’s of the HMRC and you are also IE35 compliant so you wont have to worry about the tax man knocking on your door.

There are a few things freelancers should have in mind when selecting a company because this is not like picking off the best looking candy at the store. First, aside from making sure they are compliant with tax legislation’s and laws, do make sure that there are no hidden fees such as entry or exit fees. Check out if they have penalties or minimum term commitments. Companies such as these are not a good option. Contractors should have the freedom to terminate their own contract without paying any ridiculous fees.

Watch out for companies with flashy words such as special expense dispensation. Dont believe companies that say they would process your claimed expenses without receipts. This would be a big no-no. The HMRC investigates all expense claims and once found out that there are no receipts to your claims then youd be in big trouble and not the company. Lessen the trouble by sticking to companies that ask for receipts. We wouldnt want the tax man barging in your front door.

The best companies offer contractors a full employment status. Why so? Being deemed as fully employed under the contract of an umbrella company gives you full benefits like those working under a regular contract at an actual office job. Meaning what? You get all the sick and holiday pays, leaves such as paternity and maternity leaves plus more. Others include minimum wage and pension provisions.

Companies should have an easy to reach portal or website where you can easily ask for help from their customer service representatives. Another thing to take note of when choosing a company is the business insurance they would likely offer. This covers your injuries while on the contract.

It is not a requirement for companies but some offer perks. These perks include gift certificates or gift vouchers. Some simply use it as a marketing strategy to get you to join them. Some offer childcare vouchers. These would be of great help for contractors, freelancers or self-employed individuals with kids. Childcare vouchers aid you to get NIC and full tax that greatly minimize costs on childcare.

Remember that in choosing a company that suits you, go with those your friends would recommend. Do a search online and check out those with great comments or referral rates. Getting the right company that best suits the structure of your work is always best.

There are a lot of companies but to help you save time then you should look no further than Access-a. Access-a is comprised of a team of experts equipped with the knowledge and expertise on tax affairs and issues. We make sure our solutions make each contractor 100% tax-efficient plus we make our solutions future-proof meaning it would easily be changed in cases were legislative changes occur.

We offer the best, easy and impartial tax advice to our contractors. Aside from doing all the paperwork regarding all the tax affairs in your business, we make sure you reclaim all expenses incurred in the business. Our 24-hour portal is ready to serve you which also include your own account manager. You get access to all your work records and expenses plus monitor all payments made, payments due and funds received. With over 15 years experience, we are fully compliant with the HMRC and the IE35. All you have to worry about is the time you need for work. Well worry about your tax you and else that is left to do is for you to put your feet up.

About the Author: Ed Lebbon is the owner of Access-a Umbrella Company, Access-a is an umbrella company offering the benefits of a limited company without the administration or statutory responsibilities.To know more about Umbrella Companies visit our website at


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The Importance Of Healthy Dog Treats

It wasnt so many years ago when dog treats consisted more or less solely of milk bones, fatty biscuits, and table scraps. Not many options, and virtually none that were healthy. Well, times have definitely changed! Nowadays, savvy pet owners choose dog treats that include greenies, healthy biscuits, and gourmet bones.Not only are there more options for now, the quality has improved significantly in recent years as well. And with the Internet boom, finding the best biscuits and bones for your puppy is as easy and tapping a few keystrokes. Its important to note that many pet owners are now advocates of healthier dog treats for monetary reasons as well. They realize that, while they tend to cost more, healthy treats and food actually save money in the long run. A healthier diet over a lifetime results in less disease and illness in senior dogs, which means a smaller vet bill.Its never too early to start feeding healthy dog treats. Puppy training often includes using a treat to reward good behavior. In one session alone, you might give your little trainee 6-10 rewards, maybe even more. Make them healthy biscuits, cookies, or bones, and youll be giving your pet a nutritious foundation for a better life.Experiment with several different kinds of dog treats and youll quickly learn which are your puppys favorites. Unlike humans when we diet, dogs seem to enjoy the healthier biscuits and bones every bit as much as the bad ones. If only we were so lucky!

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Hello From Ottawa: Getting In Touch With Farming At The Canadian Agriculture Museum

By Susanne Pacher

After my very interesting introduction to sheep shearing and all sorts of wool processing techniques I had a chance to link up with David Sutin who is the Communications, Marketing and Farm Operations Manager for the Canada Agriculture Museum. In fact, Ottawa is the only world capital that has a working farm at its heart. David volunteered to give me a personal tour through the various facilities of the Museum and we started with the Dairy Barn. Right when you come in is an area for the “dry cows”: these are pregnant animals that stop giving milk in the two months before giving birth. David explained to me that the gestation period of cows is very similar to that of humans: 9 months.

David elaborated that male calves get moved into the sale barn and sadly enough, eventually they end up being processed into veal. On the other hand, the Museum keeps the female calves so they can grow up into milk cows. The Canada Agriculture Museum is home to a variety of different dairy cattle breeds and the most productive of them all are Holsteins. Jersey cows were imported from islands in the British Channel and I was just amazed at the beautiful faces and the huge, long-lashed eyes of these cows. The Canadienne cows were brought over from Europe by immigrants from France since they are hardier and better able to withstand the harsh Canadian winters although they are not highly efficient milk producers.

Every day the herdspersons at the Museum milk the cows at 6 am and 3:45 pm. The electric milking machines are connected to an overhead pipe system that leads into a 2500 liter storage tank where all the milk from the cows is collected and cooled to a temperature of 0 to 5 degrees Celsius. The milk is agitated for even cooling. Each cow actually drinks a bathtub of water everyday and produces 30 liters of milk. The milk of the cows is picked up every couple of days by the milk truck. David explained when a cow is sick and receiving antibiotic treatment, the milk is not allowed to be collected and actually gets washed down the drain.

We then continued into the maternity area that is also used for isolating sick animals. David mentioned that occasionally cows will suffer from a “twisted flipped stomach” (a cow’s stomach actually consists of 4 separate parts) and this condition requires surgery. The veterinarian opens the cow’s side with a 30 cm cut, manually twists the stomach back to the correct position and sews it onto to the abdomen wall. The whole procedure doesn’t take much more than an hour and is performed right in the barn, definitely not under sterile conditions. But the animals always seem to come out okay.

The cow barn is not air conditioned and in the summer it gets pretty warm in the building. At night the cows are taken across the property to a night pasture where they are allowed to graze the whole night and they are taken back into the barn by 6 am. Year round the cows are fed “corn silage” which is made of ground up corn plants, stalks and all. The entire milk production is a big revenue producer for the Museum and offsets some of the operating costs.


From the Dairy Barn we went into an exhibition area that featured a variety of samples of historic farm machinery. The “Beck Circus”, dating back to 1912, was a piece of demonstration equipment that was used to show how electricity could make a farmer’s life easier. The Hydro-Electric Power Commission came up with this contraption to show farmers the operation of a variety of electrically powered devices, e.g. vacuum pumps for milking machines, a rocker churn to make butter, a feed grinder, a windmill pump and an electrical washing machine. These were the early days of electrical power when most farm work was still done completely manually, only assisted with the help of farm animals. It’s hard to imagine how the quality of life of farmers must have improved with the advent of electric power.

David took me to an exhibition of farm tractors: originally they were large, powerful yet very dangerous machines. Through various technical innovations they were still large and even more powerful, but they became much safer to operate since working parts were no longer exposed. The Canada Agriculture Museum features a variety of tractors. One of the exhibits is hands-on; you can actually climb up into a tractor’s seat, flick the switch and experience the bumpy, bone-jarring uncomfortable ride of an old-style tractor with metal wheels. Then you change the setting and you see the difference of how much smoother the ride is with rubber wheels. Another innovation that we don’t even think about today that made life so much easier for farmers.

Another tractor was actually a hybrid vehicle from the 1930s, consisting of a car chassis and motor carriage that was converted into a farm tractor. Apparently the vehicle was neither particularly adept at being a passenger vehicle nor at being a tractor. The next big innovation on display was the “Cockshutt Tractor”, built in Brantford, Ontario, which could have a manure spreader or other implement behind that was powered by the tractor’s engine without the necessity for the tractor to be moving. This technology was called the “independent power takeoff” and a significant Canadian innovation during the 1940s.

The next piece of equipment was a specialized tractor used in vegetable fields which had a very slender nose and an engine mounted in the rear of the vehicle. The slender frontal portion would allow the farmer to see the vegetable planting much better. One of the popular displays at the Canada Agriculture Museum is a tractor simulator donated by the John Deere Company. You can climb up into the cab, look ahead through the windshield onto a simulated farmer’s field and the simulator rocks you around in the cab as if you were in a real tractor ploughing the field. David explained that today’s tractors actually have sophisticated GPS (global positioning systems) which keep track of which areas the farmer has already covered during planting so they don’t go over the same area twice or miss other spots.

The machinery exhibit area includes a variety of quizzes with questions such as what would be the link to agriculture of a variety of everyday items. Diapers, photo film and other products we commonly use actually contain agricultural by-products, and we don’t even associate them at all with farming operations. It’s amazing how many items we take for granted in our daily lives and how many of them are derived from agricultural products.

Then David took me into the Small Animal Barn which houses the pigs, chickens, rabbits, sheep and goats of the Museum. Currently the Museum has one ram and 17 ewes that all have one to three lambs per year. Apparently pigs are surprisingly clean animals, they have a special designated area in their pens for bodily functions and they keep their living area totally clean. David showed me the birth area for the pigs which is called a “farrowing crate”. It is a metal contraption that ensures that the mother pig doesn’t squash the new born piglets, a very real danger with these sizeable animals.

On the way to the barn he explained that although the Canada Agriculture Museum is a great place for animals, they are still working on improving the facilities for the human visitors. One of the recent improvements is a big playground for children which will make the Canada Agriculture Museum an even more popular destination for young families.

Throughout the year, the Canada Agriculture Museum offers a comprehensive calendar of activities. I found out that the Museum is open 364 days a year with the exception of Christmas Day. All the facilities are fully accessible from March to October and during the winter months admission actually is free.

Some highlights of the calendar include activities during Easter where you can see rabbits, newborn lambs and newly-hatched chicks, not to forget the Easter egg hunt. Mother’s Day (with free admission for all mothers) centers on “farm mothers”, female animals that provide us with milk, eggs and meat. I of course already caught the Sheep Shearing Festival on the Victoria Day Weekend.

Special activities continue with Father’s Day where all fathers get free admission so they can enjoy the Tractors exhibition. Canada Day activities focus on the Canadian Horse while there are fun and informative demonstrations all throughout the summer months. Fall welcomes visitors with October Harvest Weekends and special Halloween events and from November 1 to February 28 admission to the museum is free altogether. In addition to regular visitor programs, there are a variety of School Programs that encourage teachers to bring children to the Canada Agriculture Museum to learn and experience a working farm in the middle of the city.

On our way out of the Museum David mentioned that the Museum will have a brand new exhibition starting in March of 2007 called “Food for Health” which will deal with making wise food choices, food handling and various other nutrition-related topics. So that just means that next time I come to Ottawa I’ll have something new to discover…

About the Author: Susanne Pacher is the publisher of, a web portal for unconventional travel & cross-cultural connections. Check out our brand new FREE ebooks about travel.


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