An Animal Adventure Can Be Found at Your Area Pet Adoption Center or Shelter

Pet Adoption Centers Offer Fun and Learning Activities for Families

 

You expect to see pets at your local animal adoption center, but often it seems there are as many smiling faces of people at some Saint Louis area adoption agencies as there are eager animals waiting for a home.

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Scouts cuddle puppies

Many animal agencies are also centers for learning and community events centered on animals. For example, the APA Adoption Center in suburban Saint Louis welcomes civic, community, school and scouting groups almost every day. There are tours of the facility, classes on pet care and training, and even pet themed parties where puppies, kittens, pigs and even miniature horses might show up.

No matter your age, there is always something new to learn about pets, animal legislation, safety and the therapeutic value of animal visits to hospitals and health care facilities. It is exciting how many animal lovers want to reach out and support animal programs and pet initiatives. Local animal centers and shelters are at the forefront of this community outreach and education.

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Another Saint Louis area animal rescue center also offers a variety of programs for all ages. One of Stray Rescue’s newer community initiatives uses certified therapy dogs to help young people between the ages of 6 and seventeen develop empathy, compassion and critical thinking skills. This program is aimed at young people from juvenile court system at this time. Stray Rescue’s Redirect Kids program includes one-on-one mentoring and focuses on helping at risk youth stay in school.

Across the country, adoption centers and shelters are putting the power of pets to work to connect with people on behalf of a number of community issues including education, anti-bullying and domestic violence initiatives

Animal adoption agencies and shelters are a great place for families to get involved in the community while learning and having fun. The Saint Louis County Adoption Center is a part of many events for families including an egg hunt for dogs scheduled for around Easter every year. The center brings adoptable pets out to meet the public at events year around.

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It doesn’t have to be a special event to be part of the mission to save a life. For example, during spring break and school vacation some families organize scavenger hunt competitions for things pet adoption agencies have on their wish lists. Or scouts who are learning about pet care and animal safety, get experience making pet toys and beds. Visit an animal adoption center near you soon, it’s a great way to get in some puppy play and cat cuddling and you never know who you’ll see!

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Food & Agriculture Businesses in 16 States Eligible for Exporting Funding

Demand for U.S. food and agricultural products in overseas markets is stronger than ever, and U.S. agricultural exports are expected to reach $95.5 billion in 2009, despite the global downturn. Many small and medium-sized agricultural businesses are turning to exporting as a way to increase sales, but find that marketing their products can be costly. However, the Market Access Program (MAP) Branded offers matching funds to small companies to help relieve some of the budget strain as these firms strive to increase sales in potentially lucrative foreign markets.

MAP Branded provides reimbursement for half the cost of many promotional activities in markets across the globe, including television commercials, in-store promotions, required package and label changes, and other marketing efforts.

The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) provided MAP Branded funding to more than 70 small companies in 2008, with participants reporting $118 million in sales as a result of their promotions. SUSTA is now accepting applications for the 2010 Branded program, so companies may get a head start on planning their overseas promotional activities for next year.
 

Firms based in the following states may apply for funding through SUSTA: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma,
Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

 MAP Branded is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and administered to southern U.S. companies by SUSTA. To be eligible for the Branded program, companies must be considered small according to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) standards, have yearly sales of at least $100,000, and promote a brand-name product that is at least 50% U.S. agricultural origin.

Businesses  applying for MAP Branded funds can download the
Pre-Qualification Form on the SUSTA website at
http://www.susta.org/services/map_application.html.

For more information, contact your state’s Department of Agriculture or the SUSTA office at (504)568-5986.