Fast and Furriest Is Much More Than a Timed 5K Run & 1M Walk With Your Dog

Most Dogs Are Natural Networkers 

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Your neighborhood is filled with dog lovers. In the United States, nearly half of all households, 44 percent, include at least one dog according to the American Pet Products Association. Not only are dogs great companions, they help connect their owners to their communities and people who enjoy being outdoors with their pets.

Just visit a park to see what I mean. Pets are natural networkers introducing their owners to a variety of possibilities. FF-group-336x223I recall a dog park visit where I met a woman and her pet visiting for the first time. Hank was met with wagging tails. Hank’s owner had just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups and celebrations including the job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank helps her meet people, network and explore their new neighborhood.

You see, Hank loves to exercise with his owner. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us made sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets. I want to make sure you know about it too whether you have a pet or not! ffThe 9th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights. The run is the Saint Louis original dog-owner professionally-timed race. Others with or without pets will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace or activities on the grounds. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family! There will be food trucks, vendors in addition to the activities. This major fundraiser for homeless pets in the Saint Louis area is sponsored by Purina.

Great FFYou can take a gamble on the 1 mile Pooch Poker Walk, which offers a more leisurely pace with the added fun of creating your best possible poker hand along the way. Both the 5K and 1M come complete with a race t-shirt and the best goody bag in town. There are special awards for fastest runners in each age group and for the fastest overall male and female dogs. But you don’t have to have a dog to get in on the fun.

FF%Collecting pledges for your participation with your pooch is another way to involve your friends and family while increasing your impact to help pets. A generous donor is matching all the pledges at the Fast and Furriest to raise double the amount for homeless pets at the APA Adoption Center. The top fundraiser will lead the race and gets a grand prize

It is easy to get registered and be a part of this fun mission to help pets. This is the link to learn more, register and invite pledges or visit the APA’s website at apamo.org.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to spend some quality time with your pup, get some exercise, help homeless pets and meet great people who love dogs. I’ll be there and I hope you will too!

FF3

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.