By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaSince her unusual start in a Petri dish, KC has matured into a very normal cow. And on the last day of 2005, she routinely gave birth to Moonshine, her second calf.“KC has done just like every other cow out there and produced a calf within 12 to 13 months of her last calf,” said Steve Stice, the University of Georgia scientist who directed the team of scientists who cloned KC. “Moonshine and Sunshine (KC’s firstborn) were both normal pregnancies and were delivered without assistance, which is important to commercial cow-calf operations that will be using cloning to improve the quality, diseases resistance and productivity of their herds.”KC is different from other cloned cows because she is the first to be cloned from kidney cells taken from a frozen side of beef. The others have been formed from living animals, Stice said.“Right now there are probably a lot of cloned cows out there having calves,” he said, “which is a good thing because it proves cloned cows do have normal offspring.”The public is still wary of cloned cows. Around the time Moonshine’s sister, Sunshine, was born in December 2004, polls indicated that nearly 60 percent of U.S. consumers opposed cloning animals, including livestock.Stice hopes that will eventually change.“The Food and Drug Administration has still not given their approval on cloned animals entering the food chain,” he said. “They have the data they need to give the clearance but other issues may be slowing this down. Once the FDA acts, I think it will mark the beginning of wider acceptance of cloned animals.”Stice is a Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar and one of the world’s top cloning experts. He conducted the cloning research with the biotechnology firm ProLinia Inc., which was later bought by ViaGen Inc.Since cattle were first domesticated, farmers have been trying to improve their herds through selective breeding. Cloning can speed up the process by allowing scientists to make exact copies of the desired animals and their traits.According to UGA agricultural specialist Joseph Durham, Moonshine came into the world weighing 70 pounds. And although KC did all the work, various animal and dairy science faculty members got to name the new calf. “We did a survey of the animal and dairy science department,” Stice said, “and Moonshine came up on several suggestions.” They decided to move away from the disco theme that started when Sunshine was named after the rhythm and blues group, KC and the Sunshine Band. But Stice recalls that Boogie Shoes, a hit song from the band, was one of the names suggested.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
“Without having the festival, that’s a huge economic loss for the Village of Owego. When you’re talking about usually bringing in 20,000 people to our downtown, and providing opportunities for outside vendors to come in, for our own businesses in the village, it’ll be a huge loss for us,” said President of the Historic Owego Marketplace, Bradley Crews. “With an event like ours, you have to have a mass gathering permit in New York State. It’s issued by the Department of Health. We finally came to the conclusion that it’s highly unlikely we’re going to get that level of the permit we need by June,” said co-chair of the event, Wendy Post. “We got flooded by the business upstairs, so we lost our equipment. We closed in November, and we had just opened up two Tuesdays before this all hit,” said Pidcoe. 2020 would have been the 40th anniversary of the event, which typically draws tens of thousands of people. “We’re purchasing gift certificates from as many businesses as we can, we’re putting them online, you can look at our pages to figure out how to win one of those,” said Crews. Crews also says the business community will continue to focus on recovering at this time, and working toward a vision of what downtown Owego will look like as businesses reopen. With the festival postponed due to the coronavirus, many Owego businesses are feeling the economic pressure now, more than ever. (WBNG) — Owego’s beloved annual event, the Strawberry Festival, has been postponed until next year. Local printing and art shop business owner, John Pidcoe, says he’s feeling the loss, as he’s already started printing signs for businesses attending the festival. He says he’s already had a few hits to this business, and this is just another one. The Historic Owego Marketplace says they’re doing everything they can to support businesses like Pidcoe’s. If you would like to enter to win a gift card, visit this link.