Monthly Archives: June 2013

Jean Philippe Bli SUMMER ACRE

My ACRE presentation was great. I ‘m doing a research on Economic Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries: A Case Study of Ivory Coast, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The Objective of this research is to analyze economic problems in those three countries, create an econometric model and propose convenient solution for a durable economic growth.Image

Jean Philippe Bli

Jean Philippe Bli

ACRE

My ACRE presentation was great. I ‘m doing a research on Economic Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries: A Case Study of Ivory Coast, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The Objective of this research is to analyze economic problems in those three countries, create an econometric model and propose convenient solution for a durable economic growth.

Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece to Yarn

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            The first step in cleaning any fleece is picking all of the organic matter (hay, seeds, plants, poo, etc.) out of it. The point of this is to get as much dirt out as you can before you actually wash it. Any of the smaller pieces that you can’t get out eventually come out through the washing, carding, and spinning processes.

            Professor Trimpey and I took the fleeces that we got from the Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery and picked the organic matter out of them. We were lucky because both of the fleeces that Sue gave us were pretty clean. First, we laid out the white ewe’s fleece. We began grabbing chunks of it and shaking it to see how much dirt we could get out that way and then we picked out any larger pieces that we saw. When you work with a fleece, it is important that you pull it apart rather then cut it because you don’t want to shorten of cut up the fibers in any way. Although this part of the cleaning process doesn’t sound all that glamorous, it became really fun and exciting when the neighbors and people walking by came over to see what we were doing. We were able to share with them everything that we learned so far and our experiences of visiting sheep farms and speaking with shepherdesses. One of the neighbors even pulled up a chair and helped us pick out the organic matter.

            When Professor Trimpey and I laid out the ram’s brown fleece, we could see which parts of the fleece came off of certain parts of the ram’s body. He had a collar of clean white hair around the neck region.  We noticed that the large, cleaner portion of the fleece must have been from the back. The fleece that came off of the stomach had a lot more seed/hay matter and, much like the fleece that came off the rear, was a bit muddier. We could see the large amount of crimp in the fibers which makes it so much easier when you go to spin. We also saw where the shearer had gone back for “seconds.” Seconds or “chops” are short little cuts that result when the shearer can’t cut all of the fleece in one shot.  Seconds are too short to be useful in spinning.

The next step in the process is the cleaning and washing of the fleece. Stay tuned to read about our experience with washing and how we managed to make a “contraption” on which to dry all of it.

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Have YOU Found Your Life’s Work?

Have YOU Found Your Life’s Work?

FastCompany posts articles on a variety of work-related subjects, and this one particularly caught our eye. Have you found a position that allows you to grow and truly makes you happy? How did you know it was the job for you? Many people say they “work for the weekend,” but if you’ve found your life’s work, then weekends are merely a break before going back to a place that makes you happy!

Christina Daniels, Corporate Intern for Store Operations at American Eagle

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So I have just finished week 3 at my internship, and last week was crazy!  We had a Distict Managers (DM) Conference.  They hold these conferences once a year to give the DMs and update on the company and what is in-store for the year to come.  It lasted for 4 days and it was a little crazy.  It was hosted at a nearby hotel. I mostly did whatever needed helping with like setting up tables, passing out freebies (like sweatshirts, jeans, journals, iPads…).  And it really was alot of fun! Since I was an associate at Aerie before I came, it is really cool to see the other side of things.  I definitely think that working at Aerie has helped me alot during the internship.  Since my department is basically communications between corporate and store, I am able to understand some inner workings that involved the team or associates without the team having to explain them to me.  For example,  the company uses a communication program “ePlan” and also has “AETV” which is a weekly TV show that helps train associates on new bras, jeans and selling practices.  Coming from an associate, the TV shows were actually pretty helpful!!  I will even have the opportunity to be on the TV show next Friday!!  It will be an Aerie video.  I am not sure what the focus of the video is yet, but I am super excited!!

Here is a photo of one of the presentations at the conference

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This was a Photo area at the conference where you could take your picture and hashtag it #customerfirst.  It is part of a new campaign they are running to include associates that work at AE and Aerie locations.  They will then compile all the pictures around the end of summer to create a huge American Eagle logo to put in stores!

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So now that the conference is over, we are mostly working on clean up.  Sending decor back, returning bust forms and clothing used, and re-organizing the store experience closet with all the extra freebies they handed out (the iPads go back to the Tech team of course).  We have a few new people joining the Store Ops team too! One started this week during the conference (I can’t even imagine!!) and another will be joining us next week.  My mentor said that I will be on-boarding (training) with the new girls so I can learn more about how Store Operations works exactly.

 

I also had my evaluations.  We are requires to do one touch base or TB a week with our mentor.  It could be anything we want like a check-up on a project, answer questions you may have or to ask how you are doing.  Then every two weeks, HR sends us a self evauation we must fill out.  There are five different categories we must rate ourselves and comment on.  We then forward it to our mentor who then does the same.  Our mentor has a meeting with HR about the self evaluation to discuss, and then afterwards has a meeting with their intern.  They are VERY thorough here!  But I like that.  It makes it a definite growing and learning opportunity.  So I had my first TB and self evaluation, both of which went really well!  My mentor is one of the head honchos in store ops so he is was really busy before conference.  He said that I was very self sufficient which he was busy with conference which is a really good quality to have, but he can see that being a weakness later on.  That there may be learning opportunities I may miss because of my self reliance.  He also said that I have been a great team player and have been awesome working with everyone in store ops to get what needs to be done, done.  I get tasks done very efficiently and am very detail oriented, which is good because my mentor said he isn’t good with the details.  He also said I show amazing enthusiasm for the brand and the position and am good at balancing my professional side and my fun side with the team.  He said that is important because they all joke around in the office and are all friends inside and out of the workplace.  So it is nice to see that I am able to balance and realize when I do need to be professional and get things done.  All SUCH GOOD FEEDBACK!!! I was so excited.  So that’s all for now!  I’ll write again next week to tell of how AETV went!!!

Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece to Yarn

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After Sue at the Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery took us around her sheep pens, she took us into her milking area. Sue weans the lambs off of their mothers after they are about 30 days old. The ewes are then milked in a milking area using milking machines. The milk is sterilized in vats and turned into a variety of cheeses. Professor Trimpey and I bought some cheese curds from the local market where Sue sells some of her cheese. We also bought a small wheel of cheese from Sue directly and we plan on having a cheese tasting party in the near future.

            Sue’s milking room was packed with 40 fleeces from the sheep that had been most recently sheared. The rest of her fleece was stored in the old barn and according to Sue, it was filled top to bottom with bags of fleece. She let us look through them and showed us the different colors of fleeces and also informed us about the importance of crimp in the fibers. The more crimp a fiber has, the easier it is to spin. Sue also said that you can predict how hot/cold a winter or summer will be by the amount of fleece a sheep grows. The fleece will be thicker and longer if it is going to be a very cold and bitter winter or a mild summer. This past winter was very hard and cold and the lambs who normally give off 8 to 10 ponds fleeces were giving 13 and 14 pound fleeces. Sue sold us two fleeces. One is from an East Friesian ram. It is black with auburn highlight and long fibers that curl at the edges and almost look like dreadlocks. The other fleece is from a French Lacaune ewe and is white with some bits of grey.

            The best part of our trip was meeting little Mouse. Mouse is a lamb who was the runt of his family. He was about 4 days old when we saw him and about only 4 pounds. Sue kept him in the milking room in a box and had her assistant bottle feed him because he was just too small to be out in the field with the rest of the sheep. Sue said that he was the smallest lamb ever born, but he wasn’t premature and was fully developed and healthy. Mouse only wanted to play and he ran around the milking room the entire time we were there. He was all black with a little white spot on his head. Professor Trimpey and I each had a chance to hold him. His fleece was so soft and he was so precious. All in all, it was a great trip. We had so much fun and we’d like to thank Sue for welcoming us, showing us around, giving us great information, and for just the wonderful experience in general.

Here are pictures of some of the fleece.

 

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Meet Mouse!

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I made sheep cupcakes just for fun!

 

Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece to Yarn

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One Saturday morning at about 5am Professor Trimpey and I got up while the moon was still out, piled into the car, and started our drive 300mi north of Cedar  City into the Ogden Valley Mountains into a town called Eden in search of the Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery. I found the creamery while doing some preliminary research online about sheep farms in Utah while writing the proposal for our ACRE. The creamery seemed like the perfect place to go because they had a large flock of sheep consisting of a few different breeds and sold fleece as well as cheese.

When we arrived in Eden after about a 4 and a half hour ride, we had a little trouble finding the creamery. We eventually pulled up to an unmarked ranchet and knocked on all of the doors. We were beginning to think that we had come all that way to find that the creamery was closed when Sue (the shepherdess) pulled up the driveway. We told her about our project and she was so excited to tell us about her sheep and give us the grand tour. She also informed us that she was in the middle of lambing season and of her 180 ewes, 20 still had to lamb. She had to leave to go bottle feed one of the new born lambs, but we made arrangements to come back an hour later for the tour.

Sue has three different types of sheep on her farm: Icelandic, East Friesian, and French Lacaune. She crossbreeds her sheep as a part of a special project with the state of Utah to create a new breed of sheep with optimum fiber length and bulk for meat. Sue had two gorgeous great pyrenees dogs to guard her sheep and protect them from threats such as mountain lions and bears. The dogs were so sweet with Sue and when you were on the outside of the fence, but they are ferocious when there are unwanted intruders.

On the tour, we got to see so many of the babies. Some of the lambs were only hours old and they were so cute. One of the East Friesian ewes lambed while we were there. Ewes normally have 2-3 lambs at a time. The first lamb made it out perfectly, but the second lamb didn’t survive. It was most likely a breach birth during which, the lamb can die if someone doesn’t pull it out quickly in one pull. The lamb can take its first breath inside the womb and drown on the fluids. Sue believes that lambs can become breached due to shearing and how you have to turn the sheep over to shear it. It was a sad sight, but the rest of the trip was amazing.

Stay tuned for the next entry where I will talk more about our trip at the Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery and the wonderful surprise that was the cherry on top of our trip.

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Top 20 Internships

Top 20 Internships

Yahoo Finance and Glassdoor joined forces to present the Top 20 Internship locations from across the US. They based their information on pay, company perks, and pros and cons as posted on Glassdoor from real people who interned at each place. Although mainly focused on business and IT, it may help everyone get some insight. It’s up to you to decide what is most important to you at an internship!  So what do you think? What are you looking for in your internship?

Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece to Yarn

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Professor Trimpey and I did some research on sheep types and how to begin cleaning a fleece before we ventured over to Beryl, UT to Linda’s (Owner of R Ewe Spinning) sheep farm. I hit the books at the Cedar City Library and found some interesting facts about raising sheep and the type of fiber they produce like the fact that sheep can  be categorized by coat type (wool or hair) or fiber type (fine, short, medium, long, or carpet). Professor Trimpey found some rather interesting and entertaining articles and videos, one video being of a woman cleaning a fleece in her bathtub using soda bottles. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz_4Yu49Iso

            We had a fun ride on the way down to Beryl. All along the road there were these adorable baby prairie dogs that decided to tempt fate and run back and forth across the street. We even stopped to get some pictures of them. The prairie dogs are a nuisance to people who live in the area because of the harm they can do to people’s property, but we loved them.

            Linda had about thirty Hampshire and Suffolk sheep on her farm, including some adorable lambs. All of Linda’s sheep had white coats and dark faces. The Hampshire is a breed of sheep that is typically a meat sheep because it is broad and bulky. The Suffolk breed of sheep is thinner and longer. My favorite of Linda’s sheep was the smallest one of the bunch. He had a bit of a Napoleon complex and stood on top of an overturned tub in the middle of the farm so he could see out over everybody.

It is obvious that Linda loves being a shepherdess and she was so willing to give us information about her sheep and the cleaning/spinning process. She even surprised us and had us help her in cleaning a fleece so that we could really understand the process. We got to practice on Doc’s, one of the Hampshire rams, fleece. We found out that you have to pick all of the vegetation or organic matter out of the fleece and do several rinses of the fleece (with and without soap) in hot water to break down the lanolin (grease on the wool) She cautioned us to never change the temperature of the water from hot to cold or agitate the fleece otherwise we’d end up with a pile of felt. After our visit with Linda, we felt ready to try what we had learned on our own.

This is a prairie dog poking its head out of the ground.

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These are photos of Professor Trimpey and Linda’s sheep.

 

 

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This is a picture of some fleece that hadn’t been washed and the part of the fleece that we washed. Can you see the difference?

 

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