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SIEHLPRIZE: By honoring excellence, the Siehl Prize enlightens public awareness and knowledge of agriculture, and encourages accomplished professionals to extend their leadership throughout the world. Eldon Siehl felt it was important that we all come to learn the names of those people — to put a face on agricultural achievements. Nominate an ag achiever today:  NOMINATE  (SPONSORED: U of M's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
 
BUFFERS: via Red River Farm Network, VERBATIM: “The Minnesota buffer initiative has already caused plenty of heartburn in farm country. Bruce Kleven, who represents agriculture groups in St. Paul, says buffers have become one of the biggest issues for agriculture in the past decade. "There is a lot of angst and a lot of discussion by the farm groups on this. I think this might be the beginning. We have three more years of the current Administration, which has indicated there will be a water summit in February. There is going to be more to come for us." Kleven expects the Legislature to revisit the buffer issue in the 2016 session. In particular, Kleven cites a phrase ‘within the benefited area.’ "That could include private ditches," said Kleven, "That was never under discussion in the final hours last year, but once the Legislature left town, the DNR, BWSR and the Administration looked at that language and said the benefited area is everything that feeds into the public ditch so we can get those, too." The Minnesota legislative session starts in March.” READ: http://bit.ly/1RIOLY8
 
COOL: via Mark Dorenkamp at Brownfield Ag News, VERBATIM: “The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee says he supports voluntary Country of Origin Labeling even though the House passed a bill to fully repeal COOL earlier this year. Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson tells Brownfield a voluntary approach would be compliant with the World Trade Organization, allowing the U.S. to avoid retaliation by Canada and Mexico. In June, the House Ag Committee met to vote on COOL the same day Peterson says the National Farmers Union changed its position… He says House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway of Texas hasn’t backed off a full repeal of COOL. ‘I’m not sure if they can get that (full repeal) through the Senate, so we’ll just have to see what ends up happening.’” LISTEN/READ: http://bit.ly/1NgvfPu
 
GMO: via Mikkel Pates at Agweek, VERBATIM: “The region's beet farmers don't want to hear it, but leaders of co-ops are spending time preparing them to imagine a world without Roundup Ready sugar beets, even while fighting to keep the technology. Kurt Wickstrom, president and CEO of Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, addressing the co-op's 43rd annual meeting in Fargo on Tuesday, said the company is planning to combat food safety perceptions… He said the co-op is also involving some of its farm wives as spokespeople in a national program to help turn the tide of public opinion… About 55 percent of U.S. sugar is produced by sugar beets, which are nearly 99 percent Roundup Ready, a GMO trait. Scientific studies beet sugar chemically is no different than sugarcane sugar, which is not GMO.  QUOTE: "We are taking it seriously," Wickstrom said of GMO market criticisms. Farmers don't want to go back to the "old technology," of conventional varieties, which would take time to develop. "We're going to provide our food company partners some data that shows that Roundup Ready sugar production is a much more sustainable way to produce sugar" than with conventional beets or cane, Wickstrom said.” READ: http://bit.ly/1HYSzmc
 
MORE: via Philip Brasher at Agri-Pulse, VERBATIM: “With chances for a year-end deal on GMO labeling dwindling, the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee said it would be a top priority early next year. But the industry was mounting an advertising campaign aimed at salvaging the legislation before Congress breaks for the year. “I think it will be the first thing we have to work on in January,” Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told Agri-Pulse on Thursday. Food-makers and agriculture interests are desperate for Congress to block a Vermont GMO labeling law from taking effect in July. However, negotiations on federal legislation bogged down over what Stabenow described as a disagreement over whether electronic disclosure of biotech ingredients should be mandatory.” READ: http://bit.ly/1OmfKDx
 
MILK: via Jim Dickrell at AgWeb, VERBATIM: “With processing plants at capacity across much of the Midwest, a shrinking basis is causing milk checks to contract at a time when every penny counts. In Minnesota, the milk price basis—the difference between the mailbox price and Class III—has shrunk to about 75¢/cwt. For the past few years, it was nearly $2. But early this year, as milk plants filled up, basis starting declining, says Marin Bozic, a dairy economist with the University of Minnesota. “I do believe a portion of this basis will be recovered in 2016,” says Bozic. But before it does, a further decrease of 25 to 35¢/cwt could occur in the next few months. Tim Swenson, a business consultant with AgStar Financial Services, agrees… And Minnesota is not alone facing the phenomenon. Iowa dairy farmers, which had enjoyed a basis above $2/cwt in 2013 and 2014, were seeing basis levels of just 25 to 35¢/cwt. this past summer. And milk flowing from Michigan into Wisconsin manufacturing plants has also shrunk basis there, though many Badger State producers are still seeing $1.50 being added to Class III prices.” READ: http://bit.ly/1Y8O4Hp
 
LEADERSHIP: via Mark Dorenkamp at Brownfield Ag News, VERBATIM: “A lawmaker from the Twin Cities has been named Minnesota Milk’s Legislator of the Year. Representative Denny McNamara of Hastings is being recognized for his commonsense know-how. “His business-mindedness behind the fact he even has his own tree care and landscaping business gives him that industry know-how.  Of course the leadership qualities that he has have served him well and allowed him to make sound decisions.” That’s Sangeetha Gummadi, policy relations manager with Minnesota Milk. She says the Legislator of the Year is selected through a committee process.” LEADERSHIP/READ: http://bit.ly/1NL01BM
 
SUGARBEETS: via Chris Prentice at Reuters, VERBATIM: “Record U.S. beet sugar output in the 2015/16 crop year will reduce the need for imports from Mexico and potentially push prices of refined cane sugar to a premium, the head of JSG Commodities said on Thursday. The forecast from the NAFTA sugar trader for beet output of 5.2 million tons is slightly above an official U.S. Department of Agriculture for beet sugar production and will leave total U.S. production at nearly 9 million tons in the crop year that began on Oct. 1.” REPORT: http://bit.ly/1OWBqLc
 
SUSTAINABLE: via Stephen Davies at Agri-Pulse, VERBATIM: “Demographic changes in the marketplace and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns make it imperative that farmers -- and the dealers who supply them -- embrace a sustainable approach to farming, a former General Mills executive told an audience of several hundred at the Agricultural Retailers Association annual conference last week in Palm Desert, California. “These millennials and consumer groups want to know two things: where is their food coming from and how it's grown from the beginning,” said Steve Peterson, who retired from GM in August after serving as its director of Sourcing and Sustainability. He is chairman through the end of the year of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and runs Peterson Farms, a grain and livestock operation in Paynesville, Minnesota.” READ: http://bit.ly/1OXCUCZ
 
EDUCATION: via Rural MN Radio, A conversation with Minnesota state Senator Vicki Jensen of Owatonna on water policy and the statewide teacher shortage.  WATER: http://bit.ly/1Qjeoj0  TEACHERS: http://bit.ly/1lBggXC  (SPONSOREDCenter for Rural Policy and Development)
 
BIOFUEL: via Minnesota Cornerstone, VERBATIM: “E15 is taking off in Minnesota, and it’s popularity will likely continue to rise in the coming years. In October, Minnesota drivers filled up with 472,172 gallons of E15. That’s nearly double the amount of E15 sold in September. Minnesota drivers are on pace to use 2.4 million gallons of E15 in 2015, shattering last year’s record of 257,855 gallons… Availability is one reason for the huge upswing in E15 sales. There are about 120 pumps that dispense E15 in the state today compared to 49 at the end of 2014. Marketing and promotions is another factor. Because E15 is a new fuel to most customers, stations have been running promotional campaigns and discounts this fall to get drivers to try it.” READ: http://bit.ly/1OXAJzl
 
BIOPRODUCTS: via Greg Bohrer at Environmental Initiative, VERBATIM: “There’s one week left to register for Bioproducts Policy: Will We Get the Industry We Want? (December 16). Dr. Thomas Foust, one of the world’s leading biomass experts, and Director of the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will discuss the current state of the bioproducts industry and opportunities for the future. A diverse panel of public and private sector issue experts will discuss the policy and business challenges of creating a vibrant bioproducts industry in Minnesota.” REGISTER: http://bit.ly/1TvSeI8  (SPONSORED: Environmental Initiative)
 
THURSDAY: earnings announcement and conference call from General Mills
 
THURSDAY: Creighton University will release the Rural Mainstreet Index survey of bank CEOs from ten Midwestern states
 
BARLEY: via Tracy Frank at Agweek, VERBATIM: “No barley, no beer. It's a slogan Steve Edwardson, executive administrator of the North Dakota Barley Council, mentioned a few times as he talked about industry changes. Farmers aren't planting as much barley as they used to. The crop has seen a loss of 310,000 acres planted nationally a year since 1987, he said at the North Dakota Agricultural Association's recent 45th annual Northern Ag Expo at the Fargodome. The amount of farmland planted to barley peaked in the mid-1980s when the crop was mostly used for livestock feed, Edwardson said. But by the early 2000s, feed barley was displaced by corn, he said. Barley is now more of a specialty crop used primarily for malting, a process used in brewing beer, he said. North Dakota produces between 25 percent and 35 percent of U.S. barley, 90 percent malting varieties and 10 percent feed. Barley growers can make more money selling to the beer industry, but it also has to meet stricter specifications.” READ: http://bit.ly/1TFSZ1l
 
HOPS: via Tyler Berg at KSTP, VERBATIM: “A group of local 20-somethings is hoping to change the way hops are grown in Minnesota by using hydroponics. Round Table Hops wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign recently, having raised $25,147 to further its plans. For the last year, Round Table has been growing hops year-round in a 12-by-20-foot greenhouse in Forest Lake. CEO Ben Vaughn said Round Table pulled off the first off-season hop harvest ever. He said a company in Colorado is the only other producer growing hops in a greenhouse without water, but he added that the company doesn't harvest year-round.” QUOTE: "There's a lot of advantages," Vaughn said. "Right now, hops are only harvested once a year and fresh hop beers are a big thing in the craft beer world."  WATCH/READ: http://bit.ly/1UdenvQ
 
SCHMACON: via CBS Chicago, VERBATIM: “What do you call something that looks like bacon, tastes like bacon but is cheaper and better for you? It’s no miracle, CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports. It’s “Schmacon,” and the revolution begins in west suburban Naperville. Howard Bender, owner of Schmaltz Deli, came up with “beef’s answer to bacon” after four years of research and development. He had to find the perfect cut of meat. The finished product looks and acts like bacon, cooks in half the time and has less fat and fewer calories. “I like pork bacon,” Bender says. “This wasn’t mean to replace. It was meant as a great alternative because, frankly, people are looking for an alternative now.” Schmacon will be in 2,000 grocery stores by early 2016.” WATCH: http://cbsloc.al/1Y2I0FG
 
CAGEFREE: via Sarah Menendez at Marketplace, VERBATIM: “Dunkin’ Donuts has announced it will make all its breakfast items with eggs from cage-free chickens, but it will take the chain a decade to reach that goal.  This announcement comes just months after the donut chain set a goal of 10 percent cage-free eggs in their breakfast products by the end of 2016 and 100 percent crate-free pork products by 2022… Earlier this year, major companies including McDonalds, General Mills, Costco and Aramark all made similar pledges toward buying only cage-free eggs. Dunkin’ Brands, like most major companies, opted toward a gradual and limited change in their products over time. However, a few weeks ago, Taco Bell — owned by the Yum Brands Inc — stated that all of its U.S. locations will be cage-free by the end of 2016, one of the fastest major transitions yet.”  READ: http://bit.ly/1Om3HWR
 
STEWARDSHIP: via Minnesota Cornerstone, VERBATIM: “Taking advantage of — and keeping pace with — rapidly evolving technology will be a key factor in the ongoing effort to improve the balance of agricultural production and environmental stewardship. That was one of several insights provided by a panel of experts on farming and water quality that included Minnesota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Dr. Adam Birr at last week’s annual Agri-Growth Conference in Minneapolis. “Maybe technology has outpaced our knowledge a little bit,” Birr said. “Let’s give our scientific knowledge a chance to catch up.” Minnesota corn farmers are making the investment necessary to help researchers close that gap as quickly as possible. Birr cited how corn farmers support $4 million annually in research at institutions such as the University of Minnesota through the state’s corn check-off. “The commitment is there from farmers,” Birr said. “There’s a huge interest to invest in agricultural productivity that has an environmental impact as well.” Panelists also emphasized that while science might need some time to catch up with technology and develop effective ways to take advantage of the data produced, several technological precision agriculture innovations are already paying huge dividends when it comes to stewardship.” READ: http://bit.ly/1Nc1CCe  (SPONSORED: Minnesota Agri-Growth Council)
 
SNACKS: via Sam Schaust at Twin Cities Business, VERBATIM: “KLN Family Brands said in a Tuesday announcement that it would spin off and sell Barrel O’ Fun, its popular salty snacks company, for $125 million. Massillon, Ohio-based Shearer’s Foods, LLC will acquire Barrel O’ Fun’s brand line-up, which includes Rachel’s Kettle Chips, Vic’s Popcorn, Beer Chips and Pretzels, Salveo, SkinnyGirl, Natural Planet chips and its celebrity-branded snacks for NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and comedian Larry the Cable Guy. Additionally, Shearer’s will obtain some of the snack maker’s production plants in Perham, Phoenix and Waterford, Pennsylvania. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and has an expected completion of early 2016. Family-owned and Perham-based KLN said it doesn’t anticipate any workforce changes once the transaction is finalized. (Of Barrel O’ Fun’s nearly 1,300 workers, about 740 work at its Perham facility.) KLN and Shearer’s will share the current workspace at all three locations.” READ: http://bit.ly/1QxZW50
 
DATASECURITY: via CUNA News Now, VERBATIM: “The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) eight years ago set the stage at the state level for last week’s proposed $39 million settlement between Target and credit unions and other financial institutions that sued the retailer for its massive data breach in 2013… These legislative efforts by MnCUN and its Minnesota credit unions overcame significant odds considering very few in the financial industry or the business community were in support of such legislation… The impetus for the 2007 state legislation came from the “frustration we were hearing from our credit unions for having to pay the costs of data breaches,” MnCUN President/CEO Mark Cummins told News Now. “More importantly, we wanted to help protect the personal financial information of our credit union members.”… The Minnesota Plastic Card Security Act, the first of its kind, prohibits businesses from retaining sensitive card stripe data after authorization of the transaction. It also requires a retailer to reimburse the costs incurred by any financial institution that issued payment cards affected by the breach of the retailer’s system.”  READ: http://bit.ly/1N9c0Yi  (SPONSORED: MN Credit Unions)
 
GOOD: via news release, VERBATIM: “The Otto Bremer Trust, formerly the Otto Bremer Foundation, has awarded $8,447,908 million in grants as part of its most recent grantmaking cycle.” READ: http://bit.ly/1lRAj3x
 
THURSDAYS: updated U.S. Drought Monitor Maps, 8:30 a.m. Eastern.  VIEW U.S. MAP: http://bit.ly/1a1CgAv  VIEW MN MAP: http://bit.ly/1lNTKtk
 
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GROWTH: via Adam Belz at Star Tribune, VERBATIM: “Minnesota’s economy grew briskly in the second quarter, with gross domestic product rising 4.5 percent compared to a year earlier, according to seasonally adjusted data released Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department. The industries with the most growth were management of companies, construction and finance and insurance. Management, which includes firms that own a stake in other companies, grew 13.7 percent in the 12 months that ended June 30. Construction output grew 10.1 percent. Finance and insurance grew 8.1 percent. Wholesale trade grew 5.6 percent and health care grew 5.9 percent… Minnesota ranked 14th in the nation for GDP growth in the second quarter, even with Michigan, Ohio and Iowa in the Midwest, behind only South Dakota, whose economy grew 5.8 percent over the same 12-month period.” READ: http://strib.mn/1NZGoYw
 
FLEETFARM: via Lauren Hirsch and Koh Gui Qing at Reuters, VERBATIM: “Buyout firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) is in the lead to acquire U.S. outdoor retailer Mills Fleet Farm for more than $1.2 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter, defying a slowdown in private equity dealmaking. KKR has prevailed over other private equity firms in an auction for privately held Mills Fleet, the people said on Wednesday. If negotiations are concluded successfully and KKR can secure the necessary financing, a deal could be announced before the end of the year, the people added, cautioning there was no certainty there will be an agreement… Brainerd, Minnesota-based Mills Fleet Farm has been exploring a sale of the company since earlier this year. The third-generation family-owned company is led by Chief Executive Officer Stewart Mills III, who announced in October his second run for Congress.” READ: http://reut.rs/1OlVwd8
 
HOLIDAYTRAIN: via media advisory, VERBATIM: “The brightly lit CP Holiday Train will roll to a stop at historic Union Depot in St. Paul on Friday, Dec. 11, for an event to benefit Keystone Community Services Food Shelf. Rising country music star Kira Isabella will be joined by Doc Walker for a holiday-themed musical performance once the CP Holiday Train stage is set. The event is free and open to the public. General admission will open at 5 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring heart healthy food donations… Canadian Pacific representatives and Rafael Ortega, chair of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, will welcome concert goers and representatives from Keystone Community Services prior to the musical performance.”
 
RANGE: via Dee DePass at Star Tribune, VERBATIM: “Essar Steel Minnesota still owes Iron Range contractors millions of dollars… The company had missed construction deadlines on the $1.9 billion taconite project it is building in Nashwauk and was late paying vendors. Last week, Essar scrambled to make payments to comply with Dayton’s demands. On Dec. 4, Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson said the governor was “satisfied” that the company had paid $20 million in delinquent debt and was securing financing from an overseas bank to pay additional debt by month’s end. As a result, Dayton backed off his threat to call Essar’s loan and to sue for repayment… More than a half-dozen Minnesota vendors are still owed more than $18 million for work done this year at Essar’s Nashwauk site.”  ANZELC: “There is a nasty little story going on here,” said Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL chair of the Minnesota Legislature’s Iron Range delegation. “The contractors have not been paid in full. Once Essar put out their press release, then everyone breathed a sigh a relief and claimed a victory,” Anzelc said. “But it was not a victory.” READ: http://strib.mn/1OWaACR
 
BRAINERD: via news release, VERBATIM: “Pete Mohs has been named the new publisher of the Brainerd Dispatch, Forum Communications Co. announced Friday. Mohs, who also will remain as the publisher of the Dispatch’s weekly sister newspaper the Pineandlakes Echo Journal and Echoland Shopper, will begin his duties on Jan. 1. Mohs replaces Tim Bogenschutz, who will remain with the company as general manager of Northland Outdoors.” READ: http://bit.ly/1Y2fbJq
 
STADIUM: via Bob Collins at MPR, “The New Vikings Stadium in 104 Seconds,” VERBATIM: “Earthcam has been keeping an eye on the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Today, the company released the newest time-lapse video of it… Based on the original $975 million pricetag, each second represents about $9.4 million.” WATCH: http://bit.ly/1NXq8Y0
 
FLYINGIMAGES: via Jeff Pesek at TECHdotMN, VERBATIM: “Minnesota startup Airvuz takes flight this week, aiming to become the online destination for all things drone. The video and photo sharing site appeals to drone pros, DIYers, and enthusiasts seeking to discover fresh aerial video and get the latest in drone news. As a community platform, Airvuz connects pilots with their audience, acting as a resource for people looking to hire drone related companies. Airvuz is founded by digital media vet John Marino, TV producer Dan Edwards, Venture Capitalist Mike Israel, and 98 Degrees founder Jeff TimmonsZulfikar Ali is the CTO. “The drone economy is booming,” Marino says, ‘The FAA estimates that 1 million drones will be sold over the holidays alone. We’re capturing the momentum of this young industry.’” READ: http://bit.ly/1QhairA
 
BEER: via Steven Neuman at The Growler, VERBATIM: “While it’s not the taproom Disneyland of Northeast Minneapolis, central Minnesota’s craft beer scene can fairly be described as thriving… To wit: Beaver Island Brewing in St. Cloud, Spilled Grain Brewhouse in Annandale, Hayes’ Public House in Buffalo, Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake, Lupine Brewing and South Fork Brewing in Delano, Foxhole Brewhouse in Willmar, Goat Ridge Brewing in New London, Jack Pine Brewing in Brainerd, Big Axe Brewing and Gull Dam Brewing in Nisswa, and Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring. The scuttlebutt around Benton County is that someone has bought the old American Legion in Sauk Rapids with the intentions of turning it into taproom and brewhouse as well… The latest entry is Bad Habit Brewing in St. Joseph.” READ: http://bit.ly/1M4XUDc
 
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CD8: via Zach Kayser of the Brainerd Dispatch, VERBATIM: “Stewart Mills, the Republican challenger, said in a phone interview that Trump's comments distracted attention from "the real issues" and refocused it on Trump himself… The issue of security remains, Mills said, but it can't be solved with a "religious litmus test." However, Mills noted that one of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik, was in the United States on a visa. Mills suggested adding a higher level of scrutiny for visa applicants based on their country of origin.  NOLAN: Rick Nolan, the incumbent Democrat, said via a written statement that Trump's idea violated the Constitution's guarantee of free religious practice…" There is widespread, bipartisan agreement that Donald Trump's proposal violates one of the most basic, fundamental elements of the Constitution, which is freedom of religion." READ: http://bit.ly/1QgY5mx
 
CD6: via Sam Brodley of MinnPost, VERBATIM: “Bob Helland lives in St. Paul, works in Minnetonka, and thinks the two-party system is broken and corrupt… He might not exactly fit the mold for a DFL candidate in the Sixth Congressional District, but as of now, he’s the only one officially challenging incumbent Rep. Tom Emmer. And the 30-year-old is aiming to unseat the freshman Republican in Minnesota’s most conservative district with a mix of frank rhetoric and a willingness to court voters outside of the DFL’s traditional constituencies.”  READ: http://bit.ly/1IWSPNc
 
PARAMEDICS: via Jaime DeLage of the Pioneer Press, VERBATIM: “Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said Tuesday the Public Safety Personnel Protection Act will be the first bill he submits for the legislative session that begins March 8. His proposal would make it a felony to interfere with emergency personnel even if that interference doesn't reach the level of an assault… Under current law, someone who interferes with or obstructs an ambulance crew can be charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony depending on whether they use force or cause bodily harm…. Garofalo said the proposal is a response to high-profile cases nationwide. One such case was that of Jamar Clark, who was fatally shot Nov. 15 in North Minneapolis by police responding to an assault report. Officials say Clark was interfering with paramedics helping the person he was suspected of assaulting and was shot during a struggle with police.”  READ: http://bit.ly/1mcjIrR
 
HEALTHCARE: via Politico, VERBATIM: “The Commonwealth Fund is out with its latest state scorecard, which measures states’ performance on a number of metrics, including access, care quality and safety. This year, Minnesota came in first, followed by Vermont, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Mississippi came in last place — scoring the worst in all metrics. Overall, researchers said states’ care systems had improved from last year. The full rankings here:  http://bit.ly/1QgYeGA
 
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About Morning Take- In the era of Twitter, Facebook and the 24-hour, minute by minute news cycle morning take is designed to be a short, quick read for Minnesota insiders. morning take the radio version is every morning M-F at 6:20 AM on WCCO-AM with Dave Lee.   The goal of morning take is not to aggregate much news of the day, but rather preview the day ahead and help crystallize or foreshadow items on the horizon  I will be transparent about when clients are included, or if I am involved in some event.   Please provide tips and constructive feedback. thanks - blois

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