São Domingos do Prata, Brazil
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News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) to “a-” from “bbb+” of the members of the United Farm Bureau of Indiana Group (Indiana Farm Bureau): United Farm Family Mutual Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, UFB Casualty Insurance Company. The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) have been revised to stable from positive. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a” of United Farm Family Life Insurance Company (UFF Life). A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” of United Home Life Insurance Company (UH Life). The outlooks of these ratings remain stable. All companies are domiciled in Indianapolis, IN. The rating upgrades of Indiana Farm Bureau reflect the group’s sustained improvement in underwriting results and risk-adjusted capitalization over the past four years. The improved performance is a result of multiple underwriting initiatives undertaken in previous years. These initiatives included increasing rate adequacy, revising deductibles and strengthening reinsurance programs. As a result of the profitable earnings, the group has increased risk-adjusted capitalization significantly over the past five years. The group’s improved underwriting, coupled with its strong brand presence in Indiana, is expected to result in favorable future earnings. Offsetting rating factors include Indiana Farm Bureau’s volatile results in earlier years mainly due to frequent and severe weather-related events. Also, the group has suffered deterioration in its auto liability line, which is a trend throughout the industry and not specific to Indiana Farm Bureau. Further, as all of the group’s business is conducted in Indiana, it remains exposed to potential concentration risk on regulatory issues and catastrophe events. The ratings of UFF Life reflect the company’s strong risk-adjusted capitalization, consistent profitability and its stable business profile, which consists of primarily whole and term life products. These positive rating factors are offset partially by its lower rates of profitability relative to the industry and its exposure to geographic concentration risk, as over 60% of direct premiums originate from Indiana. The ratings of UH Life reflect the company’s role as a provider of life insurance products outside the core market of Indiana Farm Bureau Incorporated (INFB). The ratings also recognize the company’s strong risk-adjusted capital position, good credit quality of its investment portfolio and its consistently positive, albeit fluctuating operating earnings. Offsetting these factors are the company’s modest contribution to the organization’s overall operations, limited business profile and its modest and fluctuating profitability ratios. This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2017 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Among the various oilseeds, the castor bean was identified by the National Program for Production and Use of Biodiesel, as the ideal one to promote social development in Brazil's northeast region. However the survey shows that the production of this raw material was not competitive for biodiesel production. The research is qualitative, descriptive and exploratory, and multi-case studies were used for their analysis. The instrument used for data collection was a semi-structured personal interview. Visits to production units were also conducted, which enabled data triangulation. Thus, this paper describes each driver and presents a picture of the competitiveness of both agricultural and industrial productions in this chain. The influence of each driver was evaluated using a Likert scale. The results present a clear view of the competitive segments in the analyzed agribusiness chain.

Craizer M.,Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro | Teixeira R.C.,UFF
Discrete and Computational Geometry | Year: 2012

In this paper we discuss some affine properties of convex equal-area polygons, which are convex polygons such that all triangles formed by three consecutive vertices have the same area. Besides being able to approximate closed convex smooth curves almost uniformly with respect to affine length, convex equal-area polygons admit natural definitions of the usual affine differential geometry concepts, like affine normal and affine curvature. These definitions lead to discrete analogous to the six-vertex theorem and an affine isoperimetric inequality. One can also define discrete counterparts of the affine evolute, parallels and the affine distance symmetry set preserving many of the properties valid for smooth curves. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

The methods of multi-criteria decision aid are applied to problems of selection, ranking, classifying, and describing alternatives in the presence of multiple criteria, both quantitative and qualitative. This article tackles the problem of using the UTA and UTA-CR methods for determining the utility function of criteria used to evaluate candidates for the undergraduate program in metallurgical engineering in the Fluminense Federal University. After presenting the methods and outlining the problem, an analysis of the results shows that the utility functions of criteria obtained using UTA-CR are closer to decision-maker preferences than those obtained using UTA. It is also shown that, by using UTA-CR, it is not necessary to perform the post-optimization analysis that is required by the UTA method. In other words, implementation of a single linear program leads to results that are better than those obtained using UTA.

de Lima Cavaliere I.A.,Federal University of Fluminense | Costa S.G.,UFF
Physis | Year: 2011

This exploratory work examines the social isolation experienced by individuals with leprosy admitted to the former colony Tavares de Macedo, Itaboraí, where they were kept from the 1930s until the present day, to question notions of segregation and social discrimination present in this environment. So it analyzes sociabilities and social care networks established in the common life in this "ex-leper colony," usually as alternatives to the conditions offered by the public systems of social protection. The work is based on stories of some of the subjects, seen in their differences - at intersection of gender relations, classes, races/ethnicities, generations and also by religions and educational backgrouns. It adopts the oral history, so as to offer new qualitative interpretations of social and historical processes shown in these networks and sociability, not always visible as unique forms of social protection of life in groups.

Objectives: The importance of essential fatty acids, in particular the omega-3 family, in the central nervous system development of newborns is well documented. The flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) is considered one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The influence of omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed on the brain development of newborn rats was evaluated. Material and methods: Pups of the Fl generation were obtained from 18 female Wistar rats divided in 3 groups (n = 6), FG: fed with diet based on Flaxseed added with casein, CG: Casein, and MCG: Modified Casein supplemented with fibers and soybean oil. Newborn pups were weighted and submitted to euthanasia; brains were collected for evaluation of weight and lipid profile through gaseous chromatography. Results: Significant increase in brain weight (39%) and relative brain weight (37%) was verified in pups from mothers fed with flaxseed diet. The omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids from the flaxseed were found in abundance in the diet made with this oleaginous and also significant increase in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (38%), as well as in total of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (62%). Conclusion: Maternal diet of flaxseed during pregnancy influences the incorporation of omega-3 fatty acid in the composition of brain tissue, assuring a good development of this organ in newborn rats.

Pinto M.C.F.G.,Federal University of Fluminense | Bueno A.C.,UFF | Vieira A.A.,UFF
Jornal de Pediatria | Year: 2013

Objective To analyze the implementation of a protocol proposed by the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária - ANVISA) to improve sepsis diagnosis in very low birth weight newborns. Methods This was a prospective study that evaluated the implementation of a protocol involving clinical and laboratory criteria (hematologic scoring system of Rodwell and C-reactive protein serial measurements), recommended by ANVISA, to improve the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis in very low birth weight newborns. The study included all patients who were born and remained in the neonatal intensive care unit until discharge or death, and excluded those with congenital diseases. The main outcomes measured in newborns before (2006-2007) and after implementation of the protocol (2008) were the rates of early and late-onset sepsis, use of antibiotics, and mortality. Means were compared by Student's t-test and categorical variables were compared by the chi-squared test; the significance level for all tests was set at 95%. Results The study included 136 newborns with very low birth weight. There was no difference between groups regarding general clinical characteristics in the studied periods. There was, however, a decrease in the number of diagnoses of probable early-onset sepsis (p < 0.001), use of antimicrobial regimens (p < 0.001), and overall mortality and infection-related mortality (p = 0.009 and p = 0.049, respectively). Conclusion The implementation of the protocol allowed improvement of sepsis diagnosis by reducing the diagnosis of probable early-onset sepsis, thus promoting efficient antimicrobial use in this population. © 2013 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria.

Vargas M.A.,UFF | de Oliveira B.F.,UFF
Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural | Year: 2012

This paper presents the main results of the socio-economic assessment of small farmers involved with tobacco crops and other cash crops in the Vale do Rio Pardo region, in Rio Grande do Sul state, in Brazil. The study aims to provide evidences for the implementation of effective crop substitution and diversification programs in tobacco producing countries/regions. A questionnaire survey involved a sample of 299 small family farms in the Vale do Rio Pardo region. The sample was designed to include both small farmers who are fully or partially dedicated to tobacco production and farmers who are mainly dedicated to other agricultural products instead of tobacco. The study shows that, in the Vale do Rio Pardo region, tobacco farming activities account for about 60% of the gross value of the production in agriculture. However, the comparative analysis of the profitability of tobacco crops and other cash crops in this region shows that alternative crops might offer lower gross income than tobacco, but offer a higher net income, because their production costs are lower.

Silva A.C.,UFF
Journal of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Metallurgy | Year: 2016

During decades before the evolution of more powerful computational tools, simplified formalisms such as the Wagner dilute solution formalism, have been successfully used in the study of deoxidation reactions of steel. This formalism relies on the introduction of interaction coefficients to account for deviations from Henry'os Law. With the evolution of thermodynamic modeling and of the CALPHAD method, the fact that thermodynamic descriptions using these parameters were derived to be used at relatively dilute solution has been sometimes overlooked and the formalism has been criticized for deviating from reality in non-dilute solutions. In this work, it is shown that the interaction parameters used in this formalism correlate with properties of the solutes and of the solvent. The work focuses on the interactions in systems Fe-M-O, where M is a deoxidant. Correlations between interaction coefficients and heats of formation of the corresponding oxides and with the atomic number of the deoxidants are demonstrated. This not only helps supporting the physicochemical soundness of the formalism but also provides a way of checking the consistency of data presented in this formalism.

This project aims to present a sample to support organizational management focusing on self-evaluation based on the criteria of the most important international and national excellence awards in management. The objective of the sample was to allow for customized evaluations of performance regarding the management system as well as evaluations of the importance of management excellence practices to the company preconized by those awards. The research methodology was based on a theoretical foundation, comparative analysis of the three main Excellence Awards in Management in Brazil, and on the experiment of the sample proposed in a knitted fabric textile industry. The sample proposed has allowed for a customized performance evaluation of the management system of the company used as the object of study, and the importance of the management excellence practices involved in the criteria. The contrast between performance and importance has allowed defining the major organizational aspects aiming at the company's improvement.

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