¡Ramón Jiménez presente!

first_imgRamón Jiménez and Laila Roman-Jiménez.Ramón J. Jiménez never stopped fighting, even after being diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. The Puerto Rican lawyer, Bronx activist and champion of poor people everywhere died May 10 at age 67. He is survived by his daughter Laila ­Roman-Jiménez.He was best known for saving Eugenio María de Hostos Community College in the South Bronx. Mayor Abe Beame wanted to close New York City’s only bilingual college in 1976 while shoveling millions of dollars to Yankee Stadium. At the same time, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture was threatened with destruction by the New York Public Library.Jiménez led a 20-day takeover of Hostos that culminated with 40 people arrested, including Jiménez. But Beame backed down and Hostos was saved.Jiménez grew up on 97th Street in East Elmhurst, Queens, across the street from Malcolm X. His mom worked in sweatshops until her sixties, operating a sewing machine. An early experience was being bused to a school in Astoria where cops allowed racists to assault the arriving Black and Latino/a students.Like his hero, Puerto Rican independence leader Pedro Albizu Campos, Jiménez graduated from Harvard Law School. Both men used their legal skills to defend working and poor people by any means necessary.Operating out of his 149th Street law office near Hostos, Jiménez fought slumlords and helped injured workers to win compensation.In 2010, he ran as the Freedom Party candidate for New York state attorney general, along with gubernatorial candidate Charles Barron and Eva Doyle for lieutenant governor.The Freedom Party was a heroic attempt to break the stranglehold of the corrupt Democratic Party machine in the Latino/a and Black communities. In 2014, after being told he had cancer, Jiménez ran for attorney general on the Green Party ticket.Hundreds of people attended the May 14 wake for Ramón Jiménez. Many were from the South Bronx Community Congress, which Jiménez helped found.Among the speakers were City Councilperson Inez Barron and State Assemblyperson Charles Barron. Gravediggers came from Woodlawn Cemetery — the “Band of Brothers” — whom Jiménez helped get a union.¡Ramón Jiménez presente!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Political turmoil deepens in south Korea

first_imgThousands of South Koreans take to the streets in Seoul to demand President Park Geun-hye step down.The political crisis in south Korea just won’t go away. The people are angry and organized, determined to get rid of the corrupt dictatorship of President Park Geun-hye. After months of massive demonstrations, Parliament in December voted to impeach her, but she refuses to leave office. An impeachment trial is now being conducted by the Constitutional Court.The grievances against the Park regime are many. Most explosive are the charges of collusion between the government and the “chaebols,” the big conglomerates that dominate the economy and have grown super-rich exploiting south Korean workers. Foundations set up by President Park and a friend, Choi Soon-sil, have received millions in donations from these corporations. In return the president has pardoned 15 top executives of Samsung, Hyundai and other chaebols convicted of economic crimes.Huge weekly demonstrations continue all over the country. The one in Seoul on Jan. 8 had more than a million people. The struggle has opened up deep rifts within the state. When a special prosecutor announced he was seeking to arrest Jay Y. Lee, head of Samsung, on bribery charges involving $36 million given to Park foundations, he was overruled within days by a high court judge.The latest scandal to be unearthed involves a government “blacklist” of artists and performers who have been critical of the regime.Violent offensive against unionsUnder Park, the government has carried out a violent offensive against south Korea’s labor unions and made it easier for bosses to fire workers and get rid of full-time, steady jobs. Han Sang-gyun, president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, was sentenced to five years in jail last July for leading protests against Park’s repressive labor policies.Other issues have included the president’s unwillingness to appear in public as hundreds of high school students drowned over hours after a ferry boat capsized in 2014. The owner had added extra decks, making the vessel top heavy. It was all illegal, but brought him big bucks.Park’s father was Gen. Park Chung-hee, who took power through a military coup in 1961 and ruled for 18 years. During all that time, he was a close ally of the U.S., sending 300,000 Korean troops to fight in the Vietnam War.Behind the scenes, one can be sure that the Pentagon and clandestine U.S. agencies are doing everything they can to make sure south Korea continues to have a government that will facilitate the U.S. military occupation of the southern half of the Korean peninsula, which has been in place for almost 72 years.However, the world has changed a great deal since the U.S. first occupied Korea at the end of World War II. Today 26 percent of south Korea’s exports go to China and only 13 percent to the U.S. With the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, south Korea is already being pressured by Washington to pay more for the many U.S. military bases in the country.The Korea Times on Jan. 22 noted, “Trump, in his inauguration speech, brought up issues related to his repeated criticism of South Korea for ‘free riding’ on the U.S. military in defense and Seoul’s ‘job-killing’ free trade deal with Washington. … Seoul pays about half the cost, which Trump called ‘peanuts,’ for the upkeep of 28,000 American troops.”Despite the restrained tone, it’s not difficult to feel the stinging effect that Trump’s crude insults and lies are having on Korean people. If even a bourgeois paper like the Korea Times is appalled, you know the people in the streets are seething.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

ICE abducts migrant worker from hearing

first_imgMarcos, a migrant worker living in Philadelphia, was stolen from his family and community on March 16.Marcos reported for his mandatory parole hearing with full knowledge that two of his friends had been abducted by Immigration, Customs and Enforcement the previous week after their probation hearings. He contacted the New Sanctuary Movement, which put out a call for an action in support of the trial he faced. About two dozen people were able to be with him, offering words and prayers of encouragement, as he entered the building.Security in the building treated NSM members harshly, preventing them from waiting in the lobby for Marcos and eventually ejecting them from the building. They did not even allow a member to stay with him to act as an interpreter.While some demonstrators remained in front of the building to raise awareness of what was happening, part of the group gathered around the back exit in preparation for the possibility that Marcos would be “discreetly” removed and sent to an ICE detention center.About an hour after he entered the building, I saw Marcos briefly once again. We made eye contact as he sat handcuffed in the back of an unmarked, midnight blue SUV. The drivers smiled and waved before driving away with Marcos in custody.‘Sanctuary’ city cooperates with ICEThe practice of seizing migrants in Philadelphia is a very visible routine, in contrast with claims that the city is a “sanctuary” for immigrants. Mayor Jim Kenney promotes the image of Philadelphia protecting the immigrant community by not forcing city institutions to cooperate with ICE. This image has contributed to Kenney’s support and acceptance as mayor, as well as to the success of his 2015 election campaign, but it is notably void of any substance.Although the city’s policies limit some exchange of information from its criminal system to ICE, in practice Philadelphia still cooperates with ICE. The Adult Probation and Parole Department had nearly 50,000 people in its system as of March 2009. ICE has such an entwined relationship with this department, it is able to regularly keep transport vehicles at parole hearings and detain people on site.This departure of Kenney’s proclaimed values from material reality is a common trend. The Philly Coalition for REAL Justice has been pursuing an ongoing campaign to end the Philadelphia Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy. Mayor Kenney has admitted the practice is unconstitutional, denounced it publicly and gathered support for his campaign by promising to end it.However, after all these promises and over a year in office, Kenney has yet to introduce any additional form of accountability or legislation to end stop-and-frisk. Police officers have continued harassing Black and Brown communities unhindered by Kenney’s empty words. Kenney’s two-faced treatment of the city’s “sanctuary” status is more of the same.The overlap of conditions facing Black, Brown and migrant communities is no coincidence. The struggles of different communities in the working class have similar patterns because our enemy is shared. The only way we will truly end harassment and detainment from cops and ICE is through solidarity and principled unity. The only way we can attain true victories for our communities is with the support of our comrades — not crumbs and empty promises from politicians.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Asian Americans speak out against Trump’s racism

first_imgIn response to widespread reports of anti-Asian racism, harassment and violence, Asian Americans United Philadelphia hosted a zoom gathering on March 26 in solidarity with Asian-American communities.The event highlighted a “Collective Statement Against Anti-Asian Bias and the Targeting of Any Community,” which people were urged to sign. While criticizing the Trump administration for spearheading the current rise in anti-Asian bias, the document emphasized: “This is not the first time our communities have been targeted to divert attention from the real crisis at hand: the lack of healthcare for all, a guaranteed annual income, access to education, food, and all the rights that should be guaranteed to every person in communities around the world.” Signers pledged to “stand together across different communities — Black, Brown, Indigenous, white and more — against anti-Asian bias, harassment and violence as well as the targeting of the poor and working class, people with disabilities, immigrant and refugee, non-English proficient, LGBTQ [people] and those in incarceration and detention.” Signers further pledged: “The current administration has promoted hateful rhetoric directed at Latinx, African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern community members. … We will not be used to blame for the failings of our current system.” Groups on the call included Asian Americans United, the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Modero & Company (a group promoting traditional Indonesian culture), VietLead, Victim Witness Services of South Philadelphia, the Woori Center serving the city’s Korean community, and representatives from City Council. The Philadelphia region has nearly 25 different Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Rob Buscher, with the Japanese American Citizens League and professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, recounted the U.S. history of anti-Asian bias. Repression began in the mid-1800s against Chinese immigrant workers, followed by organized discrimination and violence against Japanese, Filipinos and later Koreans. White supremacists in the U.S. — building on a foundation of genocide against Indigenous people and the enslavement of Africans — used anti-Asian bias to pit working people against each other as the union movement accelerated in the late 1800s.Mounting anti-Asian incidentsSinta Storms of Modero described recent hateful acts in Philadelphia. At a Center City Wawa convenience store, a customer first asked an Asian cashier where she was from, then deliberately moved to a different register. Passengers on a bus yelled “Corona, corona” at an Asian woman until the driver made them stop. Storms also raised the difficulty immigrants face applying for unemployment benefits during the pandemic, especially if they are undocumented.Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia staffer Sarun Chan detailed calls the group has received from people of all ages. “Many are simply afraid to leave home because they might be attacked or discriminated against. They believe the city is just sweeping reports of attacks under the rug. … Concerns run from online racist rhetoric to physical attacks. In Virginia, an Asian family living in a neighborhood for over 15 years reported bullets shot through their window.”Asian Americans United’s Wei Chen described Chinese Americans being physically and verbally attacked. “They are afraid to wear masks [that] offer some sense of protection. To not wear them is stressful because of health concerns, but people aren’t out of fear of being attacked.”‘The ground is moving beneath our feet’Executive Director of VietLead Nancy Nguyen stated: “We live in a white supremacist, anti-Black, heteropatriarchal, capitalist system — this is true for much of the world due to globalization — but it was perfected in the United States. “We are living through a moment where these systems are being struggled over. There was a myriad of efforts over the last decade — the Black Lives Matter movement, Occupy’s 99%, the #MeToo movement and more. As we speak, Congress is passing a $2.2 trillion relief package. What was impossible just a few months ago is about to be written law. “The Trump administration tries to divert our attention and move the target from their backs to ours. But we are agents of history. We have critical roles in the AAPI community to lead our people through what lies ahead. … Our will and fight to end anti-Asian violence must be as strong as our will and fight and solidarity work needed to end white supremacy and anti-Blackness — because the system does not serve any of us“The ground is moving beneath our feet — this is our country — and every generation we are bolder, braver and have more capacities, tools and strategies to do the damn thing.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Happy birthday, Mumia!

first_imgA global audience was able to view a virtual press conference on April 23 focused on journalist and Pennsylvania political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and why he should be immediately released from prison. Speakers from the U.S. and around the world participated.Pam Africa speaks at Philadelphia rally Feb. 28. (WW photo: Joe Piette)The press conference launched four days of virtual events celebrating Abu-Jamal’s 66th birthday, including a teach-in, “U.S. Empire v. Political Prisoners,” on April 24; a virtual dance party, “Mumia Libre,” on April 25; and a 24-hour, “Poetry in Motion,” reading from Abu-Jamal’s writings from noon to noon April 26-27. Links for all events can be found at Mobilization4Mumia.com.Opening the press conference, Pam Africa, of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, began the 90-minute YouTube event (youtu.be/m4WzmXD1RiI) with an appreciation of the unwavering, almost four-decades-long movement to free Abu-Jamal, imprisoned when he was just 27 years old.Santiago Alvarez, University of California, Santa Cruz student calling in from San Francisco, recounted hearing the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ “sick and wicked” false claim on April 15 that Abu-Jamal was being hospitalized with COVID-19. Within minutes supporters flooded the institution with calls, resulting in a call from Abu-Jamal himself that he was fine. Alvarez said, “While it was a big scare, it was also a reminder of the urgency of how vulnerable Mumia is and how we need to get him out immediately.”Temple University professor and well-respected Philadelphia journalist Linn Washington Jr. provided an overview of the police, prosecutorial and judicial biases that unjustly convicted Abu-Jamal and sentenced him to death.Strong show of international solidarityMichael Schiffman, an investigative author joining from Germany, described how photos taken by freelance photographer Peter Polakoff at the 1981 crime scene as police arrived prove that prosecution witnesses lied about significant aspects of the case against Abu-Jamal. He also described some of the 30 years of solidarity work by German groups in support of Abu-Jamal.Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, via video from Paris, congratulated Abu-Jamal on his 66th birthday. The Fanon Foundation director condemned capitalism not only for mass incarceration of Black and Brown and poor people, but also for its inability to prevent the tens of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus. In capitalist countries, those most affected by COVID19 are poor people, migrants and incarcerated people. She ended her talk hoping that “Next year we want to celebrate your birthday with you, freed from the colonial yoke of prisons.”Dr. Suzanne Ross spoke on the long history of international support for Abu-Jamal “from Germany, France, Denmark, South Africa, Brazil and many other countries.”Sharon Cabusao-Silva, from the Organization of Families of Political Prisoners in the Philippines and a longtime member of Gabriela Women’s Alliance, Philippines, called in to say: “We need to prioritize the release of political prisoners, especially the sick, elderly and pregnant women. … We have a common struggle — here in the Philippines and with our friends there in the U.S. — to have our political prisoners freed at this time of the epidemic.”Community activists demand, ‘Free Mumia’Janine Africa spoke on the movement that brought her and six other MOVE 9 members home after four decades in prison. “Never give up. We were told for over 40 years that we would never get out. But we sit here today as proof of the power of the people.”Razakhan Shaheed, from Nation Time, spoke about supporting jailhouse lawyers like Abu-Jamal who work to get other prisoners out. Gregory Muhammad, Nation of Islam student research coordinator, described meeting Abu-Jamal in the solitary confinement unit (B Block) at State Correctional Institution-Huntington in 1982. He also described the work that The Nation of Islam has done inside and outside of prisons to free incarcerated people, including political prisoners.Blak Rapp Madusa, international hip-hop “artivist” out of Pennsylvania, described working to bail out 97 people from jail, including nine Black mothers and caregivers, and trying to free vulnerable populations, including mothers and caregivers, from the dangers of COVID-19. Dignity Act Now Philly is also providing resources — access to shelter, food, clothing and testing for COVID-19 — after people are released.Charles Barron, New York State Assemblyman, gave an account of his own battle with COVID-19 and ended with a fiery call to revolution: “The real problem is not just that we have bad diets and need to eat better, or that we need to exercise more — we have to fight with every breath to dismantle and destroy this predatory capitalist system!”Organizer Sophia Williams, from the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, chaired the event.Co-sponsors of the weekend of activities included International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Mobilization4Mumia; the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home; Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC); Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, Bay Area; Mobilization to Free Mumia (Bay Area); Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

U.S. EPA Approves Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme Insect Protection by DuPont

first_img Previous articleMorning Comments 3/13/12 & UpdatesNext articleFarm Credit System Entities Donate Funds to Tornado Disaster Relief Gary Truitt Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter SHARE By Gary Truitt – Mar 13, 2012 Home Indiana Agriculture News U.S. EPA Approves Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme Insect Protection by DuPontcenter_img DuPont announced today that it has received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme insect protection for corn. Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme adds to DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred’s lineup of single-bag solutions to deliver insect control and simplified refuge management for growers. “Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme is the right product for growers who need enhanced above- and below-ground insect control and simplified refuge management on their acres,” said Paul E. Schickler, Pioneer president. “Growers need proven technology to defend their crop against insect damage, while receiving overall agronomic performance. Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme joins a very successful lineup of other simplified refuge Pioneer® brand products.”Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme products integrate 95 percent of a trusted, high-yielding Pioneer® brand corn hybrid containing Herculex® XTRA insect protection. This is combined with YieldGard® Corn Borer insect protection and the Agrisure® RW trait and 5 percent of a similar non-Bt hybrid with herbicide tolerance to serve as the integrated refuge. All Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme products offer built-in herbicide tolerance.Pioneer will introduce Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme products across multiple hybrid platforms for the 2013 growing season. This year Pioneer will place Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme products in IMPACT™ (Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterization and Training) plots across the United States and Canada. This innovative program offers customers and Pioneer sales professionals the opportunity to view and select the best products to fit their unique growing environments. Pioneer IMPACT™ plots are planted in local customers’ acres and are a key data source to support product commercialization. Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme insect protection products were approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in November 2011.Pioneer offers several integrated refuge solutions for the U.S. Corn Belt; separate refuge is required in EPA-designated cotton growing areas. The complete line of simplified refuge products consists of: SHARE U.S. EPA Approves Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme Insect Protection by DuPont * Optimum® AcreMax® 1 insect protection – the industry’s first integrated corn rootworm refuge solution which allows growers the ability to plant the required corn borer refuge up to a half mile away.* Optimum® AcreMax® RW rootworm protection – the industry’s first integrated single-bag refuge solution for corn rootworm, with no additional refuge required in cotton counties.* Optimum® AcreMax® insect protection – the industry’s first U.S. approval of a single-bag integrated refuge product targeting above-ground insects.* Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra insect protection – single-bag integrated refuge product targeting above- and below-ground insects.* Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme insect protection – single-bag integrated refuge product featuring multiple modes of action for above- and below-ground insect control.last_img read more

Mr. President, You Could Learn A Lot From A Farmer

first_img SHARE The kind of self reliance and work ethic fostered by farm life is greatly lacking in many urban-raised young people today. “They have “a self-centered work ethic,” says Cam Marston, author of Motivating the ‘What’s In It For Me?’ Workforce. He says the younger generations haven’t been raised in a way “that demands them to look around and see what should be done next. Instead they ask ‘what is my job’ and go about figuring the best, fastest way to complete that task. Then they consider themselves done.” And the younger they are, “the more your employees view their jobs as something to do between the weekends.” Sonny Beck, of Beck’s Hybrids told me he looks for employees with 4-H and FFA backgrounds, “Because they make better employees.” An economist, speaking at the Indiana Livestock, Forage, and Grain Forum a few years ago, said what makes the US economy unique in the world is the fact that the vast majority of Americans, “Get up and go to work every day.” While this is not the case in other nations, here in the US most adults get up every day and go a job for which they are paid. They are not always happy about it, but this is what keeps the US economy going and growing. However, in recent years, there has been a shift in this perspective, brought about by government policies and cultural expectations. For a growing number of adults and young people, going to work and getting paid for it is not how they expect to spend their days. By Gary Truitt Over the past few years, millions of adults have found themselves out of work. These men and women who previously got up every day and went to work found themselves without jobs or the prospect of getting a job. Yet, the pay check kept coming in the form of unemployment compensation. As the months turned into years, many stopped looking for employment and adjusted their lifestyles to get by on the unemployment payments. By the way, this column was written while I was on vacation, why? Because it had to be done. Meanwhile, millions of young people were graduating from college with degrees but no hope of finding work in their field of study. Some decided to stay in school getting advanced degrees for which there was no work, while others moved back home with their parents and took part time work. The unemployment rate of people in the 20s and 30s is over 50%. They see the American workplace as having no place for them. Facebook Twitter Mr. President, You Could Learn A Lot From A Farmer SHAREcenter_img The government’s response to this situation has fostered this change in the American work ethic. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the government instituted work programs like the CCC and WPA. Here people were paid for doing work. At its peak, the WPA employed over 3 million men and women who would have otherwise been jobless. They build infrastructure facilities we still use today. “By contrast, what will we have to show in decades to come for today’s 99-week extended unemployment benefits and other government giveaways? Not so much,” says Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee. “So why don’t we have programs in which you’d get a job, not sit home, depressed, with a check? The short answer is because key power players would rather have you sit at home, depressed, with a check.” Reynolds suggests that Unions oppose the government hiring non-union labor and that proponents of big government want to promote dependence of big government, “Working — even in a program like the WPA — enhances feelings of self-esteem and independence. But the politicians don’t want you to feel self-esteem and independence.” Most farmers are not going to read this column for several weeks. This is because right now they have something more important to do, so it will be read when the harvest is over. During this time of the year in farm country, the days are long and bringing in the harvest is the top priority. This is a reality that most of those outside of agriculture do not understand. It is something so deeply engrained into the fabric of the Midwestern work ethic that most rural people don’t give it a second thought. But, this view of work is undergoing a dramatic shift in American society and may play a key role in this year’s national elections. Home Commentary Mr. President, You Could Learn A Lot From A Farmer The result of this is that there is a significant segment of our society does not see getting up and going to work as something they need to do. Not having a job was once considered a sign of laziness or personal failure. Today, it is becoming an accepted norm and someone else’s fault. Big business, big banks, the government, foreign competition, NAFTA, big unions, China, and a host of other factors are blamed for people’s inability to find work. By Gary Truitt – Oct 7, 2012 Perhaps if the President really wanted to get the economy moving and put people back to work, he should consider putting a farmer in charge of the labor department –someone who understands what work is, why it is important, and how to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Of course, he will have to wait until after the election because right now the farmers are in the field working to bring in the harvest. A harvest that is the basis of a food supply that will ultimately be given free or at reduced cost to those who are not working but collecting unemployment, visiting food banks, and collecting food stamps. While these programs are not in themselves bad, they are fostering a culture of dependency that is at odds with the agrarian work ethic that has been at the heart of American society. Facebook Twitter Previous articleIndiana Corn Yields Better than Mid Season EstimatesNext articleFAPRI Releases Analysis on RFS Waiver Gary Truittlast_img read more

Farm Bureau Sends Farm Bill Proposal to Capitol Hill

first_imgFarm Bureau supports a program that reduces complexity while allowing producers increased flexibility to plant in response to market demand. “While we would have liked to have provided a STAX program for all commodity programs under the same terms as those provided to cotton last year in the Senate bill, funding is insufficient to do so,” Stallman explained. Facebook Twitter For other crops, target price levels would be based on the marketing-year average price from the past five years (2007 through 2011) and those projected by the Congressional Budget Office for the next five years (2012 through 2016). To establish the actual target prices and provide general equity across crop sectors, these 2007-2016 average prices are reduced by 25 percent for corn and soybeans, 15 percent for wheat and 10 percent for rice and peanuts. Wheat has an adjustment of only 15 percent because it is produced mostly in the larger counties, making area yields less representative of individual producer experience and therefore less effective as a risk management tool. “Farm policy should provide a strong and effective safety net and viable risk management programs for farmers that do not guarantee a profit but, instead, protect them from catastrophic occurrences,” Stallman said. “We also want to ensure that terms of our farm programs do not affect a farmer’s decision of which crop to plant. The program must comply with our World Trade Organization agreements.” The American Farm Bureau Federation is sending a farm bill proposal to Capitol Hill today. Approved this weekend by the AFBF Board of Directors, the proposal offers a diverse mix of risk management and safety net tools to benefit a wide range of farms and it saves $23 billion compared to the cost of continuing the current program.The American Farm Bureau farm bill proposal helps reduce the nation’s budget deficit, provides an adequate economic safety net for the nation’s farmers and is based on several core policy principles, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman. SHARE Offers farmers a choice of program options.Protects and strengthens the federal crop insurance program and does not reduce its funding.Provides a commodity title that works to encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than making planting decisions in anticipation of government payments.Refrains from basing any program on cost of production.And, ensures equity across program commodities. Specifically, the AFBF proposal calls for a three-legged safety net for program crop farmers that includes: a stacked income protection plan commonly called STAX; an improved crop insurance program; and target prices and marketing loans. Under the proposal, all program crop farmers would have access to the marketing loan and crop insurance provisions and they would then select between a target price program and STAX to round out their safety net option. By Gary Truitt – Apr 8, 2013 -30- Farm Bureau Sends Farm Bill Proposal to Capitol Hill Stallman said the goal of the American Farm Bureau proposal is to provide a measure of fairness among regions and crops, while providing each commodity sector a workable safety net provision for farmers who grow that crop. We support producers being allowed a choice of program options.center_img Previous articleSeed Consultants 4/8/2013 Market Closing with Gary WilhelmiNext articleNew Pork Cut Names On the Way Gary Truitt Facebook Twitter SHARE The AFBF proposal also supports extending provisions of the STAX program for apples, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes and sweet corn. Covering these five specialty crops will benefit fruit and vegetable producers in 44 states. Eventually, Farm Bureau would like to cover all crops under a STAX program in the future. “There is far less money this year than last with which to secure an adequate safety net for the many family-owned farms that make up the bulk of America’s agricultural system,” Stallman said. “Last year, Congress merely extended the old 2008 farm bill until Sept. 30 of this year. Now, while unfortunately we have less money to work with, it is vital that Congress complete a new five-year farm bill this year. Doing so is in the economic interest of our entire nation.” Home Indiana Agriculture News Farm Bureau Sends Farm Bill Proposal to Capitol Hill Farm Bureau supports a safety net that allows farmers to purchase insurance products to further protect individual risk. The program should be delivered by private crop insurance companies. The smaller 10 percent adjustment is applied to peanuts and rice as both crops lack insurance products that function as well as those available to the major grain and oilseed commodities. AFBF suggests the same 10 percent loss threshold be used to determine appropriate target price levels for rice and peanuts. The target price will be based on 85 percent of planted acres, but not to exceed a producer’s historical base acreage. This provides a safety net more accurately addressing the risks associated with current production decisions and eliminates the present mismatch between payments and actual production or market conditions. Capping the payment acres at the historical base minimizes any potential distortion of a target price system. Because of funding limits, AFBF is proposing modifications be made to STAX for all eligible commodities. Those modifications would: reduce the crop insurance premium subsidization to 70 percent from 80 percent; not offer the multiplier option; not offer a harvest price option; allow STAX to be based on yield or revenue at the discretion of the producer; and allow purchase only as a buy-up policy with a 10-25 percent deductible rather than also providing for a stand-alone policy. In addition, under the STAX program suggested by Farm Bureau, no payments would be made until the county average revenue or yield fell by 10 percent from the historic amount. The Farm Bureau proposal: A target price program for all program commodities would be available except for cotton. Due to terms of Brazil’s WTO cotton case against the United States, cotton farmers would likely not be eligible for a marketing loan at the current level or any target price. The Senate Agriculture Committee will likely begin markup of a comprehensive, long-term farm bill this month, while the House Ag Committee is considering moving a bill after the Senate Ag Committee completes its mark up.last_img read more

EPA Wants to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide List

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News EPA Wants to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide List By Gary Truitt – Oct 23, 2014 EPA Wants to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide List The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday requested public comment on the agency’s proposal to remove 72 chemicals from the Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List. Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Jim Jones, stated “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.” The action is in response to petitions by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility and others. These groups asked the agency to issue a rule requiring disclosure of 371 inert ingredients found in pesticide products.Many of the 72 inert ingredients targeted for removal, are on the list of 371 inert ingredients identified by the petitioners as hazardous. The 72 chemicals are not currently being used as inert ingredients in any pesticide product, according to the EPA. Chemicals such as, turpentine oil and nitrous oxide are listed as candidates for removal. More information on all 72 chemicals is available in the Federal Register Notice, online at regulations dot gov. (https://regulations.gov) SHARE SHARE Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter Previous articleWatchdog Group Suing EPA over Failure to Release Communications with Oil IndustryNext articleMorning Outlook Gary Truittlast_img read more

Beware of the Bovine

first_img Facebook Twitter Previous articleContest to Honor the Spirit of the American FarmerNext articleWells Fargo Indiana Weather Forecast 3/13/2015 Gary Truitt Facebook Twitter Home News Feed Beware of the Bovine SHARE By Gary Truitt – Mar 12, 2015 Every year, cows kill more people than sharks. And yet nobody ever makes a horror movie about them, and there’s no Cow Week. These deadly beasts have managed to stay completely under the radar… until now. Find out just why cows are so deadly.Deliberate Attacks on PeopleIn the United States, the CDC estimates that about twenty-two people are killed by cows each year, and of those cow attacks, seventy-five percent were known to be deliberate attacks. One third of the killings were committed by cows that had previously displayed aggressive behavior.People know that bulls are dangerous, and it’s true. When animal behaviorists analyzed 21 cases that occurred across a four-state area, they found that bulls were responsible for ten of the deaths. Cows were responsible for six deaths. What’s really chilling is that, in five cases, people were killed by multiple cows in group attacks.Group attacks can be surprisingly well-coordinated. When they’re feeling defensive, cows will gather in a circle, all facing outwards, lowering their heads and stamping the ground. When they’re feeling offensive, certain cows lead the charge. One man, who was attacked while walking his dog along a path, reported, “I fell forwards and rolled into a ball and every time I tried to get up they jumped on me; they were rolling me along the hill with their legs trying to get me to open up. There were seven or eight cows. There were a couple leaders.”Even the people who survive cow attacks rarely brush them off. In 2014, a mountaineer and cyclist was leading a race through a pasture when a group of cows attacked him. He received fractures on eight ribs, a shoulder, and a part of his spine. A woman, attacked the same year, got six broken ribs and a punctured lung. Cows mostly trample and kick people, but if they get their head beneath their victim they can literally throw a person into the air and let them fall back down on the ground.Humans may not be able to trust cattle, but non-humans have been known to employ cows as security. Sheep raised with cows will run into the center of the cow-herd when faced with a threat, knowing that if things get hairy, the cows will take care of business.Battle CowsBecause they move slowly and require a lot of grass and water, cows are impractical standard weapons of war. That hasn’t stopped people from using them as improvised weapons, especially if the other side was dumb enough to bring them along. A herd of cows’ potential to do damage is even more infamous. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with old Westerns knows what’s going to happen when someone shouts, “Stampede!”George Armstrong Custer wrote a memoir in which he described Native Americans inducing cattle to stampede as either a distraction tactic or an outright attack. No matter what the purpose, soldiers knew that they had to take the cattle in hand before doing anything else. Another book, tellingly entitled The Uncivilized Races of Men in All Countries of the World and written in 1878, recounts the conflict between the Boers and the Zulu. The author, Reverend John George Wood writes, “The Zulus have sometimes outwitted the Boers, by introducing inside of a camp at night, scouts, who speared the cattle frightening them into a stampede.” Both books insist this is not the right way to fight a war, but admit the tactic is a good one. A stampede of cows is a scary thing.Kamikaze CowsCows don’t have to intend anyone’s death in order to kill them. Any fifteen hundred pound animal can do a lot of damage, which is why some motorists, driving beside cliffs in rural country, have been amused by signs warning them about falling cows. It wasn’t so much of a joke when, in Switzerland, over the course of a few weeks, twenty-eight cows either fell or jumped over a cliff. A man in Brazil was killed by a cow that fell on his car. And, in Indiana, drivers along a highway were startled when a trailer on an overpass tipped over and rained cows on them. A bull survived the fall and ran amok on the highway, attacking a tow-truck driver.The Summer of the CowMany people think that the book Jaws (which became an iconic movie) was based on the events that occurred in July of 1916. Over twelve days, five people along the coast of New Jersey were attacked by sharks. Four of them died. It was called “the summer of the shark.”People would be embarrassed to call summer of 2009 “the summer of the cow,” but in eight weeks, in Britain alone, cows racked up the same number of casualties. (That was also the summer that cows started jumping off the cliff in Switzerland.) SHARE Beware of the Bovinelast_img read more