Arcata >> To open the 2017 season, the Humboldt State men’s soccer team has traveled to Oregon, down to the Bay Area … and then back again just a few days later. Unlike a lot of other California Collegiate Athletic Association schools, the Jacks have only used their home field for training sessions and nothing more.That all changes today.And, with the arrival of Humboldt State’s first home game of the season this afternoon at 1 p.m. against Sonoma State comes a team playing as well as it has …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In late April a federal jury, after less than two days of deliberation, found in favor of 10 neighbors of an eastern North Carolina hog farm, awarding them $750,000 in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages over complaints of odor and noise from the farm.The jury unanimously agreed that Murphy-Brown, which owns the hogs at Kinlaw Farms in Bladen County, “substantially and unreasonably interfered with the plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of their property.” Murphy-Brown, the hog production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, will appeal the court verdict against one of its contract pork producers to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which is based in Richmond, Va.The National Pork Producers Council closely monitored the case and called the nuisance lawsuit “frivolous” and an “unwarranted attack on livestock agriculture.” NPPC pointed out that Smithfield operated in compliance with federal and state laws, including applicable occupational health and safety rules. The case was the first of several nuisance lawsuits brought by North Carolina residents against hog operations in the state with at least six more trials scheduled through this fall.This first case was being closely watched nationally by agriculture, environmental groups and animal rights groups and it sets a precedent that could have ripple effects throughout production agriculture. Smithfield thinks the result would have been different if the jury could have actually visited the farm and learned more about odor monitoring being conducted.“The recent jury verdict in a nuisance lawsuit involving a Murphy-Brown contract hog farm is deeply troubling,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Before a jury can award millions of dollars in damages for so-called nuisance odors from a farm, that jury should at least be allowed to visit the farm and hear evidence about actual odor measurements at the farm. It is worrisome that a misled jury has set a dangerous precedent that will motivate more greed-driven lawsuits against more farmers. We are hopeful this verdict will be overturned on appeal.”In a statement issued by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation and the North American Meat Institute, the groups expressed their concerns.“The recent jury verdict against a North Carolina hog farm is a blatant assault on animal agriculture and on rural America. If replicated, it will raise the price of food for consumers. It also will adversely affect farmers at a time when they are adopting innovation and technology to increase sustainability. It also set a dangerous precedent that already is being used in other cases,” the statement said. “The U.S. animal agriculture industry agrees with Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s characterization of the verdict as ‘despicable’ and with his opinion that it should be overturned. This miscarriage of justice must be rectified to ensure that the anti-agriculture advocates can’t continue to attack America’s farmers and ranchers.“Farmers and ranchers are among the best stewards of the environment and strive to be good neighbors. They shouldn’t be hauled into court for trying to do the right thing on their farms every day.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Speaker of the Ohio House Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) held a press conference with the chairs of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to call on Gov. John Kasich to rescind his executive order on agricultural regulations signed last week and delay the action of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The executive order seeks to establish numerous policy changes through rule-making rather than the legislative process.“From a legislative standpoint we are very concerned any time we talk about regulations that make the job of the agricultural community any harder than it already is,” Smith said. “Personally I just want to express my disappointment in the fact that this type of major policy is not moving through the legislature. Part of my disappointment with that is that we have not been sitting on our hands. We have been actively working on this issue and we acknowledge that there is an issue that we need to continue to work on. And we have more work to do.”Leaders in the House and Senate came together with interested parties in the agricultural community to commend successes in the legislature over the past several years to address agricultural runoff issues and the impact on clean and healthy waterways.“While there is more work to be done, we have made tremendous strides and continue to work toward a solution,” Smith said. “We invite the Governor and agency directors to come to the table to communicate with all stakeholders, most importantly Ohio farmers, to ensure we create a legislative fix that improves water quality without making farmers’ jobs harder.”Most recently, the legislature approved Senate Bill 299, which establishes the Clean Lake 2020 Plan. More than $36 million in funding will go toward a variety of programs aimed at supporting Lake Erie and reducing toxic algae. The bill follows previous efforts to prevent nutrient runoff and establish a process for the disposal of dredge material to improve water quality.“The Ohio House and Senate are calling for the Governor to rescind his executive order regarding additional burdensome and costly regulations on the agricultural industry,” said Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville), chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. “As a farmer myself, we need an opportunity for public input on the issue, especially from the 7,000 farmers in the affected watersheds. I am already impressed by the work they have done to voluntarily improve their practices based on previously passed legislation. We stand ready to join forces with farmers, the administration, and other interested parties to build upon best practices farmers have already implemented to willingly protect Ohio’s lands and waters.”Many in agriculture were disappointed with the lack of opportunity to weigh in during the executive order process. Hancock County grain and hog farmer Duane Stateler was on hand at the event to talk about his views on water quality and nutrient management based on the work that has been done with his farm. Statelers raise corn, soybeans and wheat on approximately 600 acres in Hancock County and also operate a 7,200 head wean to finish swine operation. The Statelers have committed 243 acres to the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network.“Unfortunately from what I see from what is being done the few items that look like they could be a real plus to what we can do to stop phosphorus from getting into the lakes are not addressed. One of the reasons they are not addressed is that I reached out to the governor personally, myself, through an aide to try to get him to come see the demonstration farm several months ago, so he could see the work that was being done. I never heard a response back,” Stateler said. “I was disappointed that people who are making these decisions did not visit our farm to see the extensive work we have done in the last two years. We can see trends already and those trends are not addressed in anything I have seen so far.”More farmers will be on hand to testify Thursday, July 19 at the Soil and Water Commission meeting, which will be held at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.The message from farmers will be similar from today.“Our message is simple. We have to have science based facts before we move forward with any remedies for the Lake,” said Mark Drewes, with Ohio Corn & Wheat, who farms in the Lake Erie watershed. “We have to come together as an agricultural community. We have to do this as a team. This cannot come from the top down. We have done things on our farms from the grassroots up that we feel are working.”
We are getting a jump start on the planning process for the MFLN Military Caregiving Virtual Learning Event (VLE), happening this fall. Mark your calendars for a three-part series for military service providers that will focus on an integrated approach to professional development. The VLE will highlight the core competencies to working with military family caregivers of wounded service members and caregivers of special needs individuals.The three-part series includes topic areas in Building Trust and Credibility (October 28); Cultural Competencies (November 4); and Compassion Fatigue (November 18). Each event encompasses the overall theme of the professional development training – targeting the “core competencies” of our professional work with clientele. Our goal is to re-energize the working environment and inspire personal and professional growth in order to better serve our service members and their families.The VLE is so unique from our normal professional development webinars because participants can gain a more engaged training that is similar to a professional conference but in a virtual format. The events are also more compatible with the busy schedules of military helping professionals and provide training on a virtual level to alleviate the travel restrictions and budget cuts that many of us are faced with.Oh and did I mention this is a FREE training that is open to the public, not only military professionals, but to all who may be interested?Be on the lookout for more details to come. In the meantime, begin penciling in the VLE trainings into your calendar.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on July 3, 2015.