Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Maxwell farms' Unionport Nursery in Randolph County has been slammed with a second bout of TGE (transmissible gastroenteritis) plaguing their 16,000-pig nursery, the second outbreak in 5 months, reports the The disease is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS, although not a threat to humans according to the Indiana Board of Animal Health:
Denise Derrer, public information director at the Indiana Board of Animal Health said the risk of cross contamination is why the agency preaches the importance of sanitation. Operators of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) usually require visitors to undress, shower and don clothing they provide when inside a barn. Visitors must repeat the showering procedure before leaving,

The state doesn't have an accounting of every case of TGE, Derrer said, as the disease often is diagnosed clinically, rather than with a laboratory test. But Derrer confirmed it is common, and said it's not a risk for humans. (Link to full article.)

Some of you might recall the controversy in Randolph County over CAFOs and CFOs and remember Maxwell Foods from the March 3 Muncie Star Press article:
"Maxwell Foods, one of the nation's largest pig producers, filed suit in Randolph County in early February, hoping to overturn the moratorium that would have blocked its local expansion," the paper reported.

You can read more about the mess happening over in Randloph County through this excellent article over at The Bloomington Alternative. It's a long article, but well worth your time to read.

Meanwhile, Kemplog provided an excellent update with respect to the Randolph County CAFO dilemna (link here).

There's another interesting (though much older) post over at the Berry Street Beacon entitled, "NORTH CAROLINA CORPORATION INVADES INDIANA TO CONSTRUCT CAFOs"

Pause for Thought: I wonder if there is any insurance coverage for situations like this Maxwell thing? If there is, I'm guessing that companies like Maxwell Foods are driving the cost of insurance sky high for all the other CAFOs/CFOs.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Food Price-Fixing by the Feds?

As the price of food goes higher and higher, you ever wonder if governments (such as ours) have had a hand in it all?

I'm not outright saying they have...

But, think back to their big ethanol push with respect to corn prices. Of course, there are opponents on both sides of the aisle -- one side claiming ethanol has caused the largest increase, the other side claiming skyrocketing corn (and other grain) prices have little to do with the ethanol push, that it plays a very minor roll in the big picture.

While they're debating the issue, I'm going to take you back to another article I wrote called "bailout nation" remind you of where a good chunk of our tax dollars went recently.

In the article I hinted that the Government would probably find a way to bailout the hog industry with our tax dollars, too.

Well, guess what?

Check out this article over at entitled - "USDA to buy pork for aid programs amid hog market woes"
WICHITA, Kan. | When Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the government's plan to buy up to $50 million of pork products for child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs, it seemed to be a generous effort to help poor families struggling with high grocery tabs.

But what the Agriculture Department failed to mention in making Thursday's announcement was that the move was just what the National Pork Producers Council had urged Schafer to do two weeks earlier to reduce sow numbers — ultimately driving up pork prices for all consumers.

In my article, "Desparate Acts by Hog Producers," I had a feeling the bailout would be coming soon. Sure enough, the Feds haven't let me down. So predictable. Sheesh!

When you next consider The High Cost of Food -- think about all the price increases that have been caused, directly and/or indirectly, by Government policies and/or actions.

The price of food keeps going up, up, and up...

The price of gas keeps going up, up, and up...

Taxes keep going up, up, and up...

And, uh, we're paying them to do, err, what exactly?

Are you Fed up, yet?