Tag Archives: Cattle

Is Whatcom County Winning?

Last Tuesday’s County Council meeting had two disconcerting moments for this County resident. The first uncomfortable moment was when the Council brought forward nominations to fill a vacancy on the Ferry Advisory Board.  At the time that the Council agenda packet was published there were two applicants.  Both of these applicants were well qualified and had submitted their applications on time for consideration by all of the Council.  During open session one applicant withdrew her name and the second spoke to the council about the ferry.  When it came time to approve the applicant a last minute additional applicant  was added to the nominees, that of Byron Moye. At this time, Mr. Moye’s application is not available online for public access to view his qualifications for the position he was successfully nominated to.  The first applicant, Mr. Jim Dickinson’s application is available online.  It clearly shows that Mr. Dickinson would have been a quality member to fill out the Ferry Advisory Board. All of that said, what bothers me most is not only that Mr. Moye’s application was added at the last minute with no access for the public to see his qualifications for the position, but the whole process of how he …

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Fact or Fiction?

The Bellingham Herald should fact check their guest editors.  On Tuesday Tip Johnson wrote a three column Whatcom View Piece to scare the city folks about new slaughterhouses in Whatcom County. As usual Mr. Johnson began with epidemics of world-wide proportion. The Truth: Cholera bacterium exist in nature. Outbreaks appear to begin in the regions of India and Africa. The bacteria  can infect any animal, but it is human infection that most often transmits the bacteria to epidemic proportions. We counter this natural occurrence by treating our drinking water , installing good sanitation systems, and practicing good hygiene. The Truth:  The last cholera outbreak in the United States occurred in 1910-1911. Yes, that is one hundred and two years ago.  This was part of a larger cholera pandemic that began in India in 1899 and eventually spread into Europe.  A steamship brought cholera infected people to New York City from Naples.  Health authorities quarantined the infected.  Eleven people died. I am not quite sure why anyone with any understanding of history or pandemics would have read any further.  However, if like me you found yourself mesmerized by the lie linking cholera directly to cows, the rest of the article read like a pulp …

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A Very Human Response to Disaster

I was recently reading an article on debunking myths of human responses to disasters. Ruth Wraith and Rob Gordon from The Department of Child and Family Psychiatry at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital explained: “People do not panic, they behave rationally unless they have no information or no way to escape. People are not self centered, they care for each other helping those in need where they can. People behave more rationally if they have information and can verify it with people they trust.” This week I attended a meeting of the Whatcom County Cattlemen where the Department of Ecology and the Department of Health introduced new employees and a new water monitoring program. The feeling in the room was that another government-made disaster could be closing in on them. Livestock farming has become an ever more burdensome operation, with shrinking participation due to the layers of bureaucrats and paperwork that have interjected themselves into the process of livestock agriculture. They had come to meet the new agents and gather more information on water quality and help each other to be understood and to understand. Everyone attending was respectful, asking rational, concerned questions about how this program will affect their …

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Buy Local vs Sustainability

If you have been following local news, (I know it’s difficult if you really want to know what’s going on) you may have heard some talk about a proposal for a new slaughterhouse in the county. Well, its true. Before you start seeing pictures of 1920’s Chicago shipping yards take a deep breath of our fresh sea air and relax. Some folks here are attempting to get a permit for small slaughterhouse operations. Why? So that locally produced and processed meat products would be available in Whatcom County. First you need to know, this is not just a local problem. Check out WillametteLive website for the article “Who cut the Meat?” Nate Rafn has an excellent article about the challenges in Oregon’s direct-to-consumer marketing channel. For those not directly involved in the Ag business let’s just say it is not as easy as you may think to get local products to local customers. Here’s your quick Ag recent history lesson. While we were all busy shopping at our local grocery market, most did not realize the good beef prices were due to an Ag industry concentration that happpened due to improvements in technology. Imagine that, just like what happened as …

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