Tag Archives: Farm Animals

“Save Ozzie” – Because All Pets Lives Matter

Ozzie is 28 years old with the probability of 2 more years of life. We invite you to join us Tuesday, July 19th, 2016, 12 noon, at the Department of Ecology’s Regional Branch, in Bellingham ’s Fairhaven District (see map below), to seek answers.  What are their intentions for the lives of all pets in Whatcom County, and Ozzie in particular? Last week we shared a post from a Whatcom County rural resident about her problem dealing with the State Department of Ecology (DOE). We shared Kathy and Ozzie’s post because we have heard rumblings from the county that DOE is expanding their compliance programs with real negative effects on rural lives. Well, Ozzie’s story has struck a chord in our county and beyond.  (See Kathy’s story below.) When a state agency comes knocking at your door it is intimidating. They come with the full weight of the state behind them. You can only hope whatever compliance they are seeking will not crush you. Whatcom County rural land owners are finding there is no easy, quick, or inexpensive way to keep their pets on their acreage when the DOE comes knocking. They are being told they must comply with similar …

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The Sun is Shining in Whatcom County

It is important to acknowledge when something good happens in the farming community, because it is not always raining — sometimes the sun does indeed shine. Last night at the Whatcom County Council meeting, against the headwinds of hysteria and fear, four council members voted to allow meat packing facilities on Ag land. Ever since this issue came before the council, I have been befuddled why people would want to specifically ban something we on the Ag lands have done for 100’s of years — slaughter animals so that they can be used in our food supply. Be that as it may, it took a lot of work by Councilman Bill Knutzen and Farmer Ben Elenbaas to provide zoning in Whatcom County in which we could expand our meat packing facilities. Bill Knutzen is currently the only member on the council that comes from a farming background. He has spent the last year attempting to explain the complex nature of food production to both his fellow council members and the public. Ben Elenbaas was gracious enough to provide on the ground tours of farming and slaughter facilities in our county to council members who wished to become better informed before …

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Saturday Morning Live for August 10th, 2013

Hosts Kris Halterman and Lorraine Newman talk to local Farmer, Larry Helm what and why small farms in Whatcom County continue to decline.  

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A View from the Farm April 2013

I finally got to the the USDA FSA Newsletter on by desk for March/April 2013.  In case you city folks think we are being over subsidized down on the farm you should be happy with the following news.? Four FSA disaster programs were extended through September 20, 2013, however as of this February they have NOT been funded, including: Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) Provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths that result from disaster. Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) Provides assistance for grazing losses due to drought. Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) Provides emergency assistance for livestock, honeybees, and farm raised fish. Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. The SURE Program was not extended for 2012 or 2013 crop losses.  SURE provided financial assistance for crop production and or quality losses due to a natural disaster. What is funded by the Department of Agriculture Nutrition Assistance More Commonly Known as Food Stamps.   Farm assistance goes to the cities. ~ Lorraine Newman

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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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Two Chicken Farmer Stories

Liberty Road: Two Chicken Farmer Stories A Maryland poultry grower has triumphed in the Federal courts against an environmental activist group. Now before you see visions of factory farms in your heads this family, the Hudsons have two chicken houses. Their farm is considered “small compared to the average chicken farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore”. The family also raises corn, soy beans, hay and a few beef cattle. Their battle began in 2010 when Waterkeeper Alliance (a citizen group) filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the family had violated the clean water act because they had a long standing manure pile. At Waterkeeper Alliance’s behest the Maryland Dept. of the Environment investigated. The Department found that it was not a manure pile but a lawfully obtained pile of biosolids. They asked the farmers to move it to another location and to spread it in the spring for the next crop growing season. The Department determined no further action was required. Not to be deterred by facts, the Waterkeeper Alliance amended their law suit to include the words “factory farm operation” and made further accusations of air contaminants and moved forward in the courts. Three years and $100,000.00 later the …

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