Who’s In Charge Of Gbanepea Gold Mine?

first_imgGbanepea Gold Mine at the time of the disaster in February this year There is an emerging confusion over the status of Gbanepea Gold Mine where, in February this year, about 40 miners were trampled to death, while carrying on illicit mining activities. The fatal incident drew national attention, causing the Government of Liberia several days later to deploy troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to secure the area and undertake rescue operations.But, report reaching the Daily Observer Nimba Bureau suggests that a strange mining company has currently taken over the concession area to carry on gold mining, effective after the raining season.The coming of the new company is said to be causing confusion among the members of the Nimba Legislative Caucus, with one of them claiming that the agreement that brought the company is bogus and did not meet the consent of the entire caucus.Rep. Larry Younquoi, in a recent interview with local journalists in Nimba, said the social agreement that brought in the new concession company was done without the consent of the entire caucus as it were in the case of ArcelorMittal or Cocopa.Rep. Younquoi argued that any agreement regarding concession should be meet the consent of all citizens of the county. Where the process from the concession to go to the county account as done in the case of ArcelorMittal, Cocopa and others concession company around the country to be included in the county budget.Prior to the disaster that killed about 40 miners in Gbanepea in February, there was an agreement reached by the citizens of the mining community and a group of miners known as Sackor and Kartee Mining Company (SAKAMICO).The very day this company and the community reached the agreement, some group of miners rushed to the mining site to make one last effort to scavenge for gold. Sadly, about 40 or them were trampled to death.After the February mine disaster, the mining site was taken over by the Armed forces of Liberia to keep eye on the concession to prevent any further illicit mining.With the coming of this new mining group, under the banner Universal Forestry Corporation (UFC), confusion is emerging among the caucus over how the concession was reached.When contacted, the Statutory Superintendent of Tappita District, Mr. Aubrey Wehye, confirmed the coming of the new company, but said they came with their legal mining documents from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.He said the community only asked to carry on some social responsibilities, among them, feeder roads, building of palava huts, toilet facilities, hand pumps and among others.“We are not bigger than the government. If there is anything the lawmakers [are] not satisfied with, they should contact the Ministry of Mines and Energy or the central government. But, we local officials, are there to protect the government’s interests, especially where there are legal documents.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Diamond Jim staves off Cosby

first_img“I’m over the moon,” she said. Judge Robert Indeglia said he wished he had seven ribbons to present to the final contenders at Madison Square Garden. Given only a purple-and-gold one, he pointed to Diamond Jim. This was his 51st best in show victory, and his last. He’s retiring from the show world to live the life of a therapy and obedience dog. “I wanted him to go out with a bang,” Fitzgerald said. Diamond Jim beat out the Dandie Dinmont, a pair of white poodles and a petit basset griffon vendeen, plus an Akita and a Bouviers des Flandres that pitted a husband and wife against each other. Larry Fenner handled the Bouviers and Laurie Jordan-Fenner guided the Akita. An English springer spaniel with a preference for chicken-and-garlic treats prevented America’s top dog event from turning into “The Cosby Show.” Diamond Jim jumped into handler Kellie Fitzgerald’s arms after being picked for best in show Tuesday night at the Westminster Kennel Club. Dressed in a glittering copper top that perfectly matched her brown-and-white dog, Fitzgerald cuddled her 6-year-old certified therapy dog. Diamond Jim beat out a Dandie Dinmont terrier co-owned by Bill Cosby, as he did at the big AKC/Eukanuba event in December. The springer was the nation’s No. 2 show dog last year behind Cosby’s entry – Fitzgerald also repeated, having gone best in show at Westminster in 2000. With a few dogs barking and baying backstage, Diamond Jim was judged the best of the overall 2,628 entries. This was the 100th time that best in show was presented at Westminster, and the sixth time that an English springer spaniel won. Cosby’s run of bad luck on the green carpet of the Garden continued. He’d lost with several top dogs in the past, and avoided coming this time to stave off the jinx. The Dandie named Harry was the nation’s top show dog last year with 57 best-in-show victories. He fell short at Westminster last February when he slipped on the slick carpet. After winning the sporting group earlier in the evening, Fitzgerald was asked about again going against the Dandie. She was aware upsets had a way of happening at this event. “It’s the Garden and it’s Westminster; anything can happen,” she said. – Associated Press 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Osama boasts, gloats – but issues no new threats

first_img“It has Adam Gadahn written all over it,” said one former senior intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The official said the speech, laden with references to U.S. culture, appeared “pulled together by someone with a native American perspective who is attempting to influence his former countryman.” Bin Laden mocks the democratic system of government in the United States, calling the nation “unjust,” the transcript shows. He lambastes the Bush administration for initiating the war in Iraq. At one point, he jeers at President George W. Bush’s alliance with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Other messages Audio and video messages from Osama bin Laden since Sept. 11, 2001: Sept. 7, 2007: Osama bin Laden appears for the first time in three years in a 30-minute video, released to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. He tells Americans they should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end. Bin Laden is seen seated in a white robe and turban and beige cloak, and with a trimmed beard, which in previous videos was mostly gray, now entirely dark. July 1, 2006: Bin Laden issues a 19-minute audiotape, posted on the Web, endorsing the new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, and denouncing Iraqi Shiite leaders as traitors. June 30, 2006: Bin Laden issued an audiotape praising al-Muhajer’s predecessor, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had been killed in a U.S. airstrike. The message, also 19 minutes, was packaged with an old still photo of bin Laden as well as images of al-Zarqawi taken from a previous video. May 23, 2006: Bin Laden purportedly says in an Internet audiotape that Zacarias Moussaoui had nothing to do with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. April 23, 2006: In an audiotape on Arab TV, bin Laden says the West is at war with Islam and calls on his followers to go to Sudan to fight a proposed U.N. force. Jan. 19, 2006: Bin Laden warns that his fighters are preparing new attacks in the United States but offers the American people a “long-term truce” without specifying the conditions, in an audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite channel. Dec. 28, 2004: In an hourlong audiotape, he endorses al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and calls for a boycott of Iraqi elections. Dec. 16, 2004: An audiotape posted on an Islamic Web site shows a man identified as bin Laden praising militants who attacked a U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia earlier that month and calling on militants to stop the flow of oil to the West. Oct. 29, 2004: Al-Jazeera airs a video of bin Laden saying the United States can avoid another Sept. 11 attack if it stops threatening the security of Muslims. May 6, 2004: In an online audiotape released on Islamic forums, bin Laden offers rewards of gold for the killing of U.S. and U.N. officials in Iraq. April 15, 2004: A man identifying himself as bin Laden offers a “truce” to European countries that do not attack Muslims, in an audiotape broadcast on Arab TV stations. Jan. 4, 2004: A speaker thought to be bin Laden says on an audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera that the U.S.-led war in Iraq is the beginning of the “occupation” of Persian Gulf states for their oil. He calls on Muslims to keep fighting a holy war in the Middle East. Sept. 10, 2003: In the first video image of bin Laden in nearly two years, he is shown walking through rocky terrain with top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri. In an accompanying audiotape, a voice purporting to be bin Laden’s praises the “great damage to the enemy” on Sept. 11 and mentions five hijackers by name. April 7, 2003: In an audiotape obtained by The Associated Press in Pakistan, bin Laden exhorts Muslims to rise up against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other governments it claims are “agents of America,” and calls for suicide attacks against U.S. and British interests. The CIA determines that the 27-minute tape is likely authentic. Feb. 13, 2003: An audiotape purported to be of bin Laden reads a poetic last will and testament in a recording first obtained by the British-based Islamic Al-Ansaar news agency. Bin Laden says he wants to die a martyr in a new attack against the U.S. Feb. 11, 2003: Bin Laden tells his followers to help Saddam Hussein fight Americans in an audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera. U.S. officials say they believe the tape to be authentic. Nov. 12, 2002: Al-Jazeera broadcasts a brief audiotape in which a voice attributed to bin Laden threatens new terrorism against the U.S. and its allies, and calls the Bush administration “the biggest serial killers in this age.” U.S. experts say the tape can’t be authenticated because of its poor quality. Dec. 13, 2001: The U.S. Defense Department releases a videotape of bin Laden in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2001, saying the destruction of the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded even his “optimistic” calculations. – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Nineteen young men were able – by the grace of Allah, the Most High – to change the direction of its compass,” bin Laden says of the nation in a transcript of the video obtained by The Associated Press. “Since the 11th, many of America’s policies have come under the influence of the Mujahedeen,” bin Laden says. “And as a result, the people discovered the truth about it; its reputation worsened, its prestige was broken globally and it was bled dry economically.” “Mujahedeen” is a term for Muslims fighting in a war or involved in any other struggle. Counterterror and intelligence officials confirmed it was bin Laden on the tape, which they said appears to have been recently made. Bin Laden mentions the Aug. 6 anniversary of the World War II bombing of Hiroshima, and includes British Prime Minister Gordon Brown among leaders of the West with a “flagrant disregard for the intellects of human beings.” Brown became prime minister June 27. Several current and former government officials said bin Laden’s speech may have been at least partially written by 28-year-old Adam Gadahn, an American charged with treason and supporting terrorism for serving as an al-Qaida propagandist. Authorities believe Gadahn tries to recruit supporters through videos and messages posted on the Internet. WASHINGTON – A new video of Osama bin Laden makes no overt threats against the United States but boasts about the devastating impact the 2001 terror attacks had on the nation – both domestically and overseas. The Bush administration called the video, which surfaced days before the sixth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, a reminder of al-Qaida’s continuing threat. The Homeland Security Department said it had no credible information warning of an imminent threat to the United States. In a rambling, 30-minute speech addressed to Americans, bin Laden references the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon several times, almost gloating about policy changes by the U.S. government in response. last_img read more

Chewing on idea jerky with Mark Twain and Will Rogers

first_imgAnd I like this report from England, where a drive to serve healthful meals in school cafeterias led to kids spending their lunch money on convenience store junk food. Meanwhile, in Little Rock, Ark., six elderly Roman Catholic nuns of the Army of Mary were excommunicated – much as the Angels were by Boston – after the Vatican judged them heretics for believing that their order’s founder, 86-year-old Marie Giguere, is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary with God speaking through her. The nuns stated that the church had better “open their eyes before it’s too late” and that they only believe that God “communicates through Giguere.” Silly nuns. For starters, God communicates through the pope, who, in any case, will not tolerate female criminals in a church that has yet to excommunicate or even discipline some of the male sex offenders in its ranks and those who aided them. “An ethical man,” wrote Twain, “is a Christian holding four aces.” Or, as I see it, all the cards. Speaking of God, a man named Andy Schlafly of New Jersey was horrified by the “information” offered by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Wanting to correct all that crazy talk about the Earth being older than 10,000 years, he created Conservapedia.com, which is designed to tell certain people that what they already believe is absolutely correct. Now consider Peter Tork of the made-for-TV Monkees, which recorded 10 Top 20 singles in the 1960s. He claims that Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner is blocking the group’s induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Wenner is, of course, an antique mired in a time before Americans expected their music idols to be complete fakes. Still, by comparison to many of today’s contrived sensations, the Monkees were Mozart. Then there was this quote from Dr. Ellen Laan of the University of Amsterdam: “I think that it’s progress when we can spend two hours in this performance-driven society admitting that maybe we don’t know what we’re talking about.” Her frightening statement came at the end of an Orlando medical conference on women’s sexual health, during which the expert assembly admitted to knowing next to nothing about what causes sexual arousal and orgasm in women. Or as Twain once quipped, “Neither do I!” Now take Michigan Democrat Rep. John Dingell’s lunatic suggestion that we reduce carbon emissions by removing the mortgage-interest tax deduction from all homes over 3,000 square feet. How killing with taxes people who own larger existing homes would help air quality remains a mystery. But he did make me recall Will Rogers, who once said, “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” And 25 years ago, a scientist at Carnegie Mellon invented the colon-hyphen-parenthesis sideways smiley face that haunts the world like anthrax. I want to find that guy. Boy, do I want to find him. I said that. I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at john.bogert@dailybreeze.com or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! I do this job for one reason only. Or one reason aside from how I get to read e-mails from complete strangers telling me that I look funny. And that one reason is how I get to foist my opinions off on a tolerant readership that often asks, “Where do you get those idiot ideas?” Well, many are plucked out of thin air while others are clipped from periodicals and carefully stored on my desk until they become idea jerky. Problem is, most of these items can’t fill an entire column. But neither can I let them go. Take a recent story about Sen. Larry Craig, R-Screwed, where he never says: “I have personal issues that I need to work out. Please understand that I am a frail human being who nonetheless cares very much about the the problems facing the West.” Personally, I’d advise Craig to think about something Mark Twain once said: “A man is never more truthful (and endearing) than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” Instead, he’s denying lewd conduct charges while – I love this – insisting that it is inappropriate and unpatriotic to discuss his bathroom behavior “while the nation is at war.” Then there is a study out of the Max Planck Institute suggesting that a sense of fair play is a uniquely (and I’d say rare) human trait not shared by our chimp relatives. Which brings to mind another Twain quote: “I believe that our Heavenly Father created man because he was disappointed with the monkey.” Only I think that it was the other way around. Now take Roberto Madrazo, a former Mexican presidential candidate who disappeared midway through the recent Berlin Marathon, then suddenly reappeared to win with an age-group record. Or as Twain once observed, “Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.” last_img read more

Fisher is hard to ‘bait’ as he wins final Otway turkey scramble

first_imgThe last of the October Sunday morning turkey scrambles saw an amazing eagle at the par 4 third hole, but that wasn’t enough to deny the team of Sam Anderson, Noel Fisher and John Patton claiming victory with a winning score of 6 under par.Last Sunday the elements got a little nastier with hail and strong winds making things difficult for competitors, but somehow the winning team managed to find birdies and eagles handy enough, on a day where bogeys were threatening at every hole.The team of Peter and Philip Friel, Gerry Gallagher and John McClafferty/Gallagher somehow managed to find a score of 12 under par to bag this weeks birds, 6 shots clear of the rest of the field. Congrats to all winners of 2016 so far, and for the rest of the field it’s just a matter of try try again, and the birds will come! This Sunday is another chance in the weekly open scramble at Otway, with names in to the clubhouse at 9158319 by 11.45 for a 12 noon tee off.Another chance to bag a turkey at Otway is at the weekly 25 game in the clubhouse every Wednesday evening at 7pm, with tea and sandwiches servedFisher is hard to ‘bait’ as he wins final Otway turkey scramble was last modified: November 8th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:golfNoel FisherOtwayTurkey scramblelast_img read more

Finance records contain surprises

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In most elections, incumbents nearly always outspend their challengers. But that conventional wisdom isn’t holding true in a number of local school board elections.In some of the contests, challengers such as Edmund Velasco, a candidate for the East Whittier City School District Board of Education race are outspending incumbents by as much as a 5-1 or even 10-1 ratio.Ralph Pacheco, a Whittier Union High School District board member and political consultant, said that some challengers be- lieve they have to spend more.“It all comes down to the challengers having to get their name and message out,” Pacheco said. “They’re relatively unknown while incumbents have a track record.”Velasco has spent $4,828 in his race as of Oct. 22 according to his campaign finance report filed with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office.“Not being an incumbent, it’s harder for people who aren’t known widely throughout the area to get your name out there,” Velasco said. “You can do all the precinct walking you want, but when you’re talking 7,500 homes, I don’t have the time.”Mailing to voters is expensive, he said. The cost of one was $1,800, while another was $1,650.In Velasco’s race, incumbent Paul Gardiner has filed a form stating he will spend less than $1,000. Appointed incumbent Christine Chacon Sullivan had spent no money as of Sept. 24. She hasn’t filed her second report that was due Oct. 24.In the Whittier City School District school board race, incumbents Javier Gonzalez, and Ken Henderson have filed forms stating they would spend less than $1,000. But challenger Efrain Aceves in that race has spent $9,238.Gonzalez said challengers need to spend more money because they lack the name identity that incumbents have.“I don’t think I have to work as hard,” Gonzalez said. “I know the people and I know the streets.”Gonzalez said he has been using free and less expensive ways to campaign.“I got publicity from the newspaper and the (teachers) for free,” he said.He also has been out walking with friends and family.“All of that doesn’t cost me money,” he said. “All I have to do is buy my family a pizza.”Gardiner is also is being outspent, but says he doesn’t care.“I don’t want to fill out the paperwork that goes with spending $1,000 or more,” Gardiner said.Gardiner said he’s getting enough support from the teachers union that he’s not worried about getting outspent.“(Teachers) have put signs supporting the three candidates they’re supporting,” he said. “My name is on their signs and they have put out a post card with our three names and faces on it.”The challengers are relying on friends and sometimes their own bankrolls to raise the money.For example, Aceves, a deputy district attorney, has relied on his friends, mostly attorneys, to finance his campaign.Armando Urteaga, a challenger in the East Whittier City School District race who has spent $9,184, is using $7,000 of his own money.“I see it as an investment in my children’s’ future,” Urteaga said. “I want to make sure I play an important part in making sure that my children, get a quality education.” mike.sprague@sgvn.com(562)698-0955, Ext. 3022last_img read more

Simpson And James Shine At Hy-Vee Night At The Relays

first_img Friday Results (PDF) Friday Results (HTML) Friday Notes Morning Photos Afternoon Photos Interviews center_img Story Links DES MOINES, Iowa – Kirani James and Jenny Simpson highlighted a star-studded day of track and field during the Friday session of the 2016 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee with a pair of world-leading marks and a Drake Relays and Drake Stadium record between the pair in Rio Olympic Games Preview events.The men’s 400 meters saw Kirani James outlast LaShawn Merritt in a dead heat down the homestretch. James, at 44.08, set a world best for 2016 and broke his Drake Relays record of 44.22, set in 2014. Merritt’s time of 44.22 is the second best time in the world this season and matched James’ previous record. James’ time is the second-fastest 400 run before the month of May in track and field history.Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World Champion, ran a world-leading time in the women’s 1500 meters, crossing the line in 4:06.44. The Webster City, Iowa, native won her eighth race at Drake Stadium in nine tries, as she’s won the last four invitational 1500 meters at the Drake Relays. Kate Grace ran the world’s second-fastest time in 4:07.15, which was a personal-best for the 2013 Grand Blue Mile champion while Heather Kampf, the 2016 and 2015 Grand Blue Mile Champion, ran the world’s third-fastest 1500 meters time of 4:07.26.In the Rio Olympic Games Preview field events, Derek Drouin made history by becoming the first athlete to win the high jump three-consecutive years. Drouin’s jump of 7-4 ¼ was tied by Bryan McBride, but was awarded to Drouin on a judge’s decision. Drouin also holds the Drake Relays and Drake Stadium record in the high jump, passing a height of 7-10 ½ in 2014. Hy-Vee Night at the Drake Relays began with a unique, one of a kind event in the coed shuttle hurdle relay. The winning foursome of Kristi Castlin, Spencer Adams, Nia Ali, and Eddie Lovett won in a time of 54.42. World-record holder Aries Merritt, anchored the second place squad of Jasmin Stowers, Hansel Parchment, Jacqueline Coward, and Merritt in 54.77.Collegiate competition saw Purdue claim a pair of individual titles with Symone Black of Purdue becoming the third-straight Big Ten runner to win the women’s 400 hurdles in 57.72 as she topped two-time Drake Relays champion Alexis Franklin of Ohio State, who placed third. The Boilermakers’ Savannah Carson then won the women’s long jump with a mark of 20-8 1/2 to claim Purdue’s second crown in the event.To close the evening, Baylor’s women’s 4×800-meter relay team won the event in 8:34.22 with the fastest collegiate time this season and the second fastest in U.S. this outdoor season with Jessica Purtell, Maggie Montoya, Chelsea Orr and Olicia Williams clocking the winning time. It was the first win for the Bears in the 4×800, but their 37th win at the Drake Relays.High school competition was highlighted by five Drake Relays records falling including Kiana Phelps breaking her own Drake Relays record in winning the girls discus with a throw of 162-7 for her fourth title in the event. She set the old mark of 159-4 last year. Abby Emsick of Council Bluffs Lewis Central is the only other four-time winner in Relays history in the event. She won the event from 1999-2002.  Phelps is also the state’s all-time leader in the event at 179-7.Dowling Catholic’s Ryan Schweizer repeated as the boys champion in the 800 and broke his own Relays record as well. His time of 1:51.76 moves to fifth on the state’s all-time list. Schweizer became the first repeat champion in the boys 800 meters since the event debuted in 2011. In addition, Dowling Catholic has won half of the boys 800-meter titles at the Drake Relays. Action at the 107th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee resumes at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and continues with a full day of action at Drake Stadium. The majority of the day will be broadcast online via USATF.tv with competition from 2-4 p.m. being televised live on NBC Sports Network. Evening Photos  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

With a name like Bart, prospect should catch on with Giants

first_imgGLENDALE, Ariz. – Many of the clubhouse stalls surrounding Giants catcher Joey Bart’s locker have emptied this week, the result of the first round of spring cuts.But as other young players have exited big-league camp, Bart, 22, has done more than just hang around. The player some call the organization’s top prospect has thrived in his first spring at the MLB level.Bart made it clear Monday why the Giants are giving him a good look. He crushed a three-RBI double the other way with the bases …last_img

Logan Couture named new San Jose Sharks captain

first_imgSAN JOSE — Logan Couture has been named the Sharks’ new captain by coach Pete DeBoer, the team announced Thursday morning.Couture, 30, a first round draft pick (ninth overall) by the Sharks in 2007, has spent all 10 years of his NHL career with San Jose and served as an alternate captain to Joe Pavelski from 2015-2019. Pavelski signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars on July 1 as a free agent.Along with Couture, Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, and Joe Thornton will each …last_img

Farm Science Review highlights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ernst and McFarland 2017 FSR Hall of Farm inducteesThe FSR will induct Stan Ernst and Louis McFarland into the 28th class of honorees for the Hall of Fame. Ernst and McFarland will join the 75 other individuals who have been recognized for their contribution to the FSR since its inception 55 years ago.Ernst has been a champion of the FSR and The Ohio State University for 27 years, specifically of the educational efforts conducted by the college and Ohio State University Extension. He served as news and media relations coordinator, Extension outreach program manager, and specialty crop/food business program manager and marketing specialist during his tenure at Ohio State. The various positions and areas of responsibilities that fell under Ernst’s leadership provided him the opportunity to continually direct quality educational programming.“This has helped shape and improve the standard of educational programming conducted by OSU Extension and others during the Review that continue to improve each year,” Zachrich said.For many years, Ernst led the program known as “Question the Authorities” which still exists today as “Ask The Expert,” where a variety of speakers discuss current topics in agriculture.“Stan will be remembered by many as the ‘Question Guy’ for his years in planning ‘Question the Authorities,’ but his efforts go far beyond just this program,” Zachrich said.On many occasions, Ernst, who now lives in State College, Pennsylvania, has stepped up to provide operational and physical support to FSR programs and projects.“His passion for the agricultural industry and for providing important information to farmers and the rural community on agricultural economics and other current agricultural topics has benefited and enhanced the experience of Review visitors for many years,” Zachrich said.The leadership and guidance provided by land improvement contractor McFarland over the past four decades has been instrumental in the construction of many educational and land improvement infrastructures at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center.“Many of us take for granted the construction and installation of the projects under the leadership of Louis at the Review’s site,” Zachrich said.Many field drainage improvements, pond construction, wetland construction and waterway construction have been led or assisted by McFarland and implemented under his thoughtful and watchful eye. These projects are located in various areas of the 2,100-square-foot facility including the FSR exhibit area, farm fields including field demonstration areas, and the Gwynne Conservation Area.“During a wet September, the quality of experience at the show is particularly enhanced for visitors and exhibitors alike because of the extensive drainage improvements Louis made to the Review’s site. Also, the ponds and wetland at the Gwynne are enjoyed by many and will be for years to come,” Zachrich said.McFarland of Circleville has also been instrumental in the development of an annual Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association (OLICA) field day held as a portion of the FSR field demonstrations. The cropland and field demonstrations at the FSR benefit from the drainage improvements that OLICA continues to make annually. Tips for handling tough labor issues in agFaced with a decades-long struggle to find laborers, farmers can still do a lot to attract and keep their staff and lighten their load with technology.When the economy is healthy or at least improving, the search for farm employees becomes even more challenging even though farm wages, at $12 on average across Ohio, are well above the state’s minimum wage, said Gustavo Schuenemann, an Ohio State University Extension veterinarian.With farm work being so physically rigorous and requiring long work days, often people opt instead for an 8-hour work day in an office or store, said Schuenemann, who’s also an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Technology may be part of the solution to make up for the scarcity of workers, he said. Smart tractors drive themselves. An automatic feeder can push feed into the animal stalls periodically throughout the day so the animals can reach the food. A robot could even clean and prep a cow for mechanized milking.However, as useful as it is, technology likely won’t eliminate all staff necessary on a farm, so farmers still need to know how best to manage their staff, said Schuenemann, who will offer advice on managing farm labor during the FSR on Sept. 19. Schuenemann will speak from noon to 12:20 p.m. as part of the “Ask the Expert” program offered daily at the FSR.While fair pay and offering health insurance can be a drawing card for employees, the most common complaint Schuenemann hears from farm workers is that they’re poorly managed. Frequently, farmers and farm managers create work schedules that don’t offer some flexibility and take into consideration the workers’ needs, Schuenemann pointed out. An employee may not want a night shift or a Sunday shift, or he or she may not want or be able to work 12 hours at a time for six or seven days a week, or work on ever-changing shifts. Any resulting discontentment among employees increases the odds that the workers quit, Schuenemann said.Aggressive-style management rarely works, he said. Farmers need to put themselves in the shoes of their workers because empathy can go a long way toward creating an environment in which employees want to stay.“A farmer might start out taking care of 200 cattle, but in 15 years, could grow to have 2,000 or more. At that point, he’s managing people, not just cows,” but he might not have the skills needed to manage the staff, Schuenemann said. “You can find people who know how to work with cows, but it’s difficult to find people who like or know how to manage other people, and that’s an important problem to fix.”If it isn’t, turnover is inevitable. Some farmers Schuenemann has worked with see over half their employees leave every year.“They never stop training people,” he said. “It’s a futile cycle. People are leaving and coming, leaving and coming.”Many times farm employees and their managers don’t communicate with each other often enough, so problems arise and discontentment can grow quickly, Schuenemann said. The farm owner or a manager should meet with employees at least once a week to discuss and resolve any problems, he said.“If the farmer focuses on managing the work environment, it has a profound impact on everyone’s attitude,” Schuenemann said. “And when attitude goes up, everything gets better without much investment.”last_img read more