Q996 Transcript

Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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Jones: The article’s basic perspective is that the world capitalist economics are in deep and long-term crisis. The main strength of the reader is its multi-faceted description of the contradictions of the United States economy and the impact of the crisis on workers and communities. (tape edit) The theme of the reader is that the post world two– World War II strategy of capital accumulation no longer works. Rampant automation, increasing international competition and rising debts have undermined the stability of capitalist society, as we see for instance with Japan, who keeps its surplus of trade and its protectionist policies, refusing to have fair and equal trade, free trade between its so-called capitalist ally, USA. Fiscal crisises are paralyzing the state’s attempts to mediate in the global economic shake-up. Anti-imperialist victories abroad, democratic struggles at home, and labor militancy everywhere have further shaken the capitalist system, particularly so the anti-imperialist victories like Afghanistan this week that thrills all of our hearts, that a great nation has gone communist. We are at a crossroad, URPE [Union for Radical Political Economics] economists tell us, with capitalists trying to establish a new world order on one hand, and with grueling rising class struggle opening up new possibilities for the qualitative transformation of capitalist society on the other. (tape edit)

Some of the best articles are those which detail the impact of the recession on productivity and working conditions, effects on women and minority black workers and brown workers, and the movements of jobs towards the Sunbelt and overseas, thus bringing about a dire economic situation in United States, of grave unemployment amongst poor whites, and better than half of the blacks and Indians and Chicanos. These articles stand out because of their clear position that these issues are determined by class struggle, rather than the inevitable working out of the forces of production, a position which typifies many of the articles. (tape edit) URPE social democratic. Less satisfactory are a number of articles which suggest that because the state can become– can be a site of class struggle, it can also become the main instrument for the revolutionary transformation of society. The flaw in this interpretation is that the state is not neutral, but develops its structures as a part of capitalist society.

Now, I’m giving a total review of a book that is pretty popular these days, US Capitalism in Crisis, and showing the flaw in its main theme, that is that the state is not neutral, but develops its structures as a part of capitalist society. Few of the articles explain the limits and uses of reform strategies. This vaguely social democratic approach to the state is mirrored– mirrored in the editorial collective section on political strategy at the end of the reader, elements of which appear in many of the articles as well. It is encouraging and– that academic Marxists feel the need to publish a book which contains a discussion of political strategy.

However, the URPE analysis is seriously marred by a spontaneous and economistic approach. The editors call for the formation of an anti-capitalist movement, consisting of an alliance of everyone who feels assaulted by the current economic crisis. The URPE collective suggests that the only demands the anti-capitalist movement can make are those which make sense to most people right now. Thus, they raise demands for full employment, fighting inflation, and changing the government’s tax policies.

But how will those demands move the anti-capitalist– the anti-capitalist movement toward what the editors delicately– delicately call the qualitative transformation of the system? It doesn’t fit. The collective explicitly states that they don’t have the answers, that they will undoubtedly spring from the experiences of the movement as it encounters increasing resistance from capitalists, and the conflict heightens. For the immediate future, they stress the sole progress strategy– uh, the sole progressive strategy is to build the broadest base alliance possible, leaving aside such questions as the goals of the movement until the right moment. This strategy is an essentially economistic approach which relies heavily on spontaneity, both organizationally and theoretically. URPE implies that the increasing severity of the capitalistic crisis will spontaneously give rise to the theory which will transform the anti-capitalist movement into a revolutionary – but don’t call it that – organization. Indeed, because it utts primacy on building the broadest-based movement possible and frowns upon squabbling over details like the role of the working class, or whether the goal of this movement is socialism, the URPE – again, let us know who that is, that is the Union for Radical Politics– Political Economics – the URPE in this perspective is way off. The URE [URPE] perspective may actually block the development of the strategic revolutionary theory we need now, not later. You cannot avoid the issue of the working class. You cannot avoid the classless society concept and class structure that we deal with. You must deal with Marxist-Leninist principles to get any kind of broad-based movement. There’s no need to talk in such terms. So this book, some 346 pages, I have given you a synopsis. It’s a weighty analysis, but a weak strategy. It’s a very popular book today, US Capitalism in Crisis.

Another book, America by Design: Science, Technology and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism, by Na– David F. Noble. Destroying the myth of the managerial elite will be the topic. David Noble challenges head-on one of the favorite myths about the current state of US monopoly capitalism that is soon to enter the fascistic cruel police repressive stage, that engineers have replaced capitalists in controlling the production process. Rejecting the image of engineers as pure scientists operating in the classless world of facts, Noble demonstrates that professional engineers have consistently worked to maintain capitalist hegemony in production, in his book America by Design. From its earliest days, Noble suggests engineers were inco– were concerned with science for the sake of profit. He destroys a ridiculous but familiar image of Thomas Edison as an altruistic genius, a gentle genius of concern with romantic notions to help people. Instead, Edison is shown as one of the early entrepreneurial inventors, one of the true capitalists who ruthlessly considered the profit angle before beginning a new project. The real strength of Noble’s book, however, is his descriptions of how engineers weeded science– wedded science to corporate capitalism, led it down the road to corporate capitalism. He depicts, for instance, Bell Telephone’s numerous researchers put to work on wasteful projects inventing patentable gadgets which assures Bell’s continued monopoly over the telephone. Noble also provides a detailed examination of the rise of scientific management, the process of harassing technology to the control of workers– or the process of harnessing technology to the control of workers, one might better say. Noble’s main intention is not simply to demonstrate that technologies are developed in the interests of the capitalist class. However, he also wants to show the process by which science is harnessed to capitalist production. He attempts to show that in order to maintain control over the production process, capitalists had to create new and powerful managerial positions in firms largely staffed by engineers without soul or principle.

The book’s flaw, but it is here, that the main flaw in the book emerges. As the book progresses, one gets the uncomfortable feeling that Noble has simply left out a step in his book, America by Design: Science, Technology and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism. He has seemingly forgotten to explain how the capitalists manage to constrain these increasingly powerful managers from acting in their own, rather than the capitalists’ interest. What his account needs and lacks is an explanation of the mechanisms by which capitalists continue to control the range of decisions made by the engineers, even if the experts are relatively autonomous within certain limits. This failure lends a static quality to the work. Noble’s image of technology as a tool of capitalist domini– domination ignores the important ways in which these technologies simultaneously at the same time undermine capitalist hegemony. In the introduction to his book, Noble quotes Karl Marx’ famous insight that the forces and relations of production appear to capital as mere means for it to produce on its limited foundation. In fact, however, they are the material conditions to blow the foundations sky high. Unfortunately, Noble fails to carry this dialectical approach into the book. Nowhere to be found are the contradictions wrought by technological development in capitalist society. Nor does Noble provide an analysis of contradictions within the engineering process or profession. Thus, while the book provides a good insight into capitalism’s use of– use of technology in a barbaric way to maintain bourgeoisie upper middle-class capitalist hegemony, what we need now is an assessment of how this same technological development and the contradictions it engenders or brings about can be turned against the capitalistic system to overthrow it. State by.

(Tape edit, five second pause)

Now this is an attack on the concepts of nationalization and expropriation that are being recommended by many US communists. Some US communists are falling into the same trick bag as the Eurocommunists, though the US Communist Party, CPUSA, still maintains its loyalty ostensibly to the Soviet Union. But at the height of the recet– recent coal strike, many of the leaders of the US Communist Party thundered forth its solution to the underlying problem: nationalize the mines.

In the midst of the discussion about the energy crisis and an impending oil shortage, the Communist Party leaders were equally s– stentorian, nationalize the oil industry was their solution. When plant closings and reduced profit margins reveal the agonies of the US steel monopolies, once again the Communist Party leaders called to nationalize steel. In a speech just a few months ago, Gus Hall, General Secretary of the Communist Party USA, put it all together. The time has come, Hall said, when the United States– in the United States, we are forced to consider the nationalization of a number of industries. We are simply not going to be able to solve the serious problems of energy, steel, coal, housing, mass transit and the pharmaceutical industry, medical supplies, without nationalization.

Now all of this sounds pretty drastic. Just the thing to make it appear that the Communists are on the case with fundamental and radical solutions. And many people with only a hazy notion of Marxist-Leninism or socialism will undoubtedly see it that way. Certainly one popular myth about socialism is that it– in essence, it is the nationalization of industry. Some who realize that nationalization is not by itself socialisism– socialism, still see it as a progressive measure, a step on the road to socialism. Others see raising the question of nationalization as a means of introducing the question of socialism to the working class and the masses of the people. But the nationalization of industry is no answer for the working class, according to this viewer, Irwin Sibler [Silber], an active Marxist-Leninist, but not a member of the Communist Party USA. He says nationalization of industry is no answer for the working class (Tape edit) either in the short run or the long term. In fact, in his opinion, the bourgeoisie itself is at times a foremost advocate of nationalizing one or another sector of industry.

This is particularly the case in certain services industries, such as communications and transportation, as we’ve seen with recent nationalization of certain airlines, where conditions may have developed in such a way (tape edit) that no single group of capitalists can afford to operate in those areas profitably, and yet the capitalist class as a whole needs the functions performed by them. The postal service, for example. This was the case with the postal system in virtually all capitalist countries. Historically the postal services originated as private enterprises, but for a variety of reasons, the bourgeoisie soon realized that it was in the mutual interest of the entire class to have the postal service operated through its common state apparatus. First of all, the postal service was one area where the bourgeoisie ruling class wanted to eliminate competition completely. For here was a vital business service needed by the entire capitalist class. Secondly, it did not want to create a situation where any one group of capitalists might be able to exercise control over the mail service to the advantage of its particular financial holdings. This included maintaining the sanctity and security of the mails, with the notable exception of political literature and the mail of subversive individuals and organizations. Of course, those things are censored. So, in every capitalist country, the postal service was nationalized, that is, the bourgeoisie state operated it for the mutual benefit of the capitalist class as a whole.

But doesn’t the post office serve the public? Actually, no, indeed. The bulk of postal services are performed on behalf of business. Business rates are much cheaper than those services which individuals use the most: bulk rate, second class rates for periodicals, third class rates for merchandise, and fourth class rates (tape edit) [for] books and other educational materials, are all less costly than the first class rate, which is how the ordinary working class person has to send a letter.

Now let us look at transportation. The same is true of transportation. Up until the mid-1930s, the New York City subway system, for instance, was privately-owned. Then it was nationalized, or municipalized would probably be the more accurate term. The reason: the five-cent fare did not provide a high enough return on investment for the subway owners, and raising the fare at that time would probably have been of an incendiary move. It would have enflamed passions too much. So the New York City bought the subways from its owners. Actually, the city did not have the money to pay for them, so it borrowed the money from the over– and ever accommodating New York banks. Forty years later, New York continues to pay the banks interest on these loans. In actual dollars, the loans have been repaid several times over. But the original principle indebtedness remains as it was, and the prospects are that it always will. So capitalist interests are gaining money from a continued loan that never will be paid off. Since that time, the subway fares in New York have gone up ten times. The subways receive some subsidies – underwriting, that is – from the state and federal governments, but the principle has been established that the subways have to pay for themselves. That is, the fares have to cover operating costs. This is a neat device for pitting one section of the working class, the subway workers, against the rest of the working class which rides the subways. Thus fare raises are always tied to wage increases for the transportation workers. (tape edit) But the huge department stores, industries and commercial establishments who would not be able to have the services of the workforce without the subways literally get a free ride.

Nationalization is always recommended for ailing industries. This becomes a device for modernizing plants and developing new, high-priced technology at the workers’ expense, since the bulk of taxes comes out of workers’ paychecks. In many cases, (tape edit) companies and whole industries are returned to private corporate ownership after the state has fixed them up at its own expense. This was the case with the temporarily- nationalized steel plants in Britain and with the USA railroads. It was just an appearance of ownership of the people. It was taken over jointly by the state, which is the instrument of the capitalist class, then got in financial good repair, and returned to the private sector of monopoly capitalism.

Effects of nationalization. The demand to nationalize industry without the accompanying and inseparable demand of expropriation becomes a charade for indefinitely permitting the former owners and the banks to continue to receive the surplus value produced by the workers. The only solution is for all property, means of production and distribution to be actually expropriated and turned over to the workers. For this is what the multi-billion dollar payouts invariably mean, that surplus value that should go to the workers, go to those that hone [hold] the loans on these industries that only appear to be nationalized. And if they’re nationalized by a state that is capitalist, then some of the communist leaders’ positions in USA are erroneous, because there can be no interest served by a state that is capitalistically-owned. That’s why I don’t like the references by Communist nations to the people as a state. We should call it the people or the government, not the state. The state can be a force of evil, as it has always been in capitalism.

Last and far from least, nationalization of any economic sector has always provided the bourgeoisie with the pretext for declaring strikes and many forms of collective action by workers in these enterprises illegal on the ground, but then there are strikes against the government. That certainly has been the truth in the postal services and in certain industries such as the transportation industries, railway and airlines that’ve been nationalized by the US capitalist government.

The nationalization of industry under the a– aegis of the capitalist state is thus: in practice a way to disguise the ultimate receivers of surplus value. What is a surplus value? You should all know that now. That is the difference between what the labor receives and the actual value of his labor. What he produces should all go to the laborer. But instead of that being so, only a small value of what he produces goes to the laborer, and a profit or surplus value goes to the ruling class, the monopoly elitist, the neo-fascist monopoly capitalist that rule USA and have a stranglehold on 66 percent of the world’s population. These are the former owners who receive the surplus value, who receive their share in the form of the interminable payout, the banks who get theirs in the form of interest, like the interest that’s still being received on the unpaid subway system in New York, landowners– landowners who get theirs in the form of rent, executives who get their share in the form of huge salaries, bonuses, expense accounts, and the like. The other capitalists able to avail themselves of these services are products of the nationalized enterprise at a reduced rate. The various suppliers of parts and materials, as well as the private distribute– distributors, wholesalers and retailers, all of these still divide up the surplus value produced by the workers in a nationalized enterprise. That’s what the opposition PPP, Peoples Progressive Party under Dr. Cheddi Jagan, and the Working People’s Alliance complain about in Guyana: 85 percent of the uh, business sector is owned by the state, but they still claim that too much surplus value go into wealth for members of the technologist or the bureaucrats– some bureaucrats in the PNC, who do not live modestly like Dr. [Ptolemy] Reid, the deputy prime minister and head of the party, or Dr. [Vibert] Mingo, who’s been a good friend to us and our liaison with the Peoples National Congress, which is the party of Prime Minister
[Forbes] Burnham. True, a certain number of jobs may be saved by nationalization, but the actual exploitation of the working class does not diminish one iota, and the whole thing invariably turns out to be a windfall for the capitalist.

The CP’s nationalization policy. But none of this has discouraged much of the leadership of the Communist Party USA from touting nationalization of industry as the greatest idea since technicolor. Thus, an April 19th article in The Daily World, the newspaper of the Communist Party USA, is euphoric – that’s dreamy-eyed – at the prospect of having the US nationalize the railroads– the railways once again. Author Tom Foley writes about how wonderful a trip to West Germany– Germany recently was because the nationalized railroads– railroads perform so efficiently as compared to US railroads. I also remember that under the beginning of fascism, Benito Mussolini, who founded fascism in Italy in 1922, and much of the same climate exists in Italy today, the first thing said all over the world about Benito Mussolini in my memory was that the railways run on time. So fascists can make railroad– railroads nationalize and run them on time. The US is being denied the excellent means of transportation that nationalized railroads are in most countries, writes this writer, Tom Foley of the Communist Party, simply to keep a lot of greedy capitalists making– raking in profits.

Foley doesn’t even blanch when observing that some capitalists themselves are speaking up in favor of nationalization. Why should he? Revisionism is postulated on the premise that there will be a number of monopoly capitalists who at the right moment are going to be reasonable and intelligent about things, and simply turn their property over to the workers as soon as they see the handwriting on the wall. And this is ridiculous, and has been denounced by the Soviet Union, that revisionism will no longer work, that gradualism cannot take place, that you cannot bring changes of the means of production, the expropriation, the change of ownership of the means of production and the means of distribution, without revolution. Impossible. It will not take place peacefully.

Gus Hall, at least, adds a few qualifying phrases, who is a good man and chairman of the Communist Party USA. He adds a few qualifying phrases to his demands for nationalization. (Tape edit) In his mind, nationalization means that these industries would be taken out of the system of corporate profits and would then be democratically-operated and controlled as public property – good idea – by elected representatives of the workers and public, and run for the benefit of all the people, he says. Such industries would then dispense with the private profits and corporate executive salaries. The takeovers must take place through, and by way of, the federal government. But after the takeover, the workers and the people’s representatives must then be permitted to operate these plans– these plants. How good that sounds. How simple it is: the workers and the public, whoever they are, would run the nationalized companies. Actually, Hall says, they must be permitted to do so, which raises an increa– creasingly interesting question, namely who is it that so munificently, who so generously grants this permission, and what gives them the power and authority to do so, and what if they don’t decide to do it? And to imagine that this gingerbread version of social practice is passed off as Marxist-Leninism, according to Irwin Slim– Silber, is just too much to believe. Gus Hall’s scenario more approt– appropriately belongs to a collection of fairy tales, Grimm ones, like being passed off by the Eurocommunists who have become a part of the state apparatus in Italy and are even speaking out against the Red Brigade, that are the only group that have done anything of an activist nature, and have succeeded in dividing the ruling class by kidnapping one Aldo Moro, prime minister, after killing five of his bodyguards. And yet have not done a thing to him, but because other members of the ruling class are getting nervous on the fact that the capitalists are not doing one thing, and the ruling monopoly government is doing not one thing, and all the USA multinationals that backed Aldo Moro and for whom Aldo Moro served well, are not doing one thing to free him, other members of the government are becoming very, very nervous, and it may bring about, according to BBC, the actual disruption, if not the downfall, of the Christian Democratic Party of Italy. (tape edit)

Hall postulates that a federal government[‘s] sole responsibility to the workers will not only nationalize industry and dispense with private profits, it will them turn industry over to the workers to run. Who will induce the federal government of the United States to do all this? And what in the world will the monopoly capitalists being doing during this time, to say nothing of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and the police throughout the country that I just brought you news earlier of how much terror they are bringing upon the American public. The US Civil Rights Commission says that there’s more police brutality in every city of the nation than has even been known in the history of USA since it began its barbaric murder of the Indians and stole their land and used the black slaves, killing three million to make their own profit. Presumably, Gus Hall thinks that at some time– point, the workers will be strong enough to make this happen, and he is now doubt conscientious in this, unless like Fo– Foley, he is counting on the reasonableness of monopoly capitalists, which knowing Gus Hall, the writer thinks, is not likely. For he is sincere.

But if the workers are that strong, why shouldn’t they then be taking over the government instead, not in some kind of nationalzistic– nationalistic program, nationalizing this and that, but an actual revolutionary overthrow of the government is the only hope that the working class can take control of their destinies. Here is the fundamental problem of revisionist schemes, in China, wherever they are. They want socialism without revolution. They aim to get state power peacefully and democratically, which is just another way of telling the bourgeoisie that they intend to play by capitalism’s own rules, as the Eurocommunists and the capitalists– uh, the Communist Party of Italy have done, even to such a degree that they are supporting the stands of the capitalist regime of [Giulio] Andreotti and joining in alliance with the AFL-CIO, which is an instrument of bossism rather that trade unionism. And they think the workers can get state power gradually by degrees, the revisionists do, slowly expanding that power to nationalize more enterprises and bring various public sectors under their control, until one day, quan– quantitative– (Pause) not qualitative, I can assure you, but quantitative change will pass over into qualitative change, and socialism will have arrived. This is dreamy-eyed revisionistic nonsense. In their more sober moments, most revisionists probably realize these events would never come to pass. They are prepared therefore to pin the label of socialism on some form of welfare state capitalism in which, like their counterparts in western Europe, they will share in the management of the bourgeoisie edifice.

This is why the demand for the nationalization of industry, no matter how militant it may sound, is the very essence of we– reformism, not revolution. It directly implies that capitalism can be made to work with a little help from the friends– its friends in the revisionist communist parties. That’s why the Red Brigade and the Red Army have spoken out against all social systems where the institutions talk about gradual change and working for change through the democratic process and peaceful détente and co-existence between capitalists and Marxist-Leninists. That’s why they are doing their revolutionary acts of shooting, for instance, the legs of the owner of Fiat [Rinaldo Camaioni] and shooting the legs of the deputy prime minister, kidnapping, such as Prime Minister Moro and holding him in ransom for money for further liberation causes and the release of political prisoners, and also to show the disloyalty of capitalists, which already, without one thing being done to Prime Minister Moro that the Red Brigade is holding, the whole ruling party’s about to fall apart. The Red Brigade knows that there are dangers in this, that it may bring about a vicious form of fascism and state dictatorship, but they believe then and only then will the workers waken to the fact that the state is the enemy, the capitalist state, whether it goes through nationalization policies or whatever maneuvers to look humane, that the state of capitalism is the enemy of the people, and that is the difference between the policies of the Communist Red Brigade and the Red Army as opposed to the social imperialists who believe that change can come peacefully and revisionistically through gradualism and democratic change.

This will give you at least food for thought. We want you to always inflame your mind, fan the flames of your thinking and introspection and analysis. Thank you, and I do love you very much. (tape edit)

Part 2

(Agriculture/livestock report from winter 1978)

Man 1: We found out that the liver was spotted, had uh, leather– had yellow uh, round the liver, and we uh, concluded that it was uh, Newcastle that caused her death. Another– the other layer was a death was met by accident, she probably ran against the wall or something, we don’t know. We found her laying in the morning, stiff. Another– (voice fades)

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 1: Uh, just a minute, (stumbles over words) I got something else, I didn’t– and we need the Learning Crew down with hose to fron– uh, to finish the grass around the chicken house. No, they– they cut it with cutlass, and then they didn’t cut it very short. So they have to use a hoe to go down deeper to the earth.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Wanda Swinney: Are you– are you inoculate– still inoculating all of them for Newcastle’s disease? That is being done to all of them?

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Wanda: Al– Also, I’d like to know, because I didn’t get– when I was in Georgetown, I never received an order to purchase more of this medication. If you need it, you better plan out what you’re gonna need for a year so it can be purchased right away. ‘Cause it’s get– our medicines are getting hard to do.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man: The best I understand it, we got some in the– in the freezer.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 2: No, we only got one. We– we only have uh–

Wanda: Okay, see, when I was in Georgetown, you shoulda gave me that order so I coulda picked it up. So you need to get that done right away.

Man 2: Well– well, we only ordered for two, so if you want us to order a year’s supply, we’ll do that.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Wanda: Medications are getting hard– Medica– My point is, you know, get together and–and discuss it with the committee, but medications are getting increasingly more difficult to– to get.

Woman 2: Uh, you– you mentioned the Learning Crew coming down, doing your– doing the uh, grass-cutting, you didn’t state how many of the Learning Crew, because when I was down there, I didn’t see that you need the whole entire Learning Crew to– to chop that little grass that’s there.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 3: The Learning Crew’s gonna be down there tomorrow, so if (too soft)

Man 1: I have another request. We– we– we wanna uh, a sleeping pad installed in Building 8 for baby chicks, you know, to whoever observe– uh, we putting a 24-hour watch on the baby chicks, and we found out we were more successful that way in­– in losses, not having losses. So if we could uh, take some of the old lumber and make a sleeping pad there, ‘cause it’s put a– We already got the bed, so we just put a bed up there and uh– So whoever’s there all night could at least rest uh, relax a little bit.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: What is the answer on that? Does anybody have an answer about the– what– what did you want exactly in the way of the– the stall in the building that’s already there, or what? You know, or– or you want to just– couple of supports and a couple of boards across to hold the bed up off the ground, is that all you want? Uh–

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: Albert [Touchette] handy? (Pause) Yes, go ahead, Jim [Bogue].

Bogue: The piggery will be glad to donate the chickery a bed.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: All right, thank you, that’s taken care of. And is that– Is that all you have?

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: All– all right, uh, Tish [Leroy] (unintelligible word) that. Now, do we–

Tish: I have– I have a question on that.

Man 4: Yeah, I was going to ask for questions now. You have one, Tish. Go ahead.

Tish: Yes, both of the items that he mentioned tonight as problems were covered in last week’s meeting, and they were supposedly resolved last week. I’m wondering why both the hoeing and the uh– what was the other problem (unintelligible word)–

Man 4: Cutlass work. You talking about cutting the grass?

Tish: Oh– Well, at least the hoeing of the– of the grass was covered in the last two meetings. We’ve covered this and both times it was said that Learning Crew would get down there. We either need to have better facility of arranging this or work it out with the coordinator at the end of the meeting, but these things shouldn’t carry over from meeting to meeting and be included in every report like this, because that’s– uh, that’s bad management.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 5: I’d like to point out. He said that the Learning Crew came down there and cut the grass, but said they didn’t cut it– cut it down low enough, and said they needed hoes instead of cutlasses, and from my experience with a cutlass, you can cut it as low as you want with a cutlass.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: You can– You can take care of that tomorrow when they get there, right? I mean there’s no problem, right? All right, wait a minute. You understand that– (stumbles over words) We can take care of it tomorrow, all right. So that’s settled. All right, fine.

Tish: Wait a minute, (unintelligible name). It isn’t going to be settled unless, when the Learning Crew gets down there, you talk to the supervisor and tell him how low you want it.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 6: (unintelligible beginning) – that they couldn’t get it low enough with that, to bring hoes. He was– Dad said that.

Tish: Okay, but what I’m saying is, instruct the supervisor when he comes there. Coor– You coordinate with him and tell him what you want. And then tell him to come and tell you when they’re done, so you can go and check it, so we don’t have this on the agenda again.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 7: Uh, I’d like to know uh, one thing uh, Wanda, since you know about the Newcastle disease, uh, serum or whatever it is, uh, will it last a year?

Wanda: You’ll have to– You’ll have to– When you purchase it, you’ll have to check the dates on the bottle, and it– it goes by the dates, and if– you know, according to that. Coordinate it with– he’ll– what he’ll have to do is figure up what his projection of usage will be, and then you’ll have to coordinate that with the amount that you purchase and the dates of the bottle.

Man 7: Uh, that’s very good, but when the order goes in, this has got to be put down so the one who buys it understands it.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: All right, thank you. Now, do we have any more questions about the chickens?

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 4: All right. Let’s go on to the next item on the vergi– on the uh, agenda. Uh– We’ll go through the bananas, please.

Danny Kutulas: Okay, the banana report for this last week, uh, we’ve done a lot of weeding, uh, coming up the road, and uh, that was the– that was a part of our uh, schedule. We planted 300 uh, banana suckers, uh, this last week. We sprayed the back fields, and uh, as our regular program. We picked 85 bunches of bananas. Uh, there was a uh, little mix-up on the uh, amount after rechecking ‘em. We had 990 pounds, which is one of the greatest that we’ve picked uh, since I’ve been here. Uh, with the alert that we’ve had this past weekend, we’ve planted some with the– with the mixed group and crews that we planted some 70 citrus trees out in the cottage areas. Uh, if you notice the cottage areas, there’s blossoming right now and uh– with the new trees going in. And there’re a few more to be planted.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Kutulas: Now I’d like to know if there are any questions.

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Woman 3: I– I’m wondering if uh, those new trees had to be watered often or– or are they all right the way they are, or what?

Voices in crowd: Too soft

Man 9: What we’re going to do is we’re going to water ‘em every day for a week. At the end of that time, they should be able to hold by themselves, unless we have a very bad dry spell. Now, there are a few of those trees that the– See, we planted them with dirt around the roots, and there’re a few that the dirt broke up before we got there. Those are gonna– Those are a little bit worse. Some of those are in shock. If you see a few of them that have the leaves drooping, they went into shock. We treated them with vitamin B-1, and I don’t know uh, how successful that’s gonna be. However, those we’ll– we’ll continue to water, and it could be that some of those trees are going to lose their leaves. But don’t despair, because even when the citrus trees go into shock and they lose their leaves, very often they’ll shoot a new set of leaves. So we really won’t know whether we’ve lost any trees for at least 60 days. And if they lose their trees, and they don’t– their leaves, and they don’t start shooting for like 60 days, then we may lose a few. But it’s normal to lose uh– it’s normal to lose almost ten percent on transplanting. So if we lose a couple of trees, why, we always try not to, but it really isn’t the end of the world. We’ll just replace them if we do lose a few.

Man 4: Yes, Becky.

Becky Flowers: I’d like to know, how– how much longer will it be before we get some fruit off of them? (Laughs)

Man 9: Well, I’ve got my crystal ball right here, you see. Um– Those trees– Well, now, there’s some lime trees there that may bear in next year, some of the bigger lime trees, but most of them are about three years out. It’s hard to say. Those are– Some of those little trees have been stunted, uh, those aren’t the best trees. They’re the ones we had available after the best were taken out and put on the road, so you’ll see all different– As time goes on, you’ll see all different things in those trees. You’ll see some of them come on very well, some very fast, some of ‘em probably won’t do too well. They’re going to take a lot of care and a lot of watching.

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Man 9: We planted limes, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, and oranges. All varieties.

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Man 9: Those were all trees that were budded. Jan [Wilsey] budded them with her own hands.

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Man 4: Jan? Were there any Shaddock in that bunch at all? Oh yes, I– There’s a rather– rather an interesting item that we’re not familiar with in the uh, States, there’s a fruit called a Shaddock. It’s an extra large uh, type grapefruit, and the meat is pink on the inside and very sweet. When I say large, I mean it’s about like this.

Voices in crowd: Wow!!

Man 4: Uh– We first saw some– The first October we were here, they had an illustration uh, an exhibit and they– at uh, Kaituma, and some uh, government people had some from Matthews Ridge which they– which they grow there, and apparently they think they grow some also around the Kaituma now. All right, uh, is– Any more questions about the banana report?

Young person: This is dealing with the (unintelligible word), thought to ask you. How long before the uh, grapefruit trees gone bear?

Man 9: Uh, there will be a nursery report, so if there’s any more on citrus, you can ask uh– ask a little later. Uh. Anything else on bananas at this time?

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Man 4: All right, no one on– No more questions? So we’ll go to the next item? Where do we have a question? All right.

End of side 1

Side 2:

Man 9: I– I don’t really know, I haven’t seen it. But our function is, we hang the bananas in the cellar, they turn yellow, and then we bring them up to the banana shed and uh, the kitchen handles it from that point.

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Man 4: All right, uh, are there any more on the bananas now? We’ll go to the next– next part of the agenda. We have a– a report yet on uh, ducks and rabbits, next.

Woman 4: ‘Kay. As far as ducks go, I don’t have any report for this week. Uh, on the rabbits, this morning, I mated our white New Zealand doe with the uh, New Zealand buck, and I– we have a problem with, when the rabbits are brought in, we’re not sure of their ages. So uh, I tested the black cross breed for uh– for mating, but he’s uh, he’s not ready. He’s disinterested and– (Laughs) He quit. Right. (Laughs) He’d not equipped. Uh, okay, I– I was told this morning from uh, Mary Wotherspoon, we’re supposed to be testing uh, feed and cassava cereal with uh, one of the feeds we were using, because the rabbits liked it, and uh, you know, it– it seemed to work, they were uh, getting full on it, but uh, I haven’t had any supply for two weeks, it just hasn’t been available, and I’ve got about 15 to 20 pounds of it now, but Mary Wotherspoon informed me that there will be no cassava for the next uh, four or five months, till June. So there’s gonna be a problem with the feed and the rabbits.

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Woman 4: Questions?

Man 4: Yes.

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Woman 5: (mic clicks on) –Carrots pulled up and supposedly been sent over for the rabbits. Did you receive them, and did they eat them?

Woman 4: Uh, I got the carrots, and they ate ‘em. They ate ‘em.

Woman 6: Okay, I got a question. Are you– are you feeding any commercial feed to the rabbits at all?

Woman 4: That’s what they are eating, right now.

Woman 6: The pig feed? Uh, I mean, the chicken feed?

Woman 4: No, commercial rabbit feed.

Woman 6: Okay. If– if it’s cheaper, which I think it is, you can– I’ve checked with two different veterinarians, and they said chicken feed will not (unintelligible word) rabbits, contrary to what you were told. And– in Georgetown, and it’s cheaper, and they said that the medication in it will not hurt them. Actually, it’s better for them.

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Woman 6: Uh, the medica– The medication that is contained in the commercial chicken feed will not hurt rabbits.

Woman 4: Charlie [Touchette] told me that the chicken feed was uh, twice as much as the rabbit feed. Otherwise, I think we’d be– been using chicken feed.

Woman 6: Be– Well, I– I didn’t know the prices, ‘cause the vets– uh, I didn’t have the time to check out the last prices. At first they didn’t have any. But they said that they– they thought it would be more expensive, because you have to get it– buy it special, because they aren’t rea– they aren’t making it that much. So I don’t know. I just wanted to give you that information, because I was asked for it, and I didn’t know whether it got back to you or not, but that– the chicken feed won’t hurt them.

Woman 4: Okay, I’ll check with Charlie again on the prices then.

Man 4: All right. That takes care of the ducks and the rabbits. And uh, the next thing on uh, on the agenda is the tractor time. Is Philip [Blakey] handy?

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Man 4: All right, we’ll set his uh, uh– him further down on the agenda, we’ll wait til he gets back. Uh, how about the Caterpillars for land clearing?

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Man 4: Is Michael [Touchette] over there with him too?

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Man 11: He’s taking (unintelligible word)

Man 4: All right. Jim Bogue. Would you give us the piggery and the stock report?

Bogue: Well, I guess everybody’s wants to know how the cows are getting along. (Laughs) It seems to be the big question. Everything is going great with them, they’re putting on weight, they’re getting sleek, they– all their gauntness is going away from the hard trip. Uh. So that part is in pretty good shape. We uh– The horses are starting to pick up a little bit now. Uh, we’ve been building on a cattle corral down there. It seems like we kinda get held up every once in a while on it. Uh, right now we’re uh, working on this upper piggery. I’m getting it fixed up with screens so that the bats can’t get in, so that we’ll be able to shut the generator down there at night. Shut it off. So there’ll be a few savings there. Uh, I do have a couple of questions I’d like to bring up. What happened to my paper? Oh, here it is. (Laughs) Uh, I don’t know just uh– We was going to order this lumber for down there for filling in the loft of the cassava mill. We need it for drying area, which is gonna be a– about 2000 feet. Uh, also, it’s­– uh, two inch lum– uh, two inch uh, lumber.

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Bogue: (Laughs) Yeah. That lumber that they was talking about a while ago here, uh, this was what I had ordered here uh, several meetings ago, and it had– it had been cleared to go ahead and get. And this is what they was talking about. And not the chickery. Uh, (pause) my question is now, I had ordered– in this order, uh, this would have floored half the floors in the piggery. Uh, now I’m wondering whether we should go ahead and get the lumber to floor the whole piggery instead of just half of it, which would be– be the difference between uh, 1800 feet of two-inch lumber, compared to 3600 feet, uh, which eventually we’ll need, but uh, it might be a little time before we’ll need it. So that– this– this was my question, why I hadn’t ordered it, uh, prior to this.

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Woman 7: Is the price of lumber going up the way everything else is?

Man: Is the price of lumber going up?

Man 10: Well, when we buy wood at the (unintelligible name), it hasn’t. It stayed the same for, you know, three years, so I don’t know– but I don’t know what it’s like in town. I never bought it in town. Tim [Swinney]? Uh, is it?

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Man 10: Tim said it’s uh, about the same in town.

Tim: About the same in town.

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Man 4: Uh, do we have any questions on the uh, piggery and the uh, livestock report, or are you still continuing, Jim?

Bogue: Uh, I’m still continuing.

Man 4: Sorry.

Bogue: Brother (unintelligible name). Uh. (Pause) The– I had to do some refiguring here real quick, ’cause I– I turned in the order, and I don’t have the other papers here. And I think that I uh, ordered the lumber for the piggery down in the bottom to finish out that floor, which would be an additional 1500 feet, I– trying to see– it’d be– (Murmurs to self). Let me add it all together here real quick. (Pause) (Tape edit) Actually, with the bottom on it, it’ll take about 5100 feet of two-inch lumber, uh, and we’ll need uh, like I say, 2000 feet for the uh, the loft in the cassava farm, which would bring us up to uh, 7100 feet.

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Bogue: 5100 uh, two inch lumber. This would be for the piggeries, and the 2000 feet for the cassava– the loft in the cassava barn. Bringing it up to 7100 feet.

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Bogue: No, uh, 2000 feet’d be one inch material.

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Man 12: My question may relate to construction, I don’t know, but uh– Two inch. I wonder how much– I wonder how much that cost, uh– I wonder how much the 2000 feet of lofting material’s going to cost. I wonder whether it’s gonna be cheaper to do that than it would be to build a storage facility out of aluminum. Because that two inch lum– material’s expensive.

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Man 12: No, no, he’s talking about loft. (Pause) Yeah. I really wonder– I’m talking about the 2000 feet that’s going to go into the loft in the barn. Now that’s to create additional storage area. And I know the two inch lumber is very expensive. I– I guess it cost around a dollar a foot, or something like that, for the two inch–

Bogue: That’d be one inch. That’d be one inch.

Man 12: That’s one inch? ‘Cause you didn’t specify that.

Bogue: Yes, I did.

Man 12: Well, I didn’t catch it then. The one inch is a little cheaper. It’ll be about 80 cents a foot or something like that.

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Man 12: (unintelligible word) What about the one inch.

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Man 12: For one inch?

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Man 12: So I’m really wondering if it’d be cheaper to– to put 2000 feet of uh, material into a facility like that, or it might be cheaper to put aluminum roof on some place and build a shed. I don’t know. I was just inquiring.

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Man 12: Yeah, but we– (Pause) We can use round wood. I’m just inquiring, if it’s cheaper to put a loft into the shed or if it’s cheaper to build another shed with aluminum. That’s all. I’m just asking the question.

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Man 12: I’m just inquiring, because I know that wood’s really expensive. Yeah. (Pause) A roof, yeah.

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Man 12: 2000 feet.

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Man 12: No. One inch.

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Bogue: What is– What is– Do you know what uh, one inch stuff is?

Man 12: Uh, Tim said it’s the same, seven– about 78 cents.

Bogue: About 78 cents. So 78 times (murmurs under breath).

Man 12: 1560.

Bogue: 1560. (Pause) Is– I don’t think– I don’t think you’d see– (unintelligible word) here near that much floor space with aluminum for that price.

Man 12: No, neither do I.

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Bogue: ‘Cause what is aluminum? It’s running what, about a dollar uh, twenty– uh, a dollar thirty or something like that now?

Man 12: I don’t know, but you look at this– the tin building they made out here, and it’s only 800 square feet. And you’re talking about 2000 square feet. So that’s quite a bit of difference.

Bogue: Yeah.

Man 12: Look at the aluminum that went into that building. Yeah, and aluminum’s a lot harder to get than wood. They grow wood here. You can’t grow aluminum.

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Bogue: Okay, well– Yeah.

Man 13: Uh, I’m wondering if the structure of that cassava mill would hold up that much uh, weight, if you put a loft in that building, without a lot of support.

Bogue: That’s what we have to do, and this is what we’ve been doing, is putting in a lot of support. This has all been pole construction, it’s slow, it’s what we take out of the jungle, but it’s our time instead of uh, using sawed material. So actually, we’re right back to our own labor and the price of the floor and nails.

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Man 14: I’d like to– I’d like to change the subject, (stumbles over words) Would it be all right to change the first– Okay, I’d like to ask somebody generally?

Man 4: No, we change the subject, we have to– you have to wait till the agenda gets to where you are, all right?

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Man 4: No, he’s just– Now have you finished, Jim?

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Woman 8: Jim? Uh–

Man 4: What’s your question? Just state it again?

Bogue: (fades in) ought to go ahead with this other uh– other material and to go ahead and finish it all up now or whether to uh, go ahead and uh, doing the half of it.

Man 4: Do we have any figures on the difference between–

Tish: 3600 feet against 1800 feet.

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Man 4: Oh, I see. What do you think uh–

Bogue: Yeah, that’s– that’s been the upper figure, but I‘m talking about this lower figure too, of uh, which is uh, an additional 1500 feet. (Murmurs)

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Bogue: Yeah, 71– 7100 feet. Yeah.

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Tish: Is that total?

Bogue: Yeah, but it– two– 2000 feet of this is one inch material, and uh, fifty– uh, 5100 feet is uh, two-inch material.

Tish: Jim?

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Tish: I understand that we have to go ahead and make these plans on this now, but I think that we are way out of line for not planning far enough down the line on these things, and when we come into this meeting with a report requesting anything as critical and as expensive as a structure, that we do not, uh– I think that you should get together with construction before you come into this meeting, you should know what your costs are, and I feel that you shouldn’t be figuring that square footage while you’re here, because you can make a mistake in that kind of figuring. You should figure it, and you should get somebody else to check it out. We’re talking about a whale of a lot of money, to be making plans like this and to approve it in this meeting in that order. If we were in a capitalist structure and I were in business, I would raise holy hell about that kind of a situation on the outside.

Bogue: Uh, I did do this, and I did turn it in. And uh, this is uh– This was the new subject of doing the other half of the piggery.

Woman 10: In–­ in regards to your other half of the piggery, Jim, I was wondering, you mentioned that it wasn’t an immediate need right now. Isn’t that what you said? Okay, what I want to know is, if you go ahead and put it in, will the age have anything to do with the wood– I mean, if we don’t need it now, will it affect it? Will we have to redo it, you know, at an earlier date, being as we don’t need it sooner or–

Bogue: No. No, it wouldn’t be no problem there at all.

(Pause)

Woman 11: Um, Jim, I just– I– I wanted to say, I felt you were defensive just then, because I think that what Tish’s point was correct. Although you figured it before, you shoulda had your figures before you right now, is what she was saying, rath– uh, rather than stand there and do it in– you know, as you were talking. That was all.

Bogue: See, I didn’t know this was coming up tonight. I had the figures, and I had them turned in previously. So, I– I didn’t know this was coming up tonight. That is why I was standing here trying to–

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Tish: (mic clocks on) –being critical of you at this time, and I explained that I understood we brought it up before. I think that at the time it was brought up the first time, we should’ve covered and considered that down the line, we’re going to need to also do this part of the piggery. That should’ve been presented then, so that uh, the whole issue could’ve even come up at that time.

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Woman in crowd: (soft beginning) You’re trying to find something right now (fades)

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Bogue: As I under– as I understood, this would be the last order.

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Bogue: No, what I understood was, that this– was– was this order uh, was to be completed forever, or something on this line. So that’s why I brought up this subject of the other half.

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Tish: We did have the uh– the chicken structure was approved at the last meeting. And now it wasn’t said how much board foot was needed for that. When the information came out from the radio just now, she mentioned the two buildings, the chicken uh, building and the toddlers’ building, and said the lumber had been figured out for that with the coordinator. So uh, I don’t know that they were talking about the piggery lumber. That piggery lumber order went in two weeks ago, so they may be confused on it. I’m not sure. I think we better check it out, though, maybe you should go over and talk with– uh, with Charlie, to be sure that they have the correct information.

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Man 4: What? All right, uh, there’s one question, Jim, we have one question– one– I asked a question before you finish.

Man 15: I heard you speak about the generators going to be cut off at night, but I wonder if there’s any provision been made for lighting down there in the chicken area at night.

Bogue: Oh, I’m not sure. I’m sure that we asked Tom, I know uh, something must be worked out.

Man 15: Well, what I had referenced to the baby chicks coming in and we do need the infrared light to keep them warm at night for at least, about 14 days.

Man 16: Yo, when this was talked about in the meeting the other night, you said there wouldn’t– they wouldn’t need electric light there, so when you planning on getting baby chicks?

Man 17: They’re due in on the nineteenth.

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Man 4: I think this question about the electricity is going to be obvious that uh, whenever we have baby chicks, we’re gonna to have the heat, so there’s– I– really no question there, that’s going to be necessary uh, at that time for two weeks, and then we can turn it off again. So, uh, if we have no more questions to the livestock man, do we have any more questions to Jim Bogue on livestock? All right.

Woman 14: Yeah. I wanted to– All the cows are pregnant, I wanted to know when they’re due, and when we’ll get milk, and how much, and how often.

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Bogue: (Laughs) Hah. Uh, I haven’t seen the records yet, all of what Wanda’s brought back on the pregnancies of the cows. Uh. This is something that’ll take probably uh, another 30 days to find out if they’re actually pregnant at all. Some of them. I mean, you have to– This is whenever you buy stock from anybody, you know, you have– unless they are large enough in there to where you can bump them to test them for calf, then uh, there’s no way to tell until they are large enough, or if they come back into heat. So, uh, this’ll be something that we’ll be straightening out in the next couple of weeks and getting in order so that we know just where we do stand with them.

Man 4: Do we have any more questions?

Woman 14: Okay, the other thing I wanted to ask was uh, I– I think you were trying to find a way to make dry yeast out of that yeast you have down there for the pig food? Okay, uh, I found a way to do it, but uh, I– I don’t how other people have tried to do it, but I– I’d lay– I used a small amount of it, and I have powdered dry yeast now, that I just laid it out in the sun, and– and thinned it out, and scraped it up. But I think if you did that on something like a hot tin plus the sun, or uh, tried baking it somehow or an outside uh, stove or something might do it. I don’t know.

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Man 17: Uh, (clears throat) this is uh, something we’ve talked about and trying–­ and seeing just where our needs would be for the dry yeast, and uh, so this will be some of the things that we’ll be a– testing out as we go along.

Man 18: Uh– Are we getting– I understand at the last meeting that we’re getting some sort of oven in from the States? It’s a small little oven for uh– for drying seeds?

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Man 4: (mic clicks on) –Okay, a drying oven that was sent by Helen [Swinney] and packed by Helen, and it should be in town right now. Uh– And uh, that’s the word– that’s the last word that I had on it. And it should be coming out in these uh, packages. All right? Now. Do we have any more questions?

Tish: Yeah. I– I have one addition to add to the livestock report, and that is, you know, there was the problem with the tanning of the hides. And uh, I talked to the Department of Agriculture and there’s– as this time, there’s no official tannery. There will be one in New Amsterdam, but the Department of Agriculture – there’s supposed to be more literature coming – is willing to train two of our people, as they thought it would be much more profitable for us to tan our own leather and use it, than to try to sell it as they sell it by the pound, thousands of pounds, rather than just individual hides. And uh, the– the second– on the subject of these chickens, this is uh– was it a suggestion, I don’t know whether it’s feasible or not, but since the chickens only have to be under infrared– correct if they have to be under infrared light for just 14 days?

Bogue: Yes, that’s what was said.

Tish: Okay. Wouldn’t it be– Is– Is it feasible to build a structure up here for the chickens, for the baby chicks, so that they could have that. Since this generator has to be run, and– and the arrangement, we’re trying to eliminate that one at night, it seems like, you know, just a temporary structure for when the baby chicks come in every three weeks.

Bogue: I’m afraid that’s something that has to be uh, handled uh, uh, and loo–­ looked into, you know. In other words, you’re asking a question that needs to be looked into by construction, and that would have to be uh, looked into by somebody that knows how to handle the question, and then we can uh, get a report back. Uh­–

End of tape

 

Originally posted on June 23rd, 2021.

Last modified on June 24th, 2021.
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