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Ier It's Wednesday June 11. Tonight the challenges facing our state's peanut farmers in North Carolina now. Good evening I'm Marina. Glad you could join us for this Wednesday edition of North Carolina now. Much of our program tonight deals with agriculture.
What about research being conducted designed to minimize farmers exposure to hazardous chemicals. And we've all heard a great deal lately regarding the plight of North Carolina's tobacco farmers but our peanut farmers have been experiencing hardships of their own. Bob Garner will explore the challenges they face. Also tonight we'll visit the North Carolina Museum of Art for a little taste of Europe right here in the Tar Heel State. But up first tonight agriculture as we move into the 21st century Depression era programs designed to offer farmers security are being gradually stripped away. Quotas and price supports for peanuts like those for other commodities have been reduced and may not survive much past the turn of the century. And that means along with other unsettling changes North Carolina's peanut farmers are facing a much more uncertain future. As Bob Garner reports. Well I guess what we're upset over is it's not what they'll say it's not what it used to be a lot of farming operations pain that is used to be the main income source and I mean the you know the commodity
is given you produce and the same with my old more income the thing that is our per person consumption of peanuts in the U.S. has dropped 12 percent in the last six years. And peanut imports are rising fast. One fifth of the total National Peanut production as recently as 1992 has disappeared during the year sense stand by law although there has been a very slight upturn in the last year the price guarantee to farmers has been cut 10 percent. All this is sobering news for North Carolina where peanut sales bring in over 100 million dollars and have a total economic impact approaching 250 million. For years price supports guaranteed farmers a certain profit with tax money sometimes buying in excess peanuts a reduced support program has survived in Congress at least until the year 2002. But taxpayer support for it is history. If there are any losses to the program then it's paid for by operatives for assessments. That was a big item.
That many people in Congress want to make sure that it was a no net cost program despite the new assessments growers like Larry Pendleton and his brother George of Halifax County and those who work on their behalf feel lucky to have a peanut program at all. Although we felt that we the peanut grower took a hit in terms of income because of the price and because of the no net cost provisions we still have the program and the program is very important to the producers and we feel like that was an important item in our legislative agenda of the last two years. We felt like it was a victory you know because of one time I think the pay whole pinup program was looking extremely bleak and we my not having a program at all and you've got all this pain that equipment sit in the rain that you can't do anything you use you to last for any other purpose. But the 10 percent cut in the guaranteed price for peanuts can mean up to a 40 percent decrease in profits. Individual farmers are still paying a little more each year for pesticides fertilizer and other production costs.
Equipment cost is just soaring. You know that's extremely expensive and it's hard to make a capital expense on a piece of equipment not no one from one year to tell exactly how long the pain up program is going to be a rang and so you know you just don't know exactly how long you can expect so I don't know you know exactly how many crops lesions are highly highly long you know you have to expense that piece of equipment I. Many farmers rent land and the peanut quota is attached to it from other landowners at much higher prices than for other farmland. Despite some predictions that peanut ranch would decrease because of lower prices. Larry Pendleton says he doesn't see that happening. That may be good news for landowners with peanut acreage to rent but it's bad news for growers and it has to do with competition for available land. If you want to play less you know you've got a neighbor. That is the land and maybe he can see a way he can produce peanuts a little cheaper than you. You know maybe back in one time flying one of the side and all.
Thanks again anyway. The calls every fall has a different bottom line. The need to increase demand is something everyone agrees on including the brain trust of peanut promotion in North Carolina Bob Sutter of the peanut growers association Betsy Owens of Virginia Carolina peanut promotions and Tom Slade peanut marketing specialist for the State Department of Agriculture Sutter was the actor in a recent cable TV spot the three produced. How can you not be so good and be good for you. Actually peanuts are cholesterol free and rich in vitamins minerals and dietary fiber. This month. Bush is nutrition because a recent poll shows that many people believe peanuts are high in fat and cholesterol and recent research that we found is indicating that not only are they cholesterol free but they also help to take cholesterol out of the body. We're finding that peanuts can be a very valuable for against cancer against heart disease and of course the fan in Peanuts. And they do have good fat the kind
does help take cholesterol out the body. So mostly unsaturated. One positive for our state is that foreign grown peanuts are mainly edging into the peanut butter and candy market which uses smaller peanuts largely grown elsewhere. North Carolina produces 60 percent of the Orange Virginia type peanuts grown in the U.S. with Virginia accounting for the remaining 40 percent since up to half North Carolina's peanuts are this type ball park or in shell peanuts are a natural for promotion. It's a wonderful product to promote it's very healthy. And we feel like we have sort of a niche because in shells are sold and the produce for the most part in the produce departments of grocery stores. So we feel like again if the consumer says that when they walk into the beautiful produce departments then then they'll pick up a bag. The maximum peanut production allowed by law will be set each year according to demand. So getting consumers to reach for more peanuts is crucial
for solving the cost by squeezing which North Carolina's growers find themselves restored. Well lamb grants may now be decreasing peanut land is being devalued because of falling prices. For example North Carolina's top peanut producing county North Hampton lost three million dollars from its tax base in nearly $23000 an actual tax collections after support prices were reduced last year. Our interview segment tonight deals with keeping our farmers safe from exposure to hazard. It's chemicals. But before we get to that let's check in with Michel Louis for state wide news summary. Good evening. Thanks Maria. Good evening everyone. Topping our news a top level investigation into state personnel hiring practices is prompting a wave of reform proposals talks of change began with a Republican led investigation into a $100000 settlement paid to former state DMV employee Algy tumor. Governor Jim Hunt is reportedly drafting his own response that furthers the removal of politics from personnel decisions. The proposal supports competency testing for all applicants and
a significant scaling back of the activities of the governor's patronage office. One time Democratic senatorial candidate Charlie Sanders has announced he will not seek election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 the former chief executive officer of Glaxo Wellcome says he cannot focus on a statewide campaign while running a family commercial real estate business. Sanders was defeated in his first campaign by former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gant. Sanders is the second Democratic Senatorial hopeful to decline to run against Republican incumbent senator Locke fair cloth attorney general Mike Easley cited family reasons for not joining the race. New legislation proposes to make changes in the way HMO operate. The Senate Commerce Committee has approved four new bills to address the matter contained within the legislation are endorsements to require HMO to cover most emergency room visits. Make it easier for patients to see out of network doctors fully explain their reasons for denying coverage and to report more information to the state insurance commissioner.
The package is said to have industry support and the backing of officials with the State Department of Insurance. A bill to require clergy doctors and daycare workers to report child abuse or face penalties is under consideration and a House committee. The bill to levy a $200 fine and community service is sponsored by Senator Leslie winner of Mecklenburg County. The Democrat told a House Judiciary Committee. Current law requiring people to report child abuse is widely ignored because there is no penalty. When are SAS forcing people to turn in abusers could prevent some child deaths. There were 43 that's for child abuse last year in North Carolina. Lawmakers are one step closer to a comprehensive package on commercial fishing reform. House members voted to increase the cost of commercial fishing licenses. But the package contains no recommendation to require a $15 recreational salt water fishing permit. The bill puts a limit on the kind of nets that can be used and strengthens law enforcement. The proposal also sets a limit on the allocation of commercial fishing licenses. The measure will now be
taken up by the Senate. Looking ahead to tomorrow's weather warm temperatures will cover the entire state. But when ash will be in the mid 70s while the rest of the state will be in the low to mid 80s partly cloudy skies are on tap for most of the state. There's a chance of showers in the mountains around the triad and Charlotte area. And in business news the latest information to come out of the tobacco settlement talks puts the chance of an agreement on hold earlier this week it appeared the two sides were close to striking a deal. Talks have stalled over issues of protection against further smoker lawsuits and how the Food and Drug Administration would regulate nicotine. Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore says he remains optimistic about getting a deal. Moore has until July 17th to reach a settlement before he begins the trial against the tobacco industry. Thirty five states have sued seeking to recover Medicaid funds spent treating sick smokers. Once in Salem based what cobia corporation has signed an agreement to merge with Jefferson bank shares of Charlottesville Virginia cobia will pay more than $38 a share
for the Savings and Loan holding company. The transaction will have an approximate value of five hundred forty two million dollars. The merger is expected to close by October 30. First the agreement is part of a larger trend of North Carolina based banks looking to purchase and merge with banks and Virginia banks like BB&T and for citizens have already looked north. And now here's a look at what happened on Wall Street today. Minimizing farmers exposure to hazardous chemicals is the purpose of a four year study being headed up
by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will focus on tobacco and cucumber farmers in eastern North Carolina because those crops involve considerable hand labor and chemicals. Joining me now to tell us more about the study is the principal investigator Dr. Thomas. Dr. Carey welcome to North Carolina now as I close. Right. OK. Thanks for being here tonight. Tell us a little bit about the purpose of this study. The purpose of the study is to develop materials and methods that can help reduce the exposure of farm workers to agricultural chemicals at work. These materials may be training maybe brochures maybe videos but it's that kind of materials that we want to develop with the end result being that farm workers will not be as exposed to chemicals on the job. Is this a big problem are farmers getting too much exposure to these chemicals. That's the short answer that is yes
the long answer is we don't know. We know that foreign workers are exposed to chemicals and all people who work on farms by nature by the nature of the base are exposed to chemicals. Unfortunately we don't have very many good epidemiological field studies which show the exact exposure. In addition to that exposure to chemicals is complicated because the mimics other illnesses that can occur while working in agriculture such as heat exhaustion. Now you would say Chapel Hill is not the only institution that's taking part in this study. Tell us about some of your partners. This is a collaborative project of four organizations USC Chapel Hill being the lead organization but we're partnered with the bombing School of Medicine at Wake Forest University Department of Public Health Sciences the Cooperative Extension Service of North Carolina State University and the farmworkers project a grassroots advocacy group in Benson. And I understand that you are in need of community wide pursue participation rates. This whole study is based on the premise of having the
participation of community members and by community members we mean farm workers farmers extension agents and healthcare providers. We want them involved in the study so that whatever intervention materials that we develop as a result of this are a clickable to to this group of people that we can use their suggestions and advice so that the product is actually works in the long run. I know that you are particularly concerned with seasonal workers and migrant workers because they may not have the information of how to deal with these chemicals right Recht. Right. A lot of the seasonal migrant workers are Hispanic. Increasingly So in North Carolina. So there's a language problem there. But the product that we end up with we want to be a pleasurable and helpful to everyone who works in agriculture whether they be farm worker migrant seasonal farm workers you're around farm workers or farmers. Are we talking about Doctor we're just talking about overuse of a dangerous chemical or in correct use. We're not talking about either. If you
correctly applied chemicals for them to work they have to stay on the plant for some period of time while EPA Environmental Protection Agency has set up no entry periods after pesticides in particular applied residues still remain. If you work out in the fields and brush up against those plants or pick the produce you're going to get residue on your hands and on your skin. If you don't if you don't dress properly if you don't wash your hands properly that can get into your body and you can take it home with you and it can get into your family also. So that's why you're concentrating on the cucumbers and the tobacco because there's a lot of right use of the hands there right there to hand harvested commodities for which a lot of chemicals are used. You're looking at farmers to help you in this study and farm workers right is a very is a group of people. What are you requiring them to do. Well this year we're doing. It's the first of the study. We're developing the interventions and we're doing in-depth interviews with farmers and farm workers. And then we're going to do some focus group interviews with
farmers and farm workers farmers who would like to help us who lives in one of the eight counties of the study will take about an hour to an hour and a half of their time sitting down and we'll tape recorded an interview in which we asked them about what they do currently to reduce exposure among for themselves and their workers their ideas on different materials that we have already seen out there and the experience they've had with exposure the same amount of time will take will be involved for a farm worker for these individual interviews. The focus groups take a little longer because we pull groups of six or eight people to a central location and to do those interviews but it covers basically the same topics. Now this is a four year study and you said that the first phase is it is the interview process. What can we expect for the rest of the. Well as part of this first year we're going to actually develop the materials education whatever it turns out to be that will be the intervention in the second and third years we're going to test those in the experimental design and which will have 18 farms which will do the intervention and 18 farms in which we won't will do pretest with farm
workers on those farms in the post test to see if if the intervention the workers who work on the farms that have the intervention. At the end of the season are less exposed. Know more about how to reduce exposure to chemicals in the workplace. OK and I understand that if there is any farmer out there that wants to participate in the study they can do so by calling you. You had mentioned eight counties this is basically in the eastern part of North Carolina and I will have you mention them because I know that will probably won't let one out but it's basically east of Raleigh. Right. OK great. Well if you are a cucumber or tobacco farmer in eastern North Carolina and would like to help in this research you can contact Dr R. Carey at 9 1 9 9 6 2 3 5 1 2. Doctor I want to thank you here for your time this evening and I wish you well in your research. Thank you very much. There
is something old and something new at the North Carolina Museum of Art producer Bill Hannah takes us to the European Gallery in this piece narrated by Shannon Vicary. You know the Celebrate the museum's 50th anniversary we thought it would be good to do something with the heart of the museum which is the European collection. After all it was the money that was appropriated by the legislature to buy many of these pictures that really led to the creation of this museum. And we felt like it was time to really put our best foot forward. So we've repainted all of the galleries. We have a beautiful new entrance to the European galleries. We have added wall labels that tell the visitor something about every single work that's on
their vase. Wanted more information about the paintings so the curators the education art departments decided to enhance the labels in their text. This institution is hung in kind of an art historical format where you see the evolution of art history from the beginning of time with our Egyptian gallery and ancient art through modern contemporary art which is on the entrance level. In particular this gallery is hung from northern european all the way around through 19th century. So it's hung in a chronological format so when you're looking at a group of works they were actually relate to each other from an art historical standpoint which is really important that you may see paintings from Italy and France and Spain only the same gallery but they're all from like the 18th century so that you can see a different schools of painting different philosophies in the creation of art I mean lots of things are going on a particular time period so the paintings are organized by time period. A lot of these works were created five or six hundred years ago and that's not an
easy leap for everybody to make so we're trying to make it as as gentle and logical a transition for our visitors possible. When you consider the people's ideas of the past is 10 or 15 years ago I think it's important for them to get a little better understanding as to where we came from. Because that shows us that in some ways we're not all that different from people who lived many years ago that we have similar ideas and values and that the more things change the more they stay the same. The new Iraq colors were carefully chosen. The paintings were studied to pick colors that would complement each painting in a gallery. The scheme that we changed from was a mishmash of blue and pink and orange and colors that had no relationship to the works of art at all. And finally for the first time in probably 10 years the color scheme is unified the whole
lighting scheme has been redone and the paintings just glow on the walls so it does look almost entirely like a new space even though it is that we did not change the environment. Museum curators hope the public will revisit the European collection. They hope North Carolinians will come to appreciate the significance of this collection. As much as visitors from out of our state you know we have visitors come here from all over the world scholars are all of us from all over the world and they come here and they know about the collection and they say boy this is great. But I think in some ways it's better known outside of the state than it is inside the state. I mean this really is the single greatest cultural asset that the state of North Carolina has. And it is one of the few cultural assets that we have that can really tell us where we came from. That really discusses the whole of European culture in such a concise and beautiful way. So I
think it's one of the things that we're really going to be working on over the next few years is to say Come and see this beautiful collection that is yours and the great thing about this is the paintings are owned by the people of North Carolina. Very few collections in this country or elsewhere are actually owned by the people. And this is one of them. Even if you've already banged to the European gallery you might want to check it out again. The new text panels and the new wall colors have many visitors discovering paintings they missed on their visit. Well that's our program for tonight so glad you joined us please be with us again tomorrow when Congressman Mike McIntyre will be our guest. The Seventh District U.S. representative will be here to discuss the issues facing Congress today as well as to preview his agricultural summit to be held Monday night in Fayetteville. Also tomorrow we'll experience some long overdue sunshine. Bob Garner takes us along the entire stretch of the coast to highlight the multitude of vacation getaways.
Enjoy your evening everyone will see you back here tomorrow night for another edition of North Carolina now. Good night everyone.
North Carolina Now
North Carolina Now Episode from 06/11/1997
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UNC-TV (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina)
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North Carolina Now is a news magazine featuring segments about North Carolina current events and communities.
Thomas Arcury - Minimize Farmers' Exposure to Chemicals; Peanut Farming (Garner); European Gallery (Hannah)
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Identifier: NC0694/2 (unknown)
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Duration: 00:24:36;00
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