Govt making empty promises to sugar workers – Jagdeo

first_img…says sugar belt meetings a sign of desperationBy Samuel SukhnandanMeetings held with citizens in the sugar belt on Friday and chaired by several Cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, have been described as a master public relations strategy which was just a regurgitation of more failed promises and political rhetoric, Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Bharrat Jagdeo has said.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoJagdeo told media operatives at a press conference on Saturday that the meetings were a desperate attempt by the coalition Government to show that they care about sugar workers, when in fact they were the ones who planned the downsizing of the industry, which is now taking effect and creating chaos for thousands of families whose livelihoods depend on that industry.“Imagine: half of the Cabinet, the whole AFC (Alliance for Change) going to the sugar belt to say they will provide training and that the Special Purposes Unit (SPU) is looking for investors. It was a (public relations) PR exercise, a master PR strategy; that (is) what it was. Nothing more than that,” he said.The former President claimed that Nagamootoo has nothing new to say to the workers but that the Government is not closing the industry. “He said the Government not closing sugar and that sugar will remain alive. We heard similar sentiments from this same person who is now Prime Minister pre-election…who said they will receive significant support and (give) 20 percent increase in wages and salaries.”Jagdeo said the reality today is that the coalition Government has taken the most “callous decision ever in sugar.” On that basis alone, he believes that Nagamootoo’s statements were not sincere, and sugar workers will not fall for the same trap of believing what was promised.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo“Secondly, he told them that 1,000 workers will get $500,000 severances. They could have paid the 1,000 workers their full severance. What he didn’t say is that they withholding half of the severance, which is payable by law. So, they making it that sugar workers beg for what is due to them by law. What was the message…the situation placed a strain on the treasury,” the former President told the press.Jagdeo believes that if anything has put a severe strain on the treasury, it is the “bloated Government” which travels overseas more frequently and spends millions on luxury vehicles to parade in.Another observation made by Jagdeo about the Prime Minister’s address to people in the sugar belt was the fact that “he said there is no need for quarrel and row”. He was referring to moments when workers’ voices drowned Nagamootoo’s speech.Nagamootoo had said that if tension is put aside and both parties work together and have meaningful talks, then they can find answers and solutions.“He wants to work together. But this is the same Prime Minister who, a week prior to that, stood up in Parliament (and) argued against (the) Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report on Sugar being debated fully at the Economic Services Committee in the National Assembly,” the PPP/C General Secretary pointed out.Jagdeo also observed that the Government was so desperate in its attempt to try to fix a problem it created that it is telling sugar workers of a plan to have them meet with the private sector so that they can discuss ways in which their severance pay could be reinvested to create a business.“This is desperate, and it’s ridiculous. Which business can you start really with $500,000? And in fact the people need it now to sustain themselves,” he added.During those meetings, Third Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan explained that the Government had no other choice but to make the “hard decision”. He admitted that challenging days are ahead for the sugar industry. He remarked that times are changing globally, and had Guyana responded at the right time and in the right manner, the dynamics of the sugar industry would have been very different nowBut Ramjattan’s famous words from that meeting were: “God wanted sugar to fail.” The Minister also said, “So it’s important to understand that hard decisions have to be made, and we are (the) ones that will (have) to make it…probably it was destined to have to fail. Probably God wanted it that way, and we have to make the decisions now…Probably that is why God also said let (them) find the oil under this Administration, and we have found it.”Ramjattan was accompanied by Business and Tourism Minister Dominic Gaskin; Public Telecommunications Minister Catherine Hughes; Citizenship Minister Winston Felix; and Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes. The ministers were accompanied by a representative of the SPU, GuySuCo’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Bhim, and other senior officials.The team met workers at the Enmore Training Centre and Staff Club on Friday.The team that was led by the Prime Minister met with sugar workers at the Skeldon Community Centre on that same day. He was accompanied by Agriculture Minister Noel Holder and Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma.last_img read more

1 million-plus document pages in hiding

first_imgMore than 1 million pages of historical government documents – a stack taller than the U.S. Capitol – have been removed from public view since the September 2001 terror attacks, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Some of the papers are more than a century old. In some cases, entire file boxes were removed without significant review because the government’s central record-keeping agency, the National Archives and Records Administration, did not have time for a more thorough audit. “We just felt we couldn’t take the time and didn’t always have the expertise,” said Steve Tilley, who oversaw the program. Archives officials are still screening records, but the number of files pulled recently has declined dramatically, he said. The records administration began removing materials under its “records of concern” program launched in November 2001 after the Justice Department instructed agencies to be more guarded in releasing government papers. The agency has removed about 1.1 million pages, according to partially redacted monthly progress reports reviewed by the AP. The reports were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. After the September 2001 attacks, the records administration signed a secret deal with the Pentagon and CIA to review and permit the removal of tens of thousands of pages from public view that intelligence officials believed had been declassified too hastily. In the aftermath of disclosures about that program, archives officials promised not to enter into any more secret agreements with federal agencies. They also promised to publicize withdrawals and establish procedures for reclassifying documents. A subsequent audit of the disputed program found one of every three sampled documents should not have been reclassified. The newer program, however, has been operated wholly by archives officials, and its scope apparently dwarfs the removal of CIA and Pentagon records. In a memo to employees, John Carlin, then archivist of the United States, said the “records of concern” program would “reduce the risk of providing access to materials that might support terrorists.” A later memo explained that “relatively current, accurate and detailed information on a structure, organization or facility that is crucial to protecting national defense, the country’s infrastructure, symbolic monuments and personal identity are records of concern.” The director of an online coalition for freedom of information issues, Patrice McDermott of, urged officials to create a public registry of withdrawn documents. She said officials should work toward releasing more than 400 million pages of backlogged files rather than removing smaller numbers of papers. “This is a questionable use of tax dollars,” McDermott said. Other researchers said the project, while well-intentioned, reinforces a culture of secrecy that became more pronounced after the September 2001 terror attacks. “You want government to be vigilant when it comes to security, but you also want them to behave responsibly,” said Steven Aftergood, who runs the government secrecy project for the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists. “You can’t have a situation where secrecy becomes the default mode.” Many of the removed records might be useful to terrorists, according to the AP’s review. Archivists removed records from the U.S. Surgeon General’s Preventive Medicine Division, which studied biological weapons created between 1941 and 1947. Other records withdrawn don’t appear to be useful to terrorists. Archivists removed information from a 1960 Bureau of Indian Affairs report on Alaska’s Tlingit and Haida tribes because it included Social Security numbers. A 1960 map of the Melton Hill Reservoir in east Tennessee – now known mainly as a spring-training site for collegiate rowing teams – was removed from view, as were 1967 architectural drawings for the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. In e-mails and memos obtained by the AP, archives employees made it clear they were trying to minimize the number and scope of removals. Archives officials generally have received passing marks from secrecy experts who have been aware of the program, said Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a George Washington University-based research institute. But Blanton also said the effort appears to be a case of misplaced priorities. “Government’s first instinct is to hide vulnerabilities, not to fix them,” said Blanton. “And that doesn’t make us safer.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The pulled records include the presumably dangerous, such as nearly half an enormous database from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with information about all federal facilities. But they also include the presumably useless, such as part of a collection about the Lower Colorado River Authority with papers 114 years old. About 80 cubic feet of naval facility plans and blueprints – on microfilm, about 200,000 pages – were withdrawn because agency officials said they didn’t have time to go through each individual document. In all, archivists identified as many as 625 million pages that could have been affected under the security program. In their haste to remove potentially harmful documents from view, archives officials acknowledged many records were withdrawn that should be available. The public can still request to see parts of withdrawn documents under the Freedom of Information Act and may in some cases be allowed to see whole files that were removed. The archives program comes less than one year after the records administration was under fire for allowing public documents to be reclassified as secret under a separate program. last_img read more

Struggling Thika shock troubled Gor Mahia

first_imgThey however remained placed bottom, just one point behind Wazito FC whose survival hopes were dealt a hammer blow after losing 1-0 to Ulinzi Stars at the Kericho Green Stadium earlier in the afternoon.In the other matches, Vihiga United picked a boosing point after playing to a 1-1 draw with Sony Sugar in Mumias while Chemelil on Saturday boosted their hopes with a 1-0 win over Mathare United in Awasi.But it was at the Thika Stadium that the story of the weekend was waiting to unfold with uncertainty whether or not the striking Gor players would show up for the match. Gor have not trained whole week protesting non-payment of salaries and allowances.“The players gave their all in this match but it was going to be difficult to prepare for this match without training,” Gor head coach Dylan Kerr lamented after the match.Thika were under the tutelage of former Mathare Youth coach Gabriel ‘Kingi’ Njoroge who was stepping in for the first time after being called upon to save the sinking ship.New Thika United head coach Gabriel Njoroge during their Kenyan Premier League match against Gor Mahia at the Thika Stadium on September 16, 2018“The players warmly welcomed me from the look of training during the week, we were heading for a positive result despite playing a side that hasn’t trained, at times a team can win even without training, we had to be cautious,” Njoroge who has had stints with Mathare United and City Stars further said.While this was only the second loss this season for Gor, Thika were in cloud nine having picked a win for the first time since May, a run that has seen them go for 11 matches without registering victory losing nine of them.It wasn’t a classic Gor match as the players only looked to have come in to fulfil the obligations of the match and help the club avoid a possible Sh1mn fine for handing a walk over.Golden boot chasing Jacques Tuyisenge had a chance inside 16 minutes when he was played through by Burundian Francis Mustafa, but he fired wide from close range though he had already been flagged offside.The champions-elect had another chance off a Boniface Omondi corner, but Charles Momanyi’s connection with a header was off target.Thika had to wait till the 21st minute to register their first meaningful effort at goal falling on Michael Odongo, but he could not beat the keeper one on one off a Zak Matasi cross.Gor came ever so close after 35 minutes when Wellington Ochieng’s cracking shot came off the upright while Wesley Onguso wasted a glorious chance with a freekick from goal scoring range hitting it over and wide.Gor Mahia’s Joachim Oluoch tussles for the ball with Thika United’s Zak matasi during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Thika Stadium on September 16, 2018In the second half Kerr made changes bringing on Bernard Ondiek and Innocent Wafula for Joachim Oluoch and Samuel Onyango with Thika responding by throwing in James Kinyanjui and Richard Kang’ethe for Benson Iregi and Haji Mwachoki.It was Thika’s changes that proved fruitful with the home side breaking the deadlock in the 62nd minute with Odongo pouncing on a lose ball after keeper Peter Odhiambo punched Michael Mutinda’s shot into his path.Having gone down, Gor gave a fight and thought to have had a point late on but Francis Mustafa’s goal was ruled out for offside.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gor Mahia’s Jacques Tuyisenge is tackled by a Thika United player during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Thika Stadium on September 16, 2018NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – Gor Mahia’s lack of match fitness was clearly evident on Sunday evening as they went down by a solitary goal to relegation threatened Thika United at the Thika Sub-County Stadium, handing the home side a massive survival boost.K’Ogalo whose players have not trained for the entire week just met up on the morning of match day and travelled to Thika, and the home side were more than willing to take advantage to pick maximum points and they did so to move to 26 points in the standings.last_img read more

Kenya, S.Leone AFCON qualifier cancelled

first_img“Seeing that Sierra Leone is still under suspension by FIFA, please note that the above mentioned match will not take place,” read part of the letter.“The status of the group will be communicated later on once the competent body takes a final decision in this regards,” continued the letter signed by CAF Competitions Division’s Khaled Nassar.Kenya has so far won two and shared the spoils in one match, in their quest to grace the Africa Cup of Nations from Group F, which also comprises of Ghana and Ethiopia. The Harambee Stars are in line for a place in the continental showpiece, which they last graced in 2004.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Deputy President William Ruto greets Harambee Stars players during a training session at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has called off Kenya’s Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Sierra Leone that was scheduled to be played at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Sunday, November 18.In a letter from the Continental governing body’s Competition’s Division, CAF cited a suspension on Sierra Leone by World Governing body FIFA, noting that the status of the group will be communicated once the Executive Committee takes a final decision on the matter.last_img read more

Guardiola has VAR concerns after City rout

first_imgBut City’s ruthless finishing wasn’t the main talking point in east London as VAR made a first major impact on a Premier League match.The Video Assistant Referee technology is being used in the Premier League for the first time this season after featuring in the FA and League Cups in England last term.The system was given quite a workout at the London Stadium, with several decisions reviewed, including City’s Jesus having a goal disallowed for offside against Sterling, while Aguero was able to score a retaken penalty after his initial saved spot-kick featured West Ham encroachment.There was also VAR approval for Sterling’s second goal and an early West Ham penalty appeal was turned down by the system.The offside decision against Sterling was extremely close and Guardiola disagreed with the call, insisting the constant interventions are only worth the hassle if they are always right.“Only what I wish is that VAR doesn’t make mistakes please. When it’s offside it’s offside, when it’s a penalty it’s a penalty,” he told reporters.“Rules are rules, no problem. But I will be upset if it’s something that is right and it’s disallowed. Then it will be not good.“The only thing I’m concerned is when VAR makes a mistake. It happened quite often in the past, then it is better for the referee to make decision.”Guardiola has already experienced the agony of VAR overturning a key decision when Sterling had what would have been a last-gasp Champions League winner against Tottenham ruled out for offside last season.Since then, the Spaniard has joined the rest of his Premier League managerial counterparts for a VAR demonstration in London.He remains hopeful the system will prove to be fairer in the long-term, even if it needs to be quicker to make decisions after both teams had returned to their kick-off positions before Jesus’s goal was eventually disallowed.– ‘Mentally strong’ –“After what happened against Tottenham in the quarter-finals last season, we were there, 60,000 people jumping with joy, then one second later we lost because it was offside. Now I’m used to these situations,” he said.“We had a managers’ meeting in London last week and they showed us how VAR will work with all the cameras and angles.“I think it will be fairer. Maybe it will be quicker in the future.“You have to be mentally strong when VAR is not on our side. You think at 3-0 the game is almost over but at 2-0, it’s completely different.“It is going to change the dynamic not just for the team but for the spectators. It will be a good lesson for our future.”Regardless of the latest VAR issues, Guardiola was content with the way City recovered from a lethargic first 15 minutes to put West Ham to the sword.It was the ideal response from the champions after title rivals Liverpool crushed Norwich 4-1 in their season opener on Friday.“Perfect start? It terms of the result yes, in terms of the performance no. In the first half we were sloppy with our passes,” Guardiola said.“We didn’t have the rhythm but that is normal in the first game. In the second half we settled down.”Sterling stole the show with a display of lethal finishing that convinced Guardiola the England winger could thrive as a central striker.“For me a striker would be an incredible position for him. I know the quality of the player, the consistency,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The big screen informs the crowd that the VAR is checking Manchester City’s third goal at West Ham © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 10 – Pep Guardiola says VAR will only be worthwhile if decisions taken by the controversial system are always correct after Manchester City’s 5-0 win at West Ham was interrupted by several replay reviews.Guardiola’s side kicked off their Premier League title defence with a confident display as Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick and goals from Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero demolished the Hammers.last_img read more

Exclusive – Aston Villa lack the leaders to beat relegation, claims former Villans star

first_imgGeorge Boateng admits Aston Villa will find it tough to beat relegation this season – because they lack leaders.The Villans are currently 19th in the Premier League table, having picked up just three points from their last 12 league fixtures.A revival under new boss Tim Sherwood had been hoped for, but the former Tottenham manager has overseen two successive defeats.And ex-midfielder Boateng claims the 46-year-old’s squad is too inexperienced.“When you’re in this situation you really need leaders in your team,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “You need older payers who roll up their sleeves and fight, regardless of whether they’re down or not. Aston Villa don’t have those.“They have a very young squad and there aren’t enough leaders and characters in that team to dig in and come out of it. Ron Vlaar is that type of player, but there aren’t enough at Villa.”last_img read more

Brentford next manager odds: Champions League winner is second favourite for the job

first_img England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions RANKED Di Matteo has been cut from 12/1 this morning, into just 7/2 second favourite for the job, signifying a massive move in the market.He’s still just behind current favourite Thomas Frank, Smith’s assistant manager at Griffin Park, who is 1/2 for the job. no dice REVEALED Former Chelsea, Aston Villa, and Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo. MONEY Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ 1center_img Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REPLY BEST OF huge blow Brentford could name a Champions League winning manager as their new boss following a flurry of bets.Ex-Chelsea and Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo has seen his odds slashed in the last 12 hours following Dean Smith’s decision to become the new Aston Villa boss. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Next Brentford boss: ADVICE Latest Football News Elsewhere, Nathan Jones is 12/1 third favourite, followed by Danny Cowley (16/1), Michael Appleton (16/1) and ex-Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal (18/1).Oddschecker spokesperson George Elek said: “Di Matteo’s last job was ironically at Aston Villa back in 2016 and, despite his previous credentials, there have to be question marks about his ability to manage at this level.“Brentford have had great success in tapping into unknown markets, so this name really has come out of the blue.” Thomas Frank – 1/2Roberto Di Matteo – 7/2Nathan Jones – 9/1Danny Cowley – 16/1Michael Appleton – 16/1Carlos Carvalhal – 18/1Rui Faria – 18/1David Moyes – 20/1Mark Warburton – 20/1 REVEALED silverware last_img read more

These amazing things have happened since Chelsea were ‘founded’ in 2003

first_img REVEALED Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Ronaldo celebrated his sensational opener against Man United by showing fans his six pack. Since leaving Old Trafford in 2009 for £80m, he became one of the greatest players in the world. He left in 2018, but not before scoring 451 times for the club RANKED no dice 5. Ronaldo went from this… Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Chelsea struck oil in 2003 when 36-year-old billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club and transformed the Premier League as we knew it.The Blues have become a football powerhouse in the years following, winning Premier League titles and even being able to call themselves champions of Europe.And since the birth of ‘Chelski’, a lot of other great stuff has kept us entertained, too.1. Delia Smith became a football legend2. Twitter was founded Lampard left Chelsea as their greatest goal scorer in 2014 and cemented his place in City hears by then scoring for the club AGAINST the Blues. When he signed off – in a 2015 games against Southampton – he scored and was given a standing ovation and later celebrated by his team-mates. A City Legend. 5 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade 5 4. Thomas Gravesen became a Real Madrid Galactico Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Most Popular Football News MONEY Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 3. Frank Lampard became both a Chelsea and Man City legendcenter_img BEST OF There he is, top right, alongside Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and David Beckham. Real Madrid bought Gravesen from Everton in a £2.6m deal in 2005 ADVICE Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REPLY Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Man United signed 18-year-old Ronaldo for £12.24m in 2003 It was built from nothing, just like Chelsea, and it’s owner is also worth a few billion quid, too. It also gave football fans a voice to lament every misplaced pass and see the modern fan turn on their ‘heroes’ in an instant To this… REVEALED 5 Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card huge blow shining 5 5last_img read more

Head scab risk for wheat generally low

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The last few wheat fields — mostly later maturing fields and fields in northern Ohio — are finishing up flowering this week. According to the forecasting system, the risk for head scab is low for these last fields that were flowering. Although it has rained through several crucial periods of risk for the disease, conditions have been relatively cool, which likely reduced the risk of the scab fungus infecting the wheat spikes.During most of the flowering window for the 2015 season when the crop is most susceptible to infection, conditions have generally not been favorable for scab — either too dry or too cold. Scab develops best under moderate to warm temperatures and humid conditions.last_img

Where are the “You Been Farming Long” boys now?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This picture is one of the most iconic pictures in the history of agriculture. Back in the early 80s you couldn’t go to a farm house, implement dealer or sale barn without seeing this poster somewhere on the wall. Seeing it recently for the first time in a long time piqued my curiosity and I wanted to know what ever happened to these two boys (who are in there 40s now)? So I Googled it. Here is what I found.One of the first links that popped up was a Pinterest posting from 2009. The mother of the two bib-donning photo stars, Deni Overton, wrote about how the picture came to be and the interest it garnered for years to come. She wrote:Have you seen this picture before?I took this picture of my twin sons in September, 1978.Did you know that it is one of the most recognized posters in history? Believe it or not, over one million copies have been sold all over the world. If you are connected with farming or live in a farming community, you most likely have seen it many times.Whenever someone I know sees the poster somewhere, they usually report back to us. Reports range from Europe to most of the mid-Western U.S. to Canada.I’ve also heard some versions of where it was taken, when it was taken, and how it was taken that were totally false!So, as Paul Harvey always says…”Now you know the rest of the story”…or you will, if you read all of this!I have to admit, it’s a pretty cool story for just starting out as one of many, many proud mom’s photo opportunities!!When I took this picture of my twin sons, Matt and Chris, in September, 1978, they were only 1-1/2 years old. At that time, we lived on “the mesa”, just across from a little town called San Miguel, CA (northern San Luis Obispo County). An overnight visitor was on her way home that morning and wanted a couple pictures of the boys before she left. So, I got my camera out and took a few also. After all, they had their brand new OshKosh overalls on!When the photos came back, there was that one extra-special shot–the lighting was just right, the focus just right, and the expression was priceless. I enjoyed showing it off to people, and decided to enter it in the San Luis Obispo County Fair (now known at the Mid-State Fair). Well, there were 2 other photos in the same class as mine-and mine came in 3rd place! But, it drew a crowd. So many people liked it that they were looking up my name in the phone book in order to ask if they could buy a reprint.Over the next couple of years the photo was used on a Guernsey cow breeder’s magazine, a Babson Bros. dairy equipment company calendar and then a Saturday newspaper supplement cover that was syndicated across the U.S. I sold a number of 8 x 10’s to many people over this time period. I also mailed a copy to the OshKosh company. They sent back a very nice letter and a couple of OshKosh bandannas for the boys with this explanation: “Thank you for sending your photo; however, we have no plans at this time to use children in any of our advertising.” I can only speculate that they thought the boys looked so cute in those overalls that they decided to start a children’s line of clothing. They certainly do well with their children’s line!Anyway, one day in 1982, I got a telephone call. By this time, we had just moved to Hanford, CA in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley–BIG farming area! The call was from a man named Roy Reiman, a publisher of magazines mainly geared to “country” type people. His company is based in Wisconsin.His daughter took him to somewhere on her college campus where the photo of Matt & Chris was hanging on a bulletin board. From that he somehow tracked me down and called. He said he had an idea for using the picture on the first issue of a new magazine he was about to publish–Country Kids. He got my address so that he could make an offer in writing on the use of the photo. I remember him acting like a contract was only a formality for him because he was so honest and believes in that good ol’ “country handshake” being as good as a legal contract.When I received the offer, he had decided he wanted to do a poster instead of the cover and then he would offer one poster free for each new subscription to Country Kids. He offered me $250 for that use or else ½ cent for every poster that they sold. Since my clothes dryer had just died, the prudent thing really seemed to be to take the enclosed check for $250. (Yeah, yeah, don’t say it!) The agreement was made for posters only, though.The poster came out with the caption “You been farming long?” on it and that seemed to be exactly what it took for people to love it. A few months later, I found out that the Reiman Company had started making note cards that were just like the poster. I contacted an attorney. That was the smart thing I did! He negotiated with Reiman and came to an agreement that 6% of the gross sales was to be paid to me on a monthly basis for the use of the photo on anything other than the posters. From that point on, I received a monthly royalty check from Reiman. They sent a statement of amounts sold along with each check. They were selling anything and everything they came up with in the line now known as “Little Farmers”-playing cards, figurines, salt & pepper shakers, porcelain dolls-and they sold like hotcakes! The company grew and grew over this time, and the royalty checks were pretty nice–especially around Christmas time.When Matt and Chris were about 8 years old, Reiman called and asked me to take an “update” photo. He wanted the boys to dress the same as they did in the original photo for submission in an article “Where are they now?” kind of thing. Well, we did it-and it didn’t translate to a great photo. I didn’t think it worked at all. They also had our local paper come out and take a photo of the 3 of us for the same article. They asked again when they were about 13–same thing. The last time they asked for an update photo, I told them no way–don’t ask again. Here’s why:About 5 years later, I noticed that the checks had kind of dwindled but they were still coming out with new “Little Farmer” items in their catalog, especially a lot of figurines where they would have Matt (red hat) alone or Chris (blue hat) alone. When I checked my printouts, I realized that they were not paying royalties for any of these–and hadn’t been for quite awhile. By my calculations, they owed me thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties. I contacted Reiman–and then my attorney. It seems somewhere along the line they had gotten “too big for their britches”! They told me that the single figurines were not necessarily a likeness of Matt & Chris’ photo–only the double figurines were! Somewhere the company had decided that honoring their agreement, whether of the legal or “country handshake” variety was no longer important. Actually, it probably never was if they could find a way around it. And they did. They told me that if I pushed the issue-they would just stop selling Little Farmer items altogether. They made a settlement for about 1/6 of what they owed-and told me to “like it or lump it” (my words)! They have not ever come out with new “Little Farmer” items since that time anyway.The good side of the story is that I know my picture has brought many people pleasure, and for some it’s nostalgic of their early childhood, etc. So, royalties aren’t everything! To be able to bring such feeling that someone would write to me to express it is worth more than money can buy!Then I came across a post on a message board that I frequent, New Ag Talk, but I missed this particular conversation when it originally happen last year.A person with the screen name “Big Ben” had the same curiosity I had when he saw the picture show up again on social media. He wrote:I saw a post on Facebook with a picture of this famous poster, and couldn’t help but wonder if anyone on here knows more about it. Where was it taken? What are the boys doing now?A few months later, after many memories were shared on the message board about the picture, someone with the screen name Blue Cap chimed in:It is nice to see so many people with good memories of our picture. I like to look up the phrase “You been farming long” to see what turns up, and it always brings a smile to my face. My name is Chris, and I am the one on the right in the blue cap. My brother and I live in Fresno, CA and are now 38 years old. We both have children now who are much more photogenic than us. My brother has a two year old boy and I have two girls, ages four and six. My Mom, who took the photo, now lives in the little town of Lompoc, CA. She has looked into the copyright, which is now owned by Reader’s Digest. The problem is that they are a huge organization and this contract that would give them exclusive rights is just an old piece of paper buried in an old file cabinet somewhere. It isn’t really worth their interest and I suspect they may not even know where to look to find it (if they even still have it). Aside from the unpleasant business with Reiman, we have a lot of good memories of this old picture and don’t feel like it is worth more unpleasantness to try to get the contract out of Reader’s Digest. We are all doing fine, and so we need not make ourselves miserable over a little money. Thank you again for all the kind words and for sharing your memories. God Bless, Chris JacobsNo, thank you Chris! That one split second with your brother, captured by the quick snap of your Mom’s camera has been a staple of American agriculture from the moment it was printed. And it’s nice to hear that you’re all are doing well.last_img read more