Archive for March 22nd, 2012

‘Old cowboy’ cleans up at agriculture awards night

| 22/03/2012 | 7 Comments

2012 East Farm visits (16) (232x300).jpg(CNS): Paul Bodden almost swept the board at this years ‘Agricultural Oscars’ when he received the farmer of the Year award, livestock farmer of the year – Grand Cayman, Champion Exhibitor – Livestock Farmer, Best Sow; Champion Exhibitor – Cattle and Champion Exhibitor – Pigs –second place. A fourth generation farmer whose father, Wil Bodden carried him in a basket to the farm where he now lives, Bodden said, “I am just a humble old cowboy who is grateful for the awards because this helps to inspire and motivate me to continue.”

His 12-acre farm, Old Brown Ranch, is located in Lower Valley and focuses on livestock farming, mainly cattle and pigs. He currently employs four full time workers and has 160 cows and 80 pigs. His goal is to increase these numbers by 2014 so that he is able to slaughter 260 cows and 260 pigs annually.  At the moment, Old Brown Ranch slaughters on average one to two cows and pigs per week.

“The most relaxing time of my life is when I am on the farm. I can be full of red mold and cow dung and I am relaxed. Hard work is second nature to me,” Bodden said.

“I know where I am coming from and where I am going.  One of my main goals, along with some of the other livestock farmers, is to improve local beef. Beef should be tender and I am experimenting with different breeds of cow to ensure that happens. These cows shouldn’t have horns, shouldn’t be running about the field and shouldn’t be too old before going to slaughter.”

Bodden sells his beef to local supermarket and based on current trends in local farming, he is confident about future growth. “I never dreamt that we would have reached this level so quickly,” he said, while noting that the Department of Agriculture’s abattoir has made life much easier for farmers.

Farming is not the way Bodden earns his living however, as for over 40 years he has operated his own heavy equipment and aggregate business with his two sons Andy and John but over the past few years he said he has come to view farming as a business rather than a simple hobby.

“I have invested millions of dollars over the years. Now that I am nearing retirement, it has become more important to keep records. After all, I don’t want to be a broke retiree. You have to keep records to know what is happening,” he added.

Bodden received his numerous awards at the 45th Agriculture Society Awards Evening held at the Stacy Watler Pavilion in Lower Valley last Saturday evening.

Deputy Premier and the minister responsible for agriculture Juliana O’Connor-Connolly congratulated Bodden on his award.

“Paul is not only a successful farmer and livestock producer, but he is a progressive, community-minded leader who is committed to creating a brighter future for our islands. These awards are a great opportunity to recognise the farmers that make our islands agriculture so special,” she said. “Paul is one of many livestock farmers in Cayman Islands who do a great job caring for their animals, and the land, while also serving our community. He is always interested in finding new solutions to make his cattle more efficient and improve the quality of his beef.”

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Gay cruise visitors arrested in Caribbean

| 22/03/2012 | 0 Comments

(Yahoo News): Two California men on a gay cruise of the Caribbean were arrested Wednesday in Dominica, where sex between two men is illegal. Police Constable John George said police boarded the cruise ship and arrested the two men on suspicion of indecent exposure and "buggery," a term equivalent to sodomy on the island. He identified the men as John Robert Hart, 41, and Dennis Jay Mayer, 43, but did not provide their hometowns. George said the men were seen having sex on the Celebrity Summit cruise ship by someone on the dock. The two were later charged with indecent exposure and are scheduled to appear before a magistrate Thursday morning.

If found guilty, they could be fined $370 each and face up to six months in jail.

The ship carrying about 2,000 passengers departed Puerto Rico on Saturday and arrived in Dominica on Wednesday. It departed for St. Barts without the men, who are being held in a cell at police headquarters in the capital of Roseau.

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