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Impact Of Inflation On American Farmers; Effort To Help Rhino Population In Africa; Vanity of A Wayward Goat. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 02, 2021 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. Two of the topics that have dominated the news in recent days are inflation, the rise in prices of the

stuff we buy, and the Omicron variant of COVID-19. What happens when you put these two together? That`s what economic analysts are trying to figure

out. To be clear, no one knows yet what kind of impact Omicron is going to have.

The World Health Organization says the Delta variant, a previous mutation of corona virus, is still causing most of the infections worldwide, and as

it began the spread earlier this year, Delta caused a lot of the problems we`re still seeing with the supply chain. That`s included factory

shutdowns, shortages of manufacturing materials, and store shelves with less inventory. And the U.S. Federal Reserve, the nation`s central bank,

says the supply chain disruptions made the inflation problem worse.

Earlier this year, officials said rapidly rising prices would be transitory, or temporary, now the Fed`s chairman is indicating that

America`s inflation may not settle down any time soon.

And a big reason why is that supply issues are hard to predict. They`re not spread out evenly among factories, shipping, trucking, warehouses, and

fears about the Omicron variant may add to the complexities of the problem. Because if it spreads like Delta did, or sickens groups of people who work

closely together, more factory closures could be on the horizon and people may be hesitant to work with others in close quarters.

With a shortage of workers already causing challenges in several different fields, anything that keeps more people from working could only make things

worse. But again, it`s not known if Omicron will sicken people the way Delta did or if existing treatments and vaccines will work against the

disease. So, it`s hard to predict any sort of future economic impact at this point. The current impact continues to take a toll, especially on the

nation`s farmers.


GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Jim Jones finishes the sweet potato harvest on his North Carolina farm, skyrocketing costs are slicing through

his profits. Are you seeing any more money from this inflation?

JIM JONES, NORTH CAROLINA SWEET POTATO FARMER: No. No. We`re actually paying for it.

COHEN: The price of fertilizer, fuel and labor are way up with no ceiling in sight. How did your profit change this year ?

JONES: I would say maybe 10-15 percent.

COHEN: What about looking ahead to next year?

JONES: Add -- add that much more to it again.

COHEN: Despite those mark-ups at the market, many farmers say the price they receive for their crop isn`t going up. So, your price is staying the


JONES: My price is staying the same, or a little lower.

COHEN: Why don`t farmers just raise the price of their crops?

PATTY EDELBURG, VICE-PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL FARMERS UNION: Farmers are -- are price takers not price makers.

COHEN: Patty Edelburg is Vice-President of the National Farmers Union. Who`s making the money from that inflation?

EDELBURG: Much more the middle-man than anybody else.

COHEN: The USDA confirms that in many cases, processors and distributors that get food from the farm to store shelves are the ones passing along

their surging costs. With materials and ingredients still stuck on cargo ships, and a shortage of labor and truckers driving up wages and costs.

TREY MALONE, AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIST AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: So to some extent, we`re also trying to pay for the uncertainty in the

marketplace right now.

COHEN: Trey Malone is an Agricultural Economist at Michigan State University.

MALONE: So, we`re in a middle of a perfect storm of unique events in agricultural production. I would say, buckle up for a while longer of

these higher input costs.

COHEN: Some farms are stocking up on materials in case suppliers run out. Others are waiting, hoping prices will drop. All these costs especially

labor, are threatening Matt Alvernaz`s California sweet potato farm.

MATT ALVERNAZ, CALIFORNIA SWEET POTATO FARMER: We were making, you know, $100,000 to $150,000 a year in profit. This year, we`re probably going to

lose $80,000 to $120,000.

COHEN: And it`s only getting worse.

ALVERNAZ: We could potentially lose a quarter of a million dollars next year. We would not have enough cash to take into the following year, in

order to get our -- our operating loan in order to operate for the following year.

COHEN: Farmers are used to volatility and both Alvernaz and Jones are now looking for ways to adapt, like downsizing or shifting to other crops.

JONES: It`s going to worry you but I don`t -- I ain`t going to let it get me down. We -- we`ll survive somehow.

COHEN: As long as these money problems stop piling up.

JONES: We just need to get a fair price for what we`re growing.

COHEN: Gabe Cohen, CNN, Washington.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the smallest species of rhinoceros? Sumatran, Javan, White or Indian. Sumatran is the answer, though they can

still weigh more than 2,000 pounds.

But our next story concerns white rhinos, the largest species which can weigh more than 7,700 pounds. There are two sub-species of white

rhinoceros, northern white rhinos and southern white rhinos. The northern ones are on the brink of extinction. These are believed to be the last two

left in the world, and they`re both females.

Southern white rhinos were in similar danger in the late 1800s`. At one point, there were believed to be fewer than 50 of them, but thanks in large

part to the work of a nature reserve in South Africa there are now thousands of southern white rhinos. Because they`re still threatened by

poachers, illegal hunters, dozens of these large animals have been flown to another African park, where it`s hoped they`ll reproduce and thrive for

decades to come.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Forty hours and some 3,400 kilometers. Thirty white rhinos complete a long journey from South Africa to a new home

in Rwanda. It`s the largest single transfer of the species, and a move to replenish the white rhinos struggling population. One largely devastated

by poaching since the 1970s`. The journey was no easy feat.

White rhinos are one of the largest land mammal species and can weigh up to two tons. Following months of preparation, the partially sedated rhinos

were transferred from South Africa Phinda Private Game Reserve. They boarded a Boeing 747 to Rwanda, to their final destination. Akagera

National Park, a space that the staff of African parks believes will provide a safe haven for the threatened species.

JES GRUNER, CEO OF AKAGERA MANAGEMENT COMPANY: White rhinos are being persecuted on the continent. Their numbers -- they are not stable. They

are on a knife edge. It could go either way. If something happened to Kenya or Tus Africa on this scene of white rhinos, that is where the

majority of white rhinos are. Then white rhinos are really on the brink of extinction. So, it makes no better sense than to bring them to safe areas.

Areas we know where they would thrive.

ASHER: Gruner says the animals will be safer here than they were in South Africa, where he says three rhinos daily are killed by poachers.

GRUNER: We brought black rhinos here in 2017. They are thriving. We brought the lions here. They are thriving. We`ve proven as a management

of the park but also with the government collaboration that it`s a safe progressive place, and that we can ensure their security.

ASHER: Poaching remains the primary threat to these animals, targeted for their horns. There are only about 20,000 southern white rhinos remaining,

considered near threatened. And only two females of another sub-species, the northern white rhino, on the brink of extinction. The 30 white rhinos

are welcome editions to the park, which has seen a decline in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. White rhinos enjoy grazing in open spaces,

so visiting tourists can expect to get a good look.


by almost all the tourists. So, it`s going to be something that will really help a lot on the tourism side.

ASHER: Initially placed in two large enclosures, authorities say the rhinos will soon be able to roam the expansive park with plenty of room to

grow. Zain Asher, CNN.


AZUZ: After a few days on the lamb, Steve is finally back in the pen. This is Steve. He`s a goat. His day job along with a team of other goats

is helping the city of Clive, Iowa keeps invasive plant species out of the greenbelt. They do that by eating them. But Steve recently went AWOL and

spent four and a half days wildly roaming the city.

Finally, a family cornered him at a car dealership after he stopped to admire his reflection in the glass. Seems he traded his freedom up for his

pride. You could say there`s "mutton" to it, didn`t cost him "hide". But all "kiddin`" aside, he`d still be on the "lamb" if he hadn`t stuck his

chin out to admire his "vanity". He made a "baaaad" choice. Said he couldn`t be clearer that, he missed a "bleat" when he stopped to stare in

the mirror.

You can`t chew the "cud" reflecting on your own reflection. He should have "hoofed" it, "moved" in on ahead on any direction, but in working for the

city he`s sure to get the vote. That when it comes to escape, (inaudible) Steve`s the "GOAT". All right. We love to recognize schools that use our

show and put up with my pun raps. We find them exclusively in the comment section of our You Tube channel, and today`s shout out goes out to Laguna

Hills High School in Laguna Hills, California. I`m Carl Azuz.