The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 01, 1999, Image 1

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Freshman leader
It sounds like an oxymoron, but freshman Bryan
Snyder keyed Nebraska’s 19-18 win over No. 4
Iowa State in wrestling. PAGE 7
Writing in legal ease
Attorney and Omaha resident Richard Dooling is
changing Nebraska’s literary landscape with his
sharp and popular novels. PAGE 9
February 1, 1999
Back to the Drawing Board
Cloudy, light rain, high 40. Windy tonight, low 25.
“It used to smell like money...”
Darryl Hegemann
hog fanner
Bills to tackle
small farmers’
pig problems
By Shane Anthony
Staff writer
On Tuesday, packers, producers
and senators will fire what could be
the first volleys in a legislative battle
over pork, beef and economics.
The Agriculture Committee will
hear testimony on four bills the com
mittee - led by Ewing Sen. Cap
Dierks - is bringing to the
Legislature. At the heart of the bills,
Dierks said, lies the difficulty faced
by small farmers. But the bills pull
few punches when it comes to meat
packers, proposmg new regulations
for the industry.
“We’re flying m the face of cor
porate Nebraska - corporate
America, really,” Dierks said. “We
hope they’ll develop a conscience.”
From the other side of the fence,
Dick Gady, vice president of public
affairs and chief economist for
ConAgra, casts a wary eye.
“I would say that there’s a per
ception that meat companies are
profiting at the expense of the
farmer,” he said. “I can tell you that's
not been the case at our company.”
Each of the four bills would
affect meat packers in some way.
■ LB832 prohibits packers from
purchasing contract slaughter live
stock without specifying a date of
delivery. Also, prices paid, numbers
and the animals' destinations would
have to be reported to the
Department of Agriculture.
■ LB833 is intended to prevent
packers from custom feeding the
livestock they slaughter. Dierks said
the Packers and Stockyards
Administration doesn’t consider
Sandy Summers/DN
ABOVE: THE LAST of hog farmer Darryl Hegemann’s breeding sows fill
only the last few stalls in his barn. With the lowest pork prices in years,
Hegemann has kept only the sows with the best genetic qualities.
TOP: DARRYL HEGEMANN, left, and his nephew Craig Hegemann look
over empty hog pens on Darryl Hegemann’s farm near Howells. Darryl
Hegemann said he cut his production in half because of the falling mar
ket prices. “I thought I could stay in this business ’til my kids got out of
school,” he said. “But prices are going to have to double again before
we can break even.”
relationships between packers and
custom feedlots, by themselves, to
violate federal law. LB833 would
characterize that practice - except on
family farm corporations - ai anti
competitive and prohibit packers
from owning, feeding or keeping
livestock intended for slaughter.
■ LB834 would require labeling
of any meat product imported into
the United States or produced from
animals shipped into the country.
■ LB835 would prohibit price
discrimination based on quantity.
Packers could offer different prices
based on quality or acquisition costs
such as transportation.
Steve Cady, executive director of
Nebraska Pork Producers, said his
organization supports leveling the
playing field. Conglomerates are
buying independent producers, he
said. Farmers with smaller opera
tions provide good meat, he said, but
they can’t get good prices.
“We want to be paid for the qual
Please see FARMS on 6
Read the Daily Nebraskan on the World Wide Web at
15-20 years
■ In an emotional statement,
the defendant apologizes to the
family of Laura Cockson for
her death in March.
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
Laura Cockson s friends and family can
finally focus on her memory now that the man
responsible for her death is on his way to
prison, her best friend said.
Ten months ago, the Cockson family was
thrown into turmoil when the car Jeffrey
Ireland was driving slammed into the Pontiac
Grand Am Laura Cockson and her two sisters
were riding in, killing Laura and critically
injuring her sisters Sarah and Erin.
At the sentencing hearing Friday after
noon, Bob Cockson told the court of the trau
ma the family went through the night of the
accident. He asked the judge to give Ireland
the maximum of 20 years for taking his
daughter’s life.
Lancaster County District Court Judge
Karen Flowers sentenced Ireland to 15 to 20
years in jail. With credit for almost a year of
time served, Ireland will be eligible for parole
in 6V2 years.
Flowers said the sentence should not be a
measure of Laura Cockson s life; it should be
based on the offense.
One of the most shocking things in
Please IRELAND on 2
RHA votes to
let non-honors
students stay
By Bernard Vogelsang
Staff writer
The Residence Hall Association voted
Sunday to recommend to University
Housing that the 25 non-honors students
now living in Neihardt Residence Center be
allowed to stay there until they graduate.
The vote was in response to part of a
new housing policy that would deny further
residency to non-honors students now liv
ing in Neihardt.
The new housing policy will make all
non-honors students now living in Neihardt
move out before the fall of 2000.
Patrice Berger, director of UNL’S
Honors Program, said he would be involved
in addressing the recommendation.
But the new housing policy is neces
Please see RHA on 2