- News: Obama outlawing bullets. Reclassification & Internet
- News: IRS emails found criminal probe started. Paid 122K in bonus
- News: Clinton’s email. I want you to have the same ability
- Redoubt: Local nursery
- Thinking on making your retreat a business
LISLE — Doreen Barker never wanted to leave New York.
Originally from Dryden, a dairy town near Ithaca, Barker, 40, and Richard Barrows, 53, decided in early 2009 to bring animals back to the 350-acre, 165-year-old Barrows Farm in Lisle.
They started with chickens, adding cows — and the watering system and other infrastructure necessary to have them — in the coming years. They invested in rotational grazing, raised calves for meat to be sold locally and dreamed of soon having a value-added dairy operation.
Then they realized they simply couldn’t afford to do so.
Barrows and Barker likely aren’t the only farmers to come to that conclusion. According to the Agribusiness Friendliness Index, released early last year by three Colorado State University researchers, New York is one of the least friendly states in the country — ranked 49 out of 50 — when it comes to agribusiness.
“It’s most of the measures dealing with government that really seem to knock New York down,” said researcher Gregory Perry, who also is the head of the university’s Agricultural and Resource Economics department.
Perry said New York is 41st in property taxes, 46th in infrastructure and dead last when it comes to ease of filing a lawsuit — in other words, it’s easy for neighbors to take farms to court over nuisance smells and the like, and it’s hard for farms to win.
Joe Morrissey, public information officer for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, doesn’t agree.
“We couldn’t disagree more with this report’s findings about New York, which we believe has a thriving agricultural sector thanks in great part to a strong partnership between state government and industry,” he said in an email. “In fact, New York farmers set a record in 2013 with $5.68 billion in cash receipts, which was more than $1 billion (more) than just three years earlier. New York is also a national leader in dairy, maple syrup and apple production, and we rank in the top 10 nationally in a number of fruit and vegetable categories.”
Morrissey said over the past four years, the state has set forth policies, passed laws and initiated marketing programs that have led to an all-time high interest in New York agriculture. They include:
• Launch of the Taste NY marketing program;
• Revamping of the farmland protection program;
•Legislation on the first-ever farm cidery and farm brewery license, as well as the Craft NY Act to further the growth of the farm-based beverage industry;
• Legislation to cap agricultural land assessments at 2 percent per year, ensuring a predictable tax climate for farmers; and…
Risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb predicted the 2008 financial crisis, by pointing out that commonly-used risk models were wrong. Distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University, author of best-sellers The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness, Taleb became financially independent after the crash of 1987, and wealthy during the 2008 financial crisis.
Now, Taleb is using his statistical risk acumen to take on genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Taleb’s conclusion: GMOs could cause “an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.”
Sure it does … but only because we don’t understand statistics, and so we have no handle on what’s risky and what’s not.
Taleb and his 2 co-authors write in a new draft paper:
For nature, the “ruin” is ecocide: an irreversible…
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GE Comment: It is high time that this asinine program be demolished. Like AGW and the carbon scare, the greens and sheeple were duped by corporate ag into believing that pouring topsoil, RoundUp and tractor fuels into the gas tanks on their Honda Accords would ‘save’ the planet. Facts are, indeed, stubborn things.
Ethanol producers are panicking amid speculation that the ethanol mandate could be drastically reduced or scrapped entirely this year as the biofuel loses its allure and bipartisan allies and former friends team up against it.
December saw California Democrat Dianne Feinstein—a renewable fuel champion–coordinate efforts with Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn to come up with a Senate bill to get rid of ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), citing fears that corn-based fuel production mandates will harm livestock producers.
In November, Washington proposed cutting the biofuels mandate for 2014 by 16% to 15.21 billion gallons. This would be the first cut in biofuels requirements, which were ideally set to grow each year with incremental increases in renewable fuel targets laid out in a 2007 law.
For renewable fuel targets, this represents a major setback because not only is 15.21 billion gallons for 2014 much less than the originally intended 18.15 billion gallons, it is also less than this year’s mandate of 16.55 billion gallons.
Two years ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the E15 blend, which contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, for vehicles manufactured in 2001 or later. There has been little progress towards widespread use of E15 though, and today’s blend is commonly E10. Continue reading
Why do we all need to acquire a piece of true wealth in the form of owned land? There are several reasons we’ll discuss. For today we’ll leave the whole, “you never really own the land because of taxes” argument off the table and focus on the land attributes that we can control.
The first reason I want each of us preppers to own land… It’s our fundamental right as a United States citizen. Our ancestors didn’t have this right as most nations of the world restricted the land ownership to royalty and the elite of society.
… Standard canned goods aren’t generally deemed age-worthy. Food technologists define shelf life not by how long it takes for food to become inedible, but how long it takes for a trained sensory panel to detect a “just noticeable difference” between newly manufactured and stored cans. There’s no consideration of whether the difference might be pleasant in its own way or even an improvement—it’s a defect by definition…
via Slate Magazine.
Judicial Watch today released additional excerpts from United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) videos revealing a compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program where diversity awareness trainer and self-described “citizen of the world” Samuel Betances tells USDA employees to repeat the chant “If we work for a federal agency, we’ve discriminated in the past.” Betances also suggested to USDA employees that the United States “took over what used to be Mexico” and stated that schools are only interested in educating middle class children…via Judicial Watch.
I first met farmer, author, entrepreneur, thinker, and self-described “Christian-conservative-libertarian-environmentalist-lunatic” Joel Salatin at his rural Virginia farm, Polyface, in 2009. We sat in rocking chairs in his home office and talked about everything from food and agriculture to law, regulations, and the Bill of Rights.
I’ve seen Salatin several times since—in Washington, DC, and Little Rock, Arkansas and, most recently, back at his farm—and have even invoked his unsubsidized farming practices to argue that he and farmers like him should serve as the model for supporters of sustainable agriculture—meaning farming that eschews government subsidies while both minimizing environmental impacts and also turning a profit. Continue reading
An entire way of life is rapidly dying right in front of our eyes. The family farm is being systematically wiped out of existence in America, and big agribusiness and the federal government both have blood all over their hands. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today. That doesn’t mean that there is less farming going on. U.S. farms are producing more than ever. But what it does mean is that farming is increasingly becoming dominated by the big boys…
via The Family Farm
There are numerous methods for growing vibrant gardens in less than perfect weather, and growing in colder northern areas with longer winters is absolutely possible, given the gardener has some brains…