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…
James: A lot has been written warning us of what will happen when the City Dwellers find their homes are untenable and vacate [en masse as The Golden Horde] for “the country”, but I haven’t seen anything on what the make-up of these hordes will be. The generic term “city dwellers” encompasses a lot of territory. Who will they be,what kind of shape will they be in, how will they be armed…all of these need to be examined.One category needs to be examined, I feel, more closely than others. Since I have seen posts on your site lately dealing with the nitty-gritty, unpleasant aspects of prepping, I think this is a needed look into what’s out there. I’ve been a cop over 20 years, my last uniform assignment before moving to Investigator being a two year stretch of Anti-Crime patrols in the Section 8 Housing projects of my city. This put me into contact with some of the “Worst of the Worst” that will be fleeing the cities in time of trouble. Gang-bangers, common street thugs, dope dealers and users, all have a place in the hierarchy of the streets. And they will certainly be part of what preppers will be facing in times of troubles. Here’s some of what I have learned:
The bottom rung is occupied by the drug addicts and users. They exist, not live as we understand the word. They have no assets, no goals, no drive. But they do have an almost animal instinct to continue living. They will be armed with anything they can steal or lay hands on. Most will have a knife of razor box cutter, and some sort of cheap pistol, or they will not live to get out of the city. Since they have no resources or assets, they will be on the edge of starvation and desperation almost within a day of an event. With no fixed residence or place to defend, they will be hitting the road and coming towards us. They will become violent without any provocation and there will be no negotiating or bargaining with them. They don’t want to hear your story or excuses. All they want is what you have. And have no doubts: They will do anything to get what they want. And this does include catering to their most base instincts of rape, murder and mutilation. Letting someone like this even close to you and what you have is flirting with death.
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.