Homeland Farm Security Alert System w/ Poll!

Current Situation: So Blue It’s Purple – Past Critical

Two years ago Governor Eliot Spitzer said that parts of Upstate NY “look like Appalachia”.    He went on to say that he had a plan to fix it.  Well Gov. Spitzer, the farmers are waiting.  I am not a farmer, not yet anyway, but I intend to be one and have been talking with a few and have heard the same thing over and over…I can not afford to just farm, I have to have other avenues of income and the State is not supporting me in those efforts.

Another farm is now up for sale in Joe Bruno’s home town, Bruno and his thugs forced the farmer out by not allowing him to have a second source of income in the winter months on his own property. I asked the farmer what he made per acre of corn that he grew and he just laughed.  So it struck me that we have two major issues facing farmers in Upstate NY.  One, the price they are being paid, and two, not being allowed to do what it takes to keep the farm going.

I stopped to talk with a Dairy Farmer a little further north of Bruno’s town and was told that between the low price of milk on the farmer’s end and the high price of energy that this could be his final year.  He owns the most beautiful property with a stream and waterfall.  He invited me, a stranger, to go and take a dip the next time I was up that way as it might be the last time I’d have access to it.  

 

Giving small farmers assistance with simple things like soil certification, organic certification, micro loans to pay farmhands for the summer, inclusion of solar and wind technologies into sustainable farming practices, tax incentives for small farmers, mobile offices that would visit small farms on a regular schedule to both collect information and give information out, would create the small spark it would take for Upstate to once again become a vital part of New York.

Why?

Small farms sell to mainly local markets, people at those markets take the produce and in turn make it into another marketable item, some of this gets sold directly to the public, some of it goes on to restaurants and markets where it is used or sold again.  Supporting local farmers supports the cottage industries that depend upon them.  The public is ready to make the bold leap into local organic produce, they need some direction and guidance.  The State should be providing this link in a pro-active way.  Providing an office and staff does nothing to solve the critical situation.  Motivating staffers to take matters into their own hands in order to save their State is the job of a Governor.  So… Governor Spitzer…will you save New York?  Will you make the bold leap many of your residents have already made?

Will you save Upstate New Yorks Farms?  What will New York do without it’s farmers?  Rely on outside sources?  At what cost?

For those interested in this topic I found this great site today that lets you find local sustainable farmers and other local businesses using their products here.  

I am sure this situation is repeated across the country, if you know of similar stories, research, programs, etc. please post them in the comments. Thanks for helping.

Around the farm today I got a new load of bedding from the local feed and tack store, the last feed and tack store in the area, which is what sparked this essay.  He’s a great guy trying to run his own farm and the business.  He’s saddened by the loss of lifetime customers and changing landscape.

I also worked on the garage door and the regular door downstairs, aligning and cleaning them both before I go get some weatherstripping. Cleaned out a section of the barn so the dog can have his own corral too as he seemed to be a little jealous of the horses. Cleaned out the horses area and put fresh bedding down, removed the old caulk in the leaky bathtub and re-caulked the entire unit.  Talked more with the neighbor.  Heard from the previous owners, they were wondering how the horses were and if there were any issues, no issues that can;t be handled I guess.  It was nice to hear from everyone.

Now I have to clean some more windowsills and see if I can reattach the bathroom sink to the wall.

Have a great few days, I’ll check back when I can.

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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