[Market-farming] hovering helicopter

Brigette Leach avalonfarmshomegrown at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 13 15:15:01 EDT 2006

I've been reading some of the responses to your post and am thinking
"how paranoid are these people?" But then again, if you all live in more
remote areas than I do, planes and helicopters are more unusual. We have
planes and helicopters fly over our farm, literally, every day. My two
cents is to not take it so personally. Perhaps,too, I'm more
appreciative of law enforcement efforts because of the extensive meth
problems that we have dealt with in our area. That stuff is really bad
news!! And we've had anhydrous ammonia stolen, "el creepos" prowling 
around in our buildings, and on several occasions letting our livestock 
out, at night, as a distraction, so they could steal from the co-op 
across the road while we were chasing hogs.

Leigh, any number of law enforcement agencies do use helicopters to find
illegal marijuana operations, and typically fly fairly low. If anyone is
using grow lights, it does show up with their equipment, and can trigger
a red flag. We have purchased a great deal of equipment and supplies for
our hydroponic operation through police auctions, all of it confiscated
from lawbreakers. We have also had our crops destroyed because some
"yahoo" of the non-law enforcement type has confiscated, if you will,
our land for their crop of marijuana. At least around here, the
marijuana growing "yahoos" are not the type I want prowling around my
farm. If they are dumb enough to plant marijuana in seed corn fields,
which are inspected regularly, they're dumb enough to do a lot of stupid
stuff, like shoot people.

Remember, too, that so few people understand any aspect of agriculture
today, it probably doesn't occur to them that your animals would be
bothered. We discovered this years ago when a hot air balloon event was
started in our area. They just didn't know any better, but after several
farmers complained, the balloonists were much more courteous, and we
seldom have any problems with the balloonists now.

The other thing that happens regularly around here is that photographers
fly over farms, of all sizes, take photos and then approach farm owners
hoping that the photos will be purchased. We also have several people in
the area with private planes who fly very low sometimes, again, just not
knowing any better. Oh, if you happen to be near a body of water, even a
creek, that is part of a conservation project, the plane could be
explained. It might also have been taking photos for FSA or crop 
insurance. It could also be the Sierra Club, who regularly flies around 
taking aerial photos.

The whole thing might have been very innocent...


Leigh Hauter wrote:

>How prevalent is this?
>For over 15 minutes yesterday we had a helicopter circling our farm 
>(must have circled 15 or so times).  Spending a great deal of time 
>over our hoophouses and greenhouse, scaring the heck our of our dogs, 
>chickens and turkeys.  Do 'they' do this to everyone or are we being 
>subjected to some sort of special attention.
>I'm offended that my tax money is being used to upset our farm 
>animals.  Of course there wasn't anything for 'them' to take pictures 
>of except tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, but still, I feel somewhat 
>violated by this intrusion.  Just because I farm for a living do I 
>have less privacy rights than others?   Also, I wonder if 'they' (it 
>looked like Coast Guard marking on the side of the helicopter, I 
>haven't got a good look at the pictures I took yet) do this to the 
>big commercial operations or is this a special form of harassment for 
>family farmers?
>Market-farming mailing list
>Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
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