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“Goodnight Irene”

One of Leadbelly's most well known songs is "Goodnight Irene"

“Good night Irene Good night…”  I have fond memories from my days at Texas A & M University–that classic song plays every time the Dixie Chicken on North Gate in College Station closes down for the evening (you can watch Willie Nelson’s version here) to let everyone know to stop playing 42 and go home for the night.

I decided to jump in my jeep (with my cat, Felicity) late Friday night from New York City to beat to rush out of the city on Saturday morning.  On Friday night, it was eerily the same as any other night on the Upper West Side.  There were many people walking along the streets and several enjoying drinks and conversation with family and friends.  I have been in Syracuse all weekend since I am judging the Junior Angus show tomorrow at the New York State Fair.  My eyes have been glued to CNN watching updates on hurricane Irene.

I have been very concerned about the farms on the east coast– especially the rooftop farms in New York City and the farms in Long Island.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  I have heard very little about how the hurricane affected the east coast agriculture industry in mainstream news so  I would love to hear updates on how the farms along the east coast weathered the hurricane, what precautions they took, what damages have been incurred, and whether the farm had crop and/or livestock insurance.  Hurricane Irene inflicted over $17 million of damages to the Puerto Rico agriculture industry.  It is estimated that Mother Nature has inflicted around $10 billion dollars of damage in total.

For the future, I hope that all farms take the proper precautions.  As an attorney, I am oftentimes counseling clients on the “worst possible scenario” in any particular transaction.  Be prepared (and manage the risk) for the “worst possible scenario” – including a 100 year storm such as Hurricane Irene.

A few resources:

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) National Agriculture Library has information regarding disaster planning for livestock here.
  • The New Jersey Farm Bureau has a few tips on preparing farms for natural disasters here.
  • You can find a few hurricane tips from the University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension here.
  • Finally, Cornell Cooperative Extension has some information regarding emergency preparedness here.

For those of you at the New York State Fair, I will be in the beef barns tomorrow afternoon and will be there again next weekend.  You can follow my tweets from the New York State Fair @CariRincker.

Disclaimer:
"This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction before relying on the information in this blog."

2 Responses to “Goodnight Irene”

  1. [...] I wrote in this blog post this morning, I am very curious how Hurricane Irene affected New York agriculture producers.  [...]

  2. Pretty scary to think of all the damage that has been done. So many disasters of varying kinds have sure made it hard on farmers this year. I’ll be thinking of everyone in your part of the country.
    crystalcattle.com

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