Want to keep trespassers off your land? Fence does the job — or simpler yet, swipe purple paint on trees (or posts) every 100 feet on the property lines. The paint should be four or five feet high at least eight inches in length and a few inches wide. These paint swatches are legal notice that the land is posted and charges can be filed against anyone who enters the property without permission. The “purple paint” is a special mix and can be bought at forestry supply stores and some other businesses.

An increasing number of farmers and ranchers — along with the bankers and small town merchants are getting worried about the agricultural economy.

We read the stories about farmers reaching out to buy or rent more land, and some are farming 10,000 acres of more. And every time the big get bigger, local farm families are out of a job. Evidence of that is strikingly noticeable in the grain and cotton growing areas of Texas. Every time a farmer leaves, small town merchants suffer.

Just visit most any rural town away from major cities and the problem is evident. Boarded up storefronts, schools that are educating fewer and fewer students, grocery stores, restaurants, machinery dealers have taken a hard hit. And the consolidation of farms into bigger operations continues with little thought to what happens when everyone except the “big boys” are out of business. The decline affects us all — and no one, politicians or otherwise — wants to address the issue.

Back in the 60’s and 70’, East Texas was the home of several thousand family dairy operations. Milking 100-200 cows provided a good living for those family farmers.

Now, with the exception of several dairies left in northeast Texas, the dairy industry is about kaput east of I-35! For those who want a taste of the depression in farm country, take a trip to Hearne, Dublin, Post, Bogota, Clarksville, and other Texas towns that are a skeleton of what they were two or three decades ago.

Again, what is the answer? I don’t know — but unless we get some of our few honest political leaders and our farm organizations on board, the future looks bleak — and bleaker! If you have some ideas that will help, let me know.

horace@valornet.com