Farm Theft Is Growing
I've always said that if times get tough enough, people will steal the vegetables from your backyard garden. I didn't realize it had already started for farms.
"At the center of the growing activism by farmers around theft is a recognition that the problem is only expanding. To Johnson, and the Farm Bureau, the economic incentives of crop raising have changed. “Where in the past years I think the theft was more to feed a family, now it’s to sell,” Johnson said. “Just by the quantities they’re taking.”
Some may take the produce south, to restaurants, Johnson speculates; others may try farmers markets or even open their own farm stands by the side of the road. Amid a growing emphasis on local, farm-to-table ingredients, many may be looking to make a profit. Others are simply inconsiderate. Some farmers report seeing families arrive at orchards with picnic baskets, Johnson said, making a meal out of the produce they eat on the spot. But for the casual trespassers, there’s also a cultural misunderstanding at work. Residents often don’t understand how the farms near them operate, farmers say. They may see them as community jewels, but jewels that can be borrowed from."