Building a new barn at Indian Ladder Farms is a relatively rare event; an improvement that takes place only every few decades for the fruit farmers in Albany County.
"Some of these older builders were Sears Roebuck kits. My grandfather did those in the 30s. So, it hasn't actually been an annual event," said Peter Ten Eyck, farmer at Indian Ladder Farms.
Eyck is turning to help from a tax incentive from the state, one that exempts growers and agriculture producers on paying additional property taxes for new buildings, helping offset the cost of the construction.
"This is an incentive for that farm to stay there, do business, improve their buildings, and add on. It's also good for that community to stay healthy," said Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball.
Ball says the tax break for farmers is not only about keeping farmers in business, but also about preserving rural communities that benefit from an agriculture economy.
"Those little farms that are existing are economic engines in rural communities. They hire people, they do business in town, they buy tractors, they buy equipment, they buy fuel, they buy food, and they sell foods. They do things that help the economic activity in that community," Ball said.
The new barn at Indian Ladder will house tractors and a new machine shop for the farm, which grows fruits like blueberries and apples, helping sustain a farm that's been in business for the last century. Eyck says New Yorkers should care about where the food comes from and how it's grown.
"As Americans and New Yorkers we have to stop sliding down the slippery slope by waving money in the air and hoping someone comes from the four corners of the world, giving us something to eat. We have to grow our food in our communities," Eyck said.
Even with this help from the state, one segment of the farm economy in New York remains in trouble. These have also been difficult times for dairy producers in New York, who are dealing with low milk prices, making it very difficult for them to make ends meet.