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Copake dairy farmer tragedy

Jan 25, 2010 12:50 am
Walking around Columbia and Greene counties this weekend, the only story everyone was talking about was the suicide of Copake dairy farmer Dean Pierson, who took his own life Thursday in his dairy barn after he killed all 51 of his milk cows with a rifle. He left 50 heifers and calves alive. The Register-Star story by cites personal issues Pierson encountered lately (and the Albany Times-Union talks to his widow), but also mentions the dire state of the dairy industry. From the story:
“The economic situation is one more piece of the puzzle,” said New York Farm Bureau Vice President Eric Ooms, who operates the A. Ooms and Sons dairy farm in Kinderhook with his father and brothers. “My father’s been a farmer his whole life. He said he’s never seen a year like this. It’s a year like no one has ever seen.”
Jamie Larson's breaking story ended with a heart-clutching quote: “It’s a hard time to be a farmer these days,” one man said from inside the fence, and The Register-Star should also be applauded for releasing the original breaking news of this story during the afternoon, rather than waiting until it usually releases its news after 2 a.m. each evening. The paper's Greene County sibling, also broke the Catskill High bb gun story this week as it happened, and it is good to see the two papers joining the 24-hour news cycle here.

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