Letter to the Editor: Community Member Reminds Students Not to Trespass on Private Property

Dear Students,

As your year at Colgate winds down, we hope that you are able to enjoy a little of the beautiful countryside surrounding the campus and the village. However, we want to remind you that most of the land outside of the village is privately owned, including the land on Hamilton Hill Road where the large American flag stands. Please know that the field in which the flag stands – as well as all of the fields around it – are fields upon which we grow crops to feed our dairy cattle; they are not just vacant spaces. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year preparing, planting and fertilizing the fields. Each of you who drives or walks or throws down a picnic blanket plays a role in destroying those crops. In addition, every red solo cup or broken bottle that gets picked up with the crops at harvest time is a danger to the cattle that ingest that hay or corn. Because of the many, many carloads of students who felt compelled to visit our property last spring, we were forced to put up a large “no trespassing” sign on the side of the road but already this spring, students are ignoring the sign.

In addition to the damage to the crops and potential for injury to our animals, multiple cars parked along the sides of the road are a safety hazard as there is a blind spot at the crest of the hill. We’ve also come home to find that we cannot get in our driveway because cars are blocking the entrance. 

We’ve always tried to be good neighbors but you must do your part. If you wish to enjoy the view from the side of Hamilton Hill Road, we cannot stop you. However we ask that you not park or walk in the fields, and do not leave your trash. If the problems persist, we will begin prosecuting trespassers as the sign indicates, although we would prefer to avoid that. 

Additionally, for your own safety, please do not turn around at the blind crest of the hill as someone did yesterday. If I hadn’t slowed down in anticipation of the cars that might be parked along the side of the road, I’d have hit you with my truck when I crested down the hill. That’s certainly a situation to avoid.  

Best of luck to all of you from White Eagle Farms.