In re Acee, No. 12-61632, 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 4789 (Bankr. N.D. N.Y. Nov. 12, 2013)

(Chapter 12 case; debtor took over father’s 3,000-acre crop and dairy farm upon father’s retirement; debtor got divorced and, as a result, only had 1,000 crop acres at petition date; because row crop business suffered continual losses, debtor sold some of the land to his son and began growing berries and raising pheasants for hunting; debtor became licensed by state to acquire and release pheasants; pheasants raised in barn until fully grown; incubation period of three weeks required debtor to ensure that birds protected and remain disease-free; pheasants ultimately released for hunts by customers; upon filing Chapter 12, creditors argued that debtor not engaged in farming but in a recreational activity; court determined that debtor engaged in farming under totality of circumstances citing dissent in Armstrong v. Corn Belt Bank, 812 F.2d 1024 (7th Cir. 1987), cert. den., 484 U.S. 925 (1987) and In re Maike, 77 B.R. 832 (Bankr. D. Kan. 1987); however, court determined that amount of debtor’s debt not 50 percent or more related to farming operation; most of debt related to personal residence and no evidence presented that mortgage secured farm debt; case to be dismissed or converted to different chapter). 

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