<div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u2/chickennais_0_1.jpg" title="chicken nais" alt="chicken nais" height="125" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="125" /></div>Last year was the <a href="http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=283751" target="_blank">driest in the history of North Carolina</a>. And the prediction is for a dry winter and spring and summer. <br /><br />As local water systems scramble to plug leaks and stem use, North Carolina is offering farmers a break on hay imported from wetter climes. Only, the state rescue comes with a catch. In order to qualify for the North Carolina Emergency Hay Program, farmers must first register with the state and get a premises identification number.<br /><br />Landowners throughout the US have been fighting a federal effort to register every farm under the National Animal Identification System. (See Yonder stories <a href="/speak-your-piece-tag-every-animal" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="/speak-your-piece-government-requires-children-play-tag" target="_blank">here</a> .) Now in order to pick up small square bales for $7 to $8 for hungry livestock, North Carolina is forcing farmers to join the system.<br /><br />The North Carolina program is already <a href="http://www.freetofarm.com/1.html" target="_blank">drawing protest from the anti-NAIS crowd</a> .