An agricultural baron (often shortened to agri-baron) is a wealthy, significant landowner who holds great political influence in the New California Republic through the operation of large farms providing food to the Republic.
Together with brahmin barons, they form the political base for several influential politicians, and use their money and pull in politics to direct policies in the NCR to their needs, much like pre-War equivalents.
Agricultural barons are a relatively new "profession" that has only recently arisen in the past 12 years. When President Tandi was in office, she put forth regulations that set limits on the number of cattle and land any one person can own, much to the ire of the Stockmen's Association and the Republican Farmer's Committee.
After Tandi died, pressure from the Stockman's Association on the new presidents whittled away her policies until President Aaron Kimball overturned them completely, effectively making agriculture a completely laissez-faire business and allowing free reign for the barons, the committee, and its partners.
- The Courier: "What about the troopers?"
Hanlon: "You've seen it yourself. Some of them don't even have proper service rifles or armor. Our heavy infantry, power armor units, they're back in NCR territory protecting the interests of Brahmin barons against small-time raiders. Brahmin barons only have one vote at the ballot box, but they have a lot of money to throw around."
- The Courier: "So you're a rancher?"
Heck Gunderson: "Yep, got a whole mess of brahmins to my name. Bighorners, too. Used to just have the one ranch, but land was easy to grab before the soldiers moved in. Before I knew it I was running one of the biggest ranching operations east of California. Now everywhere I go, folks I never even met shake my hand and call me "Mr. Gunderson." Don't know quite what to make of that."
(Heck Gunderson's dialogue)
- Mercenary note
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 456: "Controversy over Economic Development
The NCR spread east into Nevada in large numbers just five years ago on a "humanitarian mission" to "bring the light of civilization to the savage wastes of the Mojave." Hoover Dam was the symbol of the expedition-reports from the Followers of the Apocalypse had confirmed that it was still intact as early as 2170-and its occupation by NCR troops in 2274 was a celebrated event. Even more exciting was the restarting of the dam's hydroelectric plant eleven months later, which dramatically improved the access of many NCR citizens to electricity and water.
Since then, most of the news has been bad. Skirmishes with local tribes and the first battle for Hoover Dam have cost the lives of more than 400 of the NCR's soldiers and civilians. Until the oft-promised annexation of New Vegas becomes a reality, the government continues to spend much of its budget on "safeguarding the region" while in return receiving not one Cap in tax revenue. The expedition has proved to be an enduring, low-intensity political embarrassment for President Kimball.
Among NCR citizens, the most common political attitude is impatience. They want Vegas annexed; they want it over with. Most expect that this will finally occur once Caesar's Legion has been "beat for good." Opposition to the Vegas occupation amounts to a vocal minority, and of these, most oppose it as a waste of lives and tax caps. The more radical opinion that the expedition amounts to the imperialist subjugation of an unwilling territory is seen as unpatriotic: the kind of pap spouted by the good-for-nothing agitators like those Followers of the Apocalypse."
(Behind the Bright Lights & Big City)