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Dairy cows at Greenwood Dairy, in Canton, NY. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Dairy cows at Greenwood Dairy, in Canton, NY. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Updated: Senate passes limited Farm Bill extension

Updated 3:25pm: The Senate passed a limited nine-month extension of the 2008-2012 farm bill. It avoids the "dairy cliff" (see below) and preserves the older MILC dairy price support program. But it cuts many popular programs, including disaster insurance, conservation, and organic certification support.

Read this blog post at our new farm and food blog, The Dirt, for the latest:

The US Congress failed to pass a new Farm Bill by the end of the year. But that doesn't mean milk prices are going to double immediately, as some had feared.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees had a deal in place Monday to extend the 2008 farm bill for another nine months. But the agreement never came to the House floor for a vote. House leaders balked at a new safety net for dairy farmers that would restrict the milk supply if prices fell below a certain level.  Go to full article
Canton Church and Community Program Director Catherine Matthews says private donations are playing a bigger role in stocking pantries. Photo: Julie Grant

Food pantries reluctantly play larger role in feeding hungry

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they're reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation's safety net for the poor.

In a new report on New York's charitable food distribution system, the groups say government needs to step in and lend a helping hand.  Go to full article
One reason good nutrition is important to AIDS/HIV patients: a common side effect of antiretroviral medications such as Atripla is the loss of minerals from bone.

Nutrition program to help HIV/AIDS patients stay healthier

Advancements in AIDS treatment means that people with the illness are living longer than ever. That means they need to take better care of their long-term health. A new program for AIDS patients in the North Country focuses on improving their nutrition.  Go to full article
The Green Mountain Mahler Festival practicing for their New Year's Day concert. Photo: Sarah Harris

Green Mountain Mahler Festival welcomes new year with Beethoven's 9th

Most choirs and orchestras spent December practicing Christmas carols. But members of the Green Mountain Mahler Festival in Burlington, Vermont have been working on a...  Go to full article
Long Lake teacher Becky Pelton spent three weeks in the Grand Canyon recently, along with her husband and six friends.   (photo: Becky Pelton)

Rafting, camping, dreaming in the Grand Canyon

We'll take a break from the cold and snow and listen as Adirondack teacher and rafter Becky Pelton talks about a recent trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. ...  Go to full article