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Agriculture

See also: New Ideas in Agriculture | Series: A Year on the Farm | Series: Farmers Under 40 | Series: Hispanic Farm Workers
Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Local meat movement frets as Tri Town still in limbo

One of the North Country's few slaughterhouses and meat packing plants says it's trying to regain its certification for processing retail cuts of meat.

Tri Town Packing's co-owner Jeff Liberty says he is "working as diligently as possible" to resolve differences with federal meat inspectors. Liberty says he's hired a consultant from Iowa.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service says it withdrew its inspectors from Tri Town on July 17. A spokeswoman said by email that the USDA will continue to suspend inspection until it's confident Tri Town can "operate and produce product in a safe and wholesome way."

Tri Town is located in the northern St. Lawrence County town of Brasher Falls. It remains open for private meat orders, known as custom work.

But it's one of just four plants in the North Country that can prepare beef, pork, and lamb for sale in stores, restaurants, or at farmers markets. So farmers and businesses that rely on local meat sales are facing a shortage and looking for alternatives.  Go to full article
Anneke Larrance with her two young chickens, in the village of Canton.

Zoning 101: Who gets to have chickens?

Here in the North Country, we live in communities that are divided up into different zones: Town or village, residential or agricultural. But is a village also part of a town? Is a town more rural than a village? Different zones have different rules. How do those rules get written? What if people disagree? What if the rules conflict? Or overlap? It can get complicated.

Take Canton. And take chickens.

A couple of weeks ago, after a year-long debate, the Town of Canton decided to allow people to have chickens, with some big caveats. You have to submit a plan to the planning board, pay $40, you can have a maximum of six chickens. But the ironic thing is that the Village of Canton already allows chickens.  Go to full article
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack<br />Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/celtico/4789746688/">mikescottnz</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to visit central NY

BRIDGEPORT, N.Y. (AP) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is headed to central New York to promote the government's new Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund.

Vilsack and Colorado-based Co-Bank CEO Bob Engel will meet Wednesday with leaders in Bridgeport, New York, to discuss the $10 billion private sector fund announced last week by the White House. They'll discuss how this fund can promote local infrastructure upgrades.  Go to full article
Tirza Smith, of the Whitten Family Farm, helps a customer outside the Midtown Apartments in Potsdam. Photo by Claire Woodcock.

Mobile farmers market brings produce to you

Farmer's markets and home gardens are bursting with fruits and vegetables. But some people can't make it to the market or have gardens of their own. A new mobile market has...  Go to full article
Dr. Mara Smith thinks her "Athlete Minder" is a perfect new start-up for Lake Placid.  But she needs investors to move forward.  Photo:  Brian Mann

Can we end the North Country's investment drought?

Today in Washington DC, the Obama administration is hosting a conference designed to convince more investors to back entrepreneurs, start-ups and infrastructure projects in...  Go to full article
Root crops at the Glens Falls Farmers Market. Archive Photo of the Day: Stuart Delman, Chestertown NY.

North Country gets $1M agribusiness loan fund

The North Country will get a new one million dollar revolving loan fund to seed agricultural businesses. Empire State Development announced the fund Monday.  Go to full article
Photo: David Sommerstein

Dairy Farmers of America ends price suit for $50M

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The cooperative Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to pay a total of $50 million to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers to settle antitrust...  Go to full article
Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein

Schumer lends help in Tri-Town - USDA dispute

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says he wants to help a St. Lawrence County slaughterhouse with a dispute with its meat inspectors.  Go to full article
Roger Hastings shears Dolly Llama. Photo: Sarah Harris

Dolly Llama, Daisy, and 14 alpacas get a haircut

Summer means shearing season. All across the North Country, sheep, alpacas, and llamas are getting serious haircuts and losing their winter coats. A couple weeks ago reporter...  Go to full article
Invasive wild parsnip. Avoid contact; avoid a nasty rash. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dmills727/3644070846/">Douglas Mills</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Beware the invasives; and small strawberries are good too!

Right about now, the roadsides can look more like flower gardens than some gardens do. Wonderful abundant mixes of color, texture, height: all the qualities you look for....  Go to full article

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