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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been heavily promoting its organic programs lately, particularly its increased support for organic farming in the new farm bill: "Consumer demand for organic products has grown exponentially over the past...
As we've reported for quite a while here at NCPR, the Champlain Valley has become a hotspot in the North Country for young farmers trying to forge a new path for agriculture. The Adirondack Explorer traces the roots and future possibilities of that...
From somewhere between the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s no one in my family or circle of friends bought grapes. Why? Cesar Chavez. The United Farm Workers co-founder was successful in using a boycott of grapes to raise the national consciousness about...
Happy National Agriculture Day! You can write an essay about agriculture (theme: "365 days and 7 billion mouths to feed"), plan a get-together, or scroll through hundreds of "felfies" – farmer selfies. But definitely look at these portraits....
Ask any grower and they'll tell you that producing food is one challenge – selling it is another. Sure, there's a boom going for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) distribution models and the farmer's market scene feels stronger all the...


Agriculture
Apr 22, 2014 — For the first time in six years, many California farmers have been told they'll get little or no federal irrigation water. And as farms run dry, workers are deciding to pack up and move away.
Apr 17, 2014 — Farmers in the parched Central Valley are joining forces with farmworkers and a broad cross section of politicians to pressure the federal government to offer relief.
Apr 3, 2014 — A dispute between Beaver State blueberry farmers and workers spurred Congress to change an obscure provision in a 1938 labor law. Some fear it will delay pickers' paychecks.
Apr 2, 2014 — Karl Sutton belongs to a farmers co-op in Montana where member-owners share costs and revenue. A health insurance co-op appeals to him, too — but can the model grow beyond its niche market?
Mar 7, 2014 — Six state attorneys general are suing California over its law on how hens are housed. Among those most worried: Pig farmers who fear the state will push through sweeping changes on pig stalls next.
 

Special Reports

Audio Series
Farm to Farm, Family to Family: David Sommerstein travels with NC dairy farmers to a Mexican village many of their migrant workers call home.
Audio Series
A Year on the Farm
In this monthly feature series, David Sommerstein follows life in the barn, on the fields, and in the farmhouse through the changing seasons on the Andrews dairy farm near Gouverneur NY. This series won the 2006 "Cap" Creal Journalism Award from the New York Agricultural Society.
Audio Series
Hispanic Workers on North Country Farms
Five years ago, just a handful of farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Now many use workers from Latin America. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. David Sommerstein tells their stories in this ongoing series.
Beekeeper
Audio Slideshow:
Beekeepers facing new challenges
Lucy Martin visits with Ontario beekeeper Terry McEvoy and talks about colony collapse disorder and other apiary ailments that raise concerns about the food supply.
Audio Slideshow
Sights & Sounds of the Dairy Princess Parade
We go to the sidelines of one of the big events on the annual dairy calendar, the St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Parade in Canton. Fire engines, tractors, and floats rolled down Main Street on Saturday.
Audio Series
Diversifying North Country Farms
NCPR reporter David Sommestein's series on diversifying North Country farming won the 2003 “Cap” Creal Journalism Award from the New York State Agricultural Society.
Photo Audio Essay
Dairy Farming in the North Country
The time seemed right to look at the challenges facing dairy in the North Country. In part 1 we look at the price of milk, as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy farmer. In part 2 we visit a cheese manufacturer proposing drastic changes in the way North Country farmers do business. David Sommerstein reports.
Audio Slideshow
A Barn-Raising in Upper Jay (Real 6:23)
These days, most new barns are built quickly with steel frames and sheet-metal siding. But some landowners are taking a little more time, using methods and materials passed down over hundreds of years.
Photo Audio Essay
Saving New York's Historic Barns
Some of New York's oldest barns are getting facelifts. Todd Moe visited a Canton family's 1820 English threshing barn slated for restoration.
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50546088@N00/7212923168/">Chris Barker</a>, Creative Commons, Some rights reserved.
Photo: Chris Barker, Creative Commons, Some rights reserved.

Chobani secures $750M investment from TPG

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (AP) Greek yogurt maker Chobani has secured a $750 million investment from investment firm TPG Capital to help fund its growth.

The privately-held food company said Wednesday that as part of the deal, TPG will have representation on the company's board. Additionally, Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya will serve as its chairman.  Go to full article
Spent Grain Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/span112/2306070622">Kelly Teague</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Schumer calls on FDA to drop spent grain proposal

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) Sen. Charles Schumer will be at a western New York brewery to call on the federal government to drop a proposal that has the nation's craft beer brewers up in arms.

Schumer will be at the Rohrbach Brewing Co. brewery in Rochester today to call on the Food and Drug Administration to ditch a proposal he says will make it too expensive for brewers to recycle spent grain by providing it to dairy farmers.  Go to full article
A farm in Pefferlaw, Ontario. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/wdwbarber/2943933431/">Bill Barber</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Ontario farmland continues to soar in value

There has been another healthy increase in the value of Ontario farmland.

Farm Credit Canada's "Farmland Values Report" says the average value of farmland in the province went up by nearly 16 per cent last year, continuing a trend that began in 1988.  Go to full article
Brett McLeod over the evaporator. Photo: Sarah Harris

Too cold? Too warm? Hitting the sweet spot for maple

Continuing deep cold through the end of March had maple producers worrying if they'd have a season at all this year.

But remember two years ago, when it felt like...  Go to full article
Inside, the growing season starts simply and peacefully enough, with Dan Kent seeding celeriac, shallots, and onion, and Megan starting flowers like delphinium and cosmos. It's snowy and sleeting outside, but pretty cozy in the greenhouse. "It's not bad work, honestly," says Dan. Photo: David Sommerstein

"We struggle early, finish strong": Lessons learned on a Lisbon farm

With highs in the 40s all week, it looks like the weather has finally broken. It's springtime in the North Country. But it could still be weeks before the soil is warm enough...  Go to full article

Listen: Vermont's Pete Sutherland makes rural music, with kids

Just in time for the growing season, a new album filled with songs about gardening and rural life. Vermont folk singer/songwriter Pete Sutherland is best known as a member...  Go to full article
The grounds of the Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg. Photo: Lizette Haenel.

Young farmers, Ogdensburg get help in state budget

State Senator Patty Ritchie says the new state budget will help young farmers just getting started. The deal includes one million dollars for grants to help beginning farmers...  Go to full article
Human Trafficking in Our Backyard. Poster: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/74442773@N03/7418920888/<br />">John Eng Cheng, Inheritance Magazine</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Four kinds of human trafficking in the North Country

More than 40 agencies across the North Country are coming together to fight some of the darkest underground crimes. The North Country Human Trafficking task force says...  Go to full article
Photo: David Sommerstein

Finally, a sign of spring: Maple Weekend is here

Looking for that real sign of spring? Don't look out the window. New York's first crop of 2014 is coming in. The sugar shanties will be going full bore this weekend for the...  Go to full article
The tap...

Listen: In Canton, tapping trees for syrup

The immediate forecast isn't ideal for making maple syrup, but it's coming: that combination of cold nights, warm days and sunshine. Chickadees get busy, and the sap rises....  Go to full article

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