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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 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.
Mar 5, 2014 — The storms that drenched California recently did little to combat one of the state's worst droughts in a century. Farmers in California's Central Valley say they need "Biblical proportions" of rain.
Mar 3, 2014 — The court's decision means the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch, which has spent millions defending laws that make it illegal to rent to undocumented immigrants, has reached the end of this legal road.
 

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.

Farm-to-School: Improving Farm Income and School Lunches

Cornell Cooperative Extension officials in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence county say the time is ripe to start serving more North Country-grown produce in local schools. Cooperative Extension started its first farm-to-school pilot programs last summer in Canton, Massena and at SUNY-Potsdam. The aim this year is to get more farmers and schools involved. Request program information. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article

Commentary: Small is Beautiful

A convergence of news stories about big hamburgers and small farms got Station Manager Ellen Rocco thinking about connections and scale.  Go to full article
Kevin Sullivan's greener pastures.

Seasonal Dairying: A Viable Alternative

Most dairy farmers in the North Country milk their cows all year long. It brings in a steady paycheck and ensures a steady flow of milk to manufacturing plants. But a small but growing number give their cows a break during the coldest months. It's a technique called seasonal dairying. Its supporters say it's gentler on the cows, easier on the environment, and gives small dairy farms a future in an industry that's growing ever bigger. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Farmers Get Help with Agricultural Districts

Farmers will have an easier time getting their lands included in agricultural districts under a new state law. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

Maple Syrup Producers to Gather in Verona Next Month

A chartered bus will take some 50 St. Lawrence County residents to the New York State Maple Producer's Conference in mid-January. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

Farm Pollution Researchers Threatened

Some scientists are being threatened because they're investigating pollution from farms. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports.  Go to full article

Aubertine Ponders New Role as State Lawmaker

When the new state Assembly officially opens January 2nd, Assmeblyman-elect for the 118th district Darrel Aubertine will be the first North County Democrat in that body in...  Go to full article
Kevin Sullivan's intensive grazing fields (top) and a conventional farm barnyard.

The Joy of Grazing

Fewer than 10 percent of North Country dairy farmers graze their cows on pasture. Most confine their herd to big barns and feed them grains and hay. But since the 1980s,...  Go to full article

Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Meat

Grass fed meat is a hot topic in culinary circles. A symposium this weekend will bring farmers and chefs together at Paul Smith's College. Martha Foley talks with Richard...  Go to full article

Wanted: Farmers!

Cornell Cooperative Extension is using the North Country's cheap, abundant land and rich soils in an effort to lure farmers to the area. As Jody Tosti reports, information...  Go to full article

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