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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 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.
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.
 

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.

Semen Quality Harmed by Farm Chemicals?

A new study shows that fertile men in more rural areas have lower sperm counts and less vigorous sperm than men in urban centers. It's the first study that shows that semen quality differs significantly between regions of the United States. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Annie MacDowell reports, agricultural chemicals may be to blame.  Go to full article
Janet Poppendieck signs a book at SUNY Potsdam.

Anti-Hunger Efforts: Rethinking the Soup Kitchen

David Sommerstein talks with Janet Poppendieck, author of Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement. She says the growth of soup kitchens and food pantries in the past two decades distracts activists and policy-makers from the root causes of hunger in the U.S.  Go to full article

New York Losing Farmland at Alarming Rate

Farmland in New York faces some of the most intense development pressures of any state in the nation. That's according to a study by the American Farmland Trust. The group says that from 1992 to 1997, New York lost an average of nearly 18-thousand acres of farmland each year. Officials at the American Farmland Trust say the problem is getting worse in New York, the state is losing its best farmland the fastest. Martha Foley talks with Jerry Cosgrove, Northeast Regional Director of American Farmland Trust, based in Saratoga Springs.  Go to full article

Study: Region's Prime Farmland At Risk

A new study shows prime farmland in the Great Lakes region is being lost to development. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Natalie Walston reports.  Go to full article

Feds Fall Short of Animal Disease Warnings

A recent report finds that the U-S Department of Agriculture needs to work more closely with Customs inspectors in order to stop foreign animal diseases from hurting...  Go to full article

Commentary: A Dairying Life

Small dairy farms have been in steady decline in the North Country for decades. Commentator Jill Vaughan's farm is one that had to go out of business. But she says she's...  Go to full article

Clinton County Dairy Farm Beats the Odds: Heifer Triplets!

Friday the 13th was a lucky day for a Clinton county dairy farm. A set of heifer triplets was born last Friday on the Nichols farm near Churubusco. Bernadette Nichols tells...  Go to full article
Jason McCullom in the milking parlor of his dad Kevin's farm.

Budgeting on Dairy Farms Without a Steady Paycheck

In this first part of our series on the dairy industry in the North Country, David Sommerstein looks at the price of milk as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy...  Go to full article

Who Sets the Milk Price?

David Sommerstein talks with Julie Suarez of the New York Farm Bureau about how the price of milk is set on the national market.  Go to full article

Milk Price Drop Concerns Farm Leaders

The Vermont Milk Commission is deeply worried about the financial future of the state's dairy farmers. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

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