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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...

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.
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="">Henry M. Diaz</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Henry M. Diaz, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Small farms continue to struggle in New York

New York has lost 2 percent of its farms since 2007, 814 in all. That's according to the first glimpse of new agricultural census data released Thursday.

Small farms continue to struggle the most.

New York had 35,538 farms in 2012, when the US Department of Agriculture conducted its census, which it does every five years.  Go to full article
Photo: Julie Grant

Farm Bill helps dairy farmers go organic

Going organic offers a higher milk price for dairy farmers. But it's expensive to earn organic certification and learn a whole new mind set for producing milk without chemicals or antibiotics. The new Farm Bill increases funding to help conventional farmers make the transition.

Ellen Abbott reports on one central New York farmer who's happy he made made the switch.  Go to full article

Green party voters may get primary race in NY-21

It's been just about a week since the Democratic Party announced documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf as its candidate for the 21st District congressional seat Bill Owens currently holds, but Woolf has yet to make a public appearance or return emails since then. A brief statement last week said an official campaign announcement would be made "in the coming days."

But there has been news among Greens in the 21st District. The Green Party is heading towards a rare primary as St. Lawrence County anti-cancer activist Donald Hassig and Glens Falls baker and businessman Matt Funicello have both said they're running as Green Party candidates.  Go to full article
Month-old Norway Spruce eedlings at the Saratoga Tree Nursery. Photo: NYS DEC

NY state nursery sells trees, shrubs to landowners

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The state-run Saratoga Tree Nursery has begun its spring sale of more than 40 species of trees and shrubs, which are available to public and private...  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="">James Williams</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Could a new law "kneecap" NYS boutique wines?

Bottles of wine and spirits made in New York would have to sit in a New York state warehouse for up to 48 hours before they could be sold, under a new law being considered in...  Go to full article
Raw milk. <a href="">RyanisHungrye</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Raw milk case goes to Ontario high court

A farmer from West Grey and his supporters are taking their battle to drink unpasteurized milk to the province's highest court today.

Michael Schmidt argues that...  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="">Henry M. Diaz</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Farm Bureau says estate tax a top priority

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The New York Farm Bureau says its top legislative priorities this year include the governor's proposal to raise the exemption threshold on the state's...  Go to full article
Concord grapes, ready for juicing. Photo: <a href="">D. Calvin Andrus</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY grape growers to benefit from federal purchase

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say they've successfully petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use $11.5 million to buy concord...  Go to full article
The Vermont State Capitol. Photo: <a href="">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont panel looks at reducing pollution from farms

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont House Agriculture Committee heads to Bridport and St. Albans this week for two public hearings on reducing pollution caused by farm...  Go to full article
"Day-Neutral" strawberries give a longer harvest season. Photo: <a href="">Wayne Surber</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thinking ahead for strawberries

Strawberries are a good fruit crop for home gardeners to try, and now's the time to be thinking ahead and placing an order for young plants.

According to...  Go to full article

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