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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.
Farmstand in Raymertown, NY. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/27632962@N04/3896472848/">Vilseskogen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Farmstand in Raymertown, NY. Photo: Vilseskogen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY farm group awards $1.2M to development projects

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) A state-funded non-profit group run by New York farmers has awarded $1.24 million to 18 projects to improve farm profitability and sustainability in the state.

Projects funded by the New York Farm Viability Institute include research on dairy, field crops, apples, vegetables, berries and Christmas trees.  Go to full article
Photo: USDA, Some rights reserved.

What's in the Farm Bill for the North Country?

A revamped Farm Bill could reach the House floor for a vote as early as today. The massive legislation which sets agricultural and nutrition policy for the country has already been scuttled two years in a row. But bipartisan negotiators say they have a $500 billion five-year package that will pass.

David Sommerstein joins Martha Foley to talk about what the Farm Bill would mean for the North Country.  Go to full article
Bottles of the different grades of maple syrup produced at Uihlein Forest last year line the sugar shack's window.  Photo: Todd Moe

Schumer: Farm bill will help NY maple producers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Sen. Charles Schumer says the bipartisan agreement on a massive farm bill this week includes a measure that will help New York's maple syrup producers.

Schumer says a measure he fought for in the bill would provide federal grants of up to $20 million annually to states that create programs to encourage private landowners to open up their trees to maple tapping.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/spencersbrookfarm/3915400640/">Annie Kavanaugh</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Pig virus could cost Ontario farmers dearly

A group representing Ontario hog farmers is warning a deadly virus could cost the pork industry tens of millions of dollars in a year if it is allowed to spread. Ontario Pork...  Go to full article
Richard Ball, owner of Schoharie Valley Farms. Photo: NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets

A vegetable farmer to head dairy-heavy NY agriculture

The people who run New York's department of agriculture and markets tend to have close ties with the state's huge dairy industry. The last commissioner, Cape Vincent's Darrel...  Go to full article
Eric Young, soil scientist at the Miner Institute. He's leading a study on tile drains. Photo: courtesy of Miner Institute

Tile drains: good or bad?

Tile drains are controversial. Farmers install the slotted pipes under their crops to drain water faster, extend the growing season, and increase crop yield. But...  Go to full article
Vegetable farmer, and new Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball

Farmers fear food safety rules too costly

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing new food safety rules for produce farmers across the country. The FDA wants to reduce the number of people...  Go to full article
Anaerobic digester on the Jordan Dairy Farm in Rutland, MA. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/5470625445/">USDA</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY makes $20M available for anaerobic digesters

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York state is making $20 million available to dairy farmers to turn waste into energy.

The money through the New York State Energy Research...  Go to full article
Photo: David Sommerstein

2014 could be a good year for dairy farms

2013 was another comeback year for the dairy industry, after near-record low milk prices forced thousands of dairy farmers out of business during the recession. But the high...  Go to full article
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris

Amish farmers partner with Agri-Mark

Most of the North Country is losing population, and losing farms. But there's one group that keeps growing: Old Order Amish. They're drawn to the St. Lawrence Valley by the...  Go to full article

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