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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 24, 2014 — Two growers are competing to harvest fresh figs earlier and earlier in hopes of transforming the industry for year-round production. But some fig lovers say they can hold out for summer fruit.
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?
 

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.

118th Assembly District: Interview with Darrel Aubertine

Two years ago, Cape Vincent farmer and Jefferson County legislator Darrel Aubertine became the first Democrat to represent the North Country in Albany in almost 30 years. Now he's running for re-election in the 118th Assembly, or 'river', district against Republican challenger Scott Gray. Aubertine told David Sommerstein he learned in his first term how to play the game in Albany to advance North Country interests.  Go to full article

NY Farmer Urges Legislative Reform

A central New York farmer, fed up with what he says is an "abysmal" business climate, has launched a website and is trying to get state lawmakers to pledge to change their ways. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
At work far from home

For Jamaican Apple Pickers, Hurricane Ivan Hit Home

One month ago, Hurricane Ivan slammed into the island of Jamaica, ripping apart houses and knocking out phone lines and electricity. The storm hit just as hundreds of Jamaican workers were arriving in the Champlain Valley to help with the fall apple harvest. These last weeks, the men have struggled to support their families while far from home. As Brian Mann reports, this has been a season of worry, but also a season of faith.

Hurricane Ivan Relief Fund: Donations can be sent to Peru Community Church, PO Box 38, Peru, NY 12972. Make checks payable to church, but specify that funds are meant for Ivan relief.  Go to full article

Organic Farmers Stretch to Meet Demand

Organic foods are becoming more and more popular - so popular many farmers are finding it's hard to keep up with demand. In the give and take of market-driven economics,...  Go to full article

OSHA Fines Ogdensburg Cheesemaker

A kosher cheese maker in Ogdensburg is appealing $185,000 in fines levied by the U.S. Labor Department. Inspectors found serious safety and health hazard violations at Primo...  Go to full article

Clinton Hosts NY Farm Day

New York farmers took the spotlight in Washington, DC yesterday with Senator Hillary Clinton's 3rd Annual New York Farm Day. In a telephone conference with reporters to...  Go to full article

Natural Selections: BT Corn and Monarch Butterflies

Recent studies verify the theory that BT corn, genetically-engineered to produce its own pesticides, is harmful to the monarch butterfly, producing a high rate of mortality...  Go to full article

Shoppers Challenge "Homegrown" Label

It's harvest time for some of the local crops. The fields are ripe with homegrown produce. Some supermarkets are advertising homegrown vegetables for sale. But some...  Go to full article

4-H Kids Learn To Let Go

Fair season is in full swing in counties around the Midwest, and for kids in 4-H it's the culmination of months of work. Many have been raising animals to show and sell at...  Go to full article

Blight Endangers Apple Orchards

Agriculture advisors are warning some apple growers to be on the lookout for a blight that can kill the trees in their orchard. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Gretchen...  Go to full article

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