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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.

Sounds of the County Fair

The sights, smells, and sounds of county fairs are classic ingredients of summer. The midway barker beckoning you in to a show. The whip of the wind through your hair on the day-glow roller coaster. And of course, the smell of fried dough and French fries. The St. Lawrence County and Lewis County fairs run this week and through the weekend. David Sommerstein prepared this audio montage from the midway of the St. Lawrence County fair in Gouverneur.  Go to full article
McHugh and Clinton visit a farm near Fulton

Clinton, McHugh Announce Rural Economic Package

After Ogdensburg, the pair headed south to a dairy farm in Oswego County. Clinton and McHugh talked about a fix for the way farmers are paid for their milk. The current system allows for big price swings, but a solution to fit farms around the country has been elusive for decades. David Sommerstein was on hand and has this report.  Go to full article

Vines and Wines: The Art of Growing Grapes

Martha Foley talks with horticulturist Amy Ivy about growing grapes for juice or wine. Even in a backyard vineyard, it's part art and part science.  Go to full article

Interview: Bruce Chassy - GM Foods are Safer

Critics of genetically engineered foods question the safety of using genes from different species to alter the behavior of plants. But the supporters of bio-engineered...  Go to full article

Monsanto Pulls Plans for GM Wheat

If you look at the nutrition information on a package of muffins or a box of cereal you're likely to see things such as soybean oil and milled corn. More likely than not,...  Go to full article

Interview: Jeff Smith?Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods

Products made from genetically engineered crops are appearing in more and more foods. There's a good chance just about any prepackaged food that's made with soybean oil, soy...  Go to full article

Pataki Approves Expanded Ag Coops

Governor Pataki yesterday signed a bill into law that allows agricultural cooperatives to take advantage of New York's Empire Zones. Dairy farmers sell their milk to coops,...  Go to full article
Cathy and Frank Stepnoski at the Malone farmers' market

Making a Living at the Farmers' Market

Farmers markets, roadside stands, and U-picks give us fresh produce and a unique relationship with the people who grow the food we eat. They're also a growing part of...  Go to full article

Slavery in Our Time

Last Friday, Governor George Pataki signed a new law making June 19th a state holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, in the 1860s. But slavery isn't...  Go to full article

Northeast Lawmakers Push For New Dairy Bill

There's more than a year left before a controversial federal milk program expires. But Northeast lawmakers are already pressing their Midwestern counterparts to support a new...  Go to full article

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