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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.
Ken Hill in his Atlasta Farms "office" in Lisbon
Ken Hill in his Atlasta Farms "office" in Lisbon

Redefining North Country Agriculture

There's a big change underway in North Country agriculture. The number of dairy farms has plummeted since the 1990s. Most of the victims are mid-size family operations. Large farms are on the rise, but so are small ones. According to the latest agricultural census, there are more 10 to 50 acre farms in New York now than any year since 1974. And most of those don't milk cows. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

What's the Future for Farm Markets?

As we heard in David Sommerstein's story, there's optimism in a new kind of farm in the North Country. The biggest challenge all farms face to survive is the same, though, finding a market that offers a liveable price for farm products. To learn more about agricultural markets, Martha Foley spoke with Fred Kirschenmann, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Iowa.  Go to full article

Sugar Season is On, but Acid Rain Takes Toll on Trees

Around the North Country, sugar houses are in high gear, boiling maple sap into syrup. The spring harvest is big business in this part of the world, but it's also a part of the culture. Brian Mann spoke with Colin Campbell, director of the Cornell-Uiehlein Sugar Maple Field station. The research center has operated near Lake Placid for forty years.  Go to full article

Canton Eyes Agri-Business Zones

Two economic development programs to help agriculture in New York are moving forward. Facing the closure of the Kraft cheese plant this summer, the town of Canton is trying...  Go to full article

Trash Burning Can Threaten Human Health

For most of us, getting rid of the garbage is as simple as setting it at the curb. But not everyone can get garbage pick-up. So, instead, they burn their trash. The Great...  Go to full article

Clinton: Spreading the "Made in NY" Message

David Sommerstein talks with Senator Hillary Clinton about the challenges -- and promise -- of marketing New York farm products in New York City, as well as filling the...  Go to full article

NY Farmers Await More Details on Dairy Trade Pact

Dairy farmers are still awaiting the details of a free trade pact signd last month between the United States and Australia. Australia is the world's third largest dairy...  Go to full article

Farmers Push for Medicaid Reform

Farmers are adding their voices to the chorus of those calling for reform of Medicaid funding in New York. The New York Farm Bureau held seven press conferences across the...  Go to full article

Raw Milk Advocates Petition Small Farmers

Sales are strictly illegal in New York and many other states, but fans of raw milk believe un-pasteurized milk is more nutritious, and more delicious than commercial milk. ...  Go to full article

Food Tracking Gaining Steam?

On the heels of the discovery of mad cow disease in the U.S., North Country Congressman John McHugh is among lawmakers calling for a national animal ID program to track meat....  Go to full article

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