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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.

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. Modern science doesn't support that, and the idea of milk going straight from the cow onto a bowl of cereal is unthinkable for most doctors and food safety officials. But advocates aren't convinced, and they're waging campaigns across the country to legalize distribution of raw milk. Now they're finding a new audience for their message: small farms looking for a niche in the global dairy market. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Peter Payette reports.  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. As David Sommerstein reports, similar technology may be the future in helping consumers know more about the food they eat.  Go to full article

Kraft Shutdown Ripples, Quietly

In Canton and around St. Lawrence County, news that Kraft's cheese plant will close in June is sinking in. Some 60 people will lose their jobs. Several hundred more jobs could feel the ripple effects. But reaction to the shutdown has been subdued. And as David Sommerstein reports, the effects on the local economy may be more subtle than expected.  Go to full article

Possible Fallout of the Kraft Plant Closing

Martha Foley talks with Michael Shuman, a nationally recognized expert in the field of sustainable economics, about what happens when a mainstay business leaves town.  Go to full article

Impact of Trade Pact on NY Dairy Farmers Unclear

North Country dairy farmers are breathing a sigh of relief in the wake of Sunday's free trade agreement between the U.S. and Australia. The National Milk Producers...  Go to full article

NY Farms Fare Better in New Census

The hemorrhaging of farms and farmland in New York is slowing down, according to new data from the agriculture census. Large farms are growing, and a small, niche market...  Go to full article

Wetlands Restoration Faces Cuts

A popular federal program that pays farmers to restore wetlands on their property is under funded in President Bush's proposed budget released this week. As David...  Go to full article
Leopold Center director Fred Kirschenmann in field, & in suit.

Farming Sustainability Leader in Watertown

Martha Foley talks with Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, president of Kirschenmann Farms, a 3500-acre operation in North Dakota that was certified organic over 20 years ago....  Go to full article

Canton Kraft Plant to Close in June

After 50 years of making cheese in its Canton factory, Kraft Foods is closing its operations in June. Kraft said in 2002 that it would re-eveluate the Canton operation,...  Go to full article

Plant Closure Another Blow to Dairy Industry

North Country Congressman John McHugh called the losing of the Kraft plant a dark period for Canton's economy and the region's dairy farmers.  Go to full article

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