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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 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?
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.
 

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.
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo

County Farmers Contemplate Burn Ban

A controversy is smoldering in the St. Lawrence County agricultural community. After years of opposition, the county Farm Bureau is considering a resolution supporting a ban on the open burning of trash. Supporters say farmers could take the lead in abolishing a practice that could poison their products. Critics say a ban would hurt farmers already reeling from low milk prices. As David Sommerstein reports, the outcome could have statewide implications.  Go to full article

Roy Kiechle is North Country Public Radio

Roy Kiechle of Philadelphia remembers raiding the cheese cellar in the family factory.  Go to full article

Testing Wireless Food Stamps in Farmers' Markets

It's the height of the season for luscious, farm-grown fruits and vegetables. But most people, who get help from the government with buying their food, can't take advantage of the fresh, nutritional food at their local farmers' markets. The food stamp system was replaced in many states with new Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. And since vegetable stands don't usually come equipped with electricity, both farmers and many poor people were missing the harvest. But New York hopes to change that with a new pilot program that's bringing wireless EBT technology to farmers' markets. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Joyce Kryszak has more on how the program is catching on.  Go to full article

Using Sewage Sludge on Crops

The more people inhabit the earth - the more sewage there is. Something has to be done with it. Before chemical fertilizers were invented, farmers used human manure to...  Go to full article

Mark Swanson is North Country Public Radio

Mark Swanson from Philadelphia explains how to put a milking machine on a cow.  Go to full article
Scientists at Paul Smiths College conference discuss invasive species

Scientists Say Invading Species Threaten North Country Lakes, Rivers

A half-dozen invasive plant and animal species are spreading in North Country lakes and rivers. Organisms like Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels edge out less...  Go to full article
New cork can be harvested every 8-10 years.

Natural Selections: Cork

Traditional cork is harvested from the bark of a European variety of oak. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the venerable history of this useful material which, in...  Go to full article

Paul Smith's Conferees Link Phosphorous Pollution to Development

Scientists at a water quality conference at Paul Smith's College say phosphorous pollution is damaging lakes and rivers across the Adirondacks. Despite decades of...  Go to full article
Ag Pro Ltd. is waiting to get more soybeans at a better price

Soybean Plant Still Idle, Eyes New Products

A soybean processing plant in Massena is waiting for the price of beans to drop before it re-opens after shutting down at the end of June. But as David Sommerstein reports,...  Go to full article

A Market Based Approach to Water Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking at a market-based attempt to reduce water pollution. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Jenny Lawton explains.  Go to full article

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