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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.
Ag Pro Ltd. is waiting to get more soybeans at a better price
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, it may turn to other products to generate some business.  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

A Local Guide to Pasture-Raised Meat

Meat lovers are increasingly looking to pasture-raised beef, lamb, and chicken as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to commercial feed lot meats. The Adirondack North Country Association recently published a directory of local farms that raise cows, sheep, and poultry on pasture, along with a list of local butchers who can prepare the meat for your freezer. David Sommerstein talks with ANCA's grazing technician Martha Pickard, who compiled the directory.

You can get a copy of the directory, or be included if you're a farmer, by calling 518-891-6200.  Go to full article

Alpaca Farming Becoming Next Livestock Trend

There's an up-and-coming livestock trend in the region. Alpacas are common in the high plains of Peru, Chile and Bolivia, where people have used their fleece for clothes and...  Go to full article

Dioxin High Risk in Agricultural Areas

A new report out this month says the government needs to do more to reduce the presence of the chemical dioxin in the food supply, especially in agricultural areas like the...  Go to full article

A Barn-raising in Upper Jay

In the North Country, barns are as much a part of the landscape as mountains and rivers. These days, most new barns are built quickly with steel frames and sheet-metal...  Go to full article

Free Market Dairying

This week the National Milk Producers Federation and dozens of dairy farmer cooperatives nationwide began a program to control milk production in the United States and push...  Go to full article

Dairy Coops Leverage Market Power

Dairy farmers are taking an historic step toward controlling the supply of milk in the United States. Farmers accounting for 70 percent of the milk made nationally have...  Go to full article

School Connects Kids to Healthy Eating

American kids are overweight. Nutritionists say one major reason is that kids are eating too much junk food, and not enough fresh produce. A government pilot program is...  Go to full article
Are soybeans a promising future for farmers like Bill Brewer?

Can Soybeans Take Root on North Country Farms?

Facing rock-bottom milk prices and mounting debt, dairy farmers are looking for other ways to stay in business. An extra field of hay or corn could help pay the bills in...  Go to full article

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