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NCPR News Staff: Sarah Harris

Reporter and Producer

Sarah Harris was a sophomore in college when the radio bug bit. She spent the year producing audio narratives of students' journeys to Middlebury (where she went to school) through the Middlebury Fellowship in Narrative Journalism. A long-time public radio listener, Sarah thought she might've found her niche. She spent the money she earned from the fellowship on equipment and promptly headed abroad to the Maldives and Nepal, where she did a ton of interviews and spent a month at Community Radio Madanpokhara, South Asia's first rural-based community radio station.

Upon returning to the United States, Sarah decided she needed to learn how to do radio for real. So she called NCPR on a Friday afternoon and proceeded to pester station manager Ellen Rocco until she agreed to give Sarah an internship. Sarah spent the following summer interning at the station and living on Ellen's DeKalb farm. She's been producing stories for NCPR ever since -- first covering the Champlain Valley in Vermont and New York, and now covering St. Lawrence County. 

Sarah's work has aired on Morning Edition and All Things Considered and has been published in The American Prospect and Slate. She reported on cement production in Chanute, Kansas through the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism and contributed to the award-winning NPR/Center for Public Integrity collaborative series "Poisoned Places." Sarah assistant taught the first session of the Transom Story Workshop in fall 2011. She lives with her partner Joe, a cat named Louie, and soon, two llamas. E-mail

Stories filed by Sarah Harris

Middlebury College Organic Garden. Photo: Dan Kane
Middlebury College Organic Garden. Photo: Dan Kane

Farmers Under 40: Liberal arts students try their hand at farming

Land grant schools like Cornell University have long specialized in teaching agriculture. But across the country, liberal arts colleges are adding programs about food, farming, and sustainability to their curricula.

They're not teaching farming per se--no classes about pests or crop rotation. They're giving farming the full liberal arts treatment, offering courses in philosophy and economics, as well as some work in the field.

As Sarah Harris reports, they want students to think critically about food systems and sustainable practices.  Go to full article
Organizer Severine von Tscharner Fleming, photo courtesy of Cathryn Kramer
Organizer Severine von Tscharner Fleming, photo courtesy of Cathryn Kramer

Motley crew of farmers celebrates a passion for the land

Beginning farmers from both sides of Lake Champlain gathered at the Grange Hall in rural crossroads of Whallonsburg in late June for a sort of mixer.

The mixer was organized by the Greenhorns, a nonprofit group that works on behalf of young farmers. The day included area farm tours, workshops, food, a puppet show, and camaraderie. Typical old grange-style stuff. But it wasn't farm business as usual.

Sarah Harris found the young farmers there are on a mission to change agriculture in America.  Go to full article
Will gay marriage be legalized in New York?
Will gay marriage be legalized in New York?

Ogdensburg shoppers weigh in on same sex marriage

This week, it's been all about same sex marriage in Albany. Supporters, led by Governor Cuomo, have been lobbying hard for a vote in the State Senate. Now they're one vote shy of passage.

According to a Siena College poll this week, 55% of New Yorkers support legalizing same sex marriage. Sarah Harris chatted with shoppers in Ogdensburg to get their opinions.  Go to full article
Photo courtesy of Jake Levine
Photo courtesy of Jake Levine

North Creek Brew Fest on Hudson draws a crowd

The North Creek Business Alliance organized the first annual North Creek Brew Fest on the Hudson in order to help fund a winter shuttle to Gore Mountain and make the town a destination. Sarah Harris was there to sample the festivities.  Go to full article
The Zipper in action.
The Zipper in action.

St Lawrence County Fair: Audio Postcard

Be it goats, cows, maple syrup or funnel cake, the St. Lawrence county fair has it all. Sarah Harris visited the fair in Gouverneur, ate too much funnel cake, braved the rides on the midway and sent this audio postcard.  Go to full article
Working together at the camp garden. Photo courtesy of Camp Treetops
Working together at the camp garden. Photo courtesy of Camp Treetops

Learning and playing outside: a day at Camp Treetops

Camp Treetops has long been committed to nurturing children and instilling in them a strong sense of place and community. Of course, campers have a lot of fun too. Sarah Harris visited Camp Treetops to see what campers were up to. She had a great time, wished she could stay, but had to go back to work and produce this story.  Go to full article
Inside Adirondack Bean-To Coffee.
Inside Adirondack Bean-To Coffee.

Heard Up North: Iced "Dirty Chai" in Saranac Lake

Drew Benmore, a music professor and Malone native who works at Adirondack Bean-To Coffee and spends his summers in Saranac Lake, explains how to make a "dirty chai" iced drink for a hot summer day.  Go to full article
Painter's new book
Painter's new book

Author challenges notions of race in "The History of White People"

Author, educator and artist Nell Irvin Painter spoke at the Elizabethtown County Courthouse on Sunday. She read selections from her new book, "The History of White People," and fielded questions from the audience. The talk was part of a series sponsored by modern day anti-slavery organizations John Brown Lives! and John Brown Coming Home. Sarah Harris attended and has our story.  Go to full article
Chowing down.<br />Photo courtesy of Mike Shawl
Chowing down.
Photo courtesy of Mike Shawl

Good Eats at Lake Placid BBQ Festival

Hot and spicy was the order of the day at the Lake Placid 5th annual I Love Barbecue Festival to benefit the Shipman Youth Center. Competitors braved high temperatures for three days as they cooked up some delicious meat. Sarah Harris visited the festival, sampled delectable barbecued chicken and has our story.  Go to full article

Potsdam Community Band welcomes summer with a joyful noise

Potsdam musicians decided to resurrect the town's community band which had been nascent for 25 years. The result: band members of all ages come together to make a joyful noise. Sarah Harris sat in on one of their rehearsals.  Go to full article

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