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NCPR News Staff: Julie Grant

Reporter and Producer

Stories filed by Julie Grant

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Cows grazing at Bob Zufall's farm in Lisbon, NY. Photo: David Pynchon
Cows grazing at Bob Zufall's farm in Lisbon, NY. Photo: David Pynchon

Two farms, two very different views on sustainability

The term sustainability is now commonplace. Everything from furniture, to travel, to shopping at Walmart is described as "sustainable." Usage has stretched so far that it's hard to say what "sustainability" really is.

Dictionary.com defines sustainability as "supporting long term ecological balance." And Wikipedia says it is "the capacity to endure." We visited two North Country dairy farms, each with a very different philosophy, but both claiming to be sustainable.  Go to full article
Step by Step Director David Bayne, and Carla Nunez. Photo: Julie Grant
Step by Step Director David Bayne, and Carla Nunez. Photo: Julie Grant

What NY reform means for Ogdensburg mental health care

Advocates for people with mental illness in rural New York are concerned about the changes announced recently by the state. The New York State Office of Mental Health plans to close 65 inpatient beds at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg.

North Country residents who need long-term hospitalization could be sent to Syracuse or Utica for care, to what the state is calling "Regional Centers of Excellence."

The Office of Mental Health says the state will provide more money for outpatient services in the North Country.  Go to full article
Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA
Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA

Deer ticks in NY harbor rare, but often fatal virus

A Saratoga County resident is recovering from a rare, but emerging illness transmitted by deer ticks.

County health officials tell the Albany Times Union that the deadly disease is known as Powassan. Only 15 cases have been discovered statewide over the past nine years. But the disease killed nearly a third of those infected. Most of the cases were in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.  Go to full article
Clarkson University undergraduate students, with Professor Tom Langen (third from left), look for golden winged warblers at Fish Creek State Wildlife Management Area in New York, on July 24, 2013. Photo: Julie Grant.
Clarkson University undergraduate students, with Professor Tom Langen (third from left), look for golden winged warblers at Fish Creek State Wildlife Management Area in New York, on July 24, 2013. Photo: Julie Grant.

Ecology moves from the field to the screen

People who dream about being ecologists - and studying the environment for a living - might want to get comfortable sitting at a computer. More and more data are being collected and analyzed online, and that's changing what it means to be an ecologist.  Go to full article
Dairy cows at Greenwood Dairy, in Canton, NY. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Dairy cows at Greenwood Dairy, in Canton, NY. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Lawsuit targets new dairy size regulations

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the state because of its new dairy size regulations.

Until this year, farms with more than 200 cows needed to comply with waste-management rules more restrictive smaller farms. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation recently increased that to 300 cows.  Go to full article
Chicks at Renee Smith's farm, DeKalb Junction, NY. Photo: Julie Grant
Chicks at Renee Smith's farm, DeKalb Junction, NY. Photo: Julie Grant

Local chicken processing gets USDA cerification

The North Country local food movement just got a big boost. The ribbon was cut Thursday on a new, USDA-certified, mobile poultry processing unit.

The project is owned by a group called North Country Pastured - and full disclosure - NCPR general manager Ellen Rocco is part-owner.

The new unit provides poultry producers a way to have their birds processed locally, and certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg, NY. Photo: Lizette Haenel
St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg, NY. Photo: Lizette Haenel

State: no job losses for Pysch Center workers

The loss of some services at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg doesn't have to mean a loss of jobs. That's the word from New York's acting commissioner for mental health, Kirsten Woodlock.  Go to full article
Sandy and Aaron Stauffer with their herd. Photo: Julie Grant
Sandy and Aaron Stauffer with their herd. Photo: Julie Grant

Why milk containers send mixed messages

When you go to the supermarket dairy aisle, there are so many milks to choose from: different brands, fat contents, and prices. One thing they all have in common is a label that says something like "our farmers pledge they do not inject their cows with artificial growth hormone." The containers also state that there's no difference in the milk from cows with or without those hormones.

So what's going on here? Why are our milk containers sending mixed messages? And what does it mean for North Country dairy farms that use growth hormones on their cows?  Go to full article
A worker checks finished yogurt cups at the North Country Dairy in North Lawrence. Photo: Courtesy Upstate Niagara Cooperative.
A worker checks finished yogurt cups at the North Country Dairy in North Lawrence. Photo: Courtesy Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

Milk culture: touring the North Country yogurt plant

A couple of years ago, things looked bad for dairy processing in North Lawrence. Healthy Food Holdings was shutting down its Breyer's yogurt plant, and laying off more than 100 workers.

But within weeks, the plant was quietly purchased by the Upstate Niagara Cooperative. The Buffalo-based dairy processor renamed the plant the North Country Dairy. It says yogurt is on an upward trend in New York State, and the Cooperative wants to be part of that.

Many food manufacturers guard trade secrets tightly, and won't allow visitors. Upstate Niagara wouldn't allow the North Country plant manager to talk on tape for a story. But he did take me on a full tour of the facility.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28244962@N08/2866402246/in/photolist-5ni4wo-4Wb9Wf-2VXKzS-7Q8bMd-Cdebd-78XngQ-9VwsXx-8HWE8N-cFMuzA-D2swm-8GqDe8-4v6A9s-8Ap3as-5gNE77-85qtWa-5y4vhr-67gJ1C-8Ap65Y-8AkXc6-6F58nZ-5ZN2Np-cYRcBy-72hNB5-5eArcW-eky8eA-5ZScWy-78dN1T-dyLfV9-93DKc4-dqgk5R-dqh4yE-dqgsCf-2x933i-EVDaE-cKxtK1-eb1RnH-oFYe-djKHmz-a8peZn-5KLxBP-5aaeTE-cP5s3Q-9adM4L-7DjSm1-7pYnDV-7Dg6Jt-cYSbAj-4H635W-9fCtLP-dNvCSM-4y8Kzh">rockcc_histcoll</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: rockcc_histcoll, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

New area code on the way for 315 region

The state Public Service Commission has extended the comment period for a plan to add another area code in Northern and Central New York. Eighteen counties currently use area code 315.  Go to full article

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