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NCPR News Staff: Julie Grant

Reporter and Producer

Stories filed by Julie Grant

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Corn ethanol: farmland conservation takes a back seat

Federal farmland conservation program have saved water, soil and wildlife through simple set-asides. That's when farmers get paid to take some cropland out of production. It protects waterways and provides wildlife habitat. It makes sense for the soil, too. But, in the second of our two-part series on ethanol, Julie Grant reports that as demand for corn and soybeans for ethanol production grows, farmland conservation is taking a back seat.  Go to full article

Educating children of migrant workers

More and more farm workers in the U.S. come from Mexico and Central America. Many farmers say they couldn't survive without them. Workers who come to North Country dairy farms usually leave their families behind, and plan to return home. A North Country dairy farm may employ a half dozen Mexican farmhands at a time. But crop farms depend on migrant workers, who travel with the planting and harvesting seasons. Migrant workers often move with their families, and the seasonal employment means the children are often uprooted. In our second story on the lives of migrant workers, Julie Grant reports on the challenges of educating children whose lives are dictated by the growing season.  Go to full article

Migrant workers - still harvest of shame?

More and more American farms are employing workers from Mexico and Central America. Even as far north and east as the North Country -- the number of Mexican and Central Americans working on dairy farms has risen dramatically. Industry leaders agree farms depend on reliable, plentiful Hispanic labor to survive.

A group of New York farmers is in the Veracruz area this week, hoping to learn more about traditional farming, local customs and life in their workers villages. Workers who come this far usually leave their families behind, and plan to return home.

A North Country dairy farm might employ a half dozen Mexican farmhands. But crop farming requires much more help, and the demand rises and falls with the planting and harvesting. During the growing season, nearly 300 workers and their children live in migrant camps around the K. W. Zellers family farm in rural northeast Ohio. Julie Grant spent some time at the Zellers' farm this fall.  Go to full article

Ten Threats: preserving wetlands

One of the biggest threats to the Great Lakes system is the loss of thousands of square miles of wetlands. From Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence River, some of the most important wildlife habitat along the edge of the waterway has been lost. For example, 200 years ago, much of the southern shore of Lake Erie was a huge swamp. Almost all of it has been drained and filled since European settlement. The GLRC's Julie Grant went to visit the last remaining bit, and the people who preserve it.  Go to full article

Feasting on backyard weeds

Your barbeque grill isn't the only place to find food in your backyard. There are lots of plants out there to eat, but most of us call them weeds. The GLRC's Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

Capturing CO2 From Coal Plants

There's growing agreement now in the scientific community about global warming and how human activity is believed to be changing the climate. A lot of the blame is laid to pollution from coal-burning plants that produce electricity - and emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That's fueling interest in alternative sources of electricity - renewables like wind, solar and hydro. Now, the U-S wants to build a coal plant that would capture and store the C0-2... if it can find the right site.
The GLRC's Julie Grant reports:  Go to full article

School Cafeterias Embrace Local Food

Food More and more schools, universities and other institutions with cafeterias are by-passing processed foods from multi-national corporations. Instead, they're buying food from local farmers. Advocates say locally-grown fruits and vegetables are fresher. They say the food tastes better, and they're finding kids sometimes ask for apples and tomatoes instead of candy and chips. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

4-H Kids Learn To Let Go

Fair season is in full swing in counties around the Midwest, and for kids in 4-H it's the culmination of months of work. Many have been raising animals to show and sell at the fair. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Julie Grant spent time with one farm family and reports that the experience can be rewarding and difficult for children.  Go to full article

Buying Organic: Grocery Stores or Local Farm-raised?

It can be tough deciding whether to buy organic foods at the market. Organic produce often costs more, sometimes doesn't look as nice, and can compete with locally-produced products that might be raised organically but don't carry the government's certification. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Julie Grant looks at what you're getting when you buy the organic label.  Go to full article

EPA Changes Mercury Rules

The new chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is introducing rules for reducing mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants. But environmentalists and others say the rules actually rollback provisions in the Clean Air Act. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

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