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News stories tagged with "cows"

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. 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

Ag department giving dairy farmers money for methane

The US Department of Agriculture is planning to give dairy farmers more money to cut some of their greenhouse gas emissions. Rebecca Williams has more.  Go to full article
Stoneyfield says their new feeding plan cuts cow burps. (Photo by Peggy Greb, courtesy of the USDA)
Stoneyfield says their new feeding plan cuts cow burps. (Photo by Peggy Greb, courtesy of the USDA)

Controlling cow burps

Cows burp methane gas. It's a potent greenhouse gas. The Environmental Protection Agency says cow burps alone make up 20% of the methane emissions in the US. That leads to worry among dairymen that the government might eventually step in to regulate the bovine emissions. As Rebecca Williams reports, some are trying to get ahead of the regulators.  Go to full article

Bion shelves feedlot, ethanol plans

The plan to build an 84,000 cow feedlot and ethanol plant in St. Lawrence County has been put on hold. Bion Environmental Technologies says the economy is forcing the company to focus on more short-term projects. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

A new approach to dairy farming

Some cutting edge farmers are stepping away from concentrating on only production of meat and milk on their farms. They're starting to focus on ways to give their animals healthy, long lives. And they're finding more benefits than they ever imagined. Kinna Ohman reports.  Go to full article

DEC considers massive cattle farm in St. Lawrence County

Next week, the Department of Environmental Conservation will weigh in on the environmental effects from a proposed cattle feedlot and ethanol plant. Bion Environmental Technologies wants to bring 84,000 beef cows to St. Lawrence County. They'll feed them in large indoor barns and combine the operation with a corn ethanol plant. The DEC will regulate some of the farm's pollutants, but not all of them. Kinna Ohman reports.  Go to full article

Heard Up North: Dairy Subsidies

This year's state budget includes $30 million of assistance for New York's dairy farmers. Farmers have to apply for the money by next Friday. Milk prices have been low, while fuel, feed and other costs have been skyrocketing. This Heard Up North is a St. Lawrence County dairy farmer.  Go to full article
Bob Andrews, new grandfather, on his new feeding pad.
Bob Andrews, new grandfather, on his new feeding pad.

A Year on the Farm: life and death (and life)

Farming is, really, the story of the life cycle. Planting and harvesting. Calving and slaughtering. Barns are raised. Some eventually fall back to the earth. David Sommerstein's nearing completion of a year-long cycle on Bob Andrews' farm near Gouverneur. Today, life and death...and life again...on the farm.

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday at 11:51am, Bob and Diane Andrews' daughter, Jessie, gave birth to Margot Diane Pritting in Syracuse - 7 pounds, 5 ounces. Both mother and child are healthy and happy. Bob and Diane hope to get away to see their first grandchild when they can find someone to milk the cows. A big congrats to the Andrews!  Go to full article

ID Chips for All Livestock

The federal government is phasing in a national identification tracking system for livestock to help trace and curb threats, such as Mad Cow disease and even bio-terrorism. New York is even advancing what it calls micro-chip, injectable social security numbers for livestock. But many farmers worry that Big Brother may be moving into the barn. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Joyce Kryszak reports.  Go to full article
Steve McKnight and son by one manure pit.
Steve McKnight and son by one manure pit.

'Mega-Dairies': Stewards or Polluters?

State environment officials continue to investigate what caused a 3 million gallon manure spill in the Black River near Lowville. A lagoon failed on the Marks Farm, a 3,000 cow dairy operation. The manure flooded into the river, killing an estimated 200,000 fish and devastating tourism for at least two weeks. The catastrophe is firing up a debate over whether large farms are safe for people or the environment. The New York Times penned a scathing editorial on what it termed "mega-dairies". The paper called for "far stricter environmental standards" and opportunities for communities to vote large farms out of town. There are more than 100 dairy farms in the North Country with more than 300 cows. The farmers say their operations are cleaner and safer than ever. But critics question that, and they wonder whether the facilities should be treated as farms at all. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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