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News stories tagged with "dairy"

Les and Erica Goodman. Photo: Sarah Harris
Les and Erica Goodman. Photo: Sarah Harris

From milk to beer: Dairy family switches to hops

Agriculture in the North Country is changing - and the evidence is everywhere. For the Goodmans, a longtime dairy family in Fort Ann, in Washington County, it's time to get out of the business. But Erica and Les Goodman are trying something new on their land: growing hops. And they're using social media to do it.  Go to full article
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein

Schumer says immigration bill will help NY dairy farms

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says a new bipartisan immigration deal will provide an economic boost to New York farms and the agriculture industry.

In a press release, Schumer says the bill will be especially helpful to dairy farms and fruit growers.  Go to full article
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MilkNotJails?fref=ts">MNJ Facebook page</a>, used by permission
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: MNJ Facebook page, used by permission

What if NY invested more in dairy farms and less in prisons?

This week we've been looking at the fortunes of the North Country's dairy industry and some of the hurdles faced by farmers and processors.

Over the last few months, our Prison Time Media Project has also been looking at the way prisons shape communities and the local economy in the North Country.

There are more than a dozen state and Federal prisons in the region, along with eleven county jails. That makes corrections work one of our top employers.

One activist group based in Brooklyn thinks these two issues -- prison jobs and the dairy industry -- should be linked in people's minds, as we think about ways to grow the rural economy. That group's called "Milk Not Jails."  Go to full article
A tale of two dairy farmers. Mike Kiechle, Philadelphia, says expanding his herd is too much of a risk. Photo: David Sommerstein
A tale of two dairy farmers. Mike Kiechle, Philadelphia, says expanding his herd is too much of a risk. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will the Greek yogurt boom help dairy farmers?

You might have been surprised last summer to hear politicians walking around and talking about--yogurt. Governor Andrew Cuomo held a Yogurt Summit at the Capitol in Albany, where he said the explosion of the Greek yogurt industry in New York is a once-in-a-generation moment. "This is one of the best private sector market opportunities that Upstate New York has had in 30, 40 years," procliamed Cuomo. "I don't know when we get another one. I really, really don't. And that entrepreneurial spirit is when you see an opportunity, grab it."

New York has invested millions of dollars in tax breaks into new and expanding yogurt plants. Cuomo wants to ease environmental rules to encourage 200 cow dairy farms to become 300 cow dairy farms and make more milk.

Experts say New York farmers will have to boost milk production by 15 percent, or two billion pounds each year, to keep up with demand.

So does New York have a milk shortage? And are farmers stepping up it fill it?

The answers lie in cream cheese, Old McDonald, and something called the Chobani Paradox.  Go to full article
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein

Lawmakers push visas for dairy workers

Lawmakers on both sides of Lake Champlain say Congress is making progress on immigration reform. And they want to make sure the dairy industry is a part of it.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch held a joint press conference in Burlington yesterday.  Go to full article
Bob Andrews feeds the heifers in his barn in Fowler. Photo by David Sommerstein.
Bob Andrews feeds the heifers in his barn in Fowler. Photo by David Sommerstein.

Gillibrand pushes ways to preserve small dairy farms

The US Senate is preparing to take up the federal Farm Bill again in the coming weeks.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants it to include a plan to protect and encourage New York's dairy farms, especially smaller farms.  Go to full article
Aaron Calderon, Malik McKenzie, and Sabel Bong, of SUNY Canton, prepare to march down Main Street. Photo: David Sommerstein
Aaron Calderon, Malik McKenzie, and Sabel Bong, of SUNY Canton, prepare to march down Main Street. Photo: David Sommerstein

How human trafficking happens all around us

According to a study by Hofstra University, more than 11,000 people in New York State have been victims of human trafficking since 2000. They may have been sex workers, or forcibly employed at restaurants or factories or on farms.

They're among the estimated 27 million people who are victims of human trafficking worldwide.

Several organizations this week are drawing attention to what's often called modern-day slavery. The state Department of Labor has announced a new partnership with businesses to expose illegal labor trafficking.

A handful of students from SUNY Canton held a march yesterday to raise awareness of the issue.  Go to full article
Photo: Nora Flaherty
Photo: Nora Flaherty

Two new programs New York hopes will help dairy farmers

Governor Cuomo announced two new programs to help dairy farmers grow alongside the booming Greek yogurt business in New York.  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

Updated: Senate passes limited Farm Bill extension

Updated 3:25pm: The Senate passed a limited nine-month extension of the 2008-2012 farm bill. It avoids the "dairy cliff" (see below) and preserves the older MILC dairy price support program. But it cuts many popular programs, including disaster insurance, conservation, and organic certification support.

Read this blog post at our new farm and food blog, The Dirt, for the latest:

http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/thedirt/2013/01/01/farm-bill-update-many-disappointed-farmers/

The US Congress failed to pass a new Farm Bill by the end of the year. But that doesn't mean milk prices are going to double immediately, as some had feared.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees had a deal in place Monday to extend the 2008 farm bill for another nine months. But the agreement never came to the House floor for a vote. House leaders balked at a new safety net for dairy farmers that would restrict the milk supply if prices fell below a certain level.  Go to full article
Sen. Schumer with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (file photo). Photo: Mark Kurtz
Sen. Schumer with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (file photo). Photo: Mark Kurtz

Schumer urges action on Farm Bill

New York's senators are ramping up pressure on House Republicans to pass a new farm bill before year's end.

Democrat Chuck Schumer held a phone conference with reporters Wednesday to urge House Speaker John Boehner to bring the farm bill to a vote.  Go to full article

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