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News stories tagged with "farm"

Lewis farm case goes before appeals court in Albany

New York's Attorney General's office faced off in court again yesterday with Essex County farmer Salim "Sandy" Lewis. The AG's office is representing the Adirondack Park Agency in a case that could set important precedents for farming-regulation in the Park. Brian Mann has this update.  Go to full article

State appeals landmark APA-farmer ruling

The state of New York is appealing a landmark decision issued this fall in a case that pits a North Country farmer against the Adirondack Park Agency. Salim "Sandy" Lewis won the suit, which centered on his plan to build worker housing on his farm in the town of Essex. The APA and the state attorney general are now fighting to overturn the decision. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Lewis farm wins landmark decision

In a landmark ruling, a state Supreme Court judge in Essex County says farm worker housing is exempt from Adirondack Park Agency jurisdiction. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source:  Brian Mann)
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source: Brian Mann)

North Country harness racing tradition gambles on a future

The North Country has a big presence in horse-racing, from a top thoroughbred breeder in Ray Brook, to the group of friends in Sackets Harbor who raced into the record book with a horse named Funny Cide. Their success on contemporary tracks draws from a long tradition of racing in the region. This week, we'll wrap up the summer by telling some of their stories. For many fans in the North Country, the sport of choice has always been harness racing. That means sturdy, standard-bred horses pulling drivers in stripped-down racing carts. You can still see cutthroat competitions at county fairs from Malone to Westport. But harness racing has fallen on hard times in recent years. As Brian Mann reports, new efforts to bring the sport back have meant bigger purses and also new controversy.  Go to full article

Experts: Solving childhood obesity goes beyond dinner table

Health experts say American children face a growing epidemic of obesity. By some measures, one out of every four kids in New York state is seriously overweight, triggering secondary diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Yesterday, healthcare experts and activists gathered for a summit in Lake Placid to talk about solutions. But as Brian Mann reports, raising healthier kids may mean making changes beyond the dinner table.  Go to full article

"Beginning farmer" resource expands

A Cornell Cooperative Extension program for beginning framers is expanding on to the web. A new website guides new farmers, and farmers changing crops or marketing strategy, step by step through starting a farm business: from setting goals and writing a business plan, to evaluating land, to taxes and permits. There's a frequently asked questions section, worksheets to download, and an ongoing forum. The website is the latest offering from the New York Beginning farmers Resource center. The center is based at Cornell, but its roots are in the North Country. Mollie Ames, a farm business educator at the Jefferson County extension office, told Martha Foley the program goes back a few years...and it's working.  Go to full article
State officials say these farm worker homes in Essex County needed an APA permit (Source:  Brian Mann)
State officials say these farm worker homes in Essex County needed an APA permit (Source: Brian Mann)

Farm fight with Adirondack Park Agency draws split decision in early ruling

A state Supreme Court judge issued a split decision this week in the high-profile court fight between an Essex County farmer and the Adirondack Park Agency. In a preliminary ruling, acting state Supreme Court Judge Richard Meyer denied the APA's request that key provisions of the lawsuit be dismissed. But Judge Meyer also rejected key claims made by Lewis Family Farms. Brian Mann has
details.  Go to full article
The houses that could set a legal precedent for Adk farmers
The houses that could set a legal precedent for Adk farmers

A farmer's legal feud with the APA could set new rules for agriculture in the Adirondack Park

One of the North Country's most influential and controversial farmers is locked in a court battle with the Adirondack Park Agency and New York's Attorney General. State officials say Sandy Lewis needed APA permits to build three new houses for workers on his farm in Essex County. Lewis defied their order and this spring the APA fined him $50,000. Lewis filed a counter-suit. He accuses the APA of intimidation, regulatory bullying, and hostility to farmers. The case goes to trial June 19th. As Brian Mann reports, the complex and bitter fight could establish new legal precedents for agriculture in the Adirondack Park.  Go to full article
Cornell University's Duncan Hilchey
Cornell University's Duncan Hilchey

Farms see big opportunity in "buy local"

Today we continue our occasional series on growing, cooking, and eating locally, Local Flavor, with some good news. A recent study of North Country agriculture finds the industry strong. Cornell University researcher Duncan Hilchey says farm income is up, foreclosures are down, and the dairy industry is stabilizing. The region still loses about 50 farms a year, but the composition of the farms that remain is changing. Fruit and vegetable farms are up 6%. Lamb and sheep producers are up 18% and orchards are up 13%. Hilchey is a senior extension associate for Cornell's Community and Rural Development Institute. He told David Sommerstein that North Country farms are diversifying to survive.  Go to full article

On a harvest holiday, shopping a farmer's market

Thanksgiving is a harvest holiday and this season more farmers' markets around the North Country are staying open into the early winter. Brian Mann was out shopping for his family's dinner and sent this audio postcard from the market in Lake Placid. He spoke with Beth Spaugh a vegetable farmer from Peru, and Sam Hendren, who makes cheeses in Port Kent. Lake Placid's farmers' market is located at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and stays open until mid-December.  Go to full article

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