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News stories tagged with "farms"

Missisquoi Bay has been hard hit by phosphorous pollution (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Missisquoi Bay has been hard hit by phosphorous pollution (Photos: Brian Mann)

Story 2.0: Are farms really the problem on Lake Champlain?

Lake Champlain is back in the news this week, as politicians from New York, Vermont, and Quebec signed a new compact aimed at cleaning up the lake. Phosphorous pollution has been a growing problem for decades, triggering noxious and potentially toxic algae blooms. A new film about the problem, called Bloom, airs tonight on Mountain Lake PBS.

Brian Mann first reported in-depth on this debate in 2007. In today's Story 2.0, we revisit Brian's trip to talk to the major players in the valley.  Go to full article
"Bloom" explores the plight of Lake Champlain
"Bloom" explores the plight of Lake Champlain

New documentary draws attention to Lake Champlain's algae blooms

This week, politicians from New York, Vermont and Quebec signed a new compact aimed to reduce the amount of pollution draining into Lake Champlain. The "Opportunities for Change" document sets out a plan for reducing phosphorous and other contaminants that are sparking toxic algae blooms and causing fish-kills.

The lead author of the program is Bill Howland, head of the Lake Champlain Basin Program. In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, Howland said the updated agreement provides "an unprecedented level of cooperation" and sets specific new goals.

But as Martha Foley reports, a growing number of critics say these efforts don't go far enough.  Go to full article
Tom Aldous, Bill Siebels and Liston Willard holding Nina.
Tom Aldous, Bill Siebels and Liston Willard holding Nina.

Farms that run on real horse power

It's harvest season, and while most farmers dream of the latest and best farm equipment available, there are some that prefer a slower way of doing things. Even outside the Amish community there are farmers who work their land using old-fashioned techniques and tools. They favor the sounds of huge hooves plodding across the fields. This weekend, draft horses will take center stage at Plow Days at the Siebels Farm in Fowler. Todd Moe stopped by the Liston and Susan Willard farm recently to talk with three farmers who still use real horse power.  Go to full article
Verlyn Klinkenborg taught a seminar at Paul Smiths College over the weekend
Verlyn Klinkenborg taught a seminar at Paul Smiths College over the weekend

The Rural Life: A conversation with the New York Times' Verlyn Klinkenborg

When it comes to writing and thinking about rural America, no one is more influential than Verlyn Klinkenborg.

Klinkenborg runs a small farm in Columbia County, New York, and sits on the editorial board of the New York Times.

His "Rural Life" column may be the mostly widely read chronicle of small-town and farm culture in the country.

Klinkenborg was in the North Country over the weekend for a writing conference hosted by Paul Smiths College and the Adirondack Center for Writing.

He sat down on the shore of Upper St. Regis Lake and spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

County leaders call for more farm funding, oppose farmworker rights bill

County officials from across New York state met in Albany yesterday, urging lawmakers to drop a new farmworker rights bill. They also called for state officials to reinstate funding for farms and agriculture programs. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Federal visa program available, but most farmers prefer "illegal" workers

We've been reporting this week on the Federal farm-worker visa program known as H2A. The system has caught on in the North Country, gaining wide acceptance in the Champlain Valley's apple orchards. Dairy farmers say they hope H2A can be adapted to help fill their labor shortage. But nationwide, the vast majority of farms still prefer to use undocumented or illegal workers. As Brian Mann reports, they say the Federal visa program is just too bureaucratic and too expensive.  Go to full article

Federal farm visa program brings Jamaican workers to North Country orchards

Last week, we reported on efforts to expand the agricultural visa program known as H2A. The federal system offers migrant workers from outside the U.S. a chance to earn decent wages on farms, without the complications and dangers of working illegally. Dairy farmers in the North Country hope H2A can be modified to better serve their industry, which faces chronic labor shortages. The program has already put a new face on the region's apple industry. Brian Mann has our story from Peru, in the Champlain valley.  Go to full article
Governor Spitzer addresses the NYS Farm Bureau (Source:  Office of the Governor, Judy Sanders)
Governor Spitzer addresses the NYS Farm Bureau (Source: Office of the Governor, Judy Sanders)

Spitzer wants universal broadband for rural New York

Governor Eliot Spitzer used his appearance yesterday at the statewide Farm Bureau meeting in Niagara Falls to unveil a new push for rural internet access. Spitzer says high-speed broadband and wireless will play a big part in making farms and other rural businesses more competitive.  Go to full article

State to count Hispanic farmworkers

The state agriculture department is trying to figure out how many Hispanic immigrants work on New York farms. The agency wants to persuade the federal government to act on immigration issues. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Farmland Increasing Worldwide

The amount of farmland is decreasing throughout the Great Lakes region. But scientists say the amount of agricultural land is increasing worldwide, bringing additional challenges to US farmers. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chuck Quirmbach reports.  Go to full article

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