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News stories tagged with "usda"

One of Tri-Town's products--sausage. Photo: Sarah Harris
One of Tri-Town's products--sausage. Photo: Sarah Harris

Update: Tri-Town in negotiations with USDA

Correction, Friday, 12:00 p.m.: This story previously said that Jeff Liberty was "doubtful that he and his father will be able to convince the USDA to relax the rules." This mischaracterized Liberty's statement. His actual statement was as follows: "We're not going to change the rules and regulations for the USDA, and that's not what our intention is. But the way that they've been enforced, and the amount of personnel that have been devoted to our plant, in our opinion, is unfair."

The error has been corrected below.


Earlier this week, we reported that Tri-Town Processing in Brasher Falls - one of St. Lawrence County's biggest slaughterhouses - is no longer processing USDA-inspected meats for retail customers. That has the North Country farmers who raised those animals worried. Yesterday we checked in with co-owners Tom and Jeff Liberty. We were also in touch with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="">Sergio Ruiz</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Sergio Ruiz, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How a St. Lawrence county coop is building local food distribution

A farmer cooperative in St. Lawrence County is getting a federal grant to sell more local produce to schools and hospitals. As David Sommerstein reports, the North Country Grown Cooperative is one group trying to build a distribution system for local food in the North Country.  Go to full article
Students order up pizza at AA Kingston Middle School in Potsdam. Photo: Julie Grant
Students order up pizza at AA Kingston Middle School in Potsdam. Photo: Julie Grant

USDA bets kids will learn to love healthier lunches

This fall marks the beginning of the second year of the ambitious new $11 billion national school lunch program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture now requires more fresh fruits and vegetables, lower sodium, more whole grains, and a daily calorie limit at every public school lunch. The program has grown this year to also include breakfast.

Some schools have complained, saying they're losing money because many students are no longer buying lunch at schools. And some parents say their kids are going hungry. A handful of schools have dropped out of the program, foregoing the federal reimbursement for free and reduced-price lunches.  Go to full article

School cafeterias offer healthier menus

School is getting underway for the year, and cafeteria offerings around the country are getting an overhaul. The USDA has issued new national guidelines for the first time in 15 years. Schools are required to serve more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, while limiting sodium and fat. Each meal needs to be in a specific calorie range. Breads need to be more than half whole grains.

Today is the first day of school at South Jefferson Central, and district food service director Cindy Overton tells Julie Grant the school is ready to go with the new menu.  Go to full article
Robert Howrigan Junior on his Fairfax, VT dairy farm. The field behind him is prone to runoff.
Robert Howrigan Junior on his Fairfax, VT dairy farm. The field behind him is prone to runoff.

New USDA program to help VT farmers reduce phosphorus loading

Lake Champlain's Missisquoi Bay is plagued by phosphorus pollution. When hot weather comes, the pollution feeds potentially dangerous blue-green algae blooms.

Phosphorus is a common fertilizer, and the excess causing the local problems comes primarily from agricultural runoff. An international study has helped pinpoint the sources around the big bay, which spans the Vermont-Quebec border in the northeast corner of the lake.

Sarah Harris reports on a new USDA program that uses the targeted information to help farmers in the surrounding watershed change their methods and reduce pollution.  Go to full article
Photo: Akwesasne Housing Authority
Photo: Akwesasne Housing Authority

St. Regis Mohawk tribe gets USDA grant to help build diabetes center

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe will get a $129,000 grant to build a diabetes center, from USDA rural development.

The USDA allotted $206,900 for the facility last year--the center's expected to cost about $3 million.  Go to full article
There are very particular areas they like to go. Maybe on top of the state office building. I see them there at night.

Watertown plans winter "crow hazing"

It's not winter quite yet...but Watertown is already thinking about one recurring winter problem. Every year, the city's population increases dramatically--by the seasonal arrival of 15,000-20,000 crows.

The city considers the crows to be a nuisance and employs a tactic called "crow hazing"--it's generally, although not always, a non-lethal method to convince the crows to go elsewhere.

The city council's in the process of deciding which of several crow hazing services to use for this task.

Nora Flaherty spoke with Elliott Nelson at the city manager's office about Watertown's crow problem, and what "crow hazing" entails.  Go to full article
US Congressman Bill Owens
US Congressman Bill Owens

Federal legislators introduce bill to bring more aid to farmers affected by Irene

US Congressman Bill Owens, with several other New York legislators, has introduced a bill to replenish two federal funds that help farmers rebuild after natural disasters.

The "Post-Irene Emergency Farm Aid Act", is also sponsored by US Representatives Chris Gibson, Maurice Hinche, and Paul Tonko...and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gilibrand. It calls for 10 million dollars to go to the Farm Service Agency's emergency conservation program, and the Emergency watershed protection program.  Go to full article

Rural internet program will go on in spite of massive cuts to federal funding

The Agriculture Appropriations Act, which passed the U.S. House this afternoon, will cut much of the funding for a program designed to bring better broadband internet to underserved rural areas--including many in the North Country.  Go to full article

USDA loans can help with post-flood rebuilding

USDA Rural Development is reminding people hit by the recent flooding that low-interest loans and grants available through their 504 program may plug gaps left by homeowners' insurance, and help people make needed post-flood home repairs.  Go to full article

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