From NCPR Blogs:
Yes, a Washington hog farmer is feeding weed to his animals. According to NPR’s The Salt, no, the prosciutto he’s producing doesn’t smell like the kind; and no, you don’t get high from eating it. But the story highlights two...
It was a newsy week in the world of agriculture, so here are seven good reads to keep you busy this weekend: The Farm Bill passed both the House and Senate Agriculture committees this week, and are likely to get hearings on the floors of their...
Today we’re excited to have a new regular contributor join us on The Dirt. Lucy Martin lives south of urban Ottawa and writes regularly for NCPR’s other blogs. A couple times a month, she’ll share the view of food and farm issues...
The Senate Agriculture committee passed a nearly $100 billion a year Farm Bill this afternoon, 15-5. One of the Senators who voted against it was New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s leading a fight to restore all of the $400 million...
The Canton Town Council Monday night scrapped a proposal to allow people to raise chickens in residential zones. According to the Watertown Daily Times, several residents spoke against the law as written, because it would have required a minimum of...
May 13, 2013 — The high court ruled unanimously that when farmers use patented seed for more than one planting in violation of their licensing agreements, they are liable for damages.
Apr 30, 2013 — Many farmers are cheering government proposals to give thousands of seasonal farmworkers a path to legal status. But even if the bill passes, it won't solve the long-term trend of fewer migrants coming north to work on U.S. farms. Farmers will instead have to learn how to do more with less immigrant labor.
Apr 10, 2013 — Cities are finding beneficial and lucrative ways to dispose of solid waste, while also helping farmers. But a lot of sewage still ends up in landfills or being processed at big, industrial incinerators.
Apr 9, 2013 — Vermont tops the nation when it comes to locally produced food, according to a new ranking from the nonprofit Strolling of the Heifers. Having farmers markets, CSA programs and distribution systems all helps.
Mar 18, 2013 — The market for locally-grown food has seen dramatic growth over the last decade. Despite this boost in sales and popularity, evidence suggests that the economics behind the movement still don't favor the farmer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has new programs to try to prop up small-scale operations, but many local farms only survive because they scrape by on below-market wages, or by doing without things like insurance. Many economists say despite the charm of local food, there are relatively few benefits in terms of energy efficiency, quality or cost. They say that we shouldn't knock our system of region specialization and distribution, and that farmers markets, fun though they are, are not good economic models.
Farm to Farm, Family to Family: David Sommerstein travels with NC dairy farmers to a Mexican village many of their migrant workers call home.
A Year on the Farm
In this monthly feature series, David Sommerstein follows life in the barn, on the fields, and in the farmhouse through the changing seasons on the Andrews dairy farm near Gouverneur NY. This series won the 2006 "Cap" Creal Journalism Award from the New York Agricultural Society.
Hispanic Workers on North Country Farms
Five years ago, just a handful of farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Now many use workers from Latin America. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. David Sommerstein tells their stories in this ongoing series.
Beekeepers facing new challenges
Lucy Martin visits with Ontario beekeeper Terry McEvoy and talks about colony collapse disorder and other apiary ailments that raise concerns about the food supply.
Sights & Sounds of the Dairy Princess Parade
We go to the sidelines of one of the big events on the annual dairy calendar, the St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Parade in Canton. Fire engines, tractors, and floats rolled down Main Street on Saturday.
Diversifying North Country Farms
NCPR reporter David Sommestein's series on diversifying North Country farming won the 2003 Cap Creal Journalism Award from the New York State Agricultural Society.
Dairy Farming in the North Country
The time seemed right to look at the challenges facing dairy in the North Country. In part 1 we look at the price of milk, as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy farmer. In part 2 we visit a cheese manufacturer proposing drastic changes in the way North Country farmers do business. David Sommerstein reports.
A Barn-Raising in Upper Jay (Real 6:23)
These days, most new barns are built quickly with steel frames and sheet-metal siding. But some landowners are taking a little more time, using methods and materials passed down over hundreds of years.
Saving New York's Historic Barns
Some of New York's oldest barns are getting facelifts. Todd Moe visited a Canton family's 1820 English threshing barn slated for restoration.