Agriculture

farm tractor in field
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Department of Agriculture has announced a series of public hearings on the final draft of new agricultural rules designed to protect water quality.

Saratoga PLAN

Located by the Saratoga Spa State Park, the 166-acre Pitney Farm in Saratoga Springs is viewed by many as an important piece of the city’s so-called greenbelt that needs protection from development.

Dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A number of groups have been warning of dire consequences should New York’s minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour.  The New York Farm Bureau held simultaneous press conferences across the state on Monday, contending the higher wage would negatively affect farms and the cost of food.

New York Farm Bureau

The New York Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors met with the Congressional delegation and other Farm Bureau leaders from across the country earlier this week.  They outlined their national public policy priorities today.

farm tractor in field
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Farmers and agricultural leaders from Vermont, New England and New York gathered in Burlington today for an annual conference for dairy producers. Sustainability is a key issue at the gathering.

New York Farm Bureau Board of Directors with minimum wage banners at the state capitol
New York Farm Bureau

The New York Farm Bureau released its priorities for this year’s legislative session during a conference call Wednesday.

Updated 1/14/16: Charges against Glenville farmer Joshua Rockwood were dismissed in town court Tuesday night.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about Farm Values: Civic Agriculture at the Crossroads, a community project of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in Athol, Massachusetts.

The project focuses on the history of six farms in North-Central Massachusetts and culminates at the Public Library in Athol next Thursday, December 10.

We are joined by Cathy Stanton, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Tufts University, and Project Director of Farm Values, a project that was funded by Mass Humanities. She joins us to explore the value of examining what we think we know about the history of agriculture in the Northeast and why it is important to understand the history of individual farms.

wikipedia commons

Gov. Charlie Baker is kicking off the Christmas tree buying season by declaring the day after Thanksgiving "Green Friday" in Massachusetts.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Six Vermont companies will be receiving a total of just over $734,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help add value to the products they produce.

  United States Congress people aren’t subject to term limits.

In today’s Congressional Corner Alan Chartock speaks with New York Congressman Chris Gibson about his self-imposed term limit and potential future plans.

  In Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat, Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience.

He joins us, along with Michael Yezzi of Flying Pigs Farm in Shushan, NY, to talk about the book and what he learned. 

University of Vermont

The formal groundbreaking for the first phase of a major renovation of the University of Vermont’s Miller Farm facilities was held today.

Saratoga PLAN

Saratoga PLAN announced Friday that the 166-Acre Pitney Farm, one of the last remaining in Saratoga Springs, will be preserved.

Courtesy of the Office of the Dutchess County Executive

An updated plan to protect agriculture and farmland in Dutchess County is now law.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The New York Farm Bureau is concerned about what impact January’s minimum wage increase and proposed new hikes would have on the state’s agricultural sector.

  

In Sanjay Rawal’s documentary film, Food Chains, a group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the global supermarket industry through their Fair Food program, which partners growers and retailers to improve conditions for farm laborers in the U.S.

The Woodstock Film Festival will present a screening of Food Chains this coming Saturday, March 21 at 1:30pm at Upstate Films in Woodstock, NY.

There will be a panel discussion following the screening with Director Sanjay Rawal, Bob Dandrew from the Local Economies Project, Ric Orlando of New Home World Cooking, and Heriberto Gonzalez from the Rural & Migrant Ministry.

We are joined by filmmaker Sanjay Rawal and Cultural Arts activist and promoter, Laurie Ylvisaker.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released a report showing that agriculture contributed $37.6 billion to the state’s economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent over five years.

www.agriculture.ny.gov

When people think business in New York, they may think Wall Street or corporations such as General Electric and IBM, but farming is a major economic engine in the state. New York’s Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball is in the Hudson Valley today, in Kingston at the Farm to Table Co-Packers, to promote a $20 million provision in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget to protect farmland in the Hudson Valley. Ball says the major threat to farms in the Hudson Valley is commercial and residential development.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Farmers and industry figures are welcoming news this week that New York is again the nation's second largest producer of apples and the third largest producer of grapes. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more on the statistics released by the Cuomo administration.

Groups Protect Farmland In Columbia County

Feb 16, 2015
Flickr

Environmental and land conservation groups have protected more than 180 acres of farmland in Columbia County.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

At the same time the Assembly treads water as majority Democrats decide the future of the speakership, the New York State Farm Bureau outlined its legislative priorities for the year during a conference call this morning.

  The story of the Lentil Underground begins on a 280-acre homestead rooted in America’s Great Plains: the Oien family farm. Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness told small farmers like the Oiens to “get big or get out.” But twenty-seven-year-old David Oien decided to take a stand, becoming the first in his conservative Montana county to plant a radically different crop: organic lentils. Unlike the chemically dependent grains American farmers had been told to grow, lentils make their own fertilizer and tolerate variable climate conditions, so their farmers aren’t beholden to industrial methods.

http://cricketcreekfarm.com/

  Berkshire Grown will host its first Winter Farmers’ Markets on January 17 and February 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Monument Valley Middle School in Great Barrington, MA. These events are an extension of the organization’s Holiday Farmers’ Markets, which enjoyed record attendance this past November and December. These popular events feature locally grown and produced foods, plus live music, lunch fare, and activities for children, during months when most farmers’ markets are not open in the region.

Here to tell us more is Suzy Konecky who manages the creamery at Cricket Creek Farm – her job includes cheese production, inventory, marketing and sales.

Suburban Agriculture Bill Is Signed Into Law In NYS

Dec 5, 2014
Flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a suburban agriculture bill. A Hudson Valley lawmaker had sponsored the bill in the Assembly.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

  Agriculture is key to the Northeast’s economy.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that farmers face an important deadline this week.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The heads of state agriculture departments around the country are meeting this week in Burlington for their annual conference. Their focus is advancing agricultural literacy.

  This year’s Saratoga PLAN Feast of the Fields benefit will take place Thursday, September 11, from 5:00 to 8:30 PM at Saratoga National Golf Club.

Continuing its nine-year tradition, Feast of the Fields pairs area restaurants and farms, in an effort to promote sustainable agriculture, support the regional economy, and provide greater awareness of conserving area farms and the importance of buying and eating locally raised food. The evening will also include musical entertainment, a silent auction and a reception honoring local residents who have contributed significantly to the Saratoga region's quality of life through conservation.

Aubrey Mulvey

With both the Dutchess County Fair and the New York State Fair preparing to open their doors, many young people are gearing up for the rides, games, and food. But some have much more to do. The young members of the organization 4-H are busy preparing their animals and projects for presentation across the country. For people involved in 4-H activities, the organization is an important part of the community.

    On Monday, August 18th at 7pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA, Berkshire Grown presents Beyond Farm to Table: The Future of Food Dan Barber in conversation with Elizabeth Kolbert.

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