Frustration and concerns are growing in the agricultural community as the Farm Bill languishes in the U.S. House, and no action appears to be imminent.
The U.S. Farm Bill expires at the end of the year. At that time, some programs will revert to previous funding levels and others will sunset. Some programs, like the Milk Income Loss Program - or MILC - a support program for dairy farmers, has already ended. The Senate has passed the bill, but House leadership has not brought it to a floor vote.
Recently, the Governor of Massachusetts announced 27 grants to benefit farmers across the Commonwealth, to assist in improving energy efficiency, and to implement renewable energy systems. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
The grants totaling $325,000 are part of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Agriculture Energy Grant Program. In the fifth year of the grant program, 27 farms from the Berkshires to Nantucket were awarded funding to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.
The Sharon Springs Harvest Festival takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Sharon Springs, New York. The annual event, run by Beekman 1802, celebrates the magic of small town America with a Harvest Hop, a Harvest Feast, a Farmer’s Market and more!
The USDA is helping fund an effort to get products from local farms into the kitchens of large institutions in the region, such as colleges and hospitals. Officials say the demand for food from closer to home continues to grow, but the infrastructure to supply it has not kept up. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports
If you are hoping to go apple picking this fall, you may want to call ahead to make sure your favorite orchard is open.
As reported by the Times Union, some capital region orchards will not be open to those looking for ‘pick-your-own’ this year due to heavily reduced crop yields following unseasonable weather over the last six months.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and state officials were at a farm in Middlesex Wednesday morning to highlight agricultural and farm recovery, and continuing relief efforts, since Tropical Storm Irene hit the state nearly a year ago.
The U.S. Farm Bill does more than fund agricultural programs. It is also the source of money for the SNAP, or food stamp program, and is also the largest source of conservation funding in the federal budget. A coalition of groups from the Great Lakes region is calling on federal legislators to pass the Farm Bill.