Agriculture

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Incessant rain over the past few weeks has saturated farm fields and garden plots.

WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited a third generation family farm in western Massachusetts  to announce a new round of grants to help sustain farm operations across the commonwealth.

   Governor Patrick announced grants totaling $700,000 to 11 different farms including vegetable farms, livestock operations, a cranberry farm and a goat dairy.  The grants, ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, will be used for infrastructure improvements such as new greenhouses and barns or to purchase energy- efficient equipment.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee late Wednesday night approved the Farm Bill, moving it to the full House for consideration.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Northern New York’s congressman has formed an advisory committee on agricultural issues.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Federal agriculture researchers will again be doing a census of New York maple syrup production in April and May.    

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the state ranked second to Vermont in last year's survey of producers in 10 states. Inspectors will collect information about the number of taps, yield, prices and the overall value of the maple products from New York. The results will be released in June. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

WAMC

The Schenectady County League of Women Voters is holding a series of forums looking at the importance of agriculture and the future of the family farm.

    Joe Donahue speaks with Amy Stewart (Wicked Plants, Wicked Bugs) about her most recent book, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Best Drinks.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Governor Deval Patrick’s administration recently awarded nearly $2 million in grants to preserve large tracts of undeveloped land in Western Massachusetts.

Last week Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan announced the Landscape Partnership Program is supporting two projects to protect thousands of acres of agricultural and wooded land from development in Franklin and Berkshire Counties.

    Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community, economy and landscape.

They will feature a special slate of chefs for their March Maple Dinner on March 18 at Cranwell Resort in Lenox to celebrate the first harvest of the season. The dinner will benefit Berkshire Grown and Share the Bounty, which buys shares in local farms for food pantries.

Office of NYS Sen. Patty Ritchie

Several New York state Senators gathered this morning at the capitol in Albany to introduce a package of legislation they say would strengthen the state’s agricultural industry.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Senator Patty Ritchie, Republican of the 48th district and chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee about the "Grown in New York" plan.

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