Agriculture

    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.

Congressman Maloney Heads to Orange for a Farm Forum

Feb 20, 2013

A congressman from New York’s Hudson Valley will hold an Agriculture Town Hall gathering Wednesday in Orange County.  The forum comes as Congress begins to consider a long-term farm bill.

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney will hold the forum in Warwick. He says he wants to hear the concerns and priorities of local farmers and producers.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Farmers and agricultural advocates are rallying behind a piece of legislation that promises to expand the potential for local meat and poultry processing in Massachusetts.

WAMC

The New York Farm Bureau has released its state priorities for this year. During a conference call,  officials outlined their agricultural policy goals.

Officials with New York’s farm advocacy organization said their focus this year is strengthening the economy and future of farms and growers. Farm Bureau President Dean Norton noted that the average age of a New York farmer is 56. According to a 2007 Ag census, about 19-hundred farm operators are under the age of 35, while over 33-hundred are over age 75.

WAMC

A coalition of groups plans to lobby the Vermont Legislature in the upcoming session for additional funding for infrastructure investments in the state’s farm and forest sectors.

WAMC

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.

In 2008, farmers grew enough to feed twice the world's population, yet more people starved than ever before—and most of them were farmers.

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