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NY legislators renew push for farmworker labor rights

NY legislators renew push for farmworker labor rights
The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act isn’t a new bill, but with Democrats controlling both houses of the state Legislature there’s a greater likelihood it will become law this year. The legislation would grant farmworkers with employment rights available to workers in other industries, such as collective bargaining and the ability to unionize. The measure would establish an eight-hour workday... more

Cayuga County farm using research to improve production

Cayuga County farm using research to improve production
There are plenty of challenges facing agriculture, but Todd DuMond of DuMond Farms in the town of Fleming is hoping to find solutions to some of those problems. DuMond Farms may be best known in the Cayuga County area as a major grower and processor of soybeans, and in recent years, DuMond has been working on a major expansion plan... more

Owner discusses impact of migrant, domestic labor at Red Jacket Orchards

Owner discusses migrant, domestic labor at Red Jacket Orchards as annual need grows
“Statistics show that for every migrant farm position that we have out there on the farm, there are four additional full-time domestic jobs that are created to that business’ function,” said Mark Nicholson, co-owner of Red Jacket Orchards. Red Jacket Orchards, a 600-acre third generation family-owned farm has increased its participation in the H-2A visa worker program for this past... more

SUNY college offering cannabis industry minor for agricultural students

SUNY college offering cannabis industry minor for agricultural students
One of the State University of New York colleges is taking steps to be at the forefront of emerging agricultural and recreational industry. SUNY Morrisville will be developing a program for a cannabis industry minor for its agricultural school students, according to our ABC affiliate in Syracuse. The Morrisville college campus is located approximately 35 miles southeast of Syracuse. Recreational... more

Geneva non-profit looks to tackle fresh produce all year

Geneva non-profit looks to tackle fresh produce all year
The city is fortunate to have organizations that glean fresh produce each summer and fall for distribution to people of modest means. However, the need doesn’t end with the fall harvest. A Geneva-based non-profit is looking to address that need. Thanks to a $100,000 grant secured from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Blueprint Geneva has opened a 2,800-square-foot greenhouse... more

34th Annual New York Farm Show tickets announced

34th Annual New York Farm Show tickets announced
The 34th annual New York Farm Show is once again scheduled at the NYS Fairgrounds in Syracuse, this year for Thursday through Saturday, February 21-23, 2019. This is the Northeast’s premier indoor farm show with over 400 exhibitors occupying more than 300,000 sq. ft. showcasing agricultural equipment, services and products for any type or size farm. Scheduled hours are 8:30... more

Yates County beef cows lead the state

Yates County beef cows lead the state
Penn Yan Academy’s renowned (and now retired) agriculture teacher, John Kriese and his wife, Anita, could be expected to enjoy retirement in a rocking chair on the porch at Spring Pond Farm on Italy Hill Road, but that is just not his style. The high-energy and outgoing educator has merely changed classrooms and concentrated his focus — on beef. And... more

Dairy farmers doing more with cow dung

Dairy farmers doing more with cow dung
Don Jensen powers his family dairy farm in Ontario County with manure. Millions of gallons of cow pie the farm’s 1,700 herd generates annually goes into producing electricity. Not a new technology but a tried and proven one, anaerobic digesters capture the potent greenhouse gas methane and convert it to power. So far, Jensen’s Lawnhurst Farms is one of 28... more

Cayuga farmers win big, as $1.5M announced for two projects

Cayuga farmers win big, as $1.5M announced for two projects
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that a total of $1,597,067 in funding has been awarded to two Cayuga County Farms to permanently protect their farmland in Cayuga County. NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) administers this competitive grant program designed to protect valuable and at-risk farmland throughout New York State. The Brutus Hill Farm received $1,090,101 to protect 522... more

Cuomo OKs Helming bill to increase farm machinery speed limit on NY roads

Cuomo OKs Helming bill to increase farm machinery speed limit on NY roads
Slow-moving vehicles, such as farm tractors and other equipment, will be able to travel at higher speeds on New York roads. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Friday that raises the speed at which slow-moving vehicles can travel from 25 mph to 35 mph. The equipment must have the recognizable orange triangular sign indicating that it’s a slow-moving vehicle. The bill... more

Seal the Seasons picks Wayne County fruit farm

Seal the Seasons picks Wayne County fruit farm
Want cherries in January? Think shipments from Chile. That’s what Patrick Mateer wanted to avoid when he launched his business in 2015. Mateer came up with the idea for his frozen fruit company while working farmers markets as a student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He saw the insatiable demand for local food. Yet, small family farms... more

State provides nearly $1.6M for conservation easements on Cayuga County farms

State provides nearly $1.6M for conservation easements on Cayuga County farms
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Thursday that nearly $1.6 million will go toward protecting almost 700 acres of at-risk farmland in Cayuga County. The state’s Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program provides funds to local governments, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and land trusts to offset the costs of conservation easements used to protect viable agricultural... more

New farm bill could herald hemp resurgence in Southern Tier, Schumer says

New farm bill could herald hemp resurgence in Southern Tier, Schumer says
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have plenty of disagreements, with one notable exception: industrial hemp. Both agreed it was time to decriminalize industrial hemp. The two vigorously pushed through a new Farm Bill, recently signed by President Donald Trump, that removes industrial hemp from list of controlled substances. Why? Both Kentucky and... more

How U.S. tariffs are hurting New York farms and businesses

How U.S. tariffs are hurting New York farms and businesses
Edged between cornfields in the largely rural community of Marathon, a company with millions of dollars invested in high-tech cutting and forming machines produces components for some of America’s largest manufacturers. Square Deal Machining in Cortland County makes steel enclosures for military electronics, screws for aerospace and metal pieces for one of the nation’s foremost tent makers. Business has rarely... more

After new infestation found on Cayuga Lake, experts warn of hydrilla spreading

After new infestation found on Cayuga Lake, experts warn of hydrilla spreading
A new infestation of hydrilla, an invasive species of plant that can choke waterways with its rapid growth, was found on Cayuga Lake in October, prompting experts Wednesday to warn about the plant’s ability to spread. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service describes the aquatic plant as “the world’s worst invasive plant,” largely for its extreme ability to reproduce. Like... more

Annual meeting highlights farmers’ work to protect Skaneateles watershed

Annual meeting highlights farmers’ work to protect Skaneateles watershed
Farmers from across central New York gathered in Skaneateles Tuesday to discuss the Skaneateles Lake Watershed Agricultural Program’s work in 2018 to protect the lake. Founded in 1994 by the city of Syracuse, SLWAP is a voluntary program that works with farmers within the Skaneateles Lake watershed across parts of Cayuga, Cortland and Onondaga counties to protect water quality. At... more

Concord grape growers get New York state help

Concord grape growers get New York state help
New York is spending $1.3 million to support the state’s Concord grape industry. The money will go to the new Concord Vineyard Improvement Program at Cornell University. The program will help growers renovate vineyards, plant new vines or diversify their operations. New York’s $340 million Concord grape industry has had to endure lower prices tied to a drop in juice... more

No new fines for Owasco farmer who illegally housed workers

No new fines for Owasco farmer who illegally housed workers
A judge Monday ordered no further fines in the case of Joseph Tidd, an Owasco farmer cited by the town earlier this year after he housed workers on his farm in violation of a town order. Owasco Town Justice Mark DiVietro on Monday did not issue any new fines against Tidd, owner of Melrose Farms, but ordered a one-year conditional... more
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