“We’re asking for access to child care for food chain workers, financial relief for undocumented workers and health and safety regulations for all workers on the job, especially farmworkers.”
“We’re asking for access to child care for food chain workers, financial relief for undocumented workers and health and safety regulations for all workers on the job, especially farmworkers.”
“Before the coronavirus, we thought somewhere around a million people were food insecure and needed food,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Now, 1 in 4 New Yorkers may be going hungry.
“A typical month for us pre-COVID would be 1.4-1.5 million pounds per month range. And now in April we are in the two million pound range.”
The repercussions have been devastating. Nearly 1,000 out of 26,000 restaurants operating in the state have permanently closed due to coronavirus.
“A good farmers market is like a weekly fair or festival. People are wanting that back, but it won’t be the same.”
State health officials started testing nearly 200 seasonal workers at the giant hydroponic greenhouse last weekend because of concerns it might be a COVID hotspot.
Farmers argue that if we keep breaking the food chain, there will be a lot of farms that aren’t going to survive this.
“Folks who deal in dairy and specialty crops will be provided meaningful support when it comes to price losses.”
“Our farmers, who are now eligible for the economic injury disaster loan, had been told that while they’re eligible in name only, they’re not eligible in practice.”
The coronavirus pandemic has also closed some meatpacking plants, although PresidentTrump last week ordered large meat processors remain open.
“The plan is for us to continue to get dairy into the county through the food pantries and other food programs as long as the donations keep flowing.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is sending a message about the food supply: there’s plenty of food and the state is adjusting to get it to people.
“That’s awful, awful, heart breaking when you watch your milk go down the drain when it’s a perfectly good, sellable product,”
“It’s very frustrating. We have excess milk but we can’t get it to people who are in need at this time.”
The New York Farm Bureau has asked the state, in recent days, to ramp up testing for COVID-19 in rural areas of the state, particularly at farms.
As need has increased, donations have decreased.
DEP’s Climate Change Impact Assessment report focuses on livestock and watershed
“One of the questions about markets is, will we be able to provide enough…safety measures for people to feel comfortable in those spaces?”
As essential workers, migrant farm laborers are continuing operations. However, they are also one of the most vulnerable populations if exposed to the virus.
Farmer Dennis Brawdy said this year is stranger than most because major customers are closed.
“It’s an important support to make sure we have a viable food system and that farmers can still farm.”
Manufacturers, lawmakers and grocery store workers say the reusable bags could transmit the virus, but according to scientists there aren’t enough studies to know whether that’s true.
“Right now, we are dumping on average one trailer load a day.”
“So where everything would be wiped down, now it’s probably just ten times as much”
Wegmans will be supplying face masks to its employees in line with federal guidelines designed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“These past few weeks have been pretty heavy with orders and agencies trying to get their pantries restocked as they’re seeing more people come to them for help.”
“Our goal here is to not become, you know, wealthy off of a tragedy.”
There’s also home-delivery where food pantries have closed.
“They may not be getting a meal at home, that’s heartbreaking.”
“Agriculture’s role is unquestionable: access to food is a right; we need local agriculture now more than ever.”
As of Friday night, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins, but several are in isolation.
“We’re lucky that over half of our shoppers are already using reusable bags. We sell dozens of different kinds. It’s kind of a normal thing here.”
When some fast-food workers in New York went on strike one morning in 2012, they had no idea it was the beginning of an unusual movement that would propel an economic revolution.
The study found the wine and grape industry in New York directly creates 71,950 jobs, generating $2.79 billion in wages and $6.65 billion in direct economic impact.
The grocery chain is getting an early start on the state-wide ban, which begins in March.
There will be new features. Organizers envision sensory friendly days. They may program a health care worker or school employee day.
“Many of them are already accessing the emergency food network, so they’re turning to their local food pantry or soup kitchen just to make ends meet.”
Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Secretary says several grant recipients were taken by surprise that they had to pay contracted workers prevailing wages.
“There were skeptics who didn’t think that Butter Gritty would ever come. But today is triumphant.”
Farm workers would be entitled to overtime pay, a guaranteed rest day each week, disability and Paid Family Leave coverage, unemployment benefits and the right to collective bargaining.
It’s going to be open for our people to apply and try their hand at it. Whether that means they’re putting it in the ground or they’re growing it indoors, we’ll definitely help facilitate that and we’ll see where it goes,”
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, clearing a major hurdle towards approving a new North American trade deal. The bill now heads to the Senate where it’s likely to be taken up in the new year.
The industrial hemp company would save $1.7 million over the next 15 years.
The measure creates regulatory standards for hemp products.
Benefits would be cut to roughly 688,000 recipients nationwide, and food advocates say benefits for thousands of New Yorkers would also be in jeopardy.
The proposed changes would slash federal food assistance to low-income families by $4.5 billion over five years.
According to Feeding America, the proposal stands to save the government $4.5 billion and would impact 7-million Americans.
The new bill will allow visas for year-round workers and it provides a path to legal status for current farm workers already in the U.S.
“You have a beautiful crop on, especially August-September. And then, all of a sudden, you’d come back a week later, and it would be dead.”
A stowaway from China, the spotted lanternfly, is eating its way across Pennsylvania, killing trees and grapevines. Scientists are considering importing the bug’s natural enemies from back home.
These cows don’t go out on pastures. That’s becoming more common, unless the farm is certified organic.
Mitrano first announced her intent to again challenge Reed shortly after her defeat in the 2018 mid-term elections.
This year’s 800-ound butter sculpture depicts a grandfather and child dunking cookies, and a young couple sharing a milkshake.
Farmers gain breathing room during tough financial times.
The town has to wait for the completion of state environmental review before it can move forward.
The New York State Fair opens its gates for a 13-day run today, with more than a million visitors expected to descend on the Syracuse fairgrounds.
“It was really difficult because when you’re trying to run a business and you can’t have a bank account, it doesn’t really work.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently announced that the project will get $500,000 of federal funding. The new seed bank will be located at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York.
Residents and visitors to the Finger Lakes have the opportunity this weekend to visit working farms.
“At this time, when our bees are dying off, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has done a very quiet but very dumb thing. They’ve stopped collecting critical scientific data on honeybees.”
Whey Street Dairy received the 2019 State Agricultural Environmental Management Award.
The New York state health department said 69 cases of cyclosporiasis have been identified in people who ate at restaurants or attended events in the capital region, but local authorities warned people across the state to be careful.
Democratic state lawmakers are criticizing the Trump Administration over its proposed plan to restrict Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for certain people.
Americans are buying less beer from big breweries, so companies are getting creative to attract customers. Pabst is testing what one customer describes as a “Frappuccino” — with an alcoholic kick.
The financially struggling school district in northeast Pennsylvania that threatened foster care over unpaid lunch debt is now apologizing for dozens of letters officials sent this month to parents.
Wyoming Valley West School District in Northeastern Pennsylvania sent families a letter stating that their children would be removed from their homes if unpaid cafeteria meal debt was not settled.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a farmworkers’ rights bill into law Wednesday that will for the first time give the workers benefits other employees get, including time off and overtime pay.
Police said the boy fell through a lid on a grease trap while his mother was working at the restaurant. Grease traps collect oil and other wastes to prevent them from leaking into sewers.
ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The 2019 New York legislative session saw the passage of a raft of legislation that has been blocked in previous years. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton spoke with WSKG’s Celia Clarke in the Ithaca studio. She represents Tompkins County and part of Cortland County in the state Assembly. Lifton spoke about the new farm labor rights, legalization of electrically-assisted bicycles and scooters, and why she thinks marijuana legalization is inevitable. The conversation begins with Lifton talking what she considers the most important accomplishment of the session.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) – Alyssa Collins said she has been fielding around five phone calls every day from people with questions about hemp–and that’s not even counting the emails. Collins directs Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lancaster County, where researchers are part of a multi-state, USDA-supported study into different varieties of hemp that can be used for food and fiber. Pennsylvania approved more than 300 permits to farm industrial hemp this growing season, after Congress loosened restrictions on the crop last year. Hemp was long banned because of its relationship to marijuana, but it does not have enough of the psychoactive compound THC to produce a high. So now, researchers like Collins are trying to clear up uncertainties about the crop.
Walmart is expanding a program for food stamp recipients to buy groceries online and pick them up in stores. It’s the latest move to give them more options in the era of online shopping.
Schuyler County health officials say people who dined at the Seneca Harbor Station restaurant in Watkins Glen this month may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.
Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, a Republican from Western New York, comes from a long line of farmers. He predicts the new requirements will be too onerous and that farms will close.
“If you look at the decline in milk consumption in our schools over the past nine years as a result of that misguided legislation, it actually tracks with the financial decline within the dairy industry.”
“They’re used to access to food from school. And then, of course, when you get to college — especially when you live on a campus — you’re expected to pay for those meals.”
Some New York farmers say they’re open to compromise on legislation designed to help farm workers.
“Our improvements in management which includes feeding and housing and veterinary care, disease control…we’ve been able to control infectious diseases to a greater extent than ever before.”
Thousands of visitors converged on the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this week for the sixth annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo.
“To all the workers – this is a tool for you that you can use this to have a voice, to improve your working conditions, to fight against wage theft, bad housing, discrimination in the workplace. This is something you can use to change that.”
Democratic Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) was back in his district this week, in part to discuss farm issues.
“China (has) used the American consumer and producer for many years by creating barriers to letting our products in their country, while they want to overwhelm us with their products.”
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is touring upstate New York on Wednesday.
There’s a new solar project in Tompkins County that has farmers and solar companies helping each other.
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano is pushing back against a bill that would give farm workers the same rights as all workers in the state.
“If a beekeeper is able to take a honeybee swarm, they can care for them and manage them if they need it, instead of having these colonies kind of inhabit people’s homes.”
Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district is full of farmland. Candidates in Tuesday’s special election discuss one issue affecting small farmers.
The New York Farm Bureau said farmers need more workers and it wants the President to consider an expansion of a visa program.
“It’s not just the tariffs. I think there’s chaos surrounding the tariffs. There’s a frustrating lack of strategy on the part of the administration.”
“One of the reasons why young people aren’t going into it (farming) is, they can’t make a dollar, can’t make a living.”
“We haven’t really prioritized them as the workforce and the backbone of the agricultural industry that they are.”
The spotted lanternfly eats away at the bark of trees. It’s a threat to some commercial crops that are big in New York like grapes and apples.
The ordinance would only allow for hens. No roosters! Only six per household will be allowed, a property must be at least 2,000 square feet and there are other requirements for the chickens shelter and regular inspections.
A Wegmans senior vice president says as technology has evolved to enable more self-service, customers are increasingly looking for options that save time and allow them to shop how they want.
In a food landscape dominated by multinational conglomerates like Frito-Lay and PepsiCo, the small town of Hanover, Pa., has produced homegrown snacks for a century and is still thriving today.
Crispin Hernandez used to work on a North Country dairy farm. He and others workers tried to organize and were fired. Now he works for a workers’ rights group.
BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) – Some Binghamton University students are pushing Congressman Anthony Brindisi to do more to address climate change.
Liat David is 19, a sophomore at the University. At a recent forum she helped organize, she said climate change has made her re-think having children. “Do I have that right as a woman that I can have a child and be proud of the earth that I live in and say that this child is going to be living in a regenerative and sustainable future?” she said. “I can’t necessarily say that right now, which is very sad to say because that is my right as a woman to say that I can have a child if I want to, but I really feel like that was taken away from me this past generation.”
“Farm workers are excluded from labor laws that protect all other workers. So, do we want to level the playing field and ensure that those protections are in place?”
Some food pantries are benefiting from home chicken keepers’ desire to keep collecting the birds as pets, which results in more eggs than they can handle. But sometimes it can be hard to find takers.
To sell across state lines, dairy farmer can’t call his product skim milk unless he adds vitamins A and D.
“The sugar is being directly eaten by the tumor, and the tumor can use that sugar to grow.”
The suit, filed on behalf of six states and the District of Columbia, says the weakened federal nutrition standards for school meals are putting kids at greater risk of health problems linked to diet.
By this time next year, single use plastic bags will be officially banned in New York State. But this new rule has some wondering, will we just end up with a paper bag problem?
“My great uncle back in 1870 was the number one maple producer in New York State. He did it all by buckets.”
It is the latest step in efforts to block the construction of the trash incinerator in the town of Romulus.
“We are really, really thrilled,” said Mary Anne Kowalski, Seneca Lake resident. “I think the fact that is impressing me most is that we’ve got bipartisan support on this bill.”
Small farmers and rural homeowners argue they set aside too much land for preservation.
The virus is not a threat to humans, but people can also spread the virus from infected horses to other horses.
A group of landowners and farmers are trying to stop some zoning changes designed to preserve open space in the Town of Ulysses. Some say agricultural needs haven’t been considered. The town disagrees.
New York’s apple industry has about a 21 percent higher economic impact than traditional studies have found.
Pennsylvania is looking for new ways to fight the invasive spotted lanternfly, nearly five years after it was first discovered in Berks County.
Pennsylvania’s farming industry is changing. And the challenges—from falling dairy prices to young people leaving the industry to climate change—were front and center at a recent Agriculture Department budget hearing before a state House committee.
Cornell University has received over $68 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to build a new federal research facility for grape genetics. The site will be in Geneva, New York, home to ongoing collaborations between Cornell and the USDA.
The New York Farm Bureau has announced their federal policy priorities on Wednesday. Immigration is top leading issues they want Congress to address.
There are about 20 people in a basement conference room at the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center, sipping coffee and playing an introductory name game. Today, participants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts and more in a course called Mental Health First Aid.
Pennsylvania’s dairy industry woes are finding their way to a national stage. Milk sales are down. And in Pennsylvania and other major dairy states, the situation is getting difficult for farmers.
A backlog on the federal level is hurting local brewers. Sen. Chuck Schumer brought that message to Rochester’s Genesee Brewery on Monday. Schumer said brewers are heavily regulated and must file applications with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in order to release new flavors, update labels or change the size of a bottle.
Workers rights advocates are planning rallies across the state for a bill that would give farmworkers access to labor protections they don’t have.
Government reopened a week after the double payment. And now, nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians on food stamps have to wait until March before the next round of benefits.
As a child on a New York farm, Eben Bayer helped his dad shovel wood chips in the barn. That’s where he noticed a stretchy web of fungus that became the basis of his biodegradable packing material.
For upstate counties, particularly in rural areas, the suicide rate can sometimes be double or even triple the rate of New York City counties. The upstate farming industry has been struggling in recent years, but there is help for farmers who need it.
The product is hemp, and it’s been getting more hype lately for various types of industrial and consumer uses.
Over the weekend, Republican congressman Tom Reed hosted a series of three town halls around his Southern Tier district. They came just after the partial federal shutdown ended.
Beginning January 26, Farm Service Agency offices across New York and Pennsylvania will reopen. Nationwide, the USDA is recalling almost 10,000 workers to help farmers affected by the partial federal shutdown.
Food assistance in the form of SNAP benefits came early this month owing to the shutdown. But in Pennsylvania, recipients are spending the benefits quickly, and there may be no new funds for February.
Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Department is opening up its hemp program, pending approval from the federal government. The commonwealth has run a pilot program for industrial hemp over the past two years, but it was only open to entities growing the crop for research.
New York’s Farm Bureau says even though the legislature is under Democratic control, the needs of farmers don’t change. The group, that represents New York farmers, has announced its legislative priorities.
New Yorkers who receive federal food assistance, also known SNAP, will get their February payments early. SNAP, which a federal program and part of the Agriculture Department, is caught up in the federal shutdown, but earlier this month the USDA instructed states to issue the February payments early.
Industrial hemp used to be grown across the commonwealth and used for things like clothing, rope, and animal feed. Its popularity started to decline with the rise of cotton about 150 years ago, but the industry really suffered a setback when Congress outlawed it in the 1930s because of its similarities to marijuana.
A Canadian cannabis company could be bringing hundreds of jobs to the Southern Tier. The company is Canopy Growth; that’s the business that locally-based Constellation Brands has taken a major stake in.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is launching extra services for federal employees struggling during ongoing government shutdown furloughs.
The partial federal government shutdown continues, impacting everything from airport security to national parks and food stamps. Even craft brewers are feeling the pinch.
Women are finding their own, nontraditional routes into the agriculture business.
With the partial shutdown of the federal government in its third week, President Trump is, as we said, scheduled to address the nation from the Oval Office. We sent NPR’s Jeff Brady to the Pennsylvania Farm Show to find out how the shutdown is affecting people there.
If the partial government shutdown continues into February, federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP, and the millions of people who rely on those benefits, may be impacted.
Wegmans has begun hiring staff for its long-awaited New York City store. The Rochester-based supermarket chain is hiring 500 people for the store that will open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard sometime this fall.
The annual unveiling on Thursday doubled as an opportunity for state officials to plug milk and other products of the struggling dairy industry.
New leadership positions in the state assembly were announced late last year and a pair of Southern Tier legislators will take charge of important committees.
Nutritional yeast isn’t a new health fad — in the 1920s, sales exploded due to the “Yeast for Health” campaign. But bad news about the candida strain affected all yeast, and it’s just now rebounding.
A new federal proposal would change the way New York’s military installations get milk, and could hurt local dairy farmers. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is trying to stop it.
In 2015, Andrew Tarlow shifted three of his restaurants to a tip-free model, raising his employees’ wages and menu prices. This week, though, he switched back.
The new Farm Bill was passed by Congress last week. A few hours before the vote, Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed said parts of the bill may help small and mid-sized dairy farmers in his 23rd Congressional District.
President Donald Trump this week is expected to sign the 2018 Farm Bill that passed Congress last week. The bill includes some relief for struggling dairy farmers.
Local and state officials are promoting farm-fresh Christmas trees this holiday season. It’s an $8 million industry in New York State and the trees are also good for the environment.
Frank Femia runs Klubfunstore Guns and Ammo in Henrietta, where the popular ammunition this season is copper bullets. “It’s been hard finding them because everyone’s been sold out of them and it’s been hard to keep in stock,” Femia said.
More work by a prominent food researcher, including a study that took aim at the “Joy of Cooking,” has been retracted because of problems with the data.
After harvest, New York apples can be stored for months in controlled atmosphere storage rooms where the temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity levels are adjusted to put them into hibernation.
In her new book, “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land,” Leah Penniman describes her journey as a woman of color reclaiming space in the agricultural world while providing a comprehensive guide for others who want to follow her path.
Food Business Pathways is a free course that gives low-income participants a leg up in turning their ideas into successful businesses through training, mentoring, access to services and space to sell.
Wegmans has become the latest grocery store in New York to accept a new way to pay for food. The grocery chain now accepts eWIC, a government assistance program designed to give women, infants and children the money they need to purchase staple foods.
Today is Giving Tuesday, and breweries across the region are joining a nationwide effort to raise money for victims of the Camp Fire in northern California. Hundreds of breweries are making the exact same beer recipe and donating the proceeds.
Erick Castro’s Instagram account is spreading the gospel of an affordable plant-based diet, especially to lower-income residents of New York. Now, he’s got a vegan restaurant, too.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Philadelphia area refineries are raising alarms about the costs of a recent move by President Donald Trump to boost corn-based ethanol. Following through on a promise made to Iowa voters, Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to allow sales of so-called E-15 fuel throughout the entire year.
It’s a prime example of “gentefication,” economic revival led by people with roots in the community. The cultural mix is a culinary celebration: African, Albanian, Caribbean, Italian, Latino and more.
Uber has helped create about 800 “virtual restaurants” in the U.S. — eateries that only exist online. Uber says its delivery service helps restaurants grow, but some in the industry see downsides.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — Advocates for Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy farmers say federal and state programs meant to help are appreciated, but they won’t solve the whole problem.
Rapho Township, PA (WITF) — Farmers and researchers in 23 counties have been studying industrial hemp in trial crops this year. The former cash crop could see a resurgence if a U.S. Senate version of the federal Farm Bill is passed later this year.
“It’s way, way more important what we do with Mexico and China and what our general trade posture is,” he said. “Trade is important to us, but trade with Canada is not the biggest worrier.”
TRANSFORMING HEALTH – More Americans are obese than ever before. That’s according to an annual survey from Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
As United Nations leaders gather in New York, top food and nutrition experts are convening for a forum to talk about how people around the globe can have both a nourished diet and a healthy planet.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Brian Wansink, the Cornell professor who authored six articles retracted by the Journal of the American Medical Association Wednesday, has been removed from all teaching and research at the university, and will retire at the end of this academic year.
GENEVA, N.Y. (AP) New York grape breeders have produced a fruit that’s so big and flavorful they’ve named it after Mount Everest.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – What happens to the butter sculpture at the New York State Fair once the event is over? Well, for the third year, it will be recycled and used for electricity.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – 2018 was another record-breaking year for the New York State Fair near Syracuse. 1,279,010 people visited the Fair this year, smashing last year’s record by 10 percent.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – An app service known as Aira offer blind or visually-impaired users the opportunity to use their smartphone as a second set of eyes, in order to perform tasks including shopping. Wegmans has become the first supermarket chain in the nation to offer the service.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Tops Markets is announcing plans to close 10 stores it says are underperforming as part of its effort to restructure and emerge from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy it filed for earlier this year.
Seventeen people also have been sickened in an outbreak that federal officials say has been linked to Empire Kosher brand chicken.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in Cortland to hear the concerns of dairy farmers in the region. Dairy farmers told Perdue about the dire situation the industry is facing.
Fellow farmers helped Erik Landowne at Blue Heron Farm quickly harvest an onion crop before it could begin to rot.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Last month, Pennsylvania saw the most recorded rainfall in a July. For many farmers in the state, the intense precipitation is part of a pattern of weather changes to which they hope to adapt.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Some changes will be coming to the 2018 version of the New York State Fair, which starts August 22. Most of it is part of the second phase of a $120 million plan to revitalize the fairgrounds.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — This year has been tough for midstate dairy farmers. Deans Foods ended contracts with dozens of producers in March, while demand and prices for milk are at a low point. Now researchers are suggesting another way of generating income for dairy farmers.
Organophosphates drain off farms and make their way to the ocean, where they could be harming sea creatures like whales, dolphins and manatees
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — This weekend, Pittsburgh is slated to host the first festival of black craft beer brewers from around the country. Among their ranks will be Harris Family Brewery–believed to be Pennsylvania’s first African-American-owned craft brewery.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – “Maybe the cows tip ‘em off when they’re milking them…” That’s how comedian Jerry Seinfeld explores the question of who determines the expiration dates on milk cartons in one of his better known routines.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The Trump Administration’s plans to provide direct support to dairy farms as part of a $12 billion package to offset the impacts of its trade policies is welcome news to many in New York, which is the third-highest milk producing state in the country.
ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The boundaries of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts changed this year after protracted court hearings. The issues facing citizens didn’t change, including for dairy farmers. In the new 12th District, Democrat Marc Friedenberg is running against Republican incumbent Tom Marino. Friedenberg is a first-time candidate. The district includes Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga counties.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Farmers in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region are nervous about President Trump’s so-called trade wars.
Rain has caused flooding across part of New York and Pennsylvania, but for farmers it’s a welcome sight.
Many New Yorkers may not know David Hosack’s name, but they wouldn’t recognize their city without the public institutions he founded or influenced.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – A national farmers market association announced Thursday that it’s staving off the closure of the company that processes food stamp benefits at 40 percent of the farmers markets across the country, including hundreds in New York state.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – The company behind the software that turns SNAP benefits into the tokens used at the Rochester Public Market has announced that it’s going out of business.
Ten states and the District of Columbia are asking fast-food chains about the use of what are known as “no poach” agreements that limit the ability of workers to switch jobs.
Trump is trying to protect dairy farmers in states like Wisconsin and New York, who have been hard-hit by low prices and overproduction.
She serves breakfasts and lunches to customers from her Lancaster diner. Robin Finsterbach, owner of Aunt Robin’s Diner, wants to be sure kids don’t go hungry during the summer. So, she giving them a free bagged lunch.
PA tree farmer Alan Dambach’s tremor got so bad he couldn’t read his own signature. Then he tried a new procedure that uses sound waves to destroy specific brain cells.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Clean energy advocates and environmental officials say bringing solar farms to Pennsylvania needs to happen if the state wants to significantly boost how much energy it gets from the sun.
ENFIELD, NY (WSKG) – The Enfield Food Pantry has re-opened. It was temporarily suspended by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier for potential rodent problems.
Enfield is about 6 miles from Ithaca. About three weeks ago, Food Bank of the Southern Tier stopped delivering food to the pantry until they did a few things to prevent rodents from getting in. The town owns the building where the pantry’s located. So, the Town Board, Pantry volunteers and the Food Bank came together to resolve the problems.
Now, the food pantry has freshly spackled and painted walls to keep rodents from getting in.
On May 31, President Donald Trump announced that the 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs that had been temporarily exempt for the EU, Canada and Mexico would go into effect in June. Mexico answered with some counter-tariffs, including one on U.S. apples.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration says the amount of crude oil being shipped by rail through New York state has increased. This includes Bakken crude oil, a highly volatile version of crude oil.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Some local beekeepers are concerned about a bill making its way through the New York Legislature. It would require all beekeepers both commercial and hobbyist, to register with the state.
SALEM TOWNSHIP, PA (WSKG) — For several years, a hog farm in Luzerne County has been under legal fire for emitting a stench that people say can make the surrounding area almost unlivable.
The USDA is offering an extension to dairy farmers who want to sign up for a special insurance program.
As awareness grows about the environmental toll of single-use plastics, U.S. retailers and regulators alike are finding ways to decrease their use. And straws have become a prime target.
Upstate dairy farmers are in trouble. They’re not earning enough to live on. Federal representatives are pushing for stopgaps, but experts say, it’s not enough.
The snow in March and April kept newborn lambs cooped up in their barn because the pasture wasn’t growing quickly. Now though, they’re bouncing and bleeting in the new spring. Be prepared for an adorable lamb video!
New York Senator Chuck Schumer is the latest politician to speak out against a proposed trash incinerator in the town of Romulus on Seneca Lake.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS — Along stretches of farmland on South Lincoln Avenue in Lebanon, you will notice yard signs with bright orange letters that read, “Save Our Local Dairy Farms.”
When a bunch of New York investors sniffed out a potential price fixing scheme in the poultry business, they bet against big chicken. Then they targeted a price index published in Georgia.
The beverage industry is challenging a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on sweetened drinks imposed in Philadelphia. Officials argue the tax is a good strategy to help combat childhood obesity.
“If you really want to kill us, kill us quicker,” said Pursel. “Don’t starve us to to death because that’s what it feels like – that they want to kill all the poor people.”
Farmland prices in the Finger Lakes continue to increase. In Yates County, that’s partly due to more interest from craft breweries and distilleries.
To turn a profit again, upstate dairy farmers say they need better advertising to help increase demand. Removing sanctions on Russia and ending tariff disputes with China would help, too.
“Ugly. It’s ugly right now,” said Cub Frisbie, head of the Tioga County Farm Bureau.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Current U.S. immigration policies pose an economic threat to New York’s struggling dairy industry, according to the director of a farmworker program at Cornell University.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The New York State Department of Labor is holding hearings across the state to gather input on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate minimum wage tip credits. Many restaurant workers who attended a hearing in Syracuse said they are against the plan.
In communities where both housing and fresh food are needed, the fight over valuable vacant land is prompting policy reform — and tense collaboration — between developers and gardeners.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Wegmans is responding to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal this week to ban single-use plastic bags.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Senator Chuck Schumer visited a farm in Avon to call on US trade officials to fix trade between Canada and the US regarding dairy products during upcoming NAFTA negotiations.
A report by the CDC said the bacteria has infected at least 53 people, including 31 who have been hospitalized. The agency’s advice: Throw out pre-cut romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Monday that now is the time to get Canada to end a program hurting upstate’s dairy industry, as President Donald Trump’s administration renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.
The eggs were sold in nine states, according to the FDA. They are labeled under a number of brands, including Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, the Food Lion store brand, Great Value and Sunshine Farms.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS — Forty-two Pennsylvania dairy farms scrambled in search for new markets after receiving contract termination notices about a month ago from Dean Foods, a national distributor based in Texas. Since then, two distributors in the state have entered agreements with some of those farms.
Harrisburg Dairies will pick up nine farms in the Lebanon-Lancaster area, while Schneider’s Dairy in Pittsburgh decided to take on four farms from Clarion and Venango counties. “It takes a huge burden off of our shoulders,” said Alisha Risser, a dairy farmer in Lebanon county. Her farm will start producing for Harrisburg Dairies soon, but she said she is nervous for her fellow farmers who still struggle to stay in business. “I mean, I can’t even imagine what the ones that did not get the contract are going through right now,” she said.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — A dairy farmer looking to sell his products in Pennsylvania is suing the federal Food and Drug Administration over what he says is a free speech violation.
HARRISBURG, PA (WVTF) — China is retaliating against tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration and Pennsylvania farmers could get caught in the crossfire.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Members of New York’s Congressional delegation are working to provide some financial relief to dairy farmers who continue to suffer from depressed milk prices.
A coalition of immigrant rights groups and farm workers are campaigning for undocumented people in New York to be allowed to get a driver’s license.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — Republican state lawmakers wrapped up three weeks of annual budget hearings by tearing into Governor Tom Wolf’s administration for several hours straight.
GREAT LAKES TODAY – Out on farmland in western New York, near the shore of Lake Erie, is Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing. Here, they make more than just booze. They also raise fish.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Tops Markets has confirmed the story first reported by Bloomberg last week; the company will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
People who are poor move a lot – between homes, to get groceries and healthcare. It can be difficult to achieve upward mobility, leaving people feeling like they’re running in place. Click here to check out the stories.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Hearings begin next month in New York to get input on whether the state should eliminate the tip credit, which allows tipped workers to be paid a lower wage as long as they make the full minimum wage if tips are included.
ROCHESTER (WXXI) – The New York Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural lobbying and trade organization has released its annual list of budget priorities.
HARRISBURG (WSKG) — The US Agriculture Department is laying out its preferences for a new farm bill–a massive plan that accounts for almost a half-trillion dollars in spending over five years.
Education groups in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes will share $400,000 to use for farm-to-school projects. Among the awardees: Broome-Tioga BOCES, Sidney Central School District and the Cornell Cooperative Extensions serving Steuben and Seneca counties. The Farm-to-School program, funded through the FY 2017-2018 state budget and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Program, is meant to connect kindergarten through grade 12 schools with local farms.
The governor proposed an expansion to this program in his 2018 State of the State Address and announced the awards last week.
HARRISBURG (WSKG) — State lawmakers on the Agriculture Committee took advantage of the Farm Show’s presence in Harrisburg this week, and convened in a back room of the complex to discuss their top priorities with Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. One of their primary focuses didn’t have to do with farming, exactly; rather, with making sure rural communities aren’t held back by bad internet access. In cities and suburbs, high speed broadband internet is typically a given. But Representative Pam Snyder said in her rural district in Pennsylvania’s southwestern corner, it’s often a luxury — and that can profoundly affect the people living there. “I have all or part of eight school districts.
As part of his 2018 State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to double the funding for a program that connects schools with local farmers, Farm-to-School. The state currently spends $750,000 on the program, and Cuomo wants to increase that to $1.5 million. The money can go toward capital costs for transporting and storing food, supporting training, and to hiring farm-to-school coordinators. One incentive under the proposal: The state will reimburse districts a quarter per meal if they get 30 percent of the ingredients from New York farms. That’s compared to the six cents they get now. “It really helps [farmers] diversify their business.
SYRACUSE (WRVO) – One Central New York non-profit organization is concerned about how horses are faring during this cold snap. Rescue horses munch on carrots in the huge barn that’s part of The Haven at Skanda, an organization in Cazanovia that cares for rescue horses and farm animals. Executive Director Ellen Beckerman says horses will need extra protection this winter. “We’re concerned that this winter temperature-wise is much more challenging than last winter, for example, so then it can be difficult,” said Beckerman. “Horses that can do okay in a lean-to in an ordinary winter might not now be okay with that.”
Frigid temperatures can be dangerous for horses on a couple of fronts, according to Beckerman.
HARRISBURG (WSKG) — The Pennsylvania Farm Show opens this weekend and after months of planning, its centerpiece has been revealed — a sculpture made from 1,200 pounds of butter. Like every year, dairy farmers, state officials, and dairy princess pageant winners stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the cavernous Farm Show complex in Harrisburg as it was unveiled. The 2018 version shows a farmer, milk processor, agronomist, consumer, and a cow, figures designed to represent the theme “Strength in Diversity.”
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said people often have a very specific image in mind when they think of Pennsylvania agriculture—say, a rural farm in the midstate. But he said this is meant to show that the industry’s impact is much bigger. “It’s the men and women, it’s the rural and urban, it’s the folks who have beehives on their rooftops in Philadelphia, as well as farms in Lancaster County,” Redding said.
(Harrisburg) — The Hershey Company is making a move to gain a stronger foothold in the “better for you” snacking market. It’s the chocolate-maker’s second non-candy acquisition in the last three years. Hershey has agreed to pay $1.6 billion for Texas-based Amplify Snack Brands, which makes healthy snacks like Skinny Pop popcorn and Oatmega protein bars. Read full story here.