Some farm workers are hesitant to get the vaccine because they are wary of interacting with the government.
Some farm workers are hesitant to get the vaccine because they are wary of interacting with the government.
Restaurants, financially devastated by months-long indoor dining bans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, say the rule helped some of them turn enough profit to keep from closing.
Chef Amanda Cohen, owner of Dirt Candy in New York City, says the coronavirus relief package’s $28.6 billion for independent and small-chain restaurants means many in the industry can stay afloat.
The 1B group, estimated at just under one million people, includes postal workers, manufacturing laborers, and others considered essential workers who risk contracting the virus at their job.
Looser restrictions are complicated by a rise in cases fueled in part by more infectious variants.
An estimated $350 million in annual revenue is expected from the 13 percent sales tax on the drug, with 40 percent of the revenue going to a community reinvestment fund.
By late 2022, adults in the state would be able to buy cannabis in retail stores, and could also sample the drug in tasting rooms.
Hundreds of migrant workers have already started coming to the region for seasonal farm jobs. As they work in fields, barns and greenhouses, there is a chance of spreading the coronavirus.
“What we’ve seen in other states like Colorado — less taxes and lower barrier to entry — means more revenue. More revenue means more money for community reinvestment.”
Restaurant and bar owners have pressured state lawmakers for months to give their struggling businesses more help.
“It will help protect our most vulnerable clients who rely on the staff and volunteers to provide them with nutritious food and critical services.”
Some adolescents with eating disorders require an extended stay in a residential treatment program where they and their families learn how to manage their daily meals and lives.
Legislative Democrats’ qualms don’t stop at the social equity funding, there are additional concerns as well with the taxation structure, criminal penalties and oversight of the Governor’s proposed Office of Cannabis Management.
“We’re both happy with what we do and none of that will change. And there’ll be no attempt to close any stores.”
“Transportation’s a huge problem for them to get here. The winter’s been harder.”
Hemp farmers are laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against New York in response to proposed state regulations that would prohibit the sale of hemp flower.
Officials with the two companies say it will nearly double their collective footprint in the Northeast.
According to Feeding America, 50 million people nationally may experience food insecurity because of COVID-19.
“The state needs to step up and help us ensure that this industry is able to continue on and prosper. It is the lifeblood of New York state.”
“We saw in the first big wave here in New York that the people who bore the brunt, the sacrifice and health problems, were the people who had to go to work.”
“The opening of Greater Good Grocery ends a 25-year void that left thousands of North Side residents struggling to access healthy, affordable food for their families.”
“Over 85 families are depending on this food for their Christmas dinners, so we are very concerned about being able to get the plowing done.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled details of what he calls the “winter plan” for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in New York State.
The new public health measures come as COVID-19 cases near all-time highs and hospital intensive care units are nearing capacity.
Possessing a voracious appetite, the biggest concerns with the spotted lanternfly are their impacts on fruit trees, maples, and especially on vineyards.
Restaurant owners are finding Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new criteria difficult to decipher, and worry it will mean more eateries will soon be out of business.
“Increasing access to food has not been a bipartisan goal. And it’s really troubling, because the need is so great. And obviously it’s not about whether you’re a Democrat or Republican when you’re hungry.”
“New Yorkers have not only chosen to return to a Democratic Majority, but they’ve chosen to return a super majority.”
“So yeah, we hope by the time this ends we’ll still have some money in the bank and we‘ll still be viable.”
“I think that’s something that we should all work to follow because that just makes good public health sense, but I think that’s one that would be very, very hard to enforce.”
“Restaurant self-certification is just one tool in the toolbox we can use to increase customer competence, protect ourselves, and grow our businesses.”
“We cannot continue operating our businesses in New York without a clear regulatory framework, while competing with out of state products being shipped in the state.”
The Pa. Department Human Services had been planning to distribute $42 million to the parents of about 330,000 kids later this month, but learned recently that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had rejected their plan.
Thousands of restaurants in the five boroughs have three weeks to prepare their establishments to comply with the state’s guidance for reopening.
“We’ve been planning this all for a while, so the regulations were about what we thought they were gonna be.”
Thai officials have disputed the claims about how prevalent the situation is with monkeys being used to harvest coconuts.
“Our most urgent responsibility right now is to prevent further damage by delaying any decision on the 60-hour threshold until 2024.”
“We really are asking our farmers to be patient as we try to work this out with the federal government.”
Many of New York’s streets have come alive with fenced-in dining areas with tables and umbrellas and decorated with flower boxes and hanging plants.
“We’re promoting the message of black is beautiful and black excellence and being able to pass this down to generations to come.”
65% of farmers in New York state say their business has been negatively or very negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This isn’t a small or large winery thing. It’s adding an expense, and expenses are high.”
“New Yorkers are outraged at these establishments, we’re getting thousands of complaints, pictures, videos. This is a question of public health.”
67 Orange Street makes do with take-out and outdoor service while waiting for a decision on inside dining in NYC.
Cuomo blames local governments, who are supposed to enforce rules at restaurants, bars, stores and other public places.
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers will be getting more money than usual to help with groceries this month.
“Not being a chain gives us the opportunity to really listen to the community, put in the grocery store what they want in the grocery store.”
“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.