Researchers Rush To Answer Questions About Newly-Legal Hemp Crops

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.

With Backlog Affecting New York Brewers, Schumer Urges Action

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.

Need For High-Speed Internet Tops Lawmakers’ Agriculture Agenda

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.

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New York Farm Worker Suit Examines The Meaning Of ‘Employee’

There’s a lawsuit now in New York that could expand the rights of farm workers. Under state law, farm workers aren’t allowed to bargain collectively, but the state Constitution may say something different. The complaint The part of the New York State Constitution that matters is Article 1, Section 17. Here’s the relevant portion: Employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.  Aadhithi Padmanabhan of the New York Civil Liberties Union called the text crystal clear.

Going for a Ride | #tbt

In today’s vintage throwback Thursday photograph, a farmer gives his daughter a ride in a wheelbarrow while a group of cows look on. The photo was taken in Chenango County probably around the late 19th or early 20th century and represents an interesting snapshot of farm life during this time period. Tune in for the premiere of “Harvest,” WSKG’s new original documentary chronicling the history of agriculture in our region, on November 19th at 8PM to learn more about family farm life.  

Photograph courtesy of the  Chenango County Historical Society.