farmers

For the first time in years, it’s a wonderful time to grow Christmas trees.

Christmas tree growers say 2019 has been the industry’s best year in decades — in part because of a number of bad years, says Chal Landgren, a Christmas tree specialist at Oregon State University.

Landgren grows trees on a five-acre farm north of Portland, Oregon, and says seedlings planted in 2019 have seen good rates of survival. That wasn’t the case from 2015 to 2018, when dry, hot summers led growers to plan for losses.

Cornell Farmworker Program, Community and Regional Development Institute

A new farm labor bill has been introduced in Congress that has bi-partisan support and includes two changes some say will help New York farms.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) hosted U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in Geneva Wednesday for a roundtable discussion with local farmers. Trade deals, China and labor were highlights of the conversation.

State Sen. Rachel May / Twitter

Farm owners on Thursday warned New York State lawmakers that legislation that would give workers the right to organize to demand better wages and conditions could devastate New York’s agricultural economy.

nyfb.org

Immigration reform, infrastructure needs, and the negative impacts of trade mark some of New York Farm Bureau’s priorities for the upcoming year.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

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. Participants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts and more in a course called Mental Health First Aid.

These people aren’t mental health professionals. They’re agricultural workers, they’re neighbors, and they just want to help.

nyfb.org

It’s been a challenging past few years for farmers. The New York Farm Bureau laid out priorities Wednesday that focused on supporting legislation this upcoming year that could provide financial relief to farmers in need.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Local and state officials are promoting farm-fresh Christmas trees this holiday season. It is an $8 million industry in New York State and the trees are also good for the environment.

Nicole Franzen / Courtesy Blue Hill Farm

A tax exmption that is deemed essential for farmers and growers across New York State has been extended for another decade.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

President Trump’s push for tariffs has made international trade a big topic of discussion lately. And one of the products being talked about is milk. But these strategic trade moves trickle down to lots of family farms – like those in Western New York. WBFO’s Nick Lippa visited a farm in Wyoming County to see how farmers are reacting.


Temporary fix saves SNAP use at farmers markets

Jul 23, 2018
Dave Sommerstein

Food stamp programs at New York farmers markets have a new lifeline. A national farmers market group is stepping in with a cash infusion to keep food stamps working across the state.

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.

Elizabeth Miller

The New York Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural lobbying and trade organization has released its annual list of budget priorities.

Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York

As shortages of Christmas trees drive up prices in some parts of the country, a statewide expert says New York has an abundant supply of trees.

President Trump made his view of the North American Free Trade Agreement very clear during the presidential election. He called NAFTA "the worst trade deal in ... the history of this country." And Trump blamed NAFTA for the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

His administration is in the midst of renegotiating the free trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and that is making many U.S. farmers and ranchers nervous.

Elizabeth Miller

New York has allotted $50 million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms in the state.

Dozens of Democrats joined Republicans in the Senate to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as the next secretary of agriculture.

The vote was 87-11. Perdue's cousin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., voted "present" and presided over the vote.

Sonny Perdue grew up on a farm in central Georgia and has owned several agriculture companies. He is not associated with the food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms.

NPR's Geoff Bennett reports for our Newscast unit:

Labor anxiety brings challenges to family farms

Apr 12, 2017

Spring is here and fruit farmers throughout Western New York are preparing for crops of everything from apples to Japanese plums. With the new season come job opportunities and new challenges for farmers. WBFO contributor Rich Kellman takes a closer look.


Niagara Landing Wine Cellars

Fourteen farm operations around New York State will share $2.3 million in federal funding to create new products and improve their marketing strategies.

NYS investing in next generation of farmers

Jul 14, 2016
Sarah Ficken / New Moon Farms

The average age of the American farmer is continually rising; it is 55 in New York State. In response, many states are crafting legislation aimed at encouraging a new generation to take the reins, like Chris and Sarah Ficken, owners of the New Moon Farms in Munnsville, New York.

Wikimedia Commons

If a state agency wants to buy food, it now has to consider buying food grown or produced in New York.