Agriculture

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Dave Pasick moved back to his family’s farm just north of Utica a few years ago, naming it Szaro Farms, after an old family name.

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Small businesses from around the state took their concerns to legislators in Albany Wednesday. The message from leaders in the agricultural industry particularly highlighted the need for reforms to support small farms, and boost local economies upstate.

Funding for a program to promote locally grown produce through a network of duty-free stores across New York has been axed from the final version of the state's budget.

urban sea star / via Flickr

Here's a catchphrase someone who's been to a farmer's market is probably familiar with: "buy local." And for those who try and follow the mantra closely, you may also be familiar with "food miles," the notion of counting how far your strawberries traveled to land on top of your bowl of Cheerios.

Syracuse Grows

The organization that supports community gardens in the city of Syracuse is growing, particularly in the city's immigrant community. Syracuse Grows is going into it's sixth year with an eye on the Northside.

Fred Chiang / Flickr

It’s wine competition season, a time of year when judges offer their opinions at dozens of events around the world. New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Jim Trezise was at an event in Sonoma to see how Finger Lakes wines have been faring.

baristaj9 / Flickr

Despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent zest for upstate beer and wine, some industry leaders think his plan has a missing link. Thy say the lack of wine experts known as Master Sommeliers in the upstate region could be a road-block to the sector reaching its full potential and bringing with it growth in tourism.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

The New York Farm Bureau is optimistic following news that Congress is working to pass new immigration reforms. The bureau, a lobbying group, says it was very excited to hear the proposals made by a bipartisan group of senators and by President Barack Obama this week.

Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna is one Republican who expects to be on board with any immigration reform that is being proposed in Washington currently. The 22nd Congressional District representative says it's an important issue in a region where agriculture is key.

Hanna says he's heard about the labor crisis facing the dairy industry ever since he came into office. Farmers tell him they can't find enough documented employees to work the farm.

The state budget proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls for new efforts to boost sales of New York produce, a change from previous administrations, says a pro-farming group.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council

Tourism professionals in upstate New York are applauding Gov. Andrews Cuomo’s commitment to the region. In order to augment upstate economic growth, the governor has set aside $7 million in the budget for promotion and marketing initiatives.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Madison County hopes to become a hub for the recycling of agricultural plastics.  It's a waste that's created on farms that's been a problem for years.

Anthony Albright / Flickr

The yogurt industry in upstate New York is getting attention as a bright spot in the region's lackluster economy. Now, Byrne Dairy is will be joining other companies in this growing agribusiness.

Central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle is concerned that the House of Representatives has not yet passed a farm bill. The current one is scheduled to expire September 30, but Congress is scheduled to finish its work this week and passage of a farm bill does not look likely.

Garrett Ziegler / Flickr

Farms still drive New York state's economy, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller's office, which outlines just how important agriculture is to the state's economy.

Local food economy overcomes obstacles

Aug 28, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Recently, local food has been turning up on more grocery store shelves and restaurants in upstate New York. But the local food economy still faces challenges to bringing agricultural products from farm to table.

New pavilion part of downtown Watertown's revitalization

Aug 27, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

The city of Watertown has built a new pavilion as part of its downtown revitalization project. It's meant to house outdoor activities, including the Saturday farmers market. The farmers market held an appreciation ceremony to thank the city on Saturday.

msr / Flickr

The cherished autumn tradition of apple picking is off to an early start in the Northeast as growers deal with aftershocks from bizarre spring weather that took a toll on fruit crops.

Restaurants are serving up more fresh, local ingredients

Aug 17, 2012
Joanna Richards / WRVO

It's a busy Sunday morning at Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse. Behind the line, cooks shout brunch orders and the dining area is filling up with customers. A blues band is setting up for a set, a weekly tradition here.

Company president David Katleski sits in a big booth near the kitchen. The sounds are like any other busy restaurant, but there's something different going on here.

Retail stores offering more food from local producers

Aug 16, 2012

As fast as veggies are popping up in the garden, local foods are showing up on grocery store shelves throughout northern New York.

A new food co-op recently opened in Clayton, in Jefferson County, that showcases locally-sourced vegetables and other products, but big grocery chains like Hannaford and Wegman's are getting in on the trend, too, adding more of the region's products to store shelves.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is loosening some environmental regulations so that dairy farmers can more easily own more cows. The news came at the first ever yogurt summit convened by Cuomo at the state Capitol.

Dry weather threatens hay, corn crops

Jul 18, 2012

The hot, dry weather is taking a toll on crops in the region. Scattered heavy rains have brought some relief to some areas, but overall, production of field crops like hay and corn is suffering. In the North Country, it's been decades since the area experienced a summer so dry.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

New York isn't officially in a drought, but it's certainly been a dry summer so far in upstate New York.  Farmers aren't pushing the panic button just yet, but they are watching the skies.

Army worms invade Jefferson County farms

Jun 30, 2012

A pest has invaded farm fields throughout Jefferson County. Army worms – actually caterpillars that transform into moths – migrate up from the south every year to Northern New York. But this year a major outbreak of the worms is causing a widespread threat to crops, and big financial losses to some farmers. 

John Weeks reflects on how hayfields have changed since his youth on the family farm. While the technology of haying has evolved dramatically, hayfields still serve as a home for a wide variety of wildlife.

Originally aired on June 17, 1988.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

The apple crop in New York is the second-largest in the country, behind only Washington State. Cherries, peaches, apricots and grapes are also big business in New York.

The Beak and Skiff apple farm hosts the LaFayette Apple Festival this weekend. The farm is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  WRVO's Kate Percival took her 10-year-old son on a field trip to the farm, and spoke with Steve Morse about what's changed, and what's remained the same, in the past century.

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