agriculture

Agriculture
7:30 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Organic Farmers Bring Back Song to the Fields

Rodger Phillips and his wife, Isabelle, run Sub-Edge Farm in Farmington, Connecticut.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Work songs can be found around the world, sung by a variety of laborers from field workers to fishermen. 

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Local Food
6:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:22 am

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

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Marketing
4:42 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.
Juliette Michel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 11:08 am

As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement.

Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:24 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Connecticut Grown Tobacco

Chion Wolf WNPR

Shade tobacco came to Connecticut in 1900 from the island of Sumatra, which was beginning to dominate the world of cigar wrappers. The leaf had a light color, delicate texture, and mild flavor that cigar lovers love.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:04 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

The Threat of a Post-Antibiotic Era

Stewart (Chip) Beckett is the senior veterinarian of Beckett & Associates Veterinary Practices in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The notion of drug-resistant bacteria has gone from an exotic problem to a common one. If you have even a medium-sized circle of acquaintances you probably know somebody - or an older parent of somebody -battling an infection that ignores standard antibiotics. It's a big problem and today we're going to focus on one chunk of it, the connection between antibiotics given to farm animals and the rise of these diseases.

If we treat ourselves the way we treat pigs, cattle and chickens, we'd be put on antibiotics at birth and pretty much never go off them until we die.

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The Pollinators
8:10 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Should Neonicotinoids Be Banned to Protect Honeybees?

Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide, thought to be linked to decling bee numbers, have been temporarily banned in Europe.
d o w n s t r e a m Flickr Creative Commons

Members of Congress, including three from Connecticut, have signed a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to better regulate a controversial class of pesticide called neonicotinoids.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Diverse, Durable, and Edible: Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants in the world.
Héctor García Creative Commons

Bamboo is a lot of things: fast growing, durable, edible, and attractive. Coming up, we take a look at this increasingly popular wood with bamboo experts and enthusiasts. What makes bamboo special?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

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Minnesota
11:11 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Popping Wheelies And Busting Tires At The Lawnmower Demolition Derby

Head-on collisions are fun, but driver say the best strategy is hitting an opponent's tires. (Todd Melby/Only A Game)

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 7:57 am

People like to see stuff get wrecked. Which is why demolition derbies are popular attractions at county fairs.

A county fair in the Midwest is offering a new twist on this staple of Americana. Instead of a demo derby featuring old cars, one county fair in Minnesota is sponsoring a smash-up derby featuring riding lawn mowers.

Danger At 5 MPH

If you’ve ever pushed a lawnmower or ridden one, you need to meet these people.

Welcome to the Lawnmower Demolition Derby at the Goodhue County Fair in Zumbrota, Minn.

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Agriculture
12:20 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Deploying Drones To Get An Overview Of Factory Farms

The drone in Potter's promotional video on Kickstarter. "Now I'm looking at other models (and a second drone) because some people have threatened to shoot it down," Potter says.
via Kickstarter

An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based author and blogger, recently raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy the drones and other equipment to investigate animal agriculture in the U.S.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan
Horia Varlan Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

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The Raw Story
3:17 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers.
Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:45 am

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan
Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

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Horses Prevail
11:02 am
Wed May 7, 2014

A Bill to Protect Connecticut Horse Owners Heads to Governor's Desk

Horses being horses.
Credit see like click / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy plans on signing a bill into law that says horses are not inherently vicious. Both the Senate and House unanimously passed the bill in recent days. It was first introduced by Malloy in response to a court decision involving a horse named Scuppy, who bit a child. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:28 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

There's More to Bees Than Just a Stinger

Alphonse Avitabile is an Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCONN's Waterbury Campus, and a past president of Connecticut's Beekeeping Association.
Chion Wolf WNPR

For people with really bad arthritis the idea of intentionally suffering bee stings is an easier sell than it is with the rest of humankind. Sometimes my knees hurt so bad, a bee sting would be a welcomed distraction. I mean, it couldn’t make things any worse and there’s something intuitive about the idea that our body’s natural response to the venom might actually counteract other problems. So, this hour, we talk about apitherapy.

First, we explore the world of long-haul bee truckers. The nation’s farm depends on these peripatetic pollinators who cross the country and travel up and down the coasts. It’s a lot like other kinds of trucking and then it’s totally different.

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Agriculture
12:27 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Got My Goat? Vermont Farms Put Fresh Meat On Refugee Tables

Theoneste Rwayitare, a Rwandan refugee who resettled in Vermont last year, pours powdered milk into a bucket for milking at the Vermont Goat Collaborative's Pine Island Farm.
Angela Evancie for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 11:47 am

It's easy to find goat milk and goat cheese in Vermont. Goat meat, not so much.

That's frustrating for the refugees, immigrants and others who've settled in the state who are accustomed to eating fresh goat meat. Though it's not so common in the U.S., it's a mainstay in many African, Asian and Caribbean diets.

But there's a movement afoot to meet the demand for goat meat throughout New England.

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Vermont
1:07 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Bracing For A Battle, Vermont Passes GMO Labeling Bill

A customer shops for produce at the Hunger Mountain Co-op in April 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. More than a dozen food cooperatives supported the bill that would require the labeling of genetically modified foods.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:46 pm

The Green Mountain State is poised to become the first to require food companies to label products containing genetically modified ingredients.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin tweeted he will sign a bill state lawmakers passed Wednesday mandating that foods with GMOs be labeled as having been produced with "genetic engineering." The bill would also make it illegal for foods with GMOs to be labeled "all natural" or "natural."

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:57 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014 with White Flower Farm

Credit Thangaraj Kumaravel/flickr creative commons

Our Earth Day celebration: a gift certificate for you to White Flower Farm. Litchfield's famed garden center, White Flower Farm, thanks you for supporting WNPR with a $25 gift certificate for you toward any store or online purchase.

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O Mycelium!
8:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Connecticut's Growing Role in Mushroom Cultivation

Logs drilled, plugged with mushroom spawn, and coated with wax.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Last month, Governor Dannel Malloy announced more than $880,327 in state grants for dozens of Connecticut farms. Among the recipients is a farmer in Higganum looking to fill 1,000 logs with many more mushrooms.

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Dems Disagree
4:04 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Democratic Lawmakers Disagree on GMO Grass Seed Bill

Senate President Donald Williams introduced a measure this session that would ban genetically modified grass seed. The bill passed in the Senate, but was voted down in the House.
Credit CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Democrats hold the majority in the General Assembly so it’s rare when a bill endorsed by Democrats in one chamber gets defeated in the other. But that's exactly what happened this week. 

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Connecticut First
6:14 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Malloy Announces Funding for Farms; Lawmakers Present Pre-K Proposal

Governor Malloy announced this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow Connecticut to use more than $8 million of federal funding to preserve and protect the state's farms. He says Connecticut has already preserved more than 300 farms and 13,000 acres of farmland and hopes to use the extended funding to protect not only farms, but also jobs.

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Agriculture
4:18 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Malloy Announces Agreement to Preserve Connecticut Farmland

Dairy farmer Robin Chesmer, center, sees farmland investment as essential in the state.
Tess Aaronson

Governor Malloy announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow Connecticut to use more than $8 million of federal funding to preserve and protect the state's farms. 

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Agriculture
1:16 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Report: New England Should Develop Locally-Grown Food System

Buttonwoods Farm in Griswold from above.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A new report on sustainable agriculture policy recommends that New England build its own regional food system with locally-grown products. Cris Coffin, New England director of the American Farmland Trust, a co-author of the study, said consumers in the region want to buy local. 

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...and Champagne Wishes
5:09 am
Sun March 30, 2014

No-Kill Caviar Aims To Keep The Treat And Save The Sturgeon

This Vivace "no-kill" caviar was harvested from a Siberian sturgeon via a massage-based technique. The fish didn't die. But did the taste survive?
Alastair Bland for NPR

Caviar was once the food of kings and czars — and for a sturgeon, it meant death.

But a new technique of massaging the ripe eggs from a female sturgeon — without killing or even cutting the fish open— could make caviar more abundant, more affordable, and more accessible to all.

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Horses Are Pretty, But Vicious?
12:23 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Horses Can Bite; Connecticut Justices Send "Scuppy" Case Back to Lower Court

Credit Courtesy of Flickr CC by Doug Wheller

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that owners of horses or other domestic animals must prevent the animal from causing injuries, siding with a family whose child was bitten by a horse. The court on Wednesday upheld an Appellate Court ruling that said a horse belongs to "a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious."

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Meat
1:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

How Your Love Of Burgers May Be Helping To Drive Wildlife Extinct

Rancher Denny Johnson looks over his cattle in Joseph, Ore., in 2011. Conservationists say ranchers raising beef cattle are responsible for the decline of some wildlife.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:57 pm

Many animal lovers have made peace with their decision to eat meat.

But the Center for Biological Diversity has a new campaign that hopes to convince them that a hamburger habit does wildlife a disservice.

"We need to see a drastic reduction in meat consumption to protect land, water and wildlife," Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director for the Center for Biological Diversity, tells The Salt.

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Connecticut Cheese Challenge
9:59 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Senator Murphy Puts the EU's Cheese Claims to the Test

Beaver Brook Farm's raw cow milk feta beat out a Greek sheep and goat milk feta in the Connecticut Cheese Challenge.
Credit The Matheson / Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy participated in the Connecticut Cheese Challenge on Tuesday. The purpose of the taste test was to prove to the European Union that American- made cheeses are just as good as their European counterparts.

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Taste Test
9:27 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Lyme Cheese Maker Organizes Connecticut Cheese Challenge

Connecticut-made cheese: just as good as the European version?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A cheese-maker in Lyme is organizing the Connecticut Cheese Challenge, hoping to draw attention to efforts by the European Union to limit the use of names like Parmesan, feta and Gorgonzola on cheese made in the U.S.

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Nutrition
10:47 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

JuJu Harris is the author of The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook. A former recipient of government food assistance, she now teaches healthy eating skills to low-income families in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Molly M. Peterson

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:47 pm

JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to accept public assistance to feed her son, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.

"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. At 32, she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Paraguay to help local farmers improve their crops.

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Tree Trimming
4:30 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

For Tree-Trimming Opponents, a Victory, at Least for Now

A well-loved tree in Hamden, Conn.
Credit Contributed Photo

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is calling for a suspension of "enhanced tree trimming" around the state. It's a decision following months of public outcry.

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