Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Geopolitics of Cheese

putting cheese into molds at the food science plant at Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Stocking HallI enjoy a wide variety of dairy products. And I especially like cheese. All sorts of cheese. Hard, soft, sharp, mild, pungent, curds. Sliced, shredded, cubed, balled, spread, powdered, creamed, and whipped. A little tossed into my breakfast omelet; a slice, perhaps two, on my sandwich at lunch; a touch grated or sprinkled into my salad and/or over my pasta and/or drizzled on my veggies at supper. And then, of course, there’s pizza, cheesy burritos, mac and cheese, cheesecake, cheese Danish, wine and cheese. I can go on. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Organic? Grass Fed? Cage Free? What’s It All Mean?

Dairy Cows in Collins Center New York 1999In general, there is a lot of confusion about the terminology used when describing food. With everyone vying for your dollar and trying to find their market niche, it’s no wonder consumers find themselves confused about what it all means.

The following is a brief overview of what some commonly used words and terms mean. As always, one of the great benefits of buying local food products is you can always personally ask the farmer what they mean when using a word or term you aren’t familiar with. Never be afraid to ask questions. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Adirondack Dog-Strangling Vine

swallow-wortThis summer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come through with a new hope for the forces of good. Its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has opened a public comment period, ending on August 14, 2017, relating to the release of a non-native insect to control swallow-wort.

Sometimes called “dog-strangling vine,” this invasive plant from Eurasia doesn’t harm pets, but it does live up to its name as a strangler. There are two species of the perennial vine, and they are both adept at choking out wildflowers, forest seedlings, Christmas tree plantations, hay fields and other habitats. In the Eastern Lake Ontario region, it has proved capable of blanketing large tracts, hundreds of acres in some cases, to create permanent monocultures of tangled, toxic foliage. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Forest Land Conservation Program Opportunities

nrcs-logoNew York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced February 3, 2017 as the application cutoff date for Signup 1 of the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is among the largest working-lands conservation programs in the United States. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners are paid for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Laurie Davis: 2014 Farm Bill Funding

adirondack harvest logoEvery 5 years the United States reviews and signs into law a new Farm Bill. We were due for a new bill starting in 2012, but it took until this past February for Congress to sort through what didn’t work in the past, add new things for the future, and generally agree enough on everything to have the President sign the bill into law.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a column about the intricacies of government legislation, but the Farm Bill is something we all should pay attention to because it largely governs our food systems. I’ve always thought that it should be called the “Farm and Food Bill” – then maybe we would take more of an interest. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Invasive Insects: Checking The Trees for Invaders

Surveying trees for signs and symptoms of invasive insects.Back in November, Tom Colarusso of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service asked me if I would like to join forces to organize and host an invasive insect forest survey workshop.

I thought this was an excellent idea. I whipped-up some posters and sent some promotional emails.  Fourteen concerned land owners and agency professionals came from as far away as Albany and Ray Brook for the workshop held at the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s office in Lake Pleasant.
» Continue Reading.