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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Ag census reveals major boost in New England farm-production value

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024   

New agricultural census data show a significant increase in production value for New England farms over the past five years. There are nearly 31,000 farms and ranches operating in the region - a 5% decline from 2017. But those remaining farms grew their production value by nearly 32% to more than $3.5 billion.

Pam Hird, USDA state statistician, said the growth stems from more than just consolidation or an increase in food prices.

"We're using new technologies and new methods and learning things from our universities and our extension services. We're becoming more efficient at farming," she explained.

Hird added the census finds New England farms ranging in size from one to nine acres suffered the greatest losses and are part of the more than 20 million acres of American farmland lost to development and other factors over the past five years.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called the decline in operational farmland "a wakeup call" for America and noted that a majority of America's farmers still rely on second incomes unrelated to farming to make ends meet. Hird said the census reveals an increasing number of young farmers with less than 10 years of experience are helping sustain the region's farm sector.

"What we do is very important," Hird contended. "We're high on the list for organics. We produce hay and hay forage. We have cattle. We have cut flowers. We have honey and bees. Maple, of course, is very critical."

While the number of organic farm numbers declined by nine-percent from 2017, the value of organic sales increased slightly. Hird says more than 67% of regional farmers responded to the census, providing critical data that determines farm programs and services, disaster assistance and technology development.


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Creedon Newell practices teaching construction skills in Wyoming's new career and technical educator bridge course, designed to encourage trades students and professionals to pursue a career in CTE teaching. (Photo by Rob Hill)

Social Issues

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By Lane Wendell Fischer for the Shasta Scout via The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service for the Public News …


Social Issues

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Concerns about potential voter intimidation have spurred several states to consider banning firearms at polling sites but so far, New Hampshire is …

Social Issues

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Today, groups working with lower-income families in Connecticut are raising awareness about the state's "benefits cliff" with a day of action…


Environment

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The construction of more solar farms in the U.S. has been contentious but a new survey shows their size makes a difference in whether solar projects …

Political fights were once considered "taboo" for school boards but things like book bans and debates over diversity programs have brought more tension to the day-to-day functions of the panels. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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Minnesota's largest school district is at the center of a budget controversy tied to the recent wave of school board candidates fighting diversity pro…

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Minnesota lawmakers are considering a measure which would force employers to properly classify certain trade union workers and others as employees rat…

Health and Wellness

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By Mary Anne Franks for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Northern Rockies News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

 

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