Ag tech start-ups show explosive growth

Mar 15, 2016
Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

The Western Farm Show in Kansas City, Missouri, is a long way from Silicon Valley.

But here in a huge arena, set in what used to be the Kansas City Stockyards, the high-tech future of agriculture is for sale.

Women are making big impacts on small farms

Sep 8, 2015
Julie Grant/Allegheny Front


Computer science professor Gwenn Volkert decided she was going to become a goat farmer while on a work trip to Paris. It was the cheese that got her. It was just so much better than anything she could get back home.

“I simply stated as fact: I’m going to make goat cheese,” she says. “And my husband said, ‘I think you’re going to need some goats for that.’ And I said, ‘Well that settles it, we need to get goats.’”



Farming is still big business in New  York State. That’s the upshot of a report just released by the NYS  Comptroller.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that agriculture contributed $37.6 billion to the state's economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent over a five year period. 

DiNapoli says it’s not just the traditional grain and vegetable crops that are contributing to that bottom line.

Malt barley growers get a boost from Sen. Schumer

Jan 6, 2015
Photo: Lakeworther, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Malt barley is a temperamental little plant. It needs to be brought up in very specific conditions in order to yield a quality beer. Adverse weather can destroy entire harvests, like this past season in Idaho, where heavy rains took 80 percent of their crop.

That’s why Senator Schumer is pushing for insurance for New York malt barley farmers.

“There are just too many obstacles, risk, and cost standing in the way. And our job here will be to get federal crop insurance for malt barley here in New York state, and then malt barley will take off.”

New York’s dairy industry likely won’t see more of the good times next year farmers experienced in 2014, largely because dairy prices and profits are expected to level off.