Viewing entries tagged
Agriculture

A Different Kind of Resistance at Bittersweet Farm

1 Comment

A Different Kind of Resistance at Bittersweet Farm

By Andrew Watson

It is the morning of January 16th, four days before Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. It is, coincidentally, four days before many believe the end of the world will begin. For Brian Bennett, his wife Ann, and his daughter Catherine, it is just Monday. The Bennetts, owners and operators of Bittersweet Farm in Heuvelton, New York, are resistance fighters. However, they do not fight with guns, uniforms, or marching orders; their fight requires hand tools, a 1958 International Harvester, and an extensive knowledge of heritage breed ruminants and poultry.

1 Comment

Changing Times: North Country Dairy Farmers Tell Their Stories

Comment

Changing Times: North Country Dairy Farmers Tell Their Stories

By Julianne DeGuardi

While conducting this research on the history of the North Country dairy industry, I contacted Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY), a local non-profit organization based in Canton, NY. TAUNY developed an exhibit in 2013 entitled Dairy Farm Workers in Northern New York, which consisted of several recorded and transcribed interviews with dairy farmers throughout St. Lawrence County and with some Hispanic migrant workers, as well as several photos of the farms that depict various aspects of farm life and work. In this particular post I will be referencing some of the interviews with the farmers to share their experiences and perspectives on the aforementioned changes within the North Country dairy industry over the last thirty years. I will be referencing the transcribed interviews with farmers from three different dairy farms in St. Lawrence County: Decker Farm, Adon Farm, and Andrews Farm.

Comment

The Changing Nature of the North Country Dairy Industry

Comment

The Changing Nature of the North Country Dairy Industry

By Julianne DeGuardi

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the dairy industry is an extremely lucrative component of New York State’s economy, especially in St. Lawrence County, which is the state’s second largest dairy producer. Within the last thirty years, however, the industry throughout the entire U.S. has undergone drastic changes that have reverberated throughout New York State in general and St. Lawrence Country in particular. In the late 1980s, New York began deregulating the dairy industry by eliminating New-Deal-era regulations that had protected local milk processors. Consequently the state has lost nearly two-thirds of its dairy farms since the 1980s and the ones that remain have expanded.  In this post I provide an overview of these changes, all of which provide the context for an upcoming post that will feature the voices of North Country dairy farmers.

Comment

Migrant Workers in the North Country: Heightened Border Security, Heightened Invisibility

1 Comment

Migrant Workers in the North Country: Heightened Border Security, Heightened Invisibility

By Julianne DeGuardi

Since 9/11 Border Patrol regulations have been heightened significantly, which has placed the migrant workers in an increasingly vulnerable situation at the northern border. In 2001 there were about 340 Border Patrol agents in the US with 37 in NY; however, in 2014 there were 2,094 agents with 288 in NY. As result of such high border security, which I have witnessed myself this summer driving around the North Country, these migrant communities have become increasingly invisible, especially dairy farm workers because the majority are undocumented due to the lack of a visa program available for year-round workers.

1 Comment