Saturday, April 11, 2015

Farm Stands Now Can Take Part in WIC Program

News for people with Farm Stands:

Individual farm stands in New York this year for the first time will be able to join farmers' markets and participate in the federal Women, Infant, Children program.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball and Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said changes in federal regulations allow farm stands to take part in WIC. This means people in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program will be able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farm stands this summer and fall.

“Hundreds of farmers at traditional farmers’ markets already participate in the WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check program, and this new innovation will allow individual farm stands to reach a new audience with world class, locally-produced fruits and vegetables,” said Ball.  “Farm stands have flexible hours and can provide other opportunities such as ‘pick your own’ operations for WIC families.”

“The WIC program ensures that mothers and their young children have access to the food and resources essential to healthy living,” said Dr. Zucker. “This partnership gives more families the ability to eat well, and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the farm.”

The state Department of Health recently announced that children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women participating in WIC will receive an increase in the amount of fruit and vegetables that they can purchase each month. Through federal funds, WIC currently provides $8 per month for children and $10 per month for women to purchase fruits and vegetables of their choice. 

Beginning in March 2015, the Health Department will use state funds to increase the benefit by $4 per check per month through September 2015.

At farm stands, vouchers may be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers. 

Farmers operating farm stands who are interested in becoming authorized to participate in the WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check program can obtain information by visiting the Department of Agriculture and Markets’ WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check program webpage and registering for an upcoming farmer training webinar at:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Farm Service Agency Loan Program Handbook Updated

The full version of Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Programs Handbook 2-FLP (Rev. 1), Guaranteed Loan making and servicing, has been updated and made available for download.

Amendment 32 to the FSA Farm Loan Programs Handbook 2-FLP was recently issued and included many changes and updates. The current handbook, which includes the last Amendment 32, is available at:

World's Tallest Cow is in Illinois

Go to to check out the story.

Dairy Challenge Academy This Weekend at Holiday Inn, Salina

In addition to the Spring Dairy Carousel at the New York State Fairgrounds, there is another dairy event in Syracuse this weekend.

The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge is hosting the Dairy Challenge and Dairy Challenge Academy through Saturday at the Holiday Inn on Electronics Parkway in Salina.

The event will draw 285-plus dairy students and a large number agribusiness professionals to the Syracuse area.

Here is a brief schedule:

·      Friday, April 10
o    Morning: Contest and Academy students visit host farms for evaluation
o    Afternoon: Contest and Academy students work on presentations, and Contest students have farm interviews
o    Evening: Sponsor dinner and then evening at Wonderworks
·         Saturday, April 11
o    Morning: Academy presentations
o    All day: Contests presentations, corporate technology presentations, career and innovation fair
o    Evening: Awards banquet

Farms May Shut Down Due to Milk Glut in NYS

Check out this story at

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Watch the Spring Dairy Carousel Online

You can watch all the action from the many shows at the Spring Dairy Carousel online.

Go to and click on the show you want to watch. 

It's that simple!

Here are the shows that will be online:

9 a.m. April 11, junior Holstein show  
1 p.m. April 11, Ayrshire show
1 p.m., April 11, Guernsey show
4 p.m., April 11, Holstein sale
8 a.m. April 12, Red & White show
9 a.m. April 12, Milking Shorthorn show
12:30 p.m. April 12, Jersey show (ring 1) and Brown Swiss show (ring 2)
 8 a.m. April 13, International Spring Holstein Show