— Maple Weekend offers North Country rite of spring
PLATTSBURGH — Participants are invited to tap into one of the sweetest events of the year, New York State’s Maple Weekend, taking place March 16 to 17 and 23 to 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Both weekends, sugar shacks all along the Adirondack Coast will open their doors for tours, tastings, pancake breakfasts, wagon rides, recipes, demonstrations and more.
Each year, the Adirondack Region produces one-third of New York State’s maple syrup. As spring temperatures begin to rise in late February and early March, maple trees and sugarbushes become a hive of activity. In Northern New York, when sap begins to drip through sugaring lines, it’s a sure sign that Adirondack maple sugaring season has begun.
Participating locations include:
Homestead Maple, 1075 Lake Shore Road, Chazy, 12921, 846-3192.
1812 Homestead Farm and Museum, 4403 state Route 22, Willsboro, 12996, 963-7816.
Bechard’s Sugar House, 61 Sanger Lane, West Chazy, 12992, 846-7498.
Brow’s Sugarhouse, 89 Sugarbush Drive West Chazy, 12992, 493.5683.
Parker Family Maple Farm, 1043 Slosson Road, West Chazy, 12992, 493-6761.
Black Rooster Maple, 3076 State Route 73, Keene, 12942, 576-9792.
Woods Maple Products, 1470 County Route 23, Chateaugay, 12920, 497-6387.
The Wild Center, 45 Museum Drive, Tupper Lake, 12946, 359-7800.
Cornell University — Uihlein Forest, 157 Bear Cub Lane, Lake Placid, 523-9337.
Brushton-Moira Central School FFA, 758 County Route 7, Brushton, 12916, 483-6888.
Golden Arrow Resort, 2559 Main Street, Lake Placid, 12946, 523-3353.
Maple Knoll Farm, 784 14th Road, Minerva, 12851, 251-5141.
Heaven Hill Farm, 302 Bar Cub Lane, Lake Placid, 12946, 524-0240.
Richard Atwood Maple Products, 161 Atwood Road, West Chazy, 12992, 493-2678.
The Visitor’s Interpretive Center at Paul Smith’s College, 7777 State Route 30, Paul Smiths, 12970, 327.6241.
For more information on Maple Weekend, visit facebook.com/mapleweekendneny or www.mapleweekend.com.
January milk prices decrease from December
ALBANY — Prices received by New York producers for milk sold during January were down from a month earlier, according to King Whetstone, director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.
The price of hay and apples also decreased. The price of corn and potatoes increased. Many previous month prices were revised due to more complete sales information.
Dairy farmers in the Empire State received an average of $20.70 per hundred pounds of milk sold during January, down $1.40 from December but up 20 cents from January 2012.
Grain corn, at $7.29 per bushel, was up 34 cents from December and 75 cents above January 2012 prices. Hay averaged $141 per ton, down $5 from last month but up $34 from January 2012. Potatoes averaged $13.90 per cwt., up 30 cents from December but down 70 cents from last year.
Apples, at $47.60 per cwt., were down $2.50 from the previous month but were $16.20 above January 2012.
The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in January, at 217 percent based on 1990-1992 equals 100, increased 18 points (9 percent) from December. The Crop Index is up 22 points (9.7 percent) and the Livestock Index increased 2 points (1.2 percent).
Producers received higher prices for lettuce, broilers, cattle and corn and lower prices for milk, soybeans, eggs and wheat. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a three-year average mix of commodities producers sell.
Increased monthly movement of corn, soybeans, rice and strawberries offset the decreased marketing of broilers, milk, wheat and upland cotton.
Tractor Supply offers new scholarship program
PLATTSBURGH — As an extension of its sponsorship with the National FFA Foundation, Tractor Supply Company has recently begun a new scholarship program to assist FFA members in their pursuit of a college degree.
The Growing Scholars program will be supported nationally by each of the more than 1,150 Tractor Supply stores through Feb. 24, which includes National FFA Week. Tractor Supply customers can donate $1 at store registers during the checkout process to support local FFA chapters and their members. Ninety percent of funds raised through Tractor Supply’s Growing Scholars program will be utilized to fund scholarships for FFA members. The remaining 10 percent of donations will benefit state FFA organizations.
“This program will provide critical funding to FFA members who intend to pursue a college degree and local FFA chapters that enrich the lives of young members by teaching life skills, citizenship and leadership qualities,” said Tractor Supply President and CEO Greg Sandfort. “For us, this is an outstanding way to support our current and future customers and future team members and a way to give back to the 1,100-plus unique communities we serve.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be current FFA members and either high school seniors or a freshman, sophomore or junior college student seeking a two- or four-year degree or other specialized training program. Major areas of study will also be considered when determining scholarship recipients.
“We are extremely grateful to Tractor Supply and its customers for supporting FFA, student and alumni members and agriculture education in general,” said National FFA Foundation Executive Director Robert K. Cooper.
In addition to the Growing Scholars program, Tractor Supply and the National FFA Foundation have many other joint initiatives, including the FFA horse evaluation career development event, National FFA Week and the annual National Association of Agricultural Educators Conference. At an individual store level, Tractor Supply continually hosts fund-raising events and works closely with local FFA chapters and high school agriculture advisers to provide resources and leverage synergies.
Hispanic and women farmers claims due
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has reminded Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in past decades that there are fewer than 45 days remaining in the filing period closing March 25.
“Hispanic and women farmers who believe they have faced discriminatory practices in the past from the U.S.D.A. have 45 days left to file a claim in order to have a chance to receive a cash payment or loan forgiveness,” Vilsack said. “U.S.D.A. urges potential claimants to contact the claims administrator for information and mail their claim packages on or before March 25, 2013.”
The process offers a voluntary alternative to litigation for each Hispanic or female farmer and rancher who can prove that USDA denied his or her application for loan or loan-servicing assistance for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. As announced in February 2011, the voluntary claims process will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. There are no filing fees.
The department will continue reaching out to potential Hispanic and female claimants around the country to get the word out to individuals who may be eligible for this program so they have the opportunity to participate.
Call center representatives can be reached at 1-888-508-4429 or visit www.farmerclaims.gov. Claimants may register for a claims package by calling or visiting the website or may download the forms from the website.