AGRICULTURE

Organic dairy farmers are getting paid less because of an oversupply of their milk, a market glut that’s led one major organic buyer to delay signing on new farmers.

Mass. Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler and Minority Leader Bruce Tarr talked to the press, backed up by most of their fellow members, following a marathon set of caucuses Monday that determined Chandler would be elected acting Senate president.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

This week, Sen. Harriette Chandler was named Massachusetts Senate President for the remainder of the year. And Sen. Stan Rosenberg, who stepped away from the post amid a scandal involving his husband, reaffirmed his vow that Bryon Hefner did not influence anything having to do with the state Senate. 

Jersey dairy cows feed at Mapleline Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts.
File photo / The Republican / MassLive.com/photos

For dairy farms in New England, the outlook for milk prices is not good this year. The stress has been tied to suicides among dairy farmers.

Public comment underway on draft marijuana laws for Massachusetts. The first session held by the Cannabis Control Commission took place at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on Monday, February 5, 2018.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission held its first day of public listening sessions Monday in Pittsfield and Holyoke. The board is asking for feedback on proposed regulations for the state's marijuana industry.

Food bank shelves in Washington, D.C.
Crista Friedli / Bread for the World

Congress is expected to debate a new farm bill this year, and with it, funding to the food assistance program known as SNAP. One western Massachusetts agency is worried that any cuts in benefits would have a negative impact on the hungry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts consumers will be paying less for beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey in early 2018 than at the start of 2017. Not so for eggs.

The Massachusetts Senate president's office, bedecked with evergreens and lights, was open to visitors on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Our look at the week's news starts with some of the work done by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. The panel is charged with developing regulations for the state's marijuana industry, and began the process of setting policy, which could allow for cannabis cafes, and even home delivery. 

Eggs in a carton.
moritz320 / Creative Commons

Thirteen states are suing Massachusetts over a voter-approved law banning the sale of eggs or meat from some animals kept in small cages.

Forest ecologist Christian Marks is dwarfed by one of the oldest elm trees in Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

There are thousands of Elm Streets in America, but not many surviving elms, for which the streets were named. Starting in the mid-20th century, Dutch elm disease killed off millions.

Darryl and Lucinda Williams at Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, Massachusetts.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

This Thanksgiving, when scooping ice cream on top of warm apple pie, some Massachusetts lawmakers’ thoughts might turn to tax credits for dairy farmers. They would be expanded under a measure under consideration in the legislature.

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