U.S. Drought Monitor

This summer in the Northeast, if you happen to have had an irrigation system on your farm, your crop fields might have been just fine, or not. "We just couldn't work the land. We were so busy trying to put out irrigation pipe,” said Farmer Mike Wisseman. His motto is “Irrigation is Irritation” because pumps break and hoses kink.

Wisseman, along with his family, runs Warner Farm, located on the Connecticut River in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Wisseman said irrigation from the river can't be his primary source of water. To get water to one field, another has to go without.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Ken Ayars, chief of the Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture. They talk about the state of local farming, the changing definition of farming and how farms contribute to the local economy.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Small and beginning farmers and fishermen have until April 1 to apply for new grant money available to help them grow and promote their businesses.   

The governor’s office and the Department of Environmental Management announced a new program with more than $200,000 in grants to make the state’s local food system stronger. The grant program was established by the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) of 2012.

This I Believe RI: Working The Soil

May 1, 2013

Madame Marie Curie, the renowned chemist and physicist who was the first female Nobel prize recipient, once said, “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”  And isn’t it true that perseverance in the face of daunting odds is what helps us get through life’s challenging moments?  That’s what we hear from Jennifer Bristol.

Jennifer Bristol is the Executive Director of Mount Hope Farm in, of all places, Bristol, Rhode Island. She reports having two amazing daughters, and lives in Pawtuxet Village with her best guy Jim and their best dog Rocket.