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NEPR News Now Podcast: Valuing Berkshire Art, Milking Robots, Elms' Comeback, Slime Mold Scholars

Milking equipment at Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, Massachusetts.
Carrie Healy
Milking equipment at Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

As Massachusetts lawmakers ponder whether to give more tax credits to a dwindling number of dairy farmers, those farmers are innovating. One example: a milking robot. We visit Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield.

We also hear about American elms. The species took a beating last century, but ecologists are engineering a comeback.

And we visit Hampshire College, where academics jumped on an unusual course of scientific and existential investigation. They're looking for answers from a brainless amoeba known as slime mold.

But first up in this episode: Berkshire Museum lawyers want the state appeals court to quickly decide whether it can auction off parts of its art collection, including two paintings by Norman Rockwell. The court issued an injunction halting the sale. One big question now: Will the delay affect how much the art gets at auction, if there is one?

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Sam Hudzik has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Media since 2013. He manages a team of about a dozen full- and part-time reporters and hosts.
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