State Bond Commission Approves $5 Million to Return Farmland to Production

Agriculture Commissioner Reviczky announces new farmland-restoration program.


The State Bond Commission approved $5,000,000 in funding this week for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture's new Farmland Restoration Program.

More than 250 farms are expected to be eligible for the program.

Authorized by Public Act 11-1, this voluntary program "provides matching grants of up to $20,000 for restoration activities that increase the state's farmland resource base for agriculture, with an emphasis on prime and important farmland soils and on human and livestock food production," according to a press release issued by Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky.

"Connecticut's agricultural sector is a critical component of the state's history and our economy, and we are committed to supporting efforts to preserve, protect and restore our farms," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the release. "Over the past year we have worked hard to strengthen our economy, adding more than 9,000 jobs in the state in the last 13 months.  Investing in our farms and dairies and expanding their potential is part of Connecticut's economic recovery, and highlights our respect for our agricultural heritage."

A conservation plan or Farmland Restoration Program plan is required for participation in the new program.  Conservation plans are prepared by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), while Farmland Restoration Program plans are prepared with assistance from the North Central Conservation District (NCCD) or other approved entities, the release said.

 "Interested, eligible farmers should first submit an application to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture," said Reviczky in the release.  "We will evaluate the proposals and notify applicants of acceptance or rejection.  In the case of acceptance, we will then ask the applicants to contact the NRCS or NCCD for help preparing the appropriate conservation or restoration plan needed."  Approved funded applicants will have one year to complete the plan treatments.

The Department of Agriculture will give priority to projects targeting production of fruits and vegetables.  The agency will consider livestock, livestock feed, and support production second, with tertiary consideration given to other uses based on land use and acreage to be restored for agricultural production.

Farmers can use the grants for a variety of restoration treatments, including:

  • clearing and removal of trees, stumps, stones, and brush to create or restore agricultural use;
  • installation of resource protection barriers to protect crop fields on restoration areas;
  • restoration of shellfish beds or aquaculture ponds;
  • removal of invasive plants and hedgerow management for reclamation of overgrown fields, pastures, and meadows.

 "This program is another component of our long-range plan to grow sustainable agriculture here in Connecticut," said  Reviczky.  "These grants will help reestablish the productive use of our state's prime and important agricultural lands while providing farmers an opportunity to enhance their businesses through increased production.  That, in turn, will add jobs and contribute to the state's economic growth."

More information about the Farmland Restoration Program, including a program overview, application form, and checklist, is available on the Connecticut Department of Agriculture's website, www.CTGrown.gov (click on "Programs and Services"), or by calling 860-713-2511.

Gene Bartholomew February 07, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Wyatt, Malloy has given billions just this year to UTC, Pfizer etc etc and they have added 0 jobs, in fact there was just an article on the millions going to CCEF and it gave 2 million to a corporation that moved in with 2 jobs, 1 million per frreeeeekin job??? ( if you're connected) This is just candy in the window, chump change he throws out with media coverage to make people think he is doing something, farms actually need a lot more help and we would benefit from local food, vegetables, cheese, milk, and meat without pesticides, hormones, steroids and anti biotics.
Gene Bartholomew February 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Please everyone share this, this is hard to find ( guess why) yes a corporation with a staff of 2 has recieved 2 million of your tax dollars ( they do good work) -----sarcasm http://www.courant.com/business/hc-epip-connecticut-innovations-20120131,0,4600368.story I am really am starting to have a ******** problem with this ****
Gene Bartholomew February 07, 2012 at 02:18 PM
so lets see accordong to that - 1 million per job - and this The state is borrowing $25 million this year to send more cash to CI for investments such as this one. Malloy will create 25 jobs with 25 million lets do some math 25 million will keep 1,000 people living, surviving on UE hmm, sounds like another transfer of wealth to me
Gene Bartholomew February 07, 2012 at 03:24 PM
did a little research, it seems that this company is headed by a Pamela Bunes who is also head of other medical research co's, I would venture to bet that the New Haven adress is nothing more than an office with perhaps no one there, a different company name getting more tax dollars in this state?? check these links out, I hope I am not right. http://www.ctinnovations.com/blog/?tag=epiep-inc http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activities-management/company-structures-ownership/5085567-1.html
Taxed too much already July 21, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Only a complete idiot would believe that spending tax money on businesses that apparently aren't profitable enough to make their own investments in long term improvements is "good for the economy". CT voters must as a dumb as a box of rocks to keep electing these criminals who spend so recklously. Are there any CT voters left out there are don't depend on tax dollars for their care and existance? Are the only voters left in the state tree hugging, green headed liberals?


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