Ct Farmers Get $1 million Grant Awards

Connecticut  Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky today announced state investments in agriculture as part of an ongoing grant program that will expand and advance Connecticut’s agricultural economy.

Sixteen agricultural producers, thirteen non-profit agricultural organizations, and seven municipalities from throughout the state have been awarded Connecticut Agriculture Viability Grants, designed to strengthen Connecticut’s agricultural job base and to support and promote agriculture in the state.  (A complete list of grant awardees and their projects is included at the end of this release.)

“Our state has a rich agricultural history, and these grants will bolster how we protect and preserve that heritage, while at the same time help us to find the best ways to expand the market for Connecticut grown products,” said Governor Malloy.  “Creating jobs and opportunity in the agricultural sector is in keeping with our past, and will prepare us for a strong future.”

The grantees will have up to one year to complete the project, according to the terms of their contract.  The grants were awarded on a competitive basis and a match must be supplied by the applicant.  The Department of Agriculture’s share of the budget is capped at $49,999 in matching funds.

Funding is not limited to producers.  Non-profit organizations and municipalities also are eligible and may use the grants for town or regional planning purposes, as long as agricultural components are involved.

“Agriculture plays a significant role in Connecticut’s economy and has a total impact of up to $3.5 billion,” said Commissioner Reviczky.  “Farms tend to be long-lived businesses that don’t pick up and move easily.  These grants are smart investments in projects that will continue to strengthen the state’s economy for many years to come.”

The Agricultural Viability Grants are made available through Public Act 05-228, An Act Concerning Farm-land Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation.  This landmark legislation serves to protect and preserve Connecticut for future generations by providing funding for municipal open space grants, farm viability and preservation, historic preservation, and new and existing affordable housing programs, along with new infrastructure to support and promote agriculture in the state.

The funding is generated through a $40 fee collected by town/city clerks for the recording of all documents into municipal land records. Documents subject to this fee include deeds, mortgages, mechanics’ liens, judgment liens, notices of lease, releases of mortgages and liens, name change certificates, notices of variances, and condominium declarations.

The Department of Agriculture plans to open up the grant application period again in the late fall.  For more information on these grants, please visit www.ct.gov/doag/  (Click on “Programs and Services” then “Agriculture Viability Grants.”)

2012 Agriculture Viability Grants Awarded

Farm Transition Grants (Producers)
Total Grants: $466,611, Project Value: $1,094,896

Butler Farm, Pine Meadow (New Hartford); Contact: Jeremiah Butler
To double the size of its greenhouse in order to begin production of lettuce
Grant: $20,000, Project Value: $40,000

Devon Point Farm, Woodstock; Contact: Patty & Erick Taylor
CSA and grass raised beef farm. Will allow for new access road to allow for bus traffic and construction of toilet facilities for compliance standards for GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and GHP (Good Handling Practices)
Grant: $49,999, Project Value: $105,721

George Hall Farm, Simsbury; Contact: George Hall
To construct new barn roof and chicken coop to increase production of their CSA
Grant :$16,562, Project Value: $33,125

Gourmavian Farms, Bolton; Contact: Gary Proctor
Mobile refrigeration transportation system for fresh poultry and shell eggs
Grant: $15,700, Project Value: $31,700

Hastings Farm, Suffield; Contact: Megan Hastings
Dairy barn and milk room renovations
Grant: $49,999, Project Value: $108,678

The Hickories Farm, Ridgefield; Contact: Blandina Brewster
Construction of new livestock handling system
Grant $2,999, Project Value $6,352

Hickory Hill Orchards, Cheshire; Contact: Fred Kudish
Improvements to orchard and apple storage facility
Grant: $25,000, Project Value $54,322

Jewett City Greenhouses, Jewett City; Contact: Louis Demicco
Energy efficiency improvements to greenhouses, replacing glass and vents
Grant: $37,045, Project Value: $74,090

Longmeadow Farm, West Cornwall; Contact: Thomas Levine
Construction of a chicken house for meat birds
Grant: $9,153, Project Value: $18,306

Mountaintop Mushrooms, Waterbury; Contact: Gregg Wershoven
To expand indoor mushroom growing facility to increase retail sales of exotic mushrooms
Grant  $49,999, Project Value $100,000

Pramer Oyster Company, Norwalk; Contact: Tim Pramer
Expand and diversify shellfish operations in Norwalk
Grant: $25,000, Project Value: $153,000

Prides Corner Farms, Lebanon; Contact: Mark Sellew
Shade/heat retention system for their propagation greenhouse
Grant: $18,692, Project Value: $37,384

Sharon Pheasant Farm, Sharon; Contact: Robert Wilbur
Rebuilding of seven pheasant pens
Grant: $46,091, Project Value: 92,182

Stone Acres Farm, Stonington; Contact: Rodger Phillips
CSA Greenhouse construction, deer fencing and tractor attachments for vegetables
Grant: $11,433, Project Value: $22,866

Sunnyside Farm, Voluntown; Contact: Joan Gileau
Purchase of tractor and loader for increased efficiency in field crops
Grant: $38,940, Project Value: $77,880

Thorncrest Farm, Goshen; Contact: Clint & Kim Thorn
Construction of milk house creamery for cheesemaking
Grant: $49,999, Project Value: $139,290

Farm Viability Grants (Municipalities and Non-Profits)
Total Grants: $468,490, Project Value: $1,056,947

Town of Bethany
For promotion of farmers’ market
Grant: $950, Project Value: $1,900

Town of Bozrah
For promotion of farmers’ market
Grant: $2,205, Project Value: $4,410

(Nonprofit) Cheshire Land Trust; Contact: David Schrumm
A working farm for replacement of main barn in order to pack and ship produce and storage
Grant: $40,000, Project Value: $108,264

(Nonprofit) City Seed, New Haven; Contact: Nicole Berube
Unified marketing strategy for New Haven farmers’ markets
Grant: $7,100, Project Value: $13,680

Town of Colchester
Develop a community services cost report and ag awareness project
Grant: $17,300, Project Value: $34,978

(Nonprofit) Common Ground, New Haven; Contact: Melissa Spear
A FoodCorps project focusing on five municipalities to improve school food environments
Grant: $49,070, Project Value: $84,024

(Nonprofit) Coventry Regional Farmers Market; Contact: Winter Caplanson
New site development for Coventry Farmers’ Market
Grant: $49,999, Project Value: $130,109

(Nonprofit) CT Agricultural Education Foundation, Windsor; Contact: Joan Nichols
Emergency preparedness planning for ag producers
Grant: $15,000, Project Value: $25,000

(Nonprofit) CT Farmland Trust, Hartford; Contact: James Gooch
A municipally focused acceleration of Agricultural Conservation
Grant: $25,000, Project Value: $50,000

(Nonprofit) Eastern CT Resource Conservation & Development Area, Vernon; Contact: John Guszkowski
A pilot study for a value chain partnership for local meat in Connecticut
Grant: $37,500, Project Value: $67,100

(Nonprofit) Friends of Ambler Farm, Wilton; Contact: Kevin Meehan
Purchase of reverse osmosis machine to increase maple syrup production
Grant: $2,890, Project Value: $5,780

Town of Haddam
Higganum Village Farmers’ Market promotion
Grant: $4,500, Project Value: $9,000

(Nonprofit) Hartford Food System, Hartford; Contact: Martha Page
For construction of greenhouse to support CSA
Grant: $14,615, Project Value: $20,461

(Nonprofit) Holcomb Farm, West Granby; Contact: Sam Hammer
New irrigation system for vegetable fields
Grant: $29,805, Project Value: $49,675

(Nonprofit) Knox Park Foundation, Hartford; Contact: Barbara Naugle
Establish a new community garden
Grant: $29,757, Project Value: $149,550

(Nonprofit) North Central Conservation District, Vernon; Contact: David Askew
Administer an ag restoration grant program for farmers
Grant: $49,999, Project Value: $83,331

Town of Southbury
Farmers’ market promotions
Grant: $2,500, Project Value: $5,000

Town of Sprague
Farmland and open space preservation
Grant: $25,000, Project Value: $50,000

(Nonprofit) Town of Westport, Harbor Watch; Contact: Dick Harris
Tracking and ID’ing storm drain contamination of shellfish waters
Grant: $38,000, Project Value: $119,185

(Nonprofit) Wind Hill Community Farm & Learning Center, Glastonbury; Contact: Barbara Wagner
Expansion of CSA and educational programming
Grant: $27,300, Project Value: $45,500




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