Governor Dannel P. Malloy and state Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky today announced that more than 40 farms, agricultural non-profits and municipalities will receive state funding totaling $880,327 as part of an ongoing effort to expand Connecticut's growing agricultural economy.
"Our diverse and vibrant agriculture sector is an important economic driver for our state with enormous potential for future job creation and economic growth," said Governor Malloy. "These grants are a clear sign that we can both preserve our agricultural heritage and help it expand and create jobs."
Funding was made through the Agriculture Department's Farm Transition Grant and Farm Viability Grant programs, designed to increase farm production, promote Connecticut Grown products and create jobs. The funding -- which requires a match from the grantee - will leverage nearly $2.4 million in investments.
Approved projects include:
Improvement of dairy, mushroom, Christmas tree and fruit farms
Construction of greenhouses
Building/modernization of retail farm-product and maple syrup stands
Expansion of wineries
Promotion of farmers' markets
Construction of an aquaculture eel-raising facility
"Connecticut's agriculture economy is making many significant advances in the right direction, and these grants will help keep that momentum going," Cmsr. Reviczky said. "These are important investments that will benefit both producers and consumers."
Agricultural Viability Grants are made available through Public Act 05-228, An Act Concerning Farmland 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.
Farm Transition Grants (agricultural producers and cooperatives)
Grants Allotted: $508,487
Total Farm Project Dollars : $1,479,899
Miller Tree Farm LLC, Durham - Farm diversification into a maple syrup production facility.
Total project budget: $25,000; Grant: $12,500
Six Paca Farm, LLC, Bozrah - Increase fiber mill efficiency through purchase of compressor for washer and carding machine; hot water heater for faster, efficient heat, and a rug yarn-winder and a tumbler that cleans fibers. Total project budget: $36,200; Grant $18,000
7 Falls Mushroom Farm, Higganum - Creation of a 1,000 log Shiitake mushroom production area for sale at local markets. Total project budget: $15,866; Grant: $7,963
MK Dairy, Lebanon - Construction of a pavilion for educational functions on preserved land site. Total project budget: $40,000; Grant: $20,000.
May Hill Farm, Woodstock - Increase milk production through purchase of a Lely Juno Feed Pusher. Total project budget: $16,500; Grant: $8,250
Shady Maple Farm, Salisbury - Redo milking parlor in order to raise dairy and beef cows. Total project budget: $19,965; Grant: $9,982
Holmberg Orchards, Gales Ferry - Purchase of an orchard work platform and pruning system.
Total project budget: $76,758; Grant: $38,379
Sweet Apple Farm LLC, Easton - For plantings at a new farm-production orchard.
Total project budget: $1,750; Grant: $875
Marine Bait Wholesale, Middletown - Construction of aquaculture production system for the raising of wild eels for sale. Total project budget: $111,186; Grant: $49,999
Fabyan Sugar Shack, LLC, North Grosvenordale - Convert from gas generator to electric power in order to run vacuum pump and add lines and taps to produce more syrup. Total project budget: $34,000; Grant: $17,000
Allen Hill Farm, Brooklyn - Install photovoltaic solar electric generating system for Christmas tree farm. Total project budget: $38,478; Grant: $19,239
Rogers Orchards, Southington - Install a trellis system for a high-density orchard.
Total project budget: $80,000; Grant: $20,000
Jones Family Farms Winery, Shelton - Wine-production facility expansion.
Total project budget: $203,365; Grant $25,000
Taylor Brooke Winery, Woodstock - Expansion of winery through construction of a covered external grape crush pad, wine storage building and automated bottling room.
Total project budget: $321,000; Grant: $49,999
Larson's Garden Center, LLC, Burlington - Purchase of a green sustainable wood-heating system for their greenhouse facility and an additional Quonset greenhouse to be used for wood and crop residue storage of the fuel. Total project budget: $86,700; Grant: $42,500
Farm Viability Grants (municipalities and agricultural non-profit organizations)
Grants allotted: $371,840
Total project values: $898,744
American Farmland Trust, Windsor - Update and reprint the booklet Conservation Options for CT Farmland. Total project budget: $22,202; Grant: $11,803
Brass City Harvest, Waterbury - Mobile farmers' market and nutrition program.
Total project budget: $95,576; Grant: $12,000
Community Farm of Simsbury - Construction of greenhouse and equipment flame weeder, scales, heating mats. Total project budget: $10,000; Grant: $5,000
CT NOFA - Educational marketing Campaign. Total project budget: $7,000; Grant: $3,500
CT Agricultural Experiment Station -- Two-year low trellis hop trial research for small farmers. Total project budget: $76,600; Grant: $45,960
Harbor Watch, Westport -- Help eliminate sources of pollution in support of local commercial and recreational shell fishing industry. Total project budget: $136,840; Grant: $38,815
New Haven Farms, New Haven - Wellness program to improve health outcomes by increasing participants' consumption of fruits and vegetables. Total project budget: $282,188; Grant: $25,000
North Central Conservation District, Vernon - Installation of seasonal high tunnel and greenhouse at Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institute in Somers. Total project budget: $98,138; Grant: $49,370
North End Action Team, Middletown -- Farmers' market promotions. Total project budget: $3,000; Grant: $1,500
River COG Regional Agriculture Council, Essex - Connect area farms in 17 town region through website, brochures, conference and analysis. Total project budget: $70,000; Grant $42,000
Urban Oaks Organic Farm, New Britain - Energy audit on greenhouses including heaters, insulation, equipment. Total project budget: $97,200; Grant: $48,600
Town of Bozrah -- Farmers' market promotions. Total project budget: $5,073; Grant: $2,536
Town of Essex - Ivoryton Village Farmers' market promotions and advertising
Total project budget: $6,000; Grant: $2,999
Town of Hamden, Maselli Farm - Farm feasibility study. Total project budget: $30,000; Grant: $18,000
Town of Lebanon - Farmland preservation property appraisals and surveys; market master and farmers' market promotions. Total project budget: $30,591; Grant: $15,000
City of Milford - Pollution source survey of Wepawaug River for protection of shellfish beds
Total project budget: $14,627; Grant: $6,720
Town of East Lyme, Niantic Farmers' Market - Market promotions and advertising.
Total project budget: $11,400; Grant: $5,000
Town of Southbury -- Farmers' market promotions and advertising. Total project budget: $6,001; Grant: $2,999
Town of Suffield - Appraisals for farmland preservation program and consultant for farmers' market website and advertising. Total project budget: $24,750; Grant $11,450
Town of Voluntown -- Farmers' market promotions and advertising. Total project budget: $13,563; Grant: $6,088
Town of Weston - Improvements to Lachat Farm. Total project budget: $35,000; Grant: $17,500
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. Grantees have up to one year to complete their project, according to the terms of their contract.
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 provided that agricultural components are involved. The Department of Agriculture plans to open up the grant-application period again in November.
For more information on these grants, please visit the Department's website at www.ct.gov/doag/. Click on: "Programs and Services" and then: "Agriculture Viability Grants."