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CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EXECUTIVE ORDER 7H ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
(HARTFORD, CT) – On March 20, 2020, The Governor issued Executive Order 7H, directing all businesses and nonprofit entities in the State of Connecticut to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ. That order also directed that, no later than March 23, 2020 at 8 p.m., each non-essential business or nonprofit entity (and therefore not including or applicable to any state or local government agencies, quasi-public agencies, political subdivisions or other entities that do not constitute businesses or nonprofits) shall reduce the in-person workforce at each business location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels. Executive Order 7H authorized the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) to provide legally binding guidance about which businesses are essential.
Connecticut Farmers Markets and Farm Stands OPEN
(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut residents seeking fresh, local foods are advised that farm stands and farmers’ markets remain open for business. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture has worked with Governor Lamont’s office to clarify that these entities are not currently affected by the Executive Order.
Legislative Update March 11 2020
It has now been one month since opening day and the legislative process is moving full steam ahead. Over the last several weeks, committees have passed their raised bill deadlines and have begun soliciting public input on a variety of important pieces of legislation. In the short period following a public hearing, a bill can be amended – clarifying data, amending sections, and responding to testimony that was submitted to the committee.
Connecticut's Green Industry Is Growing
(HARTFORD, CT) – Last month members of the green industry, comprised of wholesale and retail nursery, greenhouse, turfgrass and sod producers; landscape architecture, design, construction, and maintenance firms; and distributors of lawn and garden products at wholesale and retail, gathered in the Legislative Office Building to announce the findings of the report by UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy, Economic Impacts of the Connecticut Green Industry in 2017.
Maple Sugaring Season Kicks Off
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt joined Rob Lamothe, owner of Lamothe’s Sugar House in Burlington, on Friday, February 14 to participate in a ceremonial maple tapping in celebration of Connecticut’s “sweetest” time of the year, the start of maple sugaring season.
Connecticut Representatives Vote to Pass Farm Workforce Modernization Act
On December 11, 2019, Connecticut’s representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), a bipartisan bill that seeks to address the growing labor crisis in the agriculture industry by creating a new pathway to legal status for undocumented citizens working in the U.S. agriculture industry.
CONNECTICUT REGIONAL MARKET TRANSFERRED TO CAPITAL REGION DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
(HARTFORD, CT) – Per Section 10 of Public Act 18-154, the Connecticut Regional Market located at 101 Reserve Road in Hartford has been conveyed to the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DOAG). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective January 1, 2020 clearly outlines the duties of each entity going forward.
Outstanding Young Farmer Congress
Connecticut welcomed more than 200 members of the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA) to the National Outstanding Young Farmers (NOYF) Congress from February 6-9 in Westbrook. Attendees included former NOYF alumni, sponsors and other agricultural professionals, as well as 10 finalists from across the nation. The organization gathered to honor the outstanding achievements of America’s young agriculturalists.