Connecticut Department of Agriculture Announces Updates to Farm Viability Grant
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the 2021 Farm Viability Grant (FVG) guidance is now available. Applications are due June 3, 2021, at 4:00 p.m.
The 2021 program has been reenvisioned with a goal of funded programs which directly respond to a specific problem, interest, or need of the state’s agricultural industry. Projects are requested in the areas of urban agriculture, food systems, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and farmland access.
“The agency is committed to being responsive to the needs of the industry, including urban and underserved farmers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “By retooling our Farm Viability Grant program to address specific focus areas we can ensure projects positively impact growth of the agriculture sector and access to Connecticut Grown products.”
New this year in 2021, four Questions of Focus have been developed. Applicants will choose a Question of Focus and submit a project proposal that responds to the question, developing a potential solution, or progress towards a solution for the priority area.
The four Questions of Focus are:
- Urban Agriculture: Projects that focus on establishing or expanding support and resources for urban agriculture.
- Food Supply Chain: Projects that would make kitchen space available to process CT Grown farm products or propose plans/development for construction of meat processing facilities/food hubs, co-op operations or increase market opportunities for CT farmers.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Agriculture: Projects which directly impact farmers in one or more of the following classifications: limited resource, BIPOC, veterans, people a part of the LGBTQ community, or people with a disability.
- Land Accessibility: Projects that address land accessibility and pilots an effort to improve accessibility for new farmers, current producers looking to expand their operation, or supports succession strategies for farmers exiting agriculture.
Grant guidelines and forms can be found at www.CTGrown.gov/grants. Additional detail on match requirements and eligible expenses can be found in the guidance.All applications will be submitted electronically via a Cognito Forms link.
A virtual workshop to assist interested applicants in learning about the new structure of the grant and application process will occur on May 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. via a Microsoft Teams call.
The FVG is a matching grant program for Connecticut municipalities, groups of municipalities, regional councils of governments and agricultural non-profit organizations for projects that directly impact and/or foster agricultural viability. Funding for the Farm Viability Grant is provided through the State of Connecticut Agricultural Viability Grant Program, established in 2005 through Public Act 228-05, An Act Concerning Farmland Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing, and Historic Preservation.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.