Connecticut Department of Agriculture Awards $497,000 to Farm Transition Grant Applicants
Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt announces that the Connecticut Department of Agriculture has awarded 24 grants from the Farm Transition Grant (FTG) program, totaling $497,382 to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives seeking to expand, diversify, and improve their existing operation.
The 2021 FTG was revised to address the needs and better respond to known gap within the industry. As a result, four new grant categories were developed:
- New Farmer Microgrant
- Infrastructure Investment Grant
- Research and Development Grant
- Innovation and Diversification Grant
The categories consisted of a new farmer grant to assist producers with three years or less advance their farm business, an infrastructure investment grant to enable farm businesses to diversify farm product offerings or expand, a research and development grant to enable the farm business to determine if a new product or service is financially viable, and a final category of innovation and diversification that will enable a farm business to implement a new product or service.
"The restructuring of the Farm Transition Grant affords the opportunity to better support Connecticut’s agricultural producers throughout all stages of their life and business,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “The selected projects demonstrate the innovation and growth of agriculture to create sustainable job opportunities while developing a diversified offering of farm products for consumers.”
Connecticut is home to more than 5,500 farms contributing more than $4 billion to the state’s economy.
2021 Farm Transition Grant awardees include:
New Farmer Grant Category:
- Farmington Farm Truck, Farmington: Equipment to increase production through organic no-till methods.
- Hidden Gem Orchard, Southbury: Convert a garage into a cold storage room for apples.
- Micro2Life, LLC, Waterbury: Equipment to hydroponically grow leafy greens.
- Walden Farm, LLC, Moodus: Equipment to allow for better irrigation of crops.
- The 4 Five Farm, LLC, Bloomfield: Fencing installation for multi-species grazing.
- DeLuca Family Farm, South Glastonbury: Equipment for sweet corn growing expansion.
Innovation and Diversification Category:
- Grower Direct Farms, Somers: Convert greenhouses for hydroponic production of tomatoes and strawberries.
- Bell’s Shellfish, LLC, Norwalk: Construct a retail store front to sell freshly harvested clam and Stratford Point Oysters.
- Fair Weather Growers, LLC, Rocky Hill: Construct a green bean mobile packing line.
- Baldwin Brook Farm, LLC, Canterbury: Equipment to diversify dairy product offerings.
- Full Heart Farm, Ledyard: Construction of a multi-purpose building and commercial kitchen.
- D & G Agriculture Technologies, LLC, Eastford: Equipment for tissue culturing of hydroponically grown hemp plants.
Infrastructure Investment Category:
- Cloverleigh Farm, LLC, Columbia: Construct a propagation greenhouse.
- Pell Strawberries, LLC, South Windsor: Equipment to extend indoor strawberry growing season.
- Country Farm 2, Northford: Construct a multi-purpose building.
- Fort Hill Farm, LLC, New Milford: Equipment to increase production through organic no-till methods.
- Castle Hill Farm, Newtown: Barn re-model project to increase hay production and storage.
- ACRE Farm DBA Four Root Farm, East Haddam: Drill and construct a new well for increased vegetable crop production.
- Smokedown Farm, LLC, Sharon: Equipment for hop harvesting and storage.
- Still River Farm, Coventry: Equipment for grain production.
- Muddy Roots Farm, LLC, Wallingford: Modify an existing structure into a certified poultry processing room.
- Cow Pots, LLC, East Canaan: Equipment to modernize cow pot manufacturing to increase production.
Research and Development Category:
No applications received.
The Farm Transition Grant Program is a competitive matching grant program. Funding is provided through Public Act 05-228, An Act Concerning Farmland Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing, and Historic Preservation. Grant funds are reimbursed to the awardee after the project is successfully completed, a final financial and written report outlining all expenses and tasks associated with the project have been received and approved, and site inspection by agency staff is conducted. Additional information about the program can be found at www.CTGrown.gov/Grants.
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.