Lt. Governor Bysiewicz and State Agencies Announce Nearly $7 Million Awarded in Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry Grants During Climate Action Week
(SOMERS, CT) – Yesterday, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt, and DEEP Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble concluded Climate Action Week with the announcement of grant recipients receiving nearly $7 million in funding through the Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Grant program to implement climate smart practices. The announcement was made at Grower Direct Farms, Inc. in Somers, a subrecipient of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association award totaling $1.75 million to reduce water consumption across six greenhouse operations in Connecticut.
“These investments in Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry throughout our great state underline our administration’s commitment to supporting local farmers, increasing access to fresh foods, and combatting climate change,” said Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “I’d like to thank the Department of Agriculture for spearheading this vital program and congratulate the grant recipients.”
Public Act 22-118, passed during the 2022 legislative session, allocated $14 million to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to support Climate Smart Agriculture production and practices. This is the first $7 million to be distributed for climate smart practices, with the additional $7 million coming available for Farmland Restoration and Climate Resiliency projects in the near future. This first round received 78 applications requesting more than $55 million in grant funds.
“This celebrates an investment in Connecticut agriculture – both the working lands and the operations – by providing tools to implement projects and activities that will have meaningful impact for future sustainability of businesses and the environment,” said Commissioner Hurlburt. “The response demonstrates a clear desire by the industry to make change and the structure of the grant program allowed us to touch more than just the 12 recipient organizations, as many applied on behalf of a collective or will distribute funds through their own award process.”
Commissioner Hurlburt and Deputy Commissioner Trumble co-chaired the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry working group in 2022, bringing together agriculture and forestry industry members to discuss current climate smart practices and needs.
“Our farms and forests play a significant role in our effort to mitigate the effects of climate change,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This program grew out of the important work of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3). I thank Gov. Lamont for his leadership in expanding the GC3, for making this area of climate action a component in his Executive Order 21-3, and in his budget. Thank you to our DoAg partners for administering this great program, and congratulations to the grant recipients for their innovative work and inspiring efforts to be part of the solution to the climate crisis.”
The 2023 Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Grant awardees are:
Tier 1 $100,000-$249,999:
- Meechooôk Farm of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Mashantucket
- Green Village Initiative, Bridgeport
- Elm Farm LLC, Woodstock
- Bristol Beef LLC, Bristol
Tier 2 $250,000-$499,999:
- Aspetuck Land Trust, Easton
- Collective Oyster Recycling & Restoration (CORR), Southport
Tier 3 $500,000-$999,999:
- University of Connecticut, Storrs
- Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Middletown
- New Connecticut Farmer Alliance, New Haven
- Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, Kent
Tier 4 $1,000,000+:
- Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Haddam
- Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association, Inc., Waterbury
For more information about the Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Grant, or other grant programs available for agricultural producers in Connecticut, visit www.CTGrown.gov/grants.
For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 30, 2023
Contact: Sam Taylor