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CT DoAg Awards $2.8 Million Investing in 53 Farm-to-School Based Projects

(HARTFORD, CT) The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) is awarding 53 grants totaling more than $2.8 million through its Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Grant (CTG4CTK Grant) to increase the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, allow educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of students, improve the health of children in the state and enhance the state's economy.


“These awards are an investment in our future – the future of our children, the future of our health, the future of our food supply, and the future of our agriculture industry here in Connecticut,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “The state budget made historic investments in farm to school programming in 2023, allowing this program to move beyond a pilot and secure additional funds to support shipping container growing units. These projects will ensure students have access to the healthy foods to fuel their education and personal growth while understanding how their food is grown and participating in that process when possible.”


CT DoAg received 106 applications with 88 deemed eligible after an administrative review, totaling more than $5.3 million in requested grant funds. Selection was highly competitive, and the review was conducted by a statutorily authorized review panel and Commissioner Hurlburt. This is the third round of the program, which was funded for two years as a pilot through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and administered in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Connecticut Farm to School Collaborative (FTSC) and now has up to $1 million available to award annually for the next two years. Eligible entities were able to apply for up to $50,000 in funding with no match required.


The fiscal year 2024 Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Grant awardees include:

Track 1: K-12 Local Procurement Assistance

  • Torrington Public School, Torrington: Eating With Your Eyes
  • Common Ground, New Haven: Sustaining Local Procurement
  • New London Public School, New London: Growing Farm to School

Track 2: K-12 Experiential Learning Grant

  • East Hartford Public Schools, East Hartford: East Hartford Farm to School Project
  • Consolidated School District of New Britain, New Britain: Growing Community Through School Gardens
  • Rocky Hill Public Schools: High School Botany, Rocky Hill: Hydroponic Greenhouse Garden
  • 333 Valley Street: An Intergenerational Organization, New Haven: Experiential Learning at 333 Valley Street
  • Watertown Public School System, Watertown: After School Nutrition Program
  • Vernon Public Schools, Vernon: Gardens and Pollinators Project
  • Weston High School, Weston: Food Production Season Extension Project
  • New Britain Roots, New Britain: CT Farm to School Institute
  • Yellow Farmhouse, Stonington: CT Farm to School Speaker Service
  • Area Cooperative Educational Service: Mill Road School, New Haven: From the Garden to the Table with Mill Students
  • John F Kennedy School, Windsor: Pollinator Garden
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc., Bozrah: Promotion Healthy Food Choices: A Partnership Between ECE and Local Farmers
  • Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy, Norwalk: Digging In
  • Newtown Board of Education, Newtown: Greenhouse Generator
  • Cheshire Public Schools, Cheshire: Farm to School Student Development
  • Regional School District 6, Litchfield: Regional School District 6 – Farm to School Gardens

Track 3: Connecticut Producer Capacity Building Grant

  • nOURish BRIDGEPORT, Inc., Bridgeport: nOURish Farm to School
  • Lathrop Farm, Lebanon: Wash and Pack Produce Refrigeration
  • Sunset Farm, Naugatuck: High Tunnel Installation
  • Full Heart Farm, Ledyard: Root Vegetable Washer
  • Northwest Corner Farm, Winchester: Northwest Corner Farm Capacity Building
  • Cloverleigh Farm, Columbia: Caterpillar Tunnel for Sweet Pepper and Cherry Tomato Production
  • Howling Flats Farm, Canaan: Purchase of Climate Controlled Packing Shed

Track 4: Connecticut Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Grant

  • United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut, Danbury: Seedlings to Sprouts
  • Community Child Guidance Clinic, Manchester: Expanding the Grow-Ahead Gardening and Whole-Child Wellness Program
  • EASTCONN Headstart, Danielson: Educational Garden
  • Cadence Academy Preschool of Hartford, Hartford: Garden Experience
  • Clinton Child Care Services, Clinton: Clinton Child Care Services Farm to ECE Project
  • First Church Early Learning Center, Windsor: Garden beds & Field Trips
  • ACES Early Head Start, Middletown: Gardening at Early Head Start
  • Auntie Rose Child Care Development Center, New Haven: Garden
  • The Riverfront Children’s Center, Groton: Growing Up Strong with CT Grown: Opening the Door to CT Grown
  • Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School, Bloomfield: Growing, Eating, Learning Expansion Project
  • Kids of Chatham, East Hampton: Local Flavors
  • Manchester Early Childhood Collaborative, Manchester: MECC: Farm to School Program
  • Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk: Early Language and Literacy Initiative (ELLI) Classroom Farm to School Learning Project
  • Bright Beginnings of Fairfield LLC, Fairfield: Expanding Early Childhood Hands-on Gardening, and Healthy Eating and Supporting Local Farming
  • Caritas Felices Family Day Care Home, Bethel: Greenhouse
  • Miss Merry Mac’s Educational Daycare, Tolland: Garden Center
  • Miss Bekahs Little Rainbows, Suffield: The Greenhouse Project
  • Great Expectations Day Care and Learning Center, Southbury: Sensory Garden
  • Little Wise Daycare LLC, Wethersfield: Planters & Cooking Activities

This year a fifth track was added for Shipping Container Growing Units, with $2 million authorized during the 2023 legislative session utilizing state American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. There were 15 applications requesting more than $3.6 million for this track with eight awardees receiving more than $1.9 million.


The eight shipping container growing unit awardees include:

  • High Ridge Hydroponics, LLC, Norwalk
  • Thy Neighbors Farm, Torrington
  • Groton Public Schools, Groton
  • Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Mashantucket
  • High School in the Community, New Haven
  • Seacoast Mushrooms, Mystic
  • Keney Park Sustainability Project, Windsor
  • J. DeFrancesco and Son Inc., Northford

The above awardees received up to $250,000 each for the purchase and installation of a shipping container growing unit whose farm products are connected to a school through a procurement relationship and/or as an educational experience.


To learn more about the CTG4CTK Grant, including success stories from previous recipients, please visit:

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


FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323