Press Releases



New Report Released on Farmland Access and Ownership in Connecticut

Commissioned through Recommendation by Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s DEI Working Group

(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg), in partnership with Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC), announces the release of “Farmland Access & Ownership: An Overview of Barriers, Models, and Actions to Increase Land Access for Connecticut’s BIPOC Farmers”. CT DoAg engaged with CLCC to conduct the study and publish the report which looks at challenges and barriers to farmland access and ownership, as well as examining different cooperative models, focused on land trusts and publicly owned lands in urban and suburban areas.


“Land access and affordable secure land tenure are some of the most significant barriers facing beginning farmers – and that challenge is magnified for farmers of color,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We continue to use the DEI Report to steer our efforts to diversify the agricultural industry in our state and that is why we commissioned the report with a close partner, CLCC, to undertake this project, synthesize the insights, and compile the report for us. We will continue to work with partners and communities on evaluating and implementing the models and strategic actions identified to increase access to and affordability of land in our state for farmers.”


The study was borne out of the recommendations of CT DoAg’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group report, released in June 2023. It directly addresses two recommendations, including 4.3: Commission a report on cooperative land trusts and other models of cooperative ownership/incubators models and how they could function in Connecticut with a focus on urban and suburban areas; and 4.1: Increase land access and parcels available to BIPOC farmers.


“CLCC is honored to partner with CT DoAg on this important project to advance inclusive and accessible opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers while inspiring collaborative projects with land trusts across Connecticut,” said CLCC Executive Director Amy Blaymore Paterson.


CLCC’s Senior Project Specialist, Yaw O. Darko, conducted the research and prepared the report drawing on a combination of interviews, workshops, listening sessions, and desk research. A total of 32 interviews were held with a broad range of agricultural stakeholders, including Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC) producers whose insights were key to the report findings. Structured into five sections, including barriers for farmland access and ownership; models for farmland access and ownership, considerations for farmland access and ownerships, models for potential implementation in Connecticut and nine strategic actions to be undertaken to increase farmland access and ownership for BIPOC producers.


Secure land access is not only integral to the livelihoods of BIPOC farmers, but imperative in bolstering the resilience of Connecticut's agricultural industry,” stated Darko. “The goal of this report is to serve as a resource for the state and a means by which actions can be directed to enhance land access and ownership opportunities.”


Key findings included three models for potential implementation in Connecticut. These are:

  1. Conservation Land Trust Equity Lease: provides tenant farmer the opportunity to lease land while building equity in the property to eventually purchase the land.
  2. Buy-Protect-Sell: purchasing farmland, placing an easement on the property limiting land use to agricultural purposes, selling at revalued price to farmer.
  3. Community Land Trusts: nonprofits that acquire, hold, and steward land enter into a renewable ground lease arrangement, which gives the leaseholder the right to use the land.


Created in March 2021, the DEI Working Group is a crucial component of the agency-wide effort to engage and support current and future farmers and those in the agriculture industry who specifically identify as Persons of Color in the state. CT DoAg pursued funding for the report provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.


The Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) mission is to elevate and strengthen land conservation in Connecticut, envisioning a future where every community is supported and sustained by a diverse mix of conserved land, with land conservation embraced as an essential community value. For more information, 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


Rebecca Eddy,