Sign up for Email Updates
Support Working Lands Alliance
To help towns proactively plan for the future of agriculture, American Farmland Trust and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities have completed a joint publication: Planning for Agriculture: A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities. The guide covers a broad range of tools available to help local governments address the economic and land use needs of farmers and help create a supportive atmosphere for agriculture.
Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmland [NEW RELEASE-SPRING 2010]
Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmland [NEW RELEASE-SPRING 2010], a joint publication of American Farmland Trust and CT Farmland Trust, describes farmland protection options and programs available in Connecticut, and answers some frequently asked questions about agricultural conservation easements. The practical guide is intended for landowners, land trusts and municipalities. The new release of the guide includes updated information about state and federal agricultural and land conservation programs, tips for estate planning and farm transfer, and consideration for foresland owners.
The State's primary mechanism for preserving farmland is the Connecticut State Farmland Preservation Program. This voluntary program relieves the pressure on farmers to sell their farms to developers by allowing them to sell their right to develop the land to the state instead. The farmers accept a deed restriction on their property permanently limiting non-agricultural uses. In return, the state pays the farmers an amount equal to the difference between the fair market value of the land for development purposes and the value of the deed-restricted land. Through this arrangement, the land is preserved for agricultural uses, farmers can continue to cultivate their land, and Connecticut’s citizens derive the aesthetic and tangible benefits of a working landscape.
To request more information, contact Joseph Dippel, CT Dept. of Agriculture, at 860-713-2531.
The 2008 Farm Bill allowed for a dramatic increase in funding for the Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP). Through this program, applicants can request up to 50% matching funds for the preservation of farmland. In 2008, the Federal program awarded funds totaling $3 million for the preservation of farms. Entities eligible to apply for FRPP matching funds include state programs, private land trusts, and municipalities.
To request more information, contact Kip Kolesinskas, Natural Resource Conservation Service, at 860-871-4047.
The Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grants Program helps towns, non-profit organizations, and water companies permanently protect important community lands, including farmland. It can be used to purchase the farmland outright or the purchase of development rights on farmland. Landowners cannot apply directly to the program, but must work with a sponsoring town, water company, or land conservation organization. The program provides a maximum of 50 % of a project’s cost.
To request more information, contact David Stygar, CT Dept. of Environmental Protection, at 860-424-3016.
The Connecticut Agriculture Viability Grants Program includes two (2) grants: the Farm Viability Grant for Municipalities (FVG) and the Farm Transition Grant (FTG). Both are competitive matching grant programs with similar monies available but distinctive differences. The FVG grant can only be used by municipalities and may be used for capital projects or for planning projects. The FTG will be used to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers, agricultural not for profit organizations and agricultural cooperatives. A producer and a cooperative match must be at least 50% and may not include in-kind services, while a not for profit match must be at least 40% and may include in-kind services. The CT Department of Agriculture’s share of the project budget is capped at $50,000 in matching funds. The grant program may not be used for land acquisition.
To request more information, contact Ron Olsen, CT Dept. of Agriculture, at 860-713-2550.