Over the years our state’s farmland preservation program has accomplished many great things for farmers and the people of Connecticut. From promoting CT-Grown food to mitigating climate change, our working lands are an invaluable part of what makes Connecticut a great place to live.
Since 1979, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program has done an exemplary job in protecting our state’s vast farmlands from development. In fact, a 2020 report released by American Farmland Trust – “Farms Under Threat – A New England Perspective,” ranks the Connecticut Farmland Preservation Program as one of the top 10 programs in the U.S. for quality and effectiveness. However, many farmers across the state have been deterred from enrolling in the program because of the time commitment required from application to closing on an agricultural easement.
HB 5345 – “An Act Concerning State Review of Farmland Preservation Transactions” will decrease the amount of time it takes to protect our state’s most valuable farmland from development.
We need your help in telling the Connecticut State Legislature why they should pass this important provision and help expedite the PDR process for farmers.
- In 2015, the state’s Farmland Preservation Advisory Board wrote a report that outlined various steps the state could take to expedite the farmland preservation process. Currently, one of the last steps is for the application to be reviewed by the State Properties Review Board, or SPRB.
- By removing this requirement, the process would be decreased by two to four months and would maximize the use of limited staff resources.
- This change would also make the Farmland Preservation Program application process the same as the Community Farms Preservation Program, which is a complimentary easement program that protects small farms.
- The Farmland Preservation Program application process is extremely comprehensive and thorough. Often a farm has multiple agricultural appraisals and is approved by state, federal, local, and private land trust officials before it is presented to the State Properties Review Board.
- The Attorney General’s office and USDA-NRCS verify the validity and valuation of the agricultural easement before the state closes on the PDR project.
Take action and help us pass HB 5345 today!
- Submit written testimony highlighting the importance of the Farmland Preservation Program by 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, to the following email address email@example.com. Make sure to CC your legislators.
- Don’t know who your legislators are? Find them here.
- Come to Hartford to testify in support of HB 5345 on Friday, March 6, at the Environment Committee hearing that will be at 10:30 a.m.in the Legislative Office Building. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in testifying.
Other ways you can make a difference:
- Call your legislator and ask them to support this important provision and make sure to thank them for all they do to support farmland preservation efforts in Connecticut.
- Forward this email to your family, friends, and colleagues and ask them to take action in support of Connecticut’s farmers.
We thank you in advance for helping us promote and advance farmland preservation in Connecticut.