On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s long time commissioner, Steve Reviczky retired from his position. Steve has been an integral part of the department for the past eight years and will be sorely missed by many farmers throughout Connecticut. Prior to becoming the commissioner of agriculture, Steve was the executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association and also was a member of the Working Lands Alliance Steering Committee.
While he served as commissioner of agriculture, Steve was a champion for farmland preservation issues. During his tenure, Steve protected the Southbury Training School and worked tireless to help the Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program reach the long-term goal of protecting 130,000 acres from development. To date, the program has protected over 46,000 acres. He was also responsible for the passing of the Community Farms Preservation Program in 2011. The Community Farms Preservation Program was designed to permanently protect smaller farms that have excellent agricultural soils and contribute significantly to local economic activity, but qualify for the state’s Farmland Preservation Program. Lastly, Steve served as the president of the National Association of the State Department of Agriculture whose mission is to grow and enhance agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders. In September, Steve hosted various commissioners and state department of agriculture staff from across the country in Hartford for the organization’s annual meeting.
Working Lands Alliance has been honored to work so closely with Steve in his role as the commissioner of agriculture. Terry Jones, WLA Chair says “Thanks for your dedication to moving Connecticut’s agriculture forward. We will miss your wise leadership and commitment to the stewardship of our agricultural resources.” WLA wishes Steve the best of luck in his new endeavors and is grateful for his continued dedication to Connecticut agriculture.