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Grants Help State Farmers Grow New Business

Department of Agriculture funds projects that support farm expansion

 

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Reinvestment Grant Program is designed to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut’s agricultural producers through long-term capital-fixed-asset and diversification projects.  In 2007 and 2008, 48 producers, non-profit organizations and municipalities were awarded more than $1.5 million in grants.

Farmers use the funds to expand or improve their farms. Non-profit organizations and municipalities may use the grants for town or regional planning purposes, as long as agricultural components are involved. 

 

2007 & 2008 Grantees

 

From cow pot production facilities to more common projects like greenhouse building, here is the list of recipients for 2007 and 2008.

Approved farm projects include farm expansion through the building of greenhouses, dairy  facilities, equine enterprises, cheese processing facilities, commercial kitchens, and fruit and vegetable packing facilities. 

“These grants are awarded on a competitive basis and a match must be supplied by the applicant,” Agriculture Commissioner F. Philip Prelli said.  “They are evaluated on the soundness of the applicants’ business plans and the long-term feasibility of the proposed projects.  We want to be certain that we are supporting projects that will best serve the state’s residents for many years to come."

The Department of Agriculture’s share of the budget for each project is capped at $50,000 in matching funds.  Grantees will have up to one year to complete the project, according to the terms of their contract. The applicant must provide matching funds that meet or exceed the grant award.

The Agricultural Viability Grants are made available through Public Act 05-228, An Act Concerning Farmland Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation.  “This landmark legislation serves to protect and preserve Connecticut for future generations,” Governor Rell said.  “It provides funding for municipal open space grants, farm viability and preservation, historic preservation and new and existing affordable housing programs, along with new infrastructure to support and promote agriculture in the state.”

The Department of Agriculture plans to open up the grant application period again in Fall 2008.  For more information, please visit www.CTGrown.gov and click on “Programs and Services” at the top of the page.

Copyright 2008 SimonPure Productions, LLC

Working the Land: The Story of Connecticut Agriculture
is a Co-Production of
SimonPure Productions and Connecticut Humanities Council

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