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Good News for Those With Farming Jobs in Connecticut

Posted on August 6, 2008

Those who currently have, or are looking for, Connecticut jobs in farming will soon have some help.

In July, according to a State of Connecticut press release, Governor Jodi Rell announced the release of funds to help working farmers expand and improve their operations as part of a 10-year business plan.

“Now more than ever, our investment in Connecticut farms is critical to sustaining our food supply,” Rell said in the press release. “Grocery bills are getting higher all the time as gas and diesel prices rise. It makes good economic sense for families to take advantage of the quality products produced right here on Connecticut farms.”

Grants are anticipated to be awarded to farms that have sound long-range programs, said F. Philip Prelli, Department of Agriculture commissioner, and farmers approved for the program must either match or exceed the grant amount and have one year to complete projects.

“We need to keep our farms viable,” he added. “For such a small state, agriculture is big business and contributes more than $2 billion a year to Connecticut’s economy.”

The program has previously helped farmers expand dairy operations, add and renovate greenhouses, build fruit packing facilities and upgrade processing plants and maple sugar operations.

The diversity of Connecticut agriculture has been essential to its sustainability. There are fewer farms in the state today, but the remaining farms are large and part-time farmers make up one of the fastest-growing jobs in the industry.

According to recent statistics, Connecticut is number one in New England in nursery and greenhouse sales, pear production, milk production per cow, cut Christmas tree sales, aquaculture, tobacco acreage and egg-laying chickens per square mile. The state also is number one in the country in density of horses and egg-laying hens, among the top 10 in the country for oysters and among the top 20 in the country for pears, maple trees, wild blueberries and tobacco production.

“Connecticut farmers have faced tough economic times for decades,” Rell added in the release. “But they are resilient and resourceful and we are so grateful for that. We owe it to them and to future farming generations to keep programs like this available.”