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Largest Dairy Farm in Northeast U.S. Powers Sustainability with Innovative Solar Energy Installation from Maxeon

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Largest Dairy Farm in Northeast U.S. Powers Sustainability with Innovative Solar Energy Installation from Maxeon

Oakridge Dairy in Connecticut is home to nearly 3,000 cows and includes a massive, 8-acre barn topped with 752 solar panels capable of generating up to 1,200 kilowatt hours of energy per day. System designer and installer Earthlight Technologies optimized the system’s power generation with Maxeon high efficiency solar panels that enable clean energy to meet Oakridge’s significant electricity needs.

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Largest Dairy Farm in Northeast U.S. Powers Sustainability with Innovative Solar Energy Installation from Maxeon (yahoo.com)

Biden-Harris Administration Makes Available Historic $3 Billion for Climate-Smart Practices on Agricultural Lands Through Investing in America Agenda

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Biden-Harris Administration Makes Available Historic $3 Billion for Climate-Smart Practices on Agricultural Lands Through Investing in America Agenda

scenic CT farmThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making more than $3 billion in funding available for agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices in Fiscal Year 2024 as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The announcement comes as the Biden-Harris Administration hosts the first-ever White House Climate Resilience Summit

These funds are provided by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act – the largest climate and conservation investment in history. This law invests an additional $19.5 billion for USDA’s popular conservation programs. These programs also advance the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain climate, clean energy, and other federal investments reach disadvantaged communities that have been marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. On the heels of last week’s announcement that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) saw record producer interest in these resources in fiscal year 2023, the agency is now accepting applications from producers interested in this additional conservation assistance for fiscal year 2024.

These additional investments are estimated to help hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers apply conservation to millions of acres of land. These funds provide direct climate mitigation benefits, advance a host of other environmental co-benefits, and expand access to financial and technical assistance for producers to advance conservation on their farm, ranch or forest land through practices like cover cropping, conservation tillage, wetland restoration, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, tree planting and more.

USDA is opening up the application period for FY2024 conservation assistance giving producers the opportunity to apply for this historic funding. However, in the event of a lapse in government funding, technical assistance, one-on-one help in answering questions, and other support for producers in navigating the application process would not be immediately available until the funding lapse ends. In the event of a funding lapse, NRCS would notify producers when staff are available to assist.

Learn more by clicking here.

May 2023: Kimberly Farm to open Ice Cream shop

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May, 2023: Kimberly Farm to open Ice Cream shop

Across the street from their existing farmstand in New Milford on Route 109, their new Ice Cream shop is set to open very soon.

Read about it here

 

 

 

 

2023 CT Grown Downloadable Report Available

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2023 CT Grown Free Downloadable Report Available

Connecticut Grown 2023

A guide to Connecticut’s food, farms and families, Connecticut Grown is published in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and features stories about the state’s aquaculture, agribusiness, tourism, food safety and local products.

Click here to download

 

UConn DARE Zwick Center 2023 Farm to School Report available

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UConn DARE Zwick Center 2023 Farm to School Report available

Farm to school (FTS) programs across the State of Connecticut connect schools with fresh, local food producers. Using local procurement, school gardens, and education, these programs benefit both local producers and nutrition programs.

Click here for the downloadable report

Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program

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Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program, due April 10, 2023

Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program improves the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers by maintaining and expanding a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. The FBMB program supports intellectual talent and collaborative efforts to meet the challenges facing the nation’s agriculture and food systems. Application closes on April 10. For more information, read the FBMB funding opportunity

DUE Jan 18, 2023: CLIMATE SMART FARMING: AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY GRANT

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CLIMATE SMART FARMING:
AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY GRANT
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) announces the Climate Smart Farming: Agriculture and Forestry Grant Guidance is now available with up to $7 million available in funding for projects which support climate smart farming practices. Funding is provided through Public Act 22-118 Sec 12(b)(70) which provides $7 million for fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. Applications are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

The Climate Smart Farming: Agriculture and Forestry Grant can fund projects in a variety of areas including, but not limited to:

  1. Providing technical assistance.
  2. Distributing a grant to producers.
  3. Coordinating training programs.
  4. Coordinating projects that pilot or demonstrate water and land-based conservation practices.
  5. Creating tools that help reduce barriers to accessing assistance for climate smart farming.
  6. Establishing equipment-sharing programs.
  7. Other activities that will increase the number of farmers who are implementing climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices.

Any agribusiness or entity, including nonprofit organization, soil and water conservation district, colleges and universities, municipality or for-profit organization in the State of Connecticut are eligible to apply.

All agricultural commodities can participate including aquaculture, agriculture and forestry. In addition, all production types will be supported including conventional/organic, indoor/outdoor, soil/water, and urban/rural.

CT DoAg plans to issue awards in varying amounts for program implementation from May 1, 2023, through May 1, 2028.

There will be four application funding tiers:

Tier 1:   $100,000 to $249,999
  • Project duration: Up to 18 months
Tier 2:   $250,000 to $499,999
  • Project duration: 18 months up to 2 years
Tier 3:   $500,000 to $999,999
  • Project duration: 2-3 years
Tier 4:   $1,000,000 and up
  • Project duration: 3-5 years

There is no match requirement for this grant.

An informational webinar will be held on Monday, December 19, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. to assist interested applicants in learning about eligible projects, the submission process, and tips for writing an application. Registration is required to attend this workshop. Please pre-register for the event here. Registered attendees will be provided the webinar information 24 hours prior to the start.
Questions regarding the Climate Smart Farming: Agriculture & Forestry Grant can be directed to Alison Grabarz at Alison.Grabarz@ct.gov. More information on application requirements, submission process, and accompanying forms can be found online at http://www.CTgrown.gov/grants.

Farm Transition Grants Open November 1, 2023

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Farm Transition Grant Features Four Dynamic Categories to Support Connecticut Agricultural Producers

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the 2023 Farm Transition Grant (FTG) application period will open on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. The grant features four dynamic categories to address gaps in funding to support farmers in times of growth and change. Applications are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2022.

“The Farm Transition Grant categories offer an array of funding opportunities to meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “Whether it is a new farmer whose completed project has advanced their business forward by five years or a seasoned producer looking to make the investments to expand production or diversify for business growth, these grant funds are directly contributing to a positive impact that will provide long-term sustainability of CT Grown products.”

The Farm Transition Grant is a matching reimbursement grant program for Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives to support the diversification of existing farm operations, transitioning to value-added agricultural production and sales. Funding is provided through C.G.S. Section 22-26k.

The grant categories are summarized below.

  • New Farmer Micro Grants:  Up to $5,000 awarded to support new and beginning individuals or partnerships with one full year to three years of production history, seeking long-term careers that financially support them through farming and agriculture.
  • Infrastructure Investment Grant:  Up to $20,000 awarded to support farmers in production for a minimum of three years with a need for infrastructure to expand the farm’s production and operation.
  • Research and Development Grant:  Up to $25,000 awarded for farms to conduct research to assess the viability and interest to develop a new product line, service, or market.
  • Innovation and Diversification Grant:  Up to $49,999 awarded for the implementation of a new product or service for market or business expansion after a research and development phase has been explored.

Grant guidelines and forms can be found at www.CTGrown.gov/grants  with additional details on match requirements and eligible expenses.

Two workshop options will be available to assist interested applicants in learning about the grant categories, submission process, and tips for writing their application. An in-person workshop will occur at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at the Hartford County UConn Extension Office in Farmington. Registration is required to attend this workshop. Click here to register for the in-person workshop.

A virtual workshop will occur at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, 2022, via Webex. The session will be recorded and posted to the agency website if you are unable to attend the live event. Click here to register for the webinar.

Questions regarding the Farm Transition Grant can be directed to Alison Grabarz at Alison.Grabarz@ct.gov. More information on application requirements, submission process, and accompanying forms can be found online at www.CTGrown.gov/grants.

The FTG is a competitive matching reimbursement grant for Connecticut agricultural producers and agricultural cooperatives. The Farm Transition Grant is provided through the State of Connecticut Farm Transition Grant Program, established in 2005 through Public Act 05-228, An Act Concerning Farmland Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing, and Historice Preservation.