Jul 26, 2014

Where's That Local Farm?

Legislation under consideration in Hartford would make it easier for people to find farms in Connecticut.

Where's That Local Farm?

More signs could be popping up around the state under a bill proposed in Hartford.

SB-311, An Act Concerning Certain Farm Related Designations On Highway Signs, would expand existing law to allow directional and other official signs or notices pertaining to farming that is part of state’s agricultural tourism within the 600 foot area of interstate, primary and other limited access highways.

State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) is one of the bill's backers. It was introduced by the Environment Committee and is co-sponsored by state Sen. Art Linares (R-33).

“We in the legislature need to do our best to support our state local agricultural enterprises and contribute to the health and viability of Connecticut's rural economy," Bolinsky said. "This bill could help consumers find the farms they wish to visit, especially farms in Newtown and the surrounding greater Danbury region.”

According to Agriculture in the Classroom, there are nearly 5,000 farms in Connecticut. Some other interesting facts from the organization:

  • Connecticut’s top five agricultural commodities in 2008 were: greenhouse & nursery, dairy products, chicken eggs, aquaculture, and tobacco.

  • Connecticut agriculture adds $5.1 billion dollars to the state economy annually.

  • 60% of the land area in Connecticut is in farmland, open space and forest: an important natural resource base and enhancement to the environment. 

According to the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, agriculture is continuing to grow in Connecticut, with on-farm retail operations one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture. These farms are welcoming the public onto their farms and providing a combination of family entertainment and expansion of the CT Grown experience, a press release from Bolinsky's office states.

Bolinsky says the legislation is aimed to further the Buy CT Grown mission, which is to link Connecticut's food and agricultural community — including farmers, consumers, restaurants — and to celebrate and promote Connecticut grown farm products, grow the local economy, and enhance the quality of life in our state.

Map of Connecticut Farms

Today, you can search farms by county and products on a website created by UConn.

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