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State celebrates 375 years of agriculture at Ag Day

By Governor Rell's Office (3/18/10)

  MARCH 20, 2010 --

Governor M. Jodi Rell today presided over the annual Agriculture Day at the State Capitol, which showcased products and displays from more than 40 organizations and agencies around the state and celebrated farming's contribution over the past 375 years.

"Connecticut is celebrating its 375th Anniversary this year and an essential part of our heritage, what makes Connecticut unique, has always been Connecticut agriculture," Governor Rell said. "The motto of our yearlong celebration is ‘Industrious, Inventive and Enduring.' To me that sums up the spirit of Connecticut farming.

"Agriculture Day at the Capitol gives a grateful state the opportunity to say thank you to our farmers and producers," Governor Rell said. "Agriculture is a $2 billion industry in Connecticut that accounts for 50,000 jobs and thousands of acres of open space that enhance our quality of life."

"Agriculture Day provides an excellent snapshot of agriculture in Connecticut, highlighting its progress and diversity," said Commission Prelli. "Agriculture is an economic generator in our state and this day allows us to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to these advances in our industry."

Among the milestones of Connecticut Agriculture over the past 375 years are:

  • The first farmers market was established in Hartford in 1643. Now there are over 120 markets in 97 towns;
  • The oldest fair in Connecticut is the Brooklyn Fair, established in 1809
  • The first commercial peach orchard in the country was the J.H. Hale Orchard, established in Glastonbury in 1875.

Commissioner Prelli recognized several award winners during a special ceremony. including the Outstanding Young Farmer Award, which went to Joe Geremia of Wallingford. The Connecticut Agriculture Information Council handed out Agriculture Journalism Awards to media winners (see below).

For more information on Agriculture in Connecticut: www.ct.gov/doag

To help promote Connecticut's 375th Anniversary, Governor Rell assembled a commission of historians, educators, arts and culture representatives, fund-raisers and others. The 375th Anniversary Commission is planning events that involve local schools, state parks, the arts community, museums and oral historians.

Services and items related to the state's year long 375th anniversary celebration are donated or purchased with donated funds. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Go to www.CT375.com for more information and to donate. More information on 375th Anniversary events can be also be found at:

* http://twitter.com/Connecticut375

* http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hartford-CT/Connecticuts-375thAnniversary/10150113573780463?ref=ts

* http://www.youtube.com/user/ct375



Weekly Publication, Best Feature Story:

Barbara Thomas, The Valley Press

"Oh Christmas Tree... on the Farm," published Nov 19, 2009


Weekly Publication, Best Series:

Suzanne Thompson, The Lyme Times and Sister Times Weeklies of New London Counties

"CT Outdoors" column, published April 16, 2009 - October 1, 2009


Television, Best Feature Story:

Brad Drazen and Daryl Vallez, NBC Connecticut (WVIT-30)

"Making the Grade," aired September 23, 2009


Daily Publication, Best Feature Story:

Anthony Cronin, The Day

"The Farmer's Cow Steps Beyond Milk," published December 6, 2009

Linda Giuca, special to The Hartford Courant

"Fresh from the Farm," published June 11, 2009


Deborah Hornblow, special to The Hartford Courant

"The Debutantes," published April 10, 2009


Cecily McAndrews, special to The Hartford Courant

"Preserving the Bounty," published September 10, 2009


Jan Ellen Spiegel, The New York Times

"New Crops for Farms, and, Perhaps, Profits," published May 15, 2009


Daily Publication, Best Photography:

Stephen Dunn, The Hartford Courant

"Apples Aplenty," published September 28, 2009


Richard Messina, The Hartford Courant

"A Rite of Spring," published May 9, 2009


John Woike, The Hartford Courant

"A Breed Apart," published November 5, 2009





4H Education Center at Auer Farm

American Farmland Trust/Working Lands Alliance

CT Florists Association

CT Greenhouse Growers Association

Christmas Tree Association

CitySeed, Inc.


CT Nursery and Landscape Association

Connecticut Currant

CT Ag Ed Foundation

CT Agricultural Experiment Station

CT Apple Marketing Board

CT Association of State Fairs

CT Beekeepers Association

CT Community Gardening Association

CT Dairy Industry Council

CT Department of Agriculture Animal Population Control Program

CT Department of Agriculture Farmland Preservation

CT Department of Agriculture Marketing Bureau

CT Farm Fresh Cooperative Association, Inc.

CT Farm Risk Management

CT Farmland Trust

CT Food Bank

CT Northeast Organic Farming Association

CT Poultry Association, Inc.

CT Professional Timber Producers Assoc Inc.

CT Seafood Council

CT State Grange

CT Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab

Farm Bureau Association

Farm Credit East

The Farmer's Cow

Farmstead Dairy Alliance of CT

Food Policy Council


Kings Mark RC&D

Maple Syrup Producers Association of CT

Nutrition EFNEP

School Nutrition Association of CT

USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service

USDA Farm Service Agency

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA Rural Development

Very Alive

Women in Agriculture Network



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