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Agriculture / Conservation News
What a great growing season!

By Jonathan Hermonot, State Agriculture Committee

  SEPTEMBER 2010 --

What a year it has been for agriculture in the state of Connecticut especially with this crazy weather.  June and July were the hottest on record in some areas.  Along with decent rain caused fruits like currants, raspberries and blueberries to ripen early and provide bountiful yields.  Dairy farmers should be smiling that that their corn crop looks great and soon will be harvested.  What a great growing season!

Along with the crazy hot weather agriculture been the hot topic at the capitol.  With the demand for locally grown foods at all time high, the state passed House Bill 5419 known as an "Act Concerning Farms, Food, and Jobs."  It had full support in the house and senate and was signed by Governor Rell on July 14, 2010.  This bill was a positive step for agriculture on many fronts.   The bill will allow CT dept. of Agriculture to inspect poultry farms.  This in turn will allow approved poultry farms to process and sell dressed poultry or poultry products directly to consumers, restaurants, and hotels.  This is great for poultry producers and consumers in Connecticut, where state regulations had become a barrier to business.  Also in this bill acidified foods such as pickles, salsas, and relishes will be allowed to be sold from farm to consumers.  Farmer's Markets will be allowed to set up for single-day events which will provide expanded market opportunities.

These new rules will provide Connecticut farmer's enhanced opportunities to market their farm products.  Despite the recession we are facing, there is a growing niche market for locally grown foods.  More and more people are looking for ways to eat locally grown foods.  It is exciting to see legislative change that helps open doors between farmer's and consumers.  The viability of Connecticut's farms as well as the dinner tables of Connecticut's consumers are both winners!

Support for agricultural issues has always started at the grass roots level with organizations like Farm Bureau and the Grange.  Thank you to Gordon Gibson for the leadership and hard work that helped to bring positive change to Connecticut agriculture!


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