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Over $1.4 million in state funds will help CT farms with climate resilience

Flooding causes farmers to lose their crop along the Connecticut River in Rocky Hill and Glastonbury, CT.
Dave Wurtzel
Connecticut Public
Flooding causes farmers to lose their crop along the Connecticut River in Rocky Hill and Glastonbury, CT.

Nearly two dozen Connecticut farms and producers are getting state funds this year to brace against extreme weather conditions tied to climate change.

The state Department of Agriculture named 20 farms for the first round of Restoration, Climate Resiliency, and Preparedness grants. About $1.5 million will be allocated this year.

The grants come after two major weather events last year in Connecticut —subfreezing temperatures in May, and record rainfall in July that led to major flooding — that led the state to request federal disaster declarations due to widespread crop damage.

The bond money, authorized through the state budget last year, will go toward new equipment and funding the work of soil scientists to develop and implement resilience plans.

“We’re getting the highest and best use of those dollars on the most pressing and challenging components of the farms’ future,” Bryan Hurlburt, commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture said.

Those resulting plans will be implemented later this year.

For the program in total, $7 million was allocated, according to Hurlburt, who said the long-term goal is to offer the grant funding for multiple cycles. The pilot program received over 60 eligible applications.

“There's a demand out there,” Hurlburt said. “Farmers want to invest and do this work in their land, and we want to help them accomplish that.”

Applications will be open again to producers come winter.

Recipients received anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 for the project, and the full list of those farms are on the state Department of Agriculture’s website.

As Connecticut Public's state government reporter, Michayla focuses on how policy decisions directly impact the state’s communities and livelihoods. She has been with Connecticut Public since February 2022, and before that was a producer and host for audio news outlets around New York state. When not on deadline, Michayla is probably outside with her rescue dog, Elphie. Thoughts? Jokes? Tips? Email msavitt@ctpublic.org.

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