DOAG: Agriculture Commissioner Applauds Governor Malloy’s State of the State



February 6, 2014

CONTACT: Linda Piotrowicz, 860-713-2558


Agriculture Commissioner Applauds Governor Malloy’s State of the State

Governor cites farmer as example of Connecticut resilience during introduction of today’s address


(Hartford, CONN.)  Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky applauded Governor Dannel P. Malloy for opening his State of the State address today with a story about Connecticut agriculture, citing Steve Weinstein, owner of Connecticut Hydroponic Farm in East Hartford, as an exemplary model of the resilience demonstrated by small businesses and residents in the state.


“I want to begin today with a story that I think says a lot about who we are in Connecticut, and where we’re headed,” Governor Malloy said, introducing his address by recounting a visit to Mr. Weinstein’s farm in December.


Connecticut Hydroponic Farm lost four of its five greenhouses to a severe storm last winter.  Despite the seemingly insurmountable setback, Mr. Weinstein immediately began rebuilding, determined to gain back market share taken by Canadian imports.  With help from Governor Malloy’s PLANT (Production Loss Assistance Needed Today) grant program, Mr. Weinstein has not only recovered but is increasing his production of lettuce and specialty produce.


Commissioner Reviczky, who is in Washington, D.C., at a conference of the State Association of State Departments of Agriculture focusing on the Farm Bill and other federal programs affecting Connecticut farmers, tuned into Governor Malloy’s address during lunch.


“I congratulate Governor Malloy for recognizing agriculture at the beginning of his speech today,” Commissioner Reviczky said.  “Farming in Connecticut is a difficult business, requiring an extraordinary level of dedication, passion, work ethic, optimism, and, as Governor Malloy pointed out, resilience.  I’ve yet to meet a farmer who entered the profession to get rich or famous.  Yet the rewards of providing healthful, nutritious food and other farm products to the citizens of Connecticut and beyond, while at the same time working with and caring for the state’s precious land, brings a special kind of fulfillment that can’t be found elsewhere.”


Last February’s blizzard left Mr. Weinstein with only one greenhouse in operation producing 2,800 heads of lettuce per growing cycle.  Using a $79,264 PLANT grant to repair three greenhouses, Mr. Weinstein was producing 11,200 heads by December.  This spring he will replace the fifth greenhouse, damaged beyond repair, further ramping up capacity.


“Farmers are a special kind of people,” said Commissioner Reviczky.  “They feed our state and our nation, and they have been the backbone our economy for centuries.  Governor Malloy understands this, supports Connecticut agriculture, and recognizes the ongoing, vital contributions of our state’s hardworking, dedicated, and resilient farm families.”