March 1, 2017



Highlights Success, Growth of CT Agriculture  


An overview of Connecticut’s diverse and thriving agricultural industry and its importance to the state’s economy can be found in the newly-published inaugural edition of Connecticut Grown magazine.


The magazine is a joint project of the Department of Agriculture and Journal Communications Inc., which produces similar publications for many states across the country showcasing the positive contributions of agriculture.


 “Today’s agriculture is as rich in innovation and creativity as it is in tradition and history,” reads part of the magazine’s welcoming letter by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky. “It is an honor to serve the state’s hard-working farm families who toil day in and out, cultivating the land to provide all these products and preserve the bucolic landscapes we cherish.”


The magazine is expected to be produced annually, and will be distributed to a wide audience of agricultural-related organizations and businesses, as well as municipal libraries, town halls and a variety of other outlets.


The publication and other related information is available online at:


The following are headlines and excerpts from a number of the magazine’s articles:


Connecticut Agriculture - State’s diverse industry supports economy


Connecticut’s agricultural industry makes a big impact. The state’s 6,000 farms are spread across 406,000 acres of farmland, with each operation averaging about 73 acres.


Hardworking farmers manage the land, producing some of Connecticut’s important products such as greenhouse and nursery, milk and dairy, beef, aquaculture, tobacco, eggs and poultry, apples, maple syrup, vegetables, and more.


As a whole, Connecticut’s agricultural industry adds $3.5 billion to the local economy annually.


Making Waves - Connecticut’s coastal waters boast successful aquaculture farms


Did you know that white tablecloth establishments from Boston to Maryland are featuring Connecticut oysters on their raw bar menus?


Connecticut oysters are expanding their position in the marketplace as the restaurant industry recognizes the advantages of the progressive methods used by the state’s shellfish farmers to harvest a boutique oyster with a distinct flavor profile. Historically, Connecticut’s shellfish industry has been bottom-cultured oyster, hard clam, and oyster seed beds cultivating approximately 80,000 acres underwater. However, ample opportunity exists for smaller scale, more densely cultivated shellfish operations.


Bottoms Up - Connecticut wineries, distilleries create can’t-miss beverages


Connecticut boasts dozens of wineries, distilleries and breweries that use local farm products to produce adult beverages, resulting in a thriving industry that continues to grow.

Not only can consumers enjoy these craft creations by purchasing them in stores and restaurants across the state – and often beyond – they can also visit the facilities where they’re made and sample each unique offering.


Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market and Winery in Guilford produces wine in apple, peach, pear, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry varieties, as well as hard apple cider made from their own fruit.

Sharing the Harvest - Connecticut farmers connect consumers to fresh, local foods

Connecticut farmers are making it easy for consumers to eat fresh, locally and seasonally, thanks to community supported agriculture programs, also known as CSAs. With these programs, customers receive a fresh box of produce, meats and other goodies each week during the season, straight from the farm.


Stacia and Fred Monahan, co-owners of Stone Gardens Farm in Shelton, offer a CSA program with four options that coincide with the four growing seasons.


 “Our main summer CSA goes for 20 weeks, and on either end we have a five-week, pre-season spring CSA and a five-week, post-season fall CSA,” Stacia Monahan says. “Then we have a winter one that is spread out every other week through the season.”


Safety First - Connecticut Department of Agriculture works to ensure food safety


When shopping for dairy products, shellfish, or fresh produce, have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes to ensure the food brought to market is as safe as possible?


“Food safety is at the core of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s mission,” Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky says. “It’s very important that consumers have confidence in the food products they’re buying – if they have confidence, farms are going to be more viable and sell more products.


City Crops - Urban ag fosters innovation, growth in Connecticut’s industry


As you travel through Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut, you might pass an old factory building, unassuming from the outside. Fresh, delicious, high-quality lettuce, kale, arugula and more are being grown inside, in the middle of one of the most populated cities in Connecticut.


“We found an underutilized building in Bridgeport and set up what is now a commercial farm,” says Steve Domyan, co-founder of MetroCrops, a high-density, urban indoor farm.


Cultivating Growth - Connecticut’s greenhouse sector blooms


Connecticut’s greenhouse sector is flourishing, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. The industry has a big, positive impact – both economically and ecologically.


Local growers are cultivating climate-controlled flowers, bedding plants, perennials, food crops and more in an estimated 180 acres of production space under cover.


In fact, in 2015, state farmers had $306.3 million in horticulture sales alone.


Planting Roots - Grants, service help young Connecticut farmers


Connecticut is where young generations of farmers go to take root and grow. With the help of grants from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and local towns, young farmers across the state are establishing themselves. One such place is the Town of Farmington, touted as both historic and progressive.


“The Town of Farmington has a long history of supporting agriculture, and will continue to support local farmers in future generations,” Town Manager Kathleen Eagen says.


The town leases land to various farmers, including Sub Edge Farm operated by Rodger and Isabelle Phillips. Believers that good, fair, clean food should be available to all, they spent years gaining experience working on different farms before launching their farm-to-table business.