May 30, 2018


Bureau of Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) has released the second annual issue of Connecticut Grown Magazine.

The magazine provides an overview of Connecticut’s diverse and thriving agricultural industry and its importance to the state’s economy.

The magazine, which is funded through sales of advertisements that appear in it, is produced by DoAg in collaboration with Journal Communications Inc., which produces similar publications for many states across the country showcasing the positive contributions of agriculture.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy presented Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky with an award for development of the magazine during Agriculture Day at the Capitol, which was held on March 21, 2018.

“It’s an honor for the Department of Agriculture to be recognized for its efforts to promote Connecticut agriculture through partnerships that leverage resources outside the state budget. I commend my staff for the fine work they do,” said Reviczky.

The magazine is distributed to a wide audience of agricultural organizations and businesses, as well as municipal libraries, town halls and a variety of other outlets. To request copies of the magazine please call 860-713-2538 or email

The publication is also available online at

Following are excerpts from some of the magazine’s articles:

Connecticut Agriculture - An overview of the state’s food, farming and agribusiness sectors

From idyllic family farms that have stood the test of time to high-tech drones and robotic milking machines on dairy farms, Connecticut agriculture is extremely diverse. Not only in what the state produces, but how it’s produced as well. With almost 6,000 farms covering 440,000 acres, these varied operations encompass 14 percent of Connecticut’s land base.

Each year, the agriculture industry contributes about $4 billion to the state’s economy, and every dollar in agricultural sales generates an additional $2 in Connecticut’s economy. Even more impressive, the industry provides close to 22,000 jobs statewide, with two-thirds of those jobs coming from agricultural production.

What’s Growing in Connecticut - A glimpse at the state’s leading ag products based on cash receipts

The greenhouse, nursery, floriculture and sod sector is by far the largest farm sector in Connecticut with direct sales of $252.9M.  Connecticut’s poultry and egg production sector ranked third in the state, just behind dairy with $48.9M based on cash receipts. Connecticut ranks eighth in the U.S. for tobacco production with $35.7M in cash receipts. The state is best known for its Connecticut Shade tobacco grown along the Connecticut River Valley under shade cloth. This variety produces some of the world’s finest cigar wrappers.

Fueling the Future - Schools provide children with locally sourced food

The leaders of tomorrow line up every day in the cafeteria, with outstretched trays, hungry bellies and eager minds. Norwich Public Schools is at the forefront of a nationwide movement to bring high-quality, locally grown produce to students at school.

They started out small, buying a few cases of apples from a local orchard every other week. But thanks to the efforts of Norwich Public Schools food service director Erin Perpetua, local growers and a supportive school administration, they have expanded to now bring more than 10,000 pounds of locally grown produce each year to 27 school cafeterias in three New London County school districts.

The farm-to-school program supports Connecticut’s agricultural economy by increasing purchases of locally grown produce to serve in school cafeterias and provides a diversified income stream for small to midsize family-owned farms in Connecticut.

Agriculture Looks Ahead - Connecticut cultivates a new crop of agricultural experts

Advancements in agricultural research and technology have revolutionized the field of agriculture. Thanks to Connecticut’s Agricultural Science and Technology Education (ASTE) program, students are graduating well-equipped to meet the challenges of modern agriculture.

Since 1955, Connecticut has offered high school students the opportunity to have a concentrated agricultural curriculum. The ASTE program began with a single pilot school, and has grown to include approximately 3,500 students in 19 regional agricultural science and technology centers located within high schools across the state.

A for Ag Education - Students gain valuable skills through Connecticut FFA program

Chartered in 1930 with 40 original chapters, the Connecticut FFA Association is now paired with the 19 regional agricultural science and technology education (ASTE) centers located within high schools across the state.

What’s Brewing in Connecticut? - Spike in local breweries drives hops production

The recent explosion of local brewery openings has fueled a remarkable surge in the local commercial production of hops, a flower used to add flavor, fragrance and bitterness to beer.

The Connecticut Hop Growers Association expects acreage to double in 2018 to 40 acres of hops, a challenging, high-investment perennial crop that requires trellising and takes about three years to establish.

While craft breweries created the demand for local hops, Connecticut legislation and research have supported the expansion of hops production, now a promising, profitable business venture in the state.

Farming Goes High-Tech - Farm families improve efficiencies with eye-opening gadgets

On some Connecticut farms, robots milk cows, fitness tracker-like collars track cow activity, solar panels power barns and methane digesters heat farmhouses.

Connecticut farmers find that equipment technologies help them feed more people in responsible, sustainable ways as farms improve efficiencies and maximize resources. Meanwhile, these gadgets can make cows happier and reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture.

This Land is Our Land - Farmland preservation supports Southbury Farms collaboration

Nestled among rolling hills and scenic waterways, Southbury Farms at Southbury Training School is a piece of history, preserved for generations to come. Through the cooperation of the governor, legislature, state agencies, municipalities and nonprofit organizations, this 921-acre farm is protected from development, and reserved for public enjoyment and agricultural endeavors.

Five farmers are currently permitted to farm a total of 370 acres of the preserved land, including Platt Farm, a ninth generation dairy farm with 60 milking cows that operates as part of the Agri-Mark/Cabot Creamery Co-operative.

Roots Run Deep - Connecticut recognizes Century Farm families

Family farms passed from generation to generation are a testament to the tenacity and dedication of Connecticut farmers through the ages.

The Connecticut Century Farm Award is given to farms that have been in a family operation for more than 100 years and have the potential to be successful for at least another 100 years. The Connecticut Agricultural Information Council annually selects the recipients.

A Day in the Life - Walk through a typical day with a Connecticut farmer

5 a.m.: Ring, ring. The alarm clock goes off and the coffeepot turns on at Sweet Acre Farm, owned by Jonathan and Charlotte Ross. Over breakfast, they plan the workday, including harvest lists, farm-crew field tasks and more.

Generations of Growth - Farm builds upon knowledge of forefathers

A saying from Jamie Jones’ three-greats-ago grandfather endures as the mantra for the farm today: Be good to the land, and the land will be good to you.

The Jones Farm story begins with Philip James Jones, who sailed from Ireland in the mid-1800s. In his lifetime, Philip worked and accumulated between 250 and 300 acres in the rolling White Hills, and much of that land is still part of the 400-acre farm today.