Thursday, August 18, 2016

Senator Murphy Helps Connecticut Farmers

 Cheshire is more of a bedroom suburb these days than a farming community, but in honor of the town being the  "Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut," I figure there might be some interest in one of U.S, Senator Chris Murphy's stops on Thursday.

Chris Murphy
Besides, Murphy is a  Cheshire guy. But I digress.

Murphy is visiting Sweet Acre Farm in Lebanon on Thursday to highlight the newly-awarded $597,598 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to the University of Connecticut.  UConn had to stop offering training programs for new farmers last year because a lack of funding.

The money that Murphy helped secure from the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program will enable the UConn program to be restarted.

Why travel to eastern Connecticut to highlight the restoration of the training?  Well, it's because Sweet Acre Farm owners Jonathan Janeway and Charlotte Ross founded the farm in 2011 and attended UConn’s training program.

According to Murphy's office, one in four principal farm operators in Connecticut are considered “beginning farmers”, meaning they are operating a farm with less than 10 years of experience. Between 2007 and 2012, Connecticut experienced a 15.1 percent increase in the number of principal farm operators with less than 10 years of experience – one of the largest increases in the nation.

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