With a recent UCONN study showing Connecticut’s agricultural industry contributes over $3.5 billion dollars and 20,000 jobs to the state, the need for farmers and municipal leaders to work together has never been higher. A conference on March 31, 2011 organized by the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association will bring the groups together to discuss the fundamentals of municipal planning and zoning and help educate attendees on how they can work to support local agriculture.
“This is our second annual conference and those who attend will receive an overview of the fundamentals of planning and zoning and discuss effective strategies to encourage agricultural growth in municipalities,” says Joan Nichols, Government Relations Specialist at Connecticut Farm Bureau Association. "So much of Connecticut agriculture is impacted by local zoning regulations and decisions that it is critical producers understand how municipal zoning impacts their agricultural operation, and more importantly, what they can do to improve the local regulatory climate for agriculture in their communities.”
The program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the municipal regulatory process. Producers will learn tools they can use to work with municipal leaders to adopt local tax reduction programs, form agricultural commissions, right to farm ordinances, and other tactics that can preserve Connecticut’s working landscapes and help create jobs. Farmers as well as municipal planners and decision makers are encouraged to attend.
Costs for the conference are $45 for CFBA members and $60 for non-members. Featured speakers include Agricultural Commissioner Steven Reviczky, and UConn’s Joseph Bonelli introducing the new Ag Business Guide as well as municipal leaders and attorneys from throughout the state. Ben Bowell of American Farmland Trust will address the challenge of finding farmland.
Since 1919, The Connecticut Farm Bureau Association has provided a strong, clear voice in state agricultural issues. As a non-governmental, voluntary organization of farm families, the Connecticut Farm Bureau is united to find solutions for concerns facing production agriculture in our counties, state and nation. Volunteer leaders and staff work closely with state and federal regulatory agencies and elected officials on issues ranging from economic viability, property rights, taxation, land use planning to labor laws and farmland preservation.
The conference will take place at Maneeley’s at 65 Rye Street in South Windsor, CT. For more information or to register visit www.cfba.org or call (860) 768-1100.
Image courtesy of FarmAgriculture.com