Get a Seat at the Table
Achieving your best farm future depends on creating a favorable regulatory and business environment. As a member of Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, we give you a seat at the table with decision makers and influencers to shape agriculture policy that can lead to your next business opportunity and drive operational growth.
As the state’s leading advocate for Connecticut’s diverse agricultural operations, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association ensures policymakers hear what you’re hungry for, and what you’ve had enough of. We work to connect you with agri-food supply chain stakeholders at the local, state and national levels.
With 169 towns in Connecticut, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association understands local regulatory climates vary widely. We help guide you with one-on-one counseling (for Standard Farmer members) as you navigate zoning and regulatory issues. We build coalitions to position Connecticut Farm Bureau Association as a trusted resource for guidance on:
- Development of agriculturally friendly land-use regulations
- Adoption of optional municipal tax programs for farms
- Adoption of agricultural commissions and councils
- Wetland laws
- Proper implementation of PA 490: Connecticut’s Current Use Tax Law for Farmland, Forest Land and Open Space Land
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association utilizes direct farmer members’ input to monitor, advise and lobby on critical legislation and regulations. Employing a multi-pronged approach with an on-the-ground lobbying team, lobbying consultant, and engaged farmer members has resulted in policies and protocols that help your business and community thrive.
From horticulture to aquaculture, from poultry to dairy, farming in our state is unique in its diversity. Connecticut Farm Bureau Association not only promotes and advocates for all Connecticut farm businesses, but also works collaboratively with the American Farm Bureau Federation to ensure a favorable regulatory and business environment at the national level.
Join in the Conversation
Annually, through Connecticut Farm Bureau Association’s grassroots policy development process, farmer members create, modify, and approve Connecticut Farm Bureau Association’s policy agenda. The agenda is then used to guide programs and legislative work.
Interested in joining the conversation? Email us to learn more about the process.
For an electronic copy of the 2022 Connecticut Farm Bureau Association Policy Book, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping Pace with Your Current and Future Needs
Technology and legislation are constantly evolving, and we are here to keep you in the know. Whether it is updating you on the latest legislative activity, forming a coalition to deal with an emerging issue or helping promote your personal business, we work to ensure your voice is heard.
Improving the Regulatory Environment
To create a favorable market and business environment, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association continues to work on improving the legal framework for farm businesses. Recently, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association has successfully:
- Developed a manufacturing permit for on-farm breweries
- Shifted oversight and regulation of honey and maple syrup production from the Department of Consumer Protection to the Department of Agriculture where there is a better understanding of these commodities
- Championed legalizing hemp propagation, processing and selling hemp, including CBD, and aligning Connecticut hemp propagation with federal regulations
- Sustained funding for the State Bee Inspector that was threatened by budget cuts
- Retained funding for the Connecticut Ag Experiment Station, which provides critical services and research including soil testing, tick research, beehive and nursery inspections, etc.
- Fought for a stand-alone Connecticut Department of Agriculture by preventing the consolidation of the agency into the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
- Established the Connecticut Department of Agriculture as an agency with oversight of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Produce Safety Rule
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association continues to help you position your farm business for the future. Major energy legislation shepherded by Connecticut Farm Bureau Association includes:
- Adding special exemptions for anaerobic digesters at animal feeding operations
- Increasing the percentage of food waste permitted in digesters from 5% to 40%
- Mandating timelines for Department of Energy and Environmental Protection permitting processing
- Creating an expedited permitting process for on-farm digesters
- Requiring utilities to purchase farm generated energy if the farm produces up to two megawatts annually
- Expanding virtual net metering, which allows farms to create energy through solar panels and sell the excess energy back to the power company
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association worked with a coalition to create the Community Investment Act (PA 05-228). Forward-thinking legislation such as this provides dedicated funds to support farmland preservation, the Connecticut FarmLink Program, and farm grants offered through the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, among others.
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association supported an amendment to the Community Investment Act to provide special funding allocated to the Dairy Sustainability Program.
Over the last twenty years, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association has continued to participate in a coalition to maintain full funding of this program. For more details on funded projects here.
Coming out of the UConn CAHNR Extension , #heartctgrown is an initiative to promote farms, Farmer’s Markets, CSA’s, and pick-your-own operations throughout the state of Connecticut. We believe that local food is an important means for making meaningful connections with each other and to build strong, resilient, healthy communities that are ready to tackle challenges together. We hope to share the stories of these connections in the future, and that they will encourage you to tell your stories too.