HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) is accepting grant proposals for the 2024 Farmland Restoration, Climate Resiliency & Disaster Preparedness Grant (RRP). Support is available to provide Connecticut agricultural producers and not for profits directly involved in production agriculture funding for investments which will increase the long-term climate resiliency of farming operations and decrease farm vulnerability to extreme weather events. Applications are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
“This grant is a revision and expansion from the previous Farmland Restoration Grant Program to better prepare our farmlands with climate resiliency outcomes and disaster preparedness planning and implementation to support Connecticut’s agricultural sector as they navigate changing weather patterns,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “Over the past four years we have experienced dramatic and more frequent extremes in weather – drought, flooding, and late freezes. This grant is one avenue to help mitigate those in the future through strategic investments while continuing to improve lands to produce food for people and livestock.”
Farmland Restoration, Climate Resiliency & Preparedness Grant is authorized by and funded through Connecticut General Statutes 22-6c with a priority given to regenerative agricultural practices that restore lands into active agricultural production while also increasing climate resiliency and focus on restoring and improving land with prime and important farmland soils in accordance with a Farmland Restoration and Climate Resiliency Plan (FRCR Plan).
Applicants must choose to submit under Group A or Group B. Group A is open to eligible farmers who identify as BIPOC, new/beginning (1-3 years of production), and/or veteran farmers. Group B is open to all eligible farmers, including BIPOC, new/beginning (1-3 years of production), and/or veteran farmers, as specified in the guidance.
Awardees will be provided technical advice and assistance by a soil scientist or other advisor assigned and paid for by CT DoAg in the development of their FRCR Plan. Once a FRCR Plan is approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture, grantees may request up to $50,000 or $100,000 to implement their FRCR Plan. To learn more about climate resilient farming practices, visit the NRCS Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Mitigation Activities List.
There is a 90/10 match requirement. 90% of project expenses may be grant funded with 10% of the total project expenses covered by the applicant as match funding to the award. Priority will be given to projects which support historically underserved farmers. Grant guidelines and forms can be found at www.CTGrown.gov/grants with additional details on match requirements and eligible expenses. Applications will be evaluated by a review panel. Grant awards to be announced in March 2024, with an estimated contract start date of May 1, 2024.
Workshops will be available to assist interested applicants, including a general overview and a virtual office hour session. For more information on the webinar, or to register, click here. The workshop will be recorded and posted to the RRP Grant webpage for those who cannot attend the live session.
Questions regarding the RRP Grant can be directed to Eileen Underwood at Eileen.Underwood@ct.gov. More information on application requirements, submission process, and accompanying forms can be found online at www.CTGrown.gov/grants.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state’s citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state’s economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
–Connecticut Department of Agriculture