HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the Farm Transition Grant (FTG) has been restructured to better serve Connecticut farmers and farmer cooperatives. The creation of five grant categories will address gaps in funding to support farmers in times of growth, change, and emergency need. Applications will be accepted starting April 8 and due no later than 4:00 p.m. on April 15, 2021.
“The changes to our Farm Transition Grant are a direct result of listening to the producers we currently serve and creating attractive funding opportunities for new farmers in Connecticut,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “The revised categories will level the playing field through a proactive approach, which fosters an environment of innovation and support, throughout the lifecycle of a farmer and their business enterprise.”
The Farm Transition Grant is a matching grant program for Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives to support the diversification of existing farm operations, transitioning to value-added agricultural production and sales. Funding is provided through C.G.S. Section 22-26j.
“The Farm Transition Grant was previously a one-size-fits-all approach. After hosting a farmer focus group and giving extensive consideration to industry needs, five new grant categories have been developed,” said Jaime Smith, Bureau Director for Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation. “The agency strives to support farmers from those just beginning, to those well established. We now have grant opportunities which echo that.”
The new grant categories are summarized below.
- New Farmer Micro Grants: To support new individuals/partnerships who have one full year to three years of production history and are seeking long-term careers that financially support them through farming and agriculture.
- Infrastructure Investment Grant: To support farmers in production for a minimum of three years with infrastructure to expand the farm’s production and operation.
- Research and Development Grant: For farms to conduct research to assess the viability and development of a new product line, service, or market.
- Innovation and Diversification Grant: For the implementation of a new product or service for market or business expansion after a research and development phase has been explored.
- Crisis and Emergency Response Grant: To provide aid in response to disasters where federal support, insurance, and loans are unavailable or have been exhausted. (This grant will not be initially available and will be announced as needed at a later date.)
Grant guidelines and forms can be found at www.CTGrown.gov/grants for additional detail on match requirements and eligible expenses.
A virtual workshop to assist interested applicants in learning about the new grant categories and application process will occur at 1:00 p.m. on March 17, 2021. The session will be recorded and posted to the agency website if you are unable to attend the live event.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) 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
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