HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) announces that during fiscal year 2022, which ended on June 30, a total of 16 farms and 1,432 acres have been permanently protected through the Farmland Preservation Program. Since the inception of the program in 1979 the state has protected 47,611 acres of farmland and more than 400 farms.
Closing out the fiscal year was the permanent protection of 32 acres in Lebanon, CT, owned by Frank Himmelstein. Established in 1913, Himmelstein Homestead Farm, a dairy farm until 2004, is recognized on the state’s historic register. Currently the land is in use by several farmers to grow field corn and hay, while Himmelstein utilizes three plus acres for organic vegetable production which he sells direct to consumer and through local markets.
“The goal has been to preserve the entire stretch of farm property along both sides of North Street, one of the few roads in town declared a scenic road,” said Himmelstein. “Protecting this parcel completes the preservation of the land along the road frontage and prevents the farmland from being developed for housing in the future.”
The 32-acre parcel abuts an additional 157 acres of the original homestead which was permanently protected by the Farmland Preservation Program in 2007. This is one of more than 40 farmland parcels protected in the Town of Lebanon totaling over 5,000 acres of farmland which will remain available for future generations.
“Protecting farmland is a collective effort requiring strong partnerships and communication throughout the process,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with so many landowners who share a common goal, as well as partners and towns who demonstrate a high level of collaboration enabling us to leverage resources to maximize the success of the program.”
At the close of this fiscal year, 57% of the PDR spending was contributed from non-State sources due to the program maintaining a high cost-share amount from partnerships. Permanently protecting prime and important farmland soils ensures a food and fiber producing land resource base for long-term availability of local, fresh farm products. In addition, farmland provides food and cover for wildlife, helps control flooding, protects wetlands and watersheds, and maintains air quality – all contributing to environmental sustainability and biodiversity.
For more information on Connecticut’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit our website for program overview, frequently asked questions, and contact information.
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