Early this year, the Regional Agriculture Council launched a website entitled "Know Your Farmers", which promotes farms in the lower Connecticut River valley region. At present, we include about 50 farms. There are many more farms in the region, and we're actively soliciting those who aren't a part of the promotional site to join in. Only those farmers who are interested in having their farms promoted in this way are included. To navigate to the "Know Your Farmers" website, click on our logo at left. If you know of farms that aren't included on the site by should be, let us know and let the farmers know as well! We're all in this together!
In 2011, Public Act 11-188, An Act Authorizing Local and Regional Agricultural Councils and Concerning Consideration of Agriculture in Local Plans of Conservation and Development and Zoning Regulations, was enacted by the Connecticut General Assembly. Proposed by the Connecticut Farm Bureau, this bill encourages formation of commissions or councils to bring agricultural concerns to the forefront of discussions on planning and zoning within municipalities. While there are about twenty agriculture commissions in municipalities across the state, River COG is the first to establish the regional commission.
Pursuant to that legislation, the governing board of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (River COG) comprised of elected officials from 17 municipalities unanimously voted to move forward with forming the Connecticut’s first regional agriculture council. Middlesex County Farm Bureau President Walter Adametz with assistance from LCRVCOG staff took this initiative and presented it at the March, 2013 meeting of RiverCOG. There was support from members from the East Haddam and Durham Agriculture Commissions, Connecticut Farm Bureau and others.
The objective of the Regional Council is to support farming in the 17 municipalities and promote agriculture-friendly land use and municipal policies. Goals of the Regional Council will those those of municipal commissions, and will include:
The Agricultural Council will be operated through the RiverCOG located in Essex, CT. The COG will be hosting the meetings and will be a resource for grants etc. that may not be available to individual towns. The Council will regionalize the resources and make for a more efficient body to focus on the opportunities for farming in the region.
For information on the Agriculture Council, contact Janice Ehlemeyer at (860) 581- 8554, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The members of the RiverCOG Regional Agriculture Council are: