CT RC&D fosters the workable economic growth that creates new jobs and business opportunities for Connecticut’s residents by supporting rural economic innovation, promoting agriculture as a strong Connecticut business sector, and preserving cultural heritage, natural resources, food security that create a sustainable and stable Connecticut economy.
Job Jumpstart Program
Provides paid apprenticeships and internships to foster career development of new graduates from high school and college toward careers in conservation, agriculture and rural business development. This past year, CT RC&D was fortunate to receive a grant for $400,000 to hire and train two soil technicians and two conservation planners for two years. CT RC&D also funded three college interns who were hired and trained in agriculture business management, environmental resource assessment, and grants management.
CT RC&D is working to expand this program to connect new graduates with careers in agriculture and aqua culture.
Connecticut Tour des Farms Program
The Connecticut Tour des Farms has been a project of the Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development Council since 2003. The Connecticut Tour des Farms was initiated as a project with a mission of protecting and enhancing the rural character and agriculture in Connecticut. Together with partner organizations, CT RC&D designs the Tour to highlight agriculture in a region of Connecticut, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles and locally grown food. These bicycle rides have toured the rural countryside across Connecticut, raising money and awareness for the diversity and vitality of Connecticut’s farms. More information about the 2020 ride can be found on the Tour des Farms website.
Promoting Farm Business
In addition to its various agriculture programs such as Farm Energy which promotes improved efficiency, CTRC&D continues to see funding toward projects which promote farming as an important economic growth sector in Connecticut.
This year, CTRC&D supported the state’s singular and successful Regional Agriculture Commission in the Lower Connecticut River Valley toward their goal was to develop a series of workshops and a regional plan for agriculture. This project will provide a template for municipalities and regions who seek to organize and create other Regional Agriculture Commissions.