Contact: Omena McCoy
November 16, 2011
State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) was recognized today for his commitment to preserving open farmland in Connecticut when he received the 2011 “Legislator Appreciation Award” from the Working Lands Alliance.
The award is a bushel basket of Connecticut-grown produce and a bottle of Connecticut wine.
Sen. Fonfara received the award for his work as Senate Chairman of the legislature’s General Bonding Subcommittee in setting aside $20 million over the next two years for the purchase and protection of Connecticut farmland. On average, between 1985 and 2006, Connecticut lost agricultural fields at a rate of 1,883 acres per year, according to the WLA.
“I’m very glad to have been a part this year of protecting farms in Connecticut,” Sen. Fonfara said. “I grew up in a housing project in the South End of Hartford, but I think in my previous life I was a farmer. I love farms.”
“Senator Fonfara led the way with a firm commitment to farmland preservation,” said Working lands Alliance Chairman Terry Jones. “As businesspeople, the agricultural community believes this farmland preservation program has integrity.”
Founded in 1999, the WLA is a coalition whose supporters include more than 600 individuals and 200 businesses and organizations that include farmers, conservationists, anti-hunger groups, planners and local food enthusiasts. This coalition has joined together in an effort to halt the loss of Connecticut’s remaining farmland.
According the University of Connecticut, agricultural fields account for 7 percent of the state’s land cover. Connecticut’s remaining 360,000 acres of farmland contribute the public health and well-being in many ways, including:
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