LEBANON, Conn. (WTNH) — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy will visit Lebanon Thursday to celebrate a grant that will help new Connecticut farmers launch their businesses.
Murphy will meet with Sweet Acre Farm owners to celebrate the newly awarded U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant of $597,598 to the University of Connecticut.
The funds will help restart a training program for new farmers that was axed in 2015, due to a lack of funding.
Owners of Sweet Acre Farms, Jonathan Janeway and Charlotte Ross, graduated from UConn’s program last year.
The USDA’s grants through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program support education, mentoring, and technical assistance to farmers just starting out.
As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Murphy successfully secured $34 million in an Agriculture Appropriations bill to help out beginning farmers.
To be considered a beginning farmer in Connecticut, operators must be running a farm with less than 10 years of experience. One in four principal farmers in the state are considered to be beginners.