Public Policy Priorities
Agriculture policy development drives the priorities and work of Connecticut Farm Bureau. As a grass roots organization, CFBA’s agriculture policies are created, modified and approved by CFBA members.
All the programs, activities and legislative work that Connecticut Farm Bureau does on the local, state and federal level is guided by its most updated agricultural policy book. When bills arise on farming issues or when CFBA meets with regulatory agencies, community groups and state and local governments as advocates for individual farmers or on behalf of farming in general, CFBA policies guide its position.
The policy development process begins at the county level when policy development meetings occur annually. The process continues at county annual meetings where policy ideas are discussed and debated further. Those policy recommendations are then vetted by a state Policy Development Committee and forwarded to the full house of delegates at the CFBA Annual Meeting. Lastly, policy recommendations that are relevant to national policy or issues are forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting for approval.
One of CFBA’s most important priorities is legislative leadership at the state capitol in Hartford. Legislation and regulations impact almost every aspect of farming. CFBA is there every step of the way to monitor, advise and lobby on these critical issues. CFBA’s legislative strategy includes is multi-pronged approach that includes an on the ground team of our Executive Director and lobbying consultant Pen Lincoln Strategies, LLC.. Engaged farmer members provide additional weight and input through phone calls, emails, letter writing and testifying. Additionally, County Farm Bureaus and the Young Farmers Committee and the Women’s Leadership Committee all hold events to educate legislators about pressing agricultural issues.
For an electronic copy of the 2020 CFBA policy book email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local regulations, municipal agencies and town commissions can have a tremendous impact positively or negatively on farms. With 169 towns in Connecticut, the type, number and quality of farm regulations varies widely. CFBA works directly with farming members, county leadership and municipal land-use officials to ensure a favorable local regulatory climate for Connecticut farm business. As the largest general agricultural association in the state, CFBA is the trusted resource for guidance on:
- The development of agriculturally friendly land-use regulations
- The adoption of optional municipal tax programs for farms;
- The adoption of agricultural commissions and councils;
- Wetlands law;
- The proper implementation of PA 490: Connecticut’s Current Use Tax Law for Farmland, Forest Land and Open Space Land.
CFBA farming members receive one-on-one assistance from staff expert, Joan Nichols, Executive Director – Director Of Member Relations, on land-use issues unique to their farming operation.
Community Investment Act
In 2005, with bipartisan support, the legislature passed the Community Investment Act (PA 05-228). This forward-thinking legislation provides dedicated funds to support worthwhile community-level investments across four sectors: Farmland Preservation/Agriculture, Open Space Conservation, Affordable Housing, and Historic Preservation. The CIA is funded through a $40 surcharge on recording fees, which are distributed across those four sectors. Since 2005, CIA has invested over $122 million, which has benefitted nearly every community in Connecticut. Visit their website for more detailed information on the projects funded.
CIA funding supports the following agricultural programs: Agricultural Sustainability Program(Dairy Support); Farmland Preservation; Farm Reinvestment Grants; Farm Transition Grants; Farm Viability Grants; CT Grown Program; Farm Link; Food Policy Council; Seafood Advisory Council and the Wine Development Council.