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Over 500 beginner farmers in Connecticut join together to plan for climate change

Bridgeport Farming.jpg
Michael Lyle Jr.
/
WSHU
Mary Claire Whelan, coordinator for the New Connecticut Farmers Alliance, speaks on a new policy program aimed at increasing diversity in the state's farming industry and combating climate change in Bridgeport Tuesday.

Connecticut farmers joined representatives from the state Department of Agriculture in Bridgeport to help the New Connecticut Farmers Alliance to unveil a five-pillar platform to fight climate change under what is called the “Future of Farming CT” program.

Mary Claire Whelan, coordinator for the Farmers Alliance, said that each pillar represents a major issue for their farmer members that includes improving agricultural infrastructure.

"There’s so many folks who are making it work with farming as their second or third job because they are so passionate about it,” said Whelan.

Whelan also said the state legislation can help Connecticut become dominant in the local food industry and ensure a more diverse background of area farmers in the business.

“It takes community involvement," added Tom Morgart, a state conservationist for the USDA. “You can’t make a community agriculture operation like this one get off the ground unless the community is supportive of it."

The platform also includes developing plans for climate resistance, making healthcare more affordable for farmers and land more accessible.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.