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Gov Rell Celebrates 375 Years of Agriculture



March 18, 2010                                                              


Governor Rell: State Celebrates 375 Years
of Agriculture at Ag Day at State Capitol


Governor M. Jodi Rell today presided over the annual Agriculture Day at the State Capitol, which showcased products and displays from more than 40 organizations and agencies around the state and celebrated farming’s contribution over the past 375 years.


“Connecticut is celebrating its 375th Anniversary this year and an essential part of our heritage, what makes Connecticut unique, has always been Connecticut agriculture,” Governor Rell said. “The motto of our yearlong celebration is ‘Industrious, Inventive and Enduring.’ To me that sums up the spirit of Connecticut farming.


“Agriculture Day at the Capitol gives a grateful state the opportunity to say thank you to our farmers and producers,” Governor Rell said. “Agriculture is a $2 billion industry in Connecticut that accounts for 50,000 jobs and thousands of acres of open space that enhance our quality of life.”


“Agriculture Day provides an excellent snapshot of agriculture in Connecticut, highlighting its progress and diversity,” said Commission Prelli. “Agriculture is an economic generator in our state and this day allows us to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to these advances in our industry.”


Among the milestones of Connecticut Agriculture over the past 375 years are:

·         The first farmers market was established in Hartford in 1643. Now there are over 120 markets in 97 towns;

·         The oldest fair in Connecticut is the Brooklyn Fair, established in 1809

·         The first commercial peach orchard in the country was the J.H. Hale Orchard, established in Glastonbury in 1875.


Commissioner Prelli recognized several award winners during a special ceremony. including the Outstanding Young Farmer Award, which went to Joe Geremia of Wallingford. The Connecticut Agriculture Information Council handed out Agriculture Journalism Awards to 11 media winners (list attached).


For more information on Agriculture in Connecticut:


To help promote Connecticut’s 375th Anniversary, Governor Rell assembled a commission of historians, educators, arts and culture representatives, fund-raisers and others. The 375th Anniversary Commission is planning events that involve local schools, state parks, the arts community, museums and oral historians.


Services and items related to the state’s year long 375th anniversary celebration are donated or purchased with donated funds.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Go to for more information and to donate. More information on 375th Anniversary events can be also be found at:







Weekly Publication, Best Feature Story [Marker]


Barbara Thomas, The Valley Press

"Oh Christmas Tree… on the Farm," published Nov 19, 2009


Weekly Publication, Best Series


Suzanne Thompson, The Lyme Times and Sister Times Weeklies of New London Counties

“CT Outdoors” column, published April 16, 2009 – October 1, 2009


Television, Best Feature Story


Brad Drazen and Daryl Vallez, NBC Connecticut (WVIT-30)

"Making the Grade," aired September 23, 2009


Daily Publication, Best Feature Story


Anthony Cronin, The Day

"The Farmer's Cow Steps Beyond Milk," published December 6, 2009


Linda Giuca, special to The Hartford Courant

"Fresh from the Farm," published June 11, 2009


Deborah Hornblow, special to The Hartford Courant

"The Debutantes," published April 10, 2009


Cecily McAndrews, special to The Hartford Courant

"Preserving the Bounty," published September 10, 2009


Jan Ellen Spiegel, The New York Times

“New Crops for Farms, and, Perhaps, Profits,” published May 15, 2009


Daily Publication, Best Photography


Stephen Dunn, The Hartford Courant

"Apples Aplenty," published September 28, 2009


Richard Messina, The Hartford Courant

"A Rite of Spring," published May 9, 2009


John Woike, The Hartford Courant

"A Breed Apart," published November 5, 2009




4H Education Center at Auer Farm
American Farmland Trust/Working Lands Alliance
CT Florists Association
CT Greenhouse Growers Association
Christmas Tree Association
CitySeed, Inc.
CT Nursery and Landscape Association
Connecticut Currant
CT Ag Ed Foundation
CT Agricultural Experiment Station
CT Apple Marketing Board
CT Association of State Fairs
CT Beekeepers Association
CT Community Gardening Association
CT Dairy Industry Council
CT Department of Agriculture Animal Population Control Program
CT Department of Agriculture Farmland Preservation
CT Department of Agriculture Marketing Bureau
CT Farm Fresh Cooperative Association, Inc.
CT Farm Risk Management
CT Farmland Trust
CT Food Bank
CT Northeast Organic Farming Association 
CT Poultry Association, Inc.
CT Professional Timber Producers Assoc Inc.
CT Seafood Council
CT State Grange
CT Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab
Farm Bureau Association
Farm Credit East
The Farmer's Cow
Farmstead Dairy Alliance of CT
Food Policy Council
Kings Mark RC&D
Maple Syrup Producers Association of CT
Nutrition EFNEP
School Nutrition Association of CT
USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service
USDA Farm Service Agency
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA Rural Development
Very Alive
Women in Agriculture Network

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

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