CTLN Opinion+: Jaime Smith


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Description of the video: 

This week the healing of a very divided nation began with the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States and a reminder to be united and supportive of one another. During a conversation with Jaime Smith, Bureau director of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, we were reminded of unity and support especially in supporting our agricultural industry. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the agriculture industry but CT residents and small businesses came up with creative solutions to support agriculture; breweries and wineries supported harvesting fishing with an oyster accompaniment, farmers markets, and farm shops were visited. Director Smith urged that residents and others in the North East continue to support our local farms. 

While the pandemic has greatly affected the agriculture sector, Its problems did not begin with the pandemic.  sustainability and conservation have been issues that have long affected the farm industry. In our conversation with Smith,  the director elaborated on several assistance programs the state provides in order to preserve Connecticut Farms. 

Agriculture is one of Connecticut’s most vital economic sectors. Through the Farmland preservation program, the department is acquiring the rights of large acres of property and ensuring that the land is used for agricultural development only. This continues to preserve the beauty of Connecticut and of the state’s farmland and is also very good for the environment. According to Director Smith as of 2020, the program has preserved more than 46,142 acres on 386 farms. 

Maintaining a robust farming industry in the United States is difficult, the Department of Agriculture has made it a goal to not only preserve farmland but to save farms owned by families. In 2020 the department saved over 15 family-owned farms. 

In ending our conversation with director Smith, we discuss the beauty of the American farm in the American agricultural industry which is the oldest industry in the country. “This is a good week to go out and support your local farmers,” she said. 

While certain berries and vegetables are not in season, dairy is always in season and so is ice cream. 

For more information and ways to support the agriculture sector check out the links below. 

Resources mentioned in the video:

Connecticut NOFA Local Farm and Food Guide – CTGrownMap.com 

Connecticut Department of Agriculture – CTGrown.gov

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ConnecticutGrown

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/GrowCTAg/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ct.grown/?hl=en

Connecticut Milk Promotion Board – https://ctdairy.org/

Connecticut Milk Promotion Board Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/connecticutdairy/

Connecticut Apples – https://www.ctapples.org/

Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries – www.passporttoctfarmwine.com

Bureau of Aquaculture – https://www.instagram.com/aquaculture_ct/

Connecticut Grown 2021 – https://www.farmflavor.com/connecticut/connecticut-magazine/connecticut-grown-2021/