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Conn. farmland disappearing; Trust seeks funds to purchase rights from farmers.



Byline: C. L. Kelly

THOMPSON - Connecticut is losing 7,000 to 9,000 agricultural acres per year, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Working Lands Alliance, a coalition for protecting Connecticut's farmland.

"This is the highest loss in the country," said Jiff Martin of the New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt.  Field Representative of American Farmland Trust American Farmland Trust (AFT) is an organization founded to preserve farmland in the United States and to promote sustainable farming practices.

Farmers and ranchers founded AFT in 1980, partly in response to the 1979 report of the National Agricultural Lands Study, titled
 and project director of WLA WLA Women's Land Army
WLA West Los Angeles (California, USA)
WLA Wisconsin Library Association (Madison, WI)
WLA World Lottery Association
WLA Western Lacrosse Association
WLA Wasteload Allocation
 at a recent regional workshop at the Thompson library on conservation options for Connecticut farmers.

If the accelerated loss continues, the remaining farmland will be gone in less than two generations, according to Connecticut Farmland Trust, a grass-roots organization that formed seven years ago. CFT CFT complement fixation test; see under fixation.

CFT

complement fixation test.
 is a member of the WLA coalition.

In 1944, the state had 22,000 farms and nearly everyone lived on or next to a farm, according to www.workingtheland.com. Today, the numbers are drastically lower, at 4,200 farms statewide. The plight of the Connecticut farm is the subject of a new video called "Working the Land."

About 100 people attended the meeting Jan. 11 to discuss the plight of Connecticut farmland, including state Rep. Michael L. Alberts, R-Woodstock, and Thompson Town Planner town planner nurbanista m/f

town planner nurbaniste m/f

town planner town n
 John P. Guszkowski.

Programs were outlined to ease financial burdens and provide community support.

American Farmland Trust is a national organization that works to stop the loss of farmland. AFT has been asking the General Assembly to release $18 million for the purchase of development rights from farmers, Ms. Martin said. She urged those attending to assist the group in asking legislators to release the money.

"A conservation easement easement, in law, the right to use the land of another for a specified purpose, as distinguished from the right to possess that land. If the easement benefits the holder personally and is not associated with any land he owns, it is an easement in gross (e.g.  is a deed restriction that landowners or farmers voluntarily place on part or all of their land," Ms. Martin explained.

Money gained from the sale of development rights can be used by farmers to pay off debt or to buy more land. Farmers at the meeting discovered that despite selling development rights, they would remain the owner of the land.

Agricultural easements EASEMENTS, estates. An easement is defined to be a liberty privilege or advantage, which one man may have in the lands of another, without profit; it may arise by deed or prescription. Vide 1 Serg. & Rawle 298; 5 Barn. & Cr. 221; 3 Barn. & Cr. 339; 3 Bing. R. 118; 3 McCord, R.  that restrict the amount and type of development benefit the land owner and the easement holder, which could be the state, federal or municipal governments, or a land trust.

The AFT Windsor office may be contacted at (860) 683-4230.

Farm operations in the area have been steadily declining. At one time that was due to larger farms buying smaller ones, but the current trend shows that the land is being developed for non-farm use, according to the Eastern Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development Inc., which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Eastern RCD See residual current device.  seeks to support revitalization of town greens, farmland and open space; it also advises development of smart town growth strategies through land-use leadership alliance training programs.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture offers matching grants up to $50,000 to help farmers enhance operations through diversification, transition, product expansion and development of new marketing strategies. Local recipients are Woodstock's Taylor Brooke Winery, $5,662 for installation of fermenters to increase production; Wagon Road Farm and Greenhouse, South Killingly, $3,989 for greenhouse enhancement; and Brooklyn's Mik-Ran's Sugarhouse sug·ar·house  
n.
A sugar refinery or processing plant, especially a building in which maple sap is boiled down to yield maple syrup and maple sugar.
, $11,000 for sugarhouse improvement and a vacuum-tubing system.

Grants up to $50,000 are also available for municipalities for investment in education and marketing to advance local agricultural products and preservation. Recently awarded recipients are Putnam, $49,995 for construction of a permanent Farmers Market; Thompson, $20,000 for municipal GIS mapping for farmland and open space protection planning.

Agricultural viability grants also pertain to pertain to
verb relate to, concern, refer to, regard, be part of, belong to, apply to, bear on, befit, be relevant to, be appropriate to, appertain to
 open space, affordable housing and historic properties.

The state agriculture department has also launched an interactive Web site for agricultural landowners seeking leasers and potential farmers looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 land at www.farmlink.uconn.edu.

"It's like classifieds," Ms. Martin said.

Elisabeth Moore Elisabeth "Bessie" Holmes Moore (born March 5 1876 in Brooklyn, New York, died 22 January 1959 in Starke, Florida) was a female tennis player from the United States.

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977. Grand Slam results
U.S.
, program director of the Connecticut Farmland Trust, said resources are available for landowners who either cannot wait or do not qualify for state funds through the Connecticut Farmland Preservation Program, a program of the state Department of Agriculture. There is a waiting list for government assistance.

CFT is the only private statewide conservation organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut's farmland. Based in Hartford, CFT works with towns, land trusts and individual donors to leverage state and federal funding.

For more information, visit www.ctfarmland.org or call (860) 247-0202.

Changes in the 2006 federal tax law allow a deduction up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income for conservation easements, Ms. Moore said. Previously, a 30 percent deduction was allowed.

There is another incentive for donors. They are allowed to carry over deductions for their contribution for as many as 15 years. It used to be five years.

Also, farmers are able to deduct 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. Stipulations have expanded to accommodate low-income farmers, Ms. Moore said.

"The previous tax breaks for voluntary conservation agreements used to benefit the wealthy," she said.

This particular federal tax code is in effect until the end of the year, Ms. Moore said, but there's no guarantee it would be renewed.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Farmland and homes dot the landscape along Dugg Hill Road in Woodstock.

PHOTOG pho·tog  
n. Informal
A person who takes photographs, especially as a profession; a photographer.
: T&G Staff/DAN GOULD
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 18, 2007
Words:835
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