Update with editorial from The Day: Connecticut has the distinction of providing the second-oldest farm-preservation program in the country, preserving the development rights of its first farm in 1979 during the administration of Gov. Ella T. Grasso, a Democrat.
Since 1978, when Connecticut began its Farmland Preservation Program, the state has purchased the development rights on 280 farms, which means that farmers can continue to farm the land or sell it someday, but never for development. The total amount of acreage saved for farming has been more than 36,000 acres. This represents about 28 percent of the state’s ultimate goal of protecting 85,000 acres of crop fields on 130,000 acres of farmland.
Since the first purchase of development rights in 1979, the state has spent $121 million on the program, but the annual costs are relatively modest. In the last six years the administration of Gov. M. Jodi Rell has saved 75 farms and over 7,700 acres, for an average annual cost of $6 million.
For more information on Connecticut’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=3260&q=399016.