(a) The Department of Agriculture shall establish and administer a Connecticut Farm Link program to establish a database of farmers and agricultural land owners who intend to sell, lease or otherwise transfer their farm operations or agricultural land. The database shall be maintained by the Department of Agriculture and shall be made available to the public on the department’s web site. Persons interested in starting an agricultural business or persons interested in expanding a current agricultural business may notify the department and have their names, contact information and intentions regarding such businesses entered in such database. The department shall make reasonable efforts to facilitate contact between parties with compatible interests, including, but not limited to, growing and processing crops as feedstock for biodiesel heating and transportation fuels. The Department of Agriculture may collaborate with the Department of Veterans Affairs, The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service and the Labor Department to encourage and assist veterans in starting or expanding an agricultural business and to provide education and training opportunities to veterans concerning farming or agricultural operations.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 22-26l
- farm: includes farm buildings, and accessory buildings thereto, nurseries, orchards, ranges, greenhouses, hoophouses and other temporary structures or other structures used primarily for the raising and, as an incident to ordinary farming operations, the sale of agricultural or horticultural commodities. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- farming: shall include cultivation of the soil, dairying, forestry, raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training and management of livestock, including horses, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals and wildlife, and the raising or harvesting of oysters, clams, mussels, other molluscan shellfish or fish. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
(b) The Department of Agriculture shall post materials regarding the Connecticut Farm Link program and farmland access, restoration and transfer on the department’s Internet web site, conduct outreach to landowners and farmers, perform on-site investigations for lands enrolled in the Farm Link program, facilitate contact between parties with compatible interests and provide related educational programming, including, but not limited to, programs regarding farm transfer and farm succession planning, family farm estate planning, farm transfer strategies, farm leasing, formation of farm partnerships, growing and processing crops as feedstock for biodiesel heating and transportation fuels and information regarding starting a farm business.
(c) The department may create partnerships or utilize third-party entities to implement the provisions of this section.