agriculture

Highlights of Extension

Highlights of Extension spread of images and articlesUConn Extension has collaborated with our partners, communities and stakeholders for over 100 years. We are proud to serve all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut. The worldwide pandemic involving COVID-19 (coronavirus) has produced unprecedented challenges in the UConn community and around the world. Our services continue during this challenging time. All of our educators are working and serving their audiences.

Extension professionals and trained volunteers engage the state’s diverse population to make informed choices and better decisions. The partnerships enrich our lives and our environment. The Highlights of Extension annual report showcases program achievements from the past year.

Our Extension faculty and staff are effectively responding to the new challenges as well. They are utilizing technology and mobilizing resources to help families, communities, businesses, farmers, and other stakeholders. For example, our extension specialists and 4-H volunteers are helping distribute thousands of gallons of dairy products weekly to families in need throughout the state. There are many other examples of how the CAHNR family is responding to help our communities.

Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate

The Highlights of Extension annual report is available online at https://bit.ly/ExtensionHighlights and we invite you to learn more about CAHNR Extension at https://cahnr.uconn.edu/extension/.

SBA Relief Program Q&A for Farmers

SBA powerpoint on relief programs for farmers opening slide

UConn Extension hosted a Q&A session with the Small Business Association (SBA) on relief programs available. You can view the powerpoint presentation slides and video of the full presentation.

This powerpoint from SBA does not include updated information that farms are now eligible for EIDL loan, so please disregard info on slides 13 and 19 that say otherwise.

Agricultural Stress Management

stress spelled out with scrabble piecesWe understand many of our Connecticut farms and families have been dealing with stress long before this pandemic took place. Through a collaborative of UConn Extension faculty and staff along with some of our critical partners (Farm Credit East, ACA, Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Connecticut Farm Bureau, CT NOFA, Eggleston Equine, and Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services) we have created a resource page to help you mitigate some of the stressors you are facing. http://ctfarmrisk.uconn.edu/agstress.php

We also have created a Private Facebook Group for Farmers and Agricultural Service Providers to communicate with one another through this challenging time for all of us. Join the group today! https://www.facebook.com/groups/361718224745725/

We at UConn Extension are working though unable to make farm visits at this. Please let us know if we can help you.

Economic Assistance Programs for Agriculture & Businesses

Economic Assistance Programs

Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Applications can be submitted starting today.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

For more information and updates, visit Treasury.gov/CARES and SBA.gov/PayCheckProtection.

Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering all states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for coronavirus relief loan options.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan  

  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • Click here to apply.
  • For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Apply for the Loan Advance here.

Other Coronavirus Assistance
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are currently eligible to apply for a loan advance of up to $10,000.

The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Terms:

  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

The SBA can also provide debt relief to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. For information click here.

Farm and Business Financial Analysis

SRAC 4400: Introduction to Financial Management of Aquaculture Businesses – click here.
SRAC 4401: Assessing the Financial Position of an Aquaculture Business: Using Balance Sheets – click here.
SRAC 4402: Determining the Profitability of an Aquaculture Business: Using Income Statements and Enterprise Budgets – click here.
SRAC 4403: Evaluating the Liquidity/Cash Position of an Aquaculture Business: Using Cash Flow Statements – click here.

Please note federal websites are being updated daily to reflect loan program changes to improve access or new programs authorized by the CARES Act.  If a link no longer functions, go to the agency website and look for a coronavirus economic assistance program link.

Ask UConn Extension Your Questions

Indu
Indu Upadhyaya, Food Safety Assistant Extension Educator. Photo: Kevin Noonan

UConn Extension has collaborated with our partners, communities and stakeholders for over 100 years. We are proud to serve all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut. The worldwide pandemic involving COVID-19 (coronavirus) has produced unprecedented challenges in the UConn community and around the world. Our services continue during this challenging time.

We are still delivering the science-based information you need. We are ready to answer your questions. Consult with us by email or on the phone. All of our educators are working and ready to serve you. Ask us a question online.

We are developing virtual programs to offset canceled in-person learning Abby Beissingeropportunities. Our educators are writing and updating fact sheets and other information. You have access to educational materials on our YouTube channel. We are growing our suite of online resources every day to meet the needs of our communities and stakeholders.

UConn CAHNR Extension educators have curated resources related to COVID-19 for our statewide audiences, including families, businesses, and agricultural producers.

Resources for all audiences includes:

  • Food safety and cooking
  • Hand washing and sanitizers
  • Infection prevention
  • Financial advice
  • Listings of open farms/farmers’ markets and school emergency meal distribution

Parents and families with children out of school can use the resources from our UConn 4-H program to provide new educational activities for youth. Activities available will keep youth engaged and learning and are appropriate for a variety of age groups.

Bruce Hyde presenting at Land Use Academy
Bruce Hyde presenting at Land Use Academy.

A list of resources has been collected for Connecticut businesses. It is a clearinghouse of resources, and not an official site. Business owners can connect to the state resources we provide for official and legal advice.

Agricultural producers are still working on farms, in greenhouses and along the coast in Long Island Sound during the COVID-19 outbreak. Extension educators have developed resources for specific agricultural sectors, including fruit and vegetable farms, aquaculture, and nursery and landscape professionals. Links to important updates from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture also are available.

Our Extension educators are updating and adding resources regularly. Please visit http://bit.ly/COVID-19-Extension.

We are also ready to answer your other questions, including:

  • How do I get my water tested?
  • What is wrong with my plant?
  • Can I eat healthy on a budget?
  • How does my son/daughter join 4-H?

UConn CAHNR Extension has more than 100 years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.

Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities.

We are here. We are ready to serve you.

 

Agriculture Producer Survey Request

Angie Harris
Agricultural Producers: Please take this five minute survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on your business. The Governor of Connecticut issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order except for essential businesses on March 23, 2020. The Commissioner of Agriculture clarified, per Executive Order 7H, that agriculture businesses are considered “essential businesses”. This anonymous survey will help us to better understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s agriculture industry. Results will be used to continue developing Extension resources.
 
Take the survey at: bit.ly/Ag_COVID

Soil Testing Lab is Open

soil in hand

In light of agriculture (including community gardening) being designated as essential, the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory will remain open utilizing best practices; social distancing and disinfecting are a high priority. No one will be allowed in the lab but essential personnel. Any soil tests need to be mailed or left in the drop box outside the lab. Anyone needing a soil test should go to http://www.soiltest.uconn.edu. Tests will take longer because they are running on essential lab personnel only.

Aquaculture Farmers: Local Health Dept. & District Contact Info

Connecticut state flagIf you are considering direct sales via farm stands or markets, we previously sent the guidance and it is also at:http://aquaculture.uconn.edu. An important step in the approval process is to contact your local health department or district. Contact information is below. Keep in mind that these folks are very busy right now. Be persistent; be kind.

Sincerely, The Sea Grant Staff

If your health department/district is not listed (this list was created for aquaculture) visit https://portal.ct.gov/dph/Local-Health-Admin/LHA/Local-Health-Administration—Site-Map for the full list.

Local Health Department and District Contact Information

Ledge Light Health District – Serving Stonington, Groton, Ledyard, New London, Waterford, East Lyme, Old Lyme

(860)448-4882
Email:smansfield@llhd.org

https://llhd.org/about-us/staff/

East Shore Health District – Serving Branford, East Haven, or North Branford

203-481-4233

Email:info@esdhd.org

https://www.esdhd.org

Bridgeport Health Department

(203) 576-7680

Email:Albertina.Baptista@Bridgeportct.gov

http://bridgeportct.gov/health

Fairfield Health Department

(203) 256-3020

Email:scleary@fairfieldct.org

http://fairfieldct.org/health

Greenwich Health Department

(203) 622-7836

Email:cbaisley@greenwichct.org

http://www.greenwichct.org/HealthDept/HealthDept.asp

Guilford Health Department

(203) 453-8118

Email:johnsond@ci.guilford.ct.us

http://www.ci.guilford.ct.us/departments/health-department/

Madison Health Department

(203) 245-5681

Email:josepht@madisonct.org

http://www.madisonct.org/200/Health-Department

Milford Health Department

(203) 783-3285

Email:djoseph@milfordct.gov

http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/health-department-0

New Haven Health Department

(203) 946-6999

Email:mbond@newhavenct.gov

http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Health/

Norwalk Health Department

(203) 854-7776

Email:ddamore@norwalkct.org

http://www.norwalkct.org/676/Health

Stamford Health Department

(203) 977-4399

Email:jcalder@stamfordct.gov

http://www.stamfordct.gov/health-and-social-services

Stratford Health Department

(203) 385-4090

Email:aboissevain@townofstratford.com

http://www.townofstratford.com/content/39832/39846/39915/default.aspx

Town of Darien

(203) 656-7320

Email:dknauf@darienct.gov

http://www.darienct.gov/content/28025/28541/default.aspx

West Haven Health Department

(203) 937-3660

Email:mlillis@westhaven-ct.gov

http://www.cityofwesthaven.com/164/Health-Department

Westport Weston Health District

(203) 227-9571

Email:mcooper@wwhd.org

http://www.wwhd.org

If your health department/district is not listed (this list was created for aquaculture) visit https://portal.ct.gov/dph/Local-Health-Admin/LHA/Local-Health-Administration—Site-Map for the full list.

Virtual Town Hall for CT Farmers on Monday, March 23rd

Farm Bureau logoConnecticut Farm Bureau Association Hosting a

Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Connecticut Farmers on COVID-19 

Monday, March 23, 2020

7:00 pm

ZOOM Video-conference/Teleconference

  • Up-to-date information on COVID-19 Emergency and its impact on Connecticut farms
  • Opportunity to ask questions.
  • Opportunity to raise concerns, address problems, share strategies and resources, and provide feedback.

Agenda:

  1. Newest guidance and resources for farmers.
  2. Up-to-date financial support and services available for agri-businesses
  3. Your questions.
  4. General concerns, issues, problems, problem solving strategies, feedback
  • Bryan Hurlburt, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Agriculture
  • Clark Chapin, State Director, USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Bonnie Burr, Assistant Director/Department Head, UConn Extension
  • Don Tuller, President, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association
  • Joan Nichols, Executive Director, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/869074836

Meeting ID: 869 074 836

Phone:  +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)