CT Department of Agriculture

Connecticut Residents Asked to Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

department of agriculture logo(HARTFORD, CT)- The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) and The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) have been notified that several Connecticut residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them. Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days.

Please do not plant these seeds. CT DoAg and CAES encourage anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China to immediately contact their state plant regulatory officials, Dr. Kirby Stafford at 203-974-8485 (Kirby.Stafford@ct.gov) or Dr. Victoria Smith at 203-974-8474  (Victoria.Smith@ct.gov ). Please hold on to the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone contacts you with further instructions. 

Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.

https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/Press-Room/Press-Releases/2020/Connecticut-Residents-Asked-to-Report-Receipt-of-any-Unsolicited-Packages-of-Seeds

UConn Extension Hand Sanitizer Distribution

Dept of Ag logoThe CT Department of Agriculture secured a limited amount of free hand sanitizer from FEMA through a donation from Exxon. The CT Department of Agriculture has been working to distribute to farmers markets via the Hartford Regional Market. They have given part of the donation to UConn Extension to disperse to on-farm markets/CSA’s and PYO operationsIt is on a first come first serve basis and will be available for pick up at designated Extension Centers in gallon jugs with a maximum of 3 gallons per farm operation. You may only sign up for one time slot at one location. Please contact MacKenzie White at Mackenzie.white@uconn.edu with any specific questions.

Please use this link to sign up for a time slot to pick up your free hand sanitizer.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904054caeaf2fa5f49-uconn

Looking for Open Farm Stands? Use this Map

map of open farms and farm stands in Connecticut

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CT Northeast Organic Farming Association has partnered with the CT Dept of Agriculture to expand the list of farms, farmers’ markets, and farm stands beyond the current CT NOFA membership – free of charge and online. It is a joint effort to promote the availability of all Connecticut farmers who can provide food and other farm products in this time of crisis. Note: Read all signs and use caution when visiting farms, markets, and grocery stores and be sure to stay away from all food establishment if you feel sick. View the interactive map.

CT Seeks Better Information & Understanding of Produce Growers

Connecticut seeks better information and understanding of produce growers in the state

bushel of applesThe University of Connecticut Extension is collaborating with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) to support Connecticut produce growers covered by the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.  In order to do that, we need to have more and better information about farms that grow produce in Connecticut.

Better knowledge and understanding of who is growing produce in Connecticut, who is covered by the Rule, who may be eligible for an exemption, and who must comply fully with the Rule, can only help us improve implementation of FSMA rules and better meet food safety information and resource needs of Connecticut farms.

Every farmer that fills out the survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of two Connecticut Grown pop-up tents.  In order to participate in the drawing, the survey must be completed/returned by October 1, 2018.

We know that many farms are not covered by or are exempted from parts of the Rule.  Please complete the survey even if you think you may be exempt from parts of the Rule or not covered at all. The information we get from uncovered farms or farms with exemptions will help us to:

  • eliminate any farms from our mailing list that do not grow fruits or vegetables and
  • develop alternative food safety programs aimed at reducing food safety risks of uncovered or exempted farms and helping them meet food safety requirements of potential buyers of their product.

The questionnaire should take only 5-10 minutes to complete. There are three options for completing the questionnaire:

  1. If you would like to complete the online version directly here is the link: Farm Survey Questionnaire
  2. If you would like to complete this survey on your mobile device, scan the QR code here: Produce Survey QR Code
  3. If you would prefer a copy to be emailed or mailed to you, contact Diane Hirsch at: diane.hirsch@uconn.edu