Welcome to the Eastern Connecticut RC&D Website
2012 Eastern CT RC&D Annual Meeting was held at Stonington Vineyards, Stonington, CT
"Eastern Connecticut RC&D champions partnerships and initiatives that sustain our natural and agricultural resources while strengthening our economy"
What is the RC&D Program?
Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It was created by a provision of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962. The Secretary of Agriculture gave the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) [formerly the Soil Conservation Service responsibility for administering the program. RC&D is unique because it is led by local volunteer councils that help people care for and protect their natural resources in a way that improves the local economy, environment, and living standards. RC&D is a way for people to work together to plan and carry out activities that will make their area a better place in which to live.RC&D is based on a number of concepts that make it a truly unique government program. These concepts include:
- The value of public/private partnerships in making the best use of limited resources.
- The value of grassroots involvement in making decisions about local areas.
- Bringing USDA agencies together to focus on the same problems and opportunities.
- Leveraging limited federal dollars with private funds to accomplish goals.
- Working toward the goal of community sustainability.
- Achieving a balance between rural economic development and natural resource protection.
The Secretary of Agriculture authorized the first ten RC&D areas in 1964. Presently, there are 375 authorized areas in the country. Interest in creating the Eastern Connecticut RC&D Area first started after an organizational meeting called by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources on August 22, 1965. Broad support for the RC&D area was evident by the letters of endorsement received from many organizations – both public and private – throughout the proposed RC&D area. An application for assistance was prepared and submitted in June 1967 to the Secretary of Agriculture for planning authorization. This authorization was received in August 1968. In August 1982, the Eastern Connecticut RC&D’s Executive Council completed an application to enlarge the area. In April of 1983, the application was approved by USDA and NRCS.The focus of the Eastern Connecticut RC&D Program is to help people care for and protect their natural resources, improve local economies, and sustain a high quality of life. The program derives its success from its ability to connect individuals, communities, government entities, and grassroots organizations. These connections and partnerships enable the development of shared visions and resource networks that work toward a healthy future for Connecticut.
A Message from the President
For over forty years, the RC&D Program has found solutions to local challenges through creative and flexible partnerships. The hallmark of our Program, both locally and nationally, has been to adapt to the changing needs and circumstances of our community. The last year has been marked by significant transition within the Eastern Connecticut RC&D Council itself as we continue to adjust to a new reality without formal support from the federal government. We brought on our first new employee in the person of Project Manager Sal DeCarli and moved into a new office in Vernon. We are exploring new ways to collaborate with our traditional partners and continue to make positive progress with fewer resources and less stability. The success and recognition of our programs, from CT Farm Energy to AGvocate to HEAP to Local Meat studies, demonstrate that we’re still on the right track. We look to continue our organizational evolution, as well as our partnership and programmatic success, in the next year and beyond.
John P. Guszkowski
Eastern CT RC&D Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday June 24th at 11:00am-2:30pm at Tolland Ag Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon, CT 06066.
Second Annual AGvocate Conference: Conference Information & Links:
Harvard Law School’s “Good Laws, Good Food” Guide
Connecticut “Planning for Agriculture” guide – 2nd Edition
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Information
2012 Eastern CT RC&D Strategic Plan (pdf)
2012 CT Zoning Regulations & Ordinances for Livestock is now available. As a focus on local agriculture continues to grow in popularity and residential development pushes further into areas that were previously exclusively agricultural, Connecticut communities have struggled with managing these land uses. The RC&D Council, in partnership with American Farmland Trust, USDA-NRCS, Connecticut Farm Bureau, University of Connecticut Extension, the AGvocate program, and numerous agricultural stakeholders, developed this guide to assist municipalities in working through the considerations when seeking to permit, encourage, and regulate the keeping of livestock. To view it click on CT Livestock Manual (pdf)
Juno SB GPS Units with ArcPad 10 are available for use from the
Eastern CT Resource Conservation and Development Area. The GPS Units are available for use, free of charge, by the municipal, regional, and non-profit community of the Eastern CT RC&D Area. The 3 Trimble Juno SB GPS units are equipped with ESRI ArcPad 10 software. The units were purchased to support trail documentation and data contribution to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) CT State Trail Geodatabase. GPS Usage Policy & Sign Out Sheet (pdf)
2012 ERT Survey if you haven't sent in your ERT Survey Card please do so. Your input is very valuable, please take a moment now to complete this brief survey. 2012 ERT Survey (pdf)
2012 CT Farm to School Survey Results are now available. The Eastern Connecticut RC&D Area and the CT Department of Agriculture Farm to School (FTS) Program Baseline Survey Report 2012 is now available. Three surveys were developed and sent to farmers, school food service directors and wholesalers/distributors to better understand participation and interest in Farm to School and to identify the best opportunities to increase sales of CT Grown products to K-12 schools. The project was funded through a grant from the USDA and the regional group Farm to Institution New England (FINE). Survey Results (pdf)
Eastern CT RC&D Area, Inc.
Annual Plan of Work for 2012- 2013
Eastern CT RC&D Meetings & Minutes
Project Support Policy
CT Nutrient Management Website
Tour des Farms Website