Welcome to the Eastern Connecticut RC&D Website
2013 Eastern CT RC&D Annual Meeting which was held at the Tolland AG Center in Vernon, 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
1st Statewide CT RC&D Council Meeting: the meeting is the first official meeting of the Eastern CT RC&D and King's Mark RC&D merger to create the CT RC&D Council. Scheduled for Monday, October 27, 2014 at 12 noon to be held at the Middletown Water & Sewer Department Conference Room, 82 Berlin Street, Middletown, CT. Meeting Information
CT Farm Energy Fall Workshops: Workshops will be held on September 18th & 25th with a focus on applying for USDA REAP Grants. More information can be found at www.CTFarmEnergy.org
Save the Date – Healthy Soils Workshop – Featuring Ray Archuleta November 4th – Phoenix Auditorium, Hartford, CT. This workshop will focus on how holistic understanding of soil function is impacted by environmental policy, and will provide key information to improve soil health on a field, watershed, and regional level.
ERT Team Members Wanted: We are actively recruiting new ERT Team Members for the ERT program. If you are interested please go to www.CTERT.org and complete the Team Member Interest Form.
CIPWG SYMPOSIUM: Invasive Plants 2014: Where Are We Now?
Presented by the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG)
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Student Union, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
This 7th biennial conference features national, regional, and local experts as well as citizen volunteers sharing practical solutions for managing invasive plants, promoting non-invasive plants and improving wildlife habitat. The symposium is open to the public and will include introductory information about invasive plants. For more information go to www.cipwg.uconn.edu
3rd Annual CT Agriculture Commission Conference: "Selling Local Agriculture" Below are links to presentations from the Conference held on Saturday April 5, 2014 at EastConn Conference Center, Hampton, CT.
NRCS Farm Bill Updates (pdf)
The Big Picture:
Why is CT so well suited for "Local Agriculture" (pdf)
Why Local Farming is so importnant in Connecticut (pdf)
Communicating the Message of Local Agriculture:
Buy CT Grown (pdf)
Food Hubs as a catalyst for Local Agricultural Sucess:
Franklin County Community Development Corp. (pdf)
Local iniatives to develop Food Hubs in CT:
Hartford Regional Market (pdf)
Click Willimantic (pdf)
Wholesome Wave (pdf)
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Food
Beginning in January 2014 through July 2014, the USDA Farm to School Program will host two webinars each month to showcase the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. The webinars will be held at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Topics will include everything from procurement basics to using geographic preference, finding local producers, and buying local through DoD Fresh. Stay tuned for more information and how to register.
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)
Eastern CT RC&D Area, Inc.
Annual Plan of Work for 2014-2015
Eastern CT RC&D Meetings & Minutes
Project Support Policy
2012 Eastern CT RC&D Strategic Plan (pdf)
CT Nutrient Management Website
Tour des Farms Website