NORTH WINDHAM, Conn. (WTNH) — Winter is when Raspberry Knoll Farm in North Windham prunes its brambles, but on Friday, Mary Concklin put down her shears to advocate with other farmers.
Concklin, along with others from the agriculture industry, joined Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in Windham for his Our Farm Bill listening campaign.
“Labor is probably one of our bigger issues that we deal with on our farm,” Concklin said.
Suzie Flores, who owns Stonington Kelp, said that the Farm to School program helped grow her sugar kelp business.
“The education component is massive, and it doesn’t just help me, it helps every single potential aquaculture farmer out there,” she said.
One issue highlighted is land access. It’s been an issue for Shawn Joseph, who raises vegetable and herbs for Park City Harvest.
“A lot of times, we have limited access to any type of real estate or land,” Joseph said.
The Farm Bill is reauthorized every five years. Farmers called it a safety net. Concklin said it paid to put in a well on her farm.
It also comes with SNAP benefits.
“There’s a lot of families in Connecticut — not just in Hartford, New Haven, but in rural Connecticut — that need those nutritional benefits and through families to keep food on the table,” Murphy said.
The proposed bill costs $300 billion. Murphy said it may be a fight to fully fund it.