Department of Agriculture
At a Glance
BRUCE H. GRESCZYK, Acting Commissioner
Statutory authority – CGS Sec. 22-1
Central office - 765 Asylum Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06105
Average number of full-time employees - 66
Recurring operating expenses - $5,071,151
Capital purchases - $24,778
Organizational structure - Administrative Services, Regulation and Inspection, Agricultural Development and Resource Preservation, Aquaculture, and Connecticut Marketing Authority.
The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to foster a healthy economic, environmental and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state’s citizens of the diversity of Connecticut’s agriculture, its cultural heritage and its contribution to the state’s economy.
§ Provided $866,500 in grants to farmers through the Farm Enhancement Program
§ Entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Correction for care and feeding of large animals seized as evidence by this agency in cruelty cases at the Gates Correctional Institution; constructed and administered a 20-stall horse barn to be used for the temporary care of horses due to abuse and/or neglect; animals cared for by inmates supervised by Department of Agriculture personnel
§ Acted as liaison between industry and other governmental agencies
§ Collected and analyzed 5,100 seawater samples for fecal coliform bacteria; examined 116 phytoplankton tows for toxic algal types; and collected shellfish meat samples to verify safety of shellfish at sources of pollution as well as from market areas to develop background data
BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND RESOURCE PRESERVATION
§ Bond funds approved for the purchase of development rights to five farms (465 acres); completed 106 site reviews of proposed state and local projects for impact on prime and important farmland soils
BUREAU OF REGULATION AND INSPECTION
· Responded to a large-scale outbreak of Avian Influenza disease in poultry flocks of approximately 4.5 million chickens
· Participated in a New England-wide Emergency Animal Disease Exercise in cooperation with the Office of Emergency Management to implement the Incident Command System and evaluate the state’s emergency response plans to a highly contagious Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak
CONNECTICUT MARKETING AUTHORITY
§ Expanded diversity of products and services in the distribution center and farmers’ market
The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities approved the agency’s Affirmative Action Plan.
The Agricultural Technology Unit distributed an annual report to the Commerce and Environment Committees.