Windsor, CT (Nov. 19)-- The Working Lands Alliance, a project of American Farmland Trust, presented Connecticut Representatives Linda Gentile and Arthur O’Neill its Legislative Leadership Award for farmland preservation efforts at a ceremony on November 13, according to Terry Jones, chair of the Alliance.
“We are very pleased this year to recognize two legislators for the role they played in passing legislation to permanently preserve 825 acres of prime farmland at the Southbury Training School and their ongoing interest in farmland preservation,” said Jones.
“Without the help of state leaders like Representatives Gentile and O’Neill, the tools critical to stemming the tide of farmland loss would not happen-- preservation funding, progressive land use policies, help for first-time farmers and for the installation of best conservation practices,” said Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of AFT. “I am very pleased to add my congratulations for this well deserved recognition.”
“Rep. O’Neill is considered by many to the be ‘Dean’ of the House of Representatives and we are grateful for his help in moving the Training School legislation through the General Assembly,” explained Jones. “He understood the importance of this bill in preserving Southbury’s rural character and communicated the importance of the bill to his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
“As Co-Chair of the Environment Committee, Rep. Gentile was our point person on the legislation and worked with all the key players to move it through the legislative process,” said Jones. “Her support for this bill and farmland preservation generally helped guarantee its success.”
Rep. O’Neill represents the 69th Assembly District, including the towns of Southbury, Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.
Rep. Gentile represents the 104th Assembly District, including Ansonia and Derby.
The Alliance is a statewide coalition dedicated to preserving Connecticut’s productive farmland. To learn more about the Working Lands Alliance, visit: www.workinglandsalliance.org or call 860-683-4230.
The American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.
For more information on the policies and programs of the American Farmland Trust, visit www.farmland.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanFarmland or Twitter www.twitter.com/farmland.
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