November 16, 2005

On Friday, November 4th, the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association (CFBA) bestowed Legislator of the Year awards on State Rep. Clark Chapin, R-New Milford and State Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen. The legislators received the award during ceremonies held at the CFBA’s Annual Meeting Banquet held in New Haven, CT.

The CFBA is a non-governmental, voluntary organization of (5600) farm families (which conducts policy development sessions every summer to address agricultures challenges in the state) united to find solutions for concerns facing production agriculture and was formed in 1915. The organization’s mission is to elevate the stature of agriculture in our state. Through education, market promotion and legislative advocacy, it (works to) strives to increase farm income and to improve the quality of life for Connecticut farmers and their consumers.

In announcing Rep. Chapin’s award, CFBA President Randolph Blackmer Jr., noted that Rep. Chapin has led the House Republican Caucus in addressing agricultural policy and in his role as Ranking Member (House Republican Leader) of the Legislature’s Environment Committee, always takes into account how state actions will effect farming families.

“Clark Chapin’s knowledge of municipal land use issues and the multi-functional roles our farms play in each community, distinguishes him from others,” said Blackmer. “He is widely respected for his insight and the fact that US Department of Agriculture has also recognized his knowledge and placed him on the CT Highlands Committee speaks to the regard he has among agriculture and natural resource professionals.

“It’s an honor to receive such an award. Agriculture is an important part of Connecticut’s history,” said Rep. Chapin. “Today, it’s an industry with tremendous pressures and I’m proud that I have been able to help ease some of that pressure to ensure its continued viability.”

Blackmer added he was also pleased to present the award to Sen. Roraback. “This is the third time Andrew Roraback has distinguished himself to CT Farm Bureau in developing and carrying out legislation for Connecticut’s working farm families,” said Blackmer. “Our members in the 30th district know they can count on him to make sure agricultural concerns are addressed”

Bonnie Burr, Director of Government Relations added, “Senator Roraback is on a first name basis with many of his farmer constituents and works closely with them to try and increase farm viability. He also assists them in working through challenges they face in addressing state and municipal regulations which impact how they farm”
“As the face of agriculture changes in northwest Connecticut, I am delighted to participate in positioning Litchfield county farmers to capitalize on new opportunities as they emerge,” said Sen. Roraback. “Preserving a base of agricultural land must be the foundation for our food security in the going forward. Much remains to be done and I look forward to working with Connecticut Farm Bureau and its members to strengthen the future of farming in Litchfield County.”