Rep. Labriola stood with fellow legislators before a room of state agricultural experts today to call for the creation of a select committee to focus solely on agricultural issues.
Rep. Labriola, a longtime advocate of the agricultural industry, sees Connecticut farms as both a vehicle for job creation and an important component of Connecticut’s legacy, saying “Connecticut farms employ over 20,000 residents and contribute $3.5 billion to the state’s struggling economy. In the region I represent, our farms are the heart of our communities and have tremendous potential to be an engine of job growth.”
“Creating a select committee on agriculture would help state government to focus more legislative attention to farm communities and their ability to thrive. We need this committee to address the challenges of working farms and encourage legislation that will spur their growth and expansion in the coming years. I want to emphasize that the creation of this committee would come at no additional cost to taxpayers as we could utilize preexisting select committee staffers,” Rep Labriola said.
A major part of the continued success of the agricultural industry is developing a smart and capable workforce. Rep. Labriola noted that supporting exceptional vocational-agricultural schools, such as Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, is crucial to workforce development.
Rep. Labriola was joined by Rep. Penny Bacchiocchi and State Senator John Kissel who hosted the press conference, Dean Gregory Weidemann of the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Henry Talmage, the Executive Director for the Connecticut Farm Bureau and co-chair of the Governor’s Council for Agricultural Development.