Sustainable Food Systems

CLEAR’s food-related programs are focused on local/regional food system tactics that center the potential of small food producers to transform our ability to access healthy, fresh, local food. Our programs in this area start with a recognition that food systems work has long been dominated by historically white-led organizations and priorities that have often reinforced systemic racism in our food system. We rely on partnerships to amplify the cause of historically marginalized voices – including BIPOC-led organizations and BIPOC farmers.

Beginning Farmer Resources

farmers in training

Solid Ground Trainings

The Solid Ground program offers a mix of in-person and virtual trainings for new farmers. Trainings cover agricultural mechanics, climate smart ag practices, tools to help you start your business, mental health & wellness, and more. Additional peer-to-peer learning opportunities are offered by project partners, including New CT Farmer Alliance, CT Northeast Organic Farming Association, CT Farmland Trust and other partners.


Growing a Farm Business in CT

Feeling overwhelmed in where to start with your farm business or looking for a refresher or resources? Check out this list of tools and resources compiled as a collaborative activity by CT Department of Agriculture, UConn, CT Farm Bureau, New CT Farmer Alliance, CT NOFA, and the USDA. Navigate through the tabs on the left of the webpage to find all the tools that you need to get your farm business started! 

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Farm to School Programs

cucumber snacks

Put Local On Your Tray

The Put Local on Your Tray Program works with school districts, farmers, state agencies and others to shift food procurement practices in school cafeterias and early childhood centers. Our goal is to increase the amount of fresh, locally grown food served in meals.

people at school with apples

Connecticut Farm to School Collaborative

The CT Farm to School Collaborative is a multi-stakeholder network committed to growing Farm to School efforts in Connecticut.

Marketing Programs

farmer in the garden

Grown ConNECTed

This project aims to increase sales for direct-to-consumer farm operators in Northeastern CT. The project uses marketing strategies, branding, and public outreach to help residents in the region understand the importance of local food and where to find it.

farmer with tractor

Taste of Mansfield

UConn Extension partners closely with town entities in Mansfield (including Town staff and committees, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield Senior Center, and Mansfield Public Schools) to build awareness about where to find local food.  This project is a model for how a community can build connectivity and resilience through local food.