As we begin the fall 2020 semester, I write to bring you up to date on exciting developments in the College, including the receipt of a $10 million grant from USDA NIFA and a $1.7 million bequest from a Nutritional Sciences alumna. Following an extraordinary spring, faculty, staff and administrators have spent the summer developing ambitious and comprehensive plans for reopening the University, and the College’s teaching, research and extension programs are in full operation.
With this email, I’m pleased to launch our new CAHNR quarterly newsletter, in which you’ll find announcements and stories about our programs, events and achievements. In the next issue, we will introduce the College’s new Strategic Vision and its four areas of strategic initiative, which will guide us for the next ten years.
Recent events across the nation have sparked an energetic conversation in the College regarding how best to fulfill our commitment to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive environment, within the College and for our stakeholders and the communities we serve. We have convened a working group whose members are working with Dr. Frank Tuitt, UConn’s new Chief Diversity Officer, and the College’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion to seek input from across the College and develop specific DEI action items, timelines and measures of success.
I hope that you and your loved ones are well and join us in looking forward to the coming months.
Dean and Director
College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
A just-released report by CAHNR’s Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy, Impact of the Green Industry on Connecticut’s Economy, highlights the economic importance of ornamental horticulture in our state.
“While every sector of the agriculture industry is important to the economy of Connecticut, ornamental horticulture currently accounts for more than half of the state’s agricultural sales,” says Rigoberto Lopez, Richard DelFavero Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE). “The green industry should be recognized properly as an integral part of Connecticut’s agriculture.”
Chris Laughton, ARE master’s candidate and director of knowledge exchange at Farm Credit East, completed the project as an independent study under the supervision of Lopez. Laughton brings his own horticultural and business experience to the project, having worked in his family nursery business and having earned a degree in horticulture from Cornell and an MBA from UMass Amherst.
The study was requested and funded by the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA), with input from Extension Educator Victoria Wallace and CNLA president and legislative board coordinator Dustyn Nelson.
The total economic impact to the state from the green industry totaled $4.7 billion in 2017. This data is based on year-end 2017, the last census year for the USDA Census of Agriculture. “It’s a significant contribution to the economy of Connecticut,” Laughton says.
We are proud to announce the launch of our new website. Built on the the university Aurora service, this new version of our site sports a modern look, faster loading times, and works on all mobile and tablet devices.