Trainer – Kip Kolesinskas, Land Use and Conservation Specialist, UConn Extension
Kip serves as the Land Use and Conservation Specialist for UConn Extension’s Solid Ground Farmer Training Program. He has worked with Connecticut’s farmers, landowners, state agencies, municipalities, and non-profits for the past 31 years. Working as a field soil scientist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Kip was responsible for completing the state-wide update and digital release of the Soil Survey of Connecticut. He has intimate knowledge of all the soil landscapes in Connecticut and their limitations and potential for agriculture and agricultural infrastructure. As a Resource Soil Scientist he worked with teams of conservationists, agronomists, ecologists, and engineers to develop conservation plans for farms and evaluate, design, and install conservation practices. With his 35 years of government experience he has extensive knowledge on how to navigate and apply for federal and state programs that can benefit farmers, as well as the regulatory issues such as inland wetlands and water quality. He managed the USDA NRCS Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program and has worked extensively with state agencies, municipalities, and land trusts on farmland protection. Kip has been a major contributor to statewide efforts to increase farmer access to land, develop farm friendly municipalities, and promote locally grown and produced food. Kip speaks and teaches extensively statewide and nationally on soil quality, soils and land-use planning, wetlands, farmland protection, and the rental and leasing of farmland.
Securing appropriate farmland and infrastructure is the first challenge for many beginning farmers. Participants will gain knowledge about critical farm infrastructure and natural resources features, and their relationship to a successful business. Basic information about finding farmland, farm leasing, and State and Federal programs available for restoring farms will be discussed.
This project is sponsored by the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Award #2016-70017-25416