In 2015, food and farming advocate and Easton resident Lori Cochran-Dougall served on a committee to review the agricultural portion of the new Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD.) During that time, she had the opportunity to share her marketing and public relation hopes for Easton, citing agriculture as a main differentiator for the community.
Later, serving on the Agriculture Commission, Cochran-Dougall – who is the Executive Director of the Westport Farmer’s Market – realized that an agricultural designation would provide multiple opportunities for Easton’s farmers and neighbors:
- acknowledgement of Fairfield Country farms which can make it easier to get state grants,
- a way to market during the holiday season and year round
- the opportunity to have a state agri-tourism sign placed on the Merritt to drive traffic to our farm stands, stores and
- to benefit property values and helps build a stronger sense of community here in Easton.
“Easton: Christmas Tree Capital of Connecticut” is the initiative that she developed, using the skills from her background as a marketing consultant.
Cochran-Dougall donated the signs, featuring a logo designed by Allison Taylor. From there the support has increased from local farmers and Easton neighbors.
She said, “My end dream is to have our local non-profits caroling on the fireman green, farmers feeling the support and appreciation from this community, a state sign on the Merritt and a sweet hometown initiative that celebrates our agrarian history.”
Her dream is closer to fruition with a new bill in Hartford, sponsored by State Representative Anne Hughes.
Hughes said, “Easton’s Agricultural Commission, along with various town leaders are interested in promoting agri-tourism in Easton. They wish to amplify the town’s reputation as the celebrated Christmas Tree destination of Connecticut, There are over 30 working farms in town!”
She added, “Our proposal is now working its way through the Dept. of Transportation sign request channel, with great anticipation. We want to celebrate Easton’s hard working farm community, and what makes the trip to Easton during the Christmas season so memorable for families traveling all across the state and from neighboring states. By designating such welcome signs on the Merritt and Routes 59/136, families will be welcomed to Easton year-round, and invited to take a little bit of Easton home with them, when they come for their Easton-grown farm products to celebrate the holidays.”
Show your support or make a comment by contacting Anne Hughes.
Follow the Facebook Page for the initiative here