|Washington, D.C., January 25, 2012 —American Farmland Trust is pleased to announce that Kip Kolesinskas, long-serving USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service State Soil Scientist for Connecticut and Rhode Island from 1991 to 2011, has joined American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) New England Office as a consulting conservation scientist. Kolesinskas has also served as Connecticut Program Manager for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program and Grassland Reserve Program and as Acting State Conservationist in Connecticut.
“Kip has a tremendous understanding of the resource challenges facing our region, and the federal conservation programs being used to address them,” said Cris Coffin, AFT’s New England Director. “We are excited to have him working with us to find creative and collaborative ways to protect our agricultural resources, expand access to land and improve the region’s farm and food security.”
From 1995 to 2011, Kolesinskas managed the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) in Connecticut, which contributed $38.6 million dollars and will protect over 10,000 acres of farmland. Under his leadership, he built strong partnerships with state agencies, land trusts and municipalities to successfully leverage funding and expertise from many sources. He also promoted better land use planning and natural resources conservation through presentations and technical assistance on farmland preservation, agricultural best management practices, wetlands protection and land use planning, and has been a leader in numerous outreach activities to promote conservation including USDA Blogs for “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food,” the 2010 conference “Plowing Ahead—Farmland Preservation in 2010 and Beyond,” Representative Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) 2008 Farm Forum, the Telly Award-winning CT DEEP Municipal Inland Wetlands Commissioners Training videos, public service announcements on nonpoint pollution, and the 2006 film “Working the Land.”
Kolesinskas received an A.A.S. in Plant Science from SUNY Cobleskill, a B.S. in Soil Science from Cornell University, and completed additional coursework at Texas A&M and Lancaster University and Schumacher College in the United Kingdom. He has served on numerous regional and national USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Committees including the 2008 Farm Bill rulemaking on FRPP, development of the Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (EFOTG), Technical Soil Services, and the development of the NRCS Performance Results System and Workload Analysis Tools. He has also been technical advisor to a number of Connecticut statewide efforts including the Working Lands Alliance, Governor’s Climate Change subcommittees, Long Island Sound Management Committee, CT Council on Soil and Water Conservation, and the Farms, Food and Jobs Working Group.
In addition to this wealth of professional experience, Kip is an avid fisherman, cook, gardener and local foods advocate. Kip Kolesinskas can be reached at American Farmland Trust via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.
AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.