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Rep. Callahan, Gov. Lamont Tour Happy Acres Farm in Sherman

Posted on October 25, 2023

Sherman, Conn.—State Representative Patrick Callahan (R-108), Governor Ned Lamont and State Department of Agriculture Commissioner Brian Hurlburt joined Sherman officials on a tour of the town-owned Happy Acres Farm. Sherman acquired the 90-acre property in 2010 from Anthony Hapanowich.

“This has been a real success story for the Town of Sherman,” said Callahan. “Through smart management, they’ve preserved this agricultural gem and continued the farming tradition on this property.”

The current resident farmer is David Jellen. He was selected by the Board of Selectmen from a pool of 12 applicants to be the Manager of Happy Acres Farm. Jellen is a graduate of Nonnewaug High School and worked at neighboring White Silo Farm and Winery as part of the high school program. At Happy Acres, they are raising beef cattle, hogs and doing crop work.

“I’m glad Commissioner Hurlburt was able to join us today. There’s a big issue for some farmers with a shortage of USDA-approved butchering. Happy Acres has to go to a shop in Terryville, Connecticut,” said Callahan. “While they’re not looking to expand right now, it’s an issue for farmers moving more product.”

Meat sold for general commerce has to be USDA-certified. People could for example buy a live cow from Happy Acres or other farms and the farmer could have it butchered.

There was one farmer after Hapanowich, whose family worked the land for about 70 years. Jellen is credited by town officials for bringing the farm back to life through good investments and management.

“I was pleased to hear that all of the rain we’ve been getting hasn’t really had an impact on the hay crop. It was a little wet, but that’s better than when Connecticut experiences drought conditions,” said Callahan.