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HARTFORD, CT -- To help celebrate National Farmers' Market Week (Aug. 2- 8), Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture F. Philip Prelli invited residents of the state to join him in participating in the first CT Grown Challenge.

"For one week, I challenge every resident to eat at least one CT-grown item each day," Commissioner Prelli said in a press release. "I am committing to purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables personally but encourage consumers to seek out CT-grown meats, cheeses, milk, honey, maple syrup, jams and jellies and specialty foods as well. With so many options to choose from, it is easy to find something CT-grown suited to just about every taste bud."

The CT Grown Challenge is part of a larger Eat Local Challenge involving state departments of agriculture throughout the country, spearheaded by Secretary Roger Allbee in Vermont. Each participating state's challenge varies in the specifics, but all share the common theme of promoting fresh, healthy foods and instilling communitywide appreciation of local farmers and their products.

Commissioner Prelli applauded Secretary Allbee's commitment and was eager to accept his invitation to other states to set up their own challenges. "Here in Connecticut, we share Vermont's vision and support of local farms and food. We feel that our residents are equally as committed to local agriculture and challenge them to demonstrate their support by participating in this event."