Governor Shapiro and Secretary Redding Celebrate Dairy Month, Highlight Budget Investments in Agriculture at Reinford Farms in Juniata County
June 13, 2023
The Governor’s budget proposal makes critical investments in Pennsylvania’s $132 billion agriculture industry, including fully funding the Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the fifth year
Mifflintown, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured Reinford Farms in Juniata County to celebrate dairy month and highlight the Governor’s budget proposals to support the farmers and small businesses who make Pennsylvania a national leader in agriculture. Reinford Farms is a multigenerational farm in Juniata County, covering 1,300 acres and currently housing 750 milking cows and 800 young cattle.
Governor Shapiro’s budget proposes critical investments in Pennsylvania’s $132 billion agriculture industry, including $13.8 million to fully fund the Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the fifth year, a $1 million investment for the creation of a new Organic Center of Excellence, $500,000 for a new Center for Plant Excellence, and $2.5 million for the Farmland Preservation Program – ensuring resources will be available for counties to produce food and feed Pennsylvania’s economy.
“Our Commonwealth’s dairy industry supports more than 53,000 jobs and contributes more than $14 billion to our economy – and Pennsylvania dairy farmers are putting food on our tables while continuing a long tradition of agricultural excellence and innovation,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Reinford Farms is a prime example of how Pennsylvania farmers are using innovative technology to take their work to the next level. My Administration is committed to partnering with our dairy farmers to position Pennsylvania as a leader in dairy production and sustainable farming and my budget is putting real dollars into this work – starting with $13.8 million to ensure the Pennsylvania Farm Bill is fully funded into its fifth year.”
“Each person in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry – from the farm to the table – works 365 days a year to nourish our families with wholesome, high-quality products that support our lives and pour dollars into our economy to support our jobs and communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “Dairy Month is a time to celebrate our dairy industry and show our appreciation for those who are in the barns, on the roads, on the processing line, and in the stores during hours that most of us are sleeping.”
During the tour, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Redding watched a demonstration of the farm’s de-packaging and food recycling operations, which uses the farm’s anaerobic methane digester to dispose of food waste in an environmentally-friendly manner. The digester breaks down the food waste along with the manure produced on the farm to generate heat and electricity, creating enough energy to power the entire farm. The Commonwealth’s Financing Authority helped to invest in Reinford’s methane digesters.
“A thriving dairy industry in Pennsylvania is positive for all Pennsylvanians,” said Brett Reinford, partner at Reinford Farms and chair of the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission. “I want to thank Governor Shapiro for coming out – and I know that myself and many others out there in the dairy industry are very much looking forward to working with you and your team to hopefully make dairy better in Pennsylvania.”
“Dairy month is a great time to celebrate the work that our dairy farmers do day in and day out to produce quality foods, while being good stewards of their farms, their animals, the lands, and the communities where they call home,” said Jayne Sebright, Executive Director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Our center is a public-private partnership, and we’re thankful to the Commonwealth and to our dairy industry to have the opportunity to help dairy thrive in Pennsylvania. We help farms like Reinford’s – and they’re a shining example of the work that we can do with the help of the Commonwealth and our industry to help our dairy farmers innovate, adopt new practices, meet ever-changing market demands, and forge a path for the next generation to thrive.”
Governor Shapiro’s budget proposes critical investments to support farmers and the agriculture industry, including:
- $13.8 million to fully fund the Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the fifth year.
- $2.5 million for the Farmland Preservation Program that helps ensure that resources for counties will be available to produce food and feed Pennsylvania’s economy.
- A $2 million investment in the Fresh Food Financing Initiative that will contribute to better health outcomes by improving access to PA-grown, processed, and produced foods.
- $1 million to create a new Organic Center of Excellence, which will grow the state’s ability to support this sector of the industry.
- $500,000 to create a Center for Plant Excellence that will expand supply chain opportunities and boost resources available to Pennsylvania’s diverse plant industries.
- $200,000 investment for farmer mental health will provide support services such as a mental health hotline, specialized trainings, and outreach to the agricultural community.
Visit Governor Shapiro’s budget website for more information about his proposal.
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