Governor Shapiro’s $10.3 Million Agriculture Innovation Fund Will Create Economic Opportunity Across the Commonwealth, Helping Attract New Businesses and Supporting PA Agriculture
February 07, 2024
Governor Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget puts forth a bold vision to create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.
New Holland, PA – Today, at New Holland Agriculture’s Lancaster County campus, Governor Josh Shapiro and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding highlighted key pieces of Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget, focused on creating economic opportunity for all in communities across the Commonwealth. Governor Shapiro and Secretary Redding took a hands-on tour of New Holland Agriculture’s Lancaster County campus, where innovative, high-tech machinery that is driving progress in agriculture and conservation is developed, manufactured, and sold.
Governor Shapiro understands that our economic success is dependent on our rural communities and our farmlands – and his 2024-25 budget proposal puts agriculture front and center in that conversation, investing $10.3 million in Agriculture and Conservation Innovation funds that will support innovative manufacturers and provide opportunities for farmers to be more efficient and productive, while enhancing the soil and water resources key to Pennsylvania’s future.
“For the first time ever, our economic development strategy isn’t limited in its focus to our high rises or our suburban office parks – we understand that our economic success is dependent on our rural communities and our farmlands. There’s real innovation happening all across our Commonwealth, especially on our farms. That’s why my budget places a special emphasis on agriculture, I want to help more farmers upgrade their equipment and take advantage of the latest technology through our Ag Innovation funding,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “High-tech innovations like New Holland Agriculture develops and produces depend on investment. New Holland Equipment may be part of our heritage – but it’s also a major employer today and a world-leader in driving the kind of innovation in ag that’s going to help Pennsylvania farmers for years to come. If we want to compete and succeed as a Commonwealth, then we have to invest in our farmers.”
New Holland Equipment – a brand of CNH Industrial – has a 341-acre campus in Lancaster County that includes a 150-acre test farm and a 700,000-square-foot equipment manufacturing plant. The campus provides 600 jobs, including a Pennsylvania-certified earn-while-you-learn Ag Equipment Service Technician Apprenticeship designed to fill a pipeline for skilled technicians who can service cutting-edge, computerized equipment.
“When Pennsylvania invests in agriculture, everybody wins. Our family farmers have innovated and fought to stay competitive in a tough marketplace, all the while being the original leaders in conserving our environment and our priceless soil and water resources,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “This budget demonstrates that the Shapiro Administration is in their corner, continuing to feed opportunities for agriculture to grow, and for Pennsylvania’s economy to grow along with it.”
Some of the innovative equipment developed and manufactured by New Holland runs on alternative energy sources and autonomous technology. The Pennsylvania-based business is helping make it possible for farmers to precisely target fertilizer and pesticide applications where problems exist, and deliver precision planting and harvesting to lower costs, increase productivity, and sustain their farms’ future.
“I know firsthand the economic impact of agriculture because my father worked over 30 years at New Holland Equipment creating multiple patents for them,” said Representative Mike Sturla. “To have such an innovative global company based in New Holland is a true asset to Pennsylvania. I commend Governor Shapiro on his comprehensive economic development strategy.”
“CNH Industrial has a long-standing foundation in Pennsylvania Agriculture since the New Holland brand was founded here in Lancaster County, more than 125 years ago,” said Richard Heisey, Vice President for Product Engineering at CNH Industrial. “A vital part of our longstanding success has been the close work we do with our customers to break new ground in innovation, sustainability, and productivity. As we look forward, we see the pace of this innovation only continuing to accelerate, so we welcome this commitment to the continued spirit of Pennsylvania as an innovator in developing new technologies that move and feed not only our state and country, but the world.”
The Innovation and Conservation Fund will magnify the impact of conservation investments in the PA Farm Bill, including the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program that helps farmers purchase conservation equipment, Conservation Excellence Grants, Farm Vitality Grants for planning, the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program and others.
The Governor’s Economic Development Strategy, the first in nearly 20 years, puts agriculture front and center in the conversation. The strategy recognizes that the 53,000 farms across the Commonwealth support over 600,000 jobs and contribute $132 billion to our state’s economy.
The agriculture sector is a critical economic driver – and to continue Pennsylvania’s national legacy as an agriculture leader, the 2024-25 budget proposes investing:
- $10.3 million in agriculture innovation to help support and attract new agricultural businesses, including energy and conservation endeavors, and to continue to build the future of American agriculture right here in Pennsylvania.
- $5.6 million to reform the Dairy Margin Coverage Protections that protect dairy farmers from harmful price fluctuations.
- $5 million for a new state laboratory in western Pennsylvania that will provide much needed testing capacity, helping with rapid diagnosis and mitigation of future highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks across the state.
- $1.7 million in cloud computing solutions and migration of state laboratory data to a more advanced information management system.
- $655,000 to fund a groundbreaking new state program for agricultural seed certification and trade assistance that will grow Pennsylvania’s role as a national and international agricultural leader.
- $145,000 for a novel pest detection program using dogs to prevent pest outbreaks without the expensive and potentially harmful use of pesticides.
You can read Governor Shapiro’s full 2024-25 budget in brief here.
# # #