Governor Wolf Commends House of Representatives on PA Farm Bill Passage

June 20, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf today applauded the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for its passage of ten bills related to the governor’s PA Farm Bill, a historic proposal to provide support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry.

“I commend the state House of Representatives for its continued support of agriculture and the investments made through this legislative package,” said Gov. Wolf. “We look forward to the Pennsylvania Senate lending its support to the Farm Bill in the coming days.”

The PA Farm Bill, a bipartisan, bicameral package of legislation that provides support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry, was modeled after the governor’s six-point plan to cultivate future generations of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry.

“The PA Farm Bill is historic, rooted in need and inspired by the people whose lives are dedicated to and shaped by agriculture,” said Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “It is comprehensive enough to impact all corners of the commonwealth and all pockets of the industry.”

The legislation recently approved includes:

• HB 1514 would create the PA Farm to School Grant Program for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students to support increased nutrition and agriculture education.
• HB 1516 would continue the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly and would create the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to provide a quick response to the next agricultural disaster, whether animal health, plant health, or foodborne illness.
• HB 1517 would create the Conservation Excellence Grant program to support best management practices in priority areas of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
• HB 1518 would recreate the Agriculture and Youth Development grant program to support workforce development initiatives for agriculture and youth organizations such as FFA and 4-H.
• HB 1519 would create a state-level Specialty Crop Block Grant program to invest in priority crops for Pennsylvania, such as hardwoods, hemp, and hops.
• HB 1520 would provide grants for small farmers or butchers to reimburse costs for federal inspection compliance to access new markets.
• HB 1521 would codify the PA Preferred Homegrown by Heroes program to recognize and support Pennsylvania’s veteran farmers.
• HB 1523 would create the Agriculture Business Development Center to support business planning, marketing, diversification, and transition planning services to Pennsylvania farmers.
• HB 1526 would recreate the Agriculture Linked Investment Program to provide low-interest loans for conservation practices.
• HB 1590 would create the Dairy Investment Program to fund research and development, organic transition assistance, value-added processing, and marketing grants in support of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.

The bills will now head to the Senate for consideration.

For more information about the PA Farm Bill and Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, visit the Department of Agriculture website.

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