Wolf Administration Announces Nearly $1.3 Million for Agriculture Research at 13 Institutions

May 31, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that nearly $1.3 million has been made available to 13 institutions and organizations across the commonwealth, including Penn State University, Rodale Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Temple University, and others to conduct research on important issues affecting the future vitality of the state’s agriculture industry.

“Since taking office, I have prioritized investments in education, research and development, and workforce opportunities, and these grants will further our understanding on how to manage against some of the most pressing challenges confronting agriculture today so that the industry can continue to be a positive economic force for our communities in the future,” said Governor Wolf. “By lending additional support to this critical research, we will be able to better identify, understand and address problem areas, and learn more about emerging opportunities in the industry.”

The grants, provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), focus on research topics including education, urban agriculture, organic food production, new methods and technologies for cost-effectively reducing nutrient loads to Pennsylvania’s waterways, animal health, the efficacy of various avian vaccinations, and invasive species management. The department will also offer micro-grants to projects focused on the development of micro-credentials or badges that teach specific workforce development skills, solutions to practical problems of hydroponic and aquaponic operations, and remedies to challenges common in urban agricultural operations.

“Agriculture is a multi-billion-dollar industry with a strong, engaged, and passionate workforce,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “From the lab to the classroom, from the field to the factory, agriculturists pour both brain power and sweat equity into their work in equal measure. We must continue to invest in research so that those workers can make informed, data-driven decisions and explore new opportunities as the industry evolves and grows.”

Over the past three years, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $50 million in agriculture-related economic development projects; increased support for workforce development and agricultural education to help prepare students and workers for 75,000 anticipated job openings in the industry over the next decade; and increased funding for farmland preservation by 45 percent. The administration has also begun work to expand broadband access to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, including more than half a million residents living in rural communities.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s programs and services, or to read the state’s Agriculture Economic Impact Study, visit the Department’s website at www.agriculture.pa.gov.

A list of grantees follows.

Project Name Researcher/Sponsor Total
Optimizing management systems for production of organic potato to Improve nutrient quality Rodale Institute $81,000
Long-term vegetable systems trial in Pennsylvania Rodale Institute $90,000
Assessing the impact of Spotted Lanternfly on managed agricultural ecosystems Penn State University $120,245
Use of IMT504 to improve poultry vaccines for in-ovo application Penn State University $47,970
Beneficial uses of mushroom compost American Mushroom Institute $42,400
Development of a rapid, stall-side diagnostic assay for equine respiratory pathogens University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $62,000
Developing interest in a low-cost alternative feed for lactating dairy cattle Organix Recycling $27,700
Get ‘Smart’: Using smart sensor technology to improve urban farm management Awbury Arboretum $5,000
Aerobic digester effluent to plant nutrient project Intag $5,000
Researching innovative practices and protocols in STEM education Awbury Arboretum $5,000
Histopathology and analysis of anatoxin-a using LCMS in channel catfish University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $34,700
Converting pelletized chicken waste to usable plant nutrient Intag $5,000
Urban agriculture and hydroponics and aquaponics Bucks County Technical High School $5,000
Evaluation of integrated pest management systems in aquaponics production for salmonella species University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $5,000
Development of aquaponic agriculture micro-credentialing Intag $2,500
Creating and testing one-three digital badges based on competencies Awbury Arboretum $2,500
An integrative approach to model, predict, and control the Spotted Lanternfly invasion meltdown in Pennsylvania Temple University $42,601
Workforce development and micro-credential research project NOCTI Business Solutions $2,500
A field trial on whole caged layer house ventilation shut-down and test of Pennsylvania high-path avian influenza plans Penn State University $90,663
Pennsylvania agricultural cooperative research, feasibility studies and business plans – nine key projects Keystone Development Center $50,000
Further understanding consumer buying behavior in the Pittsburgh market around locally-sourced meat and produce Fayette Community Action Program $36,000
Continuing research and raising awareness on integrated pest management and organic solutions for mushroom farms and surrounding urban communities Penn State University $90,000
An automatic tool to count Spotted Lanternfly from tree bands Penn State University $106,060
Evaluating multi-trophic interactions and equipping scientists to better understand Spotted Lanternfly biology and control Penn State University $120,000
Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American Foulbrood Disease in honeybees in Pennsylvania Penn State University $23,000
Influenza D viruses (IDVs) in Pennsylvania cattle herds Penn State University $18,169
Genotyping bovine coronavirus strains circulating in Pennsylvania cattle Penn State University $22,032
Using tri-axial accelerometers (Fitbit-like devices) to improve sow health and welfare University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $22,000
Validation of the gel PCR and real-time PCR for rapid diagnostic detection of Fowl Adenovirus to better serve Pennsylvania Animal Health and Diagnostic Laboratory System clients Penn State University $18,000
Method development for bromethalin analysis in biological samples University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $9,250
Method development for trace analysis of avermectins and related animal drugs in compost University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $8,510
Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum in Pennsylvania cattle Penn State University $20,500
Development of a web-based tool for Salmonella typing and characterization Penn State University $21,500
Using geospatial data to determine risk factors for outbreaks of infectious bronchitis virus in Pennsylvania poultry farms University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine $13,500
Assessment of fence-line interactions at the captive-wild deer interface U.S. Geological Survey, Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit $23,775

 

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