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State Budget Retains Ag Funding
Mark O’Neill, Media Relations Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 , (717) 761-2740 or E-mail
For Immediate Release: June 30, 2012
State Budget Retains Funding for Vital Agriculture Programs
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau says the new state budget approved by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Corbett maintains spending for vital agriculture programs, including Cooperative Extension and agriculture research administered by Penn State University.
“After major cuts to last year’s budget, it was crucial that programs, which provide advances in technology and technical assistance for farmers, not suffer further budget cuts this year,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.
The state budget also restored funding to last year’s levels for other key agriculture programs, such as Agriculture Excellence (including the Center for Dairy Excellence) and research under the Department of Agriculture. The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, the Nutrient Management Fund, Conservation Districts and the Animal Health Commission will receive the same amount of funding as the past year.
“These programs are sound investments that help farmers implement conservation practices, produce more food on less land and keep food prices under control for consumers,” added Shaffer.
As part of the overall budget process, lawmakers also demonstrated an understanding of the vital role Farmland Preservation plays throughout the state by continuing to use the Cigarette Tax as the dedicated source to fund the program.
Pennsylvania County Fairs will receive $2 million in assistance, more than doubling the amount from last year, while the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex receives a modest bump to $3 million. Both programs will be funded through the Race Horse Development Fund.
“Pennsylvania’s farm families have consistently accepted substantial reductions of funding for vital programs during the past several years to help the commonwealth recover from severe fiscal problems. We appreciate the decision by Governor Corbett and the General Assembly to draw a line on further cuts this year. Those investments will help preserve agriculture as Pennsylvania’s leading industry as farmers produce healthy food for Pennsylvania consumers and implement costly environmental practices,” concluded Shaffer.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 53,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.