Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: July 14, 2016
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau appreciates the level of funding designated for key agriculture programs included in the new state budget.
The spending plan includes a 2.5% funding increase for agriculture research and Cooperative Extension programs administered by Penn State University and a 2.5% hike for programs operated by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The budget also provides a 6.3% increase for the General Government Operations (GGO) of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
“This is a strong budget for Pennsylvania agriculture. The funding commitment helps support programs and people, who provide valuable technical assistance, research and information on new innovations that benefit farm families across the Commonwealth,” said PFB President Rick Ebert.
Farm Bureau noted that the budget includes $2 million for Avian Influenza preparedness and response, and adequate funding for the Animal Health Commission and the Veterinary Laboratory System.
“Animal health issues and disease prevention are of utmost importance to Pennsylvania farmers. We support efforts to identify, study and eliminate the risk of diseases that could negatively impact the agriculture industry and the state’s economy,” added Ebert.
The agriculture budget also includes $4 million for Pennsylvania Fairs, along with modest increases in funding for agriculture excellence programs; the PA Preferred program; agriculture promotion, education and exports programs; and dairy, youth and livestock shows.
The spending plan received strong bipartisan support from lawmakers in the House and Senate. Governor Wolf also supported the spending plan, although he allowed the new state budget to become law without his signature. The Governor did, however, sign legislation providing the revenue to pay for programs included in the state budget.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.