Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: February 8, 2017
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for agriculture provides a reasonable starting point for further discussions on spending for key programs affecting farm families, the agriculture industry and Pennsylvania consumers.
Farm Bureau recognizes that the Governor’s recommendations are influenced by a projected multi-billion dollar deficit from the current fiscal year budget.
“Pennsylvania farmers are pleased that the new budget proposal does not seek reductions in funding for vital programs, such as agriculture research facilities and Cooperative Extension services administered by Penn State University. The spending plan also allocates level funding for the Animal Health Commission, Pennsylvania’s Veterinary Lab System, Conservation Districts, Pennsylvania Fairs and the state Farm Show,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “We are, however, very concerned about the proposed elimination of more than $30 million in funding for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, because the school conducts research that helps improve animal health and welfare, diagnoses animal diseases (such as avian influenza), and trains students for careers as large animal veterinarians.”
Farm Bureau supports the Governor’s call for an increase in appropriations to the Department of Agriculture’s General Government Operations, which provides funding for jobs and services that benefit the agriculture industry. Meanwhile, we will work with lawmakers in an effort to restore funding to Agricultural Excellence Programs, the Agricultural Promotion, Education and Exports program and agricultural research programs administered by the state Agriculture Department, which were eliminated under the budget proposal.
“We emphasize that the Governor’s proposal is just the start of the budget process and we are committed to working with the Wolf Administration and members of the General Assembly to ensure that vital agriculture programs are adequately funded,” concluded Ebert.
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.