Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
For Immediate Release: February 7, 2018
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for agriculture provides a good starting point for discussions on spending for key programs affecting farm families, the agriculture industry and consumers across the Commonwealth.
Farm Bureau notes that the new budget proposal maintains existing funding levels for several vital programs, including agriculture research and Cooperative Extension services administered by Penn State University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
“We are pleased that the Governor’s proposal recognizes the important role programs overseen by Penn State and Penn VET play in helping farmers learn about and implement positive changes on their farms based on breakthroughs in research and technology, while also benefitting from research and practical solutions that improve animal health and the food supply,” said PFB President Rick Ebert.
Farm Bureau also backs the Governor’s call for an 8.5% increase to the Department of Agriculture’s General Government Operations (GGO), which provides funding for jobs and services that support the agriculture industry. Additionally, the spending plan allocates level funding for the Animal Health Commission, transfers to the Nutrient Management Fund and Conservation District Fund, Pennsylvania Fairs and the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
PFB is concerned about the Governor’s proposal to zero out funding for a variety of programs, including the Agricultural Excellence Programs and Agricultural Research administered by the state Agriculture Department.
“We plan to work with lawmakers from both parties and the Wolf Administration in an effort to restore funding for those programs that would be eliminated under the Governor’s proposal,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.