Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
For Immediate Release: February 6, 2019
(Camp Hill) – Following an initial review of Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for agriculture, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) indicated that the spending plan includes some helpful new proposals and retains spending for key programs affecting farm families, the agriculture industry and consumers across the state.
Farm Bureau noted that the budget proposal maintains existing funding levels for several vital programs, including agriculture research and Cooperative Extension services administered by Penn State University and food safety and animal welfare programs managed by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
“We are pleased that the Governor’s plan acknowledges the important role Penn State and Penn VET play in helping farmers implement positive changes on their farms by utilizing breakthroughs in research and technology. Often those changes lead to practical solutions that can help the farmers bottom line, while improving the environment, animal health and the food supply,” said PFB President Rick Ebert.
Farm Bureau recognized that the budget includes a modest increase for 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 calls for significant increases in funding for the Nutrient Management Fund, Agricultural Excellence programs and the PA Preferred program. Meanwhile, the budget zeroes out funding for agricultural research conducted by the state Agriculture Department, the agricultural promotion, education and exports program and the food marketing and research program.
During his budget address, the Governor alluded to some new investments to support farmers, including programs to help farmers create business, transition and succession plans; increase opportunities for Pennsylvania’s agricultural workforce; increase funding for Pennsylvania to quickly respond to agriculture diseases or disasters; and provide incentives for farmers to incorporate additional conservation practices on their land.
“We are interested in learning more about the Governor’s proposals to see how they can possibly help lessen the burden on struggling Pennsylvania farm families and create new opportunities for farmers to prosper in the future,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization,
representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.