Critical Investments in the Future of Pennsylvania AgricultureAugust 22nd, 2023
Critical Investments in the Future of Pennsylvania Agriculture: 2023-24 Budget Supports Farmers, Opens up New Markets for Organics, and Improves Access to Pennsylvania-Grown Food
The 2023-24 budget makes major investments in the agriculture industry, which contributes $132 billion annually to Pennsylvania's economy and supports more than 580,000 jobs across the Commonwealth
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania’s agriculture sector contributes $132 billion annually to Pennsylvania's economy and supports more than 580,000 jobs statewide, and Governor Shapiro knows agriculture is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy.
In his inaugural budget address, Governor Shapiro called for increased investments in Pennsylvania agriculture to continue supporting our farmers and agricultural workers, give Pennsylvania’s farms more access to capital, and open up new markets for farmers by funding a new Organic Center of Excellence to continue the Commonwealth’s long tradition of agricultural leadership.The 2023-24 bipartisan, commonsense budget invests more than $47 million to drive Pennsylvania agriculture forward.
The bipartisan 2023-24 budget makes critical investments in Pennsylvania agriculture, including:
- $31 million to help poultry farmers impacted by the avian flu crisis pay for testing and get reimbursed.
- $13.8 million to fully fund the Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the fifth year.
- A $2 million investment in the Fresh Food Financing Initiative that will contribute to better health outcomes by improving access to PA-grown, processed, and produced foods.
- $1 million to create a new Organic Center of Excellence, which will grow the state’s ability to support this sector of the industry.
As Governor Shapiro recently said at Penn State's Annual Ag Progress Days:
“Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and farmers are not only an important part of our heritage, but a key driver of our economy. […] If we work together and partner with our farmers, our Commonwealth can lead this country and the world as an agricultural powerhouse. My Administration will continue to partner with Penn State and our leaders in ag to help build the future of this industry – and we’ll start by investing in our farmers right now.”
Read what Pennsylvania ag leaders are saying about the budget's investments in this critical industry:
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Chris Hoffman: “We want to applaud Governor Josh Shapiro for his unwavering support of Pennsylvania’s number one industry, which is agriculture. The 2023 budget showcases that he is engaged and focused on agriculture having the resources it needs to keep moving forward. Investing in the PA Farm Bill and the agricultural work force, along with food processing and marketing are critical for Pennsylvania farmers. We are also pleased to see the Governor allocating funds for poultry farmers impacted by highly pathogenic avian influenza and funding programs designed to combat the spread of the spotted lanternfly. The budget aligns with a lot of Farm Bureau’s policy asks.”
Executive Director of Pasa Sustainable Agriculture and Juniata County farmer Hannah Smith-Brubaker: "Pennsylvania has such a rich diversity in our agricultural landscape, including urban and rural producers, diversified vegetable farms, and pastured livestock operations. While many federal agricultural policies prioritize commodity crops produced at a large scale, with 80% of Pennsylvania farms categorized as small-scale producers, our state understands that, like agriculture itself, farm policy cannot be one size fits all.”
For more information on the 2023-24 budget's investments in Pennsylvania, visit shapirobudget.pa.gov.