For Immediate Release:
HARRISBURG – Hundreds of farmers traveled to Harrisburg to discuss Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) priorities for 2023 with state lawmakers as part of PFB’s annual State Legislative Conference on Tuesday.
PFB members and lawmakers heard from key state officials, including Governor Josh Shapiro, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Chair Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minority Chair Rep. Dan Moul and Senator Judy Schwank, the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minority Chair.
Shapiro outlined his administration’s plan to advance agriculture in Pennsylvania, highlighting the effects of avian influenza on the state’s economy, while committing additional funding toward mitigating the virus. Shapiro noted that supporting farmers needs to be a bipartisan effort.
During a news conference at the capitol, PFB President Chris Hoffman shared PFB’s stance on a variety of issues, including the challenges that the state dairy industry is facing, including the current milk over order premium and the need for more milk processing in Pennsylvania. Other topics discussed included climate initiatives, such as the clean streams fund created through the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP).
“Seeing farmers flood the capitol is something that always makes me smile,” Hoffman said. “I think it’s one of the most important things we do as members of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. It’s important for us to tell our story, and today is the perfect day to do that.”
PFB showcased its commitment to educating the next generation of consumers as the Pennsylvania Friends of Ag Foundation’s new GIANT Immersion Lab was available for PFB members and state legislators to tour.
“As we were thinking about this immersion lab, we partnered with GIANT to be able to tell the story of agriculture,” Hoffman said. “A lot of consumers go into the grocery store, and they pick up a product and never realize why or how those products ever get to the store.”
The event included a breakout session at the Capitol on the newly formed ACAP as it begins to rollout in the beginning months of 2023. The ACAP legislation created the Clean Water Fund, which provided an initial $154 million in federal funding to improve conservation practices. The breakout featured Doug Wolfgang, executive director of the State Conservation Commission and Eric Cromer, Conservation Program Specialist with the SCC.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.