Presented to:
Board of Commissioners
By:Jeff Grove
January, 2013, Harrisburg, PA

President Martone, Commissioners, Executive Director Roe, Commission staff, I am Jeff Grove, and offer comment on behalf of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; I thank you for this opportunity to join you today to share comments regarding issues that affect agriculture.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization and is growing in volunteer membership, with more than 55,398 farm and rural families. Our family members operate farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

Commissioner Fox, congratulations on your appointment as Commissioner for District 5. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and I look forward to working with you during your term as Commissioner.

Regarding the Commission’s proposed seasons and bag limits, the proposed bear seasons will continue to effectively direct hunters to areas where bear conflicts continue. We are supporting the proposed extended seasons and the inclusion of Saturdays. We hope that the need for these measures will soon end. 

We are asking again that Commissioners consider removing split buck and doe seasons, returning all WMU’s to concurrent seasons.

Farm Bureau policy supports expanded youth hunting opportunities. As you deliberate deer seasons we would ask that you consider a special youth deer hunting season that includes the Friday and / or Saturday after Thanksgiving when students are home from school. We believe the added excitement of having that special opportunity for young hunters would likely increase recruitment, participation, and retention of young hunters.

We thank you for your adoption in September of changes to DMAP to allow the transfer of a DMAP permit to mentored youth. We believe readoption of this allowance will improve the DMAP program by increasing access opportunities for new young hunters, while solving problems for enrolled landowners.

We suggest that another logical opportunity for youth hunting would be the use of the Red Tag depredation permit program within the mentored youth program.

I thank you for this opportunity to speak and welcome your questions.