HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has announced vital support for the Department of Agriculture and the economy-driving agriculture industry during his 2013-2014 state budget address.
“Agriculture is the state’s leading economic driver with more than $67 billion economic impact,” said Corbett. “Farming in Pennsylvania is business, a family business that provides jobs for Pennsylvanians and keeps dollars in local communities.”
One in seven jobs is related to agriculture and 97 percent of the more than 62,000 farms are family owned.
“Agriculture is a leader in the state and nation,” Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. “Governor Corbett’s budget proposal keeps our farmers farming, with funding for our top veterinary school, agriculture research, protection of our farmland, funding for food insecure Pennsylvanians and our county fairs.”
The Department of Agriculture budget proposal:
- Maintains funding for the Veterinary School at the University of Pennsylvania at $27.8 million for veterinary activities, $248,000 for the school’s Center for Infectious Diseases, and $44.7 million for agricultural research and extension at Penn State;
- Increases support for the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program with $35 million to preserve productive farmland against development; and
- Ensures critical funding for the State Food Purchase Program at $17 million to help food insecure Pennsylvanians;
- Continues funding for the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program, which provides $10 million in tax credits to producers who use best-management practices that protect our waterways and farmland.
- Increases funding for county fairs, at $2.5 million, that attract more than six million visitors each year and showcase the best of local agriculture.
“This budget proposal is an investment in agriculture, which is the cornerstone of Pennsylvania’s economy and future,” Corbett said.