HARRISBURG, Pa. — The State Council of Farm Organizations announced that Joel B. Rotz, manager of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s government affairs and communications division, is the recipient of the PSCFO 2020 Dedication to Agriculture Award.
This honor is bestowed annually on an individual who has devoted him or herself to promoting the interests of farmers and the understanding by consumers of the importance of agricultural production.
Rotz’s division is responsible for the Farm Bureau’s lobbying and communications programs. It works to implement Farm Bureau policy objectives in state and national legislative and regulatory activities. It also provides members with information to aid in their involvement in policy development and implementation efforts, and informs the public on issues crucial to agriculture and rural life.
In addition, the division assists with the marketing of member programs and builds productive working relationships with the news media and other groups.
During his tenure, he has chalked up many legislative achievements for farmers, some of which are:
• Passage of legislation protecting farmers’ right to farm from punitive local ordinances.
• Multiple improvements to Clean & Green resulting in lower tax assessments for land used for hunting, agritainment and energy production.
• Passage of a new law effectively eliminating the state inheritance tax for working family farms.
• Key changes in the vehicle code, one of which allows larger, modern farm equipment to travel on roads.
In part because of his 20 years of owning and operating a dairy farm in Franklin County, Rotz is also the Farm Bureau’s dairy specialist. He has been with the Farm Bureau since 1995.