Governor Wolf

The first proposal from the PA Farm Bill is on Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.

The proposal to expand the width of farm machinery that can travel on Pennsylvania’s roads is one of a dozen pieces of legislation that make up the state’s most ambitious ag initiative in years.

Several of the bills won unanimous approval in the House or Senate this week with the state’s June 30 budget deadline approaching.

The bills that passed the House this week would create renew the state’s Dairy Investment Program, and create an ag disaster readiness account, Ag Business Development Center, aid for small meat processors, ag youth grants, a farm-to-school program, enhancements to the PA Preferred branding program, and a low-interest conservation loan program.

Bill creating grants for specialty crops and conservation work have passed both chambers.

A few PA Farm Bill proposals remain in committee.

These include an expansion of the Resource Enhancement and Protection tax credit, the creation of the PA Preferred Organic program, and grants for urban growers.

Beyond the Farm Bill, several Republican-created ag bills are also progressing.

A bill creating a commission on the future of the dairy industry has passed both houses. The bill can head to the governor once lawmakers agree on some very minor amendments.

A bill to allow milk trucks to travel on highways during winter weather restrictions has passed the House and is scheduled for a final Senate vote on Monday.

Approved in the Senate, a beginning farmer tax credit is approaching its final vote in the House.

Lancaster Farming