New $10 million agricultural innovation fund speeds through PA House committee

June 5, 2024 – Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed $10 million agricultural innovation program has moved closer to law, with broad bipartisan support in the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. House Bill 2310 creates the program, which will support new solutions to complex agricultural and environmental challenges and keep Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry a national leader for decades to come. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding applauded Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski and Dan Moul, leadership of the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, along with lead sponsor Paul Takac, for their bipartisan support for the bill.

“Agricultural innovation is simply doing business in new and better ways to make agriculture more profitable, efficient and sustainable,” Secretary Redding said. “Developing new ideas and technology and then putting these innovations into practice on the farm are steps one and two toward solving today’s most expensive and complex challenges, both in our environment and in our economy . Step three is investing. Innovation does not become reality without all three steps.

“Governor Shapiro’s proposed $10 million Agriculture Innovation Fund is an investment that will keep Pennsylvania at the forefront of exciting developments in conservation and regenerative agriculture. We are pleased that the General Assembly supports this investment.”

The Agriculture Innovation Fund would allow the PA Department of Agriculture to provide grants to farmers and other agricultural businesses to implement new agricultural technologies, conservation and renewable energy innovations – increasing the potential to generate profits, protect the soil and enrich water sources and produce energy in rural areas. the farm. Examples include technology that improves efficiency on the farm or in processing, generates energy while reducing the waste of nutrients leaving the farm, or supports crops that effectively store carbon or replace non-renewable resources.

The program will help put into practice technologies developed through increased research support, and will multiply other conservation investments made by the Shapiro administration. These include spending an additional $1.5 million from the Clean Streams Fund’s Nutrient Management Program in Pennsylvania for conservation research. The Clean Streams Fund, which includes the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, was established with $220 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.