AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS


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Name of Potential Recipient:     National Consortium for Rural Geospatial Innovations in America (RGIS)
Location:                    Centre and Luzerne County
Amount:                    $1,500,000
Project Name:                Pennsylvania GIS

Purpose:  This purpose of this initiative is to provide research, outreach, tech-transfer, and best practices education in the use of special technologies (GIS) in the environmental master planning process.  Specifically, one element of this work will focus on the planning of the upper Susquehanna watershed.   Goals of RGIS applications include the support of economic development, emergency management, and environmental protection (including energy and climate change issues) for rural communities.

Allocation of federal funding in this project is justified because it would create research jobs across in Pennsylvania and across the country, and contribute to the use of geographic information systems technology on state and federal levels in the areas of economic sustainable development, "smart growth" planning, environmental restoration, infrastructure management, Homeland Security, agricultural security, and floodplain management/damage mitigation.

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Name of Potential Recipient:         Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Location:                    Dauphin County, PA
Amount:                    $225,000
Project Name:                Pennsylvania Livestock Protection Program

Purpose:  This initiative will create a cooperative livestock protection program to provide Pennsylvania agriculture producers technical and operational assistance in identifying, controlling, and stopping damage, animal health concerns, and economic loss caused by wildlife inflicted damages, feed, and crop losses. Currently, this program is only available to a portion of the state. If awarded, this program could affect 58,000 Pennsylvania agriculture producers.
Pennsylvania farm dollars have a rollover effect of ten times their worth in the local economy.  By protecting farm profitability through this program, local rural economies will benefit from additional cash flow.  Allocation of federal funding in this project is justified because it would help farmers protect their livestock, and reduce the loss of thousands of dollars due to damaging wildlife species.

Name of Potential Recipient:         Pennsylvania State University
Location:                    Centre County, PA
Amount:                    $550,000
Project Name:                Enhanced Dairy Farmer Profitability

Purpose:  The purpose of this project is to provide technological solutions to real-world problems that are reducing the profitability of dairy farmers in Pennsylvania and across the nation. The overall goal of this project is to improve the profitability of dairy farm.  The challenges of simultaneously solving problems in dairy production and environmental compliance must be addressed to help dairy farmers remain profitable.

This project focuses on near-term technologies that are available for the adoption by dairy farmers in the issues of energy costs, compliance with air and water quality regulations, poor herd reproductive performance, and herd health. Tools developed through this initiative are given directly to local dairy farmers across Pennsylvania through Cooperative Extension programs.  Allocation of federal funding in this project is justified because solutions found from this project are validated as having a positive impact on the economic viability of dairy farmers nationwide.

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Name of Potential Recipient:         Pennsylvania State University
Location:                    Centre County, PA
Amount:                    $400,000
Project Name:                Improved Dairy Management

Purpose:  The purpose of this project is to address problems associated with dairy production in Pennsylvania.  In particular, this initiative will focus on utilization of technology to improve water quality, while lower impacts of air emissions and encouraging more efficient energy use.  This project will face the challenges facing the dairy industry in the areas of nutrient and emission management.

If awarded, funding will be used to support the salaries of faculty, staff, and students who conduct the research and supplies to operate corresponding experiments. Tools developed through this initiative are given directly to local dairy farmers across Pennsylvania through Cooperative Extension programs.  Allocation of federal funding in this project is justified because it focuses on environmental issues associated with livestock production and dairy farming that are of national concern.

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Name of Potential Recipient:         Pennsylvania State University
Location:                    Centre County, PA
Amount:                    $800,000
Project Name:                Milk Safety

Purpose:  The goal of this project is to identify issues in milk and dairy products safety and seek interventions that can be transferred to producers, processors, distributors, and retailers to continue to improve consumer confidence in the quality of our nation’s food supply.  Research will address the continued threat of natural or intentional contamination of the fluid milk supply and develop cost-effective and accurate diagnostic tools to identify pathogens and toxins, assess alternative preservation techniques that ensure safety and food quality, and evaluate the integrity of the supply chain that moves dairy products from the farm gate to the consumer.

Dairy is the single largest economic component of Pennsylvania’s agriculture portfolio, and the investment in this industry is essential to agricultural economic development across the state. The anticipated results of this project will reduce food-borne pathogens at the farm level, create new technologies for processes that will contribute to economic sustainability, and improve the supply chain through the delivery of quality, affordable, and safe products to consumers. Allocation of federal funding in this project is justified because it will contribute directly to the food safety of dairy products in Pennsylvania and across the nation.


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Name of Potential Recipient:         Rodale Institute
Location:                    Berks County, PA
Amount:                    $349,347
Project Name:                Integrated Livestock-Crop Rotation Management

Purpose:  The purpose of this project is to fund research on the introduction of a pastured livestock component, as an additional "crop" in a standard multi-year grain/vegetable crop rotation, and incorporation of advanced soil management technologies will improve current agricultural processes.  The goal of the research is to quantify the ability of this new system to increase soil health and carbon sequestration, reduce dependence on fossil-fuel-based inputs, and improve economic returns for farmers.

The Rodale Institute has contributed to organic agricultural research for over sixty years. If awarded, funding of this project will go towards research, equipment, supplies, and publication of findings.  The findings of this research would contribute towards economic development of the agricultural sector and the advancement of carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation technologies. Allocation of federal funding in this project is justified because it would create jobs and encourage establishment or expansion of sustainable and organic farm businesses in PA and across the country.  Other national environmental benefits generated by this project include: reduced toxic pesticide exposure, reduced soil erosion, reduced crop nutrient losses, and improved security and quality of the food system.