Casey, Specter Announce Committee Approval of Pennsylvania Agriculture Projects and Programs

Federal funding contained in Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey today announced that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved federal funding for several Pennsylvania projects.  The projects are contained in the Fiscal Year 2011 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

“These programs will strengthen the state’s agricultural industry by developing innovative technologies to improve production and management of Pennsylvania’s farms,” Senator Specter said.  “Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry, and I applaud my Congressional colleagues for funding these agricultural projects that are fundamental to keeping Pennsylvania’s economy strong.”          

“Agriculture is an essential part of Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Senator Casey.  “This funding will give our agriculture industry a much needed boost while developing new technologies for our farmers, and I thank my colleagues for approving these projects.”

The bill must be approved by the full Senate, the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President before funding is final.

Pennsylvania projects in the bill include:

•    $223,000 for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg for the Cooperative Livestock Protection Program which provides Pennsylvania agriculture producers statewide with technical and operational assistance in identifying, controlling and abating damage and economic loss caused by certain nuisance wildlife species.

•    $305,000 for the Northeast Energy and Environment Dairy System (NEEDS) in University Park, Pennsylvania. Funding will be used to develop and evaluate practical uses for anaerobic digester technologies on small and medium sized herds.  

•    $340,000 for Centers for Dairy and Beef Excellence for the Pennsylvania Centers for Dairy and Beef Excellence in Harrisburg to provide producers across the state with the technical and financial assistance needed to improve on-farm profitability.  Funding supports a variety of technical assistance programs that support increased profitability.

•    $372,000 for Penn State University for Dairy Farm Profitability. Funding will be used for research addressing on-farm energy production, new crops for Pennsylvania and the region, and cropping systems to balance dairy feed prosecution and energy feedstock production to help Pennsylvania dairy farmers maintain profitable operations.

•    $780,000 for Milk Safety for Penn State University in State College for milk safety and research into programs that will allow dairy producers to reduce food borne pathogens at the farm level, new technologies for processors that will contribute to economic sustainability, and improvements in the supply chain that will ensure continued delivery of a high quality, affordable and safe product to consumers.

•    $200,000 for the Lancaster County Conservation District to supplement their efforts to enhance water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by implementing stream fencing, riparian buffers and other conservation measures on farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

# # #