At $46.4 Billion, Agriculture is PA’s Largest Industry: Supports Over 94,000 Farmers and Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs
Bill Includes Key Provisions Senator Casey Pushed to Include
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today released the following statement upon Senate passage of the Farm Bill, S. 954.
“Passage of a comprehensive Farm Bill is long overdue,” said Senator Casey. “I am pleased that both parties in the Senate came together to pass this bill. While not perfect, this Farm bill will help farmers, reduce the deficit and fuel economic growth and I urge the House to pass it now.”
Senator Casey fought for several provisions included in the Farm Bill. They include:
Help with Risk Management – The bill will help Pennsylvania farmers address risk management and conservation, and will help American agribusinesses, such as honey producers, maintain a competitive edge against unfair foreign competition.
Local, Sustainable and Organic Farm Provisions – Senator Casey fought for provisions to boost local, sustainable and organic farming. At last measure, Pennsylvania was the nation’s third largest producer of organic goods. Local food production enhances Pennsylvania’s economy by millions of dollars each year.
Support for Specialty Crops – Senator Casey pushed for strong provisions to support specialty crops, which include crops like pumpkins, apples, and mushrooms and are a key source of business for Pennsylvania farmers. At Senator Casey’s urging, the Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI), Specialty Crops Block Grant program and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program remain strong in the new Farm Bill.
Conservation and Chesapeake Bay Watershed – Senator Casey fought for provisions to provide important resources to farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. He also secured important improvements the Farm Bill to ensure that conservation programs would better serve the needs of Pennsylvanians.
Dairy Support – Dairy is Pennsylvania’s largest agricultural sector, and Senator Casey pushed to include improvements to the Farm Bill in order to have the best dairy program possible for Pennsylvania farmers. The bill includes a new program to protect dairy farmers from low margins, such as those caused by low milk prices and high feed costs.
Dairy Product Reporting – Senator Casey’s amendment, included in the bill, provides a measure of predictability to sectors of the U.S. agricultural industry – dairymen, buyers, suppliers, policymakers, and others – that rely on dairy product prices data to make sound business decisions.