Specter, Casey Announce Final Approval of Pennsylvania Agriculture Projects

Federal Funding Part of FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) today announced final congressional approval of federal funding for several agriculture projects in Pennsylvania as contained in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus 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 colleagues for funding these agricultural projects that are fundamental to keeping Pennsylvania’s economy strong.”

“Pennsylvania’s farmers are an important part of our state’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.”

Funding has been approved for the following Pennsylvania projects :

*House Members that also supported a project are indicated in parentheses

•$771,000 for the Milk Safety program at Penn State University to help researchers better understand the microbiology of the Listeria organism to ensure a safe milk supply. (Peterson)

•$349,000 for the Dairy Farm Profitability project at Penn State University to research the economic and social dimensions of dairy farming to help farmers increase their profitability. (Peterson)

•$319,000 for the Centers for Beef and Dairy Excellence in Dauphin County to develop and provide technical support to Pennsylvania beef and dairy producers through existing and new programs developed by the Centers.  

•$233,000 for Agricultural Entrepreneurial Alternatives for Small Farmers at Penn State University to deliver farm and community level educational programs and assistance. (Peterson)

•$209,000 for the Cooperative Livestock Protection Program to expand the program to all Pennsylvania’s 59,000 agricultural producers.  The program, operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and USDA, provides technical and operational assistance in identifying, controlling, and abating damage, animal health problems and economic loss caused by certain nuisance wildlife species.

•$154,000 for Aquaculture Research at the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in Delaware County to conduct research in urban aquaculture processes and technology.  

•$133,000 for Sustainable Agriculture at the Rodale Institute in Berks County, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State University, to research sustainable field crop production.  This funding will help provide science-based alternatives to Pennsylvania farmers to adopt more sustainable farming practices. (Peterson)

•$243,000 for Improved Dairy Management Practices at Penn State University in Centre County to sustain the nation’s dairy industry by supporting research to adapt principles of total quality management to the dairy enterprise. (Peterson)

•$4.602 million for Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research in Centre County to evaluate and develop improved management systems for perennial grass and legumes in sustainable bioenergy/bioproduct crop production systems. The Fiscal Year 2009 budget had called for the termination of the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management research facility in University Park, Pennsylvania. (Holden)

•$1.248 million for a national Geographic Information Systems Project, in conjunction with two local centers in Pennsylvania.  This project provides for the capturing and analyzing of data to be used for urban planning and resource and environmental impact assessment by rural municipalities and governments.  (Kanjorski)

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