On Sunday, June 30, Governor Tom Corbett signed a 2013-14 state budget, which makes a notable investment in supporting Pennsylvania agriculture. The budget grants almost $35 million to fund the farmland preservation program, over $17 million to fund the Food Purchase Program, which is funding set up for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn veterinary program, and many other provisions.
"Our agriculture exports now approach $1.7 billion annually. Farming in Pennsylvania is a business, but it remains, inherently, a family business,'' said Corbett. "The value of the tradition and contribution of agriculture to Pennsylvania's economy is immeasurable."
According to PR Newswire, one in seven jobs in Pennsylvania are agricultural. Moreover, of the 62,000 farms in the state, 97 percent are family owned.
Additionally, the year’s budget will provide $10 million for the Resource Enhancement Protection Program, which rewards farmers who use the best environmental and management practices. The governor added, “This budget is an investment in agriculture, which is the cornerstone of Pennsylvania's economy and future.”