HARRISBURG – Today in Harrisburg, the governor signed into law legislation authored by state Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, that will create a program to direct financial support specifically to the state’s dairy industry.
“This is my first bill as a state representative that was signed into law, and I couldn’t be more proud that it was one to help Pennsylvania farm families,” said Owlett. “The Commonwealth is home to 6,650 dairy farms, which contribute $14.7 billion in economic revenue annually and support more than 52,000 jobs; however, the dairy industry as a whole is struggling and farms are going out of business at an alarming pace. Pennsylvania’s farmers need our help and that’s what this new law will do – help. It will help drive out financial support to strategic projects that will help stabilize and grow the industry.”
My legislation, now Act 38 of 2019, will create the Dairy Investment Program under the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). The program will have specific guidelines for evaluating and approving grant applications. Under the new law the CFA would also consult with the Department of Agriculture to make sure the funding is targeted to the most appropriate projects to support the dairy industry. This fiscal year, the program will receive $5 million in the state budget to issue grants to support the state’s dairy sector.
Owlett”s bill was one of several within an agricultural package that the governor signed into law. Other new laws will ensure a quick state-level response to threats such as invasive species or disease; establish a Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to help farmers create a business plan, transition plan or succession plan; enhance youth exposure to opportunities in the agriculture industry; boost enrollment in the veteran farmer Homegrown by Heroes program; provide specialty crop block grants; and more.
“I am excited about the progress we were able to make in the first half of this session year,” said Owlett. “However, this is only the beginning; there is still much more to be done to help our state’s farmers and I’m looking forward to being on the front lines of this effort.”
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
The governor signed into law legislation authored by state Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, that will create a program to direct financial support specifically to the state’s dairy industry. Owlett is pictured with his son Colton, Gov. Tom Wolf (center) and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding following the official bill signing.