The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is commending the governor’s budget proposal for increasing funding to two programs key to the state’s leading industry.
Spokesman Mark O’Neill welcomes the proposed 9 percent increase, or roughly $2 million, to the Department of Agriculture’s general operations, which he says has seen cuts for the last several years.
"That helps support jobs within the Department of Agriculture and services that are not only beneficial to farmers but the entire agricultural industry here in Pennsylvania, and with increased costs within the building to maintain employee salaries and keep services up, an increase was needed there," O’Neill said.
The governor’s plan outlines a 3 percent boost for agriculture research and extension programs administered by Penn State to help farmers to adopt best practices and comply with regulations.
The proposal also zeroes out several agency line items, including funding for state-administered research and programs benefiting the dairy and beef industries.
O’Neill says the proposed cuts will likely be the subject of some negotiation among lawmakers.