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Secretary of Agriculture Encourages Farmers to Take Advantage of Grant Program to Pay for Business Planning Services

07/29/2021

Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today encouraged farmers to apply for funding to strengthen the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania's farms through the 2020-2021 Farm Vitality Grant Program. One of the largest programs in Governor Tom Wolf's Pennsylvania Farm Bill, the Farm Vitality Program helps fund professional services for on-farm business planning.

"Pennsylvania farmers ensure the vibrancy of both our food supply and our economy. Investing $1 million through the Farm Vitality Grant Program is investing in the future of our food system," said Redding. "Whether it's transitioning farms to the next generation or seeking expertise to facilitate farm growth and diversification, the Farm Vitality Program ensures farm families have the resources and business planning tools they need to be successful."

The Farm Vitality Program assists farmers through transitional seasons on the farm and in life. For the Brymesser family, owners of a fourth-generation farm in Cumberland County, the Farm Farm Vitality grant came at a critical time.

When Stanley Brymesser lost his battle to pancreatic cancer, his grandson Trever Gill stepped up to ensure the farm's continued success. After sitting down with AgChoice Farm Credit, Gill wanted to pursue next steps for farm succession planning, but it came at a cost. AgChoice Farm Credit connected Gill to the Farm Vitality Grant Program, where he received a $7,200 grant to seek succession and business planning services to help their family navigate the transition of their 95-acre Boiling Springs farm to Gill from his grandparents.

Gill is one of 133 grantees in 46 counties from the first round of Farm Vitality funding.

The Farm Vitality Grant Program funds professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. It aims to enhance the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania's farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production, and financial and technical expertise.

Nearly $763,000 of the $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program remains available. Through this program, farmers and prospective farmers are eligible for up to $7,500, which can cover no more than 75 percent of the project cost. Applications to the program opened April 19, 2021, and the program will remain open until all funds are exhausted.

For more information about the Farm Vitality Grant Program, contact Morgan Sheffield, msheffield@pa.gov, or visit agriculture.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers – shpowers@pa.gov

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