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Secretary of Agriculture Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Pennsylvania’s Farmer-Veterans

05/27/2022

Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited veterans' services, agricultural and other organizations to apply for funding to deliver grants to military veterans for farm and related business start-ups and expansion.

"Pennsylvania agriculture needs a skilled, work-ready workforce to keep feeding the world," said Secretary Redding. "Veterans return from serving our country with valuable, transferrable skills they can put to work on the farm. Like any other business, they need to finance planning, safety, permits, equipment and other critical needs. These grants are one way we can thank our veterans for their service and feed their future success in agriculture."

The opportunity is available through Governor Tom Wolf's Pennsylvania Farm Bill and the Agriculture Business Development Center. The center will fund up to three $100,000 grants to organizations which will in turn offer grants of up to $10,000 to individual military veterans for agricultural business needs. The subgrants to veterans can support a diverse range of expenses from food safety and biosecurity planning to equipment, marketing and working capital.

According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, Pennsylvania is home to more than 7,000 military veterans identified as agricultural producers. This program aims to support their success in Pennsylvania's $132.5 billion agriculture industry to continue feeding Pennsylvania and the world.

Since taking office, Governor Wolf has prioritized agriculture, investing more than $50 million in grants, loans, and tax credits in his first three years in office to help Pennsylvania farmers expand operations, upgrade equipment, fund conservation practices, and preserve their farms. Since 2019, through the historic PA Farm Bill, the administration has invested another $53 million in Pennsylvania agriculture, with a commitment to invest another $13.6 million by June 1, 2022.

The PA Farm Bill increased support for the PA Preferred® Homegrown By Heroes program, which helps farmer-veterans market their locally grown products to feed consumer demand.

Full guidelines for the new grants can be found in the PA Bulletin.

Organizations must submit applications online using the Department of Community and Economic Development's Electronic Single Application, by Friday, June 17, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Applicants who have questions may contact Joshua Scheinberg, at (717) 919-0377 or jscheinber@pa.gov.

View a map of PA Farm Bill funding highlights and learn more about initiatives and investments to grow, protect and sustain Pennsylvania's agriculture industry at agriculture.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katie McLaughlin – katmclaugh@pa.gov

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