Gov. Shapiro Works to Boost PA Agriculture Industry Through New Proposals

Pa farm
Image via Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has called for research proposals on issues critical to sustaining and growing Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry. In his 2023-’24 budget, Governor Josh Shapiro proposed $2.187 million to address complex challenges from reducing impacts of climate change and measuring soil and water conservation, to tackling emerging animal diseases, to meeting demand for bio-based fuels and plastics.

“Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry bears the brunt of some of the most complex challenges facing our society,” Secretary Redding said. “At the same time, Pennsylvania-based research and higher education institutions are at the forefront of some of the most exciting research in organic and regenerative agriculture, and in developing the technology needed to stay at the cutting edge in our diverse industry. Investing in research is the first critical step toward managing today’s costly and complex challenges and developing innovative solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.”

Research grants currently funded through the PA Department of Agriculture is developing novel solutions to controlling animal and plant diseases and pests; increasing regenerative and organic farming methods that enrich and sustain our soil and water resources; advancing human and animal medicine; applying emerging technology in food safety; and protecting pollinators crucial to our food supply.

New proposals are invited for multi-year projects that will examine the economic impact of pest infestations like spotted lanternflies and phorid flies, measure effects on the Chesapeake Bay of farm management methods not funded by federal or state support, and implement the next phase of the PA Pollinator Protection Plan.

The department also invites proposals for research topics including animal health and welfare interactions with human and environmental health; quality and availability of housing for farm workers, effectiveness of worker training in agriculture; consumer-focused research on biodegradable packaging and new uses for milk proteins and milk-based products, barriers to land access for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in rural areas, and more.

Detailed proposal guidelines can be found in the April 15 edition of the PA Bulletin.

The amount available to fund grant proposals will depend on the amount funded in the final budget. Grants do not require matching funds.

Proposals must be submitted online using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 15, 2023 at 5 PM.

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