The Senate Appropriations Committee reviewed a number of key topics during a hearing on Thursday (April 8) with the state Department of Agriculture, according to Senator Elder Vogel.
“The Senate Appropriations Committee’s annual hearings on the Governor’s proposed state budget provide us with an opportunity to discuss key state programs and services with Administration officials. As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee, I especially look forward each year to reviewing the Department of Agriculture budget with Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding,” said Senator Vogel. “This hearing covered several issues that impact the lives and livelihoods of Pennsylvania’s farming families and explored other topics under the Department’s purview.”
During the hearing, Secretary Redding elaborated on the Department’s dog license fee increase request and provided an update on the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program.
Senators questioned the Secretary about the impact of the pandemic, including Departmental closures of restaurants and on the financial stability of the Pennsylvania Farm Show and the use limitations caused by the storage of PPE at the site. He expressed optimism that Pennsylvania’s fairs will rebound this year — with limitations on grandstand capacity. The Secretary also discussed efforts to help Pennsylvania’s distressed dairy farms and detailed the reimbursement program for dairy farmers who were forced to dump their products during the pandemic.
Citing the Governor’s proposed expansion of solar power, Senators expressed concerns that broad installation of solar panels could impact forest and farmland preservation.
Video of Senator Vogel asking Secretary Redding about the Department’s dog license fee increase request, expansion of solar power and farmland preservation, and for an update on the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program.
Video of Senator Vogel asking Secretary Redding about COVID vaccinations for farmers, the shortage of meat processing facilities, Spotted Lanternfly eradication efforts, and Avian Flu initiatives.
Video of the complete budget hearing with the Department of Agriculture.
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