HARRISBURG, Pa., July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett yesterday signed the 2013-14 state budget that increases support for the Department of Agriculture and the economy-driving agriculture industry.
"Agriculture is the state's leading economic driver with more than $67 billion in economic impact," Corbett said. "Farming in Pennsylvania is a business, a family business that provides jobs for Pennsylvanians and keeps dollars in local communities."
One in seven Pennsylvania jobs are related to agriculture and 97 percent of the more than 62,000 farms are family owned.
"Agriculture is a leader in the state and nation," Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. "Governor Corbett's budget keeps our farmers farming, with funding for our top veterinary school, agriculture research, protection of our farmland, providing food for Pennsylvanians in need and our county fairs."
The Department of Agriculture budget:
- Increases funding for the Veterinary School at the University of Pennsylvania at $28 million for veterinary activities, $261,000 for the school's Center for Infectious Diseases, and $46 million for agricultural research and extension at Penn State;
- Increases support for Pennsylvania's nation-leading farmland preservation program with $35 million to preserve productive farmland against development;
- Ensures critical funding for the State Food Purchase Program at more than $17 million to help fight hunger in Pennsylvanians;
- Increases funding for the commonwealth branding program for agriculture commodities with $550,000 for PA Preferred™;
- Increases funding for the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center with $4 million; and
- Increases funding for county fairs, at $3 million, that attract more than six million visitors each year and showcase the best of local agriculture.
"This budget is an investment in agriculture, which is the cornerstone of Pennsylvania's economy and future," Corbett said.
Samantha Elliott Krepps, Agriculture, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture