Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced more than $2.45 million in federal grants awarded to 23 projects that will grow markets and increase the quality, safety and sustainability of the state's vegetable, fruit, nut and nursery specialty crops. Funding went toward projects in Berks, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Indiana, Lawrence, Perry, and Philadelphia counties, all of which benefit growers statewide.
"Pennsylvania specialty crops feed our state, our nation and our planet," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "These grants increase profits and sustainability by increasing quality, protecting crops from pest, disease and climate threats, and helping growers attract and train the workforce they need to keep producing healthy, high quality crops to feed the world."
Federal Specialty Crop Block Grants are funded by the federal Farm Bill and awarded in a competitive process administered by the department. The federal definition of specialty crops includes horticultural products such as fruit, vegetables, tree nuts, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants and nursery crops.
The 23 projects funded include those that will grow the state's agriculture industry by improving food safety; battling disease, pest and climate threats; expanding farm markets in urban areas; assessing economics of growing hops to meet demands of the state's booming craft brew industry; protecting pollinators the state's agriculture industry relies on; harnessing the talents of youth and recruiting and retaining a culturally and ethnically diverse workforce.
For more information:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Tel.: +1 717.603.2056