At Pocono Organics, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that Pennsylvania farmers could apply for grants up to $7,500 through the PA Farm Bill’s $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program for organic transition planning assistance.
“We live in a society where there’s a real desire for organic, local food,” said Agriculture Secretary Redding. “These Farm Vitality grants were meant to strengthen Pennsylvania’s farms, and what better way to do that than by helping them to break into new markets.”
Pennsylvania is currently third in the nation for organic and home to more than 1,000 certified organic farms and more than 93,000 acres of certified organic land. Governor Wolf’s vision is to make Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state. According to the U.S. Organic Trade Association, in 2018 U.S. organic sales reached more than $52 billion, up 6.3% from the previous year.
“In addition to the demand for organic, which continues to skyrocket year after year, consumers want to buy local,” added Redding. “They want to know where their food comes; to feel a connection to those working the land and feeding their families.”
At the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January, the Wolf Administration opened the 2019 PA Farm Bill’s $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program aimed at enhancing the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania’s farm families. The program funds professional planning services for farms for a variety of needs from generational transition planning to organic transition assistance. Since opening, the program has been approving and funding projects as they come in on a funds-available basis. The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of the project cost.