DeLissio joins bipartisan effort to promote agriculture in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, May 31 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., is the primary sponsor of an Agriculture and Youth Development Grant – House Bill 1518 – that will revise and reestablish a program to fund youth organizations that promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship across the commonwealth.

House Bill 1518, with more than two dozen bipartisan co-sponsors, was referred to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week. It’s part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill Package, which features nine separate bills offering initiatives, funding opportunities and resources to support and expand the agriculture industry.

DeLissio’s bill would provide grants to eligible agriculture and youth organizations, including but not limited to Pennsylvania Future Farmers of America, 4-H, Ag in the Classroom, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and other vocational education programs.

By expanding eligibility for funding to agriculture-support organizations across the commonwealth, DeLissio and colleagues expect to cultivate greater appreciation of agriculture across all 67 counties because agriculture is zip code-neutral. The funding would help locally, too, investing in future agricultural work forces like the 4-A and FFA clubs at Saul High School in DeLissio’s 194th Legislative District.

The legislation would increase the available grant funding to $7,500 per grant and makes available matching funds of up to $25,000 for capital projects.

Eligible projects include educational or workforce development programs, seminars, field trips and agricultural safety training programs.

“The PA Farm Bill lays the groundwork to strengthen Pennsylvania’s work force and ensure the next generation is prepared to fill the employment opportunities that are anticipated in this sector,” DeLissio said. “Through my legislation, students will be introduced to agriculture and workforce opportunities, which could foster interest in these subjects as a career path and not just a job. I’m proud to sponsor this piece of the PA Farm Bill, a critical investment in the future of our commonwealth.”