Pennsylvania farmers can apply for grants of up to $7,500 through the Pennsylvania 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,” says Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell 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 third in the nation for organic and is home to more than 1,000 certified organic farms and more than 93,000 acres of certified organic land. Gov. Tom 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,” Redding says. “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 Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program, aimed at enhancing the long-term health and vitality of the state’s farm families. The program funds professional planning services 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.
Farmers interested in taking advantage of the Farm Vitality Grant Program should apply by April 3. Questions can be directed to Morgan Sheffield at 717-787-3568 or email@example.com.
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