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Pennsylvania farmers discuss top priorities
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 11/16/2023

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau held its annual meeting this week to discuss top priorities for the coming year.

One of the main issues on members' minds is California's Proposition 12 law on sow housing. The law requires sows to have more space than industry standard, and many farmers believe that it is not based on sound science.

The Farm Bureau is working with both sides of the aisle in Congress to create a legislative fix to the new regulations.

Another issue on the collective mind for the state's Farm Bureau members is getting the new Farm Bill passed. The 2018 bill has been extended since a new Farm Bill was not passed by the Sept. 30 deadline.

The Farm Bureau is working closely with U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow to make clear the needs of Pennsylvania in the new bill.

Members are also concerned about crop damage from wildlife, and the organization is working with state legislators and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to control the problem.

The Farm Bureau has also held sessions on solar and is working with solar companies to ensure that solar development does not compete with agriculture.

Additional Farm Bureau priorities include state and national support for dairy farmers and getting whole milk back into schools.

The Farm Bureau is also continuing to work on the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, which is activated in 66 out of the commonwealth's 67 counties.

Looking forward, Farm Bureau President Chris Hoffman is optimistic about Pennsylvania agriculture and is happy to see younger members becoming active in the state organization.

"Our state has many, many advantages such as our fertile soil, our climate for diverse crops and the markets that we have," Hoffman said. "If you're interested in farming, Pennsylvania offers an ideal environment."

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