Pa. Farm Vitality Program giving $1 million to farmers

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Pennsylvania farm

BOILING SPRINGS, Pa.  — The Pennsylvania Department is offering $1 million to fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the opening of the  Farm Vitality Program at Trevor Gill’s farm in Cumberland County on April 9.

“Pennsylvania’s farm families need sound business plans, because their success is success for all of Pennsylvania,” Redding said, in a statement.

Gill, a fourth-generation Cumberland County farmer, received a $7,200 Farm Vitality grant last year to seek succession and business planning services, through Ag Choice Farm Credit, to help their family navigate the transition of their 95-acre Boiling Springs farm to Gill from his grandparents. Gill is one of 133 grantees in 46 counties from the first round of Farm Vitality funding.

The 2020-21 Farm Vitality Grant Program, part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, aims to enhance the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production and financial and technical expertise. Farmers and prospective farmers are eligible for up to $7,500, which can cover no more than 75% of the project cost, through this program.

Applications to the program will be accepted starting April 19. The program will remain open until all funds are exhausted.

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistic Service released data noting that with 12,598 producers under age 35, Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of young producers in the nation.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, and investments to support Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

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