HARRISBURG, Pa. — Today, the Wolf Administration opened the second round of $5 million in funding available through the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program. The announcement came during the second annual Dairy Innovation Forum, bringing resources and opportunities to dairy producers to sustain and grow their businesses in a challenging marketplace.
“We need the dairy industry to thrive, for our economy, our communities, and our future,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “The ideas and expertise offered today by some of our most innovative, entrepreneurial dairy producers can give their peers the edge they need to modernize, grow, and stay resilient in the midst of changing technology and consumer preferences, and uncertain markets here and abroad.”
Grants support on-farm innovation, research and development, organic transition, and value-added processing of products like cheese, yogurt and ice cream. The summit included insights from March 2019 recipients of Dairy Investment Program grants, as well as information on how the program works and how to apply.
Funding to support a second year of the grant program was made possible by the PA Farm Bill, a package of legislation Governor Tom Wolf signed in July providing support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry. Modeled after the governor’s six-point plan to cultivate future generations of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, the bill provides for business development and succession planning, accommodations for a growing animal agriculture sector, removing regulatory burdens, strengthening the ag workforce, protecting infrastructure, and making Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state.
The forum was held during the 56th All-American Dairy Show, which winds up Wednesday, September 18 at the PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. The show brings more than 900 top competitors, and nearly 1,500 of the finest dairy cattle in the U.S. to Harrisburg for five days of competition and youth development. The show is free and open to the public. Find a schedule of events, photos, show results and more at allamerican.pa.gov.
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture