HARRISBURG – In support of the Commonwealth’s top industry, Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) drafted legislation to establish a business resource and reference center for farmers. The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee passed the bill unanimously today.
House Bill 1523
would create an Agricultural Business Development Center within the Department of Agriculture. The center would help farmers create business plans, ownership transition plans for family or for new owners, and expansion and financing plans.
“My bill would give farmers the support they need to learn about how to effectively manage their businesses, especially as the industry continues to change,” Diamond said. “It would help Pennsylvania’s farmers stay strong so they can make sure the citizens of this Commonwealth continue to have access to high quality local food and other agricultural products in the future.”
The center would also administer grants to provide resources to farmers and prospective farmers. Grants would be available to the extent funding is provided by the General Assembly and would be limited to 75% of project costs, not including in-kind contributions.
An advisory committee would guide the Secretary of Agriculture, with committee members serving without compensation.
As the bill received unanimous committee support, it now goes before the full House for consideration.
Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans