Pennsylvania offers grants and loans to new farmers

(NewsNation) – The future of farming could be here with a state-level loan program to help new farmers.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced access to a new round of loans, grants and other incentives to help this next generation of farmers.

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“It’s a convergence of things. So maybe we started with an economic impact study several years ago that confirmed to us the importance of agriculture in the state,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding, in “Morning in America”.

“18% of our gross state product in the state is agriculture. And then you couple that to what we’ve seen in COVID and then you add to that the prices that we talked about this morning and Ukraine, it’s a convergence of things, but the right direction for us,” Redding said. .

The Pennsylvania Farm Bill was introduced by Wolf in 2019. Since the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine, Wolf has earmarked more money for the program. Redding said he wants to prioritize agriculture just as much as Main Street.

“We don’t differentiate between the type of eligible business, so we want to make sure farming is a business. It’s a business without walls,” Redding said. “But we want full access, just like we dealt with manufacturing or Main Street business. Agriculture therefore has full access to it. And then second is to make sure that we combine that with the other elements of our Pennsylvania Farm Bill, which are vitality grants and education, conservation. So that’s the set of things that really take advantage of this next generation of a lending program.

Watch the full interview with Redding in the player above.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

James V. Hayes