Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today announced the approval of $500,000 in Ag and Youth Grants to fund 55 projects that will improve access to agriculture education in the commonwealth, with a goal of addressing the looming 75,000 workforce deficit Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry faces in the coming decade.
“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and agribusiness owners,” said Gov. Wolf. “This $500,000 is the seed to tomorrow’s bountiful future for Pennsylvania agriculture.”
In July of this year, Governor Wolf signed Act 40 to reenact Pennsylvania’s Ag and Youth Grant Program as part of the state’s first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill. The program, funded at $500,000, provides youth organizations direct, non-matching grants of up to $7,500 to defray costs of eligible projects and matching reimbursement grants of up to $25,000 for capital projects or equipment purchases. Eligible projects included those that are for education or workforce development seminars or field trips; agricultural safety training programs; and capital projects or equipment.
“All youth should have access to the same opportunities for growth and career development,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “These programs are urban, rural, or suburban, and they all further our mission to grow the industry’s future leaders. It’s experiences in these programs that we hope will influence PA youth for a lifetime.”
The $500,000 in ag and youth grants approved for funding will benefit 55 projects in 25 counties. The approved projects include the following direct grant projects: