Wolf Transistion Team includes PSCFO Members

Wolf transition 180x180HARRISBURG – The Wolf Transition Team for PDA includes six individuals from PSCFO member organizations: Chairman Russell Redding, Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Studies, Delaware Valley University.; Dr. MeeCee Baker (Versant Strategies); PSCFO Board member Hannah Smith-Brubaker (PA Farmers Union); Russell Biggica (PA Rural Electric Association); Joel Rotz (PA Farm Bureau); and Robert Maiden (PA Association of Conservation Districts).

PSCFO Members Line up on Property Tax Bill

Property taxHARRISBURG – Some PSCFO member organizations have taken positions on a fiercely contested proposal to revamp the school property tax system and replace those revenues with increases in Personal Income Tax and elimination of many areas now exempted from the state sales tax.  A link to a summary of Senate Bill 76 (Argall-R-Schuylkill) follows:  http://www.senatorargall.com/propertytaxindependenceact/  SB 76 advocates were heartened by a September 16 vote by the Senate Finance Committee which advances the bill much further than ever before.

A major supporter of SB 76 is PSCFO member PA Farm Bureau.  Three PSCFO members — PA Bankers Association, PA Food Merchants Association, and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania — oppose SB 76.  Regardless of SB 76’s outcome this fall, expect the issue of property tax relief to again emerge as an issue in the General Assembly next year.

PLEASE NOTE that PSCFO has taken no official position on this bill or the position it represents.

EPA Extends Water Rule Comment Period

Stream - PAThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the comment period for its proposed Clean Water Act rule until October 20, 2014.

Opposed by Ag interests

The proposal was vigorously opposed by some agricultural interests such as the PA Farm Bureau. The issue deals with whether or not a new EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ definition of waters regulated by the Federal Government will impact most farmers.

Farm Bureau Asks Rule to Be Withdrawn

PA Farm Bureau asked that the proposed rule be withdrawn because it would allow “the agencies to regulate land activities around small creeks, streams and even ditches that only hold water during heavy rain events”. An EPA link provides an avenue for someone seeking to submit public comment. http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm

Member News & Notes

  • Center for Dairy Excellence announced that post-secondary students pursuing a dairy-related career can apply for one of seven $3,000 Student Leader Scholarships supported by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation and the PA Dairymen’s Association. Apply by June 1. Click here for more information.
  • PA State Grange has two youth camps scheduled this summer at Camp Sylvan Hills in Howard, PA: June 27-29 Youth Camp and June 30-July 5 Junior Camp. Details: 717/737-8855
  • PA Farm Bureau is taking registrations for its Fueling Agriculture & Cultivating Excellence (FACE) conference for young farmers at Bucknell University June 16-20. Details: http://www.pfb.com/images/stories/2014_FACE_YC_RegBochure.pdf
  • PA Assn. for Sustainable Agriculture’s seventh annual Bike Fresh Bike Local fundraising effort to connect consumers to locally grown food starts June 1 (Allegheny County), Details: www.pasafarming.org