AG PROGRESS DAYS GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES
August 15 includes a number of government affairs activities at AG Progress Days. First is a joint hearing convened by the Senate and House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committees August 15 to hear testimony from major farm groups on issues of importance to them. Expect a focus on PA’s dairy industry, Broadband access, and sustainability issues. Information: Kerry Golden firstname.lastname@example.org and Destiny Zeiders email@example.com. Other meetings are:
- The annual Government and Industry Luncheon (tickets required). Details: Corinna Fisher 814-863-2822, firstname.lastname@example.org. Another governmental meeting will be the
- U.S. Rep. ‘G.T.’ Thompson has an afternoon meeting to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill. As voce-chair of the House Agriculture Committee, he is the only person from the Mid-Atlantic States from either party to serve on the Farm Bill Conference Committee.
- On August 16, DEP’s Agricultural Advisory Board will convene. Details: DEP’s Jay Braund 717-772-5636.
PA LEGISLATOR GETS NATIONAL NOD
PA Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) was named to the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which will give advice on telecommunications issues to that agency. She is the only Pennsylvanian on this particular committee and is known for her bipartisan work (with Rep. Pam Snyder-D-Fayette/Greene/Washington) on a package of bills seeking to expand access to Broadband to rural areas.
RESOURCES FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS
- AUGUST 6, 2018 Application period for Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) begins. REAP provides tax credits to farmers, landowners, and businesses for implementing practices which increase efficiency while protecting natural resources. REAP is a first-come, first-serve program. Details: 717-705-4032 https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/StateConservationCommission/REAP/Pages/default.aspx
- Food Safety Compliance: The PA Department of Agriculture is offering free on-farm readiness reviews to informally review areas of compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA Rules apply to farmers with produce operations above a certain threshold. Details: 717-787-4315
REGULATORY AGENDAS RELEASED
Each year, the Governor’s Office lists those regulations being considered by each government agency. The full list is published in the PA Bulletin issue for August 4: www.pabulletin.com
The PA Agriculture Department (PDA) lists six regulations.
- Agriculture Conservation Easement Purchase Program Regulations (#2-192) proposed September 2018; Regulatory contact is Douglas Wolfgang 717-783-3167
- PA Preferred Program Regulations proposed September 2018; Regulatory contact is Laura England 717-783-8462
- PA Vegetable Marketing Program (#2-185) October 2018 as a final rule; Regulatory contact is Bill Troxell 717-694-3596
- Milk Sanitation (#2-191) regulation will allow PA raw milk/cheese producers to produce unpasteurized milk/cheese where there is a Federal identity for that cheese and the standard of identity allows for production of standardized cheese from raw milk proposed for September 2018; Regulatory contact is Lydia Johnson 717-787-4315 NOTE: This was posted in the August 4 PA Bulletin.
The two other PDA regulations are Rabies Prevention and Control (#2-188) and Weights and Measures (#2-187).
PennDOT has several.
- Oversize and Overweight Loads and Vehicles (Automated Permit Routing Analysis System proposed Summer 2018; Regulatory contacts are Glenn Rowe PE 717-783-6479 and Jeffrey Spotts 717-787-5299
- Hazardous Material Transportation Summer 2018 as final; Contacts are Rowe and Spotts
- Hauling in Excess of Posted Weight Limits proposed Fall 2018; Contacts are Spotts and Halley Cole, PE 717-783-6146
- Access to and Occupancy of Highways by Driveways and Local Roads. There are two. The first is meant to be a clarification of some parts of the application process – final in Summer 2018. The second is meant as a major re-write of Chapter 441 (67 Pa. Code) to include comments received redefining the term “owner” (“legally cognizable ownership interests”). Regulatory contacts for both are Spotts and Richard Roman, PE 717-6899.
The non-regulatory agenda for the PA Department of Environmental Protection was issued in July. The Agenda is available on the Department’s eLibrary web site at http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/View/Collection-11958 (select ”Publications,” then ”Office of Policy,” then ”Non-Regulatory Agenda”). Questions regarding the Agenda should be directed to Abbey Cadden, Technical Guidance Coordinator, Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 at (717) 783-8727 or email@example.com .
- August 5-11 is National Farmers Market Week supported by the National Market Coalition. Link to PA Farmers Market follows: www.pafarm.com (newsletter) https://mailchi.mp/f05b8e9d2a5a/market-matters-july-2018?e=%5bUNIQID
- August is Produce Month in Pennsylvania. Link to PA Vegetable Growers Association follows: https://www.pvga.org/
- Governor Wolf issued a Proclamation for July 15-21 as PA Urban Agriculture Week.