(HARRISBURG) – The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) that would establish a Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission. The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Under Senate Bill 585, the commission would be responsible for reviewing the status of the dairy industry in the Commonwealth and making recommendations on supporting dairy’s future in Pennsylvania.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that government regulations and policies do not stand in the way of current and future generations of farmers being able to run their businesses successfully,” Corman said. “The Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission is will identify how the state can better promote, support and strengthen the dairy industry in Pennsylvania.”
Membership on the commission would include the chairs and minority chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees, appointments by the Senate, House and Governor, Secretaries of various state agencies, and representatives of the Farm Bureau, the Center for Dairy Excellence, the Milk Marketing Board, the Center for Rural PA and the Pennsylvania State University.
Corman noted that Pennsylvania dairy farming is one of the most important parts of Pennsylvania’s agriculture economy, supporting 52,000 jobs and contributing $14.7 billion to the state’s economy. However, challenging market conditions have created a serious threat to the livelihood of many dairy farmers. The USDA reported that Pennsylvania lost 370 dairy farms in 2018. The number of dairy cows in the state decreased by 25,000 head.
“Agriculture is not only an important contributor to our Commonwealth’s economy, but also an important part of our heritage,” Corman said. “We must respond as a Commonwealth by taking a comprehensive look at the industry and the implementation of a wide-ranging plan that will provide results.”
Corman’s bill is part of a seven-bill “Farming First” package Senate Republicans introduced to help Pennsylvania agricultural operations remain competitive and profitable for current and future generations of farmers. For more information on package, go to www.senatorcorman.com
CONTACT: Jenn Kocher – 717-787-1377 or firstname.lastname@example.org