State’s Top Industry Sees Budget Investments
State’s Top Industry Sees Budget Investments

Helping to ensure that agriculture remains one of Pennsylvania’s top industries and continues to help feed the world, the 2018-19 state budget made several critical investments to address the industry’s most pressing challenges.

To assist dairy farmers who are battling a changing market, $5 million will help with research and development programs, along with grants for sustaining the viability of their operations. Pennsylvania dairy farming supports 52,000 jobs and contributes $14.7 billion to the state’s economy. To find out if the dairy products you purchase are made in Pennsylvania, click here.

Another $3 million will be directed to help combat the spotted lanternfly, an inch-long black, red and white spotted insect native to Southeast Asia that threatens to destroy $18 billion worth of agricultural commodities, mainly apples, grapes and hardwoods. This funding will help increase detection and control efforts, and coordinate multi-agency response, outreach and training.

Several ag line items were also restored or increased in this year’s budget, including agricultural excellence; agricultural research; agricultural promotion, education and exports; hardwoods research and promotion; Livestock and Open Dairy shows; state food purchase; and food marketing and research.

More information can be found here.
Detour for Structure Replacement on Wallis Run Road in Lycoming County Begins Next Week
On Monday, July 23, State Route 1003 (Wallis Run Road) will be closed for a box culvert project about 2 miles south of Kellyburg in Cascade Township, Lycoming County.

This project includes replacing the pipe carrying Brewer Run with a precast concrete box culvert.

Work also includes roadway reconstruction, stream channel restoration and scour protection, pavement markings and guide rail upgrades.

A detour will be in place from Monday, July 23, to mid-August. The detour uses State Route 1006 (Kellyburg Road), State Route 1008/Route1001 (Rose Valley Road) and State Route 1004 (Beech Valley Road/Southard Road).

Work is expected to be completed in early-September, weather permitting.
2018 Pennsylvania Fair Guides Now Available
Fair season has started! If you’re looking to visit one of the state’s many fairs and festivals this summer, the 2018 Pennsylvania Fair Guide is now available online here.
Published by the state Department of Agriculture, the guide lists the dates, locations and contact persons for more than 100 agriculture fairs and events scheduled this summer and fall in Pennsylvania.

The guide also highlights 16 fairs that offer live harness racing as part of one of the nation’s leading fair-racing programs.

Copies are also available at my district office.
Ag Progress Days Hosts Fun, Education for All Ages

One of the largest outdoor agricultural expositions will draw more than 45,000 people to central Pennsylvania Aug. 14-16 to learn more about the science and business of agriculture production during the annual Ag Progress Days near State College.

Sponsored by Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the event attracts nearly 500 exhibitors from 34 states and Canada, with more than 60 percent directly or indirectly involved in ag production.

In addition to the exhibits and trade show, attendees can participate in crop displays, machinery demonstrations, guided research tours, family and youth activities, horse exhibitions and workshops.

While there, the House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees will receive an update on the overall status of the agricultural industry on Aug. 15.
No admission fee is charged, and parking is free. For more information, visit this website.
PennDOT Offers Winter Maintenance Jobs

Individuals seeking seasonal employment are encouraged to apply for a variety of winter maintenance positions now open through PennDOT.

The program runs from September through April, and includes positions for transportation equipment operators, diesel and construction equipment mechanics, automotive mechanics, tradesman helpers, clerks, clerk typists, stock clerks, welders, semi-skilled laborers and custodial workers.

Individuals in these positions supplement the permanent workforce and have the potential to lead to permanent full-time employment. Additional details about the positions, along with the job application, are available at Click on “Open Jobs” and then go to “PennDOT Winter Program.”