WEST CHESTER (November 8, 2019) –State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that $460,000 in new state funding is now available to enhance the market for and competitiveness of crops, including hemp, in Pennsylvania.

“Innovative Pennsylvania crops require innovative investments,” Dinniman, who serves on Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee, said. “With this new grant funding, we’re actively supporting farmers in developing sustainable, high-priority crops that have the potential to grow businesses and make a long-term impact on our economy.”

The funding, which comes through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program, is available to fund specialty crops not eligible under the federal specialty crop grant program, and those designated as high priority crops because of their growth potential: hemp, hops, hardwoods, honey; and barley, rye and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting.

The program was made possible by the PA Farm Bill, which Dinniman supported and voted for.

Eligible projects enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of specialty crops, such as:

  • Research to increase conservation and environmental outcomes.
  • Enhancing food safety.
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties.
  • Improving pest and disease control.

A percentage of funds will be designated to projects in rural communities with at least 20 percent of the population below the federal poverty line.

A summary of eligibility and potential uses of funding can be found at agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bill focuses on investments to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and inspire future generations of agriculture leaders.