Agriculture 

Governor's Executive Budget Program Measures


Number of tests conducted by the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Lab System (PADLS) to support access to markets (domestic and international)
This measure reflects all laboratory tests conducted by the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Lab System (PADLS) -- including the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory, New Bolton Center (under University of Pennsylvania) and Animal Diagnostic Laboratory (under Penn State University) regardless of species, disease or purpose. The Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services is responsible for controlling and eradicating diseases in livestock and poultry. This mission is critical since these diseases have the potential to impact human health, disrupt or threaten the food supply and continuity of business, and cause significant economic loss to farmers and the commonwealth. The Bureau has an important role in ensuring that animals can safely move into domestic and international markets for consumption as well as supporting job creation and commerce within animal agriculture, the largest total sector of agriculture in Pennsylvania.
Annual number of farm acres protected through meeting the goal of preserving 200 or more farms each year
This measure reflects the cumulative number of acres preserved per calendar year if the Bureau achieves its goal. Pennsylvania leads the nation in farmland preservation with nearly 6,000 farms and over 600,000 acres that will remain in agriculture in perpetuity. The program remains popular with farm owners, as evidenced by the backlog of farms that have applied to be preserved. Through an investment of federal, state, and local funds and with a goal of preserving at least 200 farms annually, the state will benefit from the open space and viable farmland that is the result of this investment. It is important to note that the average size of a preserved farm is now 80 acres which is down from an average of 120 acres a decade ago.
Number of retail food facility inspections conducted annually to prevent foodborne illnesses
Local health departments continue to forfeit their jurisdiction for retail inspections to the Bureau of Food Safety & Laboratory Services. This strains resources as the number of state-funded staff conducting inspections has remained constant while the number of federally funded staff has decreased. To level resource demands, the Bureau actively cross-trains inspectors across multiple program area requirements and has worked with the FDA to assign facilities risk-based-inspection intervals to focus personnel on the facilities with greatest need. 
The Bureau of Food Safety & Laboratory Services also works in partnership with the PA Department of Health (DOH) to prevent the spread of foodborne illness (DOH receives reports of food borne illness from a variety of sources and relays information to the Department of Agriculture for investigation.)
The table below reflects inspections conducted in retail food facilities. And, inspections driven by COVID-19 transmission mitigation in FY 2020-21 totaled 12,322 which equated to 27% of the total number of retail food facility inspections conducted. These inspections are a key component of the department’s efforts to protect the public health.
Number of retail food safety inspections conducted per food inspector
The number of retail food facility inspections continues to increase due to local health departments turning over their jurisdictions to the state and remains the largest body of work carried out by our inspectors. Approximately 76% of the inspections are retail food facility inspections. The remaining 34% are inspections conducted at wholesale, manufactured food, and dairy facilities.
Funding through grant programs which previously enabled the Bureau of Food Safety & Laboratory Services to add three food inspector positions has decreased resulting in only maintaining one additional food inspector position.
This decrease of inspectors will result in higher numbers of retail food facility inspections, per inspector, during FY 2021-22, this number is expected to continue to increase unless additional staff resources are funded. The department continues to pursue LEAN process improvement initiatives and will likely gain efficiencies as a result.
Dollar value of Pennsylvania food and agricultural exports, excluding hardwoods, due to growth in the department’s international trade related activities
Pennsylvania agricultural exports increased in FY 2020-21 in line with USDA projections that international trade would reach $157 billion. Global economic events such as strong value of the U.S. dollar, retaliatory tariffs issued by key export partners, and ongoing trade agreement negotiations with China, Europe/UK, and Japan, among others, have increased uncertainty in global markets. Factors to consider are continued supply chain and labor concerns. Even with these concerns, trends and experts are predicting exports to continue to rise.
Percentage of plant industry businesses licensed in compliance with the Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Order through execution and receipt of a quarantine zone travel compliance permit.
A Quarantine Order was published to create safe commerce through travel compliance permits issued to businesses, agencies or organizations moving goods, vehicles or equipment in or out of a spotted lanternfly quarantine zone. The securing of a permit or compliance agreement means that the business or organization has received training on how to avoid the spread of the invasive species and is partnering in the effort to contain the pest within the quarantine zone. In FY 18/19, the Bureau of Plant Industry registered 25,056 plant industry businesses; 6,151 were in the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone. In 2020, the quarantine area nearly doubled, adding an additional 12 counties. Quarantine expansion is expected to continue, increasing the number of businesses required to hold a spotted lanternfly permit. This outcome measure shows the percentage of those quarantine area businesses that have a Spotted Lanternfly permit or compliance agreement. (Only those businesses who move equipment or product within or out of the quarantine area are required to have a permit.)
Number of permits issued to persons wishing to grow hemp
Legal hemp production in Pennsylvania was facilitated by the 2018 federal Farm Bill. The purpose of this measure is to demonstrate the acceptance of the Pennsylvania program by hemp growers for permitted hemp growing in the commonwealth. Growth in the number of hemp production permits is limited by hemp processing capacity, a sector which continues to develop across the United States.
Number of trained and accredited agricultural consultants, agricultural support service personnel and municipal staff
Nutrient and Odor Management Specialist and Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker training programs provide opportunity for individuals in the agricultural consulting and agricultural support to meet mandated environmental protection requirements pertaining to non-point source pollution. Data was only available for 2017-18 through 2019-20. Another training program implemented under the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road maintenance program, qualifies local municipalities to receive funding for implementation of environmentally sensitive maintenance practices on local roads to reduce road-based, non-point source pollution. Many FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 training events for the noted programs were impacted by COVID19 restrictions resulting in cancellation of events or rescheduling later in the 2020 calendar years. Several training events were reformatted into a virtual format and implemented as scheduled and are reflected in the FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 measure.
Number of training hours provided to accredited agricultural consultants, agricultural support service personnel and municipal staff
Training and continuing education hours provides education on Nutrient and Odor Management Specialist and Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker programs, the Dirt, Gravel and Low-Volume Road maintenance program, and environmentally sensitive maintenance practices on local roads in an effort to reduce road-based, nonpoint source pollution. Many FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 training events for the noted programs were impacted by COVID-19 restrictions resulting in cancellation of events or rescheduling later in the 2020 and calendar years. Several training events were reformatted into a virtual format and implemented as scheduled and reflected in the FY2019-20 and FY 2020-21 measure.
Number of farm acres covered by approved Nutrient Management Plans
Pennsylvania is the main contributor of fresh water (approximately 50%) to the Chesapeake Bay, and proactively works with producers to manage on-farm nutrients to match them to crop needs. More than 270,000 farm acres in Pennsylvania are covered by nutrient management plans, ensuring that best management practices are used when collecting, storing and applying manure and other nutrients, thereby protecting our natural resources and those communities located downstream.
As additional efforts are implemented to meet the state's Watershed Implementation Plan Phase III, growth in the number of farm acres covered by Nutrient Management Plans is expected to increase.
Number of weights and measures device and system inspections
This measure reflects the combined number of weights and measures device inspections by staff, county and city sealer programs and Certified Examiners of Weights and Measures (CEWMs). By law, devices are required to be inspected at intervals no greater than 12 to 18 months (depending on the device type). As businesses continue to multiply and more weighing and measuring devices are added, this measure is expected to increase year over year.
Percentage of weighing and measuring devices inspected within their approved time interval
The measure reflects the compliance rate achieved by the Division of Weights and Measures in meeting its statutory inspection requirements (based on individual device allowable inspection intervals and number of inspections conducted by the state inspectors). As county and city sealer programs continue to return this inspection responsibility back to the state, and more stations containing fuel pumps continue to open, it becomes difficult to achieve the level of desired compliance. Devices included in this measure are retail fuel pumps, liquid propane gas meters, vehicle tank meters, large capacity scales and small capacity scales.
Number of Best Management Practices implemented as a result of the Resource Enhancement and Protection program (REAP)
In FY 2020-21, the PA Farm Bill provided an annual allocation of $13.0 million for REAP tax credits and an annual allocation of $2.0 million for CEG grant funds. These allocations supported the installation of over 515 best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural operations in Pennsylvania. 2019 changes to the REAP program - increasing the tax credit limits per eligible applicant to $250,000 and reducing the applicant ‘renewal’ eligibility to 7 years - allowed eligible applicants additional tax credit availability over a longer period of time. This enables further participation of REAP program applicants in subsequent program years. The CEG Program, a new financial assistance program for implementation of BMPs in high priority locations in Pennsylvania, provides up to $250,000 per eligible application for the implementation of BMPs. The CEG Program coupled with REAP tax credits can significantly reduce an agricultural operation’s cost for BMP implementation. Increasing costs for implementation of BMPs and the overall rate of inflation, will continue to impact BMP implementation lower than projections. Implementation of agricultural BMPs will help to manage storm water impact on local streams, improving local water quality and improving agricultural productivity and economic viability of agricultural operations.
Number of preserved farms with a transition, succession, or business plan
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center, created by the PA Farm Bill, will serve as a resource to help every farmer create a business plan, transition plan, or succession plan to ensure the best chance of success. As the national leader in farmland preservation, the department would like to help to ensure that this land will remain in agriculture. 2019-20 served as the baseline year for the Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program.  
Percent increase in the number of certified or transitioning to certified organic operations in Pennsylvania.
The PA Preferred Organic Initiative is designed to make Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state by further enhancing the growth of the organic industry. The consumer demand for organic commodities and food products has been growing exponentially since enactment of the National Organic Program in 1990. Within Pennsylvania, demand growth has centered largely in urban areas, and until recently, focused largely on fresh produce. 2019-20 served as the baseline year for this new program. 
Percent increase in the number of people participating as gardeners and/or volunteers in the funded programs
The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program, implemented in 2019-20, provides funding in the form of a reimbursement grant to eligible applicants seeking to improve urban agriculture infrastructure in Pennsylvania. These grants will build out the infrastructure of urban agriculture by investing in systems, filling gaps, encouraging entities to work together, finding ways to bring operations to a greater scale, overcoming food deserts, and opening opportunities for people to become social entrepreneurs. 2019-20 served as the baseline year for this program.
Percent increase in the number of youths benefitting from an Ag and Youth Development grant-funded educational opportunity
The Agriculture and Youth Development Grant Program was included in the PA Farm Bill as a means to provide grants to agriculture and youth organizations for the purpose of providing workforce development and educational opportunities. Currently, seventeen percent of school-aged children in Pennsylvania participate in either FFA or 4-H.  Expanding opportunities for additional youth to benefit from exposure to opportunities in agriculture or to build upon existing infrastructure will ensure that Pennsylvania can continue to remain economically viable in the future. 
Percent increase in the number of members of the Farmer Veterans Coalition Homegrown By Heroes Program who become members of the PA Preferred® Homegrown By Heroes Program as a result of targeted outreach 
The Farmer Veterans Coalition’s Homegrown by Heroes Program helps to connect veterans of the U.S. military who are now serving the agriculture industry with consumers by providing a label that differentiates veteran produced products in competitive markets. The PA Farm Bill made an additional investment in this program enabling the Department to conduct additional outreach to Pennsylvania’s farmer veterans. Our goal is to enroll 75 percent of the Farmer Veterans Coalition’s Homegrown By Heroes program in a given year in the PA Preferred® Homegrown By Heroes program, thus providing consumers with an additional way to show their support for both those that serve our country and those that feed us.
Number of youth events held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center annually
The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center serves as host to various youth events throughout the year which provides an opportunity to showcase skills, knowledge and abilities while gaining exposure from industry experts providing future opportunities for careers in agriculture and related industries. This measure is calculated by taking the total number of events hosted annually divided by the events market segment divided by event demographics. This measure experienced a decline in FY 2020-21 due to the cancellation of shows and events beginning in March of 2020.
Annual percentage completion of required regulatory inspections conducted by the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services
With millions of livestock and poultry in Pennsylvania, maintaining a consistent level of inspections for all required routine or regulatory inspections conducted by the Bureau of Animal Health & Diagnostic Services is critical. The bureau has a presence throughout the state with Veterinary Medical Field Officers and Domestic Animal Health Inspectors. These staff work closely with the farming and non-farming public on issues ranging from suspected rabies cases to farm-based animal health questions.
Dollar value of the economic impact of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center (in millions)
Under the guidance of the Farm Show Commission, the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center hosts more than 80 events per year. In addition to its core agricultural events, the Complex is the perfect venue for trade shows, conferences, meetings and activities. With 1 million square feet under roof and 60 acres of parking, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center is also a vital part of the economic development of the greater Harrisburg area. Visit Hershey Harrisburg Visitor’s Bureau annually produces economic impact calculations for the major events that are conducted at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. Utilizing those numbers to gage the positive or negative impact of events allow the Complex to make better choices when recruiting shows and events.  Existing impact numbers reflect the show schedule for calendar year 2020. Therefore, future years may permit us to host additional shows which will have a positive effect on our economic impact number.
Percentage of dogs licensed compared to the estimated total dog population in Pennsylvania
Dog license sales in Pennsylvania fund the activities carried out by the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to protect the public's health and safety. The percentage of dogs licensed based upon the estimated dog population should continue to increase mostly due to the high demand for lifetime licenses and strong emphasis on outreach efforts. A 2% increase in the out years is expected due to continued licensing outreach. The estimated dog population is configured using a formula developed by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy and is then compared to the actual dog licenses sold to get the estimated percentage of dogs licensed each year.
Decreases in CY 2018 and 2020 are due to changes in data sources, primarily the census as well as the COVID -9 impact. The department is expecting to realize a small increase in CY 2021 due to rebound from pandemic and extra media attention on dog licensing and legislation.
Pounds of food distributed annually through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System
The PASS program helps to support both Pennsylvania's agricultural industry statewide and the non-profit sector responsible for getting more nutritious food into the hands of Pennsylvanians at risk of hunger. PASS provides an efficient mechanism for Pennsylvania's agricultural industry to donate safe, wholesome food products while being reimbursed for the costs involved in harvesting, processing, packaging, and transporting these foods. In FY 2019-20, with $1.5 million in funding, program efforts were focused on expanding the types of products and the numbers of agriculturalists participating in the program vs. focusing exclusively on the total number of pounds. In FY 2020-21, as a result of $10 million in funding provided by the General Assembly from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for PASS in addition to the regular, annual appropriation, pounds secured for PASS grew significantly, allowing the program to support both a significant number of Pennsylvania producers and low-income food recipients. In FY 2021-22, with $2.5 million in funding, we expect the pounds of food sourced through the program to return to more stable levels.
Number of producers from whom product is sourced annually for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS)
In FY 2019-20, program efforts were focused on expanding the numbers of agriculturalists participating in the program. Those efforts resulted in products being sourced from an additional 13 producers. In FY 2020-21, as a result of $10 million in funding provided by the General Assembly from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for PASS in addition to $1.5 million in regular, annual appropriation, the number of PASS vendors grew by 24 as we identified additional sources to provide food for this program. With $2.5 million in annual appropriations provided for FY 2021-22, we anticipate continuing to grow to total number of Pennsylvania producers from whom we are sourcing products.
Dollar value of Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers redeemed
Only farmers authorized by the department may accept and redeem FMMP checks. Recipients are given a list of participating farmers and farmers’ markets when they receive their checks. In August 2019, the department launched an app called the FMNP Market Locater to allow recipients to find the nearest participating location where they can then use the checks. In addition to the benefit the FMNP program provides to recipients, it also helps to increase the consumption of Pennsylvania-grown agricultural commodities.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, limitations in being able to distribute FMNP vouchers in person, and hesitation by recipients to venture out to markets, redemption of vouchers fell in FY 2020-21.
Dollar value of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers redeemed
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides WIC recipients with fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from approved farmers, farmers' markets or roadside stands in Pennsylvania. Program efforts are focused on increasing the total numbers of FMNP checks redeemed. Only farmers authorized by the department may accept and redeem FMMP checks. Recipients are given a list of participating farmers and farmers’ markets when they receive their checks. In August 2019, the department launched an app called the FMNP Market Locater to allow recipients to find the nearest participating location where they can then use the checks. In addition to the benefit the FMNP program provides to recipients, it also helps to increase the consumption of Pennsylvania-grown agricultural commodities.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, limitations in being able to distribute FMNP vouchers in person, and hesitation by recipients to venture out to markets, redemption of vouchers fell in FY 2020-21.