Gov. Wolf’s Vision For Longtime Prosperity for Pennsylvania Agriculture Comes to Fruition

first_imgGov. Wolf’s Vision For Longtime Prosperity for Pennsylvania Agriculture Comes to Fruition SHARE Email Facebook Twitter July 01, 2019center_img Bill Signing,  Budget News,  Environment,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s vision of a path to longtime prosperity for Pennsylvania agriculture came to fruition with the signing into law of new legislation establishing the Pennsylvania Farm Bill. The PA Farm Bill will make $23.1 million in strategic investments into the agriculture industry to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and cultivate future generations of leaders within agriculture.“The agricultural industry is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy. The PA Farm Bill is bold, aggressive, and necessary to protect our farming heritage and inspire the next generation of Pennsylvania farmers,” said Gov. Wolf. “Our commonwealth flourishes when Pennsylvanians have access to high-quality, locally sourced products – and when our farmers are competitive in a diverse range of markets. The historic investments made through the PA Farm Bill will improve the lives of all residents for years to come and create a pathway for a dynamic and prosperous farming economy in Pennsylvania.”The PA Farm Bill will provide support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry, was modeled after Gov. Wolf’s six-point plan, which he first presented publicly last August at Ag Progress Days.“In my 20 years of public service, this is the largest investment I’ve ever seen made in Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Thanks to Governor Wolf, this is the beginning of a new era of opportunities for our state’s top industry, and we’re proud to be here to witness it.”The PA Farm Bill will:Develop New Resources for Agriculture Business Development and Succession Planning• Invest $2 million to create the Agriculture Business Development Center to support business planning, marketing, diversification, and transition planning services to Pennsylvania farmers.• Create a realty transfer tax exemption for any transfer of preserved farmland to a qualified beginning farmer.• Provide for the construction and use of a residence for the landowner or an employee and provides for the subdivision of preserved farmlands.Increase Opportunities for Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Workforce• Create the PA Farm to School Grant Program, funded at $500,000, for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students to support increased nutrition and agriculture education.• Re-establish the Agriculture and Youth Development grant program with an investment of $500,000 to support workforce development initiatives for agriculture and youth organizations such as FFA and 4-H.Remove Regulatory Burdens and Strengthen the State’s Agricultural Business Climate• Expand the allowable width for use of implements of agriculture husbandry from 16 feet to 18 feet.• Allocate $500,000 to the Agriculture Linked Investment Program to provide low-interest loans for conservation practices.• Support the Conservation Excellence Grant program with $2.5 million to fund best management practices in priority areas of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.• Expand Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credits by $3 million to raise the lifetime cap and increase availability.Create More Processing Capabilities• Expand Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program, funded at $5 million, to support innovation, value-added processing, marketing, and organic transitions in the dairy industry.• Utilize $500,000 to incentivize access to meat processing inspections for small farmers or butchers to reimburse costs for federal inspection compliance to access new markets.• Invest $1 million to create the Center for Animal Agriculture Excellence, which will assist with expanding processing capacity, providing technical assistance and resources for food safety compliance and establishing hemp as an approved animal feed.Increase Market Opportunities and Grow the Organic Sector• Invest $500,000 to support a state-level Specialty Crop Block Grant program to invest in priority crops for Pennsylvania, such as hardwoods, hemp, and hops.• Bolster enrollment in the Homegrown by Heroes Program by providing an additional $1 million to the PA Preferred program.• Improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas by investing $500,000 in the Urban Agricultural Infrastructure Grant Program.• Direct $1.6 million in funding to support PA Preferred and create the PA Preferred Organic Initiative to enhance the growth of the organic sector.Protect Agriculture Infrastructure• Continue the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly and create the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account, funded at $4 million, to provide a quick response to the next agricultural disaster, whether animal health, plant health, or foodborne illness.last_img read more

IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour has Memorial Day opener, new title sponsor in Arnold Motor Supply

first_imgVINTON, Iowa ­(Feb. 8) – IMCA’s Hawkeye Dirt Tour will have a new title sponsor when the series opens on Memorial Day at Benton County Speedway.Arnold Motor Supply has signed on as sponsor of the eighth annual Modified tour and will provide a portion of $5,650 point funds to be paid each of the next three seasons. The champion takes home $1,000 along with a Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite Pellet Grill, valued at $700, courtesy of Arnold Motor Supply, the Spencer-based auto parts supplier.Nine dates, all paying a minimum of $1,000 to win and $150 to start, are on the 2017 schedule and are qualifying events for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.The Monday, May 29 event marks the sixth occasion the tour has opened at Vinton, where the first-ever IMCA Modified event was held in 1979.The Miller Lite 30 date June 6 at Marshalltown Speedway and the June 13 show at West Liberty Raceway are part of midweek doubleheaders with the Deery Brothers Summer Se­ries for IMCA Late Models.Hancock County Speedway at Britt hosts the June 27 Salute to Veterans program. The tour is at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa on July 19 and then at Knoxville Raceway along with Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods for the July 20 Dirt Duel.Next up is the county fair show at Dubuque Speedway on July 25. Concluding the series are dates Aug. 7 at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer and Aug. 9 at Buena Vista Raceway in Alta.Joel Rust, Justin Kay, Corey Dripps and Hunter Marriott were all double winners over the course of the 2016 Hawkeye Dirt Tour but it was Chris Abelson who saw the long tows from his home in Sioux City pay off with the series championship.Abelson became the seventh different HDT champion in as many seasons.There will be no change in procedures for the upcoming tour and entry fee at all events remains $50.“We have never experienced a repeat champion and went quite a few races without a repeat winner before last season,” IMCA President Brett Root said. “The quality and competitiveness of the Modified division in the State of Iowa is obvious in the number of different Hawkeye Dirt Tour champions and feature winners.”“Having Arnold Motor Supply, which has a store or machine shop in nearly every town on the schedule, as title sponsor will help market the tour to racers and race fans,” he added.Top 10 point fund amounts will be paid in their entirety to drivers with perfect tour attendance and also include $900 for second, $800 for third, $700 for fourth, $600 for fifth, $500 for sixth, $400 for seventh, $300 for eighth, $250 for ninth and $200 for 10th. The tour champion must also attend the national banquet in November to receive their full point fund share and grill.2017 Arnold Motor Supply IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour schedule – Monday, May 29 at Benton County Speedway, Vinton; Tuesday, June 6 at Marshalltown Speedway; Tuesday, June 13 at West Liberty Raceway; Tuesday, June 27 at Hancock County Speedway, Britt; Wednesday, July 19 at Southern Iowa Speedway, Oskaloosa; Thursday, July 20 at Knoxville Raceway; Tuesday, July 25 at Dubuque Speedway; Monday, Aug. 7 at Clay County Fair Speedway, Spencer; Wednes­day, Aug. 9 at Buena Vista Raceway, Alta.last_img read more

Customs strikes causes airport havoc more strikes to come

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Families and travellers planning a Labour Day getaway may need to plan ahead for flight disruptions, as Qantas workers prepare for a one hour strike on Friday 30 September.On one of the busiest weekends of the year, the carrier has confirmed that up to 3,800 baggage handlers, ground staff and other employees will walk off the job in a strike lead by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) against pay disputes.The news comes a week after the group of employees held industrial action for up to four hours, causing the cancellation of up to 28 flights and delays on 27 others.TWU informed Qantas yesterday afternoon that a further 50 union delegates will hold a two-hour stop work meeting on 29 September.Qantas group executive Olivia Wirth said the carrier was organising a contingency plan to minimise disruptions to passengers.Among the adjustments in place to avoid major flight disruptions, the Group said they would increase capacity out of Auckland this weekend to ensure travellers heading to Sydney for the NRL Grand Final Premiership arrive on time for the game.From Saturday 1 October, Qantas will add an extra two Boeing 737-400 between the two cities, flying from Auckland on the Saturday at 10.00am and flying out of Sydney on 3 October at 11.45am.While four A330s will fly on 1 October from Sydney to Auckland at 12.30pm and return from Auckland on the same day at 7.50pm, while on the 3 October a service will run from Sydney at 12.45pm to Auckland and return from the NZ city at 7.10p. “This is one of our busiest weekends of the year with tens of thousands of people travelling around Australia for the football and for the school holidays on Friday alone,” Ms Wirth stated. “The union knows this and they are trying to cause maximum disruptions to passengers.“These strikes hold passengers to ransom but don’t help the TWU get any closer to an agreement. “We call on the union to call off the strike and return to the negotiating table.” Ms Wirth explained that the two groups had been in discussion over pay since May this year and were unable to reach an agreement because the 15 percent pay rise over the next three years is not a sustainable figure for the “current economic climate”.“We value our staff and we are a generous employer,” she added. “We are willing to negotiate on reasonable pay increases.”While some passengers face disruptions over the long weekend, others may also find themselves held up tomorrow as the Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association announced a one hour work stoppage in Sydney tomorrow and in Melbourne on Friday.“Over the past month, more than 20,000 people have had their flights cancelled or delayed as a result of the industrial action by the engineers’ union and the TWU,” Ms Wirth noted. “This is a coordinated campaign by three unions, with the pilots’ union, the licensed aircraft maintenance engineers’ union and the TWU all taking some form of industrial action over this period.” Meanwhile, travellers arriving into Australia today were forced to wait in long queues at international airports as Customs staff walked off the job for up to two hours from 7.00am.Up to 3000 workers pitched for better pay and working conditions this morning in a Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) organised strike.Flying into Sydney this morning from Los Angeles, Simon Lister told the Sydney Morning Herald that he was forced to wait in line for more than an hour after exiting his flight.“It was chaos in there,” Mr Lister said.“A lot of people who were queuing were getting irate and staff were getting irate too, they were getting very angry and pushing a lot of people out of the way.”Other arrivals said there was a lot of “pushing and shoving” as people became more emotional during the long wait.Although staff have returned to their posts, arrivals into Sydney and Cairns airport can expect delays this coming Thursday and Saturday as customs staff hold further strikes. last_img read more