Senator John R. Gordner E-Newsletter

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Violence and Delinquency Prevention Webinar and Grant Period Coming Soon 

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, part of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), has announced a webinar for those interested in applying for funding.

On Thursday, January 23, 2020 from Noon until 1:00pm, there will be a webinar to assist interested people with the 2020 Violence and Delinquency Prevention Program’s upcoming grant funding announcement.  The grant period is anticipated to open at the end of January.

Interested parties are encouraged to preregister for the webinar via the following link:  http://www.episcenter.psu.edu/ETI_Home/EBP/2020VDPPWebinar.  The webinar will be recorded and made available at a later date to those unable to participate in it.

I would encourage any person or entity that is engaged in violence or delinquency prevention to sign up for this webinar and prepare to apply for these important grant funds during the upcoming application period.

Anyone looking to be notified when any PCCD grants become available can register at the following link: https://www.pccdegrants.pa.gov/Egrants/Public/Subscribe.aspx

PA Continues to be a Leader in Farm Land Preservation

The PA farm preservation program reports Calendar Year 2019 saw the highest number of farms preserved in a decade.  In December, Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board announced the safeguarding of an additional 2,450 additional acres on 29 farms in 16 counties through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program (ACEPP).  This nation-leading preservation program slows the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. 

According to the state board, in partnership with county boards, a total of 210 farms, representing 17,817 acres of land, were preserved in 2019.  Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,636 farms totaling 577,092 acres in 59 counties for agricultural production.

Farms across the Commonwealth are diversifying the use of their preserved land through such activities as agritourism.  Agritourism includes recreational services such as farm or wine tours, hayrides, and more.  The Senate passed Senate Bill 583 (Aument) unanimously in May to ensure that agritourism activities are considered as part of the agriculture authorized on farms preserved under the program.  The legislation would create uniformity across the Commonwealth, allowing farmers, regardless of their location, to take advantage of the growing popularity of agritourism.

Realty Transfer Tax Exemption Now Available for Preserved Farm Owners

Pennsylvania’s more than 5,600 preserved farm owners would now be eligible to apply for a new realty transfer tax exemption through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill.

In 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed the first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill which included Act 13, which states that realty transfer tax will not be imposed on transfers of real estate that are a part of Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program if the transfer is to a qualified beginning farmer. Qualified beginning farmers are defined as:

  • Someone who has demonstrated experience in the industry or a related field with transferrable skills;
  • Has not received federal gross income from agriculture production for more than ten years;
  • Intends to engage in agricultural production in Pennsylvania; and
  • Has obtained written certification, as a result of an application from the Department of Agriculture confirmed qualified beginning farmer status.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

The 2020 Farm Show Arrives 

The 2020 Farm Show began at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, on Saturday January 4th.  Featuring the popular Farm Show fare, the 104th Farm Show continues until Saturday January 11 at 5pm.  This year, the annual event will showcase the ways visitors can be a part of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry through its theme – Imagine the Opportunities. 

Visitors will experience nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits highlighting Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry and history.  With live shows and live animals, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Consult the schedule to be sure to catch your favorites and everything new, whether it’s cooking and baking contests, tractor square dancing, animal judging, or any of a multitude of events.  Be sure to get all the results, recipes and follow-ups to the Farm Show activities.

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