DuBois Weather

On Air Now

Zach Gelb
6:00pm - 10:00pm

Dept of Ag highlights $1.6 million investment in Farm Vitality Grant program

Mifflintown, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured Juniata County Reinford dairy farm recently to highlight more than $1.6 million invested by the Wolf Administration in on-farm business plans and future generations of Pennsylvania farmers through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Farm Vitality Grant Program. The Farm Vitality Program aims to enhance the long-term economic vitality of Pennsylvania farms by funding transition and business planning services.

“Family farms are the life blood of Pennsylvania’s economy,” Redding said. “Farms are business operations with unique needs. As we plan for the seasons ahead, we must also plan for the generations to come. Farm Vitality Grants seed the planning that feeds our future.”

Steve and Gina Reinford, Juniata County dairy farmers, received a $7,500 Farm Vitality grant in 2019 to support succession planning services they needed to transition the 1,200-acre Mifflintown farm to their three sons, Brett, Drew, and Chad. In 2020, the family received an additional $7,500 Farm Vitality Grant to develop a regenerative farm business plan in partnership with TeamAg, an agricultural engineering and consulting partnership that helps farmers improve their farms’ environmental and economic performance. The business plan will continue growing the farm’s regenerative agriculture practices and strengthening their productivity.

The Reinford family is one of more than 200 grantees in 46 counties to be awarded Farm Vitality funding. Since 2019, the program has invested more than $1.6 million to help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. It aims to enhance the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production, and financial and technical expertise.

Farmers and prospective farmers are eligible for up to $7,500, which can cover no more than 75% of the project cost. Applications for grants will remain open until all funds are exhausted, more than $300,000 remains available.

March 22 was National Ag Day. Honoring the day and its theme—Growing a Climate for Tomorrow—Redding also visited East Juniata Junior-Senior High School to tour their greenhouse, tractor restoration area, and chestnut tree project. Redding also visited with Dave Graybill of Red Sunset Farm in Mifflintown, 2021 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner.

Farmers interested in applying for the Farm Vitality Grant Program should apply online; questions can be directed to Morgan Sheffield at 717-787-3568 or msheffield@pa.gov.

For more about the Wolf Administration’s investments in growing opportunities and resources for Pennsylvania agriculture through the PA Farm Bill, visit agriculture.pa.gov.