Senate Approves Package of Bills Protecting Pennsylvania Farmers

HARRISBURG — The Senate approved three measures today that would protect dairy farmers and promote agritourism activities in Pennsylvania, according to Senator Ryan Aument (R-36).

Senate Bill 819 would ensure agritourism activities – such as farm tours, hay rides and corn mazes – are authorized on farms that are part of the state’s farmland preservation program.

In current practice, some county farmland preservation boards prohibit farm owners from offering agritourism activities. Aument’s bill would set a uniform standard across the state, allowing farmers to take advantage of the growing popularity of agritourism, regardless of their location.

“More farmers are turning to agritourism as a way to supplement farm income, and these kind of events provide a mutual benefit to the community,” Aument said. “My goal is to provide uniformity and certainty about the laws governing these activities and protect farm owners who want to host these types of educational and entertaining events.”

The Senate also approved two resolutions designed to protect the dairy industry.

Senate Resolution 382 urges the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent misleading labeling of non-dairy products. Senate Resolution 384 would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study and issue a report making recommendations for initiatives to assist dairy producers in this Commonwealth.

“The dairy industry supports 52,000 jobs and contributes $14.7 billion to the state’s economy,” Aument said. “We need to explore every avenue to support our dairy farmers so they can continue to help meet the nutritional needs of millions of state residents.”

Aument introduced Senate Bill 819 and Senate Resolution 382 and was a cosponsor of Senate Resolution 384. Aument also announced plans to introduce a resolution this week designating the month of June as “Dairy Month” in Pennsylvania.


CONTACT:  Jake Smeltz (717) 787-4420