Sen. Yaw: Senate Agriculture Committee Approves Two “Farming First” Measures

HARRISBURG – The state Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee today approved two bills included in the “Farming First” legislative package that will help promote and support Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, according to Committee Vice-Chairman Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).

Senate Bill 583 ensures that agritourism activities are considered and treated as part of agriculture authorized on farms preserved under the state farmland preservation program.

Senate Bill 585 establishes the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission to review the current status of the dairy industry in the Commonwealth and make recommendations on how to support its future.

“Agriculture is a very important industry and key employer across Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties,” Sen. Yaw said.  “Passage of these bills are a part of our efforts to help maintain the viability and profitability of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry now and for years to come.”

Senate Bills 583 and 585 now go to the full Senate for consideration.

In addition to Senate Bills 583 and 585, the other bills in the “Farming First” package, sponsored by Senate Republicans, include:

  • Changes to the state’s farmland preservation program to allow farmers more flexibility for building or subdividing residences. Senate Bill 145, sponsored by Senator Yaw.
  • Updating Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code to allow the transportation of large farm equipment. Senate Bill 338, sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc (R-35).
  • A tax credit program for landowners to lease or sell farmland to future generations of farmers. Senate Bill 478, sponsored by Senator Vogel.
  • Exempting milk haulers from weather-related travel bans. Senate Bill 588, sponsored by Senator Judy Ward (R-30).
  • Setting commonsense safety standards and removing costly requirements for barn weddings and other social events on farms. Senate Bill 453, sponsored by Senator Judy Ward.

More information on the “Farming First” legislative package and other state-related news and information can be found at Senator Yaw’s website, or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.


Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff
(717) 787-3280

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