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Proposals on Key Issues Affecting Ag Being Accepted
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 01/03/2018

Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that more than $860,000 in grant funding is now available to researchers interested in finding solutions to some of the most pressing and persistent problems confronting the commonwealth's farms and farmers.

"Sound research is important to the future of agriculture," said Redding. "There are a host of challenges and emerging threats that could undermine our ability to grow the food upon which we and our economy depend. Some of these are natural threats, others are the result of a changing marketplace. With better knowledge comes a better understanding of how we can address these real and potential impediments to our continued prosperity."

Redding said a formal solicitation was published in the PA Bulletin. The full solicitation, he explained, details areas prioritized for funding during this grant cycle, as well as format requirements for each grant application.

Among the topics prioritized for funding this year are research into the spotted lanternfly; new methods and technologies for cost-effectively reducing nutrient loads to Pennsylvania's waterways; and the efficacy of various avian vaccinations. Other areas of focus include research into production agriculture's ability to access capital, farm safety, and the public return on investment of farmland preservation.

The department will also offer micro-grants to research and support the development of micro-credentials or badges that teach specific workforce development skills; solutions to practical problems of hydroponic and aquaponic operations; and remedies to challenges common in urban agricultural operations.

In total, the Department of Agriculture received more than $1.2 million for agriculture research in the state's fiscal year 2017-18 budget. The more than $860,000 available for these projects represents the balance of funding not dedicated to research projects involving animal agriculture. Nearly $430,000 was made available for animal research projects through the state's Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission earlier this year.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 4 p.m. on Jan. 26. All proposals will be scored competitively to determine the final grant recipients.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, visit

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