How to make farming more stable? The Pa. Senate has 7 ideas.

A group of state Senators touts passage of a package of bills aimed at helping farmers. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

A group of state Senators touts passage of a package of bills aimed at helping farmers. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

This article appeared on PA Post.

The state Senate has passed a package of bills aimed at helping Pennsylvania’s farmers turn a profit in a changing industry.

Senate Republican Leader Jake Corman said the chamber is trying to acknowledging a basic reality.

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“The young people are not going into it at the level they used to, so it’s a very aging industry,” he said. “And profitability issues. One of the reasons why young people aren’t going into it is, they can’t make a dollar, can’t make a living.”

One of the proposed bills would give tax credits to beginning farmers.

Two are aimed at helping farmers bring in tourist revenue–one would allow them to set up tourist attractions on preserved farmland, and the other would remove some safety requirements for barn weddings.

Another would let milk haulers drive during weather emergencies. One would let bigger farm vehicles on roads. Others create a dairy policy commission and try to make it easier to hand down land.

Governor Tom Wolf has also pitched a farm plan, which includes some financial investment.

Senator GOP Leader Jake Corman said he’s not focused on it yet.

“When we get some details about his proposal, we’d be happy to address them,” he said. “If they’re good for agriculture, we’re going to support them.”

A spokesman for Governor Tom Wolf said he’s open to working on most of the Senate’s measures, but opposes letting milk trucks on roads during emergencies.

PA Post is a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization that connects Pennsylvanians with accountability and deep-dive reporting.

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