A projected workforce deficit in Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry in the coming decade has sparked the state’s approval of $500,000 in grants to fund Pennsylvania’s Ag and Youth Grant Program. The grants, part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, will fund 55 projects in 25 counties that aim to improve access to agriculture education in the commonwealth.
According to Gov. Wolf’s office, over the next 10 years, the state will reach a shortage of 75,000 agriculture workers.
“This $500,000 is the seed to tomorrow’s bountiful future for Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Gov. Wolf of the grants, adding that the funds will help train future entrepreneurs, scientists and agribusiness owners.
Eligible projects funded by the grants included those that are for education or workforce development seminars or field trips; agricultural safety training programs; and capital projects or equipment.
“All youth should have access to the same opportunities for growth and career development,” said Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, who made the grant announcement at the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Jan. 6 in Harrisburg, where he met with young people who would benefit from the grants, including members of Pennsylvania chapters of the Future Farmers of America.