Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry and plays a key role in economic development of communities throughout the 15th District and the broader Commonwealth.
Agriculture is engrained in Pennsylvania’s heritage and has played an important role in our history. Today, agriculture continues to be Pennsylvania’s number one industry and remains the economic engine in many communities throughout the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania is home to a diverse array of commodities and products, including dairy, grains, vegetables, specialty crops, cattle, poultry, equines, wineries and a well-defined timber industry.
As a descendent of dairy farmers, I am proud to be an active member of the House Agriculture Committee. Previously, I served as Vice Chairman of the Committee and currently serve as Ranking Member of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee. The Farm Bill is the central law governing federal agriculture, rural and related nutrition programs, and remains vital for the success of our farmers and rural America. Oversight of this critical law allows us to improve federal policies that govern our nation’s agricultural sector and ensure the continuation of vital research and development of new technologies and processes that will assist our family farms into the 21st Century.
Farm Bill Implementation: In December of 2018, President Trump signed into law a new five-year farm bill. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture implements this new law, Congress will continue to provide essential oversight.
Rural Development: Rural Development is one of my top issues as a member of Congress and as a member of the Agriculture Committee. Creating jobs and expanding technology, such as broadband and cell phone coverage, is a major challenge that must be met in order to improve and sustain rural Pennsylvania.
USDA administers a variety of programs that are extremely beneficial to the 15th Congressional District and rural America. My offices in Bellefonte, Ebensburg and Oil City work with our constituents, local governments, and community organizations to help them receive this assistance in the form of grants, loans and technical assistance. For more information, please contact my Bellefonte office at (814) 353-0215, Ebensburg office at (814) 419-8583 or Oil City office at (814) 670-0432.
Dairy: With Pennsylvania ranking fourth in production among the states, dairy is the largest sector of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry. Unfortunately, many dairy farmers around the nation have endured great difficulties in the past decade due to depressed prices and lower consumption.
The 2018 Farm Bill reworked the prior dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) and replaced it with the Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC). Enrollment for DMC remains open until September 20, 2019. To learn more about this important program, visit the website of the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Along with revamping the safety net, more must be done to promote the nutritional value that dairy provides. In 2010, legislation was passed by Congress and signed into law that prohibited nutritious varieties of milk from being served in the National School Lunch Program. As a result, milk consumption in schools plummeted since. To reverse this trend, I have introduced legislation that would provide schools the option to once again serve nutritious whole milk to kids.
Forest Products: Pennsylvania is blessed with some of the finest hardwood timber in the world. For generations, timber harvesting has been an economic engine throughout the region, while also serving a dual role of providing environmental and forest management benefits. In Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District, we need to look no further than our own Allegheny National Forest (ANF) to see firsthand how national forests can successfully operate for multiple uses.
More than a billion dollars in hardwoods and hardwood products are exported from the United States each year. Among the many products, forest goods range from furniture and musical instruments to flooring. As these markets continue to expand, it will be crucial to ensure there is proper management of our national forests. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, I will continue oversight of the U.S. Forest Service and the various forest-related programs administered by USDA.
If you have questions on my views on agriculture issues, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-5121.
More on Agriculture
Washington Week in Review: Aug. 7, 2020: Rep. Glenn Thompson on COVID aid, new farm bill
Negotiations on new coronavirus aid from Capitol Hill are showing no signs of real progress, leaving many to wonder what the relief picture will look like for production agriculture and federal nutrition assistance. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., joins Agri-Pulse to discuss the state of those talks and how farm policy might respond to the pandemic and other challenges in the years to come.
Two Pennsylvania lawmakers want to protect farmers and their crops from not only the impact of the coronavirus, but a bigger bug you can see called the spotted lanternfly.
“It threatens our crops, it threatens our agricultural tourism industry and so it is estimated that the impact on just Pennsylvania’s economy could be as much as 18 billion dollars,” Pennsylvania Democrat Chrissy Houlahan said.
Houlahan, along with Pennsylvania Republican Glenn “GT” Thompson, are working to secure 16 million dollars from the USDA to combat the spotted lanternfly.
Bipartisan legislation, introduced by four congressmen, including Republican U.S. Reps. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson and John Joyce, would expand the eligibility for farmers and ranchers to participate in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s Paycheck Protection Program.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and other lawmakers on Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for farmers and ranchers.
The PPP was created by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in order to assist small businesses keep employees on payroll and cover other business-related expenses, helping them weather the economic damages caused by COVID-19.
On Thursday, Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., joined three other congressmen to introduce bipartisan legislation to expand access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for farmers and ranchers.
The PPP was created by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in order to assist small businesses keep employees on payroll and cover other business related expenses, helping them weather the economic damages caused by COVID-19.
The Small Business Administration still accepting applications from farmers needing assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic.
One month ago, the S.B.A. made Economic Injury Disaster Loans – or “EIDL” – available to the agriculture industry for the first time. The administration’s website on Friday shows those loans are still available.