Connect

Agriculture

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.

Key Issues

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.

Downloads

Related Items

 
 

More on Agriculture

April 27, 2021 In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Top Congressional Republicans are proposing solutions to climate change. Their ambitious platform suggests natural changes addressing food, farming, and forestry, while protecting the economy.

“We know the climate changes,” said Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee. “That debate is over.”

April 9, 2021 In The News

Now that he’s the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson is continuing to work on getting whole milk back into schools.

“I think most folks in Washington, including (Ag Secretary) Tom Vilsack, know my goal of restoring whole milk in our school districts,” Thompson said during an April 6 meeting with 97 Milk, a whole milk advocacy group, at the Durlach-Mt. Airy Fire Co.

April 5, 2021 In The News

CLARION - U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson regards President Joe Biden's $2 trillion federal infrastructure and jobs package as "toxic."

Thompson, R-15th District, said the proposal, which the president unveiled last week during a stop in Pittsburgh, is "nothing but higher taxes," contains "a lot of the Green New Deal" and it is "climate change on steroids."

March 25, 2021 In The News

In a recent episode of the popular YouTube show Louder With Crowder, host Steven Crowder dedicates a segment of his show to discussing the $5 billion allocated for black farmers in the American Rescue Act. Though in a self-proclaimed comedy show, the segment wasn’t funny; it was insensitive, ignorant, and in poor taste.

The segment begins with a news story describing the discrimination faced by farmers of color through government agricultural programs. Overheard in the background, one of Crowder’s co-hosts can be heard asking, “Do they got receipts on that?”

March 12, 2021 In The News

U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson fears a generation of milk drinkers may have been lost due to a decade-old federal policy that prohibits whole milk being served to students in schools.

That leaves only skim and 1% milk, which, the congressman realizes, many children likely consider less flavorful. Therefore, they get turned off to milk.

March 11, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) and Congressman Antonio Delgado (NY-19) have introduced a bill to allow for unflavored and flavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias.

March 2, 2021 In The News

Farm Journal news director John Herath sits in for Chip this morning and we have a packed show. U.S. Representative Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-15) discusses the COVID-19 package that was passed late last week. Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, talks about the 10th Circuit Appeals Court's ruling being endorsed by the EPA and what happens next. And Lance Honig, crops branch chief at USDA-NASS, explains the March survey and addresses some concerns farmers have expressed over it.

 

February 26, 2021 In The News

The House Agriculture Committee is often touted as a sanctum of bipartisanship. It was anything but as the first markup of the 117th Congress was held, examining a majority-drafted coronavirus aid bill. 

One Republican sponsored amendment, also backed by Democrat Cindy Axne of Iowa, made it through committee.  That addition, that would have extended WHIP+ disaster aid to 2020 events such as the Iowa derecho, was stripped out of the legislation in the rules committee.

February 25, 2021 In The News

House Agriculture Committee Republicans plan to introduce their own Covid-19 relief plan Thursday, showcasing their priorities for a bipartisan package.

The discussion draft spearheaded by ranking member Glenn “GT” Thompson (Pa.) and other panel Republicans would provide $2.1 billion for rural health clinics, hospitals, schools, and other facilities, and $1 billion for biofuels producers hurt by the pandemic, among other measures to support farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

January 21, 2021 In The News

The House Agriculture Committee plans to pursue climate change remedies, social justice, and aid for rural America in a sweeping agenda when Chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) and ranking member Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) take over amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Each of these issues we have to touch — climate change, status of Black farmers, food security, rural-urban divide, and crop insurance — we’ve got to unite together as Democrats and Republicans, and save our nation before it’s too late,” Scott said.