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.


Related Items


More on Agriculture

October 7, 2020 In The News

On Tuesday, Congressman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., joined Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, to introduce the bipartisan Growing Opportunities in Agriculture (GO AG) Act to improve agriculture education opportunities in our schools.

The bipartisan legislation would create grants available to high schools to cover the cost of starting an agriculture education program.

October 6, 2020 Press Release

HOWARD, PA — Today, Congressman Glenn 'GT' Thompson joined Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) to introduce the bipartisan Growing Opportunities in Agriculture (GO AG) Act to improve agriculture education opportunities in our schools.

October 2, 2020 In The News

Congressman Thompson praises the Dairy Margin Coverage program on KMJ-AM.

September 30, 2020 In The News

The Dairy Margin Coverage program has worked well for the farmers who signed up for it, while other federal programs ranging from emergency loans to disaster payments have helped keep dairy farms afloat during the coronavirus crisis, said Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-PA, in an NMPF podcast.

September 28, 2020 In The News

The Dairy Margin Coverage program has worked well for the farmers who signed up for it, while other federal programs ranging from emergency loans to disaster payments have helped keep dairy farms afloat during the coronavirus crisis, said Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-PA.


September 26, 2020 In The News

Rep. Frank Lucas (OK) on rural STEM investment and Rep. GT Thompson (PA) on rural broadband.


September 22, 2020 In The News

Congressional leaders on Tuesday were discussing whether to restore farm-aid funds and food assistance to a spending bill needed to prevent a partial government shutdown next month, Democratic aides said.

September 17, 2020 In The News

Steve Freed, Vice President of grain research at ADM Investor Services, talks big numbers with China's present and potential future purchases of American crops. And U.S. Congressman Glenn "G.T." Thompson (PA-15) joins us to discuss ag business in Washington DC. 


August 27, 2020 In The News

Over the last several months, COVID-19 has changed our lives in a multitude of ways. Our routines were digitized almost overnight as business meetings transitioned to conference calls, classrooms became virtual meetings, and time spent with loved ones and friends became a luxury.

While we all depend on broadband connectivity every day, the global pandemic has underscored just how much we rely upon this technology.

August 19, 2020 Press Release
MOUNT JOY, PA (Wednesday, August 19) – U.S. Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson met today with farmers and agricultural thought leaders for a farm tour highlighting the importance of agricultural research.