Thursday, September 21, 2023

17 PA Farmers, Organizations, Businesses Call On Congress To Expand Support For Agroforestry

On September 21,
PASA Sustainable Agriculture, along with 16 Pennsylvania-based farmers, organizations, and businesses, released a letter to Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania’s 15th district highlighting the importance of agroforestry practices for the state and urging the House Agriculture Committee’s support for agroforestry in the upcoming Farm Bill. 

The letter highlights the growing importance of agroforestry, which is a group of land management practices that incorporate trees and shrubs into agricultural operations and are implemented to diversify income and build resilience. 

Some examples of these practices include silvopasture, windbreaks, riparian buffers, alley cropping and forest farming. 

“We’re hopeful that the strength of our voice will move Chairman Thompson and the House Agriculture Committee to elevate and expand policy support for agroforestry in the upcoming Farm Bill,” said Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director of Pasa Sustainable Agriculture.

Pennsylvania agricultural producers are leading the movement to scale this innovative, conservation-focused approach to farming and ranching, and through this letter are calling on lawmakers to strengthen agroforestry’s role across multiple titles of the Farm Bill. 

Signatories include PASA Sustainable Agriculture, Pennsylvania Farmers Union, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Nature Conservancy Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter, and multiple agroforestry operations and technical service providers. 

By integrating trees and shrubs into agricultural operations, agroforestry provides multiple benefits to economies, communities, and landscapes. 

These practices can build profitability by diversifying producer revenue streams and introducing high value tree crops, filter agricultural runoff before it reaches local waterways, and provide habitat for native birds and pollinators. 

Farms and ranches that leverage agroforestry can sequester more carbon for longer periods of time, improving overall soil health, building resilience to extreme weather, and protecting against erosion.

Click Here for a copy of the letter.

Upcoming Extension Educational Opportunities:

-- September 28: Dive Deeper Water Education Summit - Harrisburg

-- September 30: Riparian Buffer Maintenance - Dauphin County

-- October 4: Webinar - On-Lot Septic Systems and Groundwater Quality

-- October 28: Water Ways On Wheels - A Bike Tour In Lancaster County

-- October 30: Safe Drinking Water Clinic - Private Water Wells - Forest County

-- November 8: Webinar - Nitrogen In Groundwater, Where It Comes From, Health Risks

-- Penn State Extension Online Water Courses

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-- 17 PA Farmers, Organizations, Businesses Call On Congress To Expand Support For Agroforestry  [PaEN] 

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[Posted: September 21, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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