January 13, 2019
In This Edition:
Farm Show Highlights Best of PA Agriculture
The Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg offers a unique look at our state’s top industry. This year’s event featured nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits. I am extremely proud of how well our region was represented at the Farm Show again this year.
Three local participants earned special recognition as part of the Farm Show Scholarship Foundation and each received a $3,500 check to help with their education. Congratulations to Cailey Dahlquist of Washington, Hayden Demniak of Carmichaels and Caitlyn McConn of West Alexander for earning scholarships, and thanks to all of our other local competitors and exhibitors for making our communities proud!
This year’s event also featured an informational hearing of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to gather input on efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. A link to the full hearing is available here.
Preserved Farm Owners Eligible for New Tax Exemption
Owners of preserved farms may be eligible for a valuable new tax exemption if their land is sold to a new farmer who is just getting started in the industry. A law that I supported last year now provides an exemption from the Realty Transfer Tax for any preserved farmland that is transferred to a qualified beginning farmer.
In order to qualify for the exemption, the beginning farmer must be someone who has demonstrated experience in the industry or a related field, but has not received federal gross income from agriculture production for more than 10 years. They must also receive written certification by applying to the Department of Agriculture here.
More information about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program is available here.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Meghan Schiller from KDKA to discuss legislation I introduced to ensure facilities such as Transitions Healthcare Washington, which dedicates a significant portion of their care to patients in need of ventilator and tracheostomy services, are able to continue providing these vital services. Also pictured is Jennifer Watson, administrator for Transitions Healthcare Washington, and Lori Ann Plazek. More details about my bill are available here.
Grants Support New Learning Opportunities for Local Students
Four grants that were awarded recently by the Department of Education will support new learning opportunities for students by connecting local schools with employers. The Teacher in the Workplace Grants will support a number of different projects for students, including work-based internships, expanded access to career-readiness services, teacher certifications, cooperative education, and projects to boost local capacity to provide career readiness services.
Grants were awarded to Hopewell Area School District, Intermediate Unit 1, Ringgold School District and Trinity Area School District. Congratulations to all of the recipients!
REMINDER: Tele-Town Hall Set for January 28
Community residents can discuss some of the top issues facing our communities and our state during my next tele-town hall on January 28 at 6 p.m.
Participants who sign up will receive a call immediately before the event begins and can submit questions or simply remain on the line to listen to the discussion. An audio link will also be available on my website, and the event will be streamed live on my Facebook page.
Community residents can learn more about the event and sign up to participate here.
Application Deadline for PennDOT Summer Employment is February 14
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Summer Maintenance Program offers short-term job opportunities to many full-time college students. Applications for the program are available now and will be accepted through February 14.
The program is open to full-time college students who are enrolled for the Fall 2020 semester. More information about these and other opportunities available to students is available here.