PA State Grange is a strong supporter of the Center for Dairy Excellence and efforts to strengthen the processing of dairy products in the Commonwealth. In addition, the PA State Grange is a member of the brand-new Dairy Future Commission established by Act 66 of 2019.
Other dairy issues include: supporting legislation that authorizes funding for specific regional dairy processing facilities (Act 38 of 2019); supporting resolutions that direct the FDA to enforce their rule about mislabeling of milk; backing legislation (HB 915) which exempts milk haulers from Interstate traffic prohibitions when there is a weather emergency – NOTE: HB 915 was vetoed by Governor Wolf
DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION
The PA State Grange opposes a 2018 move by the Delaware River Basin Commission to override Pennsylvania state sovereignty by going around PA’s Act 13 which regulates the development of Marcellus Shale natural gas. The Commission seeks to ban fracking in parts of northeastern PA. NOTE: PA State Grange’s position should not be seen as advocating or opposing fracking. It is against the Delaware River Basin Commission’s decision to ignore Pennsylvania law to do what it wants to do, whether it be fracking, regulation of on-lot septic systems, or other areas where the Commission has exceeded its authority.
The PA State Grange lobbies hard to curb the use of eminent domain to take preserved farmland.
The PA State Grange works with the PA Department of Agriculture to help farmers understand the importance of risk management. Risk management includes food safety, Crop Insurance, conservation practices, and more. We work with like-minded groups like the PA State Council of Farm Organizations to further this goal.
HEALTH FOR RURAL PA
Internet medical care (Telemedicine) is crucial to rural residents who live farther away from medical facilities and doctors. Telemedicine allows the health care provider to, through the Internet, monitor someone’s condition, observe symptoms, and direct treatment. PA State Grange supports Telemedicine bills. However, Broadband access is essential before Telemedicine works.
PA State Grange works with other agricultural groups to increase funding for the PA Agricultural Surplus System (PASS) in the State Budget. PASS integrates fresh farm products with food banks’ distribution to give the needy a better selection of healthier foods.
PA State Grange opposes Sunday hunting (SB 147 and HB 1468. It is a matter of allowing other recreational uses of the outdoors to take place on a Sunday free from fear of inadvertently being shot. In addition, Sunday hunting is a shot in the dark to end declining numbers of licenses issued. There needs to be an in-depth analysis as to why interest in hunting is waning. When we have answers to that, PA can better target solutions. Hunting and gun safety education (HB 102) is something we strongly believe in but there are possible solutions out there that have not yet been explored.