Commonwealth Offers Free Agribusiness Planning Workshops

AgricultureImage via PA Dept. of Agriculture

HARRISBURG, PA — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that the Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center, funded through Governor Wolf’s PA Farm Bill, will offer ag businesses and aspiring ag entrepreneurs a series of free business planning and marketing workshops through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers during the virtual 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

“Just as farmers are the heart of Pennsylvania, the heart of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill is the Ag Business Development Center and the critical services and funding the center provides the industry,” said Secretary Redding. “Throughout 2020 we saw innovation thrive in Pennsylvania agriculture as farmers and agribusinesses adapted to meet changing markets and demands.

“This series is an effort to help the industry meet the challenges of the 21st century by growing opportunities and resources, removing barriers to entry, and cultivating future generations to maintain the sustainability of Pennsylvania’s leading industry. Because when farmers and agriculture succeed, so does our commonwealth.”

The free Business Planning and Marketing Workshops being offered during the virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show are a cooperative effort between the department’s Agricultural Business Development Center and the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers and are designed to enhance the long-term viability of Pennsylvania farms. The virtual workshops will focus on providing support for sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic expansion, diversification, and building a team of financial and technical expertise as a resource for Pennsylvania farmers.

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The virtual series includes the following events:

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While the events are free, registration is required to attend these virtual events.

Established as part of the 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Bill, the Agricultural Business Development Center supports Farm Transitions, linking farmers to the next phase of their life and their farm’s future; Beginning Farmers, providing advice and counsel to the next generation of agricultural producers; Risk Management, providing information on crop insurance and other opportunities for risk management; and Financial Assistance, connecting farmers with low-interest loan options and reimbursable grant programs.

Earlier this summer through the Agricultural Business Development Center, the Department of Agriculture funded $1 million worth of Farm Vitality Grant Program projects for 133 farms in 46 counties. The grants fund professional services for financial and tax planning, research, marketing, and other consulting support for farm future planning. In addition to this Farm Vitality Grant Program, the center coordinates with the Department of Community and Economic Development for the Next Generation Farmer Loan Program and Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program.

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The historic Pennsylvania Farm Bill was funded again in the 2020-21 PA Budget at $16 million, which includes $2 million for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center.

For more about the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill. For a full schedule of virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show events visit farmshow.pa.gov.

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