Mar. 23, 2023

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding appeared before the House Appropriations Committee along with Greg Hostetter, Executive Deputy Secretary. House Republicans asked questions beginning with agriculture concerns in Western Pennsylvania relating to the Norfolk Southern train derailment.  Other questions focused on proposed cuts to the department’s Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission, fair market conditions for Pennsylvania dairy farmers, and support of the entire industry beyond organics.  

Key Takeaways

Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry; House Republicans believe investment in this industry is essential. 
o This investment must be made wisely to help end our structural deficit. 

House Republicans remain concerned cuts in the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission will leave the state ill-equipped to deal with the current Avian Flu outbreak. 

Support for our dairy farmers remains a top priority for House Republicans by addressing competitive pricing. 

While House Republicans see the value of investing in Pennsylvania Organics, we cannot forget about the other forms of farming, including cattle and non-organics.

Notable Q&A

Republican Agriculture Chairman Dan Moul asked Secretary Redding to explain how the department plans to address the Avian Flu outbreak while cutting the Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission. 

Rep. Clint Owlett presses the Department of Agriculture on the Governor’s commitment to dairy farmers.  

Rep. Eric Nelson questions the Department of Agriculture on how they will work with farmers who are not certified organic, a considerable amount of the budget is dedicated to organic farming.  

Watch Full Hearing