More than $877,000 awarded to Penn State for investments in agricultural industry

Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry generates approximately $132.5 billion

STATE COLLEGE, Jan. 26 – To support and grow Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry, the Department of Agriculture awarded $877,290 to the Pennsylvania State University, announced Reps. Scott Conklin and Paul Takac, both D-Centre.  

The funding consists of: 

  • $500,000 for Penn State’s Agriculture and Environment Center
  • $127,424 for research on planting hairy vetch and industrial hemp to remediate abandoned coal mine land, sequester carbon, and serve as a potential market commodity for environmentally sustainable technology practices. 
  • $100,000 for Penn State’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law
  • $75,000 for research to identify marginal lands across the commonwealth suitable for solar energy production and determine implementable management practices for solar farms to benefit soil, water, and vegetation. 
  • $74,866 to research the effects of acetylsalicylic acid during the dry off period of Holstein dairy cows, approximately 60 days prior to calving. 

“This funding for Penn State will invest in the agricultural industry, allowing one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries to grow,” Conklin said. “By investing in research at Penn State, we support pioneering research from Penn State’s students, faculty and staff, as well as take the opportunity to make the agricultural industry more environmentally sustainable. We need to be vigilant in seeking ways to make this thriving and powerful industry more sustainable for the future. The new grants will fund projects to help us remediate abandoned coal mine land, identify lands that could be suitable for solar energy production, and develop other projects to move us toward greater sustainability. Through these grants, we will make an impact on the industry, helping farmers across the commonwealth.” 

Takac said, “I’m excited to announce these new significant grant awards, which showcase Penn State’s key expertise and leadership at the intersection of agriculture, energy and the environment. They include funding for the important work of both the Center for Agricultural and Shale Law and the Agriculture and Environment Center in tracking the latest legislation and regulations, as well as addressing water quality, land use and development issues. In addition, research into mitigating the environmental impacts of abandoned coal mine lands while investigating their potential reuse for sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and solar energy production can be transformational for local communities and help support good-paying, family-sustaining jobs.” 

"We are grateful to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for supporting Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences in its pioneering research to promote resilience and advancement of Pennsylvania's agriculture and natural resources. As the commonwealth's land-grant university, we remain steadfast in our commitment to confronting challenges, from mitigating climate change and advancing soil and water conservation to addressing the evolving need to improve animal, plant and environmental health," said Blair Siegfried, associate dean for research and graduate education and director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The Department of Agriculture awarded more than $2.2 million in funding to invest in Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry.