What farming methodologies do you think should be included in agricultural education in PA?

The Pennsylvania House of Representative’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee unanimously adopted a proposal by Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry) on June 19, 2017 that would “develop and disseminate agricultural education materials for school entities or private or nonpublic kindergartens, elementary or secondary schools in this Commonwealth.”

The proposal, House Bill 944, would create a Commission for Agricultural Education to be overseen by both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

HB 944 moved to the Senate and on June 23 was subsequently referred to the
Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee.

The language in the bill is our concern along with the lack of recognition for urban/small family/chemical-free farming. This is an important bill that has the potential to develop the mindset of our future famers and future consumers.

We ask that supporters of urban, small family, chemical-free and organic agriculture, biodynamics, sustainable farming and permaculture design principles contact their representatives to ensure that these practices are supported in future agricultural educational mandates in Pennsylvania.

To that end, below please find our suggestions to HB 944, underline. Please note, the underlined text is currently not included in the bill:

 

  • Suggested amendment to page 3, paragraph (2), beginning line (27), underlined: “When consulting with a cross section of the agriculture and education communities, the secretary shall consider seeking comments from individuals named in lists submitted by the State Council on Farm Organizations, the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture, the Agricultural Awareness Foundation and the Pennsylvania Vocational-Agricultural Teachers Association.”

 

  • Suggested amendment to page 3, paragraph (2), beginning line (27), underlined: “When consulting with a cross section of the agriculture and education communities, the secretary shall consider seeking comments from individuals named in lists submitted by the State Council on Farm Organizations, the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture, the Agricultural Awareness Foundation and the Pennsylvania Vocational-Agricultural Teachers Association.”

 

  • Suggested amendments to page 6, line (17), item (i): “Two Four farmers to include an urban farmer and a chemical-free farmer.”

This is the status of HB 944.

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If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please help promote education that supports urban, small family and
chemical-free agriculture in Pennsylvania!

GMO Free PA
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