What to Know About Gov. Shapiro’s Proposed $10.3M Agriculture Innovation Program

An open-ended pitch by Gov. Josh Shapiro to give millions of dollars to Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry to make it more innovative is stoking skepticism and hope among lawmakers and farmers.

Shapiro wants to use $10.3 million to create a grant program that would promote savings throughout the agriculture sector by giving companies access to better equipment, technology, and state resources. In his budget pitch, he cited a methane digester that turns waste into energy on a Juniata County farm as an example of the kinds of efforts the grants could support.

The state Department of Agriculture, which would administer the program, has yet to specify what kinds of projects could get funding, and likely won’t release details unless the proposal is included in the budget, longtime agriculture secretary Russell Redding said during legislative hearings last month.