Agriculture & Rural Affairs 2017-2018

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 to consider the following:

SR 418, PN 1993 (Brooks) – Urges the US Congress and the US Department of Agriculture to include fresh milk as an eligible product in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.  Reported from committee unanimously.

SR 421, PN 2019 (Street and Schwank) – Urges the US Congress to pass the 2018 Farm Bill and calls upon the PA Department of Agriculture to conduct a study of industrial hemp research pilot programs in order to draft statutory and regulatory language so PA and its farmers can begin hemp production in 2019.  Reported from committee unanimously.


The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee met on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 and took the following action::

Reported As Committed

SR 382 (Aument) – Calls on the Federal Food & Drug Administration to enforce existing regulations establishing clear standards for milk labeling.

SR 384 (Schwank) – Directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee identify and examine the statutes, best practices and proposed measures of other States to provide assistance to dairy producers during these economic times. The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee will also identify the number and types of specialty dairy products, such as lactose free milk, that are sold in the Commonwealth by out of state dairy producers and examine how milk produced in the Commonwealth can be utilized to meet the increased demand for this specialty dairy products market.


The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 and took the following action ::

Reported as Amended

SB 819 (Aument) – This legislation defines agritourism on farms preserved under the state farmland preservation program. The bill was amended to clarify the definition of agritourism and other definitions. The bill passed unanimously.

SB 1171 (Brooks) – This legislation would replace the function and composition of the Nutrient Management Advisory Board with a newly created Farm Animal Advisory Board. The bill was amended in committee to require voting members of the board to represent all areas of the Commonwealth. The bill passed along party lines.


The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee met on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 and took the following action ::

Reported As Committed

HB 1550 (Klunk) – Amends the Agricultural Area Security Law to provide for restrictions, limitations and subdivision on preserved farmland.

HB 1917 (Ryan) – Amends Title 22 (Detectives and Private Police) to provide for additional qualifications for appointment, training, oversight and continuing education for humane society police officers.

Reported as Amended

SB 816 (Dinniman) – Amends the Dog Law providing for court proceedings, certificate of registration and provides for muzzled dogs.


The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee met on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, and took action as follows:

Today the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting held a meeting to consider HB1494. The bill passed unanimously by a 12-0 vote.

HB1494 (Rapp) – Amends the Conservation and Natural Resources Act for the Governor to enter a Good Neighbor Agreement with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture per the Federal Agricultural Act of 2014. The Commonwealth may enter into Federal cooperative agreements for the purposes of harvesting and selling timber, promoting forest regeneration and other activities to restore or improve habitats upon Federal land.


The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee met on Monday, June 26, 2017, and took action as follows:

Today the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held a meeting to consider SB792.  The bill passed unanimously by a 12-0 vote.

SB 792 (Sen. Alloway) Amends Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for labels and labeling for fertilizer as well as guidelines for fertilizer use on turf.


The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, and took action as follows:

Today the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held a meeting to consider two bills. The bills passed unanimously by a 12-0 vote.

HB 187 (Rep. Sonney) amends the Agriculture Area Security Law by adding the definition of “wind power generation system” and outlines parameters for granting rights-of-way for such systems on preserved farmland.

HB 790 (Rep. Pashinski) Creates the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee, and provides various powers and duties including a noxious weed list, and noxious weed controlled areas.

* Amendment A02147 (Sen. Vogel)
Adds the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act as Chapter 15 in Title 3 (Agriculture)
Makes technical corrections
Adds sections to clarify permitting process
Provides specific authority for the secretary to require a bond for applicants seeking individual permits for controlled plants and noxious weeds
Adds poison hemlock to the list of Class B noxious weeds

Senator Judy Schwank

Senator Judy Schwank

Committee Chair