The state Department of Agriculture is looking for applicants for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill Agriculture & Youth Grants for programs aimed at preparing youth for agricultural jobs.
“To meet increasingly complex challenges brought on by climate change and rapidly evolving technology, we need youth who are innovative problem-solvers,” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russel Reading said. “These grants help us cultivate and inspire the generation that will feed us tomorrow.”
The Ag and Youth Program provides direct grants of up to $7,500 and matching grants of up to $25,000 to support projects, programs, and equipment purchases by youth-run organizations, and those with programs that benefit youth or promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training, and peer fellowship.
Past funded projects include workforce development programs, seminars and field trips, agricultural safety training, capital projects, and equipment purchases aimed at leading students to opportunities in agriculture and building the future workforce that Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry needs to succeed.
Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by 4:59 p.m. on Sept. 30. Full grant guidelines are published in the August 20 edition of the PA Bulletin.
Pennsylvania agriculture is a $132 billion industry that provides more than 593,000 jobs, a 2.4% increase in the size of the workforce since 2018.
As the industry innovates, and as current workers retire, new opportunities are continually available, with jobs ranging from farm managers to high-tech equipment mechanics, and from field biologists to entomologists to veterinarians, Redding said. All must be equipped to adapt to changing technology and climate challenges.