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Boscola Bulletin

This is National Farmers Market Week

National Farmers Market Week (NFMW) is an annual celebration that highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system. Now in its 20th year, NFMW always lands on the first full week of August, with this year’s celebration running August 4 - 10th, 2019. Farmers markets benefit us all in many ways! They stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh, healthy food, promote sustainable farming practices that protect our water and soil, and preserve American farmland. However, none of these benefits are possible without farmers. For many family farmers to succeed, particularly those new to agriculture, they count on their neighbors to shop regularly at market. NFMW provides an important opportunity to promote these benefits, and to encourage more Americans to buy direct from their local farmer. 

The Lehigh Valley has 13 producer-only farmers markets – they count on their neighbors to shop regularly at the local markets.  Make sure to visit one of your local markets – especially this week! Click HERE for locations & times.

Applications for the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program (UAI) are NOW Being Accepted

MPA’s NEW Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program The Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the opening of the first grant program made possible by the PA Farm Bill. The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program will provide $500,000 in funding to increase market opportunities for the commonwealth’s urban agriculturalists. 
Beginning August 1, individuals and organizations can apply for the grants at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/login.aspx. The application period closes on September 6. 
The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program (UAI) will provide grants to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources, and support for community development efforts.

Projects must include improvements to agricultural infrastructure in urban areas and support for community development in the project service area. Two types of grants can be awarded: “microgrants” and “collaboration” grants. Microgrants of up to $2,500 can be used for one-time projects or a single entity applicant. Collaboration grants (up to $50,000) demonstrate cooperative or regional efforts which share resources, aggregate agricultural products or producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support community development.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Individuals
  • Partnerships
  • Associations
  • Businesses
  • Municipal Governments

As you may know, Agriculture Secretary Redding celebrated Urban Ag Week throughout the commonwealth from July 21- July 27, making visits to farms at ten different sites in three Pennsylvania cities to learn how their efforts are improving their communities and how this grant funding could help address their unique challenges and needs. Urban agriculture initiatives serve many purposes, including creating and enhancing local food networks, providing new pathways for education, and driving innovation and workforce training. An important element of urban agriculture is that by its very nature, it brings communities together. These communal spaces serve as a meeting place for people of all backgrounds to actively engage and participate in their community through agriculture.

Through the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant program, PDA aims to invest in these community assets to further enhance the impact they provide. Bringing urban agriculture projects to scale can support communities as they deal with food deserts, create more resilient local food systems, and expand opportunities for entrepreneurship and community development.

It is PA Produce Month!

PA ProducePennsylvania's vegetable industry and community is an impressive force and deserves to be honored! In PA, August is an extremely bountiful time of year when many local vegetables are at peak freshness. We get to bask in the glory of our local farmers' hard work & enjoy the BEST food of the year: heirloom tomatoes, corn, peppers, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, tree fruits, beans, blueberries, beets, broccoli, and so much more. We're always talking about the innumerable benefits of supporting local foods, but this PA produce month we want to focus on the most personal part of eating local: the benefits to your health. Local foods are picked at the peak of freshness - naturally ripened on the vine, in the field; and sold directly to you the same or next day. That means your food has the highest quality and highest concentration of vital (and delicious!!) nutrients.  Visit www.paveggies.org for tips, recipes, farmers’ resources, and more!  Show your love by sharing pics of your farmers’ market purchases & creations by using #PAVeggies!

Did you know that PA's #1 Industry is Agriculture?

Farmers Market Nutrition Programs

Enjoying fresh, Pennsylvania produce is easier than you think. If you have checks for Pennsylvania’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, download the FMNP Market Locator app to find your closest participating market.

The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provide WIC recipients and low income seniors with fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from approved farmers' in Pennsylvania. Click here to learn more.

Download on the App Store »

Get it on GooglePlay »

DEP Offering Grants to Small Businesses and Farmers

DEPThe Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced the availability of $1 million in grant funding to Pennsylvania small businesses and farmers for energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grant program. New to the program this year is the opportunity for small business owners to install solar hot water systems for their business operations.

Eligible projects include adopting or acquiring equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency LED lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks.

Last year, around 200 small businesses were awarded more than $947,000 in grants for their projects. Natural resource protection projects may include planting riparian buffers, installation of streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and investing in agricultural stormwater management projects, with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrient loads in our waterways.

Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution-related expenses.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $7,000 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, are eligible.

Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2019-20 funds are exhausted or April 12, 2020, whichever occurs first. All applications must be submitted through the commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance website. Printed, faxed, and mailed applications are not accepted.

The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions and instructional videos for completing the online application, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office website by clicking here.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)
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