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Santorum and Specter Announce Senate Appropriations Committee Approval for Agriculture Projects in Pennsylvania

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Location: Washington, DC


Santorum and Specter Announce Senate Appropriations Committee Approval for Agriculture Projects in Pennsylvania
Funding Is Part of FY06 Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved federal funding for agricultural projects in Pennsylvania, contained in the FY06 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

"I am pleased that these projects have been approved by the Appropriations Committee to receive funding. I am committed to supporting research and development efforts to improve Pennsylvania's largest industry so we can remain a competitive leader in agriculture," said Senator Santorum.

"These programs will strengthen the state's agricultural industry by developing innovative technologies to improve production and management of Pennsylvania's farms," Senator Specter said. "I applaud my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee for funding these agricultural projects that are fundamental to keeping Pennsylvania's economy strong."

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved funding for the following projects:

· $2.55 million for Coffee and Cocoa Disease Resistance/Alternative Crop Research through the United States Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Hershey/Mars Corporation. This research is vital to help control a range of domestic and tropical fungal and pest diseases, which are currently plaguing the cocoa crops that are vital for domestic chocolate production including the Pennsylvania chocolate industry. In addition, this research has proven effective in the U.S. Government's counter-drug ‘alternative crop' strategy for Central and South America to help farmers in the region grow profitable, legal crops.

· $1 million to the Agriculture Research Service for the study of Biomedical Materials in plants. This funding will allow for the continued research at Thomas Jefferson University and elsewhere of tobacco and other plants as a medium to produce vaccines and other biomedical products for the prevention of many human and animal diseases. This technology has the potential to shift a great deal of tobacco production to a vehicle for preventing, curing, and treating viruses and cancers in place of smoking, chewing, and other current uses. (Philadelphia County)

· $738,000 for the Milk and Dairy Safety and Quality Research program at Penn State University. This funding will help researchers at Penn State University better understand the microbiology of the Listeria organism and make progress in determining the process and handling parameters that will ensure a safe milk supply. (Centre County)

· $900,000 for Eastern Regional Research Center Hides and Leather Research conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture. The research, conducted at the Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, provides the hides and leather industry with cost-effective and environmentally safe tanning processes which will enhance U.S. producers' competitiveness in world markets. (Montgomery County)

· $491,000 for Dairy Farming Management and Profitability projects at Penn State University. This funding will benefit projects focusing on the economic and social dimensions of dairy farming, risk analysis, the economic impact of implementing voluntary animal health programs, development management, and the adoption of technology, in an attempt to help farmers increase their profitability. (Centre County)

· $333,000 for Agricultural Entrepreneurial Alternatives for Small Farmers at Penn State University. This program delivers farm and community level educational programs and assistance. Farm level programs focus on developing alternative enterprise opportunities, generating business and marketing plans and providing market research and feasibility studies. Community level programs focus on assessing and strengthening the local agricultural business climate, and developing regional marketing alliances. (Centre County)

· $270,000 for Penn State University's Improved Dairy On-Farm Management Practices program. Last year, Congress provided funding for work done in Pennsylvania to research new and improved farm management practices. Innovative research directed at the farm level is essential to sustain the nation's dairy industry. This year's funding provides for further research in areas such as manure management techniques, odor abatement, induced lactation and animal health program management improvements. (Centre County)

· $100,000 for the Research Institute for Family Health and Wellness at Marywood University. The establishment of this institute will improve family health in a three-county area - Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming. Marywood University will focus on nutrition and obesity; fitness; tobacco use; geriatric-related concerns; chronic diseases; and food safety. (Lackawanna County)

· $100,000 for Pennsylvania Cooperative Livestock Protection Program, which will be developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in conjunction with USDA, Penn State University, and agricultural organizations. This program would provide Pennsylvania's 59,000 agricultural producers with technical and operational assistance in identifying, controlling, and abating damage, animal health problems and economic loss caused by certain nuisance wildlife species.

· $1.835 million for Viticulture Consortium to provide for grape and wine research in Pennsylvania, New York, and California. The purpose of the consortium is to assist grape producers in improving yields, reducing production costs, and increasing product.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1277&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0&CFID=6802519&CFTOKEN=63480384

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