The Annual Meeting of the General Membership of the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 11:30 p.m. in the Crystal Room of the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania, during the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. All members are invited and encouraged to participate in the meeting.
The results of the mail balloting for the Board of Directors will be announced at the meeting. The members will also receive reports on membership, finances, and the other activities of the Association. The following additions to the Association’s policy resolutions are being proposed for adoption by the members at the Annual Meeting.
The Association is on record as:
1. Supporting changes to permitting requirements for conservation projects to allow projects less than $100,000 to be certified by a design professional.
2. Supporting the continuation of USDA’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
3. Supporting the continuation of USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA).
4. Supporting an exemption for farmers or farm workers from the need to be Haz-Mat certified to transport herbicides, insecticides, etc. between farms or return empty containers provided the farmer or farm worker has had training through a private pesticide applicator’s license update or other educational program.
Federal and State Resolutions
1. Supporting the ability to take Section 179 deductions for ag equipment in the year in which the equipment is ordered and paid for.
2. Supporting a change in the due dates for quarterly state and federal tax payments to be April 15th, July 15th, October 15th and January 15th to represent true quarterly payments.
1. Supporting the addition of resident senior hunters (65 and older), resident senior lifetime hunter (65 and older), and POW license holders to the current state Game Commission policy which allows junior license holders, mentored youth, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle, and resident active-duty Armed Services personnel, to harvest antlered deer with two or more points on one antler, or spike three or more inches in length.
2. Supporting the development of an Earn-a-Buck Program where harvesting a second antlered deer within a license year would be permitted if the hunter has harvested and submitted harvest tags for at least two antlerless deer.
3. Supporting the expansion of the Red Tag Program to allow taking deer on Sundays with the landowners approval.
4. Supporting the Game Commission following their staff biologists’ recommendations when setting seasons and limits.
5. Supporting a review of the DEP/Growing Greener grant reimbursement process to provide reimbursement within 30 days to participating farm operations and county conservation districts.
6. Supporting requirements for government agencies and authorities levying Stormwater Management Fees to calculate, publish and enact unlimited offsetting credits to those fees for the following:
a. Each acre of compliance for each of the following: i) An NRCS or County Conservation District approved Plan; ii) an Erosion and Sediment Plan; iii) An Act 38 Nutrient Management Plan, and/or an implemented NRCS Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan.
b. Each approved Manure Management Plan.
c. Erosion controlling structures including diversion ditches, grass waterways, stone waterways and terraces.
d. NRCS or County Conservation District approved manure holding structures.
e. Each acre of forested, wooded or grass acres.
f. Positive ratios of pervious to impervious areas.
7. Supporting requirements that stormwater credits be established before fees are levied and that such credits include currently implemented practices as well as new practices.
8. Supporting requirements that no stormwater fee be levied on properties with less than 20 percent impervious land area.
9. Supporting an agricultural exemption for storm water management for building projects that are 10,000 sq. ft. or less.
10. Supporting provisions that hayride attractions not be recognized as an amusement ride and therefore exempt from the Amusement Ride Inspection Act regulations.
11. Supporting the development of an online portal by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture develop to provide safety resources, requirements and online training for conducting agritourism operations.
12. Supporting the establishment of size and weight requirements by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for tow vehicles involved in hayride agritourism operations.
13. Recognizing Penn State Extension’s continued relevance to production agriculture and field-based extension education efforts and urging the University to build upon these programs that are vital to our industry composed of small family farms, including nearly a quarter of which belong to the plain communities who do not have access to online resources.