DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Annual Plan for Awarding Grants Under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Fair Act
[50 Pa.B. 5663]
[Saturday, October 10, 2020]
This notice presents the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-2021 Annual Plan (Annual Plan) of the Department of Agriculture (Department) for the administration of the grant program authorized under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Fair Act (act) (3 P.S. §§ 1501—1508.1). It prescribes how the available funds appropriated by the General Assembly shall be distributed. This Annual Plan is authorized by section 8(a) of the act (3 P.S. § 1508(a)), has been prepared with the assistance and advice of the Agricultural Fair Advisory Committee (Committee), and was approved by that Committee at its September 21, 2020, meeting.
The act authorizes the Department to make grants to organizations conducting eligible agricultural fairs, Statewide agricultural organizations which contribute to the development of agriculture and agribusiness and to eligible agricultural youth groups for support of their programs.
Funds appropriated by the General Assembly to fund the act in FY 2020-2021 shall be dispersed by the Department as follows, on a funds-available basis, in the following order of priority:
1. First priority shall be given to grants to finance a portion of a fair's operating costs. These costs include, but are not limited to, the cost of exhibiting agribusiness products, materials and equipment, conducting agricultural or agribusiness educational activities and demonstrations, and awarding premiums to contest and exhibit winners at the agricultural fair. For these grants, the maximum payment shall be as allowed for each Class Fair under section 5(1)(i)(A) of the act (3 P.S. § 1505(1)(i)(A)). These maximum payments range from $2,500 to $14,000, depending on the Class Fair involved.
2. Second priority shall be given to grants to finance a portion of the agricultural premiums identified in section 5(1)(i)(B) of the act. For these grants, the maximum payment shall not exceed $15,000.
3. Third priority shall be given to grants to reimburse a county agricultural society, or an independent agricultural society, that conducts harness horse racing at its annual agricultural fair, other than races for colts and fillies 2 and 3 years of age, in an amount equal to that used during the annual agricultural fair as purse money for harness horse racing, track and stable maintenance, starting gate rental and the cost of harness horse racing officials during the annual fair. For these grants, the maximum amount of reimbursement shall be as allowed under section 5(1)(iii) of the act. This maximum amount is $13,000, at least $4,000 of which must be used to reimburse purse money.
4. Fourth priority shall be given to grants to reimburse a county agricultural society, or an independent agricultural society, that conducts harness horse racing for 2-year-old and 3-year-old colts and fillies at its annual agricultural fair. For these grants, the maximum amount of reimbursement shall be as allowed under section 5(1)(iv) of the act. This maximum amount is $7,600.
5. Fifth priority shall be given to grants to reimburse a Statewide agricultural organization that conducts an agricultural fair and is otherwise eligible for grants under section 5(2) of the act, for up to $2,000 of its fair's operating expenses (including premium payments) on a dollar-for-dollar basis, and for 50% of all additional premium costs that are not included in that initial dollar-for-dollar reimbursement, up to a maximum amount of $10,000. The total maximum payment shall not exceed $12,000.
6. Sixth priority shall be given to grants to countywide or Statewide 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) or combined FFA and Future Homemakers of America units of boys and girls under 21 years of age that are eligible for grants under section 5(3) of the act. Grants shall be awarded in accordance with the requirements of that provision of the act.
a. The purpose of the act is to make funds available to encourage the further development and improvement of this Commonwealth's agricultural fairs, and to continue the contribution of agricultural fairs to agriculture and agribusiness by encouraging related careers, fostering agricultural production and agricultural product improvements, and promoting increased investments in agriculture. This Commonwealth's agricultural fairs also enrich the life of the community by showcasing agricultural and agribusiness achievements, offering recreational opportunities and promoting tourism. For these reasons, the Department encourages those agricultural youth groups that are eligible for grants under section 5(3) of the act to engage in projects and activities that are conducted at agricultural fairs or that are of direct benefit to agricultural fairs.
b. The Department will award grants to the agricultural youth groups previously described as follows:
i. For actual expenses incurred for activities which contribute to the advancement of agriculture or agribusiness by a 4-H Youth group, a payment which will be calculated according to the following formula, under authority of section 5(3) of the act:
Tier 1: $2,000 for total enrollment of up to 1,000 members plus $1.50 for each traditional member and $1 for each school enrichment/special interest member.
Tier 2: $2,500 for total enrollment of 1,001 to 2,000 members plus $1.50 for each traditional member and $1 for each school enrichment/special interest member.
Tier 3: $3,000 for total enrollment of 2,001 to 3,000 members plus $1.50 for each traditional member and $1 for each school enrichment/special interest member.
Tier 4: $3,500 for total enrollment of 3,001+ members plus $1.50 for each traditional member and $1 for each school enrichment/special interest member, a maximum reimbursement of $9,000.
ii. For actual expenses incurred for activities which contribute to the advancement of agriculture or agribusiness by FFA Youth groups, a payment which will be calculated using the following formula, under authority of section 5(3) of the act:
Tier I: County FFA Organizations with 100 members or less will receive base funding of $1,000 with an additional $4 per member.
Tier II: County FFA Organizations with 101 to 210 members inclusive will receive a $2,000 base funding with an additional $2 per member.
Tier III: County FFA Organizations with 211 members or more will receive funding of $2,000 with an additional $4 per member for every member over 210.
7. Any funds remaining after the previous grants have been awarded shall be utilized for capital improvement as provided in section 5(1)(ii) of the act.
Given the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department advises that the amount of funding appropriated for dispersal in accordance with the act and this Annual Plan may ultimately be less than in previous years. Also, in the event subsequent COVID-19-related legislation changes available funding amounts or requires that expenditures of available funding be reprioritized, the Department will publish a revised version of this Annual Plan that is consistent with that legislation.
The Department will endeavor to disburse the previous payments at the earliest date practicable.
RUSSELL C. REDDING,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-1393. Filed for public inspection October 9, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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