Congressmen visit Cambria Co., discuss challenges farmers are facing

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CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Inside the Alumni Hall at Mount Aloysius College two Congressmen and a host of other agriculture experts at the state level gathered for a round table meeting to talk specifically about the challenges facing farmers and landowners across the Commonwealth.

Several major issues facing the farm in an agricultural community in the Commonwealth and the access to broadband Internet access in the distribution of whole milk to students seem to be this year’s hot topics.

It might not come as much of a surprise that Pennsylvania’s number one industry is agriculture.

“One out of every seven Pennsylvanians work directly or indirectly within agriculture” Congressman Glenn Thompson (R) 15 said.

Thompson said two of the top priorities state lawmakers are focusing on are broadband and dairy which are the commonwealth’s number one commodity.

“We began to serve our kids milk that lacked the nutrition that they need but also lacked the flavor that they were interested in,” Thompson said.

Thompson said as a society they’ve already lost at least one generation of milk drinkers since that time which is having an effect on the industry itself.

Also discusses during the roundtable, a Biden administration proposed tax specifically aimed at farming families and their land. If it goes through, on average when the owner of a farm dies the family would have to pay $1.4 million in taxes.

“What part of a farm operation or agricultural operation do you sell off to get $1.4 million to pay taxes, to buy it back from the government literally,” Thompson said.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding said the most critical challenge facing the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania, a major lack of employees which state lawmakers don’t believe will be back at a normal level for at least two or three years.

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