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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2023 09:54 AM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Supporting local farmers and agriculture through agroforestry
Agroforestry is a practice that incorporates trees, which remove carbon from the atmosphere and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, into annual crops grown by farmers.  
The practice utilizes trees to combat climate change by transforming carbon dioxide into biomass, filtering waterways, and stabilizing the atmosphere.  Agroforestry is used in several ways, including planting rows of trees periodically throughout a farm field, adding trees to a pasture, and cultivating crops under tree canopies, plus the more common windbreaks and riparian buffers.
Currently, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program is conducting research projects in Pennsylvania by testing eight tree-planting methods on five farms. In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are trying to expand the number of farmers who grow perennial crops near rivers creating riparian buffers.
My forthcoming bill will further these efforts by providing incentives for farmers to incorporate agroforestry methods into their farming practices and providing incentives for nurseries to provide the trees needed for agroforestry. It will also encourage businesses in the Commonwealth to purchase or process produce derived from agroforestry and will direct the state to educate the public regarding agroforestry and its many benefits.
By supporting this important legislation (formerly HB 2926), you will not only be joining me in helping to protect our environment, but you will also be supporting Pennsylvania farmers, businesses, and agriculture itself statewide.

Introduced as HB1132