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HOUSE AMENDED
A02411
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
661
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY J. WARD, VOGEL, STEFANO, AUMENT, K. WARD, BAKER
AND BROWNE, MAY 17, 2019
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, JUNE 20, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, establishing the Agricultural Business Development
Center and the Agricultural Business Development Center
Advisory Committee; providing for the Commonwealth Specialty
Crop Block Grant Program and establishing the Commonwealth
Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund.; providing for agriculture
and youth development; establishing the Urban Agricultural
Infrastructure Grant Program; and making a related repeal.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
is amended by adding a part to read:
Section 1. Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 48
AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Sec.
4801. Short title of chapter.
4802. Definitions.
4803. Establishment.
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4804. Purpose.
4805. Agricultural Business Development Center Advisory
Committee.
4806. Grant programs.
4807. Limitation on grants.
4808. Disposition of grants.
4809. Regulations.
4810. Agricultural Business Development Center Fund.
§ 4801. Short title of chapter.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
Agricultural Business Development Center Act.
§ 4802. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Advisory committee." The Agricultural Business Development
Center Advisory Committee established under section 4805
(relating to Agricultural Business Development Center Advisory
Committee).
"Center." The Agricultural Business Development Center
established under section 4803 (relating to establishment).
"Fund." The Agricultural Business Development Center Fund
established under section 4810 (relating to Agricultural
Business Development Center Fund).
§ 4803. Establishment.
The Agricultural Business Development Center is established
in the department, which shall staff and operate the center.
§ 4804. Purpose.
The department shall operate the center for the following
purposes:
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(1) To provide farmers and prospective farmers a
resource and reference center for creating business plans and
management strategies to enhance the long-term economic
viability of a farm.
(2) To provide farmers a resource and reference center
for creating plans for the transition of ownership and
operation of a farm to new owners and operators.
(3) To provide farmers a resource and reference center
for creating plans for transfer of ownership and operation of
a farm within the farmer's family.
(4) To provide a resource and reference center for
helping a farmer diversify an existing agricultural operation
to new or different forms of agricultural production,
including on-farm value-added processing and agritourism.
(5) To provide persons who own or operate farms that are
subject to perpetual agricultural conservation easements
acquired under the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L.128, No.43),
known as the Agricultural Area Security Law, resources to
help maintain the long-term economic viability of the farms
and protect the investment of public funds in preserving the
farms for agricultural production.
(6) To provide a resource and reference center for
persons planning a farm expansion or seeking financing for
farm growth.
(7) To help identify and build teams of planning
facilitators, accountants, financial planners, lenders,
marketers, conservation and nutrient management planners and
veterinarians who can provide expertise.
(8) To devise, award and administer grants to farmers,
prospective farmers and others.
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§ 4805. Agricultural Business Development Center Advisory
Committee.
(a) Establishment.--There is established the Agricultural
Business Development Center Advisory Committee, to advise the
secretary with respect to the secretary's responsibilities under
this chapter.
(b) Membership.--The advisory committee shall consist of the
following members:
(1) The secretary, who shall serve as chairperson.
(2) The secretary of the Department of Community and
Economic Development or a designee.
(3) The dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at
The Pennsylvania State University or a designee.
(4) One representative selected annually from each of
the following organizations:
(i) The Pennsylvania Bankers Association.
(ii) A farm credit association servicing clients in
this Commonwealth.
(iii) The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation
Districts.
(5) The following individuals appointed by the
secretary:
(i) A licensed veterinarian whose practice includes
food animals.
(ii) A person certified to create nutrient
management plans.
(iii) A certified public accountant.
(iv) A financial planner.
(v) An attorney.
(vi) A farmer who has experience with a farm
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transition or diversification of the agricultural
production of a farm.
(c) Terms.--
(1) The term of office for each advisory committee
member under subsection (b)(5) shall be three years, except
that the initial terms shall be staggered as follows:
(i) Two members shall each serve a term of one year.
(ii) Two members shall each serve a term of two
years.
(iii) Two members shall each serve a term of three
years.
(2) Advisory committee members may be appointed to
successive terms at the discretion of the secretary, except
that no member may serve more than two three-year terms.
Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original
appointments.
(d) Duties.--The advisory committee shall meet as often as
necessary to advise the secretary on satisfying the purpose of
this chapter and establishing and awarding grants under this
chapter.
(e) Expenses.--Advisory committee members shall serve
without compensation but shall be entitled to expenses which are
reasonable and necessary in the performance of their duties.
§ 4806. Grant programs.
(a) Authorization.--The department may establish programs to
award grants for the purposes described in this chapter.
(b) Grant program standards and requirements.--The following
shall apply:
(1) The department shall establish grant program
standards and requirements for a grant program under this
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chapter and shall transmit notice of the grant program
standards and requirements to the Legislative Reference
Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(2) Grant program standards and requirements shall do
the following:
(i) Establish eligibility standards for applicants.
(ii) Describe the objectives of the grant program,
which objectives shall be consistent with this chapter.
(iii) Establish caps, limits and restrictions with
respect to grant amounts.
(iv) Establish an application process and timetable.
(v) Present the criteria under which grant
applications shall be evaluated by the department.
(vi) Establish a timetable within which the
department shall award or disapprove a complete grant
application.
(vii) Establish procedures by which the department
shall verify expenditures of grant money by a grant
recipient.
§ 4807. Limitation on grants.
(a) Available funding.--Grants shall be awarded to the
extent money is made available by the General Assembly.
(b) Matching.--Grant amounts shall be limited to 75% of
project costs. In-kind support shall not be counted toward an
applicant's matching contribution.
(c) Conditions.--The secretary may approve a grant in less
than the requested amount. The secretary may also impose
restrictions or special conditions upon the issuance of the
grant.
§ 4808. Disposition of grants.
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(a) Written agreement.--The department may require a written
agreement describing the terms and conditions of the grant.
(b) Return of grant money.--The department may establish
criteria under which the secretary may demand the return of all
or a portion of the grant money.
§ 4809. Regulations.
The department may promulgate rules and regulations to
administer and enforce this chapter.
§ 4810. Agricultural Business Development Center Fund.
(a) Establishment.--The Agricultural Business Development
Center Fund is established in the State Treasury as a special
fund which shall be an interest-bearing restricted revenue
account. Money collected by the department under this chapter or
appropriated, given, granted or donated for the purpose
established under this chapter by the Commonwealth or any other
government or private agency or person shall be deposited into
the fund.
(b) Appropriation.--Money in the fund is appropriated on a
continuing basis to the department for the purpose of
administering this chapter. All interest and earnings received
from investments or deposits of the money in the fund shall be
paid into the account for the purpose authorized by this
section. Unexpended money and interest or earnings on the money
in the fund may not be transferred or revert to the General Fund
but shall remain in the account to be used by the department for
the purpose specified under this section.
Section 2. Title 3 is amended by adding a part to read:
PART IX
GRANT PROGRAMS
Chapter
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101. (Reserved)
103. (Reserved) Agriculture and Youth Development
105. Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
107. Urban Agricultural Infrastructure Grant Program
CHAPTER 101
(Reserved)
CHAPTER 103
(Reserved)
AGRICULTURE AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Sec.
10301. Definitions.
10302. Board membership.
10303. Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant Program.
10304. Applications.
10305. Grants.
10306. Regulations.
10307. Funding .
§ 10301. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agriculture and youth organization." An organization
composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in
the areas of agriculture, community leadership, vocational
training and peer fellowship. The term includes, but is not
limited to, Pennsylvania FFA, 4-H, Ag in the Classroom, the
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and vocational
education programs.
"Board." The State Agriculture and Youth Development Board.
"Program." The Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant
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Program.
§ 10302. Board membership.
The board shall consist of the following members, with a
majority of members constituting a quorum:
(1) The secretary or a designee, who shall serve as
chairperson.
(2) The Secretary of Education or a designee.
(3) The chairperson and minority chairperson of the
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate or a
designee and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of
Representatives or a designee.
(4) One representative from the Pennsylvania Association
of Agriculture Educators and one from the Penn State
Cooperative Extension, both of whom shall be appointed by the
Governor.
(5) The Statewide president of the Pennsylvania FFA.
(6) The 4-H Statewide Council President.
(7) Up to three representatives, each from a different
Pennsylvania farm or rural organization having a youth
program, whom shall be appointed by the secretary.
(8) A representative of an urban agriculture community
program.
(9) A youth representative of an urban garden operation
or another urban agriculture operation.
§ 10303. Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant Program.
(a) Program.--The department, in consultation with the
board, shall establish a program of grants for agriculture and
youth organizations qualifying to receive grants under this
chapter, to be known as the Agriculture and Youth Organization
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Grant Program.
(b) Purpose.--Grants awarded under this chapter may be used
for any of the following purposes:
(1) To cover the costs of special projects conducted by
the organization and approved by the board.
(2) For educational or work force development programs
conducted by the organization and approved by the board.
(3) For educational or work force development seminars
and field trips conducted by the organization and approved by
the board.
(4) For agricultural safety training programs conducted
by the organization and approved by the board.
(5) For certain capital projects and equipment purchases
approved by the board.
§ 10304. Applications.
(a) Application procedure.--An agriculture and youth
organization may make application at the time, in the manner and
containing information as the department may require. The
department shall determine, from the information provided,
whether the application is eligible for consideration by the
board.
(b) Annual meeting.--The board shall meet annually to
recommend to the department the awarding of grants to qualifying
organizations.
(c) Other meetings.--The board shall meet at the call of the
chairperson to conduct business related to the award of grants.
§ 10305. Grants.
(a) General rule.--The department shall make grants in an
amount not to exceed $7,500 to qualifying agriculture and youth
organizations upon the recommendation of the board.
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(b) Matching funds.--Grants in an amount not to exceed
$25,000 shall be awarded to qualifying agriculture and youth
organizations selected to receive the awards for the purposes of
capital projects. Grants for capital projects must be matched by
private money in an amount equal to the State grant.
(c) Annual allocation.--The board shall establish annual
allocation limits for each fiscal year.
§ 10306. Regulations.
The department shall administer the provisions of this
chapter and, with the approval of the board, shall prescribe and
adopt program policy guidelines or regulations to administer and
enforce this chapter. Until or unless supplanted by program
policy guidelines or regulations adopted under this section, the
program guidelines promulgated under the act of August 6, 1991
(P.L.326, No.33), known as the Agriculture and Rural Youth
Development Act, shall be the policy guidelines for the program.
§ 10307. Funding .
For purposes of implementing the provisions of this chapter,
the department may use:
(1) Any money appropriated by the General Assembly to
the department to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) Any other money, contributions or payments which may
be made available to the department by the Federal Government
or by any public or private source.
CHAPTER 105
COMMONWEALTH SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM
Sec.
10501. Declaration of purpose.
10502. Definitions.
10502.1. Establishment of program.
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10503. Authority.
10504. Eligible applicants and projects.
10505. Allocation of money .
10506. Use of grant money by recipients .
10507 . Audit and recordkeeping.
10508 . Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund.
10509 . Applicability.
§ 10501. Declaration of purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to enhance, but not replace,
the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program by establishing a
Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to give priority
to specialty crops that are not currently eligible for grant
payments under the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program .
Funding will assist the growth, certification of seed and
marketing of high-priority specialty crops, as defined by the
secretary under this chapter.
§ 10502. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Crop." Plants that are cultivated for sale, production,
processing or subsistence. The term does not include wild
plants.
"Eligible specialty crop." A specialty crop designated as a
high-priority specialty crop by the secretary, with priority
given to crops, plants and products that are not currently
eligible for funding under the Federal Specialty Crop Block
Grant Program.
"Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program." The Specialty
Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-465, 118 Stat.
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3882).
"General evaluation criteria." The evaluation criteria
established by the department and utilized for the Federal
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
"Horticultural crops CROP ." A crop that is used by people
for food, medicinal purposes and OR aesthetic gratification.
"Population density." The total population of this
Commonwealth as determined by the most recent Federal decennial
census, divided by the total area of this Commonwealth in square
miles.
"Program." The Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant
Program established under section 10502.1 (relating to
establishment of program).
"Rural municipality." A municipality of this Commonwealth
with a population density less than the Statewide average
population density or a total population less than 2,500, unless
more than 50% of the population lives in an urbanized area, as
defined by the United States Census Bureau.
"Silvicultural product." A product of a forest or woodland,
including, but not limited to, timber.
"Specialty crop." A horticultural crop or silvicultural
product, a plant cultivated and utilized for fiber or biofuel
purposes or an apiary product.
"Urban municipality." A municipality of this Commonwealth
not defined as a rural municipality.
§ 10502.1. Establishment of program.
The Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is
established in the department.
§ 10503. Authority.
(a) Duties of department--The department shall have the
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following duties:
(1) To administer this chapter in a manner consistent
with the general evaluation criteria, including the
application, evaluation and reporting processes required and
employed under the annual Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant
Program.
(2) To develop all necessary documents and transmit a
notice of all parameters of the program , including eligible
specialty crops, evaluation criteria, submittal dates,
application and reporting forms and requirements and template
grant agreements to the Legislative Reference Bureau for
publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the
department's publicly available Internet website.
(b) Specific allocation and nonliability.--The program shall
only be administered in years in which money is specifically
allocated or received and made available to the department under
this chapter for that purpose. The department shall not be
liable for any commitment or for completion of a partially
completed or partially funded project which cannot be completed
due to the unavailability of Commonwealth money or future
Commonwealth appropriations.
§ 10504. Eligible applicants and projects.
The following eligibility criteria shall apply to applicants
and grant projects:
(1) State and local organizations, producer
associations, academia, community-based organizations and
other eligible specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to
apply.
(2) Projects shall enhance the competitiveness of
eligible specialty crops and benefit the eligible specialty
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crop industry as a whole and may include, but are not limited
to, projects such as:
(i) Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge
and consumption of specialty crops.
(ii) Participation of industry representatives at
meetings of international standard setting bodies in
which the Federal Government participates.
(iii) Improving efficiency and reducing costs of
distribution systems.
(iv) Assisting all entities in the specialty crop
distribution chains in developing good agricultural
practices, good handling practices, good manufacturing
practices and in cost-share arrangements for funding
audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and
processors.
(v) Investing in specialty crop research, including
organic research to focus on conservation and
environmental outcomes and enhancing food safety.
(vi) Developing new and improved seed varieties and
specialty crops.
(vii) Pest and disease control.
(viii) Sustainability.
(3) To be considered an eligible specialty crop, a
specialty crop must meet the parameters established by the
secretary. Processed products shall consist of greater than
50% of the eligible specialty crop by weight, exclusive of
added water.
(4) Grants may not be awarded to projects that directly
benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit
to a single organization, institution or individual.
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(5) Grants may be awarded to recipients and projects for
up to two years.
§ 10505. Allocation of money .
Money that is allocated to or received by the department
under section 10508 (relating to Commonwealth Specialty Crop
Block Grant Fund) shall be allocated for administration of this
chapter in accordance with the following formula:
(1) An amount of up to 8% of the money may be used by
the department for administrative costs.
(2) An amount equal to 6.2% of the money shall be
allocated to recipients and projects located in rural
municipalities where at least 20% of the population has been
below the Federal poverty line since 1990 based on census
data.
(3) An amount equal to 3.8% of the money shall be
allocated to recipients and projects located in urban
municipalities where at least 20% of the population has been
below the Federal poverty line since 1990 based on census
data.
(4) The balance of the money remaining after making
allocations under paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) shall be
allocated to recipients and projects in a manner which seeks
to distribute the money evenly among types of eligible
specialty crops and, where practicable, in a manner that
distributes the money across this Commonwealth.
§ 10506. Use of grant money by recipients .
(a) Recipients.--Money that is allocated to recipients by
the department shall be used only for approved projects in
accordance with this chapter, program parameters and grant
agreements.
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(b) Violations.--It shall be unlawful for a person to
violate:
(1) the terms or provisions of this chapter;
(2) the program parameters developed under this chapter;
or
(3) a signed grant agreement established under this
chapter.
§ 10507. Audit and recordkeeping.
(a) Requirements.--The department shall establish and
enforce the audit and recordkeeping requirements as established
under the annual Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and
publish the requirements on the department's publicly accessible
Internet website. The department shall transmit notice of the
audit and recordkeeping requirements to the Legislative
Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(b) Authority to investigate.--The department may
investigate the records of a recipient under this chapter. The
recipient shall provide the recipient's records upon the
department's request. A recipient shall allow the department to
conduct on-site inspections as necessary to assure compliance
with this chapter, the program parameters developed under this
chapter or a signed grant agreement established under this
chapter.
§ 10508 . Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund.
(a) Establishment.--The Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block
Grant Fund is established as a special nonlapsing fund in the
State Treasury. All money derived from fines and civil
penalties, judgments and interest collected or imposed under
this chapter shall be paid into the fund. All money placed into
the fund and the interest the fund accrues are hereby
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appropriated to the department on a continuing basis for any
activities necessary to meet the requirements of this chapter.
(b) Supplements to fund.--The Commonwealth Specialty Crop
Block Grant Fund may be supplemented by money received from the
following sources:
(1) State money appropriated to the department.
(2) Federal money appropriated to the department.
(3) Gifts and other contributions from public and
private sources.
§ 10509 . Applicability.
This chapter shall apply to the distribution of money of the
Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund allocated or
received by the department beginning with the fiscal year 2019-
2020 and thereafter.
CHAPTER 107
URBAN AGRICULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT PROGRAM
Sec.
10701. Legislative intent.
10702. Definitions.
10703. Grant program.
10704. Distribution of grant money.
10705. Funding.
§ 10701. Legislative intent.
It is the intent of the General Assembly to establish a
reimbursement grant program under which persons who implement
projects that improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas
and that focus on aggregation of agricultural products, sharing
of resources and support for community development resources may
be reimbursed some portion of the costs of the projects.
§ 10702. Definitions.
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The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Eligible project." A project that the department determines
does all of the following:
(1) Improves agricultural infrastructure in an urban
area.
(2) Improves or facilitates the aggregation of
agricultural products in an urban area.
(3) Entails the sharing of resources among urban
agricultural operations, agricultural producers or community
organizations.
(4) Supports community development in the project area.
"Person." An individual, partnership, association, firm,
corporation or any other legal entity.
"Program." The Urban Agricultural Infrastructure Grant
Program established under this chapter.
§ 10703. Grant program.
(a) Availability.--Grants under this chapter shall only be
offered in a fiscal year in which and to the extent funding is
made available to the department. The following apply:
(1) If funding is exhausted or otherwise unavailable,
the department shall be under no obligation to provide grants
under this chapter.
(2) Grant money may be prorated or offered as a
percentage of actual costs, as determined by the department
and set forth in an order by the secretary, to spread
available money to a larger number of eligible projects. The
secretary shall transmit notice of an order to the
Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the
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Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(b) Reimbursement grants.--Grants under this chapter shall
be reimbursement grants. The following shall apply:
(1) The amount of reimbursement shall be based on actual
eligible costs submitted by an approved applicant for an
approved project during any fiscal year in which grants are
offered.
(2) Grant reimbursement money shall be limited to 50% or
less of the costs of an eligible project.
(3) Grant reimbursement money shall not be used to
reimburse any portion of an in-kind contribution to an
eligible project.
(4) Grant money may not be used to pay or reimburse
wages or salaries of grant recipient staff.
(5) Grant money may not be used to reimburse any portion
of the project costs which are being paid or reimbursed under
another Federal or State grant program.
(6) A single applicant may not be awarded more than
$100,000 in grants in any five-year period, calculated from
the date the department awards the grant.
(c) Eligibility.--A person may apply to the department, in
accordance with the program standards and requirements under
subsection (d), for a determination by the department that a
project is an eligible project that may receive a reimbursement
grant under this chapter.
(d) Program standards and requirements.--The department
shall, consistent with this chapter and any appropriation of
money for grants under this chapter, establish the terms and
conditions for the application process for program reimbursement
grants, including the maximum reimbursement grant amount an
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applicant may receive in any single fiscal year. The department
shall transmit notice of the requirements to the Legislative
Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(e) Application procedure.--An applicant who desires to
receive a program reimbursement grant shall submit a grant
application on a form provided by the department and in
accordance with program standards and requirements. The
application shall contain the following information and other
information as required by the department:
(1) The applicant's name, business address and contact
information.
(2) The details of the project for which reimbursement
grant money is sought, including the following:
(i) A project budget.
(ii) A statement of the maximum amount of grant
money sought for the project, not to exceed 50% of
project costs.
(iii) A project construction and implementation
schedule.
(iv) A narrative identifying each entity that will
assist in, participate in and benefit from the project.
(v) A description of how the project would improve
agricultural infrastructure in an urban area.
(vi) A description of how the project improves or
facilitates the aggregation of agricultural products in
an urban area.
(vii) A description of how the project entails the
sharing of resources among urban agricultural operations
agricultural producers or community organizations.
(viii) A description of how the project supports
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community development in the project area.
(ix) An attestation signed by the applicant,
verifying the accuracy of the information presented on
the application.
(x) Other information as the department may
reasonably require.
(f) Grant awards.--The department shall award grants to
applicants in accordance with this chapter and the applicable
program standards and requirements.
§ 10704. Distribution of grant money.
The department shall issue program reimbursement grant money
to pay some portion of the costs of an eligible project based
upon the applicant's submission of a verified statement that the
eligible project has been completed or implemented, including a
statement of the project completion date, photos of the
completed or implemented project with a narrative explanation of
each photo, bills and invoices for which reimbursement grant
money is sought and other information as the department may
reasonably require.
§ 10705. Funding.
The department shall use money as appropriated by the General
Assembly for grants under this chapter, and may also use any
other money that is made available to the department for grants
under this chapter, by Federal appropriation, State
appropriation, donation or from any other source.
Section 3. Repeals are as follows:
(1) The General Assembly declares that the repeal under
paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of 3
Pa.C.S. Ch. 103.
(2) The act of August 6, 1991 (P.L.326, No.33), known as
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the Agriculture and Rural Youth Development Act, is repealed.
Section 2 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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