Agriculture is foundational to Pennsylvania’s economy contributing $132.5B in annual economic impact and supporting 593,600 jobs across the commonwealth. It is also at the nexus of the most critical conversations of our time regarding food supply, climate, energy, and human, animal, and environmental health.
Advanced Agriculture, or tech-enabled approaches for growing and processing food with the intention of higher quality, increased efficiency, and reduced impact on the environment, presents a path to transform our economy, elevate industry, and sustain and create jobs throughout our state.
State leaders must work together to prioritize tech-enabled advancement for food and agriculture industries accordingly.
Pennsylvania Advanced Agriculture Cross-Sector Collaborative
Launched in April 2023, this statewide network brings together leaders from industry, government, organized labor, nonprofits, and academia to create the conditions for innovative, technological, and market-driven solutions that will bolster agriculture as a legacy industry in Pennsylvania’s economy while sustaining and creating jobs.
The Collaborative is a:
- Public-Private Partnership: Driven by private sector leaders and champions from state government who share a commitment to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industries. Nonprofit, organized labor, academic, and regional organizations also play important roles in driving the Collaborative’s action agenda.
- Catalyst & Enabler: The Collaborative drives action around “Advanced Agriculture”, creating the conditions for infrastructure investments to be made in Pennsylvania through compelling messaging as well as policy and regulatory frameworks.
- Driver of Sustained Commitment: The Collaborative is designed to mobilize and sustain the long-term, public-private commitment needed to realize the economic opportunities of agriculture in the Commonwealth.
Currently, the collaborative is focused on accelerating developments in “Advanced Agriculture”, which includes:
- Precision & Agri-Tech: Including transformative technologies like robotics, automation, advanced imaging, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and remote sensing. These technologies have broad-based applications across agricultural and food production and processing.
- Climate-Smart & Regenerative Ag: Tech-enabled methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon, carbon management systems, and create a waste-to-value/circular economy.
- Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA): Including Indoor farming, vertical farming, high-tech greenhouses for specialty crops, and biopharma. PA has a long history in CEA with its over 100-year-old mushroom industry and is in a tremendous position to lead developments in this area.
The Collaborative meets quarterly to advance action on its priorities, with action team meetings between quarterly meetings as necessary to drive the work.
Ready to be involved or interested in learning more about our current priorities? Contact Kelly Kundratic, Agriculture Policy Director at email@example.com.
Agriculture Economic Impact Studies
In 2018, we released the “Pennsylvania Agriculture: A Look at the Economic Impact and Future Trends” report – a first-of-its-kind analysis that provided a state-level working definition of ‘agriculture’, quantified economic and workforce impacts, and outlined policy and industry recommendations for a thriving future.
The analysis was updated in 2021 to benchmark trends for industry subsectors, as well as examine the impact of programs from the Pennsylvania Farm Bill and the COVID-19 pandemic. This version of the report provided leaders with recommendations on critical next steps for economic recovery.
This type of third-party, nonpartisan data advances Pennsylvania’s economy by identifying high-growth economic opportunities for the state and informing long-term systems change. As such, we will continue to assess the economic impact of agriculture to benchmark industry progress and identify areas primed for public-private partnership.