HARRISBURG, April 19, 2017 – This week Sen. Schwank and Sen. Elder Vogel (R-47) introduced legislation meant to protect farmers from grain brokers who suddenly go out of business. A grain broker, or dealer, is someone who buys grain from a farmer and then sells it to a third party.

Pennsylvania currently has no regulations requiring grain brokers or dealers to provide any indemnification coverage; meaning if grain farmers have sold their grain to a broker who then loses funding, those farmers will not be compensated for their grain nor will they get the grain back.

Sen. Schwank learned of a constituent, Michael Braucher of Braucher Farms, who lost money when the dealer he enlisted to sell his grain went out of business.

“Pennsylvania’s lack of protection puts our grain farmers at risk and makes farmers from other states think twice before doing business in Pennsylvania. This legislation will help prevent other farmers from the financial hardship Mike Braucher has endured,” Schwank said. “Other states protect their farmers. It’s time we do the same.”

The new legislation requires brokers and dealers to get a bond as a security for the farmer if the dealer or broker were to default. Small dealers who handle less than 5000 bushels annually and farmers feeding grain to livestock and poultry would be exempt.

Schwank is the minority chair of the state senate’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.