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Rodale Institute Funding

Senator Pat Browne and Senator Vincent Hughes to tour the Rodale Institute in Maxatawny Township Last year, I invited Senator Pat Browne and Senator Vincent Hughes to tour the Rodale Institute in Maxatawny Township because I wanted them to see what I’ve seen: That the Rodale Institute is a force to be reckoned with in the world of agriculture. I wanted them to understand that the Institute is widely considered the leader in agricultural research using organic and sustainable practices.

And they did. After that tour, we worked together to secure Rodale some first-ever funding, which was authorized in the Fiscal Code. The institute will receive $500,000 from the Commonwealth.

It’s an investment in agriculture, but also in our future. It’s now time for all of Pennsylvania, and, really, the world to explore the organic movement. We already are, and successfully I might add.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service 2016 survey, Pennsylvania organic growers generated $659 million in certified organic commodities. The only state that generated more revenue than us was California. We were number two in the entire country for certified organic sales.

More and more farmers are exploring organic agriculture. In 2015, we had 681 organic farms in the Commonwealth. In 2016, that number shot up to 803. That’s an 18 percent increase.

It’s worth noting that many farms are using organic practices without becoming certified.

There is a lot to be gained from the organic industry. Research has proven that some of its methods are more environmentally friendly, and easier on our soils. Much of that research has come from the fields around us right now.

There’s an idea that encompasses what all of this means, and that’s Regenerative Agriculture. It’s the idea that farming organically creates a ripple effect. It starts on the farm by regenerating the soil. Chemicals that once seeped into waterways and watersheds start to fade. The quality of our drinking water improves. Do you see what I mean?
It’s time for us to support the organic industry. I envision these state funds being used to bolster the Institute’s current research and help them stay at the forefront of combating challenges and finding new opportunities that benefit all of agriculture. 

Constituent Outreach

Senator Schwank and 2018 interns.

Senator Schwank joins interns for door-to-door constitutent outreach.As you may know, my office offers summer internships every year to high school and college students in the area. They learn about district issues and help my staff complete projects. One of the projects I like to include interns in is door-to-door constituent outreach.

We took two afternoons to walk around neighborhoods in Reading. It’s my chance to meet the people I represent, and to remind them of the services my office can help them with—things like birth certificate applications and property tax rebates.

I like to take the interns with me because several of them are usually interested in public service or local government, and it doesn’t get more local than meeting people in their homes.

Senator Schwank joins interns for door-to-door constitutent outreach. Senator Schwank joins interns for door-to-door constitutent outreach.

Being Social

Twitter/Facebook Facebook Twitter It’s a privilege to be your state senator, so it is important to me to be in touch with you.

I really like face-to-face meetings but understand that in this busy world, sometimes that isn’t possible. Feel free to call my office to ask questions or make suggestions. Also, you may connect with me through my pages on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow me for regular updates and comments about what’s happening in the district and in Harrisburg.

Offices to Serve You

  District Office
210 George Street
Suite 201
Reading, PA 19605
Phone: (610) 929-2151
Fax: (610) 929-2576
Harrisburg Office
457 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203011
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3011
Phone: (717) 787-8925
Fax: (717) 772-0578