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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Causer to Return as Chair of House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) has again been named chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee for the 2017-18 legislative session by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny).

Causer was first appointed to chair the committee in the 2015-16 session.

“I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to work on the issues impacting our state’s top industry and look forward to continuing that effort in the coming session to ensure agriculture continues to thrive across the Commonwealth,” Causer said. “The men and women working our farms and agribusinesses are some of the hardest working people I know, and it is certainly an honor to work with them.”

Among the issues addressed by the committee last session were deep funding cuts put forth by the Wolf Administration that nearly forced a shutdown of Penn State’s agriculture extension programs, 4-H and more. Causer led the fight to ensure the money was restored in the final 2015-16 budget and maintained in the current year’s plan.

Under Causer’s leadership, the committee also passed laws to ensure the Clean and Green Program is working as intended by prohibiting the application of use values that result in assessments higher than fair market value; create an agricultural pilot program to research industrial hemp; and update the horse racing law to boost the state’s Thoroughbred breeding industry.

Causer grew up on a dairy farm in McKean County and represents a region rich in crop and livestock farming, as well as timbering and maple syrup production. Pennsylvania is the largest producer of hardwoods in the country, accounting for 10 percent of the total hardwood output in the United States. It ranks sixth in maple syrup production, with 143,000 gallons produced in 2016.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the agriculture industry has an estimated economic impact of $75 billion annually. The state is home to more than 59,000 farms covering 7.7 million acres of farmland.

Causer has served as representative for the 67th Legislative District since 2003. For legislative updates, visit and

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