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HOUSE REPUBLICAN SAYS AGRICULTURE MUST BE DEFENDED IN 1992-93 BUDGET

HOUSE REPUBLICAN SAYS AGRICULTURE MUST BE DEFENDED IN 1992-93 BUDGET
 /ADVANCE/ HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's number one industry -- agriculture -- is helping to balance a poor economy and must be defended in the upcoming state budget, the Republican chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee said today.
 "There is no doubt that all across Pennsylvania the agricultural community is making significant contributions to the economy," Rep. Jess Stairs (R-Westmoreland) said.
 "We're now fast approaching the time when the governor will present his 1992-93 state spending plan to the Legislature," he said. "However, in past budgets, it's always been up to the Republican members of the General Assembly to fight for the necessary funding to keep Pennsylvania's farm programs up to standard. Last year marked the fifth year House Republicans called for budget increases for agricultural- related programs. If necessary, we'll do it again this year."
 Stairs, who operates a livestock farm, spoke on a statewide radio program today.
 He said that the level of participation, the range of exhibits and attendance figures in this year's state Farm Show, which ended Thursday, are "very clear and infallible indicators of the tremendous role agriculture plays in Pennsylvania and its economy."
 Supporting his statement, Stairs noted there are more than 56,000 farms in the state which generate products worth over $3 billion a year and stimulate $38 billion in economic activities.
 "Agriculture is responsible for over 20 percent of the gross state product," he said. "More than one out of every five Pennsylvania workers are employed as farmers, food processors, farm equipment manufacture or sales people, or in other agribusiness.
 "Numbers like that put Pennsylvania right at the top of the list as northeast America's leading agricultural state."
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 /CONTACT: Rep. Jess Stairs of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 717-783-9311/ CO: Pennsylvania House of Representatives ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


JS -- PH018 -- 0998 01/17/92 12:44 EST
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Date:Jan 17, 1992
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