An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


In New Holland, Gov. Shapiro touts budget proposal’s ag investments

Gov. Josh Shapiro speaks at New Holland Agriculture on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Behind him are, from left, Rob Hess, owner of Bow Creek Farm; and Richard Heisey, Vice President of Product Engineering at CNH Industrial. (Source:

The day after delivering his 2024 budget address, Gov. Josh Shapiro visited New Holland Agriculture in Lancaster County to make the case for his proposed investments in farming technology and conservation.

“For the first time ever, our economic development strategy isn’t limited in its focus to our high rises or our suburban office parks,” Shapiro said. “We understand that our economic success is dependent on our rural communities and our farmlands.”

His 2024-25 budget proposes devoting $10.3 million to help farmers adopt the latest technology and conservation practices.

A branch of multinational agribusiness CNH Industrial, New Holland Agriculture employs 600 people at its 340-acre Lancaster County site. The precision agriculture enabled by its products are “critical” to farmers’ environmental efforts, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, said.

The worlds of education, economic development and environmental sustainability all intersect in agriculture and at companies like New Holland, Shapiro said. Education drives innovation in techniques and equipment that in turn allow farmers to up their game, improving water and soil quality and helping Pennsylvania meet goals such as its commitment to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

In his speech Tuesday, Shapiro proposed $48.3 billion in spending, up 7% over the current fiscal year, including major increases for K12 and higher education funding.

Gov. Josh Shapiro, left, and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding try out a methane-powered tractor at New Holland Agriculture. (Source:

At New Holland, he sharply rebutted Republican accusations that the plan would be profligate and lead to deficits and tax increases.

He contended that on the contrary it corrects for years of underinvestment. With Republicans in control of the Senate, Shapiro said he’s certain not to get everything he wants; but if he did, and the state’s surplus dropped by $3 billion, it would still have $11 billion in reserves. That’s plenty, he said.

He described his budget as “fiscally responsible investments that are fully paid for.”

“We’ve got the resources,” he said. “… Now is the time to act.”