Program Details

The PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program serves state-wide as a liaison to communities for conflict management on issues affecting agriculture, land use, environment and planning.

The Agricultural Ombudsman Program advocates for the viable future of agriculture.  We focus on

  • fairness to agriculture
  • equitable review of required plans, permits or zoning applications
  • allowing time for input from concerned or interested parties in a non-hostile environment
  • proactive education to minimize conflicts and promote understanding

The Ombudsmen are knowledgeable about

An Ombudsman will offer educational input related to these topics, which should be considered a professional opinion, NOT a legal opinion.

The Ombudsman Program attempts to minimize conflict in communities, but will not speak on behalf of a particular person or situation.  Our job is to remain neutral about the details of a situation, yet help ensure that farmers are allowed to farm in the future, regardless of the size of the operation, management style or animals raised, provided they are following the legitimate rules and regulations that govern them.  The Ombudsman will try to “Build Bridges,” offer input, and facilitate meetings, by offering professional services, NOT legal services.

The PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program offers educational input or programs for municipalities related to

  • Manure Management requirements
  • Nutrient Management Act
  • Right to Farm
  • Agricultural Communities and Rural Environment (ACRE)
  • zoning, land use planning, stormwater education
  • the impacts to agriculture because of what is contained in an ordinance

The Ag Ombudsman Program also offers educational training to Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Penn State Cooperative Extension Service and private sector consultants on

  • odor management techniques
  • fly minimization techniques
  • mortality composting
  • any other topics on which agricultural technicians, agricultural educators and consultants want more information

This Program offers educational training for farmers related to

  • odor management
  • mortality composting
  • vegetative buffers
  • good neighbor relations
  • Manure Management Plan writing

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