Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Senator Elder Vogel Jr.
Dairy Farmer and State Senator

Rochester, Pennsylvania
Farm Credit Affiliation
Senator Elder's Perspective

In Pennsylvania, there are 253 legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives. Only one of those legislators is a full-time farmer.

Elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 2009, State Senator Elder Vogel Jr. is the Chairman of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Local Government Committee and is a member of the Appropriations, Banking & Insurance, Communications & Technology, Environmental Resources & Energy and Majority Policy Committees. When not in legislative session, Senator Vogel is milking cows with his parents on their 400-acre farm.

During his tenure, Senator Vogel has become the voice of agriculture in Pennsylvania’s legislature. Both the Senate and House leadership defer to him on agricultural policy because of his insight and direct expertise with farming.

One of his most significant accomplishments was passing the Inheritance and Realty Transfer Tax. This exemption saved farm families approximately $2.4 million in 2013 and $5.5 million in 2014. A landmark ag transportation reform package revised Pennsylvania’s vehicle code to accommodate larger farm equipment operating on state roads. Senator Vogel also advocates for farming interests with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), working to ensure water and air regulation isn’t too far reaching, seeking compliance rather than enforcement. Trade organizations cite Senator Vogel’s influence as a key reason for effective movement and funding for agricultural platform issues.

“I hope to make a positive outcome for people’s lives while trying to ensure the future of agriculture as Pennsylvania’s #1 industry,” Senator Vogel says. “We’re all connected by many things, but none as important as the need for the nourishing food and fiber that agriculture supplies. It’s my hope that we reconnect consumers back with our farmers and emphasize the importance of our food system.”

The Senator adds, “By working to keep burdensome regulations in check, we can ensure that agriculture can continue in a profitable and environmentally friendly manner. It’s important to remember that farmers were our first environmental stewards, relying on and continuing to rely on the health of their land and natural resources.”

Until his election, Senator Vogel was a township supervisor and president of his local Farm Bureau. He continues to serve as a board member with Cooperative Extension and is a member of his district’s three county Chamber of Commerce organizations. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and PennAg Industries Association.

“The challenge of feeding billions more people in the next 30 years is daunting, but achievable if we continue to invest in agricultural education, research and our farmers,” Senator Vogel says. “We’ll need to not only preserve farmland, but we must also build a system to preserve farmers, one that encourages investment, family-sustaining profits and provides every resource possible to keep the farm gates open.”

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