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11/18/2019

Department of Agriculture Partners with PennAg Industries to Launch Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence

Kleinfeltersville, PA - Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Chris Herr, executive vice president of PennAg Industries, visited a Heritage Poultry Management organic egg farm in Lebanon County to discuss how their new partnership through the PA Farm Bill’s Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence will assist swine, poultry, and small ruminant producers with everything from expanding processing capacity to biosecurity planning.

“In this ever-changing industry, we’re working to prepare today’s producers for tomorrow’s challenges with a unique variety of essential resources available through this center,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This partnership opens the door to a stronger animal ag sector in Pennsylvania and a future of opportunity.”

Earlier this year, Governor Tom Wolf signed the first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill and funded the Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence at $1 million. A board of directors – representative of the swine, poultry, and small ruminant sectors as well as a diverse group of agriculture, animal health, and academic stakeholders – will guide the center to ensure the mission set forth by the PA Department of Agriculture is fulfilled.

The center will provide the following resources and investments to the industry:

  • Biosecurity education and planning assistance;
  • Biosecurity implementation grants;
  • Regional workshops for strategic and emergency communications planning;
  • Buildout of statewide animal agriculture infrastructure;
  • Research to approve hemp for animal feed; and
  • Investments in improved food safety infrastructure.

“PennAg is pleased that the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence calls attention to the continued growth, challenges, and importance of the livestock industry in the commonwealth,” said PennAg Executive Vice President Chris Herr. “We’re eager to assist in driving the growing poultry and swine industries forward through this new Center, as both play a vital role to Pennsylvania agriculture.”

The PA Farm Bill is Governor Wolf’s $23.1 million investment in Pennsylvania agriculture to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and inspire future generations of leaders within agriculture.

For more information about the PA Farm Bill and investments to support Pennsylvania’s leading industry, visit agriculture.pa.gov or follow the department on Facebook or Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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