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Agriculture Secretary Encourages Farmers to Reach Out as Industry Faces Growing Stress Throughout Pandemic

09/24/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Department of Human Services Dr. Perri Rosen will be joined by industry and healthcare representatives this afternoon for an open conversation about decreasing stigma surrounding mental health in agriculture. The discussion will be livestreamed on Facebook at 1:00 PM.

Secretary of Agriculture Highlights ‘Earn While You Learn’ Agriculture Apprenticeship Opportunity

09/23/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding encouraged young Pennsylvanians today to apply for an Agriculture Equipment Service Technician Apprenticeship where they’ll earn a paycheck while they learn hands-on skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. Pennsylvania will face more than 1,000 job openings in the field by 2030, as current farm equipment mechanics and service technicians retire.

Secretary of Agriculture: Opportunity for Dairy Farmer COVID-19 Relief Closes September 30

09/23/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today reminded Pennsylvania dairy farmers that the deadline to apply for the CARES Act-funded Dairy Indemnity Program, which provides financial relief for losses due to discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 pandemic, is September 30, 2020.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, September 14 - September 20

09/22/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from September 14 through September 20, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Ag Secretary, State Veterinarian: New Animal ID Rules Help Track Disease, Prevent Outbreaks

09/18/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and State Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill today reminded small-ruminant producers that new requirements for scrapie tags and premises IDs will help ensure better, faster disease tracing and control. Adhering to new federal requirements will help keep scrapie instances from becoming full-blown outbreaks, ultimately saving producers from devastating livestock and financial losses.

Wolf Administration Awards $10 Million to Fund Access to Fresh Food, COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts in Low-Income Communities

09/17/2020
At Karimar Grocery in Franklin County today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin announced that more than 100 projects, funding access for fresh food in low-income communities, have received grants through Pennsylvania’s $10 million Fresh Food Financing Initiative.

Administración Wolf otorga $10 millones para financiar el acceso a alimentos frescos y esfuerzos de mitigación de COVID-19 en comunidades de bajos ingresos

09/17/2020
Hoy en Karimar Grocery en el condado de Franklin, el secretario de Agricultura, Russell Redding, y el secretario de Desarrollo Comunitario y Económico, Dennis Davin, anunciaron que más de 100 proyectos, que financian el acceso a alimentos frescos en comunidades de bajos ingresos, han recibido subvenciones a través de la Iniciativa de financiamiento de alimentos frescos de Pennsylvania de$ 10 millones.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, September 7-13

09/15/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from September 7 through September 13, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Department of Agriculture, Partners Urge Pennsylvanians to Squash Spotted Lanternflies Today for Future Food Security

09/10/2020
Following months of hyper-focus on the availability of food, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Richard Roush and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Executive Director for Field Operations Carlos Martinez at Cherry Hill Orchards, where they urged Pennsylvanians to act now against the Spotted Lanternfly for the sake of food security.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, August 31-September 6

09/09/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 31 through September 6, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Departments of Agriculture, Health Partner to Offer Pennsylvania Hemp Growers New Testing Resources

09/03/2020
The Departments of Agriculture and Health announced today a new partnership to make Pennsylvania’s six medical marijuana testing laboratories available to the agriculture industry for testing hemp crops for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, August 24-30

09/01/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 24 through August 30, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Agriculture Department Revises Chronic Wasting Disease Quarantine Requirements for Deer Farms in Bedford, Blair, Fulton Counties

08/28/2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced changes to quarantine requirements for deer farms in Blair, Bedford and Fulton Counties to control Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The department established a CWD Core Captive Management Zone, to control the disease in the area of the state where it is most prevalent, while allowing deer farms to stay in business.

Department of Agriculture Reminds Pennsylvanians Importance of Saving Pet Food Lot Numbers

08/28/2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today reminded pet owners across the commonwealth of the importance of saving their pet food lot numbers. The lot number is a crucial piece of information when trying to identify if a product has been recalled or for reporting a potential problem with a pet food or treat to the FDA or the producer. The Department of Agriculture licenses and inspects businesses that make and sell animal feed and pet food.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, August 17-23

08/25/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 17 through August 23, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Secretary of Agriculture: $13.6 Million Remains Available for Pennsylvania Dairy Industry, Farmers Urged to Apply for Relief

08/21/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding visited the Scattered Acres Dairy Farm in Reading today, one of Pennsylvania’s many dairy farms that had to dump milk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on dairy markets in the commonwealth. On the farm, Secretary Redding revealed that nearly $13.5 million of the $15 million CARES Act-funded Dairy Indemnity Program was still available for farmers to claim in direct relief payments.

Wolf Administration to Federal Government: When School is Virtual, Pennsylvania Kids Still Rely on School Meals to Thrive

08/20/2020
Today Wolf Administration officials raised their voices for Pennsylvania’s kids, calling for the federal government to extend waivers that have allowed Pennsylvania to provide 24 million meals to school children. Waivers expire at the end of the month, ending access to breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks for school-age children and their younger siblings.

Pennsylvania Invests $9.4 Million to Ensure 33 Farms in 16 Counties Will Produce Agriculture for Future

08/20/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board added 2,512 acres on 33 farms in 16 counties to the nation’s leading farmland preservation program. Today’s $9.4 million investment purchases development rights for these farms to ensure they will remain in agricultural production permanently.

Department of Agriculture Announces Pennsylvania Agriculture to be Celebrated Virtually for 2021 PA Farm Show

08/19/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry will be celebrated virtually for the 2021 PA Farm Show, with no in-person events or competitions, to mitigate against COVID-19.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, August 10-16

08/18/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 10 through August 16, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Wolf Administration Officials Petition USDA: Immediate Action Needed to Ensure School-Aged Children Access to Food

08/18/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on him to extend several national waivers that provide schools with meal distribution flexibility, and to ensure all Pennsylvania children under the age of 18 have consistent access to breakfast and lunch as schools approach the 2020-21 school year using a variety of instructional models.

Secretary of Agriculture Announces $10 Million to Support Pennsylvania Agriculture Producers, Charitable Food System

08/13/2020
During a visit to Sauder’s Eggs today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced a $10 million contract with Feeding Pennsylvania to acquire surplus agriculture products from Pennsylvania producers to be funneled through the charitable food system to put fresh, local foods into the hands of Pennsylvanians in need.

Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions

08/12/2020
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 3 through August 9, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits.

Agriculture Secretary, Auditor General Call for Legislative Action to Protect Pennsylvania’s Dogs

08/05/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Cappy, the Capitol Police public service dog, today joined supporters in a plea for legislative action urgently needed to protect Pennsylvania’s dogs, their owners and their communities. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, state Sen. Judy Schwank, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski and Humane Society of the U.S. State Director Kristen Tullo detailed the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s impending funding crisis, the implications for public safety and animal welfare, and how the crisis can be averted.  

Wolf Administration Announces $10 Million in Tax Credits to Improve Water Quality, Farm Sustainability

07/31/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced the availability of $10 million in tax credits to Pennsylvania farmers for measures to improve soil and water quality. Tax credits are available through Pennsylvania’s nationally recognized Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP), which was expanded under the 2019 PA Farm Bill.

Agriculture Department Warns Consumers to Report Unsolicited, Mislabeled Seeds Received by Mail

07/28/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today warned consumers to properly discard and report unordered and mislabeled seeds shipped from overseas. Consumers nationwide have received seeds in packages labeled as jewelry. These seeds may contain plant diseases, weeds or invasive plants that could harm Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and ecosystem.

Secretary of Agriculture: Urban, Community Gardens Combat Food Deserts, Grow Food, Life Skills

07/22/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today toured Harrisburg’s Wesley Garden with volunteers and gardeners, discussing the important role community gardens play in providing access to fresh, healthy food for communities affected by food apartheid. A community garden run by the Harrisburg Urban Growers through Tri County Community Action, Wesley Garden provides local families access to tools, space, and mentorship to plant their own garden and experience the freedom of growing their own food.

Ram Lamb, Meat Goat Buck Performance Tested Sale to be Held Online Only

07/15/2020
Producers from Pennsylvania and other states have consigned performance tested ram lambs and meat goat bucks for the 42nd annual Performance Tested Ram Lamb and 18th annual Performance Tested Meat Goat Buck sales to be held online through Livestockbuyer.com August 1-5 as a response to COVID-19.

Wolf Administration to Reimburse County Fair Boards for Harness Races Held Despite Cancelled Fairs

07/15/2020
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced Governor Tom Wolf’s approval of a legal waiver allowing the department to reimburse local fair boards for harness races held at otherwise cancelled fairs. The waiver, approved July 6, was made possible by the Governor’s June 3, 2020 Disaster Emergency Declaration. It will affect 11 county fairs that have scheduled or held harness races in 2020, while cancelling their fairs to diminish public health risks tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wolf Administration: Farmers Market Nutrition Program Connects Hungry Pennsylvanians with Fresh, Local Food

07/15/2020
At the new Allison Hill Farmers Market in Harrisburg today, the Departments of Agriculture, Aging and Health reminded Pennsylvania’s low-income seniors and WIC recipients to use their vouchers from the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) to purchase fresh, local fruits, vegetables, and herbs from farmers markets and farm stands across the commonwealth.
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