Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today encouraged farmers to apply for funding to strengthen the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania's farms through the 2020-2021 Farm Vitality Grant Program. One of the largest programs in Governor Tom Wolf's Pennsylvania Farm Bill, the Farm Vitality Program helps fund professional services for on-farm business planning.
From Reading to Lancaster on Monday, Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and Philadelphia on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding traveled Pennsylvania this week to visit the urban agriculture operations that are directly addressing food insecurity, improving quality of life, and infusing revenue into cities across the commonwealth.
This week, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding will travel the commonwealth to visit 11 urban farms and ag operations in the cities of Reading, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. At these and many more urban agriculture sites across the commonwealth, Pennsylvanians are coming together to tackle both local and global challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and poor health associated with a lack of access to nutritious foods.
The personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile currently being stored at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg will be moved to another site over the next few months, Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, and the Pennsylvania Department of General Services announced today.
Secretary Russell Redding today announced the availability of $13 million in tax credits to Pennsylvania farmers for measures to improve soil and water quality. Tax credits are available through Pennsylvania's innovative, nationally-recognized conservation financing program, Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP).
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today thanked Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for making food security a priority, boosting farm income and putting fresh, local foods on the tables of Pennsylvanians in need. The 2021-22 state budget appropriates $22.688 million for the department’s anti-hunger programs. This includes $20.188 million for the State Food Purchase Program, an increase of $2 million, and $2.5 million for the Pennsylvania Agriculture Surplus System (PASS), an increase of $1 million.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today commended Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly for once again funding the Pennsylvania Farm Bill. Funded for the third time at $13.6 million, the PA Farm Bill is a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive set of programs that resulted from bipartisan action to grow a stronger, more resilient agriculture industry.
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for proposals for projects designed to increase consumer awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture products and increase sales and exports. The department will award up to $303,000 in matching funds to PA nonprofits to reimburse up to 50% of costs for promotional and educational projects.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced the Pennsylvania Farm Show will host a Summer Food Fest, providing Pennsylvanians the opportunity to once again taste their PA Farm Show food-favorites as they countdown to the 2022 show.
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is seeking projects that strengthen the state’s competitiveness of horticultural specialty crops and combat food system shortfalls associated with COVID-19. Proposals, due July 30, 2021, are for the special allocation of the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program, which is administered by the state.
Secretary Russell Redding today called for research proposals on issues critical to sustaining and growing Pennsylvania's $132.5 billion agriculture industry. A total of $1.29 million is available to support eligible projects.
Sprinkled across Pennsylvania are 31 creameries that make up Scooped: An Ice Cream Trail. At Urban Churn in Mechanicsburg today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carrie Fischer Lepore encouraged Pennsylvanians and tourists to support Pennsylvania's small businesses and dairy farmers with scoops of happiness churned from Pennsylvania dairy.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced $460,000 in funds for eight projects that will increase market opportunities and competitiveness of Pennsylvania specialty crops. Funded under the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, state Specialty Crop Block Grants fund high priority specialty crops that are not eligible under the federal specialty crop grant program.
Cheswick, PA - At Eichenlaub Inc. in Allegheny County, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Rick Roush, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Administrator Carlos Martinez today provided an update on the state of spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania and the path to beating this invasive species.
Today, Pennsylvania safeguarded 2,305 acres on 30 farms in 19 counties, investing more than $5.1 million in the future of agriculture through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. The program preserves farms to protect them from future residential, commercial or industrial development. They represent targeted investments in the future of farming and food security in Pennsylvania.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that the department’s Spotted Lanternfly Compliance and Enforcement Team will be conducting spotted lanternfly permit and inspection record checks for businesses in Pennsylvania’s 34 counties quarantined for the pest.
Joined by Second Lady Gisele Fetterman and Levi Fetterman, the Fetterman family dog, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and dog law advocates Senator Judy Schwank and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski rallied at the Capitol today calling on Pennsylvanian’s to ask their legislator to save the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and their invaluable work by supporting Senate Bill 232 and House Bill 526.
With Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry providing $132.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy and the industry leading the nation for production in many sectors, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega today stressed the importance of cultivating the next generation of agriculturalists by offering kids opportunities for hands-on agriculture experiences over the summer.
At the Open-Air Farmers Market at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg today, Wolf Administration officials reminded Pennsylvania’s low-income seniors and WIC recipients to obtain and use their vouchers from the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) to purchase fresh, local fruits, vegetables, and herbs from FMNP-approved farmers at farmers markets and farm stands across the commonwealth.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today toured gardens throughout the City of York and discussed the ability for farms in Pennsylvania’s urban spaces to stomp out food apartheid and build stronger, united communities with volunteers and management from York Fresh Food Farms and city officials.
As Spotted Lanternflies hatch across much of the state, PA Department of Agriculture crews have begun to spray an insecticide that kills the insects on contact along railways, interstates and other transportation rights-of-way. Contact spraying is a new element of strategic efforts to slow the spread of the invasive pest, which moves primarily by hitching a ride on vehicles traveling out of infested areas.
With the emergence of Brood X Cicadas underway in Pennsylvania, Wolf Administration officials today encouraged Pennsylvanians to keep their hands off of insecticides as these once-every-seventeen-year bugs make their appearance. While large and loud, these rare insects are not harmful and will not be around for long.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer today said that only about 50 percent of Pennsylvania’s approximately three million dogs are licensed. That’s about 1.5 million dogs in Pennsylvania with no ticket home if they get lost and no way to track down an owner if they would bite or attack a person or another animal.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced a confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a white-tailed deer on a Warren County hunting preserve. Remaining deer were euthanized and all tested negative for the disease. The department has quarantined the preserve for five years. Contact tracing to determine any further exposure is in progress and may necessitate additional quarantines.<br>
Today in Harrisburg, a specialist from the PA Department of Agriculture demonstrated how homeowners can use a circle trap to eliminate large numbers of destructive Spotted Lanternflies without harming beneficial pollinators or small animals.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Aging Secretary Robert Torres today joined seniors at Kings Terrace to announce steps to increase access to Pennsylvania’s Senior Food Boxes, a supplemental food program available free to lower income seniors. Giving the program a new name and removing proof of income requirements are among the barriers to participation the state is removing, with the goal of encouraging seniors to take advantage of the program.
Today, Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer was at Willow Spring Kennels in Bucks County to discuss the sad situation facing Pennsylvania dogs due to inaction to raise dog license fees. State Representative Frank Farry, scheduled to join the event was unfortunately unable to attend, but expressed his support for legislative action.
Millersville, PA - At Penn Manor High School today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Education Executive Deputy Secretary Pam Smith announced that $500,000 from the Pennsylvania Farm Bill has been invested in developing the future workforce for Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry by funding 57 grants for ag education.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Governor’s Advisory Commission for Latino Affairs Executive Director Luz Colon today visited a vaccine clinic at Giorgio Mushrooms in Berks County where more than 600 farmworkers received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic was available through a mobile vaccine and testing unit operated in partnership by the Latino Connection and Highmark Blue Shield.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced approval for $500,000 in funding to support 42 projects through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Urban Agriculture Grant Program. The projects funded include everything from refrigeration equipment to agricultural infrastructure such as greenhouses, raised beds, irrigation, and tools to provide urban ag operations every opportunity to succeed as they work to feed and build their communities.