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.
Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joined Dauphin County Treasurer Janis Creason and Executive Director Humane Society of Harrisburg Area and Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania President Amy Kaunas to detail a crisis impacting dogs in Pennsylvania kennels, the families who adopt them, and the strain placed on local government finances by underfunded dog license fees creating the crisis.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and State Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill today discussed a variety of dangerous transmissible animal diseases that threaten Pennsylvania’s $34.6 billion animal agriculture industry. Should these diseases – which are currently present in other countries – arise anywhere in the United States, Pennsylvania would need to immediately declare a state of emergency to support the industry.<br>
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced the approval of nearly $400,000 in Farm to School Grants to fund 39 projects that will improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agricultural awareness opportunities for children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania's nation-leading mushroom industry stepped up to the plate to both feed America and keep their workers safe. Now, after a collaborative effort by the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health, the American Mushroom Institute, LCH Health and Community Services, and the Chester County Health Department, mushroom farmworkers are scheduled to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announce that the state’s program that rescues surplus agricultural products from waste and redirects it to the charitable food system, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS), has officially exceeded more than 20 million pounds of food. That’s 20 million pounds of fresh, locally produced products put into the hands of those who need it most over the past five years.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding warned today that the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s dog wardens’ relationship with the Pennsylvania SPCA network to address animal cruelty for dogs in kennels is at risk. State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski has championed a legislative solution – House Bill 526, which is awaiting further legislative support – to address the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s funding crisis.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for proposals for research projects that will strengthen and grow Pennsylvania’s poultry, swine, lamb, sheep and goat farming industries. Funded by the 2020 PA Farm Bill, $445,000 is available for research projects to enhance biosecurity, diagnostic testing, veterinary telemedicine and other strategies to prevent, detect and manage animal diseases and protect the food supply.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that after a successful Fall Food Fest this past November, the department has scheduled another opportunity for Pennsylvanians to get their PA Farm Show food fix at an outdoor Spring Food Fest in May.
With all Pennsylvania adults now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding today hosted a virtual discussion with Pennsylvania farmers who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. They were joined by Dr. Mark Goedecker, regional medical director for WellSpan Health, who discussed the value of vaccinated Pennsylvanians sharing their story to boosting confidence and acceptance among others.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced $300,000 in state matching funds awarded to 16 projects aimed at increasing consumer awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture products and market opportunities for agriculture producers.
oday, Pennsylvania protected 2,370 acres on 26 farms in 16 counties through the state’s nation-leading Farmland Preservation Program. Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on 5,869 Pennsylvania farms, covering 596,827 acres, in 59 counties, ensuring they will remain farms in the future.
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from April 5 – April 11, 2021. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants, including social distancing, masking and occupancy limits.
The Department of Agriculture today hosted a Facebook Live event to directly address questions about the work of wardens and their connection to the enforcement of animal cruelty in Pennsylvania.
Boiling Springs, PA - On a preserved farm in Cumberland County, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced the opening of the $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program. One of the largest of the programs in Governor Tom Wolf’s Pennsylvania Farm Bill, the Farm Vitality Program aims to enhance the long-term health and vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms.