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Press Contact Information

News media seeking more information on press releases, interviews, requests for comment, or other information related to department programs, initiatives, or priorities should contact the department Press Secretary.

Shannon Powers, Press Secretary

Ph: 717-783-2628


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If you are a member of the general public or industry looking for more information on department programs, to contact a bureau or program, or report a complaint, please contact the general number or submit an inquiry on our Contact Page.

General phone: 717-787-4737

Press Website

Shapiro Administration Convenes New Food Policy Council to Coordinate Strategic Solutions to Increase Food Security and Access for All Pennsylvanians

Last week, the Shapiro Administration held the first meeting of the PA Food Policy Council, to evaluate and implement strategic, commonsense solutions to critical challenges facing Pennsylvania’s food system. The council, comprised of heads of eight state agencies and leaders 16 private-sector organizations, brings diverse expertise and perspectives from across the state together to work collaboratively to improve food and nutrition security, public health, environmental sustainability, local food systems, and to reduce food waste.

Shapiro Administration and The Bridge Eco-Village Host 325 Area K-12 Students for Hands-On Agriculture Career Inspiration

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Lisa Graybeal and The Bridge Eco-Village Founder and CEO Garry Gilliam hosted 325 area K-12 students today for hands-on agriculture career inspiration and exploration at The Bridge Eco-Village in Harrisburg. Students learned plant and animal care as Gilliam lead them in a demonstration of climate-friendly, urban, community-based agriculture powered by solar energy, bees, and kid-assisted, gravity-powered rainwater irrigation in The Bridge’s stadium garden.

Shapiro Administration Calls for Grant Proposals to Boost Sales and Expand Export Markets for Pennsylvania Products

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding invites proposals for projects designed to boost domestic sales and exports of Pennsylvania agricultural products. The department plans to award up to $303,000 in matching funds to PA nonprofits to reimburse up to 50% of costs for promotional and educational projects intended to increase consumer awareness and sales or expand export markets. The amount available for grants will ultimately depend on the final 2023-24 budget.

Shapiro Administration to Hold Small Business Resource Fair in Darlington Township on May 17

The Shapiro Administration will hold a Small Business Resource Fair on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in Darlington Township, Beaver County. This is an opportunity for small businesses, farmers, and residents to receive the resources they need as they recover from the impacts of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The resource fair will be open from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Russell Redding Confirmed to Serve as 27th PA Agriculture Secretary

Today, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed Russell Redding to serve as Pennsylvania’s 27th Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Josh Shapiro nominated Redding, who previously served as Agriculture Secretary under Governors Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell.

Agriculture Department Warns Consumers to Discard ‘A Joy’ Brand Contaminated Raw Milk Products Sold in Susquehanna County

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture warns that consumers should immediately discard “A Joy” brand raw milk products sold in Susquehanna County. Tests following a report of potential bacteria contamination confirmed the presence of listeria monocytogenes bacteria in half gallon and gallon plastic jugs at the A Joy Farm store at 21 Lalor Lane in Little Meadows, Susquehanna County.

Shapiro Administration Invites Applications for PA Farm Bill-Funded Grants to Boost Local Meat, Poultry Supply

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for applications for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill-funded grants aimed at increasing locally produced meat and poultry in the state. Very Small Meat and Poultry Processor Reimbursement Grants help small businesses start up or expand and meet USDA food safety requirements.

Shapiro Administration Invites Proposals for $2.187 Million for Research Critical to Growing Pennsylvania Agriculture Industry

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for research proposals on issues critical to sustaining and growing Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry. In his 2023-’24 budget, Governor Josh Shapiro proposed $2.187 million to address complex challenges from reducing impacts of climate change and measuring soil and water conservation, to tackling emerging animal diseases, to meeting demand for bio-based fuels and plastics.

Shapiro Administration Invests $5 Million to Protect 22 Farms, 2,038 Acres in 13 Counties from Future Development

The Shapiro Administration announced today that Pennsylvania protected 2,038 acres on 22 farms in 13 counties from future residential or commercial development. The investment of nearly $5 million in state, county, and local dollars preserves prime farmland for the future, helping Pennsylvania farms continue feeding our families and our economy. The investment illustrates Governor Josh Shapiro’s continued commitment to Pennsylvania’s rural economy and conserving our farmland, soil and water resources to feed future prosperity.

Shapiro Administration Invites Foodbanks, Pantries to Apply for $1.6 Million in Funding to Expand Emergency Food Access

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited qualified food banks, pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens that offer emergency food assistance to apply for $1.6 million in The Emergency Food Assistance (TEFAP) Reach and Resiliency Grants. The grants are just one element Governor Josh Shapiro’s Administration’s commitment to increasing food security and access to healthy food for children and families across Pennsylvania, wherever they live.

PennDOT Announces New License Plates to Help Grow and Sustain Plants and Pollinators

Today, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that thanks to recently passed legislation vehicle owners will now be able to purchase a ‘Pollinator’ license plate. Sixty-five percent of the proceeds from the license plate will be deposited into the Pollinator Habitat Program Fund. The Pollinator Habitat Program Fund is dedicated to supporting ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the populations of insects which pollinate plant life.

Shapiro Administration Invites Applicants for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill Grants to Strengthen Child Nutrition, Hands-on Ag Education

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited schools and childhood education centers to apply for up to $15,000 per school through PA Farm Bill Farm-to-School Grants. Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget continues this critical investment in child nutrition and growing tomorrow’s agriculture workforce – committing $500,000 for a fifth year to the program, which has awarded more than $1.8 million to 179 projects in 45 counties.

Shapiro Administration Begins Roll-out of Clean Streams Fund Program to Build Healthier Soil, Cleaner Water, Farm Viability

Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding visited Matthew and Samantha Stahlnecker’s Lycoming County farm to announce the first funding rolling out under the new, $154 million Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP). Governor Shapiro made it clear in his budget address that he understands the significant role of our farmers in Pennsylvania’s vitality. His words are matched by his proposals for investments that will grow and strengthen agriculture and the commonwealth through commonsense solutions. This announcement builds on the Administration’s commitment.

Shapiro Administration Announces Long-Term Presence in Darlington Township as Part of Its Commitment to Residents Affected by Norfolk Southern Train Derailment

The Department of Health Resource Center will continue operations in Beaver County and the Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture will continue to assist residents and answer their questions.

Governor Shapiro’s Budget Spurs Innovation, Expands Opportunity, Grows Future of Pennsylvania Agriculture

Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year makes critical investments in the future of Pennsylvania agriculture through funding to protect valuable farmland, furthering agriculture emergency preparedness and response, expanding fresh food resources, and increasing access to education.

Top-Performing Bulls to Sell in 50th Pennsylvania Livestock Evaluation Center Auction; Grants Available for PA Beef Producers

Beef producers will have an opportunity to buy some of the best genetics in the Northeast during the annual PA Performance-Tested Bull Sale at Pennsylvania's Livestock Evaluation Center in Pennsylvania Furnace in Centre County on Friday, March 31 at noon. Pennsylvania beef producers can apply for $1,000 grants from the state-supported Center for Beef Excellence to help finance purchase of a bull.

Department of Agriculture Adds Six Counties to Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine, Announces Grants and Actions to Help Slow the Spread

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that six counties have been added to Pennsylvania’s spotted lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2023 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine for this invasive pest now includes 51 counties.

Pennsylvania Protects 32 Farms, 3,047 Acres in 21 Counties from Future Development

The Shapiro Administration announced today that Pennsylvania protected 3,047 acres on 32 farms in 21 counties from future residential or commercial development. The investment of more than $10 million in state, county, and local dollars preserves prime farmland for the future, helping Pennsylvania farms continue to feed our families and our economy. Today’s announcement builds on Governor’s Shapiro continued commitment to the Commonwealth’s agriculture industry and our rural communities.

Agriculture Secretary Provides Update on Animal Health Concerns Following East Palestine Train Derailment

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding released the following statement on animal health concerns following the East Palestine train derailment: "Pennsylvanians' health and safety, as well as the safety of animals and the environment are the Shapiro Administration's top priority.

Pennsylvania Awarded $8.8 Million Funding Boost, Plus Performance-Based Increase for Low-Income Senior Nutrition Programs

The Shapiro Administration announced today that the department received a more than $8.8 million increase in federal funding for food access for low-income seniors through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Pennsylvania will receive more than 17.6% of $50 million in American Rescue Plan grants the USDA awarded to 47 states to boost each state's program in 2023 and 2024.

Shapiro Administration Awards $200,000 to Grow Hemp Industry; Invites Proposals for $392,000 in Grants

Today, Acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced $200,000 in grants to three agriculture nonprofits to fund projects aimed at growing fiber and food hemp markets, sales and awareness in Pennsylvania. Redding also called for proposals from marketing and promotion non-profits for an additional $392,000 in grants to be awarded in March 2023.

Pennsylvania Poultry Owners Should Take Steps Now to Protect Flocks Against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

As spring wild bird migration nears, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield remind poultry owners to protect their flocks, and their neighbors' flocks, along with the commonwealth's economy, against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) by remaining vigilant and reviewing and implementing strong biosecurity plans and practices.