The Department of Agriculture today reminds all poultry owners – backyard flocks and commercial producers – to keep their guard up to protect their birds from highly pathogenic avian influenza. After a lull of several weeks in detections, Pennsylvania has a new confirmed case of avian flu, the state's first in a non-commercial, backyard flock. A duck and chickens from a flock in Upper Mount Bethel Township in Northampton County were confirmed to be infected after a dead turkey vulture was found on the property. Wild birds are known to be the source of the infection elsewhere.
Today during Penn State's Ag Progress days, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding honored Charlotte E. Sunday, whose Lenhartsville, Berks County farm reached the Bicentennial Farm milestone, having been in her family since 1822. Redding also honored 17 families whose farms earned Century Farm status for being in the same family for 100 years.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding hosted a panel discussion today highlighting Pennsylvania’s abundant resources for farmers looking to pass the torch to a new generation and for young people seeking to enter the field. Held during Penn State University’s annual Ag Progress Days, the panel featured partners in businesses, non-profits, and the legislature along with farmers who have taken advantage of PA Farm Bill-funded assistance to succeed in agriculture.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for proposals for $900,000 in research grants through the Center for Poultry & Livestock Excellence created under the PA Farm Bill.
Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Redding today were surrounded by recipients of a diversity of PA Farm Bill grant program funding to highlight the Wolf Administration’s unwavering support for Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry. The PA Farm Bill celebration was held at the 150-year old Hess Farm in State College.
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for applications for $500,000 in PA Farm Bill Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants. Funding is aimed at boosting the capacity of urban agriculture organizations to fill gaps in their communities’ access to fresh food.
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 through Pennsylvania's innovative conservation financing program, Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP), can be combined with other state funding, including the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, the Chesapeake Bay Program or Conservation Excellence Grants.
Today Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and industry partners to announce a new $25 million recovery and reimbursement program for poultry farmers and integrators impacted by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
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 to meet USDA food safety requirements.<br>
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding traveled from Erie to Pittsburgh, Harrisburg to Philadelphia, and from Easton to Wilkes-Barre this week in honor of Pennsylvania’s 5th Annual Urban Agriculture Week, visiting 19 urban agriculture organizations directly addressing food insecurity, improving quality of life, and sparking economic development and entrepreneurship.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding traveled from Erie to Pittsburgh, Harrisburg to Philadelphia, and from Easton to Wilkes-Barre last week (July 11-15) in honor of Pennsylvania’s 5th annual Urban Agriculture Week, visiting about 20 urban agriculture organizations directly addressing food insecurity, improving quality of life, and sparking economic development.
Today, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission reported on progress of its Equine Safety and Welfare Plan, a list of tangible steps to increase protections for horses racing at Pennsylvania’s six tracks. The measures, which the commission began implementing March 1, 2022, included an Integrity Hotline for reporting suspected illegal or unethical behavior.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today commended Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly for approving a state budget that supports and invests in Pennsylvania agriculture and families across the commonwealth.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding kicked off the 5th annual Pennsylvania Urban Agriculture Week in Erie, Butler, and Lawrence counties today, where he toured five urban gardens tackling food insecurity by improving access to fresh, healthy foods in their communities.
In Washington County today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by Penn State Extension Area Master Gardener Coordinator Valerie Sesler, Washington County Conservation District Manager Matthew Golden, and other state and local leaders to discuss the threat that the spotted lanternfly poses and share information and resources to help Pennsylvanians limit the spread of the detrimental, invasive insect.
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today called for proposals for projects designed to expand sales of Pennsylvania agricultural products. 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 intended to increase consumer awareness and sales or grow export markets.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by state Representative Jessica Benham of Allegheny County today to celebrate Pride Month at Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market, with LGBTQ+ owners of market stands, to spotlight Pennsylvania’s national leadership in direct sales to consumers and the diverse, welcoming business owners contributing to that success.
The PA Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Evaluation Center invites consignments of breeding sheep and goats to be sold at an August 11 auction during Penn State Ag Progress Days in Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre County.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services was recognized for its important work during the last year with a national honor – the Association of Food and Drug Officials’ (AFDO) 2022 Elliot O. Grosvenor Food Safety Award.
Today, Pennsylvania protected 2,264 acres on 32 farms in 18 counties from future development, investing nearly $8.2 million in state, county and local dollars to ensure that prime farmland is not lost to development. This brings Pennsylvania’s total to 6,076 farms and 613,884 acres in 58 counties, now forever protected from commercial, industrial or residential development. Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in the number of preserved farms, investing more than $1.6 billion since 1988 to protect the state’s valuable farmland.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced funding is available for interested parties to develop a sustainable agricultural plastics recycling program. The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Project (APRP) is designed to assist Pennsylvania farmers to better manage their used agricultural plastics.
The Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Education today reminded Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the many summer food assistance programs for students and caretakers across the commonwealth. State and local options are available to Pennsylvania families facing food insecurity this summer.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited veterans' services, agricultural and other organizations to apply for funding to deliver grants to military veterans for farm and related business start-ups and expansion.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joined the Center for Dairy Excellence, the Penn State Farm Stress team, and the AgriSafe Network for a farm stress podcast discussion in honor of Mental Health Month. The conversation highlighted the unique stressors farmers, agricultural workers, and their families face and resources available to Pennsylvania farm families seeking mental health support.
Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by local school students, 4H representatives and members of the Dairy Princess Program for Farm City Day at Vale Wood Farms in Loretto, Cambria County to highlight agriculture education, agritourism and recognize the future of agriculture workforce.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced an extended deadline for research proposals on issues critical to sustaining and growing Pennsylvania's $132.5 billion agriculture industry. The deadline to submit proposals is now Friday, June 3, 2022.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Penn State Extension at Strites’ Orchard in Dauphin County today to highlight new data recognizing Pennsylvania as a national leader in direct-to-consumer sales.
Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced more than $2.45 million in federal grants awarded to 23 projects that will grow markets and increase the quality, safety and sustainability of the state's vegetable, fruit, nut and nursery specialty crops. Funding went toward projects in Berks, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Indiana, Lawrence, Perry, and Philadelphia counties, all of which benefit growers statewide.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined today by FFA students, Rohrbach’s Farm Market staff and leadership from Soil Bound LLC to tour Rohrbach’s market and orchards which sit on 59 acres of preserved farmland, part of Pennsylvania’s $9.7 million investment in farmland preservation. The farm exemplifies how the commonwealth’s public investments feed dollars into our economy and create jobs and tourism and education opportunities while conserving land and resources for a successful future.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding highlighted a $1.75 million state investment in ByHeart, Inc. today, supporting Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and creating 50 new, local jobs. ByHeart, Pennsylvania’s first FDA-approved infant formula manufacturing facility, is expanding infant nutrition options for parents and improving the market for Pennsylvania dairy.