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Friday, July 19, 2013

Weekly News From Pennsylvania Dept. Of Agriculture

Message from George Greig, Secretary of Agriculture We live in a great state with a fantastic ag industry. This week it was our fruit growers’ chance to shine, when PA hosted the International Fruit Tree Assoc. tour through our “fruit belt,” the fertile, rolling hills of Adams Co. that are well-suited to growing fruit trees. I caught up with PA growers, but also met some from across the world. They came to learn from our best and brightest at the PSU Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville. It’s where our researchers and Penn State Extension Educators partner with the growers they serve to lead the way in research, tech improvements and production practices. Innovations don’t just occur in research, but in new ways of keeping our orchards relevant. Whether it’s groundbreaking production and distribution methods, social media and direct marketing or agritourism with festivals, entertainment and educational events, our fruit growers are keeping their industry strong. I’m proud that our fruit industry has a chance to show why grown in PA makes a difference to our peers from across the globe.

EAB Continues its March Across PA
Confirmed in two additional counties, Emerald Ash Borer has made its appearance most recently in Warren and Bradford Co. Within three years of being attacked, an entire ash tree can be killed by the infestation. PA residents are reminded to not move firewood more than 50 miles from its origin – burn it where you buy it. If you believe you have found Emerald Ash Borer or any other plant pest in a new area email or call PDA's toll-free automated pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
All American Gearing Up for 50th Anniversary Show
Six days filled with 22 shows featuring North America's top dairy cattle is quickly approaching: Sept. 7-12. The 50th All-American Dairy Show Premium List is now available, all open show and Premier National Junior Events entries and payments are due Aug. 9. The last day for late entries is Aug. 23. Online registration is available.
Ayrshire, Guernsey Families Celebrate 50 Years at AADS
The Patrick family of Maple Dell Ayrshires, Woodbine, Md., and the Marchezak family of Twin Brook Farm, Bentleyville, Washington Co., have been showing at the All-American Dairy Show since its inception a half-century ago. Both families’ All-American histories are filled with vision, success and giving back to the show that has shaped generations and helped define their operations.
PDA Updates Biosecurity Policy
To protect PA ag, PDA has issued guidance to its staff to ensure that they are taking proper biosecurity measures when visiting ag sites. For instance, the updated guidance addresses the importance of maintaining clean equipment and clothing while conducting activities on an ag site.
SCC Recognizes Outstanding Members, County Program
During its meeting Monday, the State Conversation Commission recognized four individuals and a county program for their service to PA's environment. Awards included: SCC Distinguished Service Award, Harold Kulp, Chester Co.; Distinguished Service Award, Michael W. Lovegreen, Bradford Co.; Leadership Excellence Award, Phyllis Hopple, Crawford Conservation District; Leadership Excellence Award, Lebanon Conversation District Board of Directors; Service Recognition Award, Jack Dehoff, York Co.
Federal Trans. Dept. Grants Livestock Hauler Waivers
A rest break provision in federal livestock transport rules is waived for the rest of the warm-weather transport season. Normally haulers are limited to a 70-hour workweek and must take 30 minutes of rest for every eight hours of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rules seek to improve safety for drivers, but the rest break provision is being waived through Oct. 9 to protect the health of livestock being transported during summer months.
Western PA FFA Conf. Develops Future Ag Leaders
More than 100 FFA members and advisors from Crawford, Erie and Lawrence counties cruised to Conneaut Lake for the two-day Western PA FFA Leadership Conference. Sec. Greig welcomed PA ag's future leaders during opening ceremonies. Members learned through leadership sessions on ag careers, communication, goals and service.
No-Till Conference Shows Farmers Benefits of Practice
PA No-Till Alliance hosted Farmer-to-Farmer field days across PA July 16-18, with host farms and guest speakers sharing how no-till systems improve soil quality, productivity and profitability. Sec. Greig and Dep. Pechart joined field day attendees during the July 16 session in Willow Street, Lancaster Co.

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