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Friday, August 29, 2014

Your August 29th Issue of Inside PDA

Your August 29th Issue of Inside PDA


By George Greig
Secretary of Agriculture 
Labor Day is early this year, marking an early unofficial close to the summer season. But just like farmers don’t stop working on Labor Day, summer doesn’t stop after this weekend. Farm stands and farmers markets will continue selling locally-grown corn and other fixings for the grill, while adding in the favorites of apples, pumpkins and other fall-harvested produce this September PA Preferred™ Month. As you plan your Labor Day picnics, take a moment to recognize the farmers who produced your meal. They’ll be spending at least part of their day in the milking parlor, the machine shed or the fields. Remember to especially support PA farmers by buying local food at your family gatherings. Look for the PA Preferred™ logo, a gold checkmark inside a blue keystone, to ensure you’re buying local products wherever you shop, supporting the farmers who patronize local businesses and in turn grow their communities. This keeps farm and food processing jobs in PA – something we all can celebrate this Labor Day.

New Brochure Highlights PA Food Assistance Programs
Learn about the programs that help low-income Pennsylvanians access nutritious food through the Bureau of Food Distribution’s new brochure. It highlights PA’s State Food Purchase Program and Farmers Market Nutrition Program as well as USDA programs the bureau administers: the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program.
 
Deadlines for All-American Youth Contests Sept. 5
4-H and FFA youth can hone real-world dairy skills through the 2014 All-American’s Junior Dairy Mgm’t Contest, Dairy Judging Forum and Invitational Youth Dairy Judging Contest. The mgm’t contest features animal evaluation, farm business mgm’t, feed and nutrient mgm’t, meats and reproductive classes, while the judging forum focuses on evaluating four classes of cattle and a linear type class and a dairy herd mgm’t quiz. State 4-H and FFA teams and teams from two-year colleges and four-year schools with ag programs can enter the judging contest. Entries for all contests are due Friday, Sept. 5.
 
Enrollment Opens Sept. 2 for New Dairy Risk Mgm't Prog.
Dairy farmers can enroll in the new dairy Margin Protection Program starting Tuesday, Sept. 2. It replaced the Milk Income Loss Contract program in the 2014 Farm Bill. MPP offers producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best-suited for their operations. Determine what works for your operation through an online coverage tool, and find an agent.

Sec. Greig Continues to Tour State's Ag Fairs
PA's Fair season isn't slowing down, and Sec. Greig's visits to fairs across the state have not either. Sec. Greig presented an Outstanding Fair Ambassador award at the Great Allentown Fair on Tuesday, and will be off to the Luzerne County Fair this upcoming week. Each award presented notes the critical role that volunteers play in the success of fairs and educating visitors about ag.
Did You Know? PA is home to more than 1,800 local food banks and pantries, lead agencies, soup kitchens and other local non-profit orgs. The Bureau of Food Distribution helps these partners secure food products and funding to help more Pennsylvanians share in the state’s harvest.

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