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Friday, December 12, 2014

News From PA Dept. of Agriculture

Dec. 11, 2014

Message from George Greig
Secretary of Agriculture
It’s hard to believe that we’re finishing the final week of deer season and less than two weeks from Christmas. Holidays with my family are at the front of my mind, but I had the privilege to accompany Gov. and Mrs. Corbett to the Central PA Food Bank on Tuesday. We dropped off nearly 500 pounds of food donated by ourselves and the staff who work for us. It’s enough to provide 500 meals, food bank staff estimated. They’ll get the food to where it’s needed the most. They deserve our gratitude. And while we personally give back, the staff of PDA’s Bureau of Food Distribution provide support to food banks through three programs: the State Food Purchase Program, Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. Each has its own purpose and set of guidelines. All use the innovations forged by passionate, conscientious staff to provide PA with the most bang for the bucks we allocate to helping those in our communities who need a hand. PA’s food distribution system is hailed as a national model. Still, for all we can offer as the state and federal gov’t, I encourage you to help by giving yourself. Whether by donating venison or money or by assisting your friends and neighbors in other ways, the actions are welcomed. You make a difference. You help keep PA growing.

Scotland Elementary fifth-grader Madison Ogden of Chambersburg was named the grand prize winner of PDA’s Dog Licensing Poster Contest today during an assembly at the school in Franklin County. Sec. Greig recognized 11-year-old Madison for her winning artwork is featured as the cover of the next PA Dog License Coloring Book, which will be distributed statewide.

Farmland Pres. Meeting Caps Successful Program Year
PA's farmland preservation program had its most successful year of preserving both farms and acres of farmland since 2009. Yesterday's meeting preserved 28 farms and 2,678 acres in 16 counties across the state. Since the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local gov'ts have invested nearly $1.3 billion to preserve 502,757 acres on 4,732 farms in 57 counties for future ag production.

15-Day Crop Insurance Window Ends Dec. 25
Dec. 10 was the insurance period end date for corn insured as grain, soybeans and grain sorghum. If you think there is a probability of a yield or revenue loss on your covered acres, file within 15 days or you forfeit the opportunity to file a claim. Producers are personally responsible for developing their risk mgm't plans before enrollment deadlines. 

New Attractions, Returning Favorites Set for Farm Show
PA's diverse ag industry will again be on display at the 2015 PA Farm Show. The 99th edition adds a new high-tech Woodmobile, Food Network celebrity chef Aaron McCargo Jr., a lumberjacking events exhibition, family-friendly Farm Show Ag Olympics, a new healthier and kitchen appliance-friendly soybean oil for fryers at the Farm Show Food Court, and the Fill a Glass with Hope fresh milk food drive. Returning favorites include celebrity contests, the Today's Ag display, the Parade of Ag, and Farm Show Detectives stations.

Organic Farms Conference Brings Together Six States
More than 100 producers from six states gathered in Harrisburg for the inaugural Growing PA's Organic Farms conference Tuesday and Wednesday, which focused on advanced organic production practices with in-depth, extended-length programs on current organic farming issues. The conference was developed by PA Farmlink through requests in the Path to Organic program and featured as speakers USDA, university and industry reps and successful farmers.

Did You Know?
PA's State Food Purchase Program distributed nearly 34.4 million pounds of food to approximately 1.9 million Pennsylvanians between July 2013 and June 2014. The SFPP is the largest program of its kind in the nation.

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