Governor Wolf Kicks Off 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show, Celebrating Strength and Diversity of State’s Agriculture Industry

January 06, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf kicked off the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show today, celebrating the show’s 2018 theme, “Strength in Our Diversity.” The annual eight-day event will highlight the breadth and diversity of Pennsylvania’s agriculture and food industry, the people who make it thrive, and investments the commonwealth has made to support the industry’s long-term prosperity.

“Pennsylvania’s food and agriculture industries account for 18 percent of our state’s economy,” Governor Wolf said. “That’s a $135.7 billion impact. Agriculture accounts for nearly 580,000 jobs in the state, paying total wages of nearly $27 billion. Those are hard-earned dollars that are going to our families and keeping our communities strong.

“The power of agriculture is transformative. I’ve seen that potential in Pennsylvania, and we’ve worked hard under my administration to invest in and grow this industry. Over the past three years, we’ve invested more than $50 million in grants, loans and tax credits to help beginning farmers start a new operation and help other producers upgrade their equipment, install conservation practices, and preserve their farms,” added the Governor.

Governor Wolf noted that under his administration, operating funding to the Department of Agriculture increased by 23 percent. Funding for farmland preservation increased by 45 percent, and funding to the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences increased by more than $6 million. The state has also dedicated $3 million over the past three years to connect farmers with the charitable food system, dedicated recurring funding to protect Pennsylvania’s $13 billion poultry industry from highly pathogenic avian influenza, brought renewed attention to agriculture education at the K-12 level, and expanded workforce development training opportunities to help more Pennsylvanians find meaningful careers in agriculture.

“I’ve signed historic legislation that has created new markets for our farmers, helped them to be the stewards of our natural resources that they want to be; and lowered their tax burdens. I want Pennsylvania to be a place where agriculture continues to thrive — where everyone, regardless of their background or zip code, has a chance to succeed.”

The governor was joined by Lt. Governor Mike Stack, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and his wife, Nina Redding; U.S. Senator Bob Casey; U.S. Representatives Dwight Evans and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson; and other distinguished representatives of Pennsylvania agriculture, including young ambassadors representing Pennsylvania’s top commodities.

Today’s ceremony began with a Pennsylvania Army National Guard ceremonial color guard and the singing of the National Anthem by 2018 Farm Show Star-Spangled Sing-off winner Rachel Duke of Clearfield. State FFA President Nathan Moyer of Selinsgrove, Snyder County, and 4-H State President Andrea Repetz of New Cumberland, Cumberland County gave remarks and introduced Secretary Redding and Senator Casey, who both delivered remarks.

“This year’s theme —  Strength in Our Diversity — was inspired by the tremendous breadth of our agriculture industry, the people, the landscapes, products, views, and production practices,” Secretary Redding said, “For 102 years, we have come together as a diverse state to celebrate an amazing industry, full of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. Over the next eight days, we intend to celebrate our people, our products and our prosperity as we tell the story of our agriculture and food industry.”

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 6 – 13, 2018. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from Interstates 81 and 83.

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