Media, PA – Pennsylvania is home to more than 1,000 farmers’ markets, with local, nutritious, and affordable produce generating more than $140 million for the commonwealth’s economy. Today, in recognition of those significant contributions, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that Governor Tom Wolf has declared August 2018 as Produce Month in Pennsylvania.
“The commonwealth is a leader in the production of fruits and vegetables, and the impact these products have on our communities is far-reaching and profound,” said Sec. Redding. “We continue to support the growth and consumption of Pennsylvania produce, and we continue to encourage Pennsylvanians to eat fresh, eat healthy, and buy local–three of the most important things a consumer can do for themselves and for their community.”
During his visit to Linvilla Orchards in Delaware County today, Sec. Redding noted that Pennsylvania farmers’ markets offer a variety of benefits to local economies. For instance, he said, every $100 spent at a farmers’ market contributes $48 to the local economy.
In addition to the economic impacts realized through the consumption of local produce, Redding also noted that farmers’ markets can help combat food insecurity by providing affordable, or even free, food to Pennsylvanians at risk for hunger.
He reminded eligible residents that they can access fresh, Pennsylvania-grown produce – at no cost — through the Women Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs. Participating markets can be found at pafmnp.com. Voucher holders can search for a participating market in their area or an area they are visiting. Participants may redeem vouchers from June 1 through November 30, 2018.
Text of the governor’s proclamation follows:
PENNSYLVANIA PRODUCE MONTH
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is a national leader in the production of quality, nutritious and affordable vegetables, a sector of the agriculture industry that generates more than $140 million for the Commonwealth’s economy; and
WHEREAS, nearly 4,000 farm families manage about 49,400 acres which produce well in excess of 200,000 tons of vegetables for fresh and processing use each year; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s vegetable growers are national leaders in the production of processing snap beans (3rd); pumpkins (7th), cantaloupes (7th), fresh market sweet corn (9th), fresh market tomatoes (11th) and fresh market cabbage (12h); and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania growers use integrated pest management and other good agricultural practices to provide an extra level of safety to consumers and the environment alike; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania vegetables are both delicious and nutritious, providing important vitamins, fiber and other dietary components that are essential to a healthy, balanced diet; and
WHEREAS, health authorities have long encouraged increased consumption of vegetables for both nutritional and disease prevention purposes; and
WHEREAS, many Pennsylvania fruit and vegetable growers market their produce as PA Preferred™, the official brand of agricultural goods grown and made in Pennsylvania. Buying PA Preferred ensures consumers have chosen food locally grown and processed and are investing their dollars back into the local economy by supporting Pennsylvania’s producers; and
WHEREAS, fresh Pennsylvania vegetables are available in abundant supply and peak quality at community farmers markets, roadside farm markets, and supermarkets throughout the Commonwealth during August.
THEREFORE, in recognition of our thriving vegetable industry, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim August 2018 PRODUCE MONTH in Pennsylvania, and encourage all citizens to enjoy the commonwealth’s plentiful supply of fresh and processed vegetables and vegetable products while recognizing the industry’s contributions to our economy and health.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this first day of August two thousand eighteen, the year of the commonwealth the two hundred forty-third.