MIFFLINTOWN, Pa., March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary George Greig today recognized the innovation of Pennsylvania farmers during a tour of Reinford Farms in Mifflintown, Juniata County, as part of National Agriculture Day.
"Pennsylvania's more than 59,300 farm families produced $7.3 billion worth of agriculture products last year, and our communities continue to benefit," said Greig. "Our farmers are working every day to be more efficient and environmentally friendly, and National Ag Day is an opportunity to recognize their hard work."
Steve and Gina Reinford manage Reinford Farms, a 1,100-acre dairy. Sons Chad, Brett and Drew supervise the farm's daily operations that produce energy, preserve farmland and save the environment.
A manure digester that breaks down tons of butter from the Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture and food waste from Wal-Mart and GIANT Food Stores provides energy for the farm and 80 homes. This innovative process harnesses otherwise wasted energy and recycles the organic product.
A portion of the farm is preserved through Pennsylvania's nation-leading farmland preservation program, which has safeguarded 486,628 acres on 4,558 farms in 57 counties for future agricultural production.
The farm's crops are planted using no-till techniques and equipment purchased through Pennsylvania's Resource Enhancement and Protection program (REAP). This program helps farmers with equipment costs and conservation methods that help restore Pennsylvania's waterways.
Last year, improvements made on Pennsylvania farms prevented an estimated 4,907 tons of runoff from entering the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways across the state.
Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed March 16-22 Agriculture Week in Pennsylvania.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: The text of Governor Corbett's proclamation declaring Agriculture Week in Pennsylvania from March 16-22 follows.
WHEREAS, Agriculture is Pennsylvania's leading industry, generating $7.3 billion in cash receipts and an estimated $73 billion in economic impact, making it the cornerstone of Pennsylvania's economy; and
WHEREAS, local farm businesses support on-farm and farm-related occupations, with one in seven jobs relating to the state's agriculture industry; and
WHEREAS, the state's more than 59,000 farm families are using new technologies and practices to increase efficiency, making it possible for each farmer to feed 154 people while meeting the demands of an increasingly quality- and environmentally-conscious world; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania's farm families and businesses lead the way in the production of agricultural commodities, including apples, chickens, Christmas trees, eggs, grapes, hardwoods, milk, mushrooms, oats, peaches, pears, pumpkins and trout. Farmers throughout the state have established an outstanding reputation as leading suppliers of these quality products throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is home to innovative programs like PA Preferred™, the official branding program of Pennsylvania's diverse agricultural commodities that helps farmers and processors market their products and consumers locate products made or grown in the state.
WHEREAS, many of the state's farm families are preparing the way for their operations to remain viable in perpetuity by establishing new markets, preserving valuable farmland for future agricultural production, being good stewards of the land and engaging the next generation of agriculturalists; and
THEREFORE, in special recognition of Pennsylvania agriculture, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim the week of March 23-29, 2014 as AGRICULTURE WEEK and encourage all citizens to pay tribute to the extraordinary efforts of the men and women who provide us with an abundance of safe food, fiber and energy, and to recognize the vital contributions they make to the quality of life within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the United States of America and the world.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor at the City of Harrisburg, this seventeenth day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen and of the Commonwealth, two hundred and thirty-eighth.
TOM CORBETT, Governor
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture