Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Advisory Board gathered on August 16th at Ag Progress Days in State College to discuss successes from the past year and determine priorities for the upcoming year. The Agriculture Advisory Board started a year ago with only 5 charter members. Since then, the board has grown to include a total of 26 leaders from a variety of industries within the agriculture sector in Pennsylvania. See a full list of advisory board members here. Scott Sechler, President and Chairman of Bell & Evans in Lebanon County, serves as the co-chair of the advisory board alongside Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. Sechler and Secretary Redding both serve on Team Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors as well.
During the meeting, the advisory board reviewed the progress being made on an in-depth economic impact analysis of Pennsylvania’s agriculture sector. The results of this study, which was made possible by a generous grant from PDA and private-sector investors from various industries in agriculture, will help to inform the future activities of the advisory board. A priority for advisory board members is to support the development of a 10-year strategic plan for the future of Agriculture in Pennsylvania, as well as tackling other initiatives such as developing a trained workforce, assessing inhibitors to growth by examining other states’ agriculture economic development activities and promoting the commonwealth’s agricultural producers and agribusiness.
Members of the advisory board also attended the Government & Industry Day Luncheon immediately before the meeting, where the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, Richard Roush, Secretary Russell Redding and Governor Tom Wolf gave remarks that celebrated the collective accomplishments of Pennsylvania agriculture.