Scott Sechler, Chairman and President of Bell & Evans, member of PA Agriculture Advisory Board

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is a longstanding, cherished icon of the Keystone state. As the largest indoor agricultural expo in the country, PA Farm Show hosts over 500,000 patrons from across the region annually. Last year at the 102nd PA Farm Show, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and Team PA joined Governor Tom Wolf as he revealed the findings of the first-of-its-kind agricultural economic impact report for Pennsylvania.

Farm Show’s 2019 theme of Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story was both a nod to the rich heritage, as well as a forward look to the promising future of the industry. Team PA leveraged the widely-attended Public Officials Day to convene a meeting of the PA Agriculture Advisory Board. This meeting provided for PDA’s agency updates and discussion on current issues and opportunities across the industry, including newly released Farm Bill policies. The meeting concluded with a presentation to familiarize the Board with international trade personnel within PA’s state agencies including Michael O’Rourke (Office of International Business Development, DCED) and Thomas Mainzer III (International Trade, PDA). Two representatives of Enterprise Ireland (an Irish government agency similar to PA’s OIBD) also visited to connect with the Agriculture Advisory Board members.

Concurrently, PDA leadership hosted an informative session for legislators on the Department’s activities. Following the sessions, Team PA and PDA gathered the groups together for a meet and greet reception. This event provided a meeting place for Team PA, PDA, the Agriculture Advisory Board, and legislators to meet face to face, introduce legislators to the agriculture partnership, and discuss the importance of agricultural economic development initiatives.

To sustain progress, we need key advocates for PA’s agriculture industry in both the private and public sectors. This year’s meet & greet reception provided for reflection on the progress of Team PA and PDA over the past year since the unveiling of the report and an opportunity to envision and share how each of us will continue to inspire Pennsylvania’s story.

A note of thanks to PA Wine Association and Mazza Vineyards for their donation to the meet & greet reception.