Harrisburg, PA – Today (5/10/2023), the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed Russell Redding to serve as Pennsylvania’s 27th Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Josh Shapiro nominated Redding, who previously served as Agriculture Secretary under Governors Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve Pennsylvania under Governor Josh Shapiro’s dedicated leadership,” Secretary Redding said. “Since our first conversation, I have been struck by his energy, experience, and vision for Pennsylvania and for agriculture.
I have dedicated my life to agriculture and public service, working to advance an industry that is at the center of some of the most important issues of our time, and shapes the quality of life for every Pennsylvanian.”
Since the beginning of the Shapiro Administration in January, under Redding’s leadership, the department has:
- Continued to respond to the Hi-Path Avian Influenza outbreak that has caused devastating losses to Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry, resulting in a loss of 4,650,840 birds statewide since April 2022. Of 47 states hit by the outbreak, Pennsylvania has been the only state to dedicate a $25 million recovery fund to helping poultry producers cover their losses, a fund which Governor Shapiro has proposed adding $25 millionOpens In A New Window to in the next budget year
- Begun to distribute $154 million from the new Clean Streams Fund’s Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program to build healthier soil, and cleaner waterways, and boost farm viability for the future.
- Invested more than $15 million in partnership with county and local governments to ensure that 54 more farms covering 5,085 acres across the state will remain farms and be protected from residential or commercial development forever.
- Launched a $1.6 million grant program to expand access to emergency food supplies in underserved areas, increasing food security and access to healthy food for children and families wherever they live.
- Won an $8.8 million boost in federal food assistance funding, plus a performance-based funding increase for effectively administering nutrition programs for low-income seniors.
- Joined other Shapiro Administration agencies in responding directly to needs and concerns of Pennsylvania farmers and others affected by the Norfolk Southern train derailment. Conducting plant tissue testing in partnership with PennState Extension, and monitoring of soil, water, and air testing results in partnership with the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
- Awarded $200,000 to further invest in Pennsylvania’s growing hemp industry and boost the potential of farms to supply sustainable, plant-based plastics, construction and other materials, and added $200,000 to funding for Farm Vitality grants to help PA farm businesses plan and sustain their operations in the future.
- Expanded the quarantine and continued work to slow the spread of the destructive pest spotted lanternfly, and invited county conservation districts to apply for $150,000 in grants to help slow the spread locally.