/Secretary of Agriculture: Agriculture is Changing the Trajectory for Pennsylvania’s Urban Spaces

Secretary of Agriculture: Agriculture is Changing the Trajectory for Pennsylvania’s Urban Spaces

Harrisburg, PA – From Studying to Lancaster on Monday, Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and Philadelphia on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding journeyed Pennsylvania this week To go to the metropolis agriculture opperiodtions That are immediately addressing meals insecurity, enhancing extreme quality of life, and infusing income into cities throughout the commonwealth.

“This week I had the unimaginable alternative to journey the state and meet inspirational People who noticed a connection between agriculture and artwork, agriculture and science, agriculture and meals, and agriculture and humanity,” said Redding. “Agriculture has The power To rework – to convey communities collectively And convey all walks of life to The identical desk.

“Every Pennsylvanian – Regardless of zip code, or citizenship, or nationality – deserves entry to current and nutritious meals. We’re all created equally, however our entry to meals Isn’t. Urban agriculture is altering that by bridging the divide For A lot of Who’ve had no entry for too prolonged. Urban agriculture is planting seeds of hope for a prosperous future.”

In Berks County Inside The metropolis of Studying, Redding was joined by Senator Judy Schwank, Recurrentative Eddie Day Pashinski, Recurrentative Manuel Guzman, Recurrentative Mark Gillen, and Mayor Eddie Moran at GoggleWorks Center for The humanities. Recipient of a $10,000 Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant, GoggleWorks goals To make the most of the artwork of agriculture To vary the stays Of individuals who stay Inside the little-acknowledged meals desert in Studying by transforming an alley with enhanced mattresss Which will develop meals for native households in want And current palms-on alternatives for space youth. In Studying, this enterprise will full the circle of what youngsters Need to study and develop.

“Investing in and developing entry to healthful, nutritious meals is essential in uplifting these Battling meals insecurity in Leextreme and Berks counties,” said Recurrentative Manuel Guzman. “Our communities of colour are impacted In all probability the most by this irritating epidemic, And admittedly, It is unaccepdesk that individuals On this nation, collectively with youngsters, go to mattress on an empty stomach. These further fundings are a step in The biggest course to offering a gatemethod to meals sustainability for these underserved communities.” 

Hawa Lassanah, DECA City Farms, tends to her pure backyard mattresss all by way of Monday’s Urban Ag Tour with Secretary Redding. Acquire this photograph and extra right here.

In Lancaster County, Hawa Lassanah shared the story of how she noticed ever-rising want in her group all by way of the pandemic that impressed her To startwork out a yard backyarding coopperiodtive that has grpersonal to be DECA City Farms. Together with coordinating the harvests from Lancaster-metropolis yard backyarders, Lassanah manages three ptons at Lancaster Central Park – all of which assist their member-based mostly CSA program and a market stand with a “pay as You will Have The power to” mannequin To fulfill group meals wants. She appears forward to making use of for the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program this fall To enhance The measurement of her opperiodtion and further develop metropolis agriculture infrastructure for Lancaster City.

“When individuals Think about farming in Pennsylvania, pictures of rolling waves of tall cornstalks or cattle grazing in acres of lush previousureland typically come to thoughts. We definitely have these right here, however to our revenue Pennsylvania agriculture is terribly numerous,” said Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Senator Elder Vogel. “We Even have alpaca farms and mushroom mines and A pair of of our biggest group belongings are the small metropolis backyards throughout the commonwealth. In ptons on rooftops and in tons aprolongedside parks and streets, Pennsylvania’s metropolis farmers enhance current and nutritious meals and – maybe Most significantly – practice others the significance of agriculture. These excursions currentd An excellent alternative to shine a spotlight on Simply A pair of Of these group treasures.”

Rafael Vencio talks with Redding in his plot at Hilltop Urban Farm in Pittsburgh all by way of Tuesday’s tour. Acquire this photograph and extra right here.

In Pittsburgh at Hilltop Urban Farm, Certainly one of many largest metropolis farms Inside the nation, Redding was joined by Recurrentative Emily Kinkead and Recurrentative Jessica Benham. Tright here, Rafael Vencio, who immigrated from the Philippines, shared how he makes use of his plot at Hilltop Urban Farm to develop agricultural merchandise conventional to his house nation Similar to gourds, kangkong, and alugbati. Rafael is using metropolis agriculture to deal with his goals from The underside up with a objective of opening a small Filipino American eatery. Hilltop Urban Farm acquired two Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants – one for $15,000 in 2019 and one other for $2,500 in 2020 – and works to strengthen the group with enhanced entry to current And native meals and genperiodte entrepreneurial alternatives for residents like Rafael.

“Most individuals Might Even be surprised to study that farming Is not Solely a rural exercise,” said state Recurrentative Emily Kinkead, democratic member of The house Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “Urban farming is A very essential factor to addressing and combatting meals insecurity and meals deserts, which exist each in my district and throughout Pennsylvania. It Is essential that we assist this rising half of our agriculture enterprise and encourage extra metropolis communities to play A process.”

Quentin Walker-Matthews, 13, left, and Anthony Hampton, 12, center, and Zuhri Potter, 12, proper, Boys Latin Chartworker Center School scholars, Are likely to their crops. Acquire this photograph and extra right here.

In Philadelphia the Pinnwheel Group, which works To current educational, social, and profession enhancement alternatives with a STEM-based mostly strategy, is using a $27,500 Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant to develop alternatives For youngsters On the Boys Latin Chartworker Center School. At the tour of the practiceing backyard, Redding was joined by champions for the Pennsylvania Farm Invoice and driving forces for change Regionally Recurrentatives Chris Rabb, Darisha Parker, Amen Brpersonal, and Morgan Cephas. Andre Sawyer, grasp grant author for the enterprise, shared how the funding currentd them An alternative To current each middle school scholar with Their very personal micro-pod of crops, which they’re paid to Look after and domesticate. The enterprise is working To vary youngsters’s perceptions that meals comes from a can or retailer by offering palms-on alternatives to domesticate and harvest Their very personal merchandise, wright hereas conpresently offering financial drivers and social enhancement alternatives To rearrange them For all times.

“We’re blessed in Pennsylvania to have our personal full package deal of legal guidelines to assist our meals system – every thing from promoting small scale producers, to rising infrastructure, addressing meals insecurity, and rising The subsequent period of an agricultural workforce – We now have assist for all of this As a Outcome of of the foresight of Governor Wolf,” added Redding. “While the pandemic turned markets The incorrect method up and left meals deserts A lot extra remoted In lots of states, Pennsylvania had a head startwork with fundings from the Pennsylvania Farm Invoice Which have been addressing the weaknesses and threats to the meals system.”

Over the previous two years, the Wolf Administration has invested $1 million in metropolis agriculture by way of the Pennsylvania Farm Invoice’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Program. That $1 million funding has levperiodged An further $1 million in native fundings by way of matching dollars. In complete, 70 tasks have been funded in 16 counties throughout the state. (2019-20 funded, 2020-21 funded)

The U.S. Dehalfment of Agriculture is presently accepting softwares to its $4 million grant program for enhancement of metropolis agriculture and revolutionary manufacturing tasks. USDA is accepting grant softwares on Grants.gov till 11:59 p.m. EST on July 30, 2021.

The $500,000 2021-22 Pennsylvania Farm Invoice Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Program will open for software early this fall.

To study extra Regarding the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Program That is rising and nourishing Pennsylvania’s cities, go to agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

Notice: Photo and video of the excursions Shall be out tright here at PACast.com. High-decision photographs and captions from The complete week of excursions Can be found on Flickr.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers, [email protected]