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Ag Progress Days to Focus on Employment Opportunities
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 08/11/2017

Visitors to the Penn State College of Agricultural Science's annual Ag Progress Days will get a chance to see firsthand why there is so much excitement about the industry's future in Pennsylvania, said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding as he unveiled a schedule of events and discussions the Department of Agriculture will host over the three-day event.

"Agriculture is a growth industry in Pennsylvania, and I firmly believe that its future is very bright," said Redding. "These are extraordinary times in agriculture -- full of opportunities and challenges. As more and more people look at the breadth of our food systems, they're finding exciting entrepreneurial opportunities. They're researching markets for promising new crops and products, like industrial hemp. And they're finding that there are today -- and will be for the foreseeable future -- a wealth of employment opportunities in this industry.

"Governor Wolf is committed to creating jobs that pay for all Pennsylvanians. Agriculture is an industry that is poised to help do that, and those opportunities will be on display during Ag Progress Days."

Ag Progress Days, held Aug. 15-17 at the Russel E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre County, is Pennsylvania's largest outdoor agricultural expo. The event showcases the latest agricultural technology, techniques and trends for more than 40,000 visitors each August.

The Department of Agriculture's building at Ag Progress Days will host a series of presentations and discussions on a number of issues, such as emerging and in-demand jobs in agriculture; hemp's past and its production and market potential; recent work to connect hungry families with producers' surplus food; farmland preservation; biosecurity and crisis planning; and the importance of buying local Pennsylvania-grown products.

Redding also will participate in a town hall with Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Richard Roush on water quality, at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday; a meeting of the Team Pennsylvania Agriculture Advisory Board on at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, as well as U.S. Representative G. Thompson's town hall on the 2018 Farm Bill at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and a joint meeting of the Pennsylvania House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees on the third phase of the Chesapeake Bay Water Improvement Plan, on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Look for further details of the department's activities during Ag Progress Days online.

Ag Progress Days hosts more than 400 commercial exhibitors, dozens of hands-on educational exhibits, guided tours and workshops. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Wednesday; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday. For a complete schedule of all events, visit apd.psu.edu. For more information about Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture programs that support the growth and vitality of Pennsylvania's agriculture industry, visit agriculture.pa.gov.

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