October 3, 2023


Be Inspired By Food

Agriculture is Shifting the Trajectory for Pennsylvania’s Urban Areas

Harrisburg, PA – From Reading to Lancaster on Monday, Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and Philadelphia on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding traveled Pennsylvania this 7 days to check out the urban agriculture functions that are straight addressing foodstuff insecurity, bettering high-quality of everyday living, and infusing income into towns across the commonwealth.

“This 7 days I had the extraordinary prospect to journey the state and fulfill inspirational men and women who observed a relationship among agriculture and artwork, agriculture and science, agriculture and foods, and agriculture and humanity,” said Redding. “Agriculture has the power to renovate – to provide communities jointly and deliver all walks of everyday living to the exact table.

“Every single Pennsylvanian – regardless of zip code, or citizenship, or nationality – warrants accessibility to contemporary and healthy foodstuff. We are all established equally, but our access to meals is not. City agriculture is shifting that by bridging the divide for people who have had no accessibility for far too extensive. City agriculture is planting seeds of hope for a affluent future.”

In Berks County in the City of Looking at, Redding was joined by Senator Judy Schwank, Consultant Eddie Working day Pashinski, Representative Manuel Guzman, Consultant Mark Gillen, and Mayor Eddie Moran at GoggleWorks Middle for the Arts. Recipient of a $10,000 City Agriculture Infrastructure Grant, GoggleWorks aims to use the art of agriculture to improve the lives of individuals who stay in the small-identified food stuff desert in Looking through by transforming an alley with lifted beds that will increase food stuff for area family members in have to have and supply hands-on options for location youth. In Studying, this project will complete the circle of what kids need to have to study and increase.

“Investing in and increasing access to balanced, wholesome meals is critical in uplifting people battling with foodstuff insecurity in Lehigh and Berks counties,” mentioned Agent Manuel Guzman. “Our communities of color are impacted the most by this discouraging epidemic, and frankly, it is unacceptable that people today in this state, which include kids, go to mattress on an vacant belly. These extra investments are a step in the appropriate course to supplying a gateway to foods sustainability for these underserved communities.” 

UrbanAg2.JPGHawa Lassanah, DECA City Farms, tends to her organic backyard beds for the duration of Monday’s Urban Ag Tour with Secretary Redding. Obtain this image and a lot more listed here.

In Lancaster County, Hawa Lassanah shared the tale of how she noticed ever-escalating want in her group all through the pandemic that influenced her to start a backyard gardening cooperative that has grown to be DECA Town Farms. In addition to coordinating the harvests from Lancaster-metropolis backyard gardeners, Lassanah manages a few plots at Lancaster Central Park – all of which assistance their member-dependent CSA system and a marketplace stand with a “spend as you can” product to meet local community food items demands. She appears to be forward to applying for the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Software this tumble to enhance the scale of her procedure and even more grow city agriculture infrastructure for Lancaster City.

“When folks believe of farming in Pennsylvania, pictures of rolling waves of tall cornstalks or cattle grazing in acres of lush pastureland frequently occur to thoughts. We surely have individuals listed here, but to our advantage Pennsylvania agriculture is extremely assorted,” claimed Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Senator Elder Vogel. “We also have alpaca farms and mushroom mines and some of our best local community belongings are the little city gardens across the commonwealth. In plots on rooftops and in lots along parks and streets, Pennsylvania’s urban farmers elevate new and nutritious foodstuff and – probably most importantly – instruct other people the great importance of agriculture. These excursions delivered an excellent opportunity to glow a highlight on just a couple of these local community treasures.”

UrbanAg3.JPGRafael Vencio talks with Redding in his plot at Hilltop City Farm in Pittsburgh throughout Tuesday’s tour. Download this image and far more listed here.

In Pittsburgh at Hilltop Urban Farm, a person of the major city farms in the country, Redding was joined by Representative Emily Kinkead and Consultant Jessica Benham. There, Rafael Vencio, who immigrated from the Philippines, shared how he uses his plot at Hilltop City Farm to improve agricultural goods regular to his residence country these kinds of as gourds, kangkong, and alugbati. Rafael is employing city agriculture to tackle his goals from the ground up with a purpose of opening a smaller Filipino American eatery. Hilltop City Farm been given two City Agriculture Infrastructure Grants – just one for $15,000 in 2019 and yet another for $2,500 in 2020 – and performs to improve the community with improved access to fresh new and community food and make entrepreneurial alternatives for residents like Rafael.

“Most people may be astonished to find out that farming is not just a rural exercise,” explained point out Consultant Emily Kinkead, democratic member of the Home Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “City farming is a really significant ingredient to addressing and combatting food insecurity and meals deserts, which exist both equally in my district and throughout Pennsylvania. It is really important that we assist this escalating phase of our agriculture market and encourage much more city communities to perform a purpose.”

UrbanAg4.JPGQuentin Walker-Matthews, 13, left, and Anthony Hampton, 12, center, and Zuhri Potter, 12, right, Boys Latin Constitution Middle Faculty college students, tend to their crops. Down load this picture and a lot more in this article.

In Philadelphia the Pinnwheel Group, which is effective to present educational, social, and vocation growth chances with a STEM-centered solution, is utilizing a $27,500 Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant to increase opportunities for little ones at the Boys Latin Constitution Center College. At the tour of the teaching back garden, Redding was joined by champions for the Pennsylvania Farm Bill and driving forces for adjust in the local community Reps Chris Rabb, Darisha Parker, Amen Brown, and Morgan Cephas. Andre Sawyer, learn grant author for the job, shared how the funding furnished them an option to provide every single center school university student with their individual micro-pod of crops, which they’re paid out to treatment for and cultivate. The task is working to change kid’s perceptions that foods comes from a can or retail outlet by presenting hands-on alternatives to cultivate and harvest their own merchandise, while at
the same time supplying financial motorists and social progress alternatives to get ready them for daily life.

“We are blessed in Pennsylvania to have our have detailed package deal of legislation to support our meals method – anything from advertising smaller scale producers, to expanding infrastructure, addressing food stuff insecurity, and increasing the following era of an agricultural workforce – we have assist for all of this many thanks to the foresight of Governor Wolf,” added Redding. “Whilst the pandemic turned marketplaces upside down and remaining meals deserts even additional isolated in lots of states, Pennsylvania experienced a head get started with investments from the Pennsylvania Farm Invoice that have been addressing the weaknesses and threats to the food method.”

Around the earlier two many years, the Wolf Administration has invested $1 million in city agriculture by the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s City Agriculture Infrastructure System. That $1 million financial investment has leveraged an further $1 million in area investments by matching bucks. In total, 70 jobs have been funded in 16 counties across the point out. (2019-20 funded, 2020-21 funded)

The U.S. Section of Agriculture is at present accepting programs to its $4 million grant application for development of urban agriculture and progressive production projects. USDA is accepting grant purposes on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. EST on July 30, 2021.

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

To study additional about the City Agriculture Infrastructure Plan which is growing and nourishing Pennsylvania’s towns, take a look at agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

Be aware: Photograph and video of the tours will be available at PACast.com. High-resolution photos and captions from the complete 7 days of tours are accessible on Flickr.

MEDIA Call: Shannon Powers, [email protected]