Message from George Greig Secretary of Agriculture
It seems like not too long ago I was wearing a blue corduroy jacket with Linesville FFA on the back, just like my daughter Rachel does now. I had a lot of fun in that jacket, and I learned a lot, too. FFA prepared me for life. So, as PDA gets ready to help celebrate Nat’l FFA week, I’ve thought about what FFA taught me that helped me grow from farmboy to Secretary of Ag. This year’s state FFA theme applies to my life and the lives of many other FFA alums: “Grow. Lead. Succeed.” Tomorrow kicks off Nat’l FFA Week, Feb. 16-23, and chapters across PA will hold their own celebrations. Members will show what a modern ag education is all about and the many opportunities available to FFA members. They’ll challenge their classmates to learn more about where their food comes from. They’ll have fun and make lasting memories. I look forward to seeing some of our state officers and meeting local FFA members next Tuesday evening in Enola, Cumberland Co., as FFA chapters celebrate at several Hoss’s restaurants across the state. It’s a well-deserved celebration, led by kids who are excited for a future in ag. That youthful passion, coupled with the responsibility cultivated by Supervised Ag Experiences and skills honed through Career Development Events, ensures that ag, the cornerstone of PA's economy, will stay strong for generations to come.
PA Preserves 21 Farms, More Than 1,400 Acres
PA's Ag Land Preservation Board today safeguarded 1,445 additional acres on 21 farms in 10 counties through the state's nat'lly renowned farmland preservation program. Between county certifications and state funding, nearly $50 million has been approved for conservation easements in 2013. Since the program began in 1988, state, county and local gov'ts have invested nearly $1.2 billion to preserve 471,601 acres on 4,385 farms in 57 counties for future ag production.
Crop Insurance Deadline is March 15
PA producers who want to protect their investments from rising input costs, unstable markets and adverse weather conditions can sign up for crop insurance coverage on insurable spring-planted crops before March 15. Corn and soybean producers in many counties whose yields are increasing can now choose to trend adjust their yields to reflect their upward growth. Contact a crop insurance agent before March 15 to discuss your options, purchase insurance or make changes to existing policies.
Revenue Dept. Waives State Farmer Underpym't Penalties
PA farmers following the Internal Revenue Service's delayed tax filing schedule won't be subject to state underpym't penalties normally assessed at the March 1 deadline. Any farmer impacted by the delayed start for filing federal tax returns will not face PA estimated penalties so long as the 2012 PA-40 Personal Income Tax Return is filed and the full tax liability is paid by April 15. Addt'l info is available in the PA Revenue Dept.'s Online Customer Service Center.
Addt'l Deer Farms Released from CWD Quarantine
PDA has lifted quarantines on 14 addt'l deer farms after DNA testing confirmed these farms had no ties to two Adams County deer that died ofChronic Wasting Disease in October 2012. The DNA tests were used to ensure the accuracy of records kept by the Adams County farm and confirmed deer connected to the 14 farms were not related to the Adams County infected deer.
AADS 50th Anniv. Celebration Set for Sept. 7-12
The 50th All-American Dairy Show is set for Sept. 7-12, a week earlier than past shows, and will celebrate the nation's dairy industry through competition and special events. The golden jubilee, themed "A Celebration of Generations of Excellence," will draw nearly 1,000 dairy men, women and youth from across the nation. They will exhibit 2,500 cows and heifers during 22 shows at the PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Sec. Greig Meets Northumberland, Union County Farmers
This morning, Sec. Greig met with local producers during a farmer's breakfast in Northumberland, Northumberland Co., then traveled to nearby Selinsgrove, Snyder Co., for the county's conservation district 2013 Farmers' Winter Meeting.
Did You Know?
The PA FFA Assoc. boasts nearly 8,000 members in 148 chapters statewide and an alumni association of more than 450 committed to supporting ag education and FFA programs across PA.
The complex hosts the nation's largest all-indoor motorsports event, the 2013Motorama. From the first Motorama in 1978, the large halls and spacious arenas in the complex have been an ideal venue for all-weather competitions.
It's not too late to be counted in the2012 Census of Ag. While forms were due Feb. 4, producers can still return forms by mail or online. Law requires all ag producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual info confidential.
The Commonwealth Financing Authorityis now accepting applications for several programs under Act 13, the Marcellus Legacy Fund. Find out how you can benefit from this money by contacting PAgrows staff at 888-PAGROWS.
Find out how the Bureau of Plant Industry is combatting diseases likePlum Pox Virus and pests like Emerald Ash Borer that could devastate our plants. Publications of its actions to protect PA are on its webpage under "Publications."