FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2019
Secretary Redding Presents Produce Month Proclamation at Buffalo Valley Produce Auction
Harrisburg, PA – August is PA Produce Month, a month-long celebration of the abundance of local, Pennsylvania-grown vegetables. Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding visited Buffalo Valley Produce Auction in Mifflinburg, PA, on August 15 to present a copy of the Governor’s Produce Month proclamation to Neil Courtney, manager of the Auction.
The PA Produce Month celebration is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program to recognize the 101,000 tons of delicious and nutritious fresh and processed vegetables worth over $60 million that are grown by over 4,000 Pennsylvania growers on 45,700 acres. Pennsylvania’s vegetable growers are national leaders in the production of processing snap beans (3rd); pumpkins (7th), cantaloupes (7th), fresh market sweet corn (9th), fresh market tomatoes (11th) and fresh market cabbage (12h). While Pennsylvania vegetables are available throughout the year either as fresh, processed or stored products, August is the month when many fresh vegetable crops are at the peak of their season. There are tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelons, cabbage, beans, eggplant, potatoes, onions, and other crops widely available at roadside farm markets, community farmers’ markets, specialty grocers and even the local supermarkets not to mention local CSAs.
Buffalo Valley Produce Auction was established in 1987 by a group of forward-thinking farmers who gathered together to dream and then build a 30’ x 60’ building. Due to the hard work & dedication of their growers and auction staff their business expanded rapidly. After five subsequent building projects, their current buildings cover over 128,000 sq. ft. and boast over 180 dock spaces. The auction is one of the three largest produce auctions in the United States selling millions of dollars of local Pennsylvania produce each year and holding both the largest pumpkin and Christmas tree auctions in the world.
Buying fresh local produce during August (and the rest of the year for that matter) is always a bargain. Growers and retailers often have specials to feature the crops they have in abundance but if even if the price is not reduced, the extra flavor and nutrition that fresh, locally-grown produce offers is both a treat and a health benefit. And if you want to can, freeze or otherwise preserve some vegetables, August is the perfect time to buy in bulk.
The Vegetable Marketing and Research Program’s website at PAVeggies.org offers recipes and preparation tips from chefs and growers to help you enjoy PA vegetables to the fullest this August. The Program also offers tips on vegetable use at “PA Veggies” on Facebook and at “paveggies” on Instagram. The PAVeggies.org website also offers a directory of retail markets and CSAs as well as a directory of wholesale growers. Take advantage of these sources to find a market offering local vegetables and celebrate PA Produce Month this August.
PENNSYLVANIA PRODUCE MONTH
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is a national leader in the production of quality, nutritious and affordable vegetables, a sector of the agriculture industry that generates more than $140 million for the Commonwealth’s economy; and
WHEREAS, more than 4,000 farm families manage about 45,700 acres which produce in excess of 101,000 tons of vegetables worth $60.6 million for fresh and processing use each year; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s vegetable growers are national leaders in the production of processing snap beans (3rd); pumpkins (7th), cantaloupes (7th), fresh market sweet corn (9th), fresh market tomatoes (11th) and fresh market cabbage (12h); and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania growers use integrated pest management and other best agricultural practices to provide an extra level of safety to consumers and the environment alike; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania vegetables are both delicious and nutritious, providing important vitamins, fiber and other dietary components that are essential to a healthy, balanced diet; and
WHEREAS, health authorities have long encouraged increased consumption of vegetables for both nutritional and disease prevention purposes; and
WHEREAS, many Pennsylvania fruit and vegetable growers market their produce as PA Preferred™, the official brand of agricultural goods grown and made in Pennsylvania. Buying PA Preferred ensures consumers have chosen food locally grown and processed and are investing their dollars back into the local economy by supporting Pennsylvania’s producers; and
WHEREAS, fresh Pennsylvania vegetables are available in abundant supply and peak quality at community farmers markets, roadside farm markets, and supermarkets throughout the Commonwealth during August.
THEREFORE, in recognition of our thriving vegetable industry, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim August 2019 PRODUCE MONTH in Pennsylvania, and encourage all citizens to enjoy the commonwealth’s plentiful supply of fresh and processed vegetables and vegetable products while recognizing the industry’s contributions to our economy and health.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this first day of August in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen and of the commonwealth the two hundred forty-third.