Episode 13 – PA Farm Show


Episode 13 – PA Farm Show


Tune in to WMBS Radio at 11:15AM on Tuesday, when I will sit down with Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary Russell Redding to discuss the 107th Farm Show and the 2023-2024 legislative agricultural priorities.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show – the country's largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof – kicks off this Saturday, Jan. 7, in Harrisburg. The show will run through Saturday, Jan. 14.

This year's theme is “Rooted in Progress.” The show will feature hundreds of competitions and exhibits, as well as animals and products related to the state's robust agriculture industry. The annual showcase is a family-friendly event with lots to see and do; and don't forget to stop by the famous food court for a taste of some Pennsylvania cuisine.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

For all the latest news about the Farm Show, visit www.farmshow.pa.gov.


Episode Transcript
Starting now. Commonalities where guests find common ground through uncommon conversations, politics, religion, finances, all the topics your grandmother told you not to discuss with friends. And now your host, Matthew Dowling, and today's guests on commonalities. Thank you for joining another episode of Commonalities. I'm your host, Matt Dowling, alongside a friend of mine, uh, secretary Russell Redding, who is Secretary of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Uh, secretary Redding, thank you so much for joining us here today. I know you've worked, uh, in several different governor's administration. So at the top of the show, I wanted to kind of give you the opportunity to, uh, do a little bit of a bio or self introduction and tell us how Russell Redding became the Secretary of Agriculture for the Commonwealth. Yeah, Matt, first of all, it's good to see you and happy New Year to you, and thank you for reaching out. It's good to see you again. Um, yeah, so it's been an interesting journey. So I, I feel very lucky, uh, to have my vocation, that vocation be the same, uh, to, to do that in, in a public service role particularly. Uh, it started with a chance encounter of, uh, a US Senator Harris Wofford, uh, that got my start in, in public service. And from there, uh, of course the journey to, uh, elections and, uh, ultimately coming back to work for Tom Ridge, who, uh, was governor. And that's where I started, worked through, uh, the Bridge Administration and Rendell left a while to be, uh, in higher education as the Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. And then, uh, came back with, uh, governor Tom Wolf, uh, most recently. But through that whole journey of public services has always been sort of a, a, a common foundation around production agriculture in Adams County. Our, our roots are there. Uh, that's where we've been. We continue to farm, uh, in that county. So I feel like I've got both a, a, a foot in the, in the, uh, farmer world, right. Uh, and that of the, uh, the public service role here as secretary. But, uh, both are very rewarding. Well, I thank you so much for being on the show. I wanted to have you on, uh, this week, uh, not because agriculture's not important year round. It is. Uh, but because we are in the midst of Farm Show Week, the Farm Show started on January 7th and runs through the 14th. This is the hundred and seventh Farm Show. Um, and I know you have a, a theme that you're working with, uh, as you do most years for the Farm Show. Why don't you tell us a little bit about, uh, about this year's Farm show theme? Yeah, thank you. Uh, our, our theme this year is rooted in progress. Uh, we felt it was a good sort of capstone to eight years of, of the administration, but it's also a great description of the industry, right? It's rooted here in pa, it's important to us, uh, across time. It is centuries old, uh, and today we've seen the progress of that by being able to celebrate it here in the state. It's 132 billion economic impact every year. 18% of our state's gross state product is food and agriculture. So, uh, rooted, uh, but those roots have really nourished our progress across time. So, uh, we wanted to celebrate that and, and try to represent both what we have done in the administration to further that progress. At the same time, know that we're not representing, uh, simply, uh, a four or eight year term, but 107 years, right? Plus. So that is also part of this. So we're rooted in so many ways, innovation, progress, the food system, the legacy work that's been done over, uh, of time. Our mission is rooted here, um, in the state as well. So, so many ways. So we've, we feel like the theme is, uh, a good description of time, but it also transcends time, and that is a really, um, a great storyline for us this week. And we've seen a lot of it through just, uh, in the setup to see what that's gonna look like. But we're excited. It's a great time. Well, I'm really excited too. I, I've been to the Farm show, um, as I've been able to for the last seven years or so. Um, last year, unfortunately, I was, uh, in the hospital, uh, and, and unable to make it. Um, and then we had, uh, at, at no fault of, of anyone's, uh, a pandemic that you had to deal with, and we had a virtual farm show in 2021. So I know that things are just kind of blooming and, and growing back to, uh, the pre covid era. Um, so I'm really excited to see that. I'm excited, uh, also for the farm show milkshakes and, uh, and those fried cheese, of course, uh, my wife, uh, and my kids and I will be up later this week, uh, to partake in all of that. So, why don't you tell me what you are excited about, uh, during this year's farm show? Well, I, I, I, I share the, uh, uh, your appetite, uh, for good things in the food court. You know, it, it's, it's the go-to, right? You can satisfy everyone's sort of pallet and stomach and interest in, in the food. But we hope while you're here and others, I mean, you really look around at, at just the diversity of ag, but personally excited about a couple things. One is, I always like the conservation display, and we started that some years ago, as you recall, when, when we had a lot of issues swirling around about land use in Pennsylvania, we had issues in townships with ordinances and restrictions in place. We said, we really ought to sort of tell a story about what, what land use is, what it looks like, right? What do the modern agriculture look like? So all of that's captured in this conservation pod now that, uh, shows the land, uh, uh, cover, uh, across, uh, that most consumers and public would see across the state. Uh, it shows the equipment. Uh, there is a rainfall simulator to show what happens when you have cover on fields during winter or not, and what that looks like in terms of runoff. So that's one. The other is around, uh, sunflowers. Uh, this is a product of both market opportunities. Uh, it's a recognition that, you know, half of the sunflower oil comes out of Ukraine, um, right? So, uh, you've seen this world, uh, uh, supply disrupted. We've got 'em here. We're growing them here in Pennsylvania, wanna grow that market in pa. So I could go through that list, but they're just two highlights that I think sort of stand out that are universal regardless of where you are in the state. It's about conservation, and it's also about looking at progress, uh, of how do you develop new markets? How do you entice farmers to try growing in new crop? How does it translate in terms of economics, uh, for our farm? So there are two that I think are good bookends to the, to the other displays at Farm Shell. Well, and, and I have to tell you, I was very inspired by, uh, some of the conservation pieces that I saw. I believe it was four H uh, several years ago, had done, done, uh, some setups where they were looking at harvesting water in urban settings. And, uh, several years ago, inspired by the Hunger Garden that is at the Capitol, I put a hunger garden in at, uh, at was my, what was my district office in the parking lot. And it was a small 10 by 15 parcel, uh, with the, the building sign, uh, was right at the edge of that. But we gardened, uh, for those that were in need, um, right in that, that, uh, urban garden. And just last year, um, the facility we worked with our, our local, uh, technical school, and the facility added a rain collection system. I call it a wing because it sits on top of the sign and, uh, two rain barrels. And so all of the water that's needed is harvested, uh, right from the two 50 gallon rain barrels that sit on either side of the sign. Uh, and, and there are plants on it, and you would never even know that, uh, that it was harvesting water. But I was inspired by seeing what our young people were trying to create and, uh, envisioning for the future of Pennsylvania. I think the farm show is so important, uh, because of the opportunities that it affords to our future Farmers of America to our young people. So, uh, can you tell me a little bit about, uh, how you interact with, uh, with the youth at the Farm show? Yeah. Thank you for mentioning that, because I think we can all sort of look at sort of the, the work that we've done in our respective public service and hosting of farm show, but at the end of the day, it's about inspiring somebody to sort of get into this business, right? And the business could be in the production agriculture, uh, or it could be in, in somewhere in the food service or the sciences or whatever, that that's the, the generation that we're trying to appeal to. And I hope that over the eight days, somebody sees something here, uh, mom and dad see something the kids should be interested in, but hopefully the kids see it themselves, uh, that they see, you know, opportunity in the hardwoods industry here. That, so you want to be a farmer. It's about the roots and plants and genetics, uh, that's all here. So we, we try to build a lot of those exhibits, uh, into this farm show. You'll see it in a four H, uh, uh, exhibits. We've got f f A here, uh, early in the week with, uh, you know, from all over the state talking about, you know, their future of ag. Uh, I try to interact with all of the commodity representatives who were spending a year of their lives representing their particular interests. It could be in the Grange or the ffa, or the Apples, or the honey. I think all of those are incredibly important to a culture, but also the advocacy for those particular commodities. So interacting with 'em. Uh, and then throughout the week, uh, we do a lot of work. As you know, the sales in the farm show support, scholarships, the, the sale of the champions of, of some of the market animals go into scholarships. There's a lot of scholarship and youth activity that are part of the celebration of ag this week, but I think extend throughout the year where we connect our fairs to our farm shows, right? We connect our youth in four H and the family living area into what we're doing. So, so many places they intersect, but it's a common sort of thread across the week of recognizing that future generation that needs this at the end, we want them and desperately need them to be part of agriculture, uh, in the years to come. Well, I, I, I do think that's, uh, so important that the emphasis is on the future of farming in Pennsylvania, because we need people to keep putting, uh, food on our tables. And agriculture is such a large industry here within the Commonwealth Secretary. We have to get to our first break. Uh, we'll be back in just a moment here on Commonalities Talking Farm Show with Secretary Russell Redding. You are listening to commonalities or guests find common ground through Uncommon Conversations. We'll be back after this brief break to recognize our sponsors. Is your business using analog strategies in a digital marketing world? If so, then contact Matthew or Rebecca Dowling at Coordinated 360 for a professional consultation where we bring in-depth knowledge and functional expertise with a holistic perspective. Coordinated 360 provides digital marketing, paid ad and media buying services, web design, social media management, video production, and more for businesses, organizations, and political campaigns with decades of experience. Matt and Becky at Coordinated 360 can help you craft your unique message and share it with the world. For a no risk media evaluation and recommendations, call 7 2 4 3 2 0 22 12, or visit us online at www.coordinatedthreesixty.com. Find us also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or email info coordinated three sixty.com. Founded in 1991, bright Stripe has succeeded on the premises of quality work, done right at an affordable cost. At Bright Stripe personal service has always been a must. We strive to be the premier asphalt ceiling and striping company in the region. Matt George, the owner of Brights Stripe llc, brings experience from his construction and maintenance company, mountain Creek Construction and Maintenance. Matt has provided excellent customer service to many happy businesses and homeowners. Bright Stripe is the premier provider of seal coating or pavement ceiling. The process of applying a protective coating to asphalt based pavements to provide a layer of protection from the elements, water, oils, and UV damage. They also specialize in driveway and parking lot. Crack ceiling. Crack ceiling is the process of applying a protective coating to asphalt based pavements. Bright stripe also abides by all safety laws and standards in line striping and layout. For a no obligation estimate, contact Bright Stripe at 7 2 4 4 3 7 6 0 9 0. When. It comes to buying a home, what you see isn't exactly what you get. That's why home buyers should call Dave Dowling At Grandview Inspections at 7 2 4 2 0 8 4 1 0 8. You'll see colorful flowers, freshly painted walls, granite countertops, blaming hardwood floors and other touches. What you can't see is the cracks, ancient plumbing, dangerous wiring, or broken appliances that might be revealed when you hire a home inspector. And when it comes to home inspectors, knowing yours has the qualifications and experience needed, should be your number one concern. Dave Dowling with Grandview Inspections is an architectural engineer with over 30 years of commercial construction experience and hundreds of inspections under his belt. A home inspection is an opportunity for you to hire an expert to walk through the home and prepare a report outlining the home's major components. What needs immediate attention and what will require maintenance after you move in your home is one of your biggest investments. So make sure your investment is everything you hoped it to be. Call Dave Dowling at Grandview Inspections at 7 2 4 2 0 8 4 1 0 8. Are you enjoying the program? You're listening to support commonalities and help keep us on the air by making a donation of five, 10 or $25, or any amount you feel comfortable sharing [email protected] Again, that is donate.commonalities.online on the worldwide web. Buy our host a cup of coffee or help pay for airtime at donate dot commonalities online. Thanks for staying with us here on commonalities. I'm your host, Matt Dowling on Wmb S five 90 am 1 0 1 0.1 fm, and every place you download your favorite podcast. My guest today is Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding, secretary of Agriculture for the Commonwealth, uh, secretary Redding. It's so great to have you with me. We were talking farm show before we went to the break. Um, and you know, one of my favorite things to, to look at and to witness and experience, uh, at the farm show, uh, aside from all the kids that are showing livestock and and et cetera, is, is the butter sculpture. And I know the butter sculpture was revealed last week. Um, can you tell me a little bit about that sculpture and, uh, and you know, what it means to the farm show? Well, it's, it's the 32nd year, uh, we started that 1991, uh, as a way to recognize the dairy industry and to sort of rally the, uh, the interest of, uh, the public. And, and it's sort of the unofficial, uh, opening of the farm show. So we're always excited to do it. It's a great partnership with the dairy industry. There are 5,200 dairy farms in Pennsylvania. All of them are contributors to, uh, the Dairy Association that supports, uh, the sculpture. Uh, so we start back in, uh, August and, and brainstorm what the theme is, and, uh, hand that over to, uh, some folks who try to translate the words to the theme. And this year, we, we have this beautiful, uh, butter sculpture that captures, I think, pretty well, all of that roots of progress. You know, it's the forest products industry represented by the tree. You've got a young family, uh, with kids that, that talk about the bridge of generations. Uh, we've got a wonderful, um, you know, sort of, uh, animal, uh, with, with a young calf that symbolizes, you know, that's the future of, that's the next generation of, of dairy, uh, uh, cows, uh, et cetera. So that when you look at it, it's got this nice sort of balance between young and old, between forest and and crops. Uh, it has the, um, you know, the, the, the landscape, if you will, of Pennsylvania. So when you look at it, it, it says Pennsylvania to me. Uh, it clearly says dairy by way of the, uh, the butter and the product that's it's made out of. But it's also, when you see the individual pieces of, uh, uh, that make it, make out the, the, uh, sculpture, uh, it clearly, uh, represents very well the dairy industry here in, in the state of Pennsylvania. So it's the way, so it's unveiled, it's a key part. It's a marquee, uh, it's a, the north on the compass, if you will, of farm show complex. If you can get to the, uh, the, the butter sculpture, uh, you can be guided anywhere, uh, because you'll know where you are in, in a million square feet of classroom. You know. Uh, so we're, we're talking about the butter sculpture. And if, uh, if you're viewing this episode on Facebook or YouTube where you can see, uh, the video, um, I, you've seen some pictures on the screen. If you're listening on the radio, visit my Facebook page at Facebook slash Matthew Dowling public. And, uh, and I have some pictures courtesy of Penn Live that are up there of this year's ba uh, butter sculpture. It is a, a amazing, uh, it just impresses me that something of that magnitude can, uh, can be sculpted every year. And, uh, and, and maybe a silly question, but secretary, what happens to that butter after the farm show? Um, do you bake a lot of bread or, you know, what, what happens. <Laugh>? Yeah. So, uh, several years ago, uh, we, um, worked with a local dairy farmer who's got a methane digester. Uh, and that di uh, that digester accepts this butter as it does other, uh, farm waste or food waste. And, uh, it, it gets turned, turned into energy, right? So it does not go to waste. It does not go to a landfill. It gets turned right back into energy. So I think it's a great story completing that cycle, right? Started on the farm, goes back to the farm, uh, uh, to produce energy. So that'll happen on the day after farm show that butter's becoming energy to, to, you know, uh, power our lives. Well, and that goes back to that important piece of conservation that we discussed earlier in the episode. Now, you know, as I talk to people, um, and as a state representative, I would travel out to the farm show with my family and had a fantastic time. I'm about three, three and a half hours away from Harrisburg. So it's a little bit of a hike. And, uh, I guess I could say those who know, know, uh, about the farm show, but those who don't, don't, uh, who should attend the farm show, you know, it's, it's not just people that are raising livestock. Uh, I think every Pennsylvanian could find something for them at, at the farm show. So, I, I don't know if you could speak to that a little bit about, uh, about who the farm show's open to. Yeah. The, the Farm show is a public show, right? It's, it's, it is a Pennsylvania show. Uh, we as a department are simply honored to host it, but it is a state sponsored show, and I always underscore that because it's not something that is sponsored by PDA as a department. Uh, it isn't one year, it's not a governor, right? It has been around for 107 years, and it is a state sponsored show, and that means it's owned by the state. It's everybody who is here in this state, I think has appreciation, you know, some more than others in terms of what agriculture is and where it touches our lives. But I would hope that those who are, you know, just curious about our food system would come in and look, uh, and walk and taste the, the farm show and learn if you're interested in, you know, preservation and conservation that come in, if you're interested in wildlife, right? We talk about pollinators and the bees and the butterflies, all of that is here. Or if you just sort of want to talk about equipment and, and look at, you know, your, you're a home owner and, and you want to have, uh, you know, uh, uh, expand a garden garden or have a garden, uh, there's a opportunity to say, Hey, maybe you wanna be a farmer. Uh, there's so many things inside of the Farm show complex that, uh, I, I, I would be hard pressed to say that there's not something there that touches the interest of every single resident of Pennsylvania, right? Maybe it's food at the end of the day. It could be conservation, it could be the, you know, the natural resources and invasive species and all of that. That's the beauty of farm show that I think it's evolved from a time when it was, uh, all about the farm and farmer coming to Harrisburg to sort of look at the latest. This industry is sophisticated. It's grown so much in the last, uh, years that today, uh, it has the same dynamics of other parts of our economy. A lot of it's online. A lot of it is, you know, through what we, we've experienced through covid, people buying online. But what we find is that people want that relationship with who's feeding them, right? So if you want that relationship, come to the farm show. And, you know, the farm show complex, you mentioned it a couple times, is really kind of an, an amazing complex or, or building, uh, as you as it is, uh, on its own, and it's used for other purposes throughout the year. But of course, uh, you know, we refer to it as the farm show complex. Um, you know, I I, I will probably get this statistic wrong, and you can correct me, but if I'm right, it is the largest indoor agricultural, uh, event in, uh, north America. Is, is that correct? Is that, that, uh, a statistic? That's true. That's true. Yeah. You, you've got a great, great memory, um, right. It, it's a million square feet under roof, and there are a lot of other places with open spaces, with show rings and, and fairgrounds, uh, that are larger by footprint, but not under roof. So we've got 24 acres that are under roof here, uh, in, in Harrisburg. So, and the other interesting piece, you, you probably know this, but back, um, in and during World War ii, uh, that complex was used, um, you know, as, as the Pennsylvania State School of Aeronautics. Uh, and it was used to repair, uh, the, uh, by the air, uh, army Air Corps, uh, the planes that were damaged in World War ii. Um, so there's only been two years when there's not been a in-person farm show, 1943 and 2021, uh, in one of those through a war, the other, through a pandemic. So we're celebrating it's 80th year, 80th anniversary this year of the complex being used during World War ii. It's a nice story, uh, both our military and history and our veterans story during the complex. So all of that's inside that story complex. We hosted, uh, for eight days, but it's used throughout the year for 300 other shows, uh, that take place here at the Farm show. Sure, sure. Now, uh, before we wrap up the interview today, I, I wanted to ask you a question that's not, um, not directly tied to Farm show, but, uh, but as we're looking ahead, we're in a new legislative session, uh, the 20, uh, 2324 legislative session, I wanted to ask you, uh, what were some legislative priorities that are, uh, dealing with agriculture that you see on the forefront or the horizon of, uh, of being voted on, perhaps in the Pennsylvania House or Senate? Um, what, especially, what can we do, uh, as Pennsylvanians to, uh, support our agrarian, um, industry that's here? Um, so what are some of those legislative bullet points that, uh, that you would say will look, be looking at over the next two years? Yeah, I, I would say, uh, uh, one, um, that touches, you know, rural and urban spaces, um, is, is dog law. Uh, and, and just to say that we were, uh, so close to having that done, but anybody who has a dog in Pennsylvania is required to be licensed that came out of, uh, you know, uh, uh, legislature of 1896, I think it was. So a long time. But the point is that there, there are more than a million docs and PPA that are, have to be licensed. And, uh, we all know if you want to get 'em back, you need to have some identification on them. We wanted to increase the, uh, the license fee. That fee goes directly to support our, uh, our staff in the field and, and oversight of kennels where a lot of these dogs are, uh, born and reared. Um, uh, we wanna make sure that they're safe and, and healthy. So that, that's one we just hope to get done. That's been a seven or eight year run for pa. Uh, we have, uh, milk, um, we've made some progress on milk with, uh, sale dates and, and, and, you know, where, where it appears. But there's also a very important dairy, uh, piece of that for, um, the, uh, uh, milk marketing board here in the state of Pennsylvania. We're one of five states with any state pricing authority. We've got a piece of legislation, we're working on the fertilizer component. We've made a little progress in the last year in this session, but there's another chapter to fertilizer. And that means, you know, the commercial fertilizer being applied to lands in, in pa not just in agriculture, but urban centers because of water quality. And, uh, that has been supported. Uh, we've made a lot of progress, but again, there, we've gotta come back to that and try to finish that task here in this session. Sure, sure. So, a lot of work that needs to be done to, uh, support one of the largest industries here in Pennsylvania. Secretary Redding, I wanna thank you for taking the time out, uh, to, to be with me and with my listeners today. Again, we wanna remind everyone that the hundred and seventh Farm Show with a theme rooted in progress, uh, started on January 7th, runs through the 14th. Um, it's only a three hour drive from the Uniontown area, although I have listeners all over the Commonwealth. Uh, I would encourage you all to, uh, to stop at the Farm show and, uh, and say hi to my guest, uh, secretary Redding, if, if you happen to bump into 'em in the halls there. Thanks so much, secretary. Pleasure, ma. Thank you. It's great. Have. A great day. Day. Thank you. You are listening to commonalities where guests find common ground through uncommon conversations. We'll be back after this brief break to recognize our sponsors. Is your business using analog strategies in a digital marketing world? If so, then contact Matthew or Rebecca Dowling at Coordinated 360 for a professional consultation where we bring in-depth knowledge and functional expertise with a holistic perspective. Coordinated 360 provides digital marketing, paid ad and media buying services, web design, social media management, video production, and more for businesses, organizations, and political campaigns with decades of experience. Matt and Becky at Coordinated 360 can help you craft your unique message and share it with the world. For a no risk media evaluation and recommendations, call 7 2 4 3 2 0 22 12, or visit us online at www.coordinatedthreesixty.com. Find us also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or email info coordinated three sixty.com. Founded in 1991, bright Stripe has succeeded on the premises of quality work, done right at an affordable cost. At Bright Stripe personal service has always been a must. We Stripe to be the premier asphalt ceiling and striping company in the region. Matt George, the owner of Brights Stripe, l l c, brings experience from his construction and maintenance company, mountain Creek Construction and Maintenance. Matt has provided excellent customer service to many happy businesses and homeowners. Bright Stripe is the premier provider of seal coating or pavement ceiling. The process of applying a protective coating to asphalt based pavements to provide a layer of protection from the elements, water, oils, and UV damage. They also specialize in driveway and parking lot. Crack ceiling. Crack ceiling is the process of applying a protective coating to asphalt based pavements. Bright stripe also abides by all safety laws and standards in line striping and layout. For a no obligation estimate, contact Bright Stripe at 7 2 4 4 3 7 6 0 9 0. When. It comes to buying a home, what you see isn't exactly what you get. That's why home buyers should call Dave Dowling At Grandview Inspections at 7 2 4 2 0 8 4 1 0 8. You'll see colorful flowers, freshly painted walls, granite countertops, gleaming hardwood floors, and other touches. What you can't see is the cracks, ancient plumbing, dangerous wiring, or broken appliances that might be revealed when you hire a home inspector. And when it comes to home inspectors, knowing yours has the qualifications and experience needed, should be your number one concern. Dave Dowling with Grand View Inspections is an architectural engineer with over 30 years of commercial construction experience and hundreds of inspections under his belt. A home inspection is an opportunity for you to hire an expert to walk through the home and prepare a report outlining the home's major components. What needs immediate attention and what will require maintenance after you move in Your home is one of your biggest investments. So make sure your investment is everything you hoped it to be. Call Dave Dowling at Grandview Inspections at 7 24 2 0 8 4 1 0 8. Are you enjoying the program? You're listening to support commonalities and help keep us on the air by making a donation of five, 10 or $25, or any amount you feel comfortable sharing [email protected] Again, that is donate.commonalities.online on the worldwide web, buy our host a cup of coffee or help pay for airtime at Donate dot commonalities. Online. You're listening to Commonalities on W MBS five 90 am 1 0 1 0.1 FM in any place you download your favorite podcast. My guest earlier today was Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, and we talked about the hundred and seventh Farm Show, which is taking place this week in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, January 7th through the 14th. And before we sign off today, I reached into the archives and found a couple interviews I did with some amazing young people back in 2020 pre pandemic at the hundred and fourth PA Farm Show. Our first interview is from Tara Evans of Rockwood. Her family has been raising cattle for quite some time. We're at the hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Farm Show, and I'm with Tara here today, who is, uh, an old pro at, uh, bringing animals to the Farm show and to being interviewed by, uh, by our crew here because we interviewed her a couple years ago. You have a farm outside of Rockwood, I understand? Yes, it's my parents' farm. And, uh, and how many head of cattle do you have there? Approximately 200. Between the calves and dry cows and heifers and all that, we milk. And I noticed that you have, uh, 14 or so here that you brought to the farm show. Tell us a little bit about the animals that you brought here, what type of cows they are and, and how you get them ready for the farm show. Sure. Um, so we got a couple different breeds. We have Air Shire, brown, Swiss Shorthorn, and, uh, jerseys here. Um, so to get 'em ready, um, a lot of the heifers, we put on a little special diet a couple months beforehand, separate 'em to get 'em a little more prepared. Um, and then the milk cows, we keep a close eye on them, making sure that they're still producing well. They're not getting any type of mastitis that we need to be of concern. Um, and then just make sure that they're in overall good health standing to make good trips since it's, it's pretty long trip and it's stressful for them. So we make sure they're in good health before we even do the Trek. <Laugh>. So once you get 'em here, uh, then you have to prepare them to be shown. You have to clipper 'em, I believe. Yep. So we get 'em washed and then we gotta clip 'em up, get all the fuzziness off, and, um, do some fine details of top lines and just try to get 'em looking their best. Now, when will you show these animals? On Friday. And you came in on. Tuesday. Y Tuesday. Yep. So you're here for the majority of the week in, in getting these animals ready for, for show. Yep. Uh, have you guys, uh, placed or, or won before with, with any of the animals? We've gotten close. We've gotten a couple, couple honorable mentions, but haven't gotten the golden ticket yet. <Laugh> big hopes for this year. I hope so. There's one in particular. I've got, you know, I'm crossing my fingers for, but we'll see. Now, anything you would like to, uh, maybe share with us about the agricultural industry in Pennsylvania, uh, about farming in general? So, um, unfortunately it's something that's kind of dying away. Um, there's a lot of farms have been lost over the last couple years. It's not as big as it once was, but it's hard work. But it's a humbling work. Huge and important industry, uh, an economic driver here in Pennsylvania. So we thank you and all the farmers in Pennsylvania for what you do. And thank you for being with us here today, uh, as we interview people from the hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Farm Show. My second interview from the archives is with Hunter Holiday of Confluence, pa, where he gave a presentation in 2020 about how to field dress a whitetailed deer. We're here at the hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, pa and I'm with Hunter, who is a resident of Confluence, pa, a student at the career in Technical Center in Somerset County, and also a member of ffa. And at eight o'clock this morning, he did a presentation on, uh, a number of different things, but how to dress a whitetail deer, I believe, was, uh, the title of the presentation. So tell me a little bit about what you talked about today. Uh, we pretty much talked about a whitetail deer, how to field dresses, how to track it, and use all the different tools that you have to use for a whitetail deer. Now, on our way over here from, uh, one of the other arenas, we were having a conversation about the chronic wasting issue that we have in Pennsylvania. Tell us a little bit about that. Uh, chronic wasting disease, also known C w d Roy poses a big problem here in the United States. Cutting off Roy. Tons of deer. Uh, Roy, the nurse on you're looking for in deer is like a Roy decay or warts on the deer or the inside on the arteries or lungs or heart. And how long has chronic wasting been an a problem? What are some of the origins of the disease? Do you know? I said probably close to about 10, 12 years now, the disease started in Nevada, I believe so. And if you come across a deer that has, uh, uh, c w d what, what should you do? Uh, you should turn it into the Gaming Commissioner Nearest drop site for C W D. Okay. Now you're a member of ffa. Uh, tell me a little bit about that program and some of the opportunities that you have through future Farmers of America. Okay, so I'm in the s CTC Forestry. When you join the forestry class, uh, you have to, you're obviously in ffa. Uh, we come to the Farm Show every year. We have different events throughout the year, like fall skills and spring skills, and we do all kinds of contests like tractor driving, horse judging, and livestock judging. And who would be some students that would be interested in, uh, being in that forestry class? Um, uh, say you want to be a Game Warner or DCN R or uh, fish Commission, that'd be a great place to work for a state park. That'd be a great place to go. Well, hunter, I want to thank you so much for telling us a little bit about ffa, a little bit about, uh, chronic wasting, and for joining us here at the hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Farm Show. It's a pleasure to meet you. Pleasure to meet you too. And the final bit of archival footage and audio is an interview with Mackenzie Glass. Mackenzie is a member of ffa. We're celebrating agriculture here at the hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Farm Show. And joining me right now is Mackenzie Glass. And Mackenzie, you were a meyersdale, uh, student from Meyersdale High School, but you're also the state chaplain for the FFA program, future Farmers of America. Tell me a little bit about ffa. So FFA started in a 1928, and it was started by 3 33 farmers that were around the world. And it has evolved to so much more than just farming. So in 1988, it was changed from future Farmers of America to the National FFA organization so that we could be more inclusive of everyone and everyone's background and everything else. So we have now over, uh, 170,000 members nationwide and almost 13,000 here in Pennsylvania. And we offer so many different opportunities for public speaking and all different kinds of skills that kids wanna learn for future careers and future endeavors. So gimme a little more detail on those, uh, type of opportunities that you have. So the different types of opportunities. So we have everything from career development events to leadership development events. So public speaking is a huge one that I was involved in in high school. So my freshman year I started doing the creed and I played second, and I was like, oh my goodness, this is so awesome. So I continued with public speaking throughout my entire high school career, but there's so much more than just that. We have everything from veterinary skills to, um, ag issues, which was, uh, here this past week, and we had a lot of teams compete in that, and I've never competed in it, but it seems really cool. And there's just so many different things and so many different aspects of FFA that is involved in ag and some that are not. Oh, I had the opportunity to sit in on one of those presentations earlier today where they were talking about sterilization and, uh, important techniques that you have to use when you're caring for, uh, for animals. And I was really impressed to see what some of your, uh, fellow students and colleagues were, were teaching and in displaying through that presentation. So it seems like a worthwhile program. Now, as the state chaplain, what are some of your responsibilities at the state level? So, some of my responsibilities, uh, I, if a student or a member comes up to me and asks, what about like what I do? I always tell them, I'm here. If you have any questions, I will help you with your spiritual guidance or if you have like, any other questions about that. But, uh, in Pennsylvania, our titles are not a hundred percent like feasible, I guess I wanna say. So, um, I'm, I am very religious, like, but some of us are not on our team, and that was what makes us so diverse and it's such a great thing to have. But we have what, we have a time of reflection when we have our opening ceremony. So if you are not really religious, we have a time of reflection for you to reflect on what you are involved in. Now, you, uh, have been holding your position, I believe since mid-summer. And, uh, so you're coming up on this second half of your term of office. What are some things you'd like to accomplish or you're looking forward to, uh, before you kind of hand over this position to, to the next in. Line? So, a couple of events that we have coming up is our ACEs conference in February. It's a three weekend conference, and this is when most of our members attend. Uh, over the course of three weekends, we have different workshops. We have a, uh, volunteer day that we have, and we just do so many different things and it's such a great experience. And then in March we have a, our state legislative leadership conference, also known as S SL C, and it's a three day conference. And we have, um, a big thing about advocating this year because we're trying to revamp that entire conference. We are still including different things about the whole legislative process, but we're trying to make it more, uh, advocate related to agriculture and to ffa. And then after that is our summer convention, which is where me and the rest of my team will retire, and all the other teams in the state will compete and first place, second place will go to the big E or to the National FFA convention in October. So it's really exciting, all the different things that are coming up and we couldn't be more thrilled. Well, Mackenzie, thank you so much for joining us here at the hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Farm Show and for telling us a little bit more about ffa. I wanna thank you for joining us on this episode of Commonalities where we talked about the hundred and seventh Farm Show, which runs January 7th through the 14th. The theme this year is rooted in progress. If you have a chance to get out to Harrisburg, do so before the 14th and see the amazing things that are happening at this year's Farm Show. This has been commonalities, a show where guests find common ground through uncommon conversations. Copyright 2022 Coordinated 360, all public rebroadcast should be done with prior written approval from Matthew Dowling. All requests should be sent to [email protected] Thank you for listening to commonalities.

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