HARRISBURG, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced a free webinar series to connect military veterans who are considering starting or expanding an agriculture business with resources, funding and planning tools they need to succeed.
The series, which begins September 14, is offered by the PA Preferred® Homegrown By Heroes program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center. Sessions will highlight opportunities for veterans, especially those created or expanded under the PA Farm Bill — historic, bipartisan legislation through which Pennsylvania has invested more than $50 million in growing the state’s agriculture industry since 2019.
“Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry is ripe with opportunities for military veterans to put their skills to work and we need them now more than ever,” said Redding. “Pennsylvania is deeply grateful for the service of our military veterans. Investing in their success and making sure veterans know how to take advantage of those investments is a tangible way of giving back to those who have given us so much.”
In the first session, Sec. Redding will introduce Josh Scheinberg, the department’s military veterans coordinator, who will be joined by other veterans among agency leadership to give overviews of conservation, food safety and farmland preservation services available. Phil Stober, director of the Agricultural Business Development Center, created under the PA Farm Bill, and Martin Brill of the Small Business Development Center will introduce grants, business planning and other resources available from the centers and their partners statewide.
Future sessions will explore the PA Preferred Homegrown By Heroes program, which gives military veterans tools to brand their PA-made and PA-grown agricultural products for consumers who want to buy local and support veterans in their communities; sustainable agriculture opportunities through the PA Preferred Organic program; and other resources for transitioning, diversifying and expanding agricultural businesses.
The first session in the series will be held Sept. 14 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. The session is free. A web link or phone number to join the session can be obtained by contacting PA Preferred Program Manager Gwyn Rowland at RA-AgPaPreferred@pa.gov.
To learn more about investments in growing Pennsylvania’s leading industry, visit agriculture.pa.gov
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture