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Agricultural Summit

Agriculture is a way of life for a lot of people in our area. Local Residents got a chance to hear and discuss the big issues facing the Industry on Monday. The discussion at this Agriculture Summit at Mount Aloysius was about the past, the present, as well as the future. Congressman Glenn Thompson saying: “Agriculture is about the rural economy ,it’s about having access to high-quality affordable food.”

Congressman Thompson bringing together Federal and State Leaders to, as he said, get boots in the barn and help Pennsylvania’s Largest Industry. Thompson adding: “1 out of 7 Pennsylvanians work directly or indirectly within agriculture.” Among the topics: helping Dairy Farmers, who Thompson says have watched profits dry up over the past decade due to decreased demand and increased Government Policies. Thompson saying: “We literally lost at least one generation of milk drinkers since that time, and it’s had a huge impact on rural American and the nutrition of young people.”

Another topic was bringing high-speed internet into every nook and cranny of Rural America to make it thrive. In addition to the Digital Divide, there is also a Labor Divide that State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding says needs a long-term solution. Redding saying: “Workforce development. It is the most critical issue. You can’t find workers, they have choices, and we know that. So bringing them into an industry where technology is changing everyone’s job, that workforce is “A” on the list of needs.”

That’s why they say an ongoing discussion between Government and Industry is vital. Redding adding: “Agriculture is so important to everyone’s life every single day. We have to have the conversation and engage but also be mindful there are a lot of different voices across America about agriculture policy.” Congressman Thompson, in closing: “In order to get things done and to make it last you need to do it in a bipartisan way.”

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