Agriculture is a big business in Pennsylvania. And, this week at the Farm Show in Harrisburg, officials have been showing off new technology that can help the industry moving forward.

State officials are stressing that the future of farming needs to have a focus on the environment, which in turn, can help drive the economy. 

Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding tells us, “Being good stewards with a great product is good for our consumers.”

Redding is excited about the future of the AG Industry in PA. At the Farm Show, the department has been showcasing Pennsylvania companies that offer technology innovations, like crop-monitoring drones to potting soil made from recyclable materials. 

“Healthy soils and healthy water equals healthy food and healthy people.”

That’s also part of the reason why, on Friday, officials from state and federal agencies, as well as the private sector, signed a letter of intent for the ‘High-Performance Farms Initiative’. 

Secretary of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Patrick McDonnell, says, “Where we have farmers supporting one another, with the support of state and federal partners, to make sure that we can achieve water quality goals.”

The initiative pushes for a better working relationship between state agencies and businesses like ‘Bell and Evans,’ a Lebanon County Poultry Processing and Wholesale Company that focuses on organic products. 

McDonnell says, “As they’ve gone down the path of organic, they’ve been able to see better profits in doing that. Some of it is the product, some of it is the story. And having that environmental story can be an economic boon to our farmers.”