AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians partnered with PA’s Department of Agriculture at the 100th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg on Jan. 14, 2016 for Veterans and Active Military Day. A number of organizations were present, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, PA Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture, and others. The day-long event focused on sharing information and resources, networking among organizations who support members of the military, and educational presentations at the Ag-Food Career Stage focused on employing and advance those with military service backgrounds. The event saw hundreds of people throughout the day.
A keynote panel presentation that day, moderated by PA’s Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, featured several individuals with military service backgrounds who now work in the agricultural industry. Panelist were honored for their service and work in agriculture by the Homegrown By Heroes program. The program is combing its logo with PA Preferred as part of a branding campaign so that the public is aware when shopping that certain products were produced by Pennsylvania military veterans.
“Two percent of our population feeds us, and two percent of our population protects us. Put together, that’s a powerful four percent,” Secretary Redding said.
An AgrAbility PA client, Cathie Dibert of Green “er” Acres Farm in Claysburg, spoke about her military experience and how she transitioned into farming. She publicly thanked AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians and the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for their support in obtaining accommodative equipment to use around the farm. Cathie also attended last year’s AgrAbility National Training Workshop in New York.
“Veterans possess a variety of skills that are needed in the agriculture industry,” Secretary Redding said. “Agriculture is natural fit for our veterans.”
Other events that day included an Army-Navy Cook-Off Competition and a Swearing-In Ceremony for all branches of the military.