Ag Secretary Redding meets with, encourages Ag Advocates

Posted: October 22, 2010

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding this week urged a group of students from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to remain ambassadors for agriculture long after they graduate.
Ag Advocates pose with state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding

Ag Advocates pose with state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding

Addressing a meeting of the college's Ag Advocates, he also talked about issues facing the state's agricultural industry -- such as the Marcellus Shale natural-gas play -- and the role his department plays in addressing them. Redding made an impression on the students.


"Secretary Redding left us with great advice," recalled Sarah Caldwell, a senior from Beaver Falls majoring in Agribusiness Management. "He encouraged us to have a pocketful of suggestions for the new governor, in case we get the chance to meet him and share our ideas. He showed me that my role as an advocate doesn't end when I leave Penn State. I have the opportunity to advocate for agriculture at so many more levels."


Terri Woodling of Beaver Springs was impressed by how positive Redding is about the future of agriculture. "One thing that I took away from his visit was that 1.3 million people in Pennsylvania go hungry every night," said the senior Agricultural Science major.


"Thinking about all the people in our commonwealth who don't have a basic necessity makes me want to go out and do something through agriculture to help them."


Lauren Ritchey, a senior from West Kingston, R.I., was surprised to hear how much the Department of Agriculture oversees. "I was surprised at some of the secretary's responsibilities, such as licensing and keeping track of the pet dogs in the state," said the Wildlife and Fisheries Science major.


"I appreciated his concern for the industry and his encouragement to all of us students as we prepare for a career in the field."


Ag Advocates are undergraduates who have been chosen to represent Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences at events and activities throughout the year. They help to inform the public about the college and the diversity of the agricultural sciences, help recruit highly qualified students and help welcome new students to the college and university.