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Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell has designated August “Produce Month,” in honor of the considerable health and economic benefits of the state’s more than $200 million fruit and vegetable industries.
“Pennsylvania is a national leader in the production of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables,” noted Rendell. “The state’s fruit and vegetable producers work hard to deliver nutritious, locally grown produce to grocers, restaurants, farmers markets and directly to consumers throughout the state, generating millions of dollars each year for the economy.”
Nationally, the Keystone State ranks first in the production of agaricus mushrooms; third in the production of peaches; fourth in apples; fifth in the production of pumpkins, snap beans for processing, grapes and pears; sixth in tart cherry production; seventh in cantaloupe and sweet corn for the fresh market; and eighth in fresh market tomatoes.
“Pennsylvania farmers produce an abundant supply of delicious and affordable fruits and vegetables and other agricultural products,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. “Rather than importing food from foreign countries, shipping jobs and money overseas, we can support our local farmers, food processors and economy by purchasing foods grown or processed in our state, easily identified by the ‘PA Preferred’ label.”
Rendell introduced the PA Preferred branding program in 2004 to help market food products grown, harvested and processed in Pennsylvania. The program’s logo is a gold check mark within a blue keystone.