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    Progress of 'PA Preferred' Featured at Next Brown-bag Lunch

    HARRISBURG, Pa -- Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture is inviting the public to learn how the state is marketing products through the "PA Preferred" program during the agency's next brown-bag lunch here on April 24.

    HARRISBURG, Pa -- Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture is inviting the public to learn how the state is marketing products through the "PA Preferred" program during the agency's next brown-bag lunch here on April 24.

    "PA Preferred is 1,200 members strong and growing quickly," said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. "We've made significant strides over the last two years, and we are continuing to expand the program, promoting Pennsylvania products -- everything from fresh produce to hardwood furniture. Buying Pennsylvania products is a good choice for consumers and a good choice for the economy. Since 93 percent of Pennsylvanians prefer to buy local products, the PA Preferred program is a win-win for all of us."

    Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell launched the program in January 2004 to help market state-sourced food products, as well as goods manufactured and processed in the state. Through product promotion and strong consumer brand identification, membership in PA Preferred ranges from farmers' markets and food retailers and processors, to restaurants, wineries, and horticultural businesses.

    For products to be branded with the PA Preferred blue-and-gold check-marked symbol, at least 60 percent of the raw product must be grown and harvested in Pennsylvania. For items like chocolate, where some inputs are not available in the state, 100 percent of the final manufacturing process and packaging must be done in the commonwealth.

    During the brown-bag lunch, Kyle Nagurny, director for market development, will speak at noon in Room 309 at the Department of Agriculture, located at 2301 N. Cameron St. in Harrisburg. The public is invited to attend, and a PA Preferred door prize will be drawn.

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