GALETON — One-hundred and twenty individuals gathered at the Pine Creek Inn on the morning of Friday, March 13 to hear representatives Martin Causer and Clint Owlett discuss the agriculture industry in northern Pennsylvania.
Russell Redding, the state secretary of agriculture, and Fred Keller, representative of Pennsylvania’s 12 congressional district, were scheduled to be at the roundtable but were unable to attend due to travel restrictions and legislation concerning coronavirus.
Also in attendance were Tioga County Commissioner Erick Coolidge and Potter County Commissioner Barry Hayman.
During the breakfast, Causer took a moment to recognize the Future Farmers of America from Northern Potter High School and Wellsboro Area High School who were in attendance.
“They are absolutely the future,” Causer said. “In Harrisburg, our focus has been providing resources and guidance for future farmers.”
As they addressed the crowded room, Causer and Owlett spoke of various issues that they have been working on in Harrisburg such as broadband internet, regulations and the state budget.
Organizing and hosting Friday’s event was Christian Herr, executive vice president with PennAg Industries. One of Herr’s major points of discussion when he addressed the crowd was animal health.
“Here we are are with what is called a worldwide pandemic, but it’s something that we deal with every single day in agriculture and that’s protecting our animal agriculture,” Herr said.
Causer echoed the importance of animal health to the agriculture industry following Herr’s comments.
“We are committed to looking at every single line item in that budget and when we put a final budget piece together there will be money in it for animal health because as farmers and those involved in agriculture we know there is nothing more important than keeping our herds and our animals healthy,” Causer said.
Members of the audience were encouraged to ask questions following the initial discussion part of the breakfast. Representatives Causer and Owlett as well as commissioners Coolidge and Hayman, addressed questions and concerns raised by the audience during the question and answer portion.
Lee Gardner, a farmer from Germania said, “The biggest takeaway for me is just getting informed on things going on in Harrisburg that a lot of us don’t see or hear.”
The students from Northern Potter FFA Headwaters chapter were impressed with the breakfast and discussion. For Aaron Lehman, the president of the Headwaters chapter, the biggest take away from the event was the response and passion from people in Harrisburg for the rural community.
This event followed the state guidelines regarding the coronavirus in place at the time, which was to limit gatherings, events and conferences to 250 individuals.