Redding confirmed to serve again as Pennsylvania ag secretary

two guys laughing
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and urban farmer Rafael Vencio share a laugh during a tour of Hilltop Urban Farm, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 20, 2021. (Rachel Wagoner photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. —  The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed Russell Redding to serve as Pennsylvania’s 27th Secretary of Agriculture on May 10. Gov. Josh Shapiro nominated Redding, who previously served as agriculture secretary under Govs. Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve Pennsylvania under Governor Josh Shapiro’s dedicated leadership,” Redding said, in his confirmation testimony. “Since our first conversation, I have been struck by his energy, experience and vision for Pennsylvania and for agriculture.

“I have dedicated my life to agriculture and public service, working to advance an industry that is at the center of some of the most important issues of our time, and shapes the quality of life for every Pennsylvanian.”

Redding led the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture through highs and lows during the Wolf administration. This includes the launch of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, a first-of-its-kind program that’s invested more than $50 million into various state-level agricultural programs since its inception in 2019.

It also includes responding to the first bird flu outbreak in Pennsylvania in nearly 40 years, which has killed more than 4.6 million domesticated birds in the state in the past year. Of 47 states hit by the outbreak, Pennsylvania is the only state to dedicate a $25 million recovery fund to helping poultry producers cover their losses.

Redding is a Pennsylvania native and grew up on his family’s dairy farm. He earned a bachelor’s in agriculture education and master’s in agriculture and extension education from Penn State University. He and his wife Nina have two adult sons and own and operate a farm in Gettysburg.

Redding has extensive experience as a public servant, having spent more than 30 years serving Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. He worked on Capitol Hill as ag policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford and served for nearly 25 years in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. He currently serves on the Agriculture subcommittee of the USDA’s Equity Commission. Redding is also the former dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley University.


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