Agriculture Secretary Highlights Partnerships Protecting Pennsylvania’s Economy, Environment from Invasive Species Damage

onCochranville, PA – Today, the Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding and the Director of the Board of Plantation Dr. Ruth Welliver visited the Star Roses Nursery in Cochranville to highlight efforts to protect Pennsylvania’s economy and environment from damage caused by invasive species.

“Invasive organisms can land on Pennsylvania’s businesses and homeowners, threatening our health and livelihoods,” Redding said. “By creating a partnership that spans across industries and organizations we are working together to protect the plants in our yards and the crops in our fields, now and in the future.”

This department works to protect farm, nursery, and indoor crops from bacteria, viruses, insects, and plants. Through the office of plant industry, the service provides protection for consumers in Pennsylvania to ensure the quality of its products and services through licensing, certification, product registration, research, and inspection programs.

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“These programs are very important to our businesses,” said Dr. Welliver. “They fulfill our role with our business partners, and help businesses find better ways to protect against invasive species. But our organization cannot do this alone, and our partners play an important role in the effective management of invasive species.”

Governor Tom Wolf re-established the Governor’s Invasive Species Council as a major initiative in 2017 with the goal of developing and implementing invasive species management plans through partnerships with federal, state, local, and regional agencies. The organization includes members from seven government agencies and 14 organizations, with the goal of reducing the problems caused by organisms that damage the environment, the economy, and the health of people.

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Because these types of damage affect many businesses, organizations, and individuals, economic damage is difficult to quantify. Last month, the council conducted the first study in the state to measure the costs of invasive species in Pennsylvania, as well as the costs of controlling and controlling them. The more than 1,000 responses to the survey will be used to inform the public about ways to work with communities to manage invasive species.

“The many partners we have through the Governor’s Invasive Species Council continue to connect our agriculture and green industries under the banner of community service,” said Redding. “But this work is not done. It requires the time and effort of people and industry across Pennsylvania. Partners like John Rausch and Star Roses and Plants are critical to the fight for Pennsylvania agriculture’s success.”

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Rausch, who is the business’s chief operating officer, joined Redding in calling for partnerships with nurseries and landscaping businesses throughout the state.

For more information on the Department of Agriculture’s management programs, including the Governor’s Invasive Species Council, visit

Note: Photos and videos will be available at

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers, [email protected], 717.603.2056



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