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Buy Local Summit planned for Friday at Farmington winery

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By Nancy Henry
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Local communities, economics, and local food sources will be some of the topics at the annual Buy Local Summit, which will be held on Friday at the Christian W. Klay Winery in Farmington.

The summit is being hosted by the Buy Local Network, an initiative of Fay-Penn Economic Development Council,.

Michael Jordan, Fay-Penn executive director, said guest speakers will be George Greig, the Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture and Tom Williams, the Pennsylvania state director of rural development at the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Having these two gentlemen here is important as agriculture and agribusiness contributes nearly $6.7 billion to Pennsylvania's economy each year which, of course, includes Fayette Count,” Jordan said.

Jordan said with agriculture being Pennsylvania's number one industry and Pennsylvania being America's fourth largest producer of food products, legislators must be encouraged to continue to understand the importance of investing in farmers and growers in order to sustain economic growth in the state and, more importantly, the region.

Local Economy Manager Bob Junk said Greig understands the plight of the local farmer. He was raised on a farm in Crawford County and continues to farm today.

“With 92 percent of farms in Fayette County being locally-owned, Secretary Greig's visit is a great opportunity for local farmers to address their needs and concerns on a state level,” Junk said.

The speakers will discuss how local farmers, towns, townships, and boroughs can better interact and communicate with both the federal and state program managers. They will talk about the backbone of the economy — small business.

The summit will begin with registration at 11 a.m. and lunch, provided by Rizz's, will be served at noon featuring both local and Pennsylvania grown food.

Following the guest speakers, there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions, a wine tasting and an optional hay ride and tours of the lavender fields at the Klay winery. The summit ends at 4:30 p.m.

Seating is limited for this event. The cost to attend is $20 per person. If you would like to receive more information or are interested in attending the Buy Local Summit, call Jennifer Kooser at 724-437-7913.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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