An Association of Commercial Vegetable, Potato and Berry Growers
PVGA Annual Award Recipient – Samuel Hayes Jr
The “Simply Delicious” Produce Promotion Program which Hayes initiated has been of particular benefit to the fruit and vegetable industries. PVGA President John Mason, in presenting the award to Hayes, said: “While the “Simply Delicious” promotion in and of itself would qualify him for this award, he has also gone to bat for our industry in developing innovative crop insurance products that better suit the produce industry than traditional crop insurance products.
“Equally important to direct marketers has been Secretary Hayes’s commitment to the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program for both WIC recipients and senior citizens. He has worked to offer this program across the state. It not only provides nutritious food to needy people but also provides extra income for Pennsylvania farmers.
“Secretary Hayes has also provided invaluable leadership in assisting other areas of agriculture in dealing with the plum pox virus, drought assistance, biosecurity, expansion of the Farm Show Complex and construction of the Livestock Evaluation Center.”
The “Simply Delicious” produce promotion not only benefited from the financial resources Hayes committed to the program, but just as importantly from his personal involvement in various publicity events across the state that brought the promotion invaluable media exposure. He was also personally involved in the development of the “Simply Delicious” logo and the television advertisements that ran during the summer of 2002.
Hayes was appointed Secretary of Agricutlure in 1997 by Governor Thomas Ridge. He had previously served 22 years in the state House of Representatives were he was Majority Leader before leaving the House in 1992. His legislative experience and connections proved invaluable in winning approval of funding for various agricultural needs.