Governor Rendell nominated Russell C. Redding to serve as Secretary of Agriculture in September 2009, and was confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 16, 2009. He previously served as Executive Deputy Secretary for the Department. Redding brings with him an innate understanding of production agriculture, stemming from his youth on his family’s dairy farm in Gettysburg and his time as a dairy farm operator with his wife, Nina.
In this post, he oversees the day-to-day management of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for issues related to Pennsylvania's number one industry. A part of the Department’s leadership team since 1995, Redding previously provided oversight and guidance to Bureaus as a Deputy Secretary.
Redding also has extensive experience as a public servant, having spent more than 20 years serving Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and in Washington D.C. Through his work as the Vocational Student Organization Coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Redding provided leadership to the Pennsylvania FFA Association.
As a member of the Department of Labor & Industry’s executive staff, Redding helped shape policies that kept Pennsylvania businesses thriving and bolstered the state’s workforce.
Expanding his service to Pennsylvania beyond the state’s borders, Redding served as Agricultural Policy Advisor and Executive Assistant to United States Senator Harris Wofford. In this role, Secretary Redding provided leadership to the agriculture industry for the state and the nation, and was able to support Pennsylvanians on critical issues such as community and economic development, volunteerism/community service and national agriculture policies.
Redding is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, having earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agriculture and Extension Education. In 2005, he was named an Outstanding Alum by the university. Redding was also a Pennsylvania State FFA Officer, serving as Vice President for the agricultural education organization. In recognition of his support, Redding has been awarded the Honorary Keystone Degree and the Honorary American Degree. In 2009, the Pennsylvania FFA Association recognized him for his 30 years of committed service to the organization.
Redding, his wife Nina and sons Garrison and Elliot reside in Adams County, where the family is active in the Upper Adams 4-H Club.