Secretary Sam Hayes speaks at Epworth Manor

Yesterday, former Secretary of Agriculture Sam Hayes traveled to Epworth Manor to celebrate Arbor Day.
Numerous residents and staff of Epworth Manor as well as six members of the Tyrone High School FFA filled the main lobby to hear Hayes speak about the importance of Arbor Day and the importance of agriculture in Blair County.
First started in Nebraska by Julius Sterling Morton on April 10, 1872, Arbor Day is now practiced all over the United States. The purpose of Arbor Day is for participants to plant a tree. It is also a time for people to inspect trees on their properties and to see if any maintenance needs to be done to the trees for the following year.
During his presentation, Hayes explained that Pennsylvania is the leading producer of hardwood trees in the United States, surpassing the hardwood tree production of even Washington or Oregon. Also, he stressed, especially to the Tyrone High School FFA students, that there is a great demand in the job market for those interested in the agricultural field.
“Everyday should be Arbor Day,” said Hayes in his closing remarks, reminding everyone present that the trees and the surrounding environment play a pivotal role in daily life.
After the speech in the lobby, Hayes and the members of the FFA planted various types of trees and flowers on the grounds of Epworth Manor. The trees and flowers will grow over the years and serve as a daily reminder of the importance of the environment and agriculture to Pennsylvania.
Hayes donated a cherry tree that was planted in honor of his late mother-in-law who was a resident of Epworth Manor. Gulish’s Garden Center donated two flowering crab trees that were planted; Epworth Manor staff member Carol Stringer donated lilac bushes; and Lowes of State College donated the potting soil and mulch.
A native of Huntingdon County, Hayes graduated from Penn State University. He served five years active duty in the Army and is a veteran of the Vietnam War where he was issued the Bronze Star.
Currently the representative of Agriculture Societies for Penn State, Hayes served on the Penn State Board of Trustees from 1997-2003 as Secretary of Agriculture. He was a lawmaker and legislative leader in the House of Representatives from 1970-1992, where he served as Majority Leader and Whip in the House of Representatives.
He is an active community member and serves on various boards, including serving as the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Board.
Hayes has received many awards throughout his career, including the Man of the Year Award from Pennsylvania Rural Electric Cooperatives and the Livestock Hall of Fame from the Pennsylvania Livestock Association.