Pointing to the significant health and economic benefits of Pennsylvania's fruit and vegetable industries, Gov. Ed Rendell declared the month for produce on July 31.

Pennsylvania celebrates Produce Month

“Pennsylvania is a national leader in the production of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables,” the governor said in a news release. “The state’s fruit and vegetable producers work hard to deliver nutritious, locally grown produce to grocers, restaurants, farmers markets and directly to consumers throughout the state, generating millions of dollars each year for the economy.”

In his proclamation, Rendell said health officials have long encouraged Americans to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables for their nutritional benefits and disease prevention qualities.

According to the release, Pennsylvania is the largest U.S. producer of agaricus (white) mushrooms, third in peaches, fourth in apples, fifth in pumpkins, grapes, pears and snap beans for processing, sixth in tart cherries, seventh in fresh cantaloupe and sweet corn and eighth in fresh tomatoes.

Pennsylvania promotes its agricultural products through its PA Preferred branding program.