Learn More About How Your Food Gets from the Farm to the Shelf
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Nov. 20, 2015) – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding invites Pennsylvanians and visitors alike to celebrate and experience new attractions, time-honored favorites, and taste what Pennsylvania farms have to offer during the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show: Our Commonwealth’s Blue Ribbon Experience, January 9-16, 2016 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
The theme – The 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show: Our Commonwealth’s Blue Ribbon Experience – is a nod to individual experiences visitors have enjoyed since the first exhibition took place in 1917. The logo – a blue ribbon – recognizes the range of exhibits and contests that take place throughout the week-long event and make the Farm Show Pennsylvania’s state fair.
“The 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show is Our Commonwealth’s Blue Ribbon Experience because it not only features the best of our diverse agriculture industry, but also weaves our collective Farm Show experiences together, and has done so for a century,” said Redding. “We invite you to join us for this milestone occasion. The 2016 show will highlight the highest quality in what agriculture has to offer and help visitors make the connection between their daily lives and the industry. We look forward to seeing you in January.”
Visitors will see some favorites and have a chance to experience some new attractions and events throughout the week. The full show schedule is available at www.farmshow.state.pa.us. Some of the scheduled events include:
• The unveiling of the 1,000-pound butter sculpture on Thursday, January 7, at 11 a.m.
• The Blue Ribbon Reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 8, features Pennsylvania-produced foods and beverages. Tickets for the reception are $35. Preregister online from Monday, November 23, through Friday, December 18, at www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
Some of the new attractions and events include:
• Weis Markets’ Farm-to-Shelf Display – Visit the new Farm-to-Shelf exhibit in the Weis Expo Hall and interact with farmers, processors and grocery store staff and learn about how the food you purchase at your local grocery store is grown, harvested and sourced and then makes its way to you. The exhibit portrays the journey of four commodities apples, pork, dairy and potatoes from the farm to the grocery store shelf. Four commodities: apples, pork, dairy and potatoes will be displayed, taking visitors through the journey.
• History Walls – Take a walk through history with walls that depict the evolution of agriculture, the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and the complex itself, and explore Pennsylvania’s iconic barns.
• Ag Explorers – Redesigned for the celebration of the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show, this year’s learning stations broaden their focus to include something for the entire family. Each station provides a learning experience for visitors, teaching them about Pennsylvania agriculture through fun and interactive hands-on activities.
• Mushroom House – The first-of-its-kind mushroom-growing exhibit highlights the growing process from raw materials to compost, from spawn to the delicious finished product. Visitors will be able to walk through the display to see growing trays straight from a mushroom farm.
• New Food Court Options and Expanded Seating – New items include a blended mushroom burger, a carrot cake funnel cake, walking goat meat tacos and ribs, a BBQ Beef Bowl, chocolate-covered bacon, chicken bites, fish sliders, fish nachos, oversized fresh-baked cookies, and breakfast pretzel rolls. Additional seating for enjoying your Farm Show food has been added in the Weis Expo Hall.
• Celebrity Chef – Gina Neely, star of Food Network’s hit shows “Down Home with the Neelys” and “Road Tasted,” will be on the PA Preferred™ Culinary Connection stage on Saturday, January 9, at noon and 2 p.m.
• Global Food Security Roundtable – Sponsored by the Farm Journal Foundation, this roundtable discussion on Monday, January 11, at 9 a.m. in the PA Preferred Banquet Hall will showcase the importance of global food security. With the global population projected to grow to more than nine billion people by the year 2050, this roundtable will focus on the role that the U.S. and Pennsylvania agricultural sectors can play in ensuring the world produces enough food to feed an ever-growing population.
• 100 Years of Agriculture – Visitors can witness first-hand the progress of agriculture in the Equine Arena on Tuesday, January 12, beginning at 11:30 a.m. From horses to steam engines to tractors, from plows to GPS technology, the past 100 years of agriculture have been packed full of innovation, change, progress and productivity.
• Angora Palooza – Modeled after the annual Sheep-to-Shawl contest, ‘Angora Palooza’ will feature youth Angora rabbit breeders up to 18 years old with spinning wheels and angora fiber in a demonstration on Friday, January 15, at 6 p.m. in the Small Arena. The event will also include an auction and an educational area.
• Ice Cream Scoop-Off – Department of Agriculture officials, Penn State University faculty and students, and Pennsylvania Dairy royalty will go scoop-to-scoop in a Berkey Creamery Scoop-Off at the PA Preferred™ Culinary Connection Stage on Saturday, January 16, at 12:30 p.m. This partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association is the capstone celebration of the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show and the culminating event of the Penn State Berkey Creamery’s 150th anniversary year. Visitors will have the opportunity to sample the new “Birthday Bash” ice cream flavor and learn about the creamery’s history.
Returning show highlights include:
• “Journey of Agriculture” – During opening ceremonies on Saturday, January 9, at 10 a.m., experience a live exhibition of agriculture’s past and present, with a glimpse of the future in the Large Arena.
• Rabbit Hopping Competition – Celebrity guides will lead trained rabbits in a competition of speed and agility as the animals hop obstacles, similar to equine jumping, at 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 10, in the Small Arena.
• Mike Waugh Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving – Celebrity drivers navigate a two-horse hitch around the Equine Arena in a timed obstacle course competition Tuesday, January 12, at 6 p.m.
• Celebrity Cow Milking Contest – Always a crowd-pleaser, the contest on Friday, January 15, at 2:30 p.m. features Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding competing with local media personalities and state legislators.
• Great Grape Stomp – Two barefoot celebrity teams compete for top honors in relay style to stomp the largest amount of juice from 60 pounds of grapes on Thursday, January 14, at 5:30 p.m. Audience members can enter to win prizes.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and 300 commercial exhibitors. According to a recent report issued by the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, the 2015 show had an estimated economic impact of $95 million to the south-central Pennsylvania region, supporting more than 18,000 jobs over the course of the week-long event.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs January 9-15 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and January 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from nearby Interstate 81.
For more information about the 2016 show, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
ABOUT THE PENNSYLVANIA WINERY ASSOCIATION
The Pennsylvania Winery Association is a trade association representing more than 100 member wineries and an advocate on behalf of the state’s growing multibillion-dollar wine industry. With some of the most fertile grape-growing land on the East Coast, Pennsylvania ranks fifth nationally in the amount of grapes grown, seventh in wine production, and seventh in the number of licensed wineries. The climate and sheer size of the state also allow for dozens of varietals to be grown. There are wineries in every region, and many of them are family-owned and -operated, continuing a centuries-old tradition that began in 1683 when William Penn planted the first vineyard in Philadelphia. Today, Pennsylvania’s wineries host events year-round, and most sell their vintages directly through their own tasting rooms. Most are also part of 12 organized wine trails that weave across the state—in fact, visitors to Pennsylvania are always within an hour’s drive of a winery. To learn more about Pennsylvania wine or to plan your trip, visit PennsylvaniaWine.com.
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
1. The Farm Show has not taken place annually. Therefore the 2016 event is not referred to as the 100th annual show; it is the 100th show.