HARRISBURG – Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff opened the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show today by recognizing Pennsylvania’s commitment to agricultural excellence, from pasture to show ring.
“The Farm Show showcases the hard work of Pennsylvania’s farm families,” said Wolff. “Thanks to them, our agricultural industry continues to grow and thrive; using a strong tradition of excellence to open new markets and strengthen our state’s economy.”
Wolff said this year’s theme – Keeping Pennsylvania Growing – shows how the agriculture industry is incorporating cutting edge technologies and the many ways in which agribusinesses are infusing our economy with jobs and capital investments while contributing to a safe food supply. The show will also highlight how agriculture increasingly generates more renewable energy to help reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil.
Following the opening ceremony, acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger and Wolff held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the show’s Renewable Energy Exhibit.
The exhibit features 14 businesses that produce biofuels, as well as wind and solar energy. A mobile anaerobic digester, which turns manure into energy, will be on display throughout the eight-day event.
Additional show highlights include:
• Culinary Connection – Back for the third year is celebrity chef Chris Cognac, "The Hungry Detective” on the Food Network. Three other famous chefs will join him including Richard Blais of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America,” Louisa Chu of Bravo TV’s “Iron Chef America,” and PBS’s “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie,” and Howard Helmer, the “World’s Fastest Omelet Maker.” Also, four winning regional chefs and last year’s overall winner will vie for the PA Preferred Best Chef in Pennsylvania title.
• Farm Show Detectives – Kids can become “Farm Show Detectives” and investigate Pennsylvania agriculture by visiting 19 learning stations located throughout the complex.
• Celebrity Milking Contest – Secretary Wolff and retired state Rep. Art Hershey are ready for a rematch in the cow-milking contest. Players from Harrisburg’s new professional indoor football team, the Harrisburg Stampede, local TV personalities, and other state legislators will round out the teams.
• Energy Exhibits – More than 25 Pennsylvania energy companies will show how the state is leading the nation in renewable energy through wind and solar energy, biodiesel, ethanol, and corn- and wood-burning stoves and furnaces. A mobile anaerobic digester demonstration will show how animal waste can be converted into alternative energy.
• New Attractions – New this year are American Mustang demonstrations, antique tractor pulls and a Farm Show talent contest. Also, for the first time, Red & White dairy cattle will have a separate show during the dairy show.
• Farm Show Classics – Crowd-pleasing favorites like the butter sculpture, Sheep-to-Shawl competition and the high school rodeo will return.
• Food Court - As always, the famed food court will offer something for every food enthusiast, including Pennsylvania mushrooms, milkshakes, potatoes, beef and chicken.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show features nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors. In addition, exhibitors can hope to tap into more than $550,000 in prize money.
The show runs Jan. 10-17 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Parking is $8. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us
for a detailed schedule.
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Photographs of this event are available by clicking here.