HARRISBURG – The 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show promises to offer something to interest each of its anticipated 400,000 visitors - from milkshakes to tractors to alpacas, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today as he announced that the 93rd show is set for Jan. 10-17 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.
“Pennsylvania agriculture is innovative and diverse, and the Farm Show provides the perfect venue to share what’s new in our state’s number one industry,” said Wolff. “Visitors will be treated to the best in animal agriculture, cooking and baking, and alternative energy options.”
The 2009 Farm Show’s theme – Keeping Pennsylvania Growing – shows how the agriculture industry is incorporating cutting edge technologies and the many ways agribusinesses are infusing our economy with jobs and capital investments while contributing to a safe food supply. The show will also highlight how agriculture is increasingly generating more renewable energy that is helping to reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil.
During the eight-day event, visitors have the chance to see 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.
Additional highlights of the week 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 Rep. Art Hershey are ready for a rematch in the 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.
Secretary Wolff invited the public to help kick off one of the most celebrated agricultural events in the nation by attending the annual Farm Show Dinner on Friday, Jan. 9. Live entertainment will be provided by KJ Wagner. Tickets are $40 and seating is limited.
The Pennsylvania Farm 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 or to make reservations for the opening dinner.