Harrisburg – Visitors to the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, learned first-hand how the state’s agriculture industry is “Keeping Pennsylvania Growing.” The eight-day show wrapped up on Saturday, Jan. 16, in Harrisburg.
“We had a phenomenal show this year,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “The Farm Show is a unique event where the public is focused on agriculture, and is a kind of microcosm of Pennsylvania, with so many counties represented.”
He added “the weather cooperated, the food was great, the animals were friendly and there were fun opportunities around every corner.”
The Farm Show boasted record crowds, with visitor numbers increased significantly over last year.
Much of the Farm Show’s success is due to the hundreds of volunteers and employees who spend months preparing for the show then commit show week to setting up for events, serving food, and endlessly cleaning the complex. Their efforts make the show an unforgettable and positive experience for the hundreds of thousands who visit.
Crowds once again enjoyed the 1,000 pound butter sculpture, with butter donated by Land O’ Lakes. This year in the form of a dairy farm family and cow gathered around the breakfast table.
Visitors were also entertained by celebrities and legislators who competed in the Celebrity Cow Milking Contest, VIP Dairy Showmanship Contest, and several cook-offs in the PA Preferred Culinary Connection. Pennsylvania’s honey and maple industries also took center stage through daily demonstrations.
As always, the Food Court tempted visitors with a variety of delicious baked goods, soups, sandwiches and other Pennsylvania products. As of Saturday morning, commodity organizations estimated food sales were up at least 10 percent from 2009. The following products were sold or consumed:
• Pennsylvania Co-operative Potato Growers sold 20,000 dozen doughnuts, 25,000 baked potatoes, 5,000 sweet potatoes, 35,000 servings of French fries. They used 6,000 pounds of shortening, 3,000 pounds of frying oil, 1,500 pounds of butter, 500 gallons of ketchup, 100 gallons of vinegar and 50 pounds of salt.
• The Pennsylvania Fruit Growers sold 8,700 apple dumplings, 50 bushels of apples and 2,175 gallons of apple cider.
• Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association used 12,000 gallons of milkshake mix and 5,000 pounds of Mozzarella cheese.
• Pennsylvania Livestock Association sold more than 50,000 barbecue, roast beef, ham and cheese, and meatball sandwiches, and 2,300 cups of lamb stew.
• PennAg Industries sold more than 62,000 sandwiches, including 17,000 fish sandwiches. They used over 5,000 pounds of chicken breast, 3,000 pounds of chicken nuggets, and sold 10,000 whoopie pies and 2,400 sticky buns.
• Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers sold more than 5,000 bags of maple cotton candy and 585 gallons of maple syrup
• Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers had an outstanding week selling 18,875 Strawberry Surprise drinks, 7,750 pounds of onions, 400 cases of vegetables, 6,990 bowls of soup, and 1,440 pickles.
• Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association Booth used 3,240 eggs to make their breakfast sandwiches throughout the week.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show featured nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 285 commercial exhibitors. The show took place Jan. 9-16 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.
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For photos from the 94th Pennsylvania Farm Show click here.