Harrisburg – Exhibitors at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show showed visitors how the state’s agricultural industry is “Keeping Pennsylvania Growing.” The eight-day show wrapped up on Saturday, Jan. 15, in Harrisburg.
To celebrate the theme, four honorees were recognized for their efforts in Keeping Pennsylvania Growing. Governor Edward G. Rendell, the Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and WITF Media received awards at the PA Preferred Farm Show Reception, held Friday, Jan. 7.
Despite some inclement weather in the middle of the week, nearly 400,000 people visited the Farm Show this 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.
Kicking off the show in a new way this year was the Parade of Agriculture. Representatives from each Farm Show department along with state commodity representatives paraded through the Large Arena together.
Housed in a new octagonal case, the butter sculpture once again drew the attention of many visitors. Made from nearly 1,000 pounds of butter, this year’s sculpture depicted a dairy farmer providing milk to children playing on a jungle gym and tossing a ball with a football player.
The butter sculpture anchored the newly-relocated and remodeled commodity displays that featured Pennsylvania’s apple industry and beekeeping and honey industries.
Visitors were also entertained by celebrities and legislators who participated in the VIP Dairy Showmanship Contest, Celebrity Cow Milking Contest, Celebrity Chef Competitions in the PA Preferred Culinary Connections and, new this year, the Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving competition.
Also new to the show this year was a live TV taping of the “U.S. Farm Report,” a newly completed energy savings renovation project, and the daily educational magic show, “Agricadabra.”
This year the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation presented 25 students with $3,500 scholarships. Started in 1993, the Foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 in scholarships to 344 Farm Show youth exhibitors.
As always, the Food Court tempted visitors with a variety of delicious baked goods, soups, sandwiches and other Pennsylvania products. As of Saturday morning, the following products were sold or consumed:
• Pennsylvania Co-operative Potato Growers sold 20,000 dozen doughnuts, 25,000 baked potatoes, 5,250 sweet potatoes, 31,500 servings of French fries. They used 1,600 pounds of flour, 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 7,000 apple dumplings, 40 bushels of apples and 2,000 gallons of apple cider.
• Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association used 13,300 gallons of milkshake mix and 5,000 pounds of Mozzarella cheese.
• Pennsylvania Livestock Association sold more than 40,000 barbecue, roast beef, ham and cheese, and meatball sandwiches, 1,400 cups of lamb stew and 400 steak and ham salads.
• PennAg Industries sold more than 60,000 sandwiches, including 15,000 fish sandwiches. They used over 5,500 pounds of chicken breast, 3,300 pounds of chicken nuggets, and sold 11,000 whoopie pies and 2,600 sticky buns.
• Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers sold more than 4,500 bags of maple cotton candy and 530 gallons of maple syrup
• Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers sold 9,000 Strawberry Surprise drinks, 7,000 pounds of onions, 360 cases of vegetables, 6,990 bowls of soup, and 1,800 pickles.
• Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association Booth used 3,500 eggs to make their breakfast sandwiches throughout the week.
• Pennsylvania Mushroom Grower’s Cooperative sold more than 5,000 pounds of mushrooms.
• Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association sold 900 gallons of honey ice cream and 250 pounds of honey, and they used 400 pounds of waffle mix.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.
For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
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