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Inaugural Skid Loader Showdown ‘Steers’ PA Farm Show Crowd to Safety, Education

Harrisburg – The hum of engines and strange song of back-up alarms resounded throughout the Equine Arena at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, attracting nearly 200 participants interested in the chance to play in the dirt – not with toys, but skidloaders.

Tuesday, Jan. 10, visitors to the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show, 18 years or older, could choose from a lineup of seven skidloaders from various manufacturers. They entered an obstacle course, where they first maneuvered through a setup of cones. Next, they moved a pile of dirt to a dump truck and then transferred a ball resting on a cone to another piece of equipment.

Local farm equipment dealers joined together to put a new event in motion for the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show. The showdown was not a competition, but merely an opportunity to educate the public on safety, while giving participants hands-on experience.

Skidloader operation safety pamphlets and other information packets were available to participants and onlookers alike.

Harrisburg resident and first-time skid loader operator Robin Carter was assisted through the course by dealer representatives. After completing the course, Carter said she “liked the challenge of being in a machine I wouldn’t normally be running.”

Four businesses, with displays in the Expo Hall, provided the use of the equipment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gehl skidloaders were brought in by Binkley & Hurst; Case by Hoober, Inc; John Deere by Valley Ag & Turf and New Holland and Kubota machines by Messick’s Farm Equipment. Representatives from the companies also served as organizers throughout the day.

Tom Snow, of Valley Ag & Turf, described the new event as “a super opportunity for anyone to come through and try any brand of skidloader at one place.” 

Representatives were pleased with participation in the event and look forward to educating more participants to safe skidloader operation during next year’s Farm Show.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit for information.


For photos click here.