- This 100th Farm Show will feature a Veterans and Active Duty Military Day on Thursday, January 14. There are a series of events happening in the Susquehanna Room of the Keystone Conference Center and around the Show (see the Show schedule). The AgExplorer Career Stage in the East Hall and the adjacent Ag and Food Careers booth will feature presentations and information by veteran services providers.
- The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America. The Farm Show Complex houses 24 acres under roof, spread throughout 11 buildings including three arenas.
- Free Wireless Internet In 2009 the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center began offering free wireless internet service which covers the entire complex making it the largest wifi network in the East.
- The tentative hours of operation for the annual PA Farm Show are 8am-9pm daily, with the exception of the last day ending at 5pm.
- The PA Farm Show charges no admission fee. Therefore, it is a great event to take the entire family to for the whole day, to enjoy an educational show free of charge.
- The PA Farm Show has something for everyone, farmers and non-farmers. It provides an atmosphere for everyone to walk through, observe and educate themselves about different areas of Agriculture - the Commonwealth's largest industry, and what the industry provides to them.
- The PA Farm Show provides a showplace for farmers to see the most up-to-date farm equipment, farming practices and farming needs while providing the non-farmers with an educational showcase to learn about agriculture and how the products they consume are harvested/processed.
- Traditionally families have come from all over the Northeast, from across the whole country and even from around the world to visit the PA Farm Show as a family vacation.
- The PA Farm Show includes approximately 300 Commercial Exhibitors and includes over 13,000 Competitive Exhibits. Everything from draft horses, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, goats, rabbits and poultry, to eggs, fruit, Christmas trees, apiary products, maple products, nuts, horticultural products, mushrooms, wine, vegetables and many other Pennsylvania products can be seen here.
- Rental of a booth space at the PA Farm Show can range from $1.90/sq. ft to $5.40/sq.ft. depending on location and what kind of display you have in your booth. The minimum size of a booth is 10' x 10'.
- The PA Farm Show opens every year with a visit from the Governor and two performances of the Pennsylvania High School Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeo.
- Several of the arena events each year at the PA Farm Show are: the opening ceremonies, Champion Horse and Pony Pulling Contests, Draft Horse Competition, the Annual Sheep-to-Shawl Contest (the shawls are then auctioned off), Square Dance Contest & Exhibition, Arena Carriage Racing, Tractor Square Dance, PA Equine Showcase, Equine Demo, Cow Milking Contest, Thermador Chefs Challenge, Livestock judging--Horses, Cattle, Swine, Sheep, and Goat Judging. All FREE Admission!
- The PA Farm Show includes a Family Living Center, which is located on the East Side of the Main Hall. It consists of two acres of family living, horticultural, environmental and 4-H exhibits. Some of the main features were chair caning, wheat weaving, lace making, blacksmithing, spinning & weaving, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, Cooking Demonstrations, FFA Demonstrations and Family Living Demonstrations. Also included in the area is a children's activity center called "Farm Show Farmer" which creates a fun atmosphere for education. There are also several contests in the Family Living Center, including the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest, PA Preferred Cake and Cookie Contests, Sticky Bun Contest, Thumbprint & Snickerdoodle Cookie Contest, Old Fashioned Fudge Contest and the Incredible Angel Food Cake Contest, all of which are televised.
- Farm Show Learning Stations - Approximately 20 learning stations are located throughout the PA Farm Show for visitors to explore different aspects of Pennsylvania's number one industry - agriculture! Sponsored by Turkey Hill, visit all the stations and earn a chance to win prizes.
- Two of the most popular attractions at the PA Farm Show are the PA Preferred Culinary Connection and the PA Marketplace. 2007 was the first year for the PA Preferred Best Chef of Pennsylvania Finals held annually in the Sale Arena. The PA Preferred Culinary Connection features the Kitchen Stage where celebrity chefs from the Food Network, Pennsylvania restaurants, cookbook authors and culinary schools perform cooking demonstrations and competitions. These demonstrations and competitions focus on the use of Pennsylvania produced ingredients to make world class cuisine. At the conclusion of each demonstration free samples and recipes are available to those in attendance. Another popular section of the PA Preferred Culinary Connection is the Food Pantry where display cases are filled with Pennsylvania produced products. These displays showcase the diversity of Pennsylvania's food and agriculture businesses and highlight many PA Preferred member companies.
- The PA Marketplace is a "must see" for sampling and purchasing a wide variety of PA products with over fifty businesses and commodity groups represented. Snack foods, candy, spices, processed meats, condiments, beverages, cottage industry products and more are offered at special Farm Show prices.
- The Pennsylvania Food Court can be found in the Expo Hall and the Food Court Annex on the Main Floor. In the Food Court visitors find some of the best food served in Pennsylvania. Many people come to the PA Farm Show just to visit the Food Court. The Food Court is comprised of eleven Pennsylvania Commodity Groups, including the PA Livestock Assoc., the PA Vegetable Growers Assoc., The PA Cooperative Potato Growers, Inc., the PA Beekeepers Assoc., the Penn Ag Industries Assoc./PA Aquaculture Assoc./Mid-Atlantic Bakers Assoc., the PA Maple Syrup Producers Council, the PA Dairymen's Assoc., the PA Mushroom Growers Assoc., the State Horticulture Association of PA, PA FFA Foundation, Inc. and the PA Cattlemen's Assoc. The food court vendors generate thousands of dollars to support these Pennsylvania Agricultural Organizations.
- The PA Farm Show's Farm Equipment Display features farm machinery that is used for soil preparation, planting and seeding, grain harvesting, silage harvesting, tractors, and materials handling. Most major farm equipment manufacturers are represented in the Expo Hall. Sales representatives are on hand to answer questions and give presentations about the equipment.
- The Pennsylvania Auctioneer's Assoc. Bid Calling Contest, held in the Banquet Hall at the PA Farm Show raises funds through contest donations to the Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation.
- 60-Year-Old Merry Go Round - Each ride benefits the PA Farm Show Scholarship Fund and the Pennsylvania State Showmen's Association. The Merry Go Round is located in the Main Hall, and rides are $2 each. The art deco Merry Go Round is comprised of 30 horses and two chariot seats, and has been ridden by millions of patrons since it was first opened to the public in 1946. The Allan Herschell Company manufactured the Merry Go Round in 1946 following World War II. S & S Amusements acquired it in 1964 and completed extensive renovations and modernizations, preserving its art deco appearance. The Merry Go Round is located in North Tonawanda, NY and continues to be used today at fairs and carnivals in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. In 2010, the Farm Show Scholarship Fund received $17,720 of revenue generated from this ride.
- A unique feature attraction at the PA Farm Show every year is a life-size Butter Sculpture on display in the Main Hall, near the Maclay Street Lobby, which is done by Jim Victor of Conshohocken. It has a different theme every year. The subject of the 1,000 pound 19th annual butter sculpture displayed at the 2010 Farm Show was a dairy farm family and cow gathered around the breakfast table.
2011 Farm Show
A very popular event is the Sale of Champions, which benefits 4-H and FFA members. At the 2011 Show, the Grand Champion Steer sold for $10,000, the Grand Champion Swine sold for $6,500, the Grand Champion Lamb sold for $4,700 and the Grand Champion Goat sold for $4,000. The PA Farm Show Scholarship Foundation awarded 25 scholarships, in the amount of $3,500 each, prior to the sale. Since 1994, the Farm Show Scholarship Foundation has awarded $886,250 to 344 students across the commonwealth.
More than 400,000 visitors packed the aisles of the 2011 PA Farm Show to view the many farm equipment displays, livestock and educational exhibits and agriculturally related demonstrations.
More than 1,000 guests celebrated agriculture at the 2011 Farm Show Reception, where PA Preferred food and drinks were enjoyed and key supporters of agriculture were honored.
At the 2011 show, the first modern Parade of Agriculture kicked off the Farm Show, with representatives from each department showcasing their agricultural commodity during Opening Ceremonies in the Large Arena.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is green. Changes made from 2010-2011, such as environmentally conscious light fixtures, bulbs and a photovoltaic solar power system, will save hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars by reducing the facility’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1,650 metric tons annually – the equivalent of taking 300 cars off of Pennsylvania’s roads each year.
Eleven commodity groups offer the state’s best beef, pork, chicken, potatoes, mushrooms, honey, maple products, baked goods and milkshakes in the Farm Show Food Court and Annex.
Farm Show visitors have a sweet tooth, consuming about 100,000 milkshakes, 20,000 dozen potato doughnuts, 7,000 apple dumplings, 11,000 whoopie pies, nearly 9,000 Strawberry Surprise drinks and 4,500 bags of maple cotton candy during last year’s show.
The Family Living Center consists of more than an acre of family living, horticultural, environmental and 4-H and FFA demonstrations and exhibits, including more than 10 baking contests.
Several contests feature local and state celebrities milking and showing dairy cows, driving draft horses, or making burgers and other food items.
Show-goers can take a spin on a 60-year-old art deco merry-go-round with 30 horses and two chariot seats. Tickets are $2, and last year $32,808 was raised with half of the proceeds going to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation and half to the Pennsylvania Showmen’s Association scholarship fund.
The horseshoe pitching contest ran at the Farm Show for 25 years, starting in 1931. The contest was reintroduced to competition in 2007, and is considered one of the most prestigious tournaments in the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association.
More than 2,000 FFA members will gather for the Pennsylvania FFA Mid-Winter Convention during Farm Show as the group bestows Keystone Degrees and Pennsylvania State Star awards.
Tractors can square dance! Two teams consisting of two callers and 14 drivers maneuver tractors of all shapes, sizes and color around the Large Arena in time to music.
The Farm Show press office writes more than 80 news releases and takes hundreds of photos during show week to highlight the events, shows and award winners. Each day the information is posted at www.farmshow.state.pa.us and a list is sent to the media.
2008 Farm Show
- In 2008, the Food Court of the PA Farm Show sold $1,428,926.00 in food.
- The 2008 PA Farm Show offered over $513,000 in Premiums.
- Sale of Champions (benefits 4-H and FFA members). At the 2010 Show, the Grand Champion Steer sold for $15,000, the Grand Champion Swine sold for $5,800, the Grand Champion Lamb sold for $4,900 and the Grand Champion Goat sold for $4,100. The PA Farm Show Scholarship Foundation awarded scholarships, in the amount of $3,500 each, prior to the sale. In 2010, 23 students received scholarships. In total, there have been 319 recipients receiving of total of $718,000 since 1994.
- For the 18th consecutive year, collectors could purchase a limited edition collector truck and other collector items offered at the PA Farm Show. In 2008, an IH TD-14 "Muddy" Crawler Tractor with Bucyrus Blade was offered as well as a '42 Chevy Delivery Truck Bank.
- Nearly 500,000 visitors packed the aisles of the 2008 PA Farm Show to view the many farm equipment displays, livestock and educational exhibits and agriculturally related demonstrations participating in this "Winter Extravaganza".
- The Pennsylvania FFA Association conducts its annual Mid-Winter Convention each year during the Farm Show. Held on Monday afternoons, this event brings together over 2000 FFA members, teachers and parents as they bestow the highest degree of membership in the state, The Keystone Degree. In addition, the Stars of Pennsylvania are announced as the best FFA member in one of four areas of the Supervised Agricultural Experience programs. A Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness, Star in Agriculture Placement and the AgriScience Star are recognized. This event, held annually in the Equine Arena, is open to the public at no charge for admission.
- The 2008 Farm Show premiered a showcase of all the things that dogs can do in an hour and a half demonstration in the Equine Arena.
- In 2008, the PA Farm Show enjoyed 140 hours of television coverage by the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN), 64 hours of which were live coverage. This coverage allows the annual Farm Show to be viewed by up to 3.3 million households who enjoy the Farm Show. PCN covers a majority of events that take place in the Large Arena and other venues throughout the Complex.
- A LIVE Pennsylvania Lottery Drawing takes place each year in the Large Arena during the Square Dance Contest and Exhibition.
- The Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo, a tremendous crowd pleaser, has been with the PA Farm Show for five years. The 2008 Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo, a ticketed event, was held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Governor Ed Rendell joined Secretary Dennis Wolff, Cabinet Members and Legislators along with nearly 1,000 guests who celebrated agriculture at the 2008 Farm Show Dinner. During the event, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's video "Protecting Our Legacy: Providing A Future" was previewed and several key supporters of Agriculture were honored by Secretary Wolff and those in attendance.
- "Renewable agricultural energy is considered by many to be the next frontier of American agriculture, and the PA Farm Show's Agricultural Energy Harvest exhibit at the 2008 Farm Show provided visitors with an exciting educational opportunity to learn about the future of wind, solar, biogas, biofuels and biomass technologies in the Keystone state. Renewable agricultural energy has positioned Pennsylvania farmers to capture a market for the development and deployment of a whole new generation of power sources and fuels, strengthening their agricultural industry while improving the environment and providing home grown fuel sources-further solidifying our national security interests." This event is sponsored by PSECU Credit Union.
2007 Farm Show
- The 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show featured one day as "Farmer Day". FFA Chapters designed a unique "Growing Agricultural Technology" display. These life-sized exhibits reflected agriculture's role in technology and our future. Each FFA Chapter competed to win up to $1,750 in premiums by being judged and getting the public's vote for the best display.
- Antique Tractor and Family Fun Day Activities in the Large Arena - In 2007, antique tractors and gas engines, children's pedal tractor pulling, garden tractor pulling, miniature farm toy displays and the return of horse shoe pitching were all held in the Large Arena, which helped make the Antique Tractor and Family Fun Day Activities a great success. There were thousands of participants and thousands of spectators. After 50 years, the day premiered the return of horseshoe pitching managed by members of the National Horse Shoe Pitching Association of eastern Pennsylvania. From 1931 thru 1956, Pennsylvania State Championship pitching was held during the PA Farm Show. In 2007, one of the pitchers participating was a three-time world champion and she was only 22 years old, from Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania.
- In 2007, teams of square dancing tractors first won over the audience with the intricate maneuvers of the big machines in the traditional square dancing formations.
- The 2007 Farm Show also premiered shuttles providing transport from downtown Harrisburg to the Farm Show over the lunch hours.
- In 2007 the PA Farm Show held its 11th Annual Pennsylvania Wine Competition.
2006 Farm Show
- In 2006, nationally known agricultural broadcaster/commentator and speaker Orion Samuelson broadcasted live from the PA Farm Show for the first time, and spoke during Farmer Day. Orion has been heard on WGN radio since 1960 and is the host of U.S. Farm Report. The Large Arena was adorned with New Holland's latest line of equipment as the Farm Show celebrated a rich tradition of agriculture. A video paid tribute to Pennsylvania farmers and the Farm Show's 90th anniversary, and the "9 Decades of PA Agriculture" winner was featured at this event. This video, "Pennsylvania an Agricultural Tradition for Generations", even won an Emmy Award!
- In 2006, New Holland-FFA Limited Edition "Living the Legacy" Print - In 2007 the National FFA Foundation celebrated its 75th anniversary. Limited edition prints could be purchased, which captures the excitement of a day in the life of rural America.
- Star Barn - In 2006, a detailed replica of the famous "Star Barn" was on display at the PA Farm Show. Master model builder Terry Spahr, of California, spent thousands of hours researching the barn and constructing the 400-square-foot display. Spectators were amazed at the pain-staking detail involved in this design, such as the 15,000 individual roof shingles. You may remember Mr. Spahr's contribution to the 2005 Farm Show - an impressive Cumberland County farmstead replica.
2005 Farm Show
- New in the 2005 PA Farm Show Schedule was Mid-Penn Team Penning.
2003 Farm Show
- In 2003, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Commission extended the length of the show from 6 days to 8 days.
- New in the 2003 PA Farm Show Schedule were Flag Racing and USTPA Team Penning.
2002 Farm Show
- In 2002, an $86.2 million expansion was constructed within the complex, which took just over one year to complete. This includes an Expo Hall, Lobby, Administrative Office, Equine Arena, Equine Barn, Connector Link, and Rotunda. Major upgrades were done to the Sale Arena, Dormitories, Meeting Rooms and PA Preferred Banquet Hall.
- The Pennsylvania Farm Show has been a consistent winner of International Agricultural Awards presented by the International Association of Fairs & Exposition: 2001- three awards, 2002- four awards, 2006- five awards, 2007- three awards. Among the awards won were: Special of Specific Event for Agricultural Exhibitors, Printed Material Produced by a Fair to Promote the Agricultural Program, Outstanding Media Commitment Television and Agriculture Series Photos, Printed Material (not including exhibitor handbooks) Developed and Produced by the Fair to Promote Agriculture Program(s), What was Newly Established or Developed at your Fair to Promote Agriculture, Outstanding Media Commitment to Agriculture Programming-Newspaper; Outstanding Competitive Exhibit Display Method and/or Prop used to Display or Present Winners and Outstanding Competitive Exhibits Judging with Fair Guests in Attendance.
- In 2002, the PA Farm Show was selected as one of the top 100 events in America to visit by Event's Business News.
2001 Farm Show
- In 2001, the PA Farm Show and the PA Farm Show Commission decided to have a commemorative pin and patch designed for the first time. There were 800 pins, each made of pewter and 1" in diameter. There were 1,000 patches each, multi-colored and 4" in diameter. The royalty from the pins and patches benefited the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation.
1998 Farm Show
- The 1998 Pennsylvania Farm Show was named America's Top Rodeo/Livestock Event of the Year by Events Business News.
General PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center Operation
- Over 300 full and part time employees are represented by 2 different unions.
- The Complex is staffed 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
- A 10-member Farm Show Commission establishes policy for the Complex.
- The Farm Show Executive Director heads operation of the Complex.
- The Complex is host to over 200 events.
- As one of the most utilized facilities in the nation, the Complex generates business that amounts to over $480 million of economic impact annually to the capital region and creates over 4,200 full or part time jobs.
For additional Complex details, contact:
Deborah Trump, Show Manager - Commercial Exhibits Division,
at (717) 787-5373.