Agriculture Secretary George Greig invites Pennsylvanians to celebrate agriculture during the 99th Pennsylvania Farm Show, Jan. 10-17 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
The eight-day show features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.
“Pennsylvania is home to a diverse agriculture industry, and the Farm Show reflects that in its variety of displays, competitions and activities,” said Greig. “Join us for the 99th edition of a Pennsylvania tradition. It’s a celebration of the best that is made and grown right here, available for you to watch and to sample for free.”
The unveiling of the 1,000-pound butter sculpture is Thursday, Jan. 8, at 11 a.m.
The PA Preferred™ Farm Show Reception at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9, features Pennsylvania-produced foods and beverages. Tickets for the reception are $35. Preregister online by Dec. 19 at www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
The 2015 Farm Show will feature many new attractions, including:
• Fill a Glass with Hope – Donate money to help get fresh milk to Pennsylvanians in need through the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association Fill a Glass with Hope project. Funds benefit the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s milk distribution program, the first of its kind in the nation. Donations will be accepted at the Weis Markets Booth and the Food Court all week long.
• New High-tech Woodmobile – The new Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council Woodmobile adds a new look, touchscreen technology and more videos to the interior, offering more ways to learn about Pennsylvania’s nation-leading hardwoods industry.
• Celebrity Chef – Aaron McCargo Jr., winner of The Next Food Network Star and star of “Big Daddy’s House,” will grace the PA Preferred™ Culinary Connection stage Sunday, Jan. 11, at noon and 2 p.m. Aaron whips up mouth-watering recipes inspired by many years of culinary experience with his fun-loving family.
• Food Court Healthier, Expands Options, Size – New items include fried pickles, grilled cheeseburgers, soft pretzels and pork nachos. A switch by many vendors to using High Oleic Soybean Oil will make for healthier Food Court staples and improve kitchen performance.
• Lumberjacks, Lumberjills Demonstrate Logging Events – Watch an exhibition of lumberjacking events like axe throwing; crosscut sawing; springboard, standing and underhand chops; and the hot saw by the Pennsylvania Professional Lumberjack Organization. They’ll demonstrate multiple wood harvesting techniques and horse-drawn logging on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. in the Large Arena. Horse-drawn logging demonstrations will also be held through the week.
• Family Ag Olympics – Have fun competing while learning about agriculture through ten stations in the new Farm Show Ag Olympics Saturday, Jan. 10, at 4 p.m. in the Equine Arena.
Returning show highlights include:
• Celebrity Cow Milking Contest – Always a crowd-pleaser, the contest on Friday, Jan. 16, at 2:30 p.m. features Agriculture Secretary George Greig competing with local media personalities and state legislators.
• Great Grape Stomp – Two barefoot celebrity teams compete for top vintner honors in relay style to stomp the largest amount of juice from 30 pounds of grapes on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. Audience members can vote for their favorite team and enter to win prizes.
• Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving – Celebrity teams compete in a draft horse team driving competition Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m.
• “Today’s Agriculture” – An exhibit in a full-size barn displays modern production practices used to efficiently and safely produce our food supply. This year, learn how soybeans become soybean oil that is used in the PA Preferred Food Court.
• “Parade of Agriculture” – During Opening Ceremonies Saturday, Jan. 10, at 10:30 a.m. representatives from each area of the Farm Show along with state commodity representatives parade through the Large Arena.
• Farm Show Detectives – Young visitors can investigate Pennsylvania agriculture by visiting learning stations around the complex that offer hands-on lessons and activities. New this year are stops for exploring everyday ways agriculture touches our lives with Penn State, learning the parts of a tractor alongside a tractor amusement ride and discovering the importance of keeping dogs safe with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.
• Rabbit Hopping Competition – Celebrity guides will lead trained rabbits in a competition of speed and agility as the animals hop obstacles, similar to equine jumping, at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11, in the Small Arena. Vote for the winning rabbit and you will be entered to win a prize.
• Dairy Oxen Demonstration – Learn how settlers used dairy steers to build the nation during a dairy oxen demonstration on Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 8-10 a.m.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs Jan. 10-16 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Jan. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $10 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from nearby Interstate 81.
For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.