Pa. Farm Show returns to state

CARA MORNINGSTAR/Sun-Gazette Russell Redding, Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture, talks about state accomplishments during the duck slide and chick hatch opening event at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg on Thursday.

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Farm Show will be held through Saturday at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, at the corner of Cameron and Maclay streets.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, and parking is $15. For more information, visit the Farm Show website at www.farmshow.state.

Sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America, with 24 acres under roof, spread throughout 11 buildings and three arenas. Farm Show officials expect more than 500,000 spectators, some 6,000 animals, more than 10,000 competitive exhibits and about 300 commercial exhibitors at the eight-day event.

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences’ exhibit in the Main Hall will be the site of presentations throughout the week featuring Extension horticulture and food safety educators, Master Gardeners and Master Watershed Stewards. The latter two are volunteers who receive in-depth training and help to educate their communities.

Sessions led by food-safety extension educators will cover the basics of home food preservation. A display area will feature free publications on freezing, canning and other topics, and Penn State Extension experts will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions.

The full schedule of presentations is available at farmshow/events.

Many 4-H members enter projects in Farm Show youth livestock shows. The 4-H Potato Judging contest takes place on Tuesday. Youth who comprise the 4-H State Council will represent the organization during the week.

Throughout the complex, many other Farm Show events and activities depend on behind-the-scenes contributions from College of Agricultural Sciences personnel. Each year, more than 100 faculty members, county-based extension educators and staff from the college lead and participate on Farm Show committees, develop displays, and coordinate competitive exhibits and shows ranging from dairy cattle and poultry to maple products and mushrooms.