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1.06.2019

2019 PA Farm Show: Celebrating PA's Agriculture

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is one of the state's finest traditions. There is nothing like PA's state fair, which gives you a great taste of summer in the middle of winter. Agriculture is, and has always been, the state's largest industry. Seeing the fruits of labor of the people that keep our communities fed and healthy is really something to see. Thousands of farmers and other exhibitors showcase their finest livestock, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and more, with great pride and diligence. For farmers, this event is a wonderful way to network with others, compete with each other on their best offerings, and give insights into their world to everyone in the community. The community gets to see and appreciate this in a one-of-a-kind way that is both fascinating and engaging. 
The 2019 Butter Sculpture. We were pleasantly surprised to see this upon our immediate entrance into the Main Hall. The classic Herschell Carousel was moved over about 200 feet, enabling the main area of the Main Hall to have much wider walkways with nicely organized exhibits. 

The sculpture features everyday people wearing superhero capes, including a student athlete, a soldier, a doctor, a firefighter, and a dairy farmer. The sculptors began crafting the sculpture in December with butter that was donated by Land O’ Lakes in Carlisle, Cumberland County. It will be converted to bio-fuel after the exhibition.

 While the butter sculpture was the first thing that we saw, the Christmas Tree Competition Area was the first thing we smelled as we walked in. What a fantastic smell.

 The apples are always a favorite of ours to check out. 
This year was the first to include craft beer and hard cider, two categories in which the state has always had a presence in, but has exponentially grown in over the last decade. 
 While there were no public beer tastings, cider was offered and it was fantastic. The wine tastings were as popular as ever as well. 
 One of my favorite parts of the Farm Show was added last year. The Calving Corner lets farm show visitors see the miracle of life. Joseph was born at the beginning of the first day and it was so cute. 
 Mother Betsy was taking care of her calf. 

 Brit's favorite part is the bunnies.
 They were in the midst of judging an event when we went through. They also had more stations where the exhibitors let visitors pet and play with their bunnies.
 Alpacas!
The food court offers the best of what the state's farmers have to offer, from Maple sugar products, to  offerings with honey, delicious dairy, poultry, beef, pork products, mushrooms, and more. I was sure to have a milkshake in addition to fried mushrooms, and a roast beef sandwich covered with fresh horseradish.

A New Holland Tractor on display in the Exhibition Hall. I really like how they have added fully grown crops into the demonstration displays.
The butterflies are always a favorite of Brit's

 A mother pig and her piglets.
The Pennsylvania State Police displaying their Mounted Unit. It is always neat seeing them out in the community like this, and demonstrating what the unit is able to do. It is a great, effective , and non-violent crowd control method that is as relevant as ever today.

Sleepy time!
 The greenhouse produce demonstration area is a wonderful addition. Last year they gave a demonstration of the state's reentry into industrial hemp production. This year they showed home produce growth methods, and had interactive exhibits where kids can actually get their hands dirty and learn how to harvest root vegetables, create compost, and more. It is really neat to see. 
 I also love how they have included plants that are really far along in their growth cycles. There were even some ripe strawberries on the plants. 
 Tomato plants!

The mushroom display is always a favorite of mine, especially as someone into photography. Pennsylvania is the nation's largest commercial mushroom producer and it is always neat to see this. If you ever get the chance, be sure to check out Kennett Square, PA, the nation's capitol of mushroom production.

 Seeing the poultry is always cool. While the eggs were getting close to hatching we did not end up seeing them hatch. It is always a ton of fun to watch the miracle of life in action.
Here is Joseph the Calf at 8 hours old. 
As always, we had a wonderful time at the Farm Show, and we highly recommend that you visit. It runs through this weekend. You can also check out some articles from previous visits herehere, and here.

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