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2018 PA Farm Show: Appreciating the Hard Work of Farmers

This write up is from the 2018 Farm Show. The 2020 show runs January 4th-11th. 

Today we check out the 102nd edition of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. For more background information on this awesome tradition, check out some articles from previous visits here, here, and here. The farm show is well worth traveling to see every year and it is easily the highlight of every January. This year's celebration offers several new experiences, including the Calving Corner, which features mother cows in the middle of delivery, and a green gardening exhibit, which shows ways to do gardening in the winter months, and within urban areas. These exhibits are pretty neat, in addition to the show's normal repertoire of thousands of farm animals, produce, nuts, fruits, vegetables, Christmas Trees, and other livestock and crops that the state is home to. 
2018 Farm Show Butter Sculpture
From the dawn of the creation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, agriculture has reigned as the number one industry within the state. Through thick and thin, this industry has fed and provided for us in terms of feeding us, providing for us, and providing economic security for many of us. This is a special celebration that provides an awesome glimpse of summer in the coldest time of the year.
The complex's 24 acres of indoor space are so exciting to explore.
The food court was as awesome as always. The different agricultural organizations always have special and delicious offerings, with the Pennsylvania Dairymen offering their milkshakes, a perennial favorite amongst visitors to the exhibition. The shakes have been served for 65 years at the show, with 165,000 of them sold last year alone. Other favorites include the fried mushrooms, maple syrup cotton candy, roast beef sandwiches with fresh horseradish, and so much more.
One of the fastest growing areas of agriculture at the Farm Show over the last decade or so has been the exhibition of Alpacas. This industry has really grown, and these animals are always such a joy to see.

To the cow room! There are rows of hundreds of them as always.
This year's new addition is the Calving Corner an awesome attraction that lets you see mother cows in labor. 
This is Ricky. He was born on the morning of the first day.
Sixteen calves are scheduled to be delivered this year, and it is truly amazing seeing the miracle of life unfold right before you. As of the writing of this article, four calves have been born so far, Ricky, Jimmy, Jesse, and Tyler.

Now we move on to Brit's favorite area, the bunny exhibitions.
A bunny getting examined by one of the volunteers.
A Black Dutch Doe with her five adorable baby rabbits.
And one of my favorite attractions, the apple competition and display. We always pick up some cider and apples at their stand.

This year's butter sculpture was exceptional! It features a tribute to the dairy industry of the state.

Brit with her beef brisket sandwich!
Even hay bales get judged
Along with corn and sunflower seeds!
And nuts!
The green gardening area is new and features suggestions for creating year round growing spaces and urban gardening opportunities. It also features displays on growing industrial hemp, something that actually has a long heritage in the state, pre-dating the founding of the nation. This versatile fiber is on its way to becoming a booming industry within this state once again.

A number of antique farm machines are on display in the main hall from the awesome Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster. We highly recommend visiting the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster if you get the chance.  
This implement was built in Doylestown. The state is still a huge producer of farm equipment, with it being the home of some of New Holland Agricultural's tractor production, and more.
Another one of our favorite displays is the Christmas Tree area. It never feels like Christmas is quite over until we have walked through the faux grove of Christmas Trees and help them judge the winners.

Maple syrup!

The mushroom display. Pennsylvania is home to the largest amount of mushroom production in the country, with Kennett Square and the rest of Chester County accounting for nearly half of the mushroom production within the entire nation!
The pie winners!

Baked goods!
Canned preserves!
Honey bees!
The ever popular wine tasting area.
And now to the adorable goats, sheep, and pigs!

And last, but not least, the butterfly tent.
As always, we had a great time perusing through the displays at the farm show, and indulging in the goodies that our state's great farmers produce. Seeing the fruits of their efforts is what really makes the Pennsylvania Farm Show special. It is always such a special treat to get the chance to tour the Farm Show, and we highly recommend that you do it every year. You will certainly have a great time and learn something new on each visit.

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