2013-01-02 / Family

PA Farm Show Opens January 4

The Pennsylvania Farm Show opens January 4, 2013, and runs through January 12, at Harrisburg’s PA Farm Complex. The 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show theme is “Made in PA. It makes a difference.” The 97th edition will show how agriculture is driving the state’s economy. New for this year is:

PA Preferred® Takes Center Stage

PA Preferred®, the official branding program of agricultural commodities grown or made in Pennsylvania, is center stage at the Culinary Connection with cooking demonstrations and contests. New sponsors Weis Markets and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association will help host the new PA Preferred® Celebrity Best Cheeseburger Showdown and cooking demos by “The World’s Youngest Chef”® Justin Miller and Food Network’s Dave Leiberman. Perennial favorites include demonstrations by local chefs and honey and maple syrup producers.

Farm Show toasts PA wine

The Great Grape Stomp comes to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, with two barefoot celebrity teams competing for top vintner honors. Audience members can vote for their favorite team and enter to win a winery tour. Additionally, a new tasting and display area in the Main Hall will feature Pennsylvania wines. Wineries from across the state will offer a taste of Pennsylvania through free samples and wine for sale.

Food Court specialties

The famous PA Preferred ® Food Court will delight Farm Show visitors with new offerings, including:

Veal meatball sandwiches and bacon on a stick from PennAg Industries Association;

Grilled beef sausage with peppers and onions from the Pennsylvania Livestock Association;

Pumpkin funnel cakes and raspberry drinks from the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association; and

Apple cider slushies and cherry pie from the Pennsylvania State Horticultural Association.

Polo gallops to equine arena

“ The Sport of Kings” comes to the Pennsylvania Farm Show during a polo demonstration on Thursday, January 10, at 4:30 p.m., in the equine arena.

New Family Living exhibitions

A new Hobby Lobby features quirky competitions, from a duct tape contest to decorated bowling pin and snazzy sneaker entries. Also new to the Family Living Section are contests featuring gourd crafts, clay flowerpots and pincushions.

Sweet competition

Joining favorites like the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie and PA Preferred® Chocolate Cake contests, new sweet treats include old-fashioned fudge and cupcake contests.

All the buzz

There’s new buzz around the Apiary Products Department this year with the addition of new judged honey products, including sauces, beverages and salad dressings.

New beef recognition

The Junior Breeding Beef Supreme Champion Pageant will recognize young beef farmers and their prize-winning cattle.

Cow patty bingo

Beautiful bovines will place their bets on a giant bingo card at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, in the Large Arena. Purchase $25 squares for the chance to win a Weber grill and beef or Pennsylvania prize packages. All proceeds support the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation. Call 717-787- 5373 for details.

Farm Show facts

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States with 10,000 competitive exhibits and nearly 300 commercial exhibitors. More than 400,000 visitors attend the show each year.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center houses 24 acres under roof, spread throughout 11 buildings and three arenas.

Eleven commodity groups offer the state’s best beef, pork, chicken, potatoes, mushrooms, honey, maple products, baked goods and milkshakes in the famous Farm Show Food Court and Annex.

Farm Show visitors have a sweet tooth. More than 140,000 milkshakes, 22,500 dozen potato doughnuts, 8,400 apple dumplings, 14,000 slices of PA Preferred® pizza, 33,500 chicken nuggets, 11,000 Strawberry Surprise drinks and 750 gallons of honey ice cream were consumed during last year’s show.

More than 6,000 sheep, swine, horses, cattle, goats, poultry and rabbits will compete during the Pennsylvania Farm Show for nearly $230,000 in premiums.

The 2012 4-H and FFA Sale of Champions brought $35,200 for the grand and reserve grand champion beef, sheep, swine and goat winners. The champion steer brought $10,500, the champion lamb brought $3,000, the champion swine brought $4,200, and the champion goat brought $2,400.

The Farm Show Scholarship Foundation will celebrate two milestones this year, marking two decades and $1 million of investments in junior Farm Show exhibitors. In 2012, 26 students each received a $3,500 scholarship, bringing the foundation’s total contribution to the future of Pennsylvania agriculture to $977,250.

The Family Living Center consists of more than an acre of family living, horticultural, environmental and 4-H and FFA demonstrations and exhibits, including eight baking contests.

Several contests feature local and state celebrities milking and showing dairy cows, driving draft horses, stomping grapes or making burgers and other food items.

Show-goers can take a spin on a 61-year-old art deco merry-go-round with 30 horses and two chariot seats. Tickets are $2, and last year $36,002 was raised, with half of the proceeds benefiting the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation and the additional funds supporting the Pennsylvania Showmen’s Association scholarship fund.

The horseshoe pitching contest began in 1931 and was a hit for 25 years. The contest was reintroduced as a 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 16 drivers maneuver tractors of all shapes, sizes and color around the Large Arena in time to music.

Youth visitors can “investigate” the show by becoming a Farm Show Detective. Designed to teach kids about agriculture, they can visit 28 learning stations throughout the complex by following a map. Participants can register and enter to win prizes from sponsor Turkey Hill, just like Berks County’s Joy Trembley, who last year won a year’s supply of ice cream.

The Farm Show press office writes more than 80 news releases and takes thousands of photos during show week to highlight the events, shows and award winners. Each day the information is posted at www.farm-show.state.pa.us and a list is sent to the media.

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