We’re excited to see the Pennsylvania Farm Show revert to its traditional format this year after going fully virtual in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We wish we could call it a return to normal, but the huge increase in cases caused by the omicron variant has made the pandemic a factor in this year’s debates. The event opened this weekend and continues until Saturday
Potential visitors should heed Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding’s appeal to use discretion when deciding whether or not to attend. People should avoid the event if they are feeling sick or concerned about their personal health or if they have family members or colleagues who are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. Note that some virtual activities are available on the Farm Show website (www.farmshow.pa.gov/pafarmshow/participate-virtually/).
Those who attend are required to wear masks during the event and avail themselves of hand sanitizer stations located throughout the facility. Vaccines will also be available on the site. Redding noted renovations to the Farm Show complex that should help make things safer, including an improved HVAC system to create better airflow and wider aisles to relieve crowds and deal with congested areas.
We are happy that the show is making a strong comeback in its 106th year because it is so important to people who work in Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. Having the opportunity to come together and exhibit their work is always a highlight of their year, especially for the young people who will lead the industry in the future. Remember, this industry which supports 593,000 Pennsylvania jobs and contributes $ 132.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy each year.
A salute to the people who put food on our table is very much in order at this time. For almost two years, they have worked tirelessly to provide us with an uninterrupted food supply despite the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic and the logistical challenges that have accompanied it. They deserve to be celebrated, and this week offers the opportunity.
And what a party it is. With 1 million square feet of agricultural education, competition, and celebration, this winter celebration of Pennsylvania agriculture is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural show. It features nearly 6,000 animals, 12,000 competitive events and exhibitions, as well as 300 trade shows and hundreds of educational and entertainment events.
The 2022 show runs January 8 to 15 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except January 9, when it runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and January 15, when it opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.
This year’s theme is “Harvest More”. It refers to the high productivity of Pennsylvania farmers in providing food and other items, as well as their successful efforts to spur innovation and sustainability in the industry.
We encourage those who visit the show to take the opportunity to learn more about the latest and greatest in the agriculture industry. But we recognize that the main reason the event attracts around 500,000 people a year has to do with the fun it offers.
There’s the ever-popular food court with supplies from Pennsylvania growers. It is possible to observe a wide variety of animals up close. And there are the many competitions in the arena and other parts of the complex, including crowd-pleasing events such as rodeos and tractor pull-ups.
New events this year include the Dog Show on January 13 at 6 p.m., featuring farm dogs showing off their skills; the Nuts to You virtual reality learning experience; and an exhibit offering advice on urban gardening.
We therefore encourage those who are fully immunized and boosted and feeling healthy to consider a trip to the Farm Show. With the holiday season over and the winter months still ahead, this is a great opportunity to have fun, learn and greet a group of people who greatly deserve this recognition.