We are excited to see the Pennsylvania Farm Show return to its traditional format this year after being fully virtual in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We wish we could call this 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 cases. The event opened over the weekend and runs through Saturday
Any visitors should listen to Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding’s call to use discretion when deciding whether or not to attend. People should avoid the event if they feel sick or worried about their personal health or have family members or colleagues who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. Note that some virtual activities are available on the farm show’s website (www.farmshow.pa.gov/pafarmshow/participate-virtually/).
Participants should wear masks at the event and make use of hand-held alcohol stations located throughout the facility. Vaccines will also be available on site. Redding noted renovations to the Farm Show complex to help make things safer, including an upgraded HVAC system to create better airflow and wider aisles to alleviate crowds and address congested areas.
We’re glad the show is back in full force for its 106th year because it’s so important to the people who work in Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry. Having the opportunity to collect and exhibit their work is always a highlight of their years, especially for the young people who will be leading the industry in the future. Keep in mind that this industry supports 593,000 Pennsylvania jobs and contributes $ 132.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy each year.
A greeting to the people who put food on our table is very much in place right now. For almost two years, they have worked tirelessly to provide us with an uninterrupted food supply despite enormous challenges from the pandemic and the logistical problems associated with it. They deserve to be celebrated, and this week offers an opportunity to do so.
And what a party it is. With 1 million square feet of farm education, competition and celebration, this midwinter celebration of Pennsylvania’s agriculture is the largest indoor agricultural exhibit in the country. It features nearly 6,000 animals, 12,000 competition events and exhibits, plus 300 commercial exhibits and hundreds of educational and entertainment events.
The show in 2022 runs January 8 to 15 from kl. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except January 9, when it runs from 6 p.m. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Jan. 15, when it opens at 7 p.m. 8.00 and closes at 17.00.
The theme this year is “Harvest More.” It refers to the great productivity of Pennsylvania farmers in providing food and other goods as well as their successful efforts to increase innovation and sustainability in the industry.
We encourage people who visit the show to take advantage of the chance to learn more about the latest and greatest in the agricultural industry. But we recognize that the main reason the event attracts about 500,000 people a year has to do with the fun it offers.
There is the always popular food court with provisions from producers in Pennsylvania. There is the chance to get a close look at a large selection of animals. And there are the many competitions in the arena and other parts of the complex, including crowd-pleasing events such as rodeo and tractor pulls.
New events this year include the Canine Spectacular on January 13 at. 18.00, where farm dogs show their skills; the learning experience Nuts to You virtual reality; and an exhibition offering advice on urban gardening.
So we encourage those who are fully vaccinated and boosted and feel healthy to consider a trip to the Farm Show. With the holiday season over and the winter months still ahead of us, it’s a great opportunity to have fun, learn and pay tribute to a group of people who greatly deserve the recognition.