Harrisburg Farm Show celebrates everything made in Pennsylvania
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS On display during the indoor show was this 265-horsepower, 250 bushel grain, $334,975 combine. Also attached is a 6-row corn head placed on the front of the combine to funnel ears of corn into the machine during harvest. Corn heads can be as large as 24 rows.
"Made in PA" served as this year's theme during the 97th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Agricultural displays and exhibits ranged from farm tractors, animals, fruits and vegetables, wines, homemade foods, crafts and so on.
The farm show was first hosted by William Penn in 1686 and has grown to be the largest farm and agricultural show in Pennsylvania and the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States. Each year, the expo, which utilizes one million square feet, hosts over 10,000 competitive exhibits, over 200 shows, nearly 300 commercial exhibitors and has more than 400,000 visitors attending.
During the show's opening ceremonies, Gov. Tom Corbett and Agriculture Secretary George Greig spent time talking to thousands of visitors about Pennsylvania's agriculture industry.
"Pennsylvania has a rich agricultural tradition and the Pennsylvania Farm Show honors our oldest and largest industry," praised Corbett. "There are about 13 million people in Pennsylvania, and every one of them depends on 62,000 farm families."
The Pennsylvania Farm Show began in 1917, and since that time, it has not lost touch with its core purpose of providing a valuable forum for the improvement of the state's agriculture industry. Over the years, the complex has grown to cover 24 acres, with the most recent construction in 2001. Today, the complex is home to three state-sponsored agricultural shows: Pennsylvania Farm Show, the All-American Dairy Show and the Keystone International Livestock Exposition. It also hosts a number of other agricultural shows, such as rodeos, livestock sales, agricultural expos and many more.
This year also marked the first live broadcast from PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) in eight years.
In addition, Corbett stressed numerous accomplishments that kept Pennsylvania growing over the past year, such as preserving nearly 13,000 acres of farmland across the state through the state's farmland preservation program. He also talked about eliminating the "death tax" on farm real estate, which will help farmers transition their properties more easily to the next generation, and signing several transportation laws that allow farmers to transport modern farm equipment.
For more information about the show, which runs until Saturday, and its events, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
"We're still celebrating the best of Pennsylvania," stressed Greig during the opening ceremony.