2012-01-19 / Local & State

Record Attendance As Farm Show Comes To A Close

With record crowds, more than 10,000 competitive exhibits, 6,000 animals and 300 commercial exhibitors, the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show celebrated agriculture from farm gate to dinner plate.

Ideal weather, the show’s affordability and familyfriendly activities boosted attendance all week, starting off with all-time high Farm Show attendance on Saturday, Jan. 7. Record attendance followed on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of show week. Nearly 70,000 vehicles were parked in Farm Show lots throughout the week, compared to 55,000 parked last year – a 22 percent increase.

Show week kicked off with the unveiling of the butter sculpture, crafted by Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Montgomery County. The sculpture, which features a young 4-H member showing his calf at a county fair, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the state 4-H program and the Pennsylvania State As- sociation of County Fairs.

New to the show this year was the Today’s Agriculture exhibit, a life-sized barn that showed the public how the food supply is produced on modern farms. It featured crops, equipment and dairy, beef, swine, veal and poultry animals.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation presented 26 students with $3,500 scholarships. Started in 1993, the Foundation has awarded nearly $977,250 in scholarships to 370 Farm Show youth exhibitors.

PA PreferredTM products were showcased in a number of unique displays at the Farm Show, in the PA Marketplace, the PA PreferredTM Food Court and on the PA PreferredTM Culinary Connection Stage. PA PreferredTM is the official branding program for commonwealth produced agricultural commodities.

At the PA marketplace located in the Main Hall, nearly 50 PA PreferredTM vendors of products sampled and sold their products to Farm Show visitors. The PA PreferredTM Culinary Connections stage helped visitors learn how to integrate PA PreferredTM products into their diet through an exciting array of cooking demonstrations, culinary competitions and other demonstrations.

The PA PreferredTM Food Court boasted timehonored favorites and a new PA PreferredTM pizza, featuring products produced in the state.

Due to record attendance, almost every booth ran out of supplies during the week despite their efforts to match the increased demand.

Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association sold more than 750 gallons of honey ice cream and 6,800 pounds of honey between their booths in the Food Court and Main Hall, and used 670 pounds of waffle mix.

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