Pennsylvania Farm Show Celebrates PA Preferred Products, Prize Entries
People from across the state and the mid-Atlantic converged on the capital city to experience the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States.
Visitors got the opportunity to see more than 10,000 competitive exhibits and nearly 300 commercial exhibitors over 24 acres under roof, spread throughout 11 buildings and three arenas.
Rain or shine, the show’s affordability and familyfriendly atmosphere drew spectators all week, with more than 70,000 vehicles parked through the duration of the show.
The theme for the show, “Made in PA. It makes a difference,” paid homage to Pennsylvania producers and their products.
The show kicked off with the unveiling of the more than 1,000-pound butter sculpture fashioned by Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Montgomery County. The sculpture highlighted several of the state’s top commodities, including dairy products, grapes and wine, Christmas trees, fruits and vegetables.
As part of the state celebration, new events were unveiled, including the Great Grape Stomp and Cow Patty Bingo.
The PA Preferred® Marketplace located in the Main Hall featured nearly 50 PA Preferred vendors who drew crowds by letting them sample their products. Other activities, like the PA Preferred Culinary Connection and the Battle of the Burg cook-off, helped visitors learn how to use more local products in their diets.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation presented 25 students with $3,500 scholarships. The foundation, founded in 1993, marked two milestones in its history as it celebrated its 20th year of giving and its one-millionth donated dollar.
The Today’s Agriculture exhibit, which was a new addition to the show last year, continued to educate the public about agriculture and where food comes from. The exhibit featured live animals, including 155 chickens, 12 piglets, four veal calves and one dairy heifer.
Record attendance kept the PA Preferred Food Court vendors busy to meet the increased demand of Farm Show favorites. As of Saturday morning, the following products were sold or consumed:
The Pennsylvania’s Cattlemen’s Association Booth boasted more than 2,000 steak, egg and cheese sandwiches and used more than 14 pounds of beef for cheesesteaks;
The Pennsylvania Livestock Association sold more than 7,650 hot dogs, 6,500 lemonades, 1,300 pounds of Italian sausage, 1,800 pounds of lamb stew and 6,000 pounds of pork and beef sandwiches;
PennAg Industries Association sold more than 20,000 pounds of pulled pork, 7,000 hot dogs, 60,000 chicken nuggets, 5,000 chicken sandwiches, 10,000 whoopie pies, 10,000 fish sandwiches and 256 gallons of chowder;
Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers increased their sales by 5 percent, selling more than 5,000 bags of maple cotton candy and 550 gallons of maple syrup;
The Pennsylvania State Horticulture Association sold 8,200 apple dumplings, 90 tubs of ice cream and over 120 bushels of apples;
Pennsylvania Mushroom Grower’s Cooperative sold more than 8,000 pounds of mushrooms;
Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers sold 7,500 blooming onions, 10,000 battered vegetables, 600 vegetable wraps, 8,000 strawberry and raspberry surprise drinks, 8,800 bowls of soup and 1,800 pickles;
Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association used three tractor trailer loads of milkshake mix, cooked up more than 6,000 grilled cheese sandwiches and 6,000 pounds of mozzarella cheese;
Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association sold more than 2- 1/2 tons of honey, 800 gallons of honey ice cream and used more than 650 pounds of waffle mix.