Harrisburg, PA – On Saturday, January 16, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding wrapped up the 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show — a virtual and visual bounty of the people, places and issues shaping the industry's future, creating jobs, building a stronger food system and feeding our nation and our world. Secretary Redding shared the week's highlights and ways to continue to engage in Pennsylvania agriculture throughout the year.
"Cultivating tomorrow means continuing to share the stories of tenacious, innovative people who are tackling with grace and courage whatever nature, the marketplace, technology or the pandemic throws their way," Secretary Redding said. "It was a privilege to share the stories of Pennsylvania throughout the 2021 Farm Show, and to highlight the ways we are continuing to grow that bright future together."
Over the course of the eight-day show, the show reached more than 800,000 unique individuals from the Pennsylvania Farm Show Facebook page, and more than 300,000 individuals visited the Farm Show website, from all 50 United States and Washington, D.C., the U.K. and Canada, with repeat visits near 2 million.
Virtual viewers toured eight PA farms behind the scenes, and met some of the youth, the women, and diverse new faces shaping Pennsylvania agriculture, and the investments, including $500,000 Ag and Youth grants, and $460,000 in Specialty Crop Grants and other PA Farm Bill investments that will continue to attract new people and jobs to grow the industry.
Viewers enjoyed 28 culinary demonstrations featuring Pennsylvania chefs and homegrown products and engaged with 10 in-depth discussions among experts wresting with today's most challenging ag issues as part of the Cultivating Tomorrow discussion series, 13 STEM demonstrations with some of the youngest Pennsylvanians introducing you the science behind agriculture, 18 enlightening Instagram takeovers and dozens of live forums and demonstrations by organizations across the ag spectrum.
More than 250 buy-local destinations on the PA Farm Show Trail map, and 200 educational opportunities in the Virtual Exhibit Hall including videos, interactive activities, and information from the breadth of organizations making Pennsylvania's agriculture industry thrive and grow will remain at farmshow.pa.gov for visitors to return to any time, along with videos of events on the Farm Show Facebook page.
While the focus of this year's show was more on education than competition, there were 728 competitive entries, with top finishers including youth whose projects qualified for the National FFA Agriscience Fair and top breweries and vineyards whose award-winning products you can enjoy year round. Complete results of the six competitions held this year are on the website.
Livestock raised by Jr. Market Beef competitors earned $55,450 in donated scholarship funds and purchases of competitor's cattle during the sale following the competition. The highest selling steer was Hayden Weaver of Ephrata, Lebanon County's Grand Champion Steer, which was purchased by Saubel's Market in Stewartstown, York County. Youth scholarships of $52,500, awarded by the Pennsylvania Farm Show Foundation during the show, will also help to cultivate tomorrow by funding career education for Pennsylvania youth.
More than 130 home butter sculptures were submitted to the Butter Up! Contest. Pennsylvanians can vote for their favorite sculptures through Friday, January 22 at 1:00 PM. Winners and runners-up in five categories will win $50 and $25 gift cards from members of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association. Entries are judged based on total number of Facebook reactions (likes, loves, wows, etc.), the albums can be found on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Facebook page:
To learn how you can cultivate tomorrow and enjoy a healthier, greener, more informed and engaged today, visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Facebook, follow @PAFarmShow on Instagram, and visit farmshow.pa.gov.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Find photos, video and audio for your stories at PACast.com or visit the Media tab at farmshow.pa.gov for press releases and a photo gallery.
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