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The 99th Pennsylvania Farm Show
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

Charles Marsch, of Marsch Show Cattle in Green Lane, stands with MSC Cleos Swager, one of his seven entries in the 2015 PA Farm Show.  Among the many accolades Marsch's entries garnered were seven first place, two second place and two third place awards.

State's No. 1 industry on display

                The Pennsylvania Farm Show has once again provided visitors with outstanding exhibits, exciting programs and competitions for 2015.  The 99th edition of the Farm Show leaves one in anticipation of the century mark next year.

                The show began last Friday and runs through Saturday, Jan. 17 at the massive Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center on Cameron Street, between Wildwood Drive and Maclay Street in Harrisburg.  The cold weather doesn't seem to be deterring many people as this year's attendance could top the 500,000 mark.

                More than 62,000 farm families represent an industry with an impact of more than $67 billion on the economy of the Commonwealth – and more than 97 percent of the farms are family-owned.

                This writer urges you to wear your best walking shoes as you travel throughout the complex, through 6,000 animals on display, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits.  More than 100 of this year's competitors hailed from the readership area of the Town and Country newspaper, reminding us of the agricultural heritage of those who settled here.  

                Don't worry about the need to sit down and take a break now and then.  There are three arenas located within the building complex that afford you a chance to rest your legs and take in a variety of competitions while you're doing so.  Everything from a draft horse competition to a mini horse pull; from square dance competition to a lumberjack and horse logging exhibition; from high school aged and professional rodeo competitors to judging of every type of farm animal you can think of is held in the arenas on a near-continuous schedule.   

                In addition to the fun of just being there and experiencing the magnificence of the entire show, it can be a learning experience as well.  Thanks to Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), 24 replica historical markers have been placed throughout the complex.  Just pick up a copy of the historical marker scavenger hunt handbook at the PHMC booth and follow the guide to find the markers.  Then answer the questions about each marker in the handbook.  When you're done, return to the PHMC booth and register for the chance to win a fun family prize pack.

                Appealing to people of all ages, but especially to the youngsters, are the farm show learning stations, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Turkey Hill.  Using a special map, sleuths are guided to interactive stations (identified with a special logo) throughout the complex.  It is a great way to experience the farm show and learn quite a bit about Pennsylvania's number-one industry, farming. 

                Facts include things like: Pennsylvania is the mushroom capital of the world and produces 62 percent of the mushrooms eaten in the United States; the state's dairy industry supports 60,000 jobs; Pennsylvania is one of the nation's top producers of apples and eggs; the Commonwealth is also home to more than 150 vineyards; there are more than 1,500 bee farms in the state, and much more.

                You still have time to visit this year's edition of the farm show and take in all of the wonderful exhibits of Pennsylvania farming and taste all of the fantastic foods in the food court, knowing that all of this experience comes to you courtesy of Pennsylvania's farming industry.

                The farm show runs through Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is free and parking is $10.  Handicap parking and visitor drop-off is available.

                For more information, visit





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