Jayla Green, Franklin County, Pa.

OK, let’s test your knowledge of Pennsylvania agriculture. (Full disclosure: I flunked.)

“John Gilkey was an Irish immigrant who came to Pa. in 1797 and settled in Lawrence County. He developed a new type of potato (named for a nearby creek) that became the most popular potato grown in the U.S. Besides Gilkey, was was another name for the potato?”
(Scroll down for the answer.)

I love the little girl’s grin in the photo from this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show, and it was almost a stand-alone Wordless Wednesday post. Almost.

But I’ll keep this brief. I just wanted to show the infectious nature of ag promotion, in this case from a great partner, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. (There’s a new phrase going around Cooperative Extension circles — partner or perish — a play on a familiar litany, “publish or perish.” I think all of agriculture should be stealing that one!)

The commission placed replicas of the familiar roadside historical markers throughout the Pa. Farm Show Complex, markers that shared historical facts and tidbits about the state’s agricultural heritage. As you can see from the photo, if you took your little map around the show (Jan. 7-14) and found the markers, you earned a stamp. There was also a scavenger hunt booklet (link opens .pdf of the booklet) that asked you to find answers to questions on the markers (like our Gilkey potato question). If you completed the questions, you brought your completed booklet back to the commission’s booth to enter to win a family prize pack (which was also available to enter online). The scavenger marker hunt was also sponsored by the Pa. Cooperative Potato Growers, Society of Farm Women of Pennsylvania, PA Civil War 150, wift, Pa. Heritage Society, and the Pa. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Show bureau.

Also interesting is the Pa. Historical Marker Commission’s theme for 2012: “The Land of Penn and Plenty: Bringing History to the Table.” What a great partner this commission is for agriculture, and what a great way to celebrate farming’s past and open the door to ways to share its current story. Kudos to the folks who came up with the concept, and to the farm and nonfarm partners who helped sponsor it. There was a lot of buzz about the markers during the Farm Show, and that’s what agriculture needs, too!

Gilkey’s famous potato? The Neshannock potato.

Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell has been with the paper since 1985, serving as its editor since 1989. Raised on a farm in Holmes County, she is a graduate of Kent State University.
Susan Crowell
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