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Pennylvania Farm Show 2013

Eleven-year-old Hunter Stump nestles up to his cow at the farm show

I’ve had the pleasure of taking several trips for Farm and Dairy. First, there was the farmer bloggers trip, then I visited the Farm Science Review. After Farm Science, I traveled back to Columbus for a social media conference and now, I’ve stopped by the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor farm show in the U.S. Make sure to watch my video at the bottom of the post!

First Impressions

There’s been plenty of times in my life when I’ve been surrounded by thousands of people. Crowds don’t normally overwhelm me, but the crowds at the farm show were completely nuts! When somebody told me the show was huge, I didn’t fully comprehend the meaning of the word. Sure, things can be big, but huge?

Lovin‘ that honey

A honey bee enclosure

People gathered around this bee enclosure to learn about honey bees!

I focused myself by walking around the entire complex once or twice before settling on some specific events and areas. I caught the tail-end of a honey extraction demonstration at the main hall. I talked with Jim Hoover of the Pennsylvania State Bee Keeping Association about beekeeping (duh). We also discussed something called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is when the workers in a beehive suddenly disappear, rendering the hive useless. Jim couldn’t say for sure what causes CCD (there’s still research being done), but he seems to think it has something to do with nutrition.

Fact: Commercial beekeepers truck hives around the country to pollinate orchards, etc. 

I also had some wonderful honey waffles and ice cream thanks to the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association, Halls Ice Cream and Long Acres Ice Cream.

Oh, the wine

Pennsylvania wines booth at Farm show

I also chatted with several vineyard and winery owners. Though they were extremely busy giving away samples, they took a few minutes to talk about this year’s harvest. Apparently Pennsylvania vineyards were not as harmed by the weather as Ohio vineyards. If you remember, Ohio vineyards were devastated by an early spring and a cold-snap that damaged many vines. This year’s drought seemed to miss Pennsylvania, as well.

Tractor square dancing?

photo of a tractor square dance

You have to see this to believe it. Yes, there’s such a thing as tractor square dancing. The Middlecreek Tractor Swingers showed off their precision with an hour’s worth of square dancing.

Hangin‘ with the butterflies

Father and daughter

A father helps his daughter attact butterflies by giving them a space to land on

Folk’s Butterfly Farm of Nescopek, Pa., had a butterfly tent filled with butterflies, caterpillars and cocoons. Visitors were allowed to walk into the tent and watch the butterflies and, if they were lucky, have a few land on their hands, hats, arms and purses. For those not in the tent, a webcam

streamed a live-feed to a television outside the tent.

Better with butter

How could I forget the 1000-pound butter sculpture?

Curious George at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Curious George loves Farm and Dairy

Conclusion

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is equal parts carnival, county fair and exposition. There’s something for everybody, even if you’re not a farmer. I’m not a farmer, myself, and I found plenty of things to entertain, educate and inspire me. That’s really what it’s about, right? Education? That’s why the farm show is such an important event. It’s accessible to those without farming backgrounds and that’s why I found it so enjoyable.

I’m looking forward to going again, next year.

Will is Farm and Dairy's newest writer. He's recently moved to Lisbon, Ohio where he lives in a church turned community theater. He enjoys writing (of course), theater and hiking.
Will Flannigan
View all posts by Will Flannigan

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