HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show wrapped up Jan. 11. The nation’s largest indoor agricultural event ran eight days and hosted 500,000 visitors. This year’s theme invited attendees to “imagine the possibilities” of Pennsylvania’s $135.7 billion agriculture industry.
“It all is related to farming, but there’s stuff for everybody to do,” said Austin Doyle, a Farm Show visitor from Three Springs.
Attendees enjoyed plenty of traditional farm show treats, consuming 19,000 gallons of ice cream, 7,000 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 12.5 tons of french fries.
“I like to think they stop by to see the ‘fun guy,'” said Dylan Castro of the Mushroom Farmers of Pennsylvania.
The Mushroom Farmers of Pennsylvania ran a booth at the show. While nothing there was edible, visitors could learn about mushrooms, Pennsylvania’s top cash crop. In fact, it won best educational booth at the Farm Show.
“If you want to talk about ‘Imagine the Possibilities,’ I mean that’s not something we thought we would achieve,” Castro said.
Nearly 6,000 animals at the farm show also had a busy week; dairy cows produced 450 gallons of milk each day and bees made 100 gallons of honey. A Belgium horse team broke the farm horse pull record. Plus, 16 calves and 11 piglets were born, and 380 chicks hatched.
“Yeah, I’m ready to go home,” said Jesse Fisk, co-chair of the Draft Horse Hitch Show and ringman of the Draft Horse Pleasure Show.
Fisk showed his four gelding draft horses for the first time this year as part of one of the Farm Show’s 5,200 animal competitions. Having arrived on New Year’s Day to set up, Fisk said by the end of the show both he and his horses needed some rest.
“They’re tired of crowds,” Fisk said. “They’re tired of being poked and prodded and stuff.”
While the crowds soaked up the last minutes of the show, Mushroom Farmers of Pennsylvania’s Castro said he understood why it’s held over eight days.
“There’s so much top see, so much to do and there’s so much information to take in,” he said.
Organizers are already planning for next year’s Farm Show, set for Jan. 9 to 16, 2021.