HARRISBURG, Pa. — Across the Farm Show Complex, farm hands and volunteers are offering crash courses to thousands of people, giving them a sense of farming’s role in Pennsylvania.
“People can see everything we do every day at home. Just at a bit of a smaller scale," said Brian Nailor, with BJ Colors Farm in Mechanicsburg.
“I’ll steal a quote from Secretary Redding, ‘My advocation is my vocation,'" said Jay Howes, a volunteer at the Farm Show.
Volunteers like Howes have been working in agriculture for decades, both in the private and governmental sectors.
He says it's important to keep investing in the industry that feeds Pennsylvania and our economy.
“The more we can fuel and feed Pennsylvania farms, the better off we’ll all be," said Howes.
The interest in agriculture has also seen an increase from high-rolling investors, as 20 professional athletes purchased a 104-acre farm in Iowa.
Among the buyers is former Philadelphia Eagle football player, Zach Ertz.
“I think it’s important for even average Jon Q Citizen to understand how critical farming is for our lives," said Doug Bastian.
Bastion runs a stand with the Penn State College of Agriculture Science, hoping to get kids interested in farming.
“This is where our food comes from, this is how it’s done. The people who make it happen, farmers, are critical," said Bastian.
Whether it's seeing the farm animals or learning about gardening, volunteers are working to pass on their knowledge to everyone young and old.
“The kids light up and they’re amazed by it," said Bastian. "That makes me smile.”