“To come back together, to be live, to be in person, to have your friends and this community back together it’s a really good feeling,” said PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
The theme of this year’s show is “Harvest More.”
“Harvesting is such a key piece and a recognizable piece of agriculture. It just seemed to be the time, coming back together, to have that be our theme,” said Redding.
The annual tradition dates all the way back to 1917.
“In the Ag (Agriculture) community, it’s important because it’s where the new year starts in terms of a growing year. This is where you start making plans for what are you going to grow and what equipment you need,” said Redding.
Secretary Redding says the Farm Show is a great way for everyone to celebrate agriculture.
“It’s an important tradition. It’s also a great way to sort of, you know, talk about agriculture and celebrate it with all of our consumers and the public, who, by the way, I think have a much better appreciation for food and agriculture today, because of COVID, than they had two years ago,” said Redding.
COVID-19 canceled the event last year. Though it is still present, Redding says they are better equipped to handle it.
“This is the first year we’ve had to sort of put a safety concern out there, both in terms of our own planning, but also for the public who’s attending,” said Redding. “We did a $21 billion upgrade to this complex over the last two years, took full advantage of COVID. New lighting, new air handling system, wider aisles, we’ll have the Department of Health on site here to give vaccines to folks who need it,” he added.
Even with many precautions in place at the complex, Redding does not recommend high-risk individuals to attend.
“If you are vulnerable, your family members are vulnerable. This is not the place to be,” Redding added.
Rodeos, wine and beer competitions, horse and cattle competitions, and much more will all be taking place tomorrow through Jan. 15.
There is a schedule for all events throughout the week.