HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — Engraved at the bottom of the half-ton PA Farm Show butter sculpture is the theme for this year’s show: “Rooted in Progress.” The theme has its own special meaning to many farmers, entrepreneurs and agriculture enthusiasts across the commonwealth.
For Hayley and Stephanie Painter of Tioga County, it’s especially significant.
“Rooted in Progress, to us, is everything. It means the past, the present and the future, and that means we have to be growing and expanding, working with our community, our soil, our environment,” said Hayley Painter. “We’re working to make dairy cool again.”
The fourth-generation dairy farming sisters are the co-founders of Painterland Sisters Organic Yogurt, an organic, Icelandic-style Skyr yogurt.
“We launched in March of 2022, and as of now, we’re in over a thousand stores nationwide,” said Stephanie Painter.
For others, rooted in progress is about sharing and teaching the ins and outs of their passion, which for Charlie Vorisek, is beekeeping. And what better way to do just that other than a friendly honey extraction competition
“It helps them appreciate what work goes into it,” said Vorisek. “From the hive, all the way into the jar and put the labels on straight and fill it correctly,” he added.
This PA State Beekeepers Association hosted the celebrity honey extraction, which featured lawmakers, law enforcement, county commissioners, and others.
“Events like this are really fun because it’s another fun way to connect with the community and to show everyone that in the end, we’re people too,” said Lt. Adam Reed with the PA State Police. “Pennsylvania State Police plays a big part in the Pennsylvania Farm Show, this is just another outreach effort that we do here throughout the week,” he added.
In the extraction competition, Lt. Reed and the PSP, the defending champs, fell just short.
“State police were the winners last year coming in. They had the experience, but they got off to a little slow start,” said Vorisek.
“GIANT did end up beating us this year. We knew from last year, though, that slow and steady won. So we went that approach again this year, but it just wasn’t enough,” said Lt. Reed.
Whether it’s a friendly honey extracting competition, strengthening your family’s dairy legacy or getting up close with the animals, everyone can celebrate Pennsylvania agriculture and its deep roots at the annual Farm Show.