Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by young leaders in agriculture to open the Pennsylvania Farm Show 2022 today, showing how hands-on learning opportunities are shaping the next generation of farmers.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs January 8-15 and is the largest indoor farm show under one roof in the country, with nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive shows and 300 trade shows.
âThis Farm Show is a tribute to all those who advance agriculture, especially our young people who are the future of the industry,â said Redding. âThe theme of this year’s agricultural exhibition is Harvest more. Last year it was a privilege to meet the people who embody Harvest more. The faces of Pennsylvania agriculture are rural and urban. They are cattle ranchers, urban gardeners, food processors, food system charitable partners, youth and more. Each story is unique, but there are commonalities in our mission – to feed the Commonwealth and the world.
We are Harvest more, together, and the programming and professional development associated with the Pennsylvania Farm Show, reap a bright future for Pennsylvania agriculture. “
At the opening ceremony, Redding was joined by PA 4-H State Council President Olivia Jumper; Abigail O’Neill, PA FFA State President, and Jessica Herr, PA Farm Show Junior Committee member.
For Westmoreland County Olivia Jumper, The PA Farm Show is an opportunity to Harvest more. For her, “Plus” encompasses both agricultural exhibitions and other educational exhibitions. Sewing, robotics, art and hundreds of other exhibits bring the Farm Show to life. For Jumper, Farm Show is as vibrant and diverse as the visitors it serves. Through 4-H, Jumper got involved in riding, cooking and leadership clubs. The skills she acquired through the organization will help her pursue a study in English with the hopes of one day becoming an English teacher to share her passions with the next generation.
Abby O’Neill of Lancaster County sees the PA Farm Show as an opportunity to learn. Before enrolling in agricultural education in her freshman year of high school, Abby felt disconnected from farming. Through her farming class, FFA background, and events like the PA Farm Show, Abby has grown both as a consumer and as a new farmer. For Abby, Farm Show is all about opportunity; opportunity to grow, learn and inspire. The culmination of Abby’s experiences through agricultural education and the PA Farm Show prompted her to pursue a degree in agricultural education to help future generations find a home in agriculture.
Jessica Herr grew up on her family’s farm in Lancaster County. For her, agriculture is synonymous with community. Jessica made her first trip to the PA Farm Show in 2007; it was an experience that felt larger than life. Through 4-H and FFA, Jessica has raised market lambs on her family farm, served as an FFA state officer, and is currently pursuing a degree in agricultural science with a minor in communications at Penn State. For Jessica, Harvest more means to harvest the community. He embodies the connection of Pennsylvanians – farmers and consumers – to the food system. With her degree, she hopes to share her passion for agriculture and reach consumers through awareness, education and marketing.
Pennsylvania agriculture is a $ 132.5 billion industry that supports nearly 53,000 farms and more than 593,000 jobs each year. To ensure the prosperity of agriculture so that food remains available, accessible and affordable, a new generation of agricultural workers is needed as farmers retire and new technology-based positions become available.
Recognizing the workforce needs, the Wolf administration created a 15-member commission for agricultural excellence and began investing heavily in the future of the industry through Pennsylvania Farm Law programs. such as the Agriculture and Youth Grant Program, Farm to School Program and Farm Vitality. Grant program.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to seek opportunities for hands-on agricultural experiences to foster an early appreciation of this vital industry. Careers in agriculture provide opportunities in science, technology, conservation, engineering, business, and traditional agriculture. It is meaningful work that provides food for families across the Commonwealth and the world.
Practical opportunities for young people at the PA Farm Show include:
- Become an AgExplorer, join virtually or in person
- Discover opportunities to engage with agricultural youth organizations
- Visit the “So You Want Be a Farmer” area
- Watch 4-H and FFA demonstrations on the Lancaster farming scene
- Check out DIY STEM activities, cooking demonstrations and more on the PA Farm Show Facebook page
- Visit the farmers and farmer’s markets participating in the PA Farm Show Trail
- Discover the Calving Corner, learn more about the care of newborn calves virtually or in person
- Take part in the Agri-Magic fair
To stay up to date on PA Farm Show news, visit farmshow.pa.gov or follow the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Facebook and Instagram.
Captioned photos of the Farm Show 2022 opening ceremony are available for download in the photo gallery at farmshow.pa.gov. Video of the ceremony is on the Farm Show Facebook page.
CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA: Shannon Powers – 717.603.2056, [email protected]