The majority of Pennsylvania people live in or near urban and suburban areas. However, the vast majority of the state’s land is forests and farms, just like it’s been for centuries.
To get a peak at the vastness of Pennsylvania’s agriculture, the PA Farm Show is the place to visit. It runs January 4-11, 2020 at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. If it’s grown or raised in Pennsylvania, you’ll see it at the PA Farm Show. Over half a million people visit the 60 acre complex each year, and it’s the largest indoor agriculture event in the world.
There are hundreds of different breeds of chickens, rabbits, cows, goats, pigs, and sheep on exhibition. The families that raise the animals are there to answer questions. Some of the animals can even be petted and for kids not raised on a farm, it’s a real treat. Our kids enjoyed all the different animals and the farmers kids taught them so much that day.
The main hall booths have many different kinds of exhibits, including Pennsylvania’s government departments and agencies. You’ll find the Pennsylvania State Archives giving tips and handouts on how to research your ancestors. After feeding your mind, you can feed your stomach with all the locally grown farm food.
One of the centerpieces of the PA Farm Show is the half-ton butter sculpture. This year the artists did a fun theme of sports team mascots, including the unforgettable Gritty.
You’ll get to experience a little of what our farming ancestors’ life was like in Pennsylvania by going to the PA Farm Show. It’s worth the trip!
Did your ancestors ever exhibit at the PA Farm Show? The Pennsylvania State Archives has past programs and exhibitor information in their collection. Look for the “Bureau of the Farm Show” in their Department of Agriculture collection. What an interesting find it would be!