Pennsylvania Farm Show will have a Penn State flavor

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Those interested in home gardening, preserving their own food and protecting water quality in their region will have an opportunity to learn more about these topics by visiting the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Jan. 6-13 in Harrisburg.

Other college-related displays and activities will highlight 4-H youth-development programs offered statewide through Penn State Extension.

The College of Agricultural Sciences' exhibit in the Main Hall will be the site of presentations throughout the week featuring Penn State Extension horticulture and food safety educators, Master Gardeners and Master Watershed Stewards.

Master Gardeners and Master Watershed Stewards are volunteers who receive in-depth training from Penn State and, in return, help to educate their local communities, thus amplifying the impact of Penn State Extension's expertise and programs.

Sessions led by food-safety extension educators will cover the basics of home food preservation. A display area will feature free publications on freezing, canning and other topics, and Penn State Extension experts will be on hand to answer visitors' questions.

The full schedule of presentations will be available online at http://agsci.psu.edu/farmshow/events.

Visitors at the main Penn State exhibit also will be able to engage with students and advisers from the College of Agricultural Sciences, who will be on hand throughout the show to answer questions about the college's academic programs and the many educational and career opportunities available in agriculture and related fields. Prospective students and their families can learn more about the college's 17 diverse majors, career paths, internships, student clubs and activities, and travel opportunities.

Pennsylvania 4-H — which is administered by Penn State Extension — also will have a large presence at the Farm Show, with educational and informative exhibits highlighting the opportunities that 4-H offers to youth, ages 5-18, in topics such as robotics, plant and animal sciences, entomology, and family and consumer sciences.

 
Farm Show Jr. Goat Show

Youth goat exhibitors wait for their turn in the show ring at the 2017 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Image: Penn State
 

Many 4-H members enter their projects in Farm Show youth livestock shows and other competitive events, including the 4-H Potato Judging contest that takes place on Jan. 9. In addition, youth members who comprise the 4-H State Council will represent the organization at several events during the week, including the opening ceremonies.

At the 4-H Ag Learning Station, youth visitors will explore citizenship by identifying how their home county contributes to the state's agricultural economy. Visitors will receive a "passport" of fun facts about their county, Pennsylvania and 4-H.

Throughout the complex, many other Farm Show events and activities depend on behind-the-scenes contributions from College of Agricultural Sciences personnel. Each year, more than 100 faculty members, county-based extension educators, and staff from the college lead and participate on Farm Show committees, develop displays, and coordinate competitive exhibits and shows ranging from dairy cattle and poultry to maple products and mushrooms.

The college's role at the Farm Show is part of Penn State's land-grant partnership with the state.

Sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America, with 24 acres under roof, spread throughout 11 buildings and three arenas. Farm Show officials expect more than 500,000 spectators, some 6,000 animals, more than 10,000 competitive exhibits, and about 300 commercial exhibitors at the eight-day event.

The show is held at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, at the corner of Cameron and Maclay streets in Harrisburg, just off exit 67 of Interstate 81. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 6-12 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 13. Admission is free, and parking is $15. For more information, visit the Farm Show website.

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Last Updated December 19, 2017