2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off, entirely virtual due to pandemic

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Cultivating Tomorrow is the theme of the 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show that kicked off Saturday.

Because of the pandemic, it’s all virtual this year.

Normally half a million people come to Harrisburg every year for the Farm Show but this year, the farm show is available wherever you are.

“There are Pennsylvanians from all four corners of the state and everywhere in between sharing what they do on a daily basis to bring food to your table or fiber to your home,” said Shannon Powers, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

One thing is clear: the pandemic has opened a lot of eyes to agriculture.

“This year more than ever people are in touch with their food. They’ve been cooking more. They’ve been growing their own gardens or trying to grow their own gardens,” Powers said.

While in-person events are canceled, every day there will be live videos on the Farm Show Facebook page.

And then you can go to the website and learn more, with more than 200 virtual exhibits.

“If you want to dive deep into (agriculture) issues you can do that. If you just want to be entertained by cute ducks you can do that,” Powers said.

There’s also a new Pa. Farm Show trail map, showing vendors all across the commonwealth.

For many of them, “Pre-pandemic most of their sales were at farm shows and fairs and festivals and live events but many of them have scrambled to create online sales,” Powers said.

This virtual event will not only help them financially, but the goal is to better educate Pennsylvanians.

Kids can become an AgExplorer and learn about raising different animals and producing different food.

With no butter sculpture this year, there’s a Butter Up! contest, where anyone is invited to make their own sculpture.

The Farm Show runs through Jan. 16. You can view the full schedule here.

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