Swine show moved to Jan. 2 to minimize virus risk

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Despite objections from some exhibitors, organizers have changed the breeding swine show schedule at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is scheduled to run Jan. 9-16 at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa.

Herd health

However, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has made some changes in the show in an effort to keep swine herds healthy in the state.

The breeding swine and gilt show has been moved to Jan. 2 instead of running during the farm show.

Justin Fleming, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, said the show was moved in an effort to prevent the transfer of the H1N1 flu virus to the hog herds. After the show, they will be able to return to the farm.

Minimum crowd

The move was made so there will be fewer people at the hog show, hopefully decreasing the risk of herds contracting the virus from humans.

Fleming confirmed the show remains open to the public, but is hoping the show attendees will be limited to just producers, show exhibitors and those interested in making purchases.

Sale set

The junior market livestock sale and show will remain as scheduled for Jan. 11. However, the sale will be terminal and no market swine will be permitted to go back to the farm.

“It’s an effort to limit the risk of illness being brought back to the herds,” Fleming said.

He added the decisions were made by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture after consulting with producers. Letters and e-mails were sent out to those impacted by the decision, according to Fleming.

Glad market show intact

Todd Miner, a Fayette County goat farmer whose son shows hogs, said he is happy with the final decision.

“The kids still get to participate in the Farm Show and the pigs don’t get the bad wrap,” Miner said.

He said it appears a compromise was reached and therefore the children still get to participate, which was what was most important for his family.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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