Pennsylvania Farm Show goes online for 2021

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calf cow at pa farm show
A cow from Franklin View Farms licks off her calf at the Calving Corner at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Jan. 8, 2020, in Harrisburg. (Rachel Wagoner photo)

The 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show will not be held in person, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced Aug. 19. Instead, it’ll go online, following the same path as other large agricultural events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What the virtual show, set for Jan. 9-15, will look like is still being decided. The theme for the 2021 show will be “Cultivating Tomorrow.”

We’ll look at our strengths and where we need to invest together in order to grow and cultivate for tomorrow,” Redding said. “We’ll consider what has become crystal clear during the pandemic – that agriculture is essential for life. Our people are resilient and innovative. We will focus on agricultural awareness, education and literacy while highlighting the interconnectedness of our food chain.”

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is touted as the largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof in the country, hosting nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits for a week each January.

What we do know is that there will be no livestock shows at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Any competitive events that are held online will not require the purchase of an animal, Redding said.

Virtual events will focus on education and awareness for the general public and farming community, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture press release.

There will be an economic impact to the Farm Show Complex, although it’s not clear how significant. No show means lost revenue, but also less expenses, Redding said. 

The Pennsylvania Farm Show has an economic impact of about $60 million each year, Redding said. 

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