Farm Show Implements Changes to Accentuate the Showcase of Agriculture
If you have not been to the Farm Show in recent years, this is the year to attend. I was fortunate enough to walk through the complex yesterday with Pa. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and the Farm Show staff. With the secretary leading the way, he and Farm Show Director Pat Kerwin pointed out many of the new changes for the show and the complex.
I was fortunate to have a front row seat to the last expansion made at the complex. While the addition of the exposition hall and equine arena were neat because of its size and scale, this year’s renovations to the original complex were needed and well worth the investment.
The change in the Large Arena – with the refurbished seats, brighter lighting and improved sound system – will be welcomed to visitors who enjoy to watch many of the events that will occur there. Over in the Maclay Street Lobby, gone will be the days of trying to figure out how manage through the maze of doors, stairwells and hallways to find a meeting room as a new “grand staircase” will lead visitors directly to the rooms.
While the complex did receive a fresh coat of paint, the different halls have been color-coded. For example the Northwest Hall has purple and tan walls, the North Hall is blue. For anyone who has ever had that “lost” feeling in the complex, this will be a welcomed addition.
The feel of agriculture outreach will be undeniable as many of the fruit and vegetable displays will come out into the main hall along with the butter sculpture. While the show has always been driven to showcase agriculture, by placing these displays in the center of the Main Hall, it will give people the change to see displays that they probably missed in past visits.
The Parade of Agriculture, a tribute to Pennsylvania’s farmers and agriculture industry, will be a sight to see. FFA officers, 4-H members, commodity royalty, Grange ambassadors and the best of each Farm Show department will be represented. As I listened to Redding describe the plans, I wish I could participate.
The new butter sculpture case’s circular shape will provide a multidimensional view of the buttery masterpiece. The new sculpture is being constructed, however I was unable to get a sneak peak. The butter sculpture, which has featured cows, dairy princesses, farm stands, carousels and other highlights of Pennsylvania culture, is always a sight to see. I do have my date book marked to be on site for the unveiling so stay tuned for details.
Livestock numbers are strong for the 2011 show. Most notably is the poultry department, where entries had to be cut off and some exhibits turned away. Overall, the numbers are holding close to the 2010 levels.
The first half of the week will feature the best of the livestock industry with the culmination of junior livestock events happening with the “Sale of Champions” on Jan. 11. The second half of the week, dairy will take center stage with the return of the VIP Dairy Showmanship contest, dairy shows and the ever-popular celebrity milking contest.
If you can’t make it to the show, keep checking www.lancasterfarming.com for updates from the Lancaster Farming staff as to the latest events happening at the complex.
– Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, Special Sections Editor