Pennsylvania Farm Show goes virtual for 2021

Written by on January 8, 2021

Pennsylvania Farm Show goes virtual for 2021

By Haley O’Brien

January 8, 2021

Lt. Governor John Fetterman and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding unveiled the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture, carved from a half-ton of butter depicting three of Pennsylvania’s beloved professional sports mascots: Philadelphia Flyers’ Gritty, Philadelphia Eagles’ Swoop, and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steely McBeam celebrating with a spread of Pennsylvania dairy products. Photo: PA Farm Show Flickr

The 105th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show is going virtual this year. 

Live and pre-recorded content will be available each day of the week, featuring culinary demonstrations, livestock exhibitions, and panel discussions.

Department of Agriculture Press Secretary Shannon Powers says the theme this year is “Cultivating Tomorrow.”

“The events that have been going on in the world and the changes of technology are all shaping what agriculture and food will look like tomorrow. How it will be delivered to you, how it will be produced … how farmers will do what they’re doing to meet consumer demand,” she says.

Typically, half a million people visit Harrisburg for the annual celebration of the state’s agriculture industry But this year, like so many other traditions, it will look different. Even the celebrated butter sculpture will go online. 

The unveiling of the butter sculpture traditionally kicks off the event. But this year there won’t be one giant butter sculpture for everyone to visit. Instead, Pennsylvanians are invited to make their own sculptures at home. 

“This is 5 pounds of butter that you sculpt in your own home, versus 1,000 pounds of butter that you would have to sculpt in a refrigerated enclosure. So you get to kind of try it out, because people are always like, ‘How do they do that,’” Powers says.

Home-crafted sculptures can be submitted to the Butter Up Contest on the Pennsylvania Farm Show’s Facebook page. Entries receiving the most ‘likes’ can win gift cards. 

The Farm Show begins on January 9 with a butter sculpting tutorial on Facebook. And even though it’s virtual this year due to Covid,  organizers say the farm show will continue to offer digital components, such as virtual farm tours in the future. 

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