The Pennsylvania Farm Show is back. Here’s what to know before you go

By: - January 3, 2024 4:41 pm

The 2024 Farm Show is set to begin this weekend in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

The 2024 Pennsylvania Farm Show, a hallmark of Pennsylvania agriculture, is set to kick off its week-long annual event in Harrisburg this weekend. 

The Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural expo in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 12,000-plus competitive events, and around 250 commercial and educational exhibits. 

The annual event draws visitors from all 67 counties across Pennsylvania and beyond, generating millions of dollars in revenue for the Harrisburg-area restaurants, hotels, and more. 

PA Apple Growers Association 2024 Apple Mural (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

Noteworthy

  • ‘Let’s go snuggle’ — Baby goat snuggling is back this year by popular demand and doubling in size. This year’s goat snuggling area, where you can hold and pet and hang out with the playful babies, is bigger with around 80 goats available for cuddles. 
  • The Pennsylvania Apple Growers Mural — For the second year in a row, a new mural, made entirely of Pennsylvania-grown apples, will be available for visitors to take pictures with. The Apple Growers Association represents 240 growers across Pennsylvania. 
  • Conservation simulations and demonstrations — In an effort to raise awareness and educate the public, and producers, about sustainable agriculture, the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission will host an exhibit demonstrating how no-till planting and other best practices work to create a healthier environment. 
  • So, you want to be a farmer? — If you want to connect with first generation farmers, learn the basics of starting a farming operation, or be connected with others in the industry, the ‘So, you want to be farmer’ exhibit is the place for you. Christa Barfield, who operates FarmerJawn, the largest Black-owned organic farm in the nation, will be available to answer all your questions. 

The festivities run from Jan. 6 through Jan. 13. Admission is free and parking is $15. 

The schedule of daily events, from livestock judging to herding demonstrations, can be found here.

(Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

For those wanting to sample all their favorite Pa. Preferred goodies, including the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association milkshakes, the food court will open to the public from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5 and a full menu of the food court offerings is available here.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding enjoys a Dairymen’s milkshake while taking questions from reporters on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

With a milkshake and potato cake in hand at the Farm Show Complex Food Court on Wednesday morning, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding exclaimed: “It’s like a Happy Meal!”

Speaking to reporters at the Farm Show Complex on Wednesday, Redding said that he hopes visitors are “inspired” by the event to join the Commonwealth’s agriculture industry. 

The agriculture industry contributes $132.5 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy every year. The Department of Agriculture also reports that the industry supports approximately 593,000 jobs across Pennsylvania. 

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