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Pennsylvania Farm Show Is All Virtual This Year Amid Pandemic

Matt Rourke
In this Jan. 8, 2020 file photo visitors view antique tractors during the 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa.

The state Department of Agriculture is inviting viewers down a “rabbit hole of Pennsylvania agriculture” during its first ever virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Normally billed as the nation’s largest indoor agriculture event, the event will be online only from January 9th through 16th to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

For the first time in 105 years, instead of the usual half a million visitors descending upon the Capitol region, the farm show will be brought into people’s homes.

While attendees normally flock to the famed butter sculpture, it is a ‘create-your-own’ butter sculpture competition this year.

State Agriculture Secretary Russell Reading said the virtual format has allowed them to get creative.

“This year, we’re not bound by geography and are excited for the opportunity to bring the Farm Show into your homes as a virtual event,” he said. “We look forward to introducing a whole new audience to the industry that sustains life for us all and the people who make it thrive.”

Some 200 virtual exhibits are planned to include a tour of a farm, food and wine paring classes and on-the-issues discussions about the commonwealth’s agriculture industry.

Other highlights are expected to be how to tie dye with plants, an alpaca obstacle course and agriculturally themed bedtime stories.

The farm show’s theme, “Cultivating Tomorrow,” aims to recruit the next generation of agriculturists.

“We have selected a theme, “Cultivating Tomorrow,” to express the aspiration we all have for that day when we regain our freedoms of daily life and traditions including farm show. But also, to demonstrate the actions required to achieve that better tomorrow,” Reading said.

A combination of live and pre-recorded events will be available on the Farm Show Facebook page and on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

A full schedule of the virtual events is available at

Read more from our partners, WITF.