Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry will be celebrated virtually for the 2021 PA Farm Show, with no in-person events or competitions, because of COVID-19. The 2021 PA Farm Show will be held as originally scheduled from January 9-16.
“There are times in the life of a farmer when the risks are too great or uncertain, requiring farmers to make the tough decision to leave a field fallow,” said Redding. “To protect our assets – both our people and our resources – from incalculable losses, we have made the tough decision to take a year to lie in fallow. Rather than an in-person Farm Show, we will celebrate Pennsylvania agriculture virtually for 2021 as we prepare for a productive future.”
Although Secretary Redding said the focus would be on food, it was unclear if there would be an actual food court for vendors and visitors to attend in-person. Redding said the food court and other popular attractions like the butter sculpture are still in the planning stages.
“We’ll look at our strengths and where we need to invest together in order to grow and cultivate for tomorrow. 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,” added Redding.
The department announced the theme for the 2021 virtual PA Farm Show to be Cultivating Tomorrow. Details of the virtual show will be announced as they unfold over the coming weeks. Virtual events will be focused on education and awareness for both the general public and the agriculture industry. Any competitive ag events that are held virtually will not require the purchase of an animal.
“Each year, the Pennsylvania Farm Show uses a theme to convey our vision for the future of Pennsylvania agriculture – through Cultivating Tomorrow we’ll tell this story through technology as we envision and cultivate a prosperous, thriving future together,” said Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex Executive Director Sharon Myers. “We have not lost sight of what this industry means to Pennsylvania, in fact, this pandemic has highlighted our reliance on it. The show will go on, just as agriculture has persevered.”
The PA Farm show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the country.