Our area’s biggest annual event—the PA Farm Show—will go virtual this year, the state announced today.
In a news release, state Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding described canceling all in-person events of the 10-day agricultural exposition as a difficult decision, but said it was necessary due to the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” he said. “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.”
In 2021, the Farm Show will mark its 105th year.
The cancellation of the live show is another blow to the Harrisburg area’s already hard-hit hospitality and restaurant industries, as it represents one of the largest tourism-related events of the year.
Redding today didn’t describe the planned virtual substitutes, but said that details would be forthcoming. He did, though, say that virtual events would be focused on “education and awareness” for both the agricultural industry and the public.
He also announced the theme for the January 2021 event: “Cultivating Tomorrow.”
“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, in a statement. “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.”