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Annually, Farm Show showcases

For Blair County’s vast farming community, as well as many county residents who are not at all involved in agriculture, the passing of the year-end holidays does not mean settling in immediately for whatever the weatherman might have in store.

For early January, at least, the people in question merely “shift gears” to a different kind of fun, excitement and interest that’s available through the wide array of activities, exhibits and competitions that the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show provides.

This year is the show’s 104th edition. What began as a three-day exhibition in 1917 has grown to an eight-day event.

The 2020 extravaganza — the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the nation — begins Saturday and will continue through Jan. 11. The show opens each day at 8 a.m.

If you attend the show, held at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, be sure to check out the competition entries of Blair’s farm families. This county’s farm community always has a competition presence at the statewide event and is no stranger to coming home with honors.

Among those recognized in last year’s show was Alicia Lane of Williamsburg, a 2017 graduate of Williamsburg Community High School. Lane, of Valcrest Vue Farm, showed an Angus calf and Angus cow.

Lane said, although she had attended the show ever since she was in a stroller, last year was her first time exhibiting at the state event.

Meanwhile, there was Farm Show success by area people living outside Blair’s borders, such as Emily Valentine of Clearville, who exhibited the grand champion market lamb.

This year’s show features 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are of the animal variety.

More than 300 commercial exhibitors are show participants amid the 24 acres of exhibition space under roof.

Numerous residents of this county will be among the more than half-million people who will travel to the show, not only to escape winter’s darkness, but to gain a better perspective of agriculture’s impact locally as well as in the broader picture.

Even families whose only contact with agriculture occurs at the dining room table have the opportunity to provide a new window of education and understanding for their sons and daughters by way of show attendance.

Everyone, young and old, should appreciate the hard work of the farm community and the commitment and dedication that the occupation demands.

In an article in the Jan. 1 Mirror, state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said the show provides attendees the opportunity “to explore the breadth of Pennsylvania agriculture, our heritage and the innovation driving our future.”

He went on to say that everyone attending the show “will have the power to imagine how they can support, or be a part of, Pennsylvania agriculture’s bright future.”

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate throughout Farm Show Week to allow a big Blair attendance — perhaps the biggest in the show’s long history.

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