PALMYRA, Pa. – Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, issued the following statement today regarding the Pa. Department of Agriculture’s decision to transition to a virtual Farm Show in January 2021 due to the lingering threat posed by COVID-19.
“We recognize that the health and safety of everyone is of paramount concern and that the Department of Agriculture has difficult decisions to make in these unprecedented times. Of course, the PA Dairymen’s Association is disappointed that our residents, visitors and hard-working farm families will not be able to travel to the Farm Show Complex in January to experience in-person the wonders of our robust agricultural community. This annual celebration, the largest indoor agricultural exhibition in North America, represents the best of our farm families and their communities.
“For 104 years, the PA Farm Show has been a cherished tradition and pilgrimage in the lives of so many families who ventured out to see our beloved animals up close and to taste the marvelous bounty grown by our hard-working farmers. The Dairymen appreciate the gravity of the current pandemic and the difficult decision reached by the state and Farm Show officials.
“Pennsylvanians look forward to supporting the state’s number-one industry, agriculture, and in sampling our world-famous milkshakes, cheese cubes and all the locally grown PA Preferred foods and treats offered at the Farm Show. It is also a highlight for our youth who enjoy competing in dairy exhibitions and other agricultural events to showcase their talents and the incredible diversity of dairy, the largest sector of PA’s agriculture industry. We are eager to explore virtual opportunities with agricultural partners to promote this year’s theme, Cultivating Tomorrow.
“As well, the PA Farm Show is our major fundraiser each year and the money raised at the Food Court allows us to support many philanthropic endeavors like Fill a Glass with Hope® – the nation’s first statewide charitable milk donation program; ag scholarships to enable young people who want to pursue a career in dairy farming to attend college; our many farm education programs including The Calving Corner (dairy farms showcasing cows and newborn calves at PAFarm Show) and the terrific work of our PA Dairy Princesses who travel the state sharing important information about dairy and its nutritional and economic impact; our Choose PA Dairy Campaign that highlights the many essential benefits of dairy in our diets; and much more.
“Through this challenging pandemic, farmers will continue persevering and show their amazing resilience. We ask for your assistance as we continue to explore ways to offer access to our world-class dairy products and to support our dairy farmers. Through partnerships with fans and community organizations, we can raise money for our charitable projects by selling our delicious milkshakes at other venues. And, hopefully soon, we will have more announcements about where you can purchase and sample the delicious dairy products we feature at the PA Farm Show. If anyone is interested in hosting PA Dairymen’s popular milkshakes at a small event or in partnering with us, please call 717-346-9905.
“On behalf of the 5,000 farm families we represent, we wish everyone good health and good spirits through this trying time and look forward to seeing all of you again in January of 2022!”
Dairy Delicious Facts
- Milk is the official beverage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- Pennsylvania is home to more than 5,000 dairy farm families.
- Dairy contributes $12.6 billion in annual revenue for Pennsylvania.
- One 8-ounce serving of whole milk delivers 9 essential nutrients including 8 grams of protein.
- A glass of milk contains three of the four nutrients the USDA says are under-consumed by most Americans—calcium, vitamin D and potassium.
- According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, individuals ages 9 and older should consume three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day; those ages 4-8 should consume 2½ cups per day.
- Every one cow supports $24,000 in annual economic revenue in Pa.
- Every 10 cows support one job in the state.