The 95th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show offers visitors a first-hand experience of the state’s agricultural heritage, and its future. The event—which includes exhibitors, vendors, competitions, and local foods—is ongoing through January 15th in Harrisburg.
Farming is PA’s top industry; and, according to the PA Department of Agriculture, it provides land protection benefits well beyond its positive economic impacts, including 7.8 million acres of working farmland, with the average farm consisting of 124 acres.
PA leads the nation in farmland preservation, says the state’s Department of Ag. To date, more than 400,000 acres of farmlands have been preserved—leveraging a $1 billion investment by state, federal and local partners. In 2010 PA celebrated preservation of its 4,000th farm.
Preserving farmland is critical to conserving PA’s natural resources. One way to keep our agricultural lands—and our farming heritage—protected from rampant development is to keep these lands working. One important way to do that is to buy from your local farmers at markets, direct from the farm or off the shelves of neighborhood grocery stores.
Resources like ShopLocalSaveLand.com offer educational information and a growing searchable online database of agricultural (and forest) products, and can help you find farms in your area. It’s worth a visit, as is the 2011 PA Farm Show.
Don’t miss the 1,000-pound butter sculpture!