Aug 24, 2020
Pennsylvania Farm Show to be virtual; Mid-Atlantic Convention status eyed

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced Aug. 19 that Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry will be celebrated virtually for the 2021 PA Farm Show, with no in-person events or competitions, to mitigate against COVID-19.

Russell Redding

“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 fieldfallow,” said Redding. “To protect our assets – both our people and our resources – from sincalculable 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.

“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.”

For information as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania visit agriculture.pa.gov/COVID. To stay up to date on PA Farm Show news and updates on the virtual show, visit farmshow.pa.gov or follow the Pennsylvania Farm Show on FacebookOpens In A New Window and InstagramOpens In A New Window.

Pennsylvania vegetable growers group assesses situation

“The cancellation of the in-person Farm Show means there will be no Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA) Food Booth, the source of a substantial portion of the association’s budget. While this will have a major impact on the Association’s finances, we also fully recognize the impossibility of conducting an in-person event such as the Farm Show given the current pandemic situation and the crowded conditions that characterize the Farm Show. 

Another major source of revenue for the association is the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. The Convention Joint Committee and the PVGA Board of Directors are working on determining if and how the Convention will be held in 2021. We will keep you updated on those plans as they are finalized. The association has long recognized the potential impact of adverse weather conditions on the profitability of both the Farm Show Food Booth and the Convention. Snow storms were always assumed to be the most likely threat to either of these events – no one ever envisioned a pandemic affecting both events in the same year. 

Fortunately, the board of directors has over the past 25 years or so built a substantial reserve in the General Fund with the budget surpluses that the association has been blessed with in past years. Those reserves will allow the association to weather this storm financially maintaining the basic operations of the association and continued publication of the monthly newsletter and the weekly email Updates. They will even allow the association to potentially continue its support of vegetable and small fruit research as well as local grower events although the board will have to evaluate the level of those budget lines next January. We will, of course, need you, our members, to stand with us in renewing your memberships for 2021 so that we can continue to serve you.

Again, stay tuned for updates on the Mid-Atlantic Convention in the coming weeks and months.”




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