HARRISBURG – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, recently announced that the departments of Agriculture and Military and Veterans Affairs will join forces to host Service Members, Veterans and their Families Day on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the 2023 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
“Farmers are the two percent who feed us, and the military are the two percent who keep us safe,” Redding said.
“We owe both a tremendous debt of gratitude. That’s why we set aside a day at the PA Farm Show every year to honor our military veterans, putting them in the spotlight with the Army-Navy Cookoff and other special events throughout the day.
“We especially honor the farmer-veterans who put their skills to work after military service, continuing to serve their communities and country in agriculture.
“Our hats are off and our hands to our hearts with a sincere thank you to Pennsylvania’s military veterans and their families during Farm Show and every day of the year.”
“We are happy to once again partner with the Department of Agriculture to host a special Service Members, Veterans and their Families Day on Jan. 12,” said Schindler.
“I encourage all veterans to stop by the Farm Show, enjoy the many veteran discounts and relish in a day honoring their service to our nation.
“It will also be a great opportunity to learn about some of the many contributions veteran farmers make to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry.”
The day’s schedule is available online, and will begin with the singing of the national anthem at 8 a.m. at the GIANT® Expo Hall by Kara Grenell of Fayette County, granddaughter of a Korean War veteran.
Veterans visiting the Farm Show can stop by the DMVA outreach van at Space #2208 in the GIANT® Expo Hall to talk with an accredited veteran service officer about the benefits they have earned through their service.
Anyone interested in the Pennsylvania National Guard can learn more by stopping by the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Recruiting & Retention Battalion at Space #2215 in the GIANT Expo Hall.
Visitors interested in military history can visit Space #2310 in the GIANT® Expo Hall to see a World War II display commemorating the Pennsylvania Farm Show’s role during the war.
During World War II, the Farm Show Complex housed the Pennsylvania State School of Aeronautics, where thousands of civilians came to learn how to repair airplane engines damaged in the war.
Other highlights include the ever-popular Army-Navy Cook-Off, which will commence at 1 p.m. on the PA Preferred® Culinary Connection Stage in the Main Hall with the singing of the national anthem by Caden Smith of Lancaster County, son of a current member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
There will be additional cooking demonstrations held at noon and again from 2-5 p.m. on the hour at the Culinary Connection Stage conducted by active members of the military and veterans.
At 2:30 p.m., veterans are invited to ride in a hitch wagon as part of a wagon drawn musical salute to veterans.
Those who want to participate should assemble at the base of the southwest stairs under the equine arena.
Discounts and special promotions for veterans and active-duty military will be available from select vendors throughout the Farm Show complex.
Throughout the eight-day show, service members and veterans can place a magnet on their hometowns or that of a fallen comrade, leaving a message on a large-format Pennsylvania map in the GIANT® Expo Hall, thanking them for their service to our commonwealth and country.
The Friends of Farm Show Foundation will feature a Salute to Veterans during their Celebrity Feed Scurry at 6?:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in the Equine Arena. Pennsylvania agriculture industry leaders, legislators and media personalities compete to deliver payloads of feed with a team of draft horses.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, will be held Jan. 7-14, 2023, with the theme, “Rooted in Progress.”
The event showcases the quality and breadth of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and the people who make it thrive.
The show offers visitors a tiny slice of the industry that employs nearly half a million people and contributes $132.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy every year.
For more information about the 2023 show, visit farmshow.pa.gov.