Shapiro Administration Announces 2024 Pennsylvania Farm Expo Theme: Connecting Our Communities

The 2024 Pennsylvania State Fair™ will connect Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry with the lives that are positively impacted by its success every day.

Easton, PennsylvaniaAgriculture Minister Russell Redding visited the Eat Real Food Mobile Market at Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton today to announce the theme for the 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show: Connecting our communities. The 2024 PA Farm Show, Pennsylvania’s State Fair™, will be held Saturday, January 6 through Saturday, January 13 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.

“The Pennsylvania Farm Show is a living story of Pennsylvania agriculture, connecting those who are fed, nurtured and enriched by our industry with those whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.” Minister Reading said. “Agriculture unites us. It is the food, fuel and fiber we rely on for our quality of life and economy. Food helps define our cultures and our identity.

“The Eat Real Food mobile market is a perfect illustration of how agriculture connects communities and fuels their future. It’s a fitting backdrop to highlight how the 2024 Pennsylvania Farm Show will showcase the pride and hard work of farmers across the state, connecting people from all walks of life to celebrate the importance of agriculture in our communities.”

The Kellyn Foundation’s Eat Real Food Mobile Market visits multiple sites on a regular weekly schedule and includes sampling, nutrition education and recipes. Eat Real Food provides access to healthy, local food at an affordable price, provides opportunities for families to connect with nutritious food, and unites communities around agriculture to ensure better outcomes for all.

This market grew out of a multi-industry partnership of the Kellyn Foundation, Bethlehem Area School District, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Penn State Extension, Rodale Institute, Bethlehem Food Co-Op, Meals on Wheels and Second Harvest Food Bank. These organizations have joined forces to support a stronger local food system by ensuring that local food production can thrive through the development and expansion of local food infrastructure. This effort includes farmers, producers, processors, distributors, institutional buyers, neighborhoods, and individual consumers, along with support from government, for-profit, and for-profit organizations. Together, they create jobs, sustain the environment, protect the health of their community and reduce food insecurity.

The 2023-24 budget signed by Governor Shapiro includes critical investments in agriculture, including:

  • $31 million to help poultry farmers affected by the bird flu crisis pay for testing and recover losses to their flocks. The $34 million Agriculture Preparedness and Response position includes $3 million to help control invasive spotted lanternfly and mobilizes $3 million in USDA matching funds.
  • $2 million to fund the Fresh Food Funding Initiative, which will contribute to better health outcomes by improving access to grown, processed and produced foods in PA.
  • A $2 million increase to the State Food Purchase Program to provide state funds for emergency food assistance to low-income Pennsylvanians. The increase to $26.28 million will connect surplus food donated by farmers through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System to food banks and food pantries across the state and will connect low-income seniors with Food Boxes for Seniors, full with nutritious food products.
  • $1 million to create a new organic center of excellence, one of the first of its kind, to empower and support organic farmers and businesses.

The budget invests $13.8 million in the fifth year of the PA Farm Bill, making critical investments in building the workforce, processing infrastructure and marketing capabilities the industry needs, and in removing the barriers that stand between the industry and those who want to be a part from her future.

The 2024 Farm Show will feature fan favorites like a 1,000-pound oil sculpture, the Farm Show’s famous food court, youth performance and sheep shearing competitions (among hundreds of other competitive agricultural events), cooking demonstrations at PA Preferred® A culinary connection and more than one million square feet of hands-on agricultural learning opportunities and opportunities to engage with the people who power Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry.

“Visiting the PA Farm Show is like taking a journey through the heart of agriculture, where you’ll connect with the roots of our food, the spirit of our farming communities and the limitless opportunities to find your own path in this industry. whether it’s your first visit or you come every year, the PA Farm Show is the best place to cultivate connections with agriculture,” Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center Executive Director Sharon Myers said.

Media contact: Shannon Powers, 717-603-2056 or [email protected]

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