Ag Happenings – The PA Farm Show

Six Grand Canyon FFA members were awarded their degrees on Monday

by Melanie Berndtson – January 12, 2017

The 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show is taking place January 7th – 14th in Harrisburg, PA. This annual tradition is the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the country and includes almost 6000 animals and 10,000 competitive exhibits. Participants come from around the commonwealth to share their talents and celebrate agriculture. There is a large variety of displays, food vendors, and events happening throughout the week and something for all ages and interests.

The FFA has a major part of the Pennsylvania Farm Show for many years and this year is no exception. Our local FFA chapter – the Grand Canyon chapter from Wellsboro High School had many participants in the Farm Show this year.

FFA members and plant science students in Mrs. Berndtson’s class participated in the horticulture exhibits this year. Students created their own horticulture and floriculture displays. Kaycee Kaltenbach received a 4th place award for her cake topper design. Hannah Burnett received 3rd place in the silk flower girl headpiece category. The FFA chapter created a window box display for exhibit in the Farm Show as well – this year their topic was the Clean Water Act.

This year students participated in a Tractor Restoration Career Connections Display. Jake VanDergrift was the member in charge of this project and members helped to complete a cosmetic restoration of the VanDergrift’s 1944 Farmall M tractor. Students cleaned, repaired, and clear coated the tractor. The members also created a video and will be doing a stage presentation to share what they learned through this project.

Three students from the chapter took their livestock projects to the next level this year by showing market goats at the Farm Show. Kailyn Judlin and Kelly Pierce were both first time exhibitors in the market goat show. Kaycee Kaltenbach was a third time exhibitor and she qualified for the livestock sale this year. Only the top animals in each class qualify for the sale. All the students are pleased with their performance and are excited to participate again in the future.

On Monday January 9th, the Pennsylvania FFA Association held it’s annual Mid-Winter FFA Convention. There were over 5,000 FFA members, advisors, and guests present at the convention. Guest speakers included Governor Tom Wolf, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, and Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera.

During the convention the Pennsylvania FFA Alumni Association handed out first year FFA members official FFA jackets. The organization hosts a competitive essay contest each year giving out jackets as a price. This year over 800 students submitted applications and 450 students were awarded jackets. Five Grand Canyon FFA first year members received their jacket including Nina Coolidge, Derrick Bolt, Tyren Wetzel, Jasmine Blackwell, and Hope Rexford.

The Alumni Association also hosted an essay contest to provide members scholarships to attend the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2017. Grand Canyon FFA member Harlee Brooks was awarded a half scholarship to help her attend the conference this summer.

The final event of the day was the awarding of the Keystone FFA Degrees. This is the highest degree that the state FFA association can give and less than 5% of FFA members receive this honor. Members have to achieve requirements including spending at least 300 hours on their Supervised Agricultural Experience project, participating as a leader in their chapter and at the state level, and completing community service hours. Six Grand Canyon FFA members were awarded their degrees on Monday including Brody Coolidge, Bridget Kennedy, Kaycee Kaltenbach, Jessica Bolt, Chenoa Holsomback, and Hunter Huck.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is an exceptional event to share the message of agriculture and celebrate accomplishments of people involved in agriculture. The show is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people each year. This year’s event runs through Saturday and is free and open to the public with a $15.00 fee charged for parking.

Idea/Concept: Melanie Berndtson
Videography: Cody Getz
Video Editing: Cody Getz
Writing: Melanie Berndtson
Anchor: Lauren Gooch
Correspondent: Melanie Berndtson & Bridget Kennedy

Produced by VogtMedia
Funded by Sherwood Hotel & Laurel Health

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