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Local shine at Pa. Farm Show

January 08, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

HARRISBURG, Pa. - "Excuse me," Lindsay Upperman, 14, of Chambersburg, Pa., said.

Bottlenecked near the exit of the North Hall, dozens of heads snapped around to see the girl demanding a clear path through the packed Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Locking eyes with Chile, Lindsay's 1,255-pound short horn steer, every person ahead of the young girl stepped aside.

"Look at the size of it," one man said in awe as the 5-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide steer sauntered through the exit.

Flashing a smile at Chile, Lindsay tugged on the rope and led her steer to the show arena.

About 400,000 people from across the state will come to the 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show and fill the 25-acre indoor Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg for eight days of all things agriculture. Exhibitors like Lindsay will come from the state's 67 counties and enter fruits, vegetables, wines, horses, pigs, goats and more into the Farm Show's many competitions.

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For those who have never been to the Farm Show, grasping the vast event can be difficult.

"I don't know how to describe it," said 18-year-old Jaclyn Upperman, Lindsay's sister. "It is a big party, just with cows and sheep and pigs."

"It's like a huge indoor fair without the rides and games," Pam Dice of Chambersburg said.

The Farm Show centers around the livestock competitions. Nearly 10,000 animals will be shown this year, including many from Franklin County.

Dice said she will drive to the show every day to watch her daughter, Kristina, compete.

"Today we got our first blue ribbon with our heifer, Lady Leena," she said.

Others competitors like Kevin Stahl, 21, of Mercersburg, Pa., stay on site.

Having finished showing for the day, Stahl takes a moment to talk to people milling past.

"We have been doing really well," he said of Franklin County. "I just got a first- and a second-place ribbon today. I know of another girl who got second."

While the Farm Show does center around the competition, there are many other things to enjoy beside the massive steers and mushrooms. The show features displays, demonstrations, wine tasting, and exhibits on everything from safety to the benefits of drinking milk.

Franklin County Dairy Princess Sarah Signore of Greencastle, Pa., came to the Farm Show with other county princesses to promote dairy.

"I look forward to the show every January, but this year I won't be showing, I will be talking about dairy," she said. "And eating some food."

No matter who you ask, everyone at the Farm Show mentions the food.

"You have to try the food," Jaclyn Upperman said. With dozens of vendors selling Pennsylvania foods, Signore says, "The best part of the show has to be the food."




If you go ...



The 91st Pennsylvania Farm Show runs the rest of the week at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.

When: The show runs through Saturday. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. for competitive exhibits, 9 a.m to 9 p.m. for commercial exhibits and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the food court. The show closes Saturday at 5 p.m.

Facts: The 2007 Farm Show will feature 10,000 animals, 8,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors.

What's new: Energy harvest exhibit, tractor square dance, concert by country artist Michael Peterson, learning stations and sheepdog trial course tests.

Cost: Free for all events except the PRCA rodeo circuit finals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us/farmshow on the Web.

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