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Pa. Farm Show opens

January 10, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- These days, the Pennsylvania Farm Show hardly is about the countless competitions that are held throughout the week.

While a ribbon always is nice, there's a sort of understanding between the entrants to the show.

"It's basically just about being here with other people -- cattle people -- and we share our ideas," said Steve Upperman, 49, of Chambersburg, Pa. "A lot of people think it's about the best animal, but it's also about communication and talking about what's going on around the show."

Upperman and his wife, Jane, watched over their daughters' Up-Hill Acres steer and heifers Saturday afternoon after opening ceremonies at the enormous Farm Show Complex.

Their oldest daughter, Jaclyn, 20, had many other obligations as reigning Pennsylvania Angus Queen and president of the state Junior Angus Association. The family has been coming to the show for close to a decade.

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"It basically started in junior steering, Jaclyn started in 1998 and Lindsey followed her," Steve Upperman said. "We're still involved because it's a fun state show, kind of like a state fair."

Tens of thousands turned out for their first look at the 93rd annual show, which runs through next Saturday. Judging events were earlier this week, but were closed to the public.

No area was without a large crowd, from the dairy and beef cattle in the north and northeast halls to the family living, floral, wine and commercial exhibits in the main hall.

But the most trafficked area was the large arena, where official opening ceremonies were held Saturday morning. Also in the large arena, Pennsylvania State Police presented a performance by its mounted drill team and the Cumberland County 4-H Club Drill Team did an exercise. The 28,000-square-foot facility also hosted a pair of state High School Rodeo Association Championship Rodeo sessions.

"I could have sat in there all day," said Louisa Ambrose of Chambersburg. "Seeing how those riders -- even the younger ones -- handle themselves is one of the reasons I still come here."

Saturday was only the beginning for many people, with the show offering daily attractions through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Kevin Stahl will stick around until Monday for open beef cattle judging, but the 23-year-old from Mercersburg, Pa., will almost certainly be sorry to go.

"I love it here in the cattle barn. We like to come up to see the people and what they've brought," said Stahl, of Slate Wind Farm. "I've been coming here for about five years. It's not necessarily about the competition, but you want to see how your stuff does against everyone else's."

For more information about the Pennsylvania Farm Show -- including results for entrants from Franklin and Fulton counties -- go to www.farmshow.state.pa.us.




If you go



What: 93rd annual Pennsylvania Farm Show

When: Through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Farm Show Complex, 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg, Pa.

Free admission

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