I’ve been to the PA Farm Show quite a few times, but this past Friday I had the opportunity to visit in a completely different way!
PennAg industries (Thank you, Melissa!) invited the PA Bloggers group to visit their exhibit this year, and learn more about how the whole process works.
(This is my first time doing a recap/event post, so I hope that I’m able to do a good job showing what an awesome experience this was!)
I really enjoyed this opportunity, because I embarrassingly enough don’t know a lot about how our food gets from the farms and onto our plates, and what goes into raising animals.
We first met with the Beef Ambassadors. I eat more chicken and fish than red meat, but I definitely enjoy beef as well and I loved learning about how nutritious beef can be. You can definitely get sick of eating the same things all the time, so I was happy to hear that it’s still a nutritious option!
We also learned about dairy cows. We learned that you should get 3 servings of dairy a day, and that it’s an important part of your diet. Unfortunately, I don’t drink a lot of milk. I don’t really like the taste of it by itself, but do put milk in my coffee or oatmeal. I also like yogurt as well, so hopefully I’m still getting enough calcium!
We also learned about cows used for veal. For the first few weeks, the cows live alone in their pens and then from 8-20 weeks they live together. Prior to this trip, I really didn’t know anything about veal and had never tried it before. Later on when we had dinner, I tried a veal slider (along with a pulled pork slider and a chicken slider.) I preferred the pulled pork slider out of the three, but that’s not really a surprise because I love pulled pork!
The next animals we saw were the chickens. We learned that different types of eggs are obtained by what they’re fed, and white and brown eggs are from the same kind of feed. The lifespan of a hen is about 150 weeks, which is about 3 years, and they lay an egg about every 26 hours. That’s a lot of eggs! Eggs are one of my go-to favorite meals, so I really enjoyed learning more about how they’re obtained.
We also learned about ducks. I’ve only tried duck once a few years ago, but I thought it was very good! We learned that there is a pellet feed for the older ducks, and a crush feed for the the younger animals. Their diet doesn’t include any hormones, which is good to know!
The next animals we learned about were turkeys. I had no idea that most of the turkeys we eat for Thanksgiving are hens (females) and that the males (toms) are used more for lunch meat and turkey sausage.
The last animals we learned about were pigs. We learned that the sows (the females) can be aggressive animals, but they aren’t mean to their own piglets. I definitely thought this was interesting, and something that I didn’t know before. The piglets were only about 2 weeks old, and I had never seen a piglet in person that small.
I loved how enthusiastic each person was, you could tell that they were really happy to have us there and allowing us to understand more of what they do.
I also loved that there actual animals to look at while we were talking with the different representatives, especially the baby animals!
After learning about the animals, we talked about farm equipment and crops. I had no idea how much both of these things cost, and it was definitely interesting to hear how much goes into producing the food that we eat.
We then headed for dinner! We ate in the VIP area, and had such great service from everyone working there! We were able to pick what we wanted off the menu. We also got delicious milkshakes, and I had chocolate of course. This wasn’t my first milkshake at the Farm Show, but it was just as delicious as I remembered. I highly suggest getting one if you go to the Farm Show!
(Photo from Lauren)
I had such a great time seeing the girls again I had met at the previous meet-up, and meeting some new people as well!
Thank you again to PennAg and Melissa for allowing to attend this great event!