Today’s Agriculture: Tackling the Public Persona

PA Farm Show

12/29/2011 5:36 AM

In about a week, the public will get to see what many farmers live with day to day – the inside of a barn. I recognize that this is not going to be a typical barn because it’s highly unlikely to find pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, beef cattle and dairy cattle being housed under one roof. Or to find a red tractor sitting next to a green one for that matter. However, it’s the message that is inside the building that will be interesting to watch take shape as the consuming public gets a chance to see what newer farm management systems look like.

The concept is called “Today’s Agriculture,” and the display with a barn, livestock, farm equipment and crops is the brainchild of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Livestock Care and Well-Being. PennAg Industries Association is coordinating the project.

Is there a risk to this idea?

You bet.

Is it needed?


Will it win over every visitor to the exhibit? No, but we can hope Farm Show visitors will be able to have all their questions answered. And at the end of the day, it's what many farmers wish for their nonfarm neighbors – to just understand what is happening at the barn?

If you come to the Farm Show this year, check out the display. Through my visits to the complex, it has been neat to watch this group’s idea go from a diagram to reality. I look forward to seeing the animals take residence in this minifarm in the near future. And word from many of the groups involved with the project is they are still looking for farmers willing to step up and share their story and explain what happens on a farm.

- Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor


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