Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, and Russel Redding, the Agriculture Secretary, recently announced the departments of Military and Veterans Affairs and Agriculture are teaming up to celebrate Pennsylvania’s veterans at the 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show. The country’s biggest indoor agricultural event, the Pennsylvania Farm Show will run from January 8th-15th, 2022. Along with recognizing veterans, the show will feature around 12,000 competitive exhibits, 6,000 animals, and 300 commercial stands to showcase the sheer quality and diversity of Pennsylvania’s booming agriculture industry.
“We are grateful to Secretary Redding and the Department of Agriculture for allowing us to showcase the important role veterans play in Pennsylvania’s agriculture, and for the opportunity to connect with veterans, who visit the Farm Show Complex,” said Schindler. “The DMVA outreach team will be present and ready to assist veterans and their families with any questions they may have regarding the benefits they earned in service to our nation.” During the show, service members and veterans can leave messages on a giant Pennsylvania map in the expo hall or place magnets on fallen veteran’s hometowns to thank them for their service.
Life after the military
“We are deeply indebted to Pennsylvania’s military veterans for protecting our land, our families and our way of life,” said Redding. “And to those veteran farmers who have returned home with valuable transferable skills and put them to work in agriculture, we are twice indebted. They protect us. They feed us. Honoring veterans and their families is a small token of our gratitude”. The USDA helps veterans transitioning to civilian life secure employment in agricultural career fields. For example, scholarships help veterans train in areas like plant and food science. Moreover, veterans also often need help securing affordable housing. Fortunately, VA loans allow veterans to purchase homes with 0% down payments. VA loan acceptance depends on applicants meeting criteria like 90-consecutive days of active service during wartime or 181-days of active service during peacetime.
The farm show’s schedule features the celebration of veteran farmers in the Homegrown By Heroes program, as well as an Army-Navy Cook-Off and cooking demonstrations by chefs from the Air Force, Air National Guard, and Coast Guard. During the Celebrity Feed Scurry, the Friends of Farm Show Foundation is also set to include a Salute to Veterans. This popular event involves Pennsylvania media personalities, agriculture industry leaders, and legislators in competition to feed horses.
“We hope you can join us as we celebrate Pennsylvania agriculture together in January”, said Redding. Certain vendors will also be offering special deals and discounts for veterans and serving members. Visit www.farmshow.pa.gov for more information about the 2022 farm show.