Guest blogger Denae Hershberger is the 2019-2020 Pennsylvania State Alternate Dairy Princess
Pennsylvania is a unique state with several large metropolitan areas and a vast rural zone. While the Keystone state population may be split on their sports teams and cultural identities, one thing brings us all together: the Pennsylvania Farm Show. For a few days a year all Pennsylvanians can bond over the bustle and excitement surrounding Farm Show.
As the Pennsylvania Alternate State Dairy Princess, I have the opportunity to spend the entire week at Farm Show. This is my first time attending and I was so excited when I walked through those doors into the Cameron Street lobby. What to do first? Get an iconic Pa. Dairymen’s milkshake? Visit the animal attractions? See the butter sculpture? So much to do and see!
As I am writing this blog post, it’s Tuesday of Farm Show and I can attest that every bit of this event is “worth the hype.” Let me give you a short recap of my experiences so far.
Last Thursday, our dairy princess team helped to unveil this year’s butter sculpture. What a thrill! As the curtain revealed the 2020 buttery masterpiece, a few of the state’s most popular faces were shown. The Pittsburgh Steelers “Steely McBeam”, “Swoop” representing the Philadelphia Eagles, and “Gritty” the Philadelphia Flyers mascot and the newest member of the mascot team.
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman exclaimed, “This year, we hope to connect even more Pennsylvanians to our state fair and to agriculture by representing the faces of those they already love, from the west and east of Pennsylvania.”
His words struck me. As Pennsylvanians, we all have different experiences and different opinions, from the best sports team to the best cheesesteak. But we can all come together to make our state better and stronger.
Throughout my days here, I have seen this in action. Most everyone LOVES Pa Dairymen’s milkshakes. It doesn’t matter if you cheer for Penn State or Pitt – a milkshake is one thing you can agree on. Or maybe you prefer the Dairymen’s mozzarella cheese cubes? They have quickly become my personal favorite!
And after filling your belly with the delicious Farm Show food, so many of you have visited us at the new “Destination Dairy”.
I have spent the last few days interacted with children, teenagers and adults alike and enjoying every single moment. How fun it is to watch the giddy smiles of visitors as they see a newborn dairy calf at the Calving Corner.
These joyful reactions remind me why events like the Pennsylvania Farm Show help to bring our state together. Whether you are a farmer or a rural resident or you live in a large city and have never seen a real cow before, we can all come together over a milkshake and experience Pennsylvania agriculture at its finest. As this year’s Farm Show theme suggests: “Imagine the Possibilities.”
I am grateful to be a part of the possibilities and to share with Farm Show visitors how agriculture and the dairy industry is an integral part of their everyday lives. Now, let’s go get a milkshake and some fried cheese cubes together! 🙂