Everything about the second day of the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show on Sunday seemed big.
Crowds were so large that officials let them walk through the usually restricted animal passage between parts of the complex.
The winning steer, an Angus cross bred named Beau, tipped the scales at 1,340 pounds.
Even the angel food cakes looked extra tall.
Beau and Bear
Two black steers with a combined weight of 2,635 pounds won the prestigious Grand Champion Steer and Reserve Grand Champion Steer in an event that highlighted Sunday.
Beau, a 1 1/2 year old Angus crossbred owned by Samantha Fabian of Acme in Fayette County was named Grand Champion Steer, beating 62 other junior market steers. Bear, a 20-month old crossbred steer owned by Logan Foore of Seven Valleys in York County, was named the reserve champion.
Fabian, 18, who has been coming to the Farm Show since she was 2, is a freshman majoring in animal sciences and microbiology at West Virginia University. She hopes to become a veterinarian.
Foore, 16, is a student at Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock.
“I’m surprised and happy to win,” he said. “Bear has been a calm, chill steer. The money I get from selling him will go to my college fund. I want to study either agriculture or construction.”
Asked how he plans to celebrate his victory, Foore grinned. “I plan to get lots of sleep,” he said.
Putting on the Dog
People aren’t the only ones with food on their minds at the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show.
In the Main Exhibition Hall, Roxann Gallagher of Dover has been selling everything from doughnut holes to pumpkin cookies – for dogs. Her business, “Miss Lucy’s Dog Treats,” is named for her Dalmatian.
“Peanut butter biscuits are our top seller,” she said. “But there’s a lot more here. I make doggie cupcakes, doggie birthday cakes, baked bones in many flavors, dog candies and jerky. I also have a line of food for dogs with food allergies and health problems.”
These include gluten-free treats, flea hater’s bones, coat and skin bones, arthritis bones and low-fat dog biscuits.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Dozens of people have been lining up each day at the state Department of Health booth in the Main Exhibition Hall for free flu shots.
People are asked to fill out and sign a form before getting the injection.
Department literature reminds people that the flu vaccine will not give them flu and that peak fllu season is late February to early March.
Hannah Boltz of Grantville in Dauphin County won the Supreme Champion Poultry award for her White Leghorn Cockerel Bantam.
Tim Nagle of Annville won the reserve champion poultry honors with his Dark Brahma Large Fowl. Nagle has exhibited at the Pennsylvania Farm Show for the past three years.
The competition this year was judged by Tom Topper of Pennsylvania and Gary Overton and Lewis Cunningham of Ohio.
“The quality of poultry at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, when compared with other state fairs, has been on a continuous up rise over the past six years,” said Mike Wasylkowski, one of the poultry judges. He said he evaluated the birds for their shape or type, color and condition.
Pennsylvania ranks third nationally in the number of laying chickens at 25.1 million, and egg production, with 7.3 billion laid annually.
Thousands of children are playing the three-hole golf course run by the Penn State Cooperative Extension Pesticide Education Program.
Each hole focuses on a different pesticide theme, including “Healthy homes are rodent free,” “Safe ways to control pests” and “Safer packaging protects everything.”
Kerry Richards, Penn State Cooperative Extension pesticide education program director, said that more than 2,000 children played golf on Saturday.
Shops and stores seem to pop up in the Farm Show Complex faster than mushrooms after a heavy rain.
Walk 10 feet in any direction and you’re likely to see booths selling boots, jackets, socks, shirts, toys, gloves and purses.
Those who love sports, especially Pittsburgh Steelers fans, will find plenty of attire with sports logos.
If you thought the opening day of the 97th Pennsylvania State Farm Show was packed, you were right!
State Agriculture Department officials said 11,155 cars were parked on opening day in the Farm Show Complex parking lots – and that doesn’t count those who parked off site and walked in or those who piled into one vehicle.
Saturday’s number beat the 11,015 cars on opening day last year, setting a new attendance for the first day of the Farm Show.