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PA farm show provides opportunity to network

Posted: February 28, 2019

The 103 PA Farm Show took place on January 5 – 12 and was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Members from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, along with other members of the College of Agricultural Sciences and members of the Mushrooms Framers of Pennsylvania (MFPA) volunteered at the event.
Graduate students Melissa Mercado, left, and Elisa Lauritzen pose for a photo at the 2019 PA Farm Show. IMAGE: PENN STATE

Graduate students Melissa Mercado, left, and Elisa Lauritzen pose for a photo at the 2019 PA Farm Show. IMAGE: PENN STATE

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The 103 PA Farm Show took place on January 5 – 12 and was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Members from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, along with other members of the College of Agricultural Sciences and members of the Mushrooms Framers of Pennsylvania (MFPA) volunteered at the event.

The PA Farm Show provides an annual opportunity for many to volunteer and network with Pennsylvania farmers and industry professionals. Elisa Lauritzen, graduate student, Kimberly Paley, research technologist, and John Pecchia, assistant research professor and MFPA Chair, were amongst those representing the department.

2019_PA_FarmShowMushroom display at the 2019 PA Farm Show. IMAGE: PENN STATE

“As a ‘first timer’ I expected something akin to the state fair experience, but this far and away exceeded those expectations,” said Lauritzen. “I had the good fortune to volunteer at both, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation (PA-TACF) booth and the Mushroom Farmers of Pennsylvania (MFPA) booth.” 

The MFPA, in conjunction with the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, led by Paley and Pecchia, organize the educational mushroom display for the PA Farm Show every year. The display consists of literature on cultivated mushrooms, as well as microscopes to view mushrooms and, of course, a brilliant display of a variety of cultivated mushrooms provided by the MFPA. Volunteers from both, the mushroom industry as well as Penn State, answer questions regarding cultivated mushrooms throughout the weeklong event.

Paley is a returning volunteer in the Ag Explorer Learning station which has expanded over the years from a simple two-table exhibit to a display that has the landmark blow-up giant 'MushRoom'.  Paley, Lauritzen and other volunteers assisted at the MFPA booth where visitors had the opportunity to learn about mushrooms, view live samples and discover the mushroom growing process. 

“Winter weather in Pennsylvania can be very unpredictable but I believe this year had more visitors than recent years," said Paley. "The support from the mushroom industry has made the mushroom exhibit one that amazes people every year.”   

To view additional information about the PA Farm Show, visit their website here.