A Night at the PA Farm Show, Part 2

Hi again! If you missed Part 1 of my recap, you can find it here.

I’ve still got lots of information to share with you, but I’ll try and condense it (I could ramble on and on about everything I learned!).

After we learned about dairy cows, we moved onto veal.

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I’m probably in the minority – and maybe even subjecting myself to some criticism – when I say that I like veal. Do I like thinking about eating baby animals? Um, nope. But I do like the taste.

The man who spoke to our group explained that his farm utilizes a loose housing style that is naturally ventilated. While veal calves aren’t supposed to be moving around to the same extent as beef or milk cows, their living conditions might not be as harsh as some people imagine. They are able to get up and move around a little bit, but they are confined to a small area to limit the growth of their connective tissue. The speaker also mentioned that veal is a lean meat that’s high in protein.

Our next stop was with the chickens where I learned that the nutrition of the eggs we eat is determined by the type of feed given to chickens. For example, if chickens are feed fish meal, this will result in eggs rich in Omega-3s.

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Chickens lay an egg once every 26 hours

At the poultry station, our group got to see baby chicks and ducks.

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I have a few other notes from this stop on our tour, but unfortunately I can’t make much sense of them… you’ll have to forgive me. ;-)

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On our second to last stop, we were able to find out more about pork.

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The woman who spoke to our group – and was obviously very passionate about her business – said a big issue facing pork producers is that certain activists do not want the pigs to be crated. Connie – the farmer – explained to us that crating is essential because female pigs (sows) can become aggressive and hurt another sow’s piglets. She also pointed out that crating allows for a controlled environment and helps to keep costs down.

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The piglets we saw were born on Christmas day!

Last but not least, we took a walk through the last piece of the exhibit which had various pieces of farm equipment set up.

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What stood out the most to me was the cost of these products – one piece of equipment can easily cost farmers over $300,000! One bag of feed can be close to $300. Farming isn’t cheap, friends!

Before our group parted ways for the evening, we were treated to dinner in the VIP section of the PennAg booth. I selected the veal sliders (try not to judge!) and was sure to sample one of the famous farm show milkshakes. (It lived up to the hype!)

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I can’t thank PennAg enough for inviting our group to tour their display. It was educational, eye-opening, and fun! If you’re a PA-local and plan to visit the farm show, be sure to stop by and see what PennAg has to offer.

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Photo “borrowed” from Lauren

Am I the only person who eats veal? (Can you tell I have a bit of a guilty conscience about this?!)

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