The first all-inclusive animal and modern agriculture exhibit in America will be unveiled at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Jan. 6-14, as part of an effort to provide the non-farming public with a look at real-life production practices. The exhibit will provide a glimpse of the inside of typical livestock barns in the state. Each livestock exhibit will feature a backdrop with an illustration depicting the outside of the particular barn.
According to PennAg Industries Association, research devoted to current public opinion regarding animal agriculture indicates that regular consumers just want to know that their food is safe, that it was raised in a way that was humane to the animals, and that its production did not harm the environment. Groups promoting agriculture have found the best way to protect modern animal agriculture is to make sure the general public understands and accepts what is involved behind the biosecure walls of livestock farms.
Previous efforts to educate Pennsylvania Farm Show attendees indicated that the public just wants to see production practices for themselves. In 2008, PennAg, the Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council and Pennsylvania egg farmers constructed a sow/litter display and caged layer exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The exhibits became two of the show’s most popular attractions and were frequently viewed by the 400,000 people. The PennAg Industries Association says the vast majority of visitors did not take issue with the crates or cages, and found the up-close look at modern agriculture to be intriguing.
The outside of the 2012 exhibit will feature other modern agriculture examples including greenhouse-raised plots of soybeans, alfalfa and corn, as well as the largest and most sophisticated planting, spraying and harvesting equipment utilizing global positioning system (GPS) technology.
The exhibit is being coordinated by the PennAg Industries Association on behalf of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Livestock Care and Well-Being and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Learn more at http://www.pennag.com/.