Join Penn Vet at the Pennsylvania Farm Show
It spans 24 acres including 11 buildings and three arenas. It boasts more than 15,000 competitive and commercial exhibits. It has on hand a 1,000-pound butter sculpture. And it involves 80 Penn Vet volunteers. The Pennsylvania Farm Show is big, and the Penn Vet interactive booth at the Farm Show one of the best. In fact, in 2012, the Penn Vet booth was chosen as the Best Educational Display. The 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show takes place January 5th through 12th.
This year the Penn Vet presence promises to be better than ever. Visitors to the 20’ x 30’ booth will see new, updated exhibition displays. A series of tall panels will tell a trio of stories in text and images: what vets do, what Penn Vet does for Pennsylvania, and how vets help to feed the world. A continuous slide show will offer an abundance of photos augmenting the displays. Penn Vet puppies will be on hand part of the time as ambassadors of the recently opened Working Dog Center.
In addition to new display materials, the smaller children will enjoy a fresh activity, coloring outline images copied from the large displays, then finding the original pictures in the larger format. As always, the Yucky Stuff promises to be a hit, as inquisitive investigators young and old try to figure out the origins of some unusual veterinary artifacts. Would-be and future veterinarians will slip x-rays onto light boxes, and try to guess what each image portrays.
Each year, Penn Vet volunteers—faculty, staff, students and alumni--donate more than 320 hours at the Farm Show, which takes place at the state Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. They greet visitors, answering questions about animals, veterinary topics and how to become a vet student. They hand out masks of farm animal faces to kids and coach investigators with Yucky Stuff.
Dr. Sherrill Davison, Director, Laboratory of Avian Medicine and Pathology Resident Director of Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System, is Chair of the Farm Show Committee and has been involved with the show for close to three decades. Perry Habecker, VMD and chief of the Large Animal Pathology Service, has also “…been doing this for more years than I can remember. As a native Pennsylvanian and a promoter of Pennsylvania agriculture, I am proud to represent my profession, my school, and the services it provides to the great citizens of the Commonwealth.”
Dr. Hannah Galantino-Homer, VMD, PhD and senior research investigator with the Laminitis Research Initiative, who has volunteered at the Farm Show for five years, enjoys teaching adults and children who have an interest in animals, especially horses. “The Yucky Stuff and radiographs are very useful for hands-on teaching.” Her favorite is the split normal and laminitic horse feet, which allow her to teach both anatomy and disease pathology, as well as a chance to explain a little bit about the Laminitis Laboratory. “I also like having the chance to encourage young people to consider a career in veterinary medicine.”
Off duty, volunteers take advantage of the broad and varied activities going on at the Farm Show, and treat themselves to potato donuts, fried Oreos and the ever-popular milkshakes. If you haven’t been to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, this is a great time to experience all that this extraordinary event, and the Penn Vet booth, have to offer.
Says Dr. Joan Hendricks, dean of Penn Vet, “As the most important showcase for Pennsylvania's number-one industry – agriculture – the Farm Show is a wonderful place and time to see all of the diversity, excitement and excellence of food and animal husbandry at once. The opportunity for vet students, staff, and alumni to work together to acquaint Pennsylvanians with Penn Vet's crucial role in agriculture is a real pleasure. It is also wonderful to see so many farmers – and especially the youth – who are actively engaged in raising animals and producing food. Finally, the excitement of our own booth has been increasing year after year . There are activities for children, vet school candidates, and the general public. There are videos and giveaways and informational displays. It’s just plain a fun as well as a valuable experience.”
For more details including schedules and directions, go to www.farmshow.state.pa.us.