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Smart Talk: Pa Farm show goes virtual to highlight state’s agriculture industry

Youth competing in the breeding sheep division of the Supreme Champion Breeding Showmanship Competition.

 PA Farm Show 2020 (flickr)

Youth competing in the breeding sheep division of the Supreme Champion Breeding Showmanship Competition.

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Airdate: 12/18/20

Plans for the 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show are taking shape, although exhibits and the experience will look quite different this year.

Noticeably missing will be the sounds and smells of the yearly event that draws thousands of Pennsylvanians from across the state. But the sights will go on, albeit on a virtual platform, from Saturday, January 9 through Saturday, January 16.

In a normal year, Pennsylvania hosts the largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof in the nation, to showcase the diverse Pennsylvania agriculture industry and the people who make it happen. Pennsylvania agriculture employs nearly half a million people and contributes $185 billion to the economy. While this year’s event will be different in many respects, there will things familiar to past show-goers.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding appears on Smart Talk to talk about the changes to the 2021 show, and current issues and challenges facing the industry.

Bringing Life Back to Impaired Pennsylvania Waterways

Pennsylvania agriculture contributes considerably to the economic strength and vitality of the state, but there are also downsides to the industry.  Removing trees to accommodate farming practices has left some waterways without the benefit of one of the main food sources that organisms in the waterways rely on: leaves.

A Bucknell University biology and environmental sciences research class is studying the impact of leaves on biodiversity and stream health on Buffalo Creek, a Susquehanna River tributary. The researchers hope their findings will have an impact on other waterways and lead restoration efforts throughout the state.

Matthew E. McTammany, Ph.D., is a Professor with Biology & Environmental Studies and Sciences at Bucknell University and he joins Smart Talk Friday, along with Jordan Isaacs (2023), a Biology major and Presidential Fellow to discuss the innovative research plan.

Bucknell University

Jordan Isaacs (2023), a Biology major, places leaves in the stream during restoration project.


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