Bringing together the region’s farming community and the services necessary for daily operations is the goal of the 10th annual Western New York Farm Show, Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg. The exposition is sponsored by the Erie County Agricultural Society.
“Over the last decade, Western New York state’s agricultural industry has experienced mounting external challenges such as new labor laws, shifts in consumer preferences, lower commodity prices, loss of farmland due to development and higher production costs,” said Erie County Agricultural Society CEO Jessica Underberg. “Events like the Farm Show are part of the society’s mission to promote the region’s agricultural resources, whether it’s the crops in the field or the hardworking people working in the barns. It’s our hope that the Farm Show helps to strengthen the farm community through education and communications with a little bit of fun thrown in.”
The Western New York Farm Show strives to educate farmers from around the region about the latest cutting-edge agricultural products and technology. Vendors include feed, seed and equipment dealers, farm service providers, and non-for-profits that specialize in agriculture education, promotion and advancement. Industry professionals will lead seminars daily covering a variety of topics while showgoers will have an opportunity to earn spray credits during free pesticide recertification classes.
This year’s show highlights, provided at no cost, include discussions on “Managing Pasture Health,” "Worker Protection Standard and Farm Pesticide Regulations," and “Keeping Long Term Hay Fields Productive.” Returning for 2020 will be the farmer’s bazaar showcasing local, homemade and regionally grown products.
The show will also feature a number of spectator and participant-driven competitions. High school students will be able to show off their skills during the mechanics competition from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. The fifth annual Farmer Elite Toss Hay Bale Throwing Competition take place at noon each day of the show inside the Agriculture Discovery Center. A “pee wee” toss featuring competitors ages 12 and under will take place daily before the adult competition. The ADMAR Skid Steer Rodeo will time the fastest drivers as they navigate an obstacle course and compete against the clock.
The second annual Lumberjack Classic will attract the best timbersport competitors in the northeast to the Farm Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. During this free event, spectators will be able to see competitors chop and saw their way through a series of events that include “Jack and Jill Crosscut,” “Open Springboard” and “Open Axe Throw.”
For little “future farmers,” children 12 and under will be able to compete for prizes during the pedal tractor races on Saturday. The popular “Little Hand On The Farm” experience from the Erie County Fair will be on display during the show. Inside the Agriculture Discovery Center, kids will have the opportunity to collect eggs, apples, maple and milk and “sell” it back at the farmers market.
Free and open to the public, the WNY Farm Show will be held inside two heated buildings on the fairgrounds. Show times are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, or to register for any of the open competitions, visit www.WNYFarmShow.com, email [email protected] or call 716-649-3900, ext. 6488.
The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private, not-for-profit membership organization. Visit www.ECFair.org.