Watch a chick hatch, hear a beehive buzz and pet a rabbit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

For the fourth year, the Farm Show Detectives program will feature interactive activities about farm life and food production for children of all ages.

Nicole Bucher, deputy press secretary, said this year's program will feature 28 learning stations, the most to date, with industry experts, animals and educational activities.

"Most of us are not fortunate enough to visit a farm and see how our food is made," Bucher said. "Farm Show Detectives gets children closer to agriculture."

Jessica Armacost, executive director of Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotion Services, has participated in the program all four years and said the biggest draw at the dairy learning station is a fake cow named Penny that children can milk.

About 15 dairy princesses from all over Pennsylvania will be at the dairy station throughout the week handing out key chains, Got milk? bracelets, cow erasers and dairy recipes to game participants.

"A lot of kids just think their milk comes from the grocery store," Armacost said. "We really enjoy the opportunity to speak with consumers about where their milk comes from and introduce them to their local dairy farmers."

Maps will be available to help participants navigate the learning stations, with themes ranging from alpacas to food safety to veterinary medicine.

Detectives who visit at least 15 learning stations will be eligible to win one year of free Turkey Hill ice cream. The winner will be determined by a random drawing.

"The Farm Show is huge and can be overwhelming for parents with small children," said Armacost. "(Farm Show Detectives) is a great way to get full educational value out of your visit."

- ASHLEY MAY,
FlipSide staff

Learning

Learning station themes include alpacas, apples, beef and veal, bees and honey, beetles, biomass, dairy, dogs, edible nuts, environment, farm equipment, farmland preservation, food safety, goats, horses, local food, logging horses, maple, mushrooms, pigs poultry, rabbits, sheep, veggies and veterinary medicine.