Beekeepers, cow haircuts and NFL programs at this year’s Farm Show

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The Pennsylvania Farm Show has a lot more than food and livestock this year. We’re going to tell you about 3 things that caught our eye at this year’s show. The first was a program called Play 60. It’s part of a health campaign that was started by the National Football League.

At the Farm Show kids took part in the program by hitting a big yellow ball with drumsticks. The campaign encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes a day. The National Dairy Council partnered with the NFL and were handing out milk to kids after they hit the yellow balls.

Organizers say there are neurological benefits to staying in rhythm when drumming. But that’s not the only draw. “It’s also a great stress relief cause you’re just putting all of your energy into hitting the ball. And the kids love it! It’s easy to follow and the best part of the whole thing is that there is no age limit so we’ve had tons of adults come here and do it as well” said Andrea Muddiman who works with the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.

The second thing that caught our eye at the Farm Show was the honey extraction demonstration.

Most of us have tried honey, but few have harvested it. Beekeepers demonstrated how to do it by scraping the wax off of honey frames that had collected the honey. Then they put the frames into an extractor and spin it. The spinning separates the honey and it drains down to the bottom where they collect and bottle it.

The beekeepers say they have a lot of respect for the bees. Especially when it comes to how they move. “They have small sets of Velcro on them. If they hook them together those honey bees can fly up, down, forward or what I really like the most is the first time they leave a hive they will fly out backwards so they can find their way back to the hive” said beekeeper Cathy Vorisek.

The third thing that we found to be fascinating at the farm show was the cow haircuts.

Just like people, cows need a trim before a big event. The dairy cow judging competition starts this Friday at 8AM. Meaning the cows were getting their haircuts in time for the judging. It takes as long as 2 and a half hours to cut a cows hair. The farmers usually give them a top-line. Meaning they level out the back hair to make it look flat.

As for what takes home the blue ribbon… it’s got nothing to do with their color or spots. It’s all about body shape. Not too fat and not too skinny is what the judges look for. The farmers can develop a special bond between human and cow. “For us they are almost like pets. I mean they are also our living but they’re pets in a sense so yeah they are part of the family and you have your favorite ones and so forth” said Grant Campbell of ETC Farms.