Food court vendor pulls out of farm show amid virus concerns

The Associated Press
In this file photo, siblings Conner, 13, and Lindsey Grim, 10, of Shady Dell Farm in Dover Township, groom one of their farm's heifers at the 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

HARRISBURG — At least one food court vendor has announced that it is pulling out of the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show citing concerns about the health of farmers and volunteers amid a rise in COVID-19 infection rates.

PennLive.com reports that PennAg Industries Association said in a statement to members that it will not host its food court booth, one of the largest at the event.

PennAg Industries cited anticipated spikes in illness, shortages of staff and space at medical facilities, and the enclosed Farm Show environment. The organization relies on about 400 people to run the booth throughout the week.

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Officials said the decision “has weighed heavily on the minds of the PennAg Board of Directors and staff for weeks, as to how we could host the booth productively and efficiently, while mitigating health risks.”

The eight-day Farm Show begins Jan. 7 and celebrates the state’s agriculture industry. The in-person event was canceled in 2021 with a virtual-only format. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has said it is moving forward with plans to host the 2022 show although lower attendance is expected than in past years.