HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Thursday, the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show honored veterans, military personal and their families during a special annual theme day. The day began with Morgan Nix of Cumberland County, the daughter of a deployed Army officer, singing the National Anthem in the Farm Show lobby at 8 a.m.
Then, the day kicked off with a special ceremony recognizing servicemembers, including another rendition of the National Anthem sung by the “Singing Sullivans,” Sgt. Sean Sullivan and Staff Sgt. Tanna Sullivan of the 28th Division Band.
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Anthony J. Carrelli, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, surprised Dr. Scott Sheely, Special Assistant for Workforce Development, with a Pennsylvania Accommodation Medal, honoring his commitment to Pennsylvania military service members and veterans.
A keynote speech by Rhonda J. Smith, M.S., USAF veteran, praised the values she learned from her Pennsylvania upbringing and service in the armed forces. Her company, The Skirted Soldier, specializes in artisan loose leaf tea and donates 10 percent of its proceeds to female veteran organizations.
“I started the business to reconnect with the military/veteran system and to support female veterans,” Smith said. “I have always felt a disconnect since my honorable discharge and have been planning a business to give back and support others.”
After the event, the Brass Quintet of the 553rd Air National Guard Band played various armed service branches anthems.
Other military and veteran themed events, like the Army Navy Cookoff, were held later in the day and can be found on the Farm Show Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to our capital city every year for a mid-winter celebration of Pennsylvania agriculture. It is the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the nation, featuring nearly 12,000 competitive exhibits, including more than 5,200 animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibits and hundreds of educational, entertaining events. Visitors get a peek into the industry that employs nearly half a million people and contributes $135.7 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy every year.
For more information about the 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Show, visit farmshow.pa.gov.
— Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture