Celebrating National Farmer’s Day, The GIANT Company and the PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation unveiled the PA Farms to Families Immersion Lab at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa. The mobile immersion lab connects families to four Pennsylvania farms and the farm-to-table process, facilitating hands-on learning experiences and authentic food connections.
“The PA Farms to Families Immersion Lab is part of The GIANT Company’s commitment to connecting families to a better future,” said Dave Lessard, vice president, omnichannel merchandising, fresh, The GIANT Company. “The lab connects families to the farmers producing their food through an immersive, hands-on learning experience. It also pays tribute to the farmers who make our work possible. Together, we help families gather around the table, and we hope the immersion lab inspires the next generation of farmers and food system leaders.”
The immersion lab showcases BrightFarms, a hydroponic greenhouse; Buona Foods, a mushroom farm; Lazy Hog Farm, a swine operation; and Painterland Sisters, a dairy farm and yogurt processor, featuring their on-farm production and environmental practices that bring foods from field to plate. Guests can experience driving a tractor through a virtual reality corn field, quiz their knowledge of common fruits and vegetables, practice building a balanced meal with Pennsylvania-grown foods, and explore growing career opportunities in food and agriculture.
The GIANT Company sponsored the PA Farms to Families Immersion Lab in partnership with the PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation, a charitable organization supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The immersion lab will hit the road this fall, visiting school and community events across Pennsylvania.
“The immersion lab powered by GIANT helps the PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation expand the reach of its mission – Planting Seeds. Cultivating Knowledge. Harvesting an Understanding of Agriculture,” said Rick Ebert, president, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; chair, PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation. “Consumers enjoy three meals a day, but many do not understand the process of bringing food from farm to table. The immersion lab serves as a connector, helping consumers better understand the process of food and agriculture and the role they play in our daily lives.”
“Being included in the immersion lab is chance for us to tell our story,” said Stephanie Painter, co-founder, Painterland Sisters. “Painterland Sisters is a fourth-generation organic dairy and crop family farm. We are proud to connect consumers to the direct source of their food: the farmer. Our yogurt, and partnerships like the immersion lab, are the conduits for a greater purpose, educating consumers and their families on the importance of agriculture, environmental sustainability, local food systems, and dairy in our diet.”
National Farmer’s Day was on October 12. It recognizes the integral role farmers play in bringing food from farm to table each year.