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The York County Agricultural Society (YCAS) and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) have announced the exploration of a potential partnership that would bring a state-of-the-art agricultural research, education, and demonstration site to the York Fairgrounds.  The potential partnership will enable the YCAS to strengthen its level of support in its agricultural mission. This will help grow and evolve the York State Fair and York Expo Center and ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the YCAS.

The project holds the potential to become a national model for educating the future farmers of our community while providing physical demonstrations and tangible examples of how emerging technologies can be used to increase yield and profitability on the farm while improving the use of natural resources. The planned partnership presents opportunities to involve internationally recognized organizations that will bring significant resources to the project.

Harrisburg University (HU) has made robust commitments to agricultural technology through interdisciplinary research initiatives, cutting-edge programs, and strategic partnerships. Through the Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability (CAAS), HU furthers this work by integrating science, technology, and agriculture, with hands-on and locally relevant experiences such as those being considered for the YCAS partnership.

Ian Kanski, director of CAAS, notes the importance of local partnerships like that being developed with YCAS: “Our mission at CAAS is to support innovation that benefits both the economic and environmental sustainability of food and agriculture sectors — while also providing the support and training to better equip existing farmers and the next generation. We need strong regional partnerships, like this one, to succeed in this work, and I am grateful to the leadership of YCAS for this invitation to cooperate in securing the future for both our farming communities and the natural ecosystems that sustain us all.”

Bella Fix, Board Chair of the YCAS, emphasizes the importance of industry partnerships: “The YCAS Board of Directors sees this as a unique opportunity to work with agricultural industry leaders by leveraging the significant assets we have at the York Fairgrounds. This location combined with our connections to the local agricultural industry, puts YCAS in a position to be a leader in agricultural education and research.”

Patrick Ball, Interim CEO of the YCAS confirmed: “The potential partnership will enable the YCAS to strengthen the level of support of its agricultural mission, growing and evolving the York State Fair/York Expo Center and ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the YCAS. We are excited by what this could mean to the YCAS, the York State Fair, and the broader York County community.”


In 1853, a group of prominent York County agricultural leaders formed the York County Agricultural Society for the purpose of overseeing the York Fair which dates to 1765. As the Society continued its promotion of the fair through its agricultural achievement with its exhibits and livestock, the event grew into something larger. In 1888, The Society purchased a 73-acre property creating the York Fairgrounds, which eventually expanded to what is now home to the York State Fair/York Expo Center.


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