UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Ag Progress Days will once again show the many faces of agriculture, bringing together people with a wide range of perspectives on the production of food, fuel and fiber.
This year’s expo will feature several new or special attractions:
The Renewable Energy Showcase, a series of presentations on energy resources and conservation practices, will be held Aug. 14, in the Learning Center Tent at Main and East 9th streets. Short presentations by experts will focus on conservation, solar and wind energy, and biogas and biomass energy.
The Crops and Soils Tent is replaced by a Crops, Soils and Conservation Building. The new Joseph D. Harrington Building will serve as home to exhibits and activities highlighting conservation and crop management. In and around the new building, displays on crops, pests, nutrient management, no-till agriculture, woodlot and forest management, deer and wildlife management, renewable energy and biofuels, sustainable agriculture, and organic farming will be featured.
The focal point at the 4-H Youth Building is the 4-H robotics program. The building will showcase several robots, including one that shoots basketballs.
A pollinator garden has been planted at the Lawn and Garden Area to show plants that support native beneficial insects. A tour will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday. Handicapped-accessible raised beds also will be on display.
College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building will feature the science of reproduction, using animals as a guide. At this hands-on exhibit, visitors will be able to isolate DNA and learn how meiosis generates animal variation. Theatre presentations will cover stink-bug infestations, strategies for longevity in the dairy business, immunization protocols and how to make them more effective for livestock, protecting water supplies from natural-gas drilling, and on-farm animal composting, among others.
Mini golf, in the Family Room, will have a new focus and name: Man v. Rodent. The theme highlights new Environmental Protection Agency rodenticide regulations aimed at keeping children, pets and wildlife safer.
Popular features returning to Ag Progress Days include:
If You Think You Know the College of Ag Sciences, Think AGain: Learn about careers in agriculture and related fields.
Marcellus Shale Center: Talk with Penn State specialists and commercial vendors about renewable and alternative energy options for your home or business. (West 10th Street)
Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation: Learn about the history of the American chestnut and the foundation’s breeding program aimed at restoring the tree to the forests. Take a wagon tour of the American chestnut orchards.
Research and Conservation Tours. Free bus and walking tours of the 2,000-acre Larson Agricultural Research Center.
Children’s and family activities. The 4-H Youth Building will feature interactive, science-based exhibits and other activities. At the Kid’s Climb, children can safely climb a tree like a professional arborist with ropes and harnesses. Families can find fun and “infotainment” in a 1-acre corn maze. Shavers’ Creek Environmental Center will offer demonstrations with live wildlife.
Machinery and equipment demonstrations: A new field demonstration this year will feature a blast sprayer demonstration in the Farm Safety Demonstration Area. New equipment used in planting and overseeding of cover crops also will be on display.
The Equine Experience. Horse breed and handling demonstrations, draft-horse and drill-team exhibitions and other events will be featured. The Equine Exhibits Building and the Equine Learning Center will host exhibits, workshops and seminars on various horse-health and management topics.
Farm safety demonstrations: Specialists will demonstrate ATV safety on a special course and conduct farm accident rescue simulations involving agricultural equipment, including a demonstration of emergency scene stabilization and patient-extrication techniques.
Pasto Agricultural Museum. The recently enlarged and renovated Pasto Agricultural Museum will provide visitors with a glimpse into farming’s past. Haymaking demonstrations will be presented during this year’s event.
See a schedule here.