Penn State's 44th Ag Progress Days opens Tuesday, the 14th, showing the many faces of agriculture's food, fuel and fiber production. Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College, Pa., on Route 45.
"We're confident that we'll top last year's record with about 450 commercial exhibitors this year," says Show Manager Bob Oberheim. "Our show-and-tell program is being expanded to tractors." Here's a quick look at some of the show's new elements:
- A new touch of entertainment will be added to Ag Progress Day's research and education theme. A Mid-Atlantic antique tractor super-pull runs on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Renewable Energy Showcase, a series of presentations on energy resources and conservation practices, will be held tomorrow in the Learning Center Tent at Main and East 9th streets. Short, informative presentations by industry experts and Penn State Extension energy specialists will focus on conservation, solar and wind energy, and biogas and biomass energy.
- The Crops and Soils Tent is gone, but replaced by a Crops, Soils and Conservation Building. In and around the new building, a variety of organizations and Penn State departments will feature 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.
- The 4-H Youth Building has gone robotic. 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.
- Mini golf, an old standby in the Family Room, will have a new focus: Man vs Rodent. When you come to play the three-hole golf course, you'll learn the importance of eliminating rodents, methods for controlling them through integrated pest management.
Ag Progress Days show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.
Also among this year's expanded lineup of Ag Progress Days exhibitors will be Christian Farmers Outreach with their "walking sticks", wristbands and inspirational message.
APD hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the website at http://apd.psu.edu. Or Twitter it with the hashtag #agprogress.