UNIVERSITY PARK — Everything agriculture and more can be found at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, which kicks off Aug. 14 and continues through Aug. 16 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs in Ferguson Township, Centre County.
The event, one of the largest agricultural expos in the East, features 500 commercial and educational exhibits, crop displays, machinery demonstrations, guided research tours, family and youth activities, horse exhibitions, workshops, and the Pasto Agricultural Museum.
There also are many food vendors — primarily local community groups and state commodity organizations — offering hot sandwiches, lemonade, ice cream and other Pennsylvania fare.
The event typically attracts as many as 45,000 visitors from across Pennsylvania and beyond — an estimated 60 percent of whom are directly or indirectly involved in agricultural production — to get a glimpse into the science and business of agriculture.
Jesse Darlington, Ag Progress Days manager, believes everyone can benefit from attending the show, even if they are not directly connected to agriculture or related industries.
“Ag Progress Days has something for everyone, from educational activities for adults, children and families to commercial vendors, machinery demonstrations and crop exhibits to provide agricultural producers with valuable knowledge to improve their operations,” he said. “We encourage all to attend and learn about agriculture and the research being done at Penn State.”
To make the most of Ag Progress Days, it is helpful to know some of the major demonstrations and activities that are available:
College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building
The looming threat posed by the invasive spotted lanternfly will take center stage in the College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building and Theatre. The pest threatens Pennsylvania’s grape, tree fruit, hardwood and nursery industries, which collectively are worth about $18 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.