UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — From raising livestock to programming robots, 4-H offers a learning experience for everyone, and the 4-H Youth Building at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug. 9-11, will introduce kids of all ages to the many facets of 4-H, according to organizers in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Parents and children can learn about various 4-H programs with hands-on activities and demonstrations in the 4-H Youth Building. Activities will include exploring plant diseases under a microscope, meeting rabbits and testing dairy knowledge.
The 4-H Youth Building is located behind the Family Room on Main Street, between West Eighth and West Ninth streets at the Ag Progress Days site. Displays and exhibitors at the Youth Building during all three days of the expo will include the following:
— Pennsylvania 4-H: Visitors can learn about the state 4-H program and the environmental science, shooting sports and camping activities featured this year.
— Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Promotion: This exhibit introduces visitors to local and state dairy royalty. Visitors can learn about dairy nutrition and the differences between real dairy and imitation dairy food products.
— Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association: In this exhibit, breeders will share their rabbit hobby with visitors and discuss uses of rabbits throughout the state.
— Plants Get Sick, Too: This display, sponsored by Penn State’s Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, will offer hands-on activities for youth to examine forest fungi, cultivated mushrooms and plants that are “sick” with common plant diseases. Visitors can closely examine the materials through microscopes and magnifying glasses.
Other Ag Progress Days attractions for youth and families will take place throughout the grounds:
— Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center wildlife tent. Located near the 4-H Youth Building, this exhibit will feature live animals and presentations on wildlife including turtles, birds of prey, snakes, amphibians and insects.
— Butterfly tent. Visitors can walk through a large outdoor screen house with informational displays and live butterflies. Pollinator plants and native species will be on display. The Penn State Department of Entomology sponsors this exhibit, which is in the Yard and Garden Area on 11th Street.
— Hands-on exhibits in the Pasto Agricultural Museum, on East Tenth Street across from the red barn, will give visitors a glimpse into farm and rural life before the widespread use of electricity and gas-powered equipment.
— Demonstrations on healthy eating and food safety will be offered at the Family Room building on Main Street.
— Sunflower maze. This new exhibit will highlight the national flower of Ukraine. Visitors can wander through a giant sunflower maze outside the Joseph D. Harrington Crops, Soils, and Conservation Building, at the end of East Fifth Street. The maze is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
— Equine Experience. Visitors can meet horses from Penn State’s equine science program and see a variety of demonstrations at this exhibit located at the top of Main Street.
Sponsored by Penn State’s 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 on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 9; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 10; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 11. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and the event also can be found on Facebook (@AgProgressDays).
–Alexandra McLaughlin, Penn State University