UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Governmental officials and industry representatives will join academic leaders and experts to discuss a wide range of issues and policies affecting Pennsylvania agriculture during several events at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug.9-11.
The annual expo draws as many as 50,000 agricultural producers, consumers and families from around the state for displays, workshops, tours and demonstrations. A variety of planned events and exhibits will feature representatives from state and federal agencies, state legislators and cabinet officials, and a federal lawmaker. Scheduled events include the following:
— College Connections: Town Hall Discussion on Pennsylvania Agriculture, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Red Barn Annex and via webinar.
In this session, part of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences’ “College Connections” webinar series, Dean Rick Roush and Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding will discuss the current state of Pennsylvania agriculture, including emerging issues and opportunities. A question-and-answer session will take place after opening remarks. There will be limited space for a live audience, and those planning to attend online should register for the webinar to receive the link.
— Transitioning Ag Businesses: Positioning for the Future, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 1-2:30 p.m., Red Barn Annex and via webinar.
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, this session will feature state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Rick Roush, Pennsylvania ag producers, Penn State Extension specialists and other experts who will highlight strategies and considerations for new and beginning farmers, resources available to ease transition, and opportunities to grow support for their businesses. Topics may include the state’s beginning farmer tax credit, transition planning to preserve farming and urban farmer apprenticeship programs, among others. There will be limited space for a live audience. The session also can be accessed online, with no registration required.
— Joint Informational Meeting of the Pennsylvania House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m.-noon, Red Barn Annex.
This session is open to the public.
— Update from U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, ranking Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2-3:30 p.m., College Exhibits Building Theater.
Glenn “GT” Thompson, congressman representing Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District, will provide the latest updates from Washington and highlight solutions the House Ag Committee is developing to address issues facing farmers. This session will include a question and answer period.
Elsewhere on the grounds, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Building will house exhibits and presentations covering several state initiatives, such as programs in animal and plant health, food assistance, food safety, farmland preservation, PA Preferred and urban farming.
In addition, other exhibit areas will afford visitors opportunities to learn about governmental services and programs that may help them address production or economic challenges. Among state and federal agencies represented at the event will be the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; the state Department of Environmental Protection; the Pennsylvania Game Commission; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Farm Service Agency and National Agricultural Statistics Service.
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).
–Chuck Gill, Penn State University