UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After Penn State’s 2020 Ag Progress Days was canceled and shifted to an entirely virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor agricultural expo is poised to return as an in-person event, Aug. 10-12 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, Centre County.
“Ag Progress Days is an important event to showcase the College of Agricultural Sciences‘ land-grant research and extension programs and to provide a forum for those involved in agriculture and natural resources to learn, exchange ideas, and see products and practices that can help grow their operations,” said Jesse Darlington, Ag Progress Days manager.
“It’s also a place for families, consumers and others to discover the science behind our food supply and enjoy fun, educational exhibits and activities,” he said. “With the risk of COVID falling significantly, we are pleased to have the opportunity once again to gather with our stakeholders and the public to recognize and celebrate Pennsylvania agriculture.”
Darlington said that, although COVID vaccines have greatly reduced case counts and led to a loosening of public health restrictions, Penn State still will require that Ag Progress Days visitors and exhibitors comply with any state, local or university mitigation measures that may be in effect at the time of the event. Visitors also may notice some adjustments to the interior layout and traffic flow as they make their way through buildings and tents at the site.
Darlington noted that as of mid-June, the number of registered Ag Progress Days exhibitors was running ahead of last year’s pace. The event typically features as many as 500 commercial and educational exhibits.
“We are grateful for the commercial exhibitors who stuck with us by rolling over their 2020 exhibit fees and committing to come back this year,” he said.
As in past years, Ag Progress Days will feature workshops and presentations, field machinery and farm safety demonstrations, horse exhibitions, family and youth activities, lawn and garden exhibits, the Pasto Agricultural Museum, a variety of food booths, and other attractions.
With the success of last year’s virtual event, Ag Progress Days organizers also are planning to live-stream some demonstrations and presentations from the site and to offer live webinars and recorded online content from Penn State Extension for visitors who are not able to attend.
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. 10; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 11; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 12. 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