Ag Progress Days: A mid-August tradition
If it’s mid-August, it must be Ag Progress Days.
The annual event will take place this week from Aug. 15-17 on 150 acres of farmland at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs along state Route 45 in Ferguson Township.
What is Ag Progress Days? Well, it is one of the largest agricultural expositions in the East. The event features more than 500 commercial and educational exhibits. There are crop displays, machinery demonstrations, guided research tours, family and youth activities, horse exhibitions, workshops and the Pasto Ag Museum.
How big is the event? Well, the expo typically attracts more than 45,000 visitors from Pennsylvania. It is estimated that 60 percent of the visitors are directly involved in agricultural production. Ag Progress Days truly gives those attending a glimpse into the science and business of agriculture.
According to Jesse Darlington, the interim Ag Progress Days manager, there are a plethora of reasons to visit Ag Progress Days.
“Agriculture impacts all of us every day, from the food we eat to the fuel and fiber we use," he said. "We want to invite people to be more active participants in these processes, and come out and learn about agriculture in Pennsylvania and the research being done at Penn State. It's informative, but also fun, and a great way to involve children in learning more about things like health and safety, animals and science.”
Children of all ages will enjoy Ag Progress Days. The 4-H Youth Building will house several interactive exhibits and activities. Children can learn about 4-H programming in science, engineering, technology, citizenship, leadership and healthy living. They can find out how to get involved with 4-H, play with rabbits, see robotics demonstrations, and learn about farm and home safety and plant diseases
Several other activities aimed at children and their families can be found throughout the Ag Progress Days grounds. At the Kids’ Climb, children can don safety equipment and harnesses and climb a tree like a professional arborist; Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center will showcase turtles, snakes, birds of prey and amphibians. A corn maze will offer a fun way to learn facts about Pennsylvania agriculture. There will even be a pedal go kart derby where children can race.
Admission and parking to Ag Progress Days are free.