Energy a focus at Penn State's Ag Progress Days

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Energy -- be it solar, wind, biofuels from plants or natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale -- again will be a focus at Ag Progress Days, Aug. 14-16.

New this year is the Renewable Energy Showcase, a series of presentations on energy resources and conservation practices, to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 14, in the Learning Center Tent at Main and East 9th streets (below the Pasto Museum).

"These will be short, informative presentations by industry experts and Penn State Extension energy specialists," said Ed Johnstonbaugh, extension educator, who is coordinating the showcase. "The topics will focus on conservation, solar and wind energy, and biogas and biomass energy. We have a great lineup of educational and thought-provoking presentations."

Topics will be presented all three days at the following times:

Noon -- Conservation
--Travel Adventures on a Solar-Powered Canal Boat
--Energy Efficiency and Conservation to Lower Costs
--Southwest Pa. Renewable Energy Incubator Project Update

1 p.m. -- Solar and Wind Energy
--Solar Energy 101, Financing Options, System Design, and Combination Benefits
--Why Wind? Developing the Partnerships

2:15 p.m. -- Biogas and Biomass Energy
--Manure Cures: Benefits of Biogas
--Switchgrass Pellets for Fuel
--Warm Season Grasses as Bioenergy Crops and for Environmental Benefits
--Woody Crops as Biomass Energy Resources

Ag Progress Days visitors also will have the opportunity to talk with commercial exhibitors involved in alternative-energy opportunities and conservation in the Energy Conservation Area on West 9th Street.

In addition, energy crops and biofuels will be the subject of an exhibit in the new Joseph D. Harrington Crops, Soils, and Conservation Building at the end of East 5th Street. Information will be available about several varieties of plants that can be grown by farmers in the Northeast and converted into energy.

"Our team is working to develop bioenergy cropping systems that provide value-added co-products and soil-conservation benefits in addition to bioenergy," said Dan Ciolkosz, extension associate who specializes in energy crops. "This work will be on display at Ag Progress Days."

Show attendees also can collect fact-based and timely information on issues related to Marcellus Shale exploration, leasing and drilling from Penn State extension educators and commercial vendors at the Marcellus Center on West 10th Street.

"The development of the Marcellus Shale has impacted the agricultural community in many ways," said Tom Murphy, extension educator and co-director of Penn State's Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research.

"Our focus this year at Ag Progress Days will be to present science-based information on topics ranging from the latest research on industry workforce development to remediation techniques after pipeline installation, and many other related subjects in between."

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, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website at http://apd.psu.edu. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogress.

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Last Updated August 06, 2012