Informative presentations await Ag Progress Days visitors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A series of informative, authoritative presentations about agricultural topics will be offered in the College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building theater during the 2013 edition of Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 13-15.

Located on Main Street between East Ninth and East 10th streets on the Ag Progress Days site, the building's offerings will emphasize the diversity of the college's teaching, research and extension programs.

Presentations in the building's theater will feature such topics as stink-bug infestations, animal science and water-quality issues, among others, given by leading extension specialists in the field. (A schedule of the presentations follows.)

Full descriptions of the theatre presentations are available here.

The College Exhibits Building also will focus on educational opportunities and careers in agriculture. There are more job openings in agriculture and related fields each year than qualified graduates to fill them, according to Marianne Fivek, student recruitment coordinator.

She invites people to visit to learn about the College of Agricultural Sciences' academic programs in the animal, biomedical, plant, environmental, natural resource, food and social sciences, as well as in agricultural business and biological engineering.

"With 17 majors, 24 minors and about $2 million in scholarships available, the college has considerable diversity in its academic programs and many educational and life-changing opportunities to offer prospective students," she said.

Fivek noted that faculty and staff will be available to answer questions and provide information to prospective students and their families. "We'll give them a good idea where an education in the agricultural sciences can take them."

Also in the College Exhibits Building, Penn State Master Gardeners will be available to enroll visitors in the Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification program, which teaches homeowners and gardeners to certify their landscapes as pollinator-friendly.

The certification includes such skills as planting a year-round native garden of diverse and abundant plants, maintaining a parcel of wild and undisturbed vegetation, installing bee nests and minimizing pesticide use.

Visitors to Ag Progress Days who sign up to complete the four-step certification process (which carries a $10 fee) will be eligible to purchase a pollinator-friendly sign for their property. Master Gardeners also will answer any questions about horticulture and gardening in general.

Those with questions about animal diseases also can come to the College Exhibits Building to speak with representatives of Penn State's Animal Diagnostics Laboratory, which is one of three labs in the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostics Laboratory System.

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. Aug. 13; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 14; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15. 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 #agprogress, and Facebook users can find the event here.

The schedule of theatre presentations:

Tuesday, Aug. 13
-- 10 a.m.: "Attack of the Stink Bugs: What They Are: Where They Came From."
-- 11 a.m.: "Managing Your Farm Pond."
-- 12:30 p.m.: "Animal Welfare: What Is It All About."
-- 1:30 p.m.: "Who Are Penn State Master Gardeners: An Overview of the Volunteer Program."
-- 2 p.m.: "On-Farm Animal Composting."
-- 2:45 p.m.: "Backyard Chicken Flock Care Basics."

Wednesday, Aug. 14
-- 10 a.m.: House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Public Hearing
-- 12:30 p.m.: "Drinking Water Quality for Dairy Herds in Pennsylvania."
-- 1:30 p.m.: "Native Plant Palettes."
-- 2 p.m.: "On-Farm Animal Composting."
-- 2:45 p.m.: "Manure Gas Issues: Concerns With Gypsum Bedding and Hydrogen Sulfide Production."

Thursday, Aug. 15
-- 10 a.m.: "Brown Marmorated Stink Bug -- Three Years Later."
-- 11 a.m.: "A Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater: How to Develop a Stormwater Plan for Your Property."
-- 1 p.m.: "Dairy Cents Mobile App Pro: Connecting Precision Feeding, Economics, and the Environment for Your Dairy Operation."
-- 1:30 p.m.: "No-Till Gardening."

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Last Updated July 26, 2013