Wheat threshing, axes, cow names, crumpets at Pasto Museum at Ag Progress Days

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pasto Agricultural Museum will be a busy place during Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 16-18, and all the activities relate to rural history.

Wheat-threshing demonstrations on a Champion threshing machine outside the museum will bring the history of early small grains harvest to life at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17, and at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18. The demonstrations will show how work on the farm was done using muscle and animal power.

The Axe Whisperer will be featured at the air-conditioned museum, located at the top of Main Street in the heart of the Ag Progress Days event, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday to share tales of early Pennsylvania woodsmen, as told to him by the historic axes in his collection. He will tell Join us to hear stories about the work of early logging and timber.

Pasto museum guest with axe whisperer

The Axe Whisperer will be featured at the Pasto Museum at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, during Ag Progress Days, to share tales of early Pennsylvania woodsmen, as told to him by the historic axes in his collection. He will tell stories about the work of early logging and timber.

Image: Penn State

Staff from the Centre Furnace Mansion will share some of the early history of the region and the founding of Penn State. Costumed interpreters will share the use of "everyday objects" of an earlier time inside the museum throughout the show.

And coffee and crumpets will be served from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday inside the museum. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the folks who help make the work of the Pasto Agricultural Museum and Ag Progress Days possible.

Be sure to put in a bid on Silent Auction items while you enjoy a sweet morsel and your morning coffee or tea, urged Rita Graef, Pasto Museum curator.

"The Silent Auction is our single biggest fundraiser, helping to support programming and exhibits that serve museum visitors," said Graef. "Funds raised in the 2016 Silent Auction have been earmarked for enhancing interactive exhibits and displays that connect our agricultural past to the present day. Auction donations are accepted through the Monday before Ag Progress Days. Please be generous with your auction donations and bids. Take home a little bit of history!" 

Also, in a slightly offbeat event, a naming contest for an interactive, life-sized fiberglass dairy cow will be held at the museum. During Ag Progress Days, the cow will be stationed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service exhibit to help interpret the agency's Pasture Management Project display.

"During the remainder of the year — when we are not so busy with Ag Progress Days visitors — she will pasture at the museum," Graef said. "A selfie station” will capture entries for our naming contest at APD and through the fall program season, and we'll announce her name at our Ice Cream Social at the museum in November."

Pasto auction pix

The Silent Auction is the museum's biggest fundraiser, helping to support programming and exhibits that serve museum visitors. Funds raised in the 2016 Silent Auction have been earmarked for enhancing interactive exhibits and displays that connect our agricultural past to the present day. Auction donations will be accepted through the Monday before Ag Progress Days.

Image: Penn State

History of Agriculture

The approximately 1,300 items in the Pasto Museum's collection are concentrated in the time period between 1775 and 1940, although the assemblage of objects spans 6,000 years, from 4,000 B.C. to the 1940s.

"Our emphasis is to provide visibility for technological developments in agriculture between 1775 and 1940," Graef said. "The mission of the Pasto Agricultural Museum is to provide the public with an understanding and appreciation for early agriculture and rural life, especially in Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States."

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. 16; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 17; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18. 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 Facebook users can find the event here.

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Last Updated August 15, 2016