Hay competition, conservation education among Ag Progress Days offerings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A hay competition, natural resources displays, wildlife exhibits, and crop management education are just a few of the many activities that will take place in and around the J.D. Harrington Crops, Soils and Conservation Building during Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 15-17.

"We're looking forward to another exciting Ag Progress Days," said Jessica Williamson, Penn State Extension forage crop specialist and Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council executive vice president. "From educational displays about conservation and sustainability efforts to our signature Hay Show, there is so much for people to see and learn."

The 2017 Pennsylvania Hay Show, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council, will be held in the Harrington Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Williamson said classes have been added to showcase the diversity of hay grown in Pennsylvania and expand the educational value of the show. Another enhancement — larger premiums for class winners.

"Ag Progress Days is a great place for some of the best hay made in Pennsylvania to be showcased," Williamson said. "The changes to the competition were made with Pennsylvania hay producers in mind — we hope to have a positive outcome, affording producers the opportunity to enter more samples in more classes." 

Samples for entry in the competition must have been grown in Pennsylvania in 2017 by the exhibitor. Entries officially close at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15. A complete listing of rules and classes, as well as a registration form, can be found online at http://psu.ag/2vd8yrc.

Specialists from Penn State and other organizations also will be on hand during the three-day expo to answer questions about crop production, weed identification, and biofuel feedstocks. Visitors can ask questions about crop and nutrient management, no-till practices, organic farming, and sustainable agriculture — and even bring a weed for experts to identify.

Crop and conservation topics also will be featured in other areas of the Ag Progress Days site. Tours focused on managing deer and other wildlife as part of a quality deer management system will leave daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., while a tour on short rotation woody crops for biomass will depart daily at 11 a.m. All tours will leave from the corn crib at the top of Main Street.

In addition, adjacent to the Harrington Building, A-Maze-N-Corn — a family favorite since 2000 — gives children and adults the chance to wander a giant corn maze, which is stroller and wheelchair accessible.

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. on Aug. 15; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 16; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 17. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can share information about the event using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and Facebook users can find the event at http://www.facebook.com/AgProgressDays. 

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Last Updated July 19, 2017