Mini golf, food demos, robot featured at Ag Progress Days Family Room

July 12, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Food demonstrations, mini golf, child identification kits and a robot all will be showcased in the Family Room building at the 2012 Ag Progress Days.

Christina Becker, extension associate for Penn State's Pesticide Education Program and coordinator of the Family Room, said that each activity follows a central theme.

"The Family Room again will be filled with family-oriented exhibitors," she said. "This year, we are focusing on family health and safety with fun and interactive displays."

Mini golf, an old standby in the Family Room, will have a new focus, theme and name this year: Man v. Rodent.

"This year's theme is about the new rodenticide changes the Environmental Protection Agency has made to keep children, pets and nontarget wildlife safer," Becker explained. "It will teach kids something that's happening with products right now."

When visitors come to play golf at the three holes, they will learn the importance of eliminating rodents, methods for controlling rodent pests through integrated pest management, and safety with rodent bait. They also will see the new packaging some rodent-bait companies have developed to meet the new requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Another new exhibit, titled, "Make an ID Kit for Your Child," will be hosted by the Penn State University Police. The exhibit will feature a child-identification and fingerprinting program that will include DNA sampling. Police officers will be present to fingerprint and speak with children and parents.

The finalist posters in the Poison Prevention Poster Contest, sponsored by the Penn State Pesticide Education Program, also will be featured. During Pesticide Education Month in March, students in grades K-8 submitted posters addressing poison prevention. Program staff chose finalists in May, and Ag Progress Days visitors can vote to choose the contest winners.

While at the Family Room, visitors can visit with DB Pest, a robot that will be wandering around the building.

Penn State Extension's Nutrition Links program will conduct food demonstrations showcasing nutritious and convenient recipes, and Penn State faculty members, Extension educators and volunteers will offer healthy-eating tips throughout the three days. The program also will provide visitors with water naturally flavored with fruit.

USDA's new My Plate, which is the descendent of the Food Pyramid and guides consumers toward healthy eating, will be featured prominently in the food demonstrations.

The demonstration times and topics are:

Tuesday, Aug. 14
10 a.m., 2 p.m. -- Food Preservation
11 a.m., 1 p.m. -- Rush Hour Breakfast
Noon -- Family Fish Favorites
3 p.m. -- Whole Grains and Go Nuts

Wednesday, Aug. 15

10 a.m. -- Sukuyki: An Easy Way to Use Veggies
11 a.m. -- Whole Grains and Go Nuts
Noon -- Cooking with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
1 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. -- Summer Salads
3 p.m. -- Delicious Ways to Fix Veggies

Thursday, Aug. 16

10 a.m. -- Dining with Diabetes -- Recipes for the Entire Family
11 a.m. -- Cooking and Seasoning with Herbs
Noon -- Summer Salads

In addition, an exhibit called "Carbohydrates Count" will focus on keeping track of carbohydrates intake in the daily diet, a practice that can help control and possibly prevent diabetes.

The Family Room is located on Main Street between West 8th and 9th Streets.

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. 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 Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogress.

  • Food demonstrations are, perhaps, the most popular attractions presented in the Family Room at Ag Progress Days.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 16, 2012