Pasto Ag Museum to feature horse-powered hay press at Ag Progress Days

July 24, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The demonstration of the Pasto Agricultural Museum's 1905 Panama O.K. Hay Press will highlight the historical facility's offerings at Ag Progress Days, set for Aug. 13-15.

The animal-powered, stationary hay press was manufactured in 1905 in Kansas City and was one of the early success stories of a machine for compressing hay, according to Rita Graef, curator of the Pasto Museum. She noted that the O.K. hay press has been demonstrated at several previous Ag Progress Days and has proven to be a popular attraction. 

Weather permitting, show attendees will find it at the top of Main Street, just west of the museum on the Ag Progress Days site. Demonstrations will be conducted during the show, including at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14; and 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15.

The Pasto Museum's exhibits, programs, demonstrations and tours provide an understanding of local and regional history, where food comes from, and the inventions and technology that have made food production possible on a large scale. 

"The museum collection focuses on what life was like and how work was done before gasoline engines and rural electrification," Graef said. "Programs immerse visitors in thinking about our food and fiber systems and natural resources. Highlighting current research and practice, the museum provides a forum for exploring important issues facing agriculture and the environment."

The museum will be open during Ag Progress Days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 14, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 15.

The Pasto Agricultural Museum is open from March to December on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment and for special programming. To learn more, go to

Silent auction helps bring agricultural history to life

Donors and bidders to the museum's annual silent auction during Ag Progress Days make it possible for the facility to connect the science and history of agriculture to the present day for 10,000 museum visitors annually. Silent auction donations will be accepted until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13. Bidding closes at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Proceeds directly support Pasto Agricultural Museum intergenerational programming.

Like every year, the Pasto Museum is seeking donors, bidders and buyers for its silent auction, Graef pointed out.

"Our auction needs donations of antiques and collectibles, Penn State gear and event tickets, and agricultural and garden tools and implements," she said. "Generous bidders will help us raise funds to implement needed new technology into our exhibits."

Because permanent exhibits in the Pasto Museum have expanded, the silent auction will be held this year in a new program space created inside the museum, near the barn exhibit. 

"Help us reach our goal of raising at least $6,000 with items valued at $50 or more with your individual contribution, or $100 for commercial donors," Graef said. "We'll showcase the auction with special items that will catch most everyone's attention. A large 'buy it now' section will allow Tuesday attendees to purchase items without needing to return Wednesday."

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. 13; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 14; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 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 #agprogressdays, and the event also can be found on Facebook.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 24, 2019