Ag Progress Days, Part I

Posted by PennStateGrassroots on August 18, 2009 

Today I went to the Alumni Day lunch at Ag Progress Days, the annual event held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, about nine miles southwest of State College.

Ag Progress Days is the state's largest outdoor agricultural exposition. The Alumni Day lunch includes an annual meeting of the College of Agricultural Science's alumni society and a report on the college's doings.

While there I caught up to Les Firth, a Penn State alum, working farmer, former county extension agent, longtime agricultural advocate, very active volunteer for the Penn State Grassroots Network, and chair of Alumni Council's legislative education and advocacy committee. (Each Alumni Association unit has an advisory committee; the committee Les chairs advises me in my work as director of the Grassroots Network.)

Over lunch, Les and I talked a little about the ongoing budget impasse and other legislative issues affecting Penn State. He introduced me to state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-7 (Mercer County), who represents the district Les and his wife Elaine live in.

After the lunch broke up, I ran into Les again at the newly expanded Pasto Agricultural Museum. which has an extensive collection of historic farm and home artifacts (like a butter churn designed to be powered by a dog walking on a treadmill). Les is a longtime supporter of the museum.

There Les was talking to state Sen. Robert D. Robbins, R-50 (Butler, Crawford, Lawrtence, Mercer counties). Again, Les is Sen. Robbins' constituent.

(Thunderstorm past. Now to rest of blog entry.)

While they were talking, a camera crew was following them around. I don't know what news organization it was, but I guess Les and Sen. Robbins are going to be on the news somewhere in the state. Here's a photo I took of the two of them.

blog post photo
Les Firth, at left, and state Sen. Robert D. Robbins

Well, that's about it. I'll just make one final point: Les has gotten to know his legislators well on a personal level, and that's what makes him an effective advocate for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State as a whole.

Alan Janesch
Director, Penn State Grassroots Network

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