Barbara Christ knows how it sounds, but she can’t help saying it anyway.
“It sounds cliche to say that an event has something for everyone, but we believe that’s true with Ag Progress Days,” said Christ, interim dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
“After all, we all have to eat, and the chance to learn about science, technology and methods that lead to our wide variety of abundant food makes this event relevant to everybody,” she said in a statement.
Whether you are a farmer, gardener, conservationist or food lover, Ag Progress Days are for you, according to Penn State.
Maybe that’s because nearly 500 vendors pack in for the three-day event, hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences.
This year the event runs from Tuesday to Thursday at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center off state Route 45 near Rock Springs.
As many as 50,000 visitors are expected. And while up to 60 percent of them are directly or indirectly involved in agricultural production, the event is not just about farmers, organizers said.
There are hands-on activities for children, designed to show them science can be fun. Educational exhibits for children feature everything from insects to robots.
“Young people can find out about the great opportunities 4-H has to offer in science, engineering, technology, citizenship, leadership and healthy living,” said Mya Rushton, Penn State Extension 4-H teen program manager. “We can offer fun, games, activities and prizes for all youth visitors who participate.”
Older kids, too, should have plenty to do.
History lovers, for example, can explore hands-on activities at the Pasto Agricultural Museum that will drop them back in the agricultural past — grinding grain and peeling apples the old-fashioned way, organizers said.
“At the museum, we connect the science, inventions and agricultural history to the present day, and our past comes alive as we share how things worked and how work got done,” curator Rita Graef said in a statement. “We help visitors understand what life and work was like 100 to 200 years ago.
There are also a number of workshops and presentations.
Presentations range from energy conservation, shale-energy development, on-farm renewable-energy sources and smart energy-buying practices to what’s new in agriculture, insights on animal and poultry handling and managing ponds, said Bob Oberheim, Ag Progress Days manager.
“By taking as little as 30 minutes of your time, you can learn something that might help you increase your farm’s profitability, take advantage of energy-related opportunities, enhance the enjoyment of your lawn and landscape or protect the quality and safety of our water resources,” he said.