by Jon M. Casey
This year’s Ag Progress Days (APD), held Aug. 12-14 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Rock Springs, PA, proved to be just as interesting, exciting and educational as always. Despite steady rainfall on Tuesday and brief showers early on Wednesday, “Government Day,” many of the more than 400 exhibitors found that this year’s rainy start didn’t deter farmers from taking advantage of these conditions to come explore the latest in technology and methods. Even with the rain, indoor exhibitors reported a steady stream of activity most of the day on Tuesday.
With weather improving on Wednesday, and Thursday turning out to be sunny and beautiful, crowds returned to customary levels with Thursday’s attendance possibly larger than in most recent years. For the lunch crowd, food prepared by local organizations and Ag groups, was tasty as always, with the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association serving their famous and popular prime rib sandwiches from a new permanent structure.
The new shelter was built on a concrete slab for safer and drier footing and equipped with electrical power. Crowd response was excellent, with two and sometimes more lines stretching well out into Main Street. As always, the food was worth the wait.
Demonstrations and educational tours were well attended, with people gathering for hay management sessions that included comparisons of cutting, raking and baling techniques among several equipment manufacturers. Ag groups and livestock associations like 4-H, FFA and Penn State Extension offered training sessions on important subjects ranging from farm safety and health issues to gardening and meal preparation.
Other educational tours included sessions on biomass crop production, high tunnel research, soybean growing, deer management and research, and woodlot and riparian buffer management among other topics. Theater presentations in the College Exhibits building and Equine presentations in the Main Horse Arena ran from early morning until mid to late afternoon each day. For those in the farming community who attended APD 2014, there was indeed something for everyone.
Planning to attend Ag Progress Days 2015? Be sure to mark your calendars for Aug. 18-20 so you won’t miss it!
Ag Progress Days 2014 delivers despite rainy weather
by Jon M. Casey