Ag Progress Days 2017 was held August 15-17. In 2018, it will run August 14-16 and again will be at Penn State’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, Pennsylvania, research farms. Each year, it draws close to 500 exhibitors from 34 states and four Canadian provinces and tens of thousands of farmers.
Because the weather was hot and somewhat sultry at Ag Progress Days, a number of visitors were happy to grab a minute in the shade and discuss why they came and what they learned at the Show.
Ag Progress Days featured the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours. Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the event celebrates the forty-second year to be held at the. It is one of only three agricultural exhibitions in the country sponsored by a major University. With close to 500 exhibitors from 34 states and four Canadian provinces, FARMING heard some interesting comments:
George Biddle, Huntingdon County, was amazed at the size of the machinery on display — units he figures most local farmers could not use. “You’d have to have awful big headlands to turn them around,” he declared. So was he just kicking tires?
“Don’t kick the tires!” he laughed. “They are all shined up with tire black and you’ll come away a mess.”
Evan Schmidt of Alleghany County was impressed with Penn State’s Ag Mapping booth. “A few years ago, that mapping was sparse,” he recalled. “They have come a long way,” he continued, noting that the maps are of value for riparian planting, checking areas of potential nutrient runoff, and planning planting areas and livestock.
“The Ag Mapping gives a good look at erosion control and soil management,” Schmidt said. “It has lots of possibilities.”
“It is amazing to me how much equipment has changed since I started in this business in the late 1970s and early 1980s,” said Brian Weakland. He sees most of the changes as improvements throughout his 40 years of experience.
“With today’s equipment, there is no wasted time,” he said. “Every drop of fuel counts.”
Ron Dean, Venango County, was impressed by the self-propelled wood chipper on display. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he declared. As someone who uses wood for heating and to warm all of his domestic water, anything to make wood processing easier and faster catch Dean’s eye. However, he said the self-propelled unit was not in his budget this year.
“We come to Ag Progress Days every year,” said Mike Dryzal. The equipment displays drew his attention – if not his wallet this time around. “I’m always looking at new toys,” Dryzal said.
“Coming to Ag Progress Days is the only day of the year we get off the farm,” said Martha Ringler, Cambria County. She and her husband look forward to walking the exhibits and seeing what’s new. High on their shopping list was a new grain drill. “We’re always trying to make our use of time more efficient,” she said.