UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — From plant science to animal science, 4-H has something for everyone, and the 4-H Youth Building at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug. 10–12, will introduce kids of all ages to the many facets of 4-H, according to organizers in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Parents and children can learn about these many 4-H programs with hands-on activities and demonstrations, noted Jeanette Stackhouse, 4-H education program associate and teen program manager for Penn State Extension.
“Each year, the 4-H Youth Building informs our youngest Ag Progress Days visitors about various aspects of the industry,” Stackhouse said. “Many of our exhibitors are youth organizations who bring hands-on learning activities designed for all ages.”
The 4-H Youth Building is located behind the Family Room on Main Street, between West Eighth and West Ninth streets. Exhibits and exhibitors at the Youth Building during all three days of the expo will include the following:
— Grow True Leaders with Pennsylvania 4-H: Explore plant science, which is just one element of the 4-H program. Visitors will create their own “bean grow house” to get a firsthand look at the germination process of a seed.
— Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Promotion: Check out examples of food products that are real dairy or imitation dairy — can you guess which is which?
— Plants Get Sick, Too: Visit the display sponsored by Penn State’s Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and learn about the amazing challenges faced by plants growing in gardens, farms and forests.
A special presentation will take place Aug. 11 when the Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association will have live rabbits and demonstrations. The association’s "royalty" will share their rabbit hobby with visitors.
Other Ag Progress Days attractions for youth and families will take place throughout the grounds:
— Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center exhibit. Located near the 4-H Youth Building, this exhibit will feature live animals and presentations on wildlife including turtles, birds of prey, snakes, amphibians and insects.
— Butterfly tent. Visitors can walk through a large outdoor screen house with informational displays and live butterflies. The Penn State Department of Entomology sponsors this exhibit, which is in the Yard and Garden Area.
— Hands-on exhibits in the Pasto Agricultural Museum, on East Tenth Street across from the red barn, will give visitors a glimpse into farm and rural life before the widespread use of electricity and gas-powered equipment.
— Demonstrations on healthy eating, food safety and first aid will be offered at the Family Room building on Main Street.
— Visitors can get “lost” in A-Maze-N-Corn, outside the Joseph D. Harrington Crops, Soils, and Conservation Building, at the end of East Fifth Street. This corn maze is accessible for wheelchairs and baby strollers.
— Meet horses from Penn State’s own farm and see a variety of demonstrations at the Equine Experience, at the top of Main Street.
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.–5 p.m. Aug. 10; 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Aug. 11; and 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Aug. 12. 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 Facebook users can find the event by searching @AgProgressDays.