UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Members of the Penn State Student Farm Club are looking forward to a busy semester. Their first event of the year, the fourth annual Harvest Festival, will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Student Farm.
Club Executive Director Jess Chou said the festival is a way to celebrate the successful summer season and get ready for autumn. It also is a great way for students and the community to meet members of the Student Farm Club and staff from the Penn State Sustainability Institute and hear about plans for future farm expansions.
“There will be lots of food, so it’s a great place to grab dinner and have some fun on the farm,” said Whitney Ashead, the club’s director of campus outreach.
The food at this family-friendly event will be provided by the Penn State Food Truck. There also will be student-led tours, planting activities, live music and face painting. Students can get a ride to the farm via a blue bus, which will depart at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. from the Ag Administration Building (pullout area near Berkey Creamery). The bus will return guests to campus at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Chou, of Mechanicsburg, a senior majoring in environmental resource management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, attended her first Student Farm Club meeting as a freshman and said she found “an awesome, friendly group of people who had a clear purpose and mission to create a more sustainable food system.”
Ashead, a senior from Buffalo, New York, double majoring in agricultural science and geography, had a similar experience.
“I’m mission-oriented and I get excited to see progress being made in areas that I care about,” she said.
“The club does everything from hands-on farm work to advocacy and outreach on topics such as food waste, food systems and education. It’s an exciting platform to be involved in. I think because it is a student farm, the students feel very empowered to take on their own projects.”