Featuring farm animals, flowers and free ice cream, the College of Agricultural Science hosted Ag Day on Wednesday.
Aimed at highlighting the importance, innovation and diversity of the field of agriculture, Ag Day featured representatives from many of the college’s student organizations, as well as novelty attractions such as ice cream and police horses.
Through such interactive experiences, Ag Advocate Taylor O’Guinn said students and community members are better able to learn about agriculture, Pennsylvania’s number one industry.
“I think one of the most important things involved in educating people about agriculture is them being able to experience it firsthand,” O’Guinn (sophomore-plant science) said. “You can stand up in front of the classroom all you want and say, ‘This is what a sheep looks like. This is what a pig looks like,’ but them actually being able to see it and pet it and have fun and experience it, that definitely teaches them about agriculture.”
By learning about agriculture through these interactive experiences, O’Guinn said people are able to better understand seemingly mundane things, like how food and clothing is produced.
“People eat at least three meals a day and they wear clothing. All of that comes from agriculture,” O’Guinn said. “It’s important for people to understand how agriculture affects their everyday life.”
Director of Student Recruitment for the College of Agricultural Sciences Jean Lonie said with 17 majors and 23 minors , the College of Agricultural Sciences is extremely diverse. Ag Day highlights this diversity and agriculture’s “really neat intersection of science and civics.”
“As you look at a world that’s on the cusp of nine billion people, we’re the college that brings together all of these issues to try to solve them,” Lonie said. “How do we feed them? How do we clothe them? How do we provide shelter? Bigger picture: How do we not wreck the planet while we’re doing all that?”
In addition to Penn State students and faculty, several daycares and preschools brought young children to the event. Ag Advocate Garret Lattanzio said Ag Day is not only fun, but also educational for children.
“It’s to get them involved when they’re younger, learning about where their food comes from […] to understand where your ice cream comes from, not just eating it,” Lattanzio (senior-food science) said.
Through the many events of the day, Ag Day aimed to spread awareness and knowledge of the importance of agriculture in everyday life.
“We’re trying to bring the College of Agricultural Sciences to life, as well as the importance of agriculture in everybody’s lives,” Lonie said. “Agriculture is the foundation of a stable society.”