Organizers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences announced that the 2020 Ag Progress Days exposition, which was scheduled for Aug. 11-13, has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and safety of event exhibitors, attendees and staff, and is consistent with the direction taken by other major Centre County events this summer, such as the Grange Fair, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and Central PA 4th Fest.
It also complies with Gov. Tom Wolf's order that prohibits — until further notice — gatherings of more than 250 people, according to Jesse Darlington, Ag Progress Days manager.
"Although many areas of the state and country are beginning to reopen after the onset of COVID-19, the prospect of inviting up to 50,000 people, who come from all over Pennsylvania and even from out of state, was too much of a risk given how easily this virus spreads," Darlington says. "With the uncertainty of what the situation will look like in August, we don't want to encourage the development of a coronavirus 'hot spot' that could lead to further restrictions on businesses and schools here and elsewhere."
Darlington says that the decision was made now to help commercial exhibitors avoid or minimize the expenses that they might have incurred in planning to exhibit at the event. He says commercial exhibitors who have already have paid registration fees will have the option of a full refund or have their fees applied to their attendance at next year's show, which is scheduled for Aug. 10-12, 2021.
"Our commercial exhibitors largely pay the bills for Ag Progress Days, and we want to support them however we can," he says. "As an essential, life-supporting industry, agriculture is critical to Pennsylvania's economy and the health and well-being of its citizens."
Darlington says that event organizers are exploring ways to connect Ag Progress Days vendors and attendees virtually through the event's website.
Faculty and staff in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension are also looking at providing multimedia content on the website to highlight some of the research, Extension programs and demonstrations that would have been featured at the event.Source: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.