Mixing it up

Progress on display

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Dave Sollenberger of Williamsburg looks at a Canadian-made Valmetal V Max 630 vertical mixer at Ag Progress Days on Tuesday afternoon.

ROCK SPRINGS — Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor agricultural exposition has an international touch.

Four Canadian provinces are represented among the 500-plus exhibitors at Ag Progress Days being held through Thursday at Penn State’s Research Center at Rock Springs.

Several of the Canadian-based exhibitors have been regulars at Ag Progress Days.

“We’ve been coming here over 25 years. We want to support local dealers. I have at least six Pennsylvania dealers such as Hoover Equipment near Tyrone,” said Kurtis LeMaire, East Coast territory manager for Valmetal, based in St. Germande-de-Grantham, Quebec.

Valmetal features about 25 products.

“We specialize in feeding equipment. We are featuring an autoration feeding system. It can be used to feed any kind of livestock. It gives the farmer the ability not to have to feed. He can even feed from a smartphone,” LeMaire said.

Jamesway Farm Equipment, a division of Valmetal, also has products on display.

“It is mainly manure handling equipment. It is very good, well-known equipment,” LeMaire said.

Chesterville, Quebec-based Anderson Group has been attending Ag Progress Days for at least 15 years.

“People from Pennsylvania and other states come here, it draws a lot of people and this is Anderson’s largest market in the United States. That gives them a big incentive to display at this show,” said Billy Good, sales manager for western Pennsylvania.

Ag Progress Days has been helpful to the Anderson Group, which specializes in hay-related equipment.

“If we have some new products, we can show them and demonstrate them. Our main goal is to be in front of people and show them our machinery. Once in a while someone wants to buy something, but this facilitates sales down the road,” Good said.

Petrolia, Ontario-based Penta Equipment — which sells tillage equipment, total mixed ration equipment and forage boxes — has appeared at Ag Progress Days for at least 10 years.

“We service many customers in this area with our wide range of products. Penta is an awesome company to work with. They are second to none working with customers on the farm,” said Chadd Frey, sales representative for Binkley & Hurst of Lititz, which sells Penta equipment.

Grassie, Ontario-based Agri-Plastics, which specializes in the dairy industry, specifically products for calves, has been coming to Ag Progress Days for about 15 years.

“We try to hook up with dairy farmers. We want to show our products so people can see them. Farmers like to feel and touch,” said Skip Wiswell, U.S. sales manager.

Ag Progress Days features the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs and guided tours. It is one of only three agricultural exhibitions in the country sponsored by a major university. Exhibits showcase the latest in Penn State research, as well as information on best management practices and changing regulations in the agricultural industry.

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. to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission and parking are free.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

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