The first Pennsylvania Farm Show was held in 1917, a few years after adult education began at what is now Pennsylvania College of Technology. In January, as the college begins a celebration that will last throughout its 2014 centennial year, those two homegrown successes will again converge in Harrisburg.
Representatives of Penn College's admissions office will be available from Jan. 4 through 11 at a booth in the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, 2300 N. Cameron St., and visitors will have an opportunity to more deeply explore the college's six academic schools on a cyclical schedule throughout the week.
"The Pennsylvania Farm Show is an exciting opportunity for Penn College to showcase our 100-plus majors to an audience that appreciates associate and bachelor's degrees that offer hands-on experience with industry-focused faculty," said Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid. "We are able to demonstrate that our degrees are 'degrees that work' with over 94-percent placement rates at graduation."
At left, Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology, and Victoria L. Zablocky, a culinary arts and systems major from Jersey Shore, prepare food at the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
On Jan. 4, Farm Show patrons can talk with School of Construction & Design Technologies representatives about exciting career opportunities in the construction industry and build souvenir wooden toolboxes.
Also that day, Penn College students - joined by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, at 11 a.m. and Chef Paul E. Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, at 5 p.m. - will demonstrate their considerable techniques on the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage.
The culinary majors will again be showcased during more live demonstrations with Mach at 11 a.m. and with Ditchfield at 3 p.m. Jan. 5, and will compete in the Student Cooking Challenge at 4 p.m.
The students will be on hand to help all the Culinary Connections chefs prepare and present their demonstrations Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The lineup includes Food Network chef Nadia G. and Pennsylvania Governor's Mansion chef Barry Crumlich, joined by First Lady Susan Corbett.
Also on Jan. 5, the college's School of Transportation and Natural Resources Technologies will offer demonstrations and hands-on activities throughout the day for those interested in the automotive industry, restoration of vintage vehicles and collision repair. Automotive faculty will discuss fuel-cell technology and demonstrate model fuel-cell-powered vehicles, and visitors can learn the art of pinstriping.
The School of Business & Hospitality will take its turn at the college's booth on Jan. 6, as students enrolled in culinary and baking and pastry arts will display their food-preparation and decorating skills. Students and Mach will return to the PA Preferred Culinary Connection on-stage kitchen for another demonstration at 5 p.m.
The "great outdoors" side of careers within the School of Transportation and Natural Resources Technologies will be highlighted on Jan. 7. Farm Show visitors can view a mockup of a hydroculture system and see the crops being grown in the Schneebeli Earth Science Center's hydroponic lab. Faculty and staff will be on hand to discuss horticulture and forestry majors, as well as offerings in diesel, heavy construction equipment and on-site power generation.
The School of Health Sciences takes its turn on Jan. 8, providing a hands-on look at why Penn College graduates are in high demand. From 9 a.m. to noon, guests can meet surgical technology faculty and - through a simulated appendectomy or laparotomy - experience the skills needed to perform in the operating room.
From noon to 5 p.m. that day, visitors can learn about improving patient care and increasing efficiency across the health care system with a degree in health information.
An interactive quiz on medical terminology will help spotlight a major that combines health care education with technology training to prepare students for one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.
On Jan. 9, those visiting the School of Industrial, Computing and Engineering Technologies display can learn how to design everyday household items with computer aided drafting software.
The School of Sciences, Humanities and Visual Communications will share information on its various majors throughout Jan. 10. Guests at the college's booth that day can learn hands-on ceramics skills, exploring how potters create the bowls, cups and plates that we use each day.
On Jan. 11, the School of Industrial, Computing and Engineering Technologies will return to introduce visitors to the world of welding through a virtual training module that provides a realistic welding experience through both visual and audio feedback.
For more detailed information about Penn College's 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show participation, visit www.farm show.state.pa.us/.