Administrative Policies

AD21 Use of the Agricultural Arena and Agricultural Progress Days Facilities

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Richard Roush, 814-865-2541,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff


  • Purpose
  • Scope of Use
  • Priority of Use
  • Use by Non-University Organizations
  • Safety and General Welfare
  • Commercial and Political Activities
  • Sales and Serving of Food and Beverages
  • Fundraising Activities
  • Financial Arrangements
  • Damage and Violations
  • Events Involving the Use of Animals
  • Procedure for Requesting Use of Facilities
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

    The purpose of this policy is to specify the allowable uses of the buildings, equipment and/or property of the Agricultural Arena and the Agricultural Progress Days sites (collectively referred to as “facilities”) by The Pennsylvania State University ("University"), the College of Agricultural Sciences (“College”), and agricultural groups not affiliated with the University. The intent is to define the responsibilities and limitations of the College in responding to requests for use of facilities, which are not related to the educational program objectives of the College.


    Use of the facilities shall be limited to functions which are approved by the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences or the designated Facility Manager in accordance with this policy and with other applicable University policies and regulations.(See also Administrative Policy AD02.)


    Use by the College of Agricultural Sciences shall have priority over all other uses. The College reserves the right to cancel, postpone or reschedule any other function or event as necessary.

    Use for events conducted other units of the University, or organizations affiliated with the University (e.g., alumni organizations, recognized student organizations, conference groups), shall have priority over all uses except those of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

    Use for events conducted by persons or organizations not affiliated with the University will be permitted only if space and dates are available, and any approval for such use is subject to cancellation if a higher priority use is approved.


    Persons or organizations not affiliated with the University may use the facilities only for activities and purposes which are in support of the mission and goals of the College of Agricultural Sciences or the general aims and purposes of the University. (See Administrative Policy AD02)

    The University will charge a rental fee for the use of the facilities and may require reimbursement for additional services and equipment. All established fees must have the approval of the Office of Budget and Finance per Financial Policy FN27. The reimbursement or fee will include operating and overhead expenses incurred as a result of the approved use.

    Compliance with all applicable University regulations and local, state and federal laws is required. The University's authorization of the use of the facilities does not represent endorsement of the aims and purposes of the sponsoring organization or of the event. Any use of the name of the University, other than to indicate the location of the event, must be approved in advance in writing by the University through the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer. (See Policy AD07.)


    Non-university and non-recognized student organizations must agree to take all necessary and reasonable precautions to assure the physical safety of the participants and the protection of University property. The organization must release the University from any liability in conjunction with the use of the facility. The University Release and Indemnification Agreement must be used for this purpose (see the applicable instructions in GURU). University Release and Indemnification Agreement forms are available from the Manager of the Agricultural Arena and the Manager of the Ag Progress Days facilities. A copy of the signed University Release and Indemnification Agreement will be forwarded to Penn State’s Risk Management Office (103 Rider Bldg., State College, PA 16801) for review.  The University reserves the right to require insurance coverage or proof of liability insurance from the organization. In addition, the University may require the presence of University Safety or Security personnel for any group requesting to use University facilities. This will be an additional expense to the user (See Administrative Guideline ADG04).


    Neither advertisements or notices concerning the sale or rental of merchandise or services, nor political notices or announcements, may be placed or erected in or around the facilities. During an event, facility managers may pre-approve designated areas for non-commercial and non-political posters which have an applicable purpose.

    The use of University facilities and/or property for commercial sales activities by individuals or non-University organizations is prohibited. (See Administrative Policy AD27) This prohibition does not apply to the pre-approved University-sponsored events where commercial products may be demonstrated, displayed, or purchased as a secondary activity to support the primary educational purpose of the event.


    The sale and service of food and/or beverages at any function or program open to the public and/or community by other than authorized University departments such as Housing and Food Services, Penn State Hospitality Services, University Creamery, or by an accepted external food and beverage provider contracting for food and beverage services is prohibited. (See Administrative Policy AD26)


    Fundraising activities must be conducted in conjunction with, or co-sponsored by a recognized student organization, University College, Department or Administrative unit. Co-sponsorship must be by a bona fide parallel-interest organization with equal participation in the planning and implementation of the activity.  A detailed plan for the designation of funds must be specifically approved by the appropriate budget executive. (See Administrative Policy AD02)


    Information must be provided in advance to the respective Manager concerning finances involved in the use, activity or event involving the facilities. This budget information must accompany the contract. Information about fees and/or charges to the requesting organization shall be provided by the Manager of the respective facility. Any co-sponsored fundraising activity held by University or recognized student organizations must identify an authorized University budget to recover cost for the facility rental or related service fees, in the event there is a financial loss.


    Any damages to the facilities (buildings, equipment and/or property[including land use]) must be compensated to cover repair, replacement or correction costs. Any violation of the rules and regulations by any user will cause forfeiture of all originally granted rights, without recourse. The respective Manager of each facility shall be the final judge of any violation.


    If the event involves the use of animals, the following rules must be adhered to:

    The University Veterinarian must be provided with the following information, through the respective Manager's office at least 30 days in advance of the event:

    • The name of the organization holding the event and contact person.
    • The species of animal involved.
    • The date and type of event (show, sale, demonstration, etc.).
    • Based on this information the University Veterinarian may require specific health information for individual animals participating in the event.

      • At a minimum: All animals originating from outside the Commonwealth must have valid health certificates, issued by an accredited veterinarian, that certifies that the animals are healthy and meet the exhibition and/or sales health requirements for that species as determined by the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Service of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
      • Animals from within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be required to have a valid health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian depending on the event as determined by the University Veterinarian.  Animals must be current on all vaccinations including rabies if appropriate for the species.  Animals should have proof of vaccination on the day of the event. When events involve only University owned animals, only healthy animals that have been housed in University facilities for at least 30 days and have passed the health control programs for admission to the University herds and flocks shall be eligible.
      • When events involve one or more animals not owned by the University, either alone or with one or more University animals, each animal on the premises must be accompanied by a valid health certificate issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services.  Each animal also must meet current requirements for shows and sales established by the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services for the particular species involved.
      • The University veterinarian shall have the authority to inspect all health certificates and animals entering the premises, to enforce the above policies, and to reject other animals.  Animals that arrive without the proper health information will be denied entry to the facility.
      • To protect the health of both University and non-University animals, the University veterinarian may issue additional health requirements for certain events in an emergency or other unusual situation.
      • At least seven days must elapse between the use of the facility by animals, both prior to and following the event.
      • During these seven days, all manure and bedding must be removed and the paved surfaces cleaned and sanitized according to current recommendations by the University Veterinarian.


    All groups wishing to use the Agricultural facilities within the above policy guidelines shall:

    1. Submit an agreement  to use the respective facility:
      1. Manager, Snider Agricultural Arena, Farm Service Building, University Park, PA 16802; Telephone (814) 865-4433; email
      2. Ag Progress Days Manager, 318C Tyson Building, University Park, PA 16802; Telephone (814) 865-2081; email
    2. If the agreement has been reviewed by appropriate personnel and approved, facility management will provide the applicant with a fully executed signed agreement.
    3. Users of the facilities must submit all University required documents, such as Certificate of Insurance and Indemnification Agreement, to the appropriate Ag Facility Manager’s Office, no later than 21 business days prior to the event.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences.


    Other Policies may have specific application and should be referred to, especially;

    AD02 - Non-University Groups Using University Facilities

    AD18 - Possession, Use and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages

    AD26 - Sale and serving of Food and Beverages at University Locations

    AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at University Locations

    AD32 - Smoking Policy and Guideline

    AD39 - Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held at the University and/or Housed in University Facilities (Formerly Programs Involving Minors Housed in University Facilities)

    AD51 - Use of Outdoor Areas for Expressive Activities

    ADG04 - Providing Emergency Medical Services at University Events at University Park

    FN10 - Other Business Expenses and Activities

    FN14 - Use of Tangible Assets, Equipment, Supplies and Services

    FN27 - Establishing and Billing Service Center User Rates

    SY13 - Open Fires

    Most Recent changes:

    • January 6, 2023 - Changed Corporate Controller's Office to Office of Budget and Finance

    • November 24, 2020 - Updated links from decommissioned policy AD15 to FN27.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • April 20, 2018 - Editorial change to update links to the University Release and Indemnification Agreement instructions and form.
    • April 13, 2016 - Major revisions to the policy to reflect current operations.
    • June 15, 2006 - Revision History added.
    • June 1, 1998 - Position Title updated, and referenced Administrative Guideline ADG04, EMT Services.
    • September 19, 1994 - College and Position Titles updated.
    • March 17, 1989 - Added Ag Progress Days Facilities.
    • May 18, 1987 - Revised "Procedure For Requesting Approval" section.
    • July 26, 1984 - New Policy.


    Date Approved: 

    April 11, 2016

    Date Published: 

    April 13, 2016

    Effective Date: 

    April 13, 2016