Friday, March 24, 2017

@TeachAgPSU Welcomes the Curry Family!

Penn State Teach Ag is excited to welcome Dr. Kevin Curry (@kevinwcurry), and his wife Melissa (@Melissa_Curry4) to the Penn State Agricultural Education family.  Dr, Curry has been hired to serve as an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education!


Dr. Curry received his first introduction to agriculture in ninth grade in an Agriscience course.  he credits his amazing agriculture teacher for sparking his interest in agriculture.  Asked to be a part of the livestock judging team, and show club lambs, Dr. Curry quickly fell in love with agriculture.  A knack for competition led him to devote time and energy to livestock and poultry judging, skillathon, and meats judging.  All while showing club lambs and steers.  It comes as no surprise that he met his wife Melissa while showing lambs in high school.

Kevin and Melissa are both proud alumni of North Carolina State University.  Melissa has taught middle school language arts/social studies for nine years.  The Curry's are avid hikers and enjoy being outdoors.  Penn State and State College will definitely satisfy their love for hiking and the outdoors!

To learn more about Kevin and his road to Penn State, take a look at his Curriculum Vitae:



Welcome to Penn State Kevin and Melissa!  We are excited to have you join our team!

Friday, March 10, 2017

March's Program of the Month: Manheim Central @ManheimFFA

All across the great state of Pennsylvania there are 145 school districts that have Agriculture Education courses and the FFA program. Each month we like to highlight a chapter that has stood out from the rest of the chapters. March's program of the month goes to Manheim Central High School, also know as the Manheim FFA Chapter.

Background History
Maneiem Central has had an agriculture program since 1938; specializing in agriculture science, agriculture mechanics, and environmental science. The past agriculture educators at Manheim Central  have been Chip Axe, Cecil Lohr, Bart Gill, and Kim Darr. Manheim is a three teacher department with Mrs. Deb Seibert with 31 years of teaching, Mrs. Heather Anderson with 23 years of teaching, and Mr. Jonathan Werning with 8 years of teaching.

The Agriculture Program
Manheim Central specializes in three areas to meet the needs of students in this area of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. To also aid in helping the students grow Mrs. Seibert, Mrs. Anderson, and Mr. Werning encourage them to begin or explore more in depth Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). The students often have Entrepreneurship SAEs that focus on livestock projects. Placement projects often deal with a job the student holds, and exploratory projects are for students who aren't sure where their interests in agriculture lie. Manheim FFA is known to participate in CDE's but students excel in Agriculture Sales, Farm Business Management, Horse Judging, Agriculture Mechanics, and Small Gas Engines. Each team representing Manheim FFA at the 2016 State FFA Convention placed in the top five for their respective CDE's. The educators plan to innovate by always being open minded to new ideas, as well as reviewing their program of activities to help find out what is working, what needs improved, and what new things can we do.




Recent Accomplishments
Over the course of this year Manheim has had accomplishments with both SAE's and FFA. Their SAE accomplishments include two Keystone Degree recipients and five Red Rose Degree recipients.  The Red Rose Degree is a county degree. Also this past year at State Activities Week, Manheim had the state winning CDE teams for Agriculture Sales and Farm Business Management, second place team in Horse Evaluation, and Ms. Sarah Gonzalez was elected to serve as the 2016-2017 State FFA Secretary.

This agriculture program and FFA chapter certainly are doing great things, and accomplishing at high levels. We are proud have such strong agriculture education programs in Pennsylvania!
To find out more about Manheim Central's agriculture program visit their web pageshttp://manheimag.org/http://manheimffa.theaet.com or follow them on twitter @ManheimFFA


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


 Luke Kerstetter

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Student of the Month: George Dietrich @TheGeorge4H

Every month, we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! We are excited to announce that George Dietrich was selected as the March Student of the Month! Lets learn about his story and accomplishments so far.

George is currently a junior dual majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education and Food Science. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2018. Geroge is very passionate about his two majors for interesting reasons. His passion for food science came from his love for food and exploring how it is made. He also enjoys the aspects of making food safe, wholesome, and affordable for consumers. He had noted, "When I learned that I could have a major focused on food, as well as eat and make it I was convinced of the major." His passion for agricultural education is not any less important than his passion for food science. When  George participated in Shaver's Creek Outdoor School, and held an internship with Cooperative Extension he developed a passion for working with students. "I realized that I wanted to teach students agriculture in a high school setting after I had a couple of experiences teaching with older peers," he acknowledged. His main goal after college is to go out and teach in a high school to empower students and show them opportunities for future careers in the agriculture industry. To keep himself motivated towards this goal he is talking with teachers and other people that are in the education system about what they love about their job. He also is getting opportunities to do micro lessons with students, and each of these experiences help remind him why he loves his major.

George is also busy outside of the classroom being involved in clubs and organizations as well. He is a member of Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity, Dairy Science Club, Teach Ag Society, Coaly Society, and Alpha Tau Alpha.

Interesting fun facts about George:
Hometown: Sinking Spring, PA
Favorite PSU Class: FDSC 201, AEE 349
Birthday: September 12th 
Favorite Place to Eat at PSU: The Creamery. One word Milkshakes. #MilkshakeDiet

To learn more about George Dietrich follow him on twitter @TheGeorge4H 


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Luke Kerstetter

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher

Friday, February 24, 2017

1854-2017 The History of Agriculture Education at Penn State

"WE ARE PENN STATE!" and the Penn State Football team is traditionally how The Pennsylvania State University is recognized in current years. However, the birth of Penn State is far from a chant or a football team. It would surprise many people to find out that the birth of this wonderful university started out as The Farmers' High School in 1855. This is where our story began.

1854-1899
It all began in 1854 when the Pennsylvania State Agriculture Society persuaded the General Assembly of the State Legislature to establish a school dedicated to agriculture education and teaching scientific practices in agriculture. The school was then built in 1855 on 200 acres of land given by James Irvin. Throughout the rest of the 1800's the school underwent a few name changes; 1862 the name was changed to The Agriculture College of Pennsylvania and in 1874 it was changed again to The Pennsylvania State College. Another piece of history that can not be left out is what happened in 1889. This was the year the first creamery was built on campus. This is just a brief overview of the beginning history of Penn State, and in no way the complete story.

1900-1949
Agriculture Education in high schools in the state of Pennsylvania began in 1910-1911 when the General Assembly of the Pennsylvania Legislature mandated that one year of agriculture must be taught in every rural high school. Interesting to mention that in 1910 the first agriculture course was taught. This  influenced The Pennsylvania State College, at that time, to create a four year baccalaureate degree major in the area of agriculture education which began in 1911-1912. Interestingly, Penn State had conferred their first Master of Agriculture Education in 1914 when the first bachelors degree had not been conferred. The first two bachelors degrees in agriculture education were conferred in 1915, and between 1912-1918 there were 23 students who had received their bachelors degrees in agriculture education. In 1917 federal legislation known as the Smith-Hughes Act was passed to allow vocational education to be taught in public schools. In 1935 the agriculture educators of Pennsylvania created a professional organization called The Pennsylvania Vocational Agriculture Teachers' Association which was later changed to The Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators (PAAE). By the late 1940's the practice of student teaching with a faculty member supervising had become a part of the curriculum. The early stages of agriculture education were busy, and not all the information included is the full version.


1950-1999
Throughout this span of 50 years the agriculture education program at Penn State advanced in becoming more diverse and expanding their coverage of opportunities. The program had started offering international opportunities to students both coming from different countries and students traveling abroad from Penn State. Also in the 1950's, the agriculture programs in high schools were advancing their opportunities to prepare students for college instead of just educating them for a job right our of high school. In the 1960's there was a movement to provide ornamental horticulture programs in area vocational technical schools as well as creating environmental education learning at high schools. In 1967 the beginning teacher program at Penn State was developed which this program is now called The Center for Professional Personnel Development. Throughout the 1970's the program became more inclusive with the first two women receiving their degrees in agriculture education and becoming teachers in 1970 and 1972. Throughout the 1980's there was several changes of names with one of them being The Department of Agriculture Education changing to The Department of Agriculture and Extension Education.

2000-Present
Over the course of the past 17 years Penn State Agriculture and Extension Education has become more advanced in bring the best knowledge to students in major as well as training educators with the best resources. The opportunities for the students to get involved have advanced including the Penn State Teach Ag Society, studying abroad in different areas of the world, etc. The rich history of the Agriculture and Extension Education department has certainly made an impact on many lives and will continue to do so.

References
The History of The Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at The Pennsylvania State University, Summer 2005.


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.



Luke Kerstetter

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February Student of the Month: Angela Becker @BeckerAngelaM

Every month, we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! We are proud to announce that Angela Becker was selected as the February Student of the Month! Lets learn about her story and accomplishments so far.

Angela is a Junior in the Agriculture and Extension Education major. She plans to minor in Animal Science as well. Her goal after she graduates in the spring of 2018 is to immediately attend graduate school to work towards her master's degree in Agriculture and Extension Education. Angela became passionate about majoring in Agriculture and Extension Education because her lifelong passion for agriculture. She is excited to share that passion with her future students. When ask how she keeps herself motivated towards school and major requirements, Angela answered, "I use my love for education and agriculture to motivate me. I also know that if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you so I am glad that this is a challenge. It means that it is worth it!"

Outside the classroom Angela is also active in several organizations on Penn State's campus. Her roles in each are as follows: Vice President of Collegiate Cattlemen, member of Block and Bridle, the professional chair for Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity, and a member of TeachAg! Society.

Want to learn more about Angela here are some fun facts!
Hometown: East Millsboro, PA
Birthday: July 6th
Favorite Place to Hang out on campus: Berkey Creamery
Favorite PSU Class: Animal Science 426
Favorite Place to Eat: Happy Valley Brewery (Especially when her parents come to town)

Congratulations, Angela! We sure are excited to see where you will complete your student teaching experience and following along through your journey!

If you would like to learn more about Angela Becker follow her on twitter @BeckerAngelaM

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Luke Kerstetter

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February Program of the Month: Columbia Montour AVTS

All across the great state of Pennsylvania there are 145 school districts that have Agriculture Education courses and the FFA program. Each month we like to highlight a chapter that has stood out from the rest of the chapters. February's program of the month goes to Columbia Montour Area Vocational-Technical School or otherwise know as the Columbia Montour A.V.T.S. Chapter!

Background Knowledge
Columbia Montour A.V.T.S has a single teacher Agriculture Program located in Bloomsburg, PA. The first agriculture program was started in 1969 at the inception of the CTC. Two teachers had taught the program prior to Miss Appleman. John McAllister was the first teacher of the program then Tim Mauk took over the program and retired in 2014. This is Miss Appleman's third year teaching the program at Columbia Montour A.V.T.S.


Class Instruction

The school is a comprehensive career and technical center which means, after the students initial freshman year they select a vocational program and commit their last three years to that specific program. The CTC offers seventeen vocational training programs, in addition to the comprehensive academic course load.  Students attend Columbia Montour A.V.T.S. from seven sending school districts. Miss Appleman's agriculture program operates on the Applied Horticulture CIP code but she also educates the students in the following areas: Advanced Botany, Advanced Soil Science, Plant Propagation Methods, Safe Tractor and Machinery Operations, Landscape Drafting and Design, Masonry and Hardscape, Small Gas Engines, Introduction to Plumbing and Electricity, Greenhouse Productions Sustainable Technologies (Aquaponics and Hydroponics), Integrated Pest Management, Turfgrass Science, and Introduction to Leadership and Public Speaking. The learning labs consist of two greenhouses, an aquaponics system, a regulation sized putting green, a small forested area, ag mechanics shop, computer drafting room, and raised garden beds. The program has an annual fish fry with Tilapia from their aquaponics system to culminate the year. They also have a winter sale in December to sell the 1000+ poinsettias they grow, in addition to the wreaths and other greenery items the students make. Columbia Montour A.V.T.S. holds an annual spring bedding sale in May to sell the 10,000+ plants the students raise in the two greenhouses.




Supervised Agriculture Experiences (SAE's)

All of Miss Appleman's students are FFA members with an active AET account, and all students by the end of their sophomore year have a SAE, and a minimum of 15 hours of community service. The school also offers a SAE course for students who have a passion for agriculture and the FFA, but are in different vocational training programs such as welding and carpentry. Her juniors and seniors annually engage in a two week internship in March which they all keep records on an Exploratory SAE, and most of the students maintain a Paid Placement SAE. The school often encourages the students to go out on Co-Op the last semester of their junior year and throughout their senior year, if they are eligible. Miss Appleman's students work at local greenhouses, nurseries, landscape companies, and floral ships during their Co-Op which feeds right into their SAE programs. 


FFA Program

This year Miss Appleman had one Keystone Degree recipient and seven FFA Jacket scholarship recipients at Mid-Winter Convention. Last year she had ten students receive their Keystone Degree. The chapter always attends Fall Leadership Conference (FLC), Farm Show, and State Activities Week. The students are also involved in competing at the Bloomsburg Fair every year. They are also very active in the community, helping maintain the Bloomsburg Fountain and the Columbia County Veteran's Memorial Park. The chapter also buys a pig from the county fair annually, and donates the meat to families in need around the schools community. Some recent successes of the Columbia Montour A.V.T.S chapter include: first place in the area Horse Evaluation CDE, first and second place in the area Agriculture Sales CDE.  This past year, a student also qualified for State Activities Week at Penn State University for the Creed Speaking LDE.

Sounds like Miss Appleman keeps herself busy investing in the future of agriculture at Columbia Montour A.V.T.S.  Congratulations on being named Program of the Month for February!

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.eduFollow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSUon Facebookor on our blog


Luke Kerstetter

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher