Thursday, July 3, 2014

4 Interns, 1 Summer, 1 Pennsylvania Farm Bureau! #internship #pfb

When summer comes around, college students have the opportunity to get summer jobs and potentially work at internships. This summer I have had the opportunity to work alongside three of my colleagues at the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. We all are Penn Stater’s in the Agriculture Extension and Education Major! Below is an outline of what each of us do in our areas.
 
Katie Andrews (@klandrews_24)-
 
Katie Andrews 2016 Student Teacher
This summer I have had the opportunity to be the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation's intern! I heard about the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau at the career fair and also read about it on this blog when Jeanne Case was the intern last year! This opportunity has provided opportunities to learn about a different part of agricultural education in another type of atmosphere. 

I come from a background in farming so my family supported me when I received the job! They, as well as I, believe in what PFB has to offer all agriculturists. Since I am working with educationally focused projects within the Foundation I am able to see a different educational operation involving something I am truly passionate about. Another benefit of working within a professional setting is not only gaining transferable skills but growing my personal network.Some of the events that I have worked with this summer are National Teach Ag in Classroom Conference and the Annual Golf Outing, which were both held in Hershey, PA. The projects I have been focusing on developing this summer are two extension sheets for the new traveling Mobile Ag lab lessons, developing a project for Ag Progress Days and, in conjunction with my fellow interns, the FACE conference! This internship provides me with new perspectives, skills, and relationships that has made my summer of 2014 extremely worthwhile.

 
Matt Reutlinger (@mreutlinger) -

My journey with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau began four years ago, while I was serving as a Pennsylvania FFA State Officer. Through my year of service, I had a few key opportunities (Farm Show, Penn State Ag Progress Days, etc.) to work with the dedicated staff and members of the Farm Bureau. At the time, I thought the only way to advance agricultural issues was through the classroom and FFA. In hind sight, I see several key decisions and interactions, that brought me to where I am today with the Farm Bureau.


Matt Reutlinger 2015 Student Teacher
Within the agriculture industry there is a small niche of people who are the agricultural education clan. I’m proud to be a part of the agricultural education clan, and the people who are there with me are phenomenal! One person, Jeanne Case, really encouraged me to pursue the opportunities here with Farm Bureau; after she had enjoyed her experience as one of the 2013 Summer Interns. She told me about the great staff and the challenging experiences I would have here at the Farm Bureau. I wasn’t initially sold. I had spent the last four years of my life in a classroom and workshop setting, so a transition to the “other side” of businesses, policy and industry seemed daunting. My mentors and friends urged me to take the plunge. How could I know that I belonged in a classroom without seeing the “other side” and understanding its purpose?


So I applied, and was blessed with the opportunity to serve the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau as one of the two interns for the Government and Communications Department. My time here has been filled with a lot of learning. I drove head first into the mission and goals of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The staff here is truly dedicated to providing a genuine service to the members of the organization, who employs them. This time on the other “other side” has given me a sincere appreciation for the time, talent and resources it takes to make our industry prosper in the field, classroom, or on Capitol Hill.


Sarabeth Royer (@sb_royer)-

Sarabeth Royer 2016 Student Teacher
I first heard about this internship through being involved in FFA. I had the opportunity to come visit the Camp Hill office and learn more about what Pennsylvania Farm Bureau does. Coming from a Dairy and Poultry farm, my whole family knows about PFB, but I never realized the scope of their involvement and influence throughout agriculture, Pennsylvania, and all over the United States.

PA Farm Bureau not only has incredible member benefits and services, many of which my family uses, but they also advocate for agriculture. Whether it be to government officials and policymakers, or explaining agriculture to the general public, PFB is on the front lines helping to tell our story.

 As a minority, we agriculturists need to work together to better tell our story. This is what attracted me the most to the PA Farm Bureau internship, the fact that this grassroots organization is truly helping advocate for agriculture.

Because of my lack in experience in government and policy, I was at first a bit nervous to be interning in the Government Affairs and Communication Division. However, this has truly been an incredible experience for me to learn more about policy, law, lobbying, and advocacy. As the average consumer and policymaker become even further removed from the family farm, it is even more important to have strong voices speaking up for agriculture.

I am thoroughly enjoying my internship at PFB, and strongly encourage other students to apply for next summer.

Olivia Murphy-Sweet (@OSweetMurph)-

Olivia Murphy-Sweet 2016 Student Teacher
I never knew that much about the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau until I actually started this internship. I knew little things here and there but never the entire story. When I came to PFB, I quickly learned what an awesome organization it truly is and what it has to offer for farmers and non-farmers.

I work in the Member Relations side of the office. My main responsibilities are to work on social media content, organize paperwork and activities for the FACE conference, help send out flyers for events, and so much more! The FACE conference was actually an opportunity for me to help design and organize an event where 50 students throughout PA could come and learn about the legislative process. The week was a long one, but everything went well and the students learned a lot!
Overall this job has made me work on my organization skills and work on my professional development which I know I can use for the future in or out of the classroom. I hope that others can apply to see what this job can do for you!
__________________________________________________________

I hope that by seeing this you can understand what an amazing experience that this has been for everyone and that you apply in the future. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has a booth at the Career fair in the fall so make sure you keep an eye out and talk to one of the representatives there!

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


 Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger
Twitter Handle- @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher

Carly-Jean (@CarlyJeanBean) talks about internship at PSU Arboretum! #greenthumb



Carly-Jean Schaefer, 2015 Student Teacher
Don’t you just love when the sun is shining, birds are chirping, and the trees and flowers are in full bloom? Well Carly-Jean Schaefer (@CarlyJeanBean), a 2015 student teacher at Ft. Cherry High School, loves it! Carly-Jean is an Agriculture Extension and Education major, minoring in environmental inquiry with an emphasis in Recreational Parks and Tourism Management as well as Agribusiness! This internship was right up her ally because she actually has been able to work this summer as the horticultural intern with the Arboretum at Penn State! She has been learning a lot and is gaining experience working with plants and soil.

             
Carly- Jean planting over a dozen 20 foot bananas! 






Carly-Jean found out about the internship opportunity from an email that was sent across the agriculture college! Since Carly-Jean took her English 202C class, which preps you for job applications and interviewing, she was well prepared and on her way for an interview! After Carly-Jean received the job, she learned what she was going to do for the summer. “My internship consists of day to day maintenance around the arboretum, propagation, interacting with the public and acting as a facilitator in the garden.” She also states that her job duties change a lot and is on a day by day basis which makes it fun for her! She even stated that she planted a couple hundred perennials/ annuals/ and shrubs in preparation for the opening of the Children’s Garden party in July! 

PSU Arboretum
Carly-Jean hopes that by the end of this summer, this experience will have helped her gain more experience in public gardens and learn helpful ways to communicate to the public about gardening in communities!  

If you would like to learn more about the Penn State Arboretum check out this link! 

Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher 
- See more at: http://teachagpsu.blogspot.com/search/label/Olivia%20Murphy%20Sweet#sthash.2GWGApf0.dpuf



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!



Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher

Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher
- See more at: http://teachagpsu.blogspot.com/search/label/Olivia%20Murphy%20Sweet#sthash.2GWGApf0.dpuf



Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher 
- See more at: http://teachagpsu.blogspot.com/search/label/Olivia%20Murphy%20Sweet#sthash.2GWGApf0.dpuf

 

2014 Teach Ag! Society Outstanding Member of the Year: Toby Neal

Toby Neal, 2015 Student Teacher
2014 Teach Ag! Oustanding Member of the Year
One purpose of the Penn State Teach Ag! Society is to promote the high standards and ideals in agriculture and extension education. There is no better way to do that than by the hard work and dedication of the members. This year the organization presented its first “Outstanding Member of the Year” award at the annual banquet.

The award recognizes a student who goes above and beyond to promote the organization and works hard to spread the word about agriculture education. The first Outstanding Member of the Year award was given to 2015 Student Teacher, Mr. Toby Neal!

Toby (@tjn5065) has been a member of the Teach Ag! Society since transferring to main campus in the fall of 2013. He has been active in numerous organization activities such as Ag Day, the Christmas party, the Praxis round table and the fall bonfire. He is also setting up a volunteer environmental education opportunity for members in the coming fall at the Elk Country Visitor center where he works.

Toby & Laura at the Teach Ag! booth at Ag Day 2014!
When asked about winning the award Toby said, “It was shocking! I know that so many members put a lot of effort into Teach Ag! And I feel like it’s such a team effort. I don’t feel like I do more than the rest of the members! We have such a great group of students and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the organization!”

President of the Teach Ag! Society, Jill Gordon (@jillianpsu) was part of the selection committee for the award. She stated “As an organization, we wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for members who are willing to step up to the plate and do great things. Toby is an excellent example of that, so it was pretty clear that he was more than deserving of the award!”

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!




Laura Metrick
Student Blogger
2015 Student Teacher
@Its_LauraBeth

PSU 2014 Collegiate FFA Student Recognition

The purpose of the Collegiate FFA is to develop competent and effective leadership, create an interest in occupations dealing with the food, fiber, and natural resource systems, and develop a network of friendships and professional relationships that will carry through and assist the members after college. Each year the Penn State Collegiate FFA could not be successful without the hard work of its members! At the 2014 annual awards banquet, the collegiate FFA recognized many members who went above and beyond to help the chapter succeed!

Winners had to go through an application process that included descriptions of all the activities they participated in and an essay on why they feel they are deserving of the award. Each application is viewed by the selection committee made up of the advisor (Dr. John Ewing) and two other qualified adults.

This year’s winners are:


Bryanna Kenno (@bkenno4), a 2015 student teacher, stated “It was an honor to win outstanding junior this year! It’s so nice to know that your hard work does not go unnoticed. It was exciting to get recognized for something I am so passionate about!”

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!





Laura Metrick
Student Blogger
2015 Student Teacher
@Its_LauraBeth







Thursday, June 5, 2014

Colorado Adventures: Reflecting back on the 2nd Annual Teach Ag! Society Domestic Study Away (#teachagDSA14)

At the beginning of our adventure!
What is service learning? That’s the question Penn State Teach Ag! Society set to answer on an eight day, 1000 mile trip around the great state of Colorado. Teaming up with Boulder Valley Career and Technical Center Agriscience Teacher Heather Riffel and her program, we were able to learning about the process Boulder Valley went through to gain a USDA Farm to School Grant, the grant that made much of their work in the community possible. After months of coordination on Heather’s part, raised-bed school gardens were installed in nearly all of the elementary schools in the district. In order for each elementary school to earn the privilege of having the garden, teachers within the school were required to commit to integrating concepts in class and invest sweat equity in developing a sustainability plan.

We found our answer to what service learning should look like, but what we came home with was so much more than that. I could go on forever about the things we learned and the places we saw, but I tried my best to narrow it down to four primary lessons!

Boulder TEC Students, PSU Students and
Rock Star Ag Teacher Heathr Riffle!
1. The agricultural education community is truly a family.
Through our travels, we met with over half a dozen current or past ag teachers all of whom who truly excited to have us visiting and eager to share their knowledge and expertise. Every teacher had an awesome piece of advice for our arsenals and insisted that each of us contact them should we ever need anything. Agricultural education truly is one big, helpful, crazy family; one that our group is excited to be a part of. I can safely say that each of us added some awesome resources to our professional network, and I am excited to see where they someday lead!

2. The national teacher shortage is a REAL problem.
Every place we went, we were reminded of the teacher shortage that not only Colorado, but most of the country is facing. In Pennsylvania, we are blessed to not current have an immediate teacher shortage, but the forecast of pending retirements does not bode well for that to continue. Luckily, Penn State Students are prepared to teach where ever students are in need of a philosophical sound agriscience program. This was the first time many of our students have seen a state suffering from this first hand. Personally, I hope that my fellow classmates in Ag Ed are inspired to travel to many of these states after graduation as positive agents of change and help relieve the crisis of our national teacher shortage.


2014 Graduate Mike Petrun and
2016 Student Teacher Olivia Murphy-Sweet
droppiing some garden knowledge on 5th graders!
3. Agricultural Education has the potential to impact ALL students. Period. Regardless!
We saw small programs and large programs; rural programs, suburban & urban programs; programs that had students since middle school and some that would only see students for one semester. Regardless of the situation the agriscience teacher was dealing with, their first priority was to create a program that was as effective as possible in meeting the needs of THEIR students for total student success. Programs focused on developing the knowledge, skills and dispositions each of their students. Each program we saw was much different from the rest, but every student that left the program left as a better person, what more can you ask for?

4.The world is a beautiful place that is meant to be explored.
This past year I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel quite a few places, and I can safely say I have yet to spend time in a place as beautiful as Colorado. From the open plains to the scenic Rocky Mountains, each corner we visited was absolutely beautiful. The beauty was not limited to the landsacpe; the people of Colorado are beautiful as well. Everyone we met was friendly and open. Yes, those from Colorado have a different culture, but it just made for a learning experience in a whole new way! This experience has helped me realize how important travel is for both future educators and for my future students. Travel prompts open-mindedness, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. I hope to be able to take my future students one day when I have the blessing of teaching!



All of this would not have been possible without the generous support of Penn State College of Ag Sciences and the CHS Foundation! We are beyond lucky to have such great partnerships to assist Teach Ag! Society in preparing the best future educators we possibly can!


Written by:
Ms. Jillian Gordon
@jillianpsu
2014 Teach Ag! Society President
2014 Teach Ag! DSA Chair
2015 Ridgemont (Ohio) Student Teacher


Thursday, May 22, 2014

2nd Annual Domestic Study Away - #TeachAgDSA 14 - Day 7 (Last one!): Wrapping up!


Editor's Note: During our 8 day adventure with 14 teacher candidates and 2 chaperones, we will have two guest bloggers share their observations every day!

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” –Henry Miller 

Colorado is a beautiful destination. With many diverse landscapes and significant landmarks, Colorado boasts many popular attractions. On day 7 of the Teach Ag! Society’s Domestic Study Away adventure, we experienced a few of those popular attractions, including the Garden of the Gods National Landmark in Colorado Springs, as well as the downtown Denver area.


Exploring the Garden of the Gods proved to be a truly remarkable adventure. The vast landscapes and the huge rock formations provided great hiking and even better views. Wildlife, including birds and deer, in their natural habitats made the trip even more enjoyable. The Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center provided lots of information about the landscape and its history. It also featured a gift shop and a cafĂ©.

Around noon, we traveled to Denver. Dr. Foster had to depart for the American Association for Agricultural Education National Research Conference.  Upon his departure, we voyaged to downtown Denver with our other chaperone, who we fondly have referred to as Dr. Mom (Dr. Foster’s mother, Dr. Billye Foster). In downtown Denver, we explored the city and devoured some outstanding food from The Cheesecake Factory (a first-time experience for many on the trip). Most importantly, we spent a great deal of time bonding with one another. The city was eye-opening, and allowed many of us to reflect upon and appreciate where we come from and what we have at home.

Tomorrow, we will be waking up in Colorado one last time. We will make the long trek back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Upon our arrival, our small Colorado family will return home, but we will leave one another with much more than fantastic memories. Thanks again to CHS Foundation and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences for supporting this effort.



Writers:

Morgan Campbell
2015 Student Teacher, Mifflinburg, PA
@mcamp400

Jill Gordon
2015 Student Teacher, Ridgemont, OH
@jillianpsu


Sunday, May 18, 2014

2nd Annual Domestic Study Away - #TeachAgDSA14 - Day 6: The Wild Wonderful West

Editor's Note: During our 8 day adventure with 14 teacher candidates and 2 chaperones, we will have two guest bloggers share their observations every day! 
 
The Penn State Teach Ag! Society team woke up in beautiful Estes Park Colorado excited for an adventure. We started off the morning reflecting on the past week at the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Under the direction of Meagan Slates, 2014 PSU AEE Graduate and Laura Metrick, 2015 Student Teacher, we discussed the four schools that we visited, and compared the school facilities, scholastic goals, and FFA programs of all four of the schools. Upon reflecting on these four incredibly unique programs, we proceeded to enter the park.




Rocky Mountain National Park is hard to capture in words. The beautiful landscape is undeniably different that our much smaller “mountains” at home in State College PA. The drive up the mountain provided many beautiful spots to stop and admire nature’s splendor. We were also able to get some great pictures with the Nittany Lion. The mountains, wildlife, and trees were a truly relaxing morning after a week of traveling.


After eating a delicious lunch at a Barbeque Restaurant in Estes Park, the team continued to travel to Colorado Springs. In order to avoid some construction on other roads, we took a picturesque detour throughout more mountains. One of the Park Rangers at the Rockies had described it as “beautiful from Peak to Peak.” This windy, but beautiful road led us to an unexpected stop at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave near Golden Colorado. This last minute stop was not only beautiful, because the gravesite is at Peaks Mountain, but also very informational. Buffalo Bill, being an important part of developing the west, is a very interesting person. From his service in the US army to his famous Wild West Show, Buffalo Bill led a dynamic life. The Museum was fun and enlightening.



We then continued the rest of the drive to Colorado Springs, and finished out our day eating at Rasta Pasta, where when the waitress says, “yeah, that is a little spicy,” what she really means is “you might want to drink milk with that because you will be sweating your pasta is THAT HOT.” Our Saturday deviated from our original itinerary quite a bit, but this only added to our adventure here in Colorado. We cannot wait to see what tomorrow will bring!














We really appreciate the CHS Foundation and Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences for their support of our learning adventure!

Written by:

Sarabeth Royer
2016 Student Teacher Candidate
@sb_royer

Nathan Repetz
2017 Student Teacher Candidate
@N8_Repetz