Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The 2018 CASE Institute: What a blast!

The participants of the 2018 CASE Institute.
The 2018 CASE Institute has come to an end, and our participants from all over the country have come out more confident, prepared, and certified to deliver proper instruction on mechanics and technology to their students.

This year's CASE Institute was held at Cumberland Valley High School and hosted by #psuaged alum Ms. Darla Romberger (@DJR_131). The institute ran from June 17th to the 28th, where participants were able to be certified through CASE's Agricultural Power and Technology curriculum.

Over the course of two weeks the program covered 180 days of curriculum, and included topics useful to any agricultural teacher such as shop safety, machine and tool operation, fabrication, energy and power, and more! Attendees got to not only practice themselves, but learn how to meaningfully teach on these topics.

CASE provides 10 courses that fall under four major pathways covering almost every aspect of Agricultural Education. Each of these courses aligns with national standards for agriculture, science, mathematics, and English language arts. The Agricultural Power and Technology course is just one of the many courses that Penn State will continue to help provide for pre-service and in-service teachers.

Follow us on Twitter (@TeachAgPSU) and Facebook to stay up to date on all of the professional development opportunities that Penn State Teach Ag offers, and be one of the first to hear about the 2019 CASE Institute!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The 89th Pennsylvania FFA State Convention

FFA members work on assembling an arrangement during the Floriculture CDE.
The 89th Pennsylvania FFA State Convention and Activities Week was held at Penn State University from June 11th through the 14th. Throughout the week, Pennsylvania FFA members attended the convention to compete in various Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events (CDE's and LDE's), discuss delegate issues, and interview and select the new 2018 - 2019 Pennsylvania FFA Officer Team.

Penn State Teach Ag was well-represented as the Teach Ag! Avengers ran two different workshops for FFA members during the week, a new addition to the programming at State Convention. These workshops were titled, "Exploring Careers in Agriculture" and "Promoting Your Chapter Through Digital Storytelling; with each workshop respectively aimed at allowing students to explore their own career path and utilizing digital media to help build the stories of their own FFA chapters. Many of our upcoming student teachers took this opportunity to spend the week with their soon-to-be cooperating programs as well.

Trey Elizondo with the Nittany Lion Shrine.
We had the honor of having a past National Officer as a guest and keynote speaker during State Convention, Mr. Trey Elizondo. Last year he served as the National Western Region Vice President. He spent the week with PA FFA members, visited CDE's, took a tour of campus, and spent some time with Penn State AEE students. His keynote address inspired FFA members to let the fear in their lives take the back seat in order for them achieve their goals and have the unique experiences afforded to them.

Student success is always an incredible thing to see, and this year was no exception. Awards were given for CDE's and LDE's, special recognition and thanks given to those who make the Pennsylvania FFA and State Convention possible, and students at Penn State were able to recognize those who took the steps to fill the shoes of their own agricultural teachers for a day with the Teach Ag! Essay Contest ran by LEAD Society at Penn State.

Samuel Loy (Right), and his brother Andy Loy (Left).
We are very proud to announce that one of our own members of Penn State Teach Ag, Samuel Loy, was selected to serve as the 2018 - 2019 State Reporter. Under his new duty he will be representing and serving almost 13,000 FFA members across the Commonwealth.

Sam comes from the Greenwood FFA Chapter in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, where has was a high school FFA member and eventual president of the Greenwood chapter in the 2016 - 2017 year. He started at Penn State this past year, majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education, also serving as a member of the Teach Ag! Avengers and a brother of Alpha Zeta. He said what he is most excited for is to, "get the opportunity to impact students the same way state officers have impacted me". He's looking forward to all the new people he'll be able to meet, and he's already excited to be at the ACES conference in the spring. We are all beyond proud of him as he begins his journey as a state officer and dedicates himself to a year of service to Pennsylvania FFA members.

The new 2018 -2019 State Officer team is as follows (From L to R):

Treasurer: Abigail Yoder from Central Columbia
Chaplain: Millena Bashore from Northern Lebanon
Reporter: Samuel Loy from Greenwood
Vice President: Jacob Kinzer from East Juniata
Sentinal: Roarke Miller from Little Dutchmen
President: Jenna Harnish from Athens
Secretary: Morgan Bear from Big Spring

We wish them all luck as they dedicate the next year of their lives to the service of FFA members across the Commonwealth!

Hunter Kauffman
Team Leader, @TeachAgPSU Communications
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
College of Agricultural Sciences

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Congratulations Halee Wasson (@wasson_halee): #psuaged18 member Hired!

Congratulations Ms. Halee Wasson #psuaged18 cohort member and 2018 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University! She was recently hired at Southern Cayuga High School in Aurora, New York.

Halee is from State College, Pa and while she attended Penn State she was involved in many organizations including Penn Stay Ag Student Council, Penn State Teach Ag! Society, Penn State Collegiate FFA, Penn State Dairy Science Club, Coaly Society, Alpha Tau Alpha, and Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity.

When Halee student taught at Derry Area High School this past spring she had taught a community based unit of instruction which lead to students being asked to draw out blueprints for the Derry Township Fair Sheep and Wool Superintendent. They were then shared with community partners and the to top designs were chosen. She stated, "Overall this experience created opportunity for me to instruct students in the Ag Construction course to apply their knowledge and skills, which they acquired in the classroom, to solve a real-life issue." 

Halee's new position at Southern Cayuga High School, she will be the sole teacher there. One thing that is unique about the school district she was hired at is their community. Halee expressed, "I do not think I could have asked for a more supportive and welcoming community. This community has truly welcomed me with open arms, and has shared an immense amount of support for my passion of teaching agriculture. I am excited to see how all the strengths of each individual and organization can contribute to the program in the future." The Southern Cayuga had an agriculture education and a FFA Chapter by 1965. She will be teaching Natural Resources and Ecology, Agriculture Mathematics, Agriculture Business, Animal Science, and Greenhouse Production. She looks forward to her new experience as she says, "Although State College, Pennsylvania will always be home, I am eager to experience life in Aurora, New York.  The community’s roots are firmly established in agriculture, which provides numerous program resources. I am excited to explore these resources to expand and create opportunity for my students."

One piece of advice she had for students looking to go into agriculture education is, "If you are passionate about purposefully contributing to the future of agriculture through today's youth, then you need to become an agriculture educator! Passion is the true driving force of perseverance that creates grit. With grit you will conquer all challenges that you may face, while creating positive and successful outcomes." 

Congratulations Ms. Halee Wasson, we are excited to see how you shape your classroom and inspire students for generations to come!

Luke Kerstetter
Communications Team Member
Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96
2020 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

82nd Annual Agriculture and Extension Education Banquet

On Tuesday April 24, 2018, LEAD Society hosted the 82nd Annual Agriculture and Extension Education Banquet. We had special guests that had attended which included; Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences Dr. Richard Roush, Associate Dean Dr. Tracy Hoover, keynote speaker Joshua Hersl, PA FFA State Officers Justin Kurtz, Thomas Gabel, and Nathan Moyer. 

Ali Emig, Sara Lang, Alicia Gates,
Megan Royer
Joshua Hersl
Throughout the night students were recognized for their accomplishments throughout the year. The students that were recognized were from each academic standing year. Our outstanding freshman was Megan Royer #psuaged21, sophomore Alicia Gates #psuaged20, junior Sara Lang #psuaged19, and senior Ali Emig. 

Alpha Tau Alpha Initiates
Alpha Tau Alpha, the National Professional Honorary Agricultural Education Organization, held an initiation ceremony for those students who qualified. Those students who were initiated were; Kaitlin Liszka, Rachel Bloom, Ryan Rupert, Macy Fisher, Angela Becker, Allyson Balmer, Lisa Boltz, Olivia Aten, and Karlie Wright. 

The seniors had also gave a small presentation and thank you's to Dr. Daniel Foster, Dr. John Ewing, Dr. Kevin Curry, Ms. Terra Ingram, Ms. Beth Mathie, Mr. Jon Seaman, and Ms. Tiffany Morey. To end the night Dean Richard Roush had given his kind address and thank you for being invited to the banquet.

LEAD Society Leadership Team
We thank everyone who had attended the banquet and hope to see you next year at the 83rd Annual Agriculture and Extension Education Banquet.
LEAD Society

Luke Kerstetter
Communications Team Member
Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96
2020 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Friday, May 11, 2018

#TeachAgDSA18 - Tying it all Together

One for the Books

Well, we can wrap this Domestic Study Away trip up as one for the books. We sent 15 people out to represent @TeachAgPSU at schools and industries across the New England states (except Maine). What was especially unique about this trip is that no participants on this trip have ever been on a DSA trip before. Additionally, we have come together from commonwealth campuses, main campus, and a graduate to embark on this journey.

We started our trip out in Connecticut with a #PSUAgEd14 alum - Mr. Tyler Cremeans (@TCMeanAgEd14). We continued up the coast - stopping at the beach for those who had never seen the ocean. We went to Massachusetts and had some cultural immersion in Boston! We spent Wednesday continuing with our theme of #PSUAgEd14 with another alum - Mr. Michael Petrun (@PetrunMichaelG) in New Hampshire. Finally, we toured the wonderful state of Vermont - taking in its beauty as we completed our industry tours and last program tour. Check out our other blogs for the week for more details.

The differences in agriculture in the New England really surprised a lot - in addition to how they incorporate that into school-based agriculture programs. Most of the programs we saw focused on helping students to become ready for both industry and college. They work hard to make sure students truly own their programs, are held responsible, and develop employability skills that are sought out. We also had the chance to talk to employers during our industry tours about what they think students are lacking when they come to work for him. To sum it up, he said that they are lacking basic life skills and being able to "get dirty". 

Once we get back, we are excited to use the information we learned this week as part of the rest of our education, student teaching, and in our future classrooms. Students from this trip will be returning for more conferences, internships, job (or looking for jobs), and summer classes. Holding true this entire trip, the agriculture field is a family. Whether it is a high school, a family business, or a family business turned large corporation, or the #TeachAgDSA18 participants, it does not take long to work together and act as if we have always known each other.

Be sure to check out our last video recap of Day Four!

We could not complete this transformative learning experience without the incredible support of our partners including The Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators, The Penn State Center for Professional and Personnel Development, and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. 

Karlie Wright
Guest Blogger for the 6th Annual Domestic Study Away - #TeachAgDSA18

Thursday, May 10, 2018

#TeachAgDSA18 Guest Blog: Day Three - Hamming it up in New Hampshire!

Editor's Note:
What is a Domestic Study Away? 
A Domestic Study Away (DSA) is a non-credit experience where a group of students travel to a State to explore the following:  
  1. What does #AgEdu look like in other states? How is the total model of school-based agricultural education (Classroom Instruction, Youth Leadership Development <FFA> and Work-based learning <SAE>) uniquely provided? 
  2. Who are the #AgEdu Stakeholders in the state? Specifically, what agricultural industry is being served? 
  3. A unique yearly selected professional development topic! This year is a little bit different in that we will be striving to answer an inquiry each day as we explore agricultural education across New England. Each question connects to the big idea of diversity in agriculture.
You can virtually-engage with this experience by reading and commenting on the daily blogs and following the experience on Twitter and Facebook with our hashtag #TeachAgDSA18. 

We could not complete this transformative learning experience with out the incredible support of our partners including: The Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators, The Penn State Center for Professional and Personnel Development , and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. 


DAY 3: New Hampshire

We started our trip today with breakfast at Heritage Farm Pancake House. We enjoyed a family-style, farm-to-table breakfast. There were over 15 flavor choices including white raspberry, blue banana, birthday cake, and apple cinnamon. They had chickens, ducks, goats, horses and a friendly dog named Fern. 

Before lunch, we toured Winnisquam Regional High School where #PSUAgEd14 member Mike Petrun (@PetrunMichaelG) is currently an agriculture instructor. We listened to and provided feedback to students completing their capstone projects. Their projects ranged from stone wall construction, horse driving, taxidermy, and forestry. Mr. Petrun is truly "Stationed by the Owl" as he gave the future agricultural educators his words of wisdom as preparation for their student teaching experiences in the spring of 2019. 

In the afternoon, we had a tour of Pleasant View Garden's greenhouses and growing facilities. Mr. Huntington gave us a tour of the facilities at Pleasant View Garden, where they produce Proven Winner flowers, and herb plants.  He helped us understand more of how their facilities run including the Ag Mechanic side of things like the wood chip burner to heat the greenhouses. 

He also explained their drip irrigation system, and how it waters both their hanging baskets and their liners. He detailed how their shipping system works and how they are able to ship to various states up and down East coast.  Mr. Huntington was kind enough to show us his hydroponic lettuce systems. He sells to both restaurants and local retailers.

Check out the video blog from day three and stay tuned for tomorrow's recap!


You can virtually-engage with this experience by reading and commenting on the daily blogs and following the experience on Twitter and Facebook with our hashtag #TeachAgDSA18. 

Neve Consylman (@NeveConsylman), Member of #psuaged21 


Nicole Guise (TwitterlessNicole), Member of #psuaged21

Guest Bloggers for the 6th annual @TeachAgPSU Domestic Study Away - #TeachAgDSA18

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Megan Royer: May's Student of the Month (@Megyyy22)

Each month we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in their involvement in the agriculture education program at PSU! We are proud to announce that Megan Royer (@Megyyy22) was selected as May's Student of the Month! Let's learn about her adventure and accomplishments so far.

Megan is a freshman majoring in Agriculture and Extension Education with hopes of becoming an agricultural educator. Megan had began her freshman year of high school by taking an Introduction to Agricultural Sciences class. When she took that class it became apparent to her that it was the place for her. Megan's ambition to be an agriculture educator came from her high school agriculture teacher, Mr. Heasley. She had become aware of how much of an impact he made on some many students during his career as well as her. She stated, "He didn't just teach us about the importance of an industry that took care of everybody else, but he also taught us how to care for others, how to care for the land we live on, and for the community."

Megan is involved in LEAD Society, a TeachAg avenger, and the 2017-2018 Centre County Grange Fair Queen.

Fun Facts about Megan
Hometown: State College
Graduation: 2021
Birthday: December 30, 1998
Favorite PSU Class: AEE 100 with Dr. Curry
Favorite places to eat in State College: Myer's Dairy, Mexi Hots, and Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream are a must
Favorite athletics team/sport: Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Vikings, South Carolina Gamecocks, Penn State
Favorite hangout on campus: Her mom's office in Deike Building or Ferguson 213
Favorite thing at PSU: Growing up in State College makes it feel like home. She was born bleeding Blue and White; from Little Lion to Nittany Lion
4H/FFA: Member of State College Little Lions FFA

Luke Kerstetter
Communications Team Member
Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96
2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher