Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#TeachAg! Banquet: Special Guest Speaker coming to PSU! Tara Berescik, 2013-14 ACTE Teacher of Year


Tara Berescik
It is that time of year again where the birds are chirping, the sun is out, and banquet season is among us! For most FFA chapters, there is a banquet once a year to recognize student and chapter success. Students in the Agriculture Education major took it upon themselves to hold a banquet to recognize our student teachers, clubs, and our college success.

The banquet has been in the planning process for a while and we are proud to say that there are a ton of new and exciting things that will be happening! For starters, we all know that the student teachers get an awesome gift, there will be a photo booth with tons of props that people can use in the pictures, as well as a special guest speaker that will be coming to give a speech! You may have heard of her as the ACTE Teacher of the Year or a recipient for the NAAE Teacher mentor award, but she is one of the finest teachers in the business! Tara Berescik, Tri-Valley Central School teacher in New York, is coming to this year’s banquet!

Tara has been teaching agriculture for 11 years and has been an influence on many people’s lives. Every person that she meets she always makes sure to leave a lasting impression. After talking to Tara more, she told me how excited she is to come to the banquet! “I'm excited to get to see Penn State since I have never been there before and I have lots of Ag Teacher friends who have graduated from the school and say wonderful things,” she explained. Her presence at the banquet will be one to remember!

If you would like to come to the banquet, you must RSVP by April 14th! The banquet will be held on the April 29th at the Mount Nittany Middle School. If you have any problems or questions, feel free to contact Deanna Miller at, dwm5353@psu.edu.
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 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Teach Ag Avenger Spotlight: Rea Ianson, #psuaged15

Rea Ianson
2014 Teach Ag! Avenger
The Teach Ag Avenger we are shining the spotlight on this month is Rea Ianson! Rea (@rnianson08) is a perfect example of a small town girl with big time dreams. She grew up on her family’s maple farm in Coudersport, PA where she has helped every year with the syrup production along with the beef cattle her family raises.

While attending Coudersport Jr. Sr. High School, Rea was involved in many things but nothing stole her heart as much as FFA. She was an active member and officer in the Spud Growers FFA Chapter. Her love for her family’s farm and her experiences in FFA began Rea’s journey in the agriculture industry. Along with being an AEE major, her time as an avenger have reassured Rea that Agriculture Education is the right path for her!

Rea’s favorite part of being an avenger is getting to promote something she is very passionate about and help others realize the infinite possibilities in agriculture. She also stated “I love the connections I have been able to make through this experience. I have met amazing leaders in FFA, incredible agriculture educators and students who are going to create a great future for this major!”

Rea and fellow Teach Ag! Avengers
Laura, Olivia & Howard
Along with the connections she has made with people in the public, Rea, a 2015 student teacher, values the relationships she has made with the other avengers throughout this year so far. “It’s great to go through this experience with other AEE students, we really have become like a family!”

Rea has participated in numerous events as an avenger and says the skills she is learning will benefit her future in so many ways. “I’m learning public speaking skills, communication skills and professional development all while recruiting and promoting this major!”

Rea’s future plans include becoming the best agriculture educator and FFA advisor she can be, raise a family of her own and living on her own maple farm!

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
2014 Teach Ag Avenger
@Its_LauraBeth

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Checking in with 2014 Student Teacher Jeanne Case! #psuaged14



Jeanne Case, 2014 Student Teacher

Jeanne Case (JRose_Case), a 2014 student teacher has come a long way to get to where she is today! From her countless hands on experience with the blog, her internship at the PA Farm Bureau, her involvement with the College of Agriculture, and so many more, she can honestly say that it all has prepared her for this experience. Jeanne is under the watchful eye of Mrs. Barzydlo in Dover Area High School in York County. Her everyday interactions with the kids and her enthusiasm to teach has made everything worth it for her.



Students in her auto
shop class

When Jeanne first arrived she had a lot of experiences to prepare her for this position. She has dealt with so many different people that have been in her life it is easy for her to deal with difficult situations. She was a part of Delta Theta Sigma (an agriculture fraternity), multiple clubs including Teach Ag! Society and CFFA, and her internship with the PA Farm Bureau. With all of the people skills she attained she was able to apply them at her student teaching experience! Jeanne stated, “Some students "tested" me by turning a blow torch on when they were behind a box and I could only see them from shoulders up. I calmly told them "no, no, turn that off" and apparently I passed the test because I didn't freak out and start yelling at them. At least, that is what they told Mrs. B. I didn't think it was a big deal, growing up with farm friends and dealing with my fraternity brothers, it didn't really phase me.”  At least all of her life situations ended up in her benefit!

Students working in the
green house

Jeanne was surprised to learn how much she was interested in teaching subjects that she had no idea she would love! She found out that she actually has a knack for teaching horticulture, which was funny to her because she hated making those lesson plans! She had the “ah ha moment” when she realized that she actually learned a lot of horticulture and plant science from her parents when she was growing up!

 Jeanne also made sure to leave some advice for the future student teachers! Her senior fall picked up so quickly that she realized she had to get her “Moodles” and assignments done quickly to make sure to be ready with all the lesson plans she needed to get done. She also stated, “Go to your cooperating center with an open mind. I did not meet any of my students except for one before I started teaching. They turned out to be AWESOME! I am glad that I got to meet them when I started teaching because it has let us learn together”
Jeanne and some of the students!


 “My students make my student teaching experience, if we did not have such a good time together, teaching would not be worth it for me.” Jeanne Case is going to do great things in the future and we can’t wait to check back in and see where she is and what she has been up to! 

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-SweetStudent Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher 

#psuaged16, Janae Herr in Honduras!

Janae Herr, 2016 Student Teacher candidate
on her trip to Honduras!
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page.” Over spring break this year, Ag Ed major, Janae Herr, added a few more pages to her book. Janae, a 2016 student teacher candidate, had the privilege of visiting Zamorano University in the Yeguare Valley in Honduras. This trip was part of an embedded course (CED499B) here at Penn State. The course is a Community, Environment and Development class that studies Agricultural communities and development in the surrounding areas.  There were seven students in the group and two faculty members that attended.

While in Honduras, Janae (@kjherr17) had the opportunity to visit several different, small communities in the valley around Zamorano. She said “You could consider Zamorano the equivalent of a Land Grant University here in the states. They operate by a “learning by doing” model, Agriculture Education in its simplest, most effective terms.”

Milking cows with the Zemorano students!
While in some of the communities, the group learned about the efforts going on to increase the tourism industry in order to increase the communities’ income. She also hiked through a biological reserve and visited two elementary schools.

 While the trip was full of awesome opportunities, the ones that stood out to Janae were the ones that related to her passion; agriculture. One of the interesting agriculturally related activities was participating in a number of farm tours. Janae stated

Janae’s greatest takeaway from her trip was the experience she had milking cows with some of the Zamorano students. “Hands down, my most favorite memory of the trip is most assuredly waking up at 3:30 in the morning to join the third year students to milk the cows on campus. Being raised on a Dairy farm, I really enjoyed comparing my farm operation to the University operation while working alongside students.”


Janae showing off her Teach Ag! pride in Honduras!
Traveling to Honduras was Janae’s first time out of the country but she ensures it will not be the last. She recommends taking any chance you get to travel, especially Ag Ed Majors. “As a future Agricultural Educator, I will have the responsibility of preparing my students who are the future of fields like Environmental Resources and Agriculture Research. What better way for me to teach them but with my first hand experiences!”  Along with the Agriculture and Extension Education major, Janae has an International Ag minor. 

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 
2015 Student Teacher
Twitter: @Its_LauraBeth
Teach Ag! Avenger

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#psuaged13 Britney Marsh's YouTube Video on her Program

Watch this awesome YouTube video created by Britney Marsh (@b_marsh216) and her students on the power of school-based agricultural education at Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center  - Red Mountain (@AAEC_FFA).

It was entered in the NAAE (@NAAE) Advocacy Video Contest and selected as an honorable mention video! It will be showcased  at the 2014 NAAE Convention in Nashville, TN!

Jenna Moser's (@JennaLeeMoser) adventures in Mexico!

Jenna Moser
2015 Student Teacher


Jenna Moser (@JennaLeeMoser), a 2015 student teacher, has used her professional networking to her benefit for her spring break! Jenna traveled to Guanajuato, Mexico with her online class that she heard about through Pennsylvania’s former Secretary of Agriculture and former member of the House of Representatives, Sam Hayes! She has known Sam since she was seven years old, seeing him at fairs and other Ag events, Sam knew Jenna would be the perfect addition to the Mexico trip! She traveled with students from Penn State Lehigh, Altoona, and Harrisburg commonwealth campuses that were all enrolled in the online Civic Engagement course.
One of the greenhouses that
they visited!
When they all got to Mexico, they were able to do some awesome things! They traveled to several museums where they learned about the cultural history, saw beautiful cathedrals, attended an outdoor rodeo, learned about agave (the plant that is used to produce a juice that is then fermented to make tequila), see a 32 acre strawberry farm, visited the Green Giant vegetable processing plant and so much more!

The cultural aspect of Mexico spiked Jenna’s interest as well. She said, “I was able to enjoy the warmth of the sun and experience the present culture and sense of community.  In the evenings there were always people on the streets watching movies on a huge screen, playing music using string instruments, and simply living in the moment and taking time to enjoy each other’s company.” It is the small things in life that really count!
The outdoor rodeo.

Jenna’s greatest take away from the trip was the importance of the partnership between the United States and Mexico. Jenna was also truly influenced by the migrant workers. She states, “ I firmly believe that American agriculture would not be as successful as it is today without the aid of migrant workers. “ She truly appreciated all that Mexico has done for the United States and vice versa! Sam Hayes stated it well. He says “Our two countries are joined at the hip whether we like it or not, so we might as well like it.”


Strawberries that were grown in Mexico!

Since Jenna has been back, she has brought her new learned experiences back to the United States. It has helped her realize how important and how much we rely on the global market. For one example, she learned how much we rely on Mexico for strawberries during the winter months. Jenna is so excited to start teaching her students about the global market. "Agriculture Education and the FFA leadership program emphasize on the experiential learning component, and if I can use my experiences to teach my students about our vast industry of agriculture, than I am living out the FFA motto: “Learning to Do; Doing to Learn; Earning to Live; Living to Serve.”

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-SweetStudent Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher