Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Student Organization Spotlight: Collegiate FFA Experiences Big E!

For many, the end of September means fall is on the way and we can start pulling out those comfy sweaters. For FFA members in the Eastern Region, September brings another opportunity to pull out their blue corduroy jackets.

The Big E, also known as The Eastern States Exposition and “New England’s Great State Fair,” is the largest agricultural event in the east and America’s fifth-largest fair. This fair is held in West Springfield, MA every September. Two days of the seventeen day fair are dedicated as “FFA Days” and consist of career development events and banquets. FFA members from 20 states across the eastern part of the U.S. participate in this event on a yearly basis. For most career development events, teams that receive second place at the state level come to compete at the Big E.


For many years, Penn State Collegiate FFA has traveled to West Springfield to assist with preparation and facilitation of several CDEs. This year, we had a wonderful group of eight that represented CFFA and Penn State. On Friday, we assisted with the Extemporaneous Speaking, and Vet Science CDEs. On Saturday, we assisted supervisors with the Poultry, Environmental and Natural Resources, and Food Science CDEs.

For many of the participants, this was their first time traveling with our organization and to the Big E. It is always exciting to see how people react to being on the other side of the table. Competing and judging are two entirely different experiences, and most do not realize the difficulties, yet joys that comes with judging teams and individuals.

At the end of each experience we encouraged a reflective conversation as we all came back together as a group to share what we encountered that day. It was wonderful to see the interactions between our members. We become closer than ever, sharing stories, laughing together, and making memories.


I think that there is something that everyone can take away from this trip. For me, this was my last time traveling with Collegiate FFA to Big E. I went as a high schooler and now four years with CFFA. Every year is similar, but there are always new memories and experiences. Whether it was getting lost and having to turn around too many times to count, attempting to shout out a license plate before the other team gets it, realizing that Pennsylvania is indeed one of the thirteen colonies, discovering that it is important to read your email closely so you know exactly what you are signing up for, and discovering new facts about each other. All these memories were made through this last experience.


To those of you that have never traveled with CFFA before, I highly recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity before you graduate. Not only is it a resume builder, but it is one weekend that you will remember for years to come. 

To learn more about Penn State Collegiate FFA events and activities, like us on Facebook!



Mikaela Hermstedt

Guest Blogger

2016 PSU Collegiate FFA, President

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy National Teach Ag Day From Penn State Teach Ag!






Happy National Teach Ag! Day from Penn State Teach Ag! We are excited to join in celebration of school-based agricultural education that encourages agricultural education advocates, especially current agricultural educators to share with others the amazing career opportunities in agricultural education.

Today, agriculture educators across the United States will engage in a variety of activities to celebrate this special day. These activities may include special lessons, community activities, and more. The Penn State teach Ag! Society will be engaging in activities at Greenwood High School with Greenwood agricultural science students and FFA members. 

The National Teach Ag Campaign is hosting a live webcast to celebrate National Teach Ag Day from 10 a.m. to noon.  You can watch the celebration (and have your own celebration at the same time) by following this link: http://www.naae.org/teachag/webcast/index.cfm  


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.



Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Three Students Recieve NAAE Upper Division Scholarship

Students studying Agricultural and Extension Education at the Pennsylvania State University were selected as recipients for the Upper Division Agricultural Education Scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

The Upper Division Agricultural Education scholarship is awarded to upper level agricultural education majors to help offset expenses during their student teaching experience. Twenty-five students from across the United States were selected based on their academic performance as well as on leadership and service activities. Penn State is proud to call three recipients our own!  Penn State students chosen were Kayla Hack, Miranda Kane, and Matthew Snyder -- 2017 Penn State Student Teacher Candidates.



Dr. Foster, an Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Extension Education and Student Teacher Coordinator, believes that these three students are well deserving of the scholarship.  “As a teacher educator, I believe our goal is to cultivate the dispositions in our candidates of: empathy, hunger for continued learning/critical analysis and service. I believe our three students’ actions have truly evidenced all three of these.” The combination of the described dispositions has allowed these students to become better prepared for their next journey as student teachers.



Kayla Hack will be a student teacher at Pequea Valley High School this Spring. During her student teaching experience she will continue to cultivate hunger for continued learning/critical analysis in the classroom. Kayla believes that, “The future of our country and world depends on agriculture, and will be at the front lines of the global issues that my students and I will face. As an agricultural educator I have the unique ability to ask questions that intersect with global problems and other academic subjects. These questions can lead my students and I to discover how we will face the problems of today and the ones of tomorrow.




Miranda Kane will be a student teacher at Greenwood High School this Spring.  During her student teaching experience she will continue to cultivate empathy in the classroom. “I envision myself working with students of all walks of life, sharing knowledge, and witnessing them grow in their experiences. I enjoy advocating for something that is so essential to humanity, as agriculture. I also love the idea of working with students who can go out and continue sharing about agriculture.”



Matthew Snyder will be a student teacher at Mifflinburg High School this Spring. During his student teaching experience he will continue to cultivate service. Matthew has seen how his service as a future educator is, “Providing opportunities for the youth to expand their knowledge and experiences in agriculture. This can be achieved through hands-on learning with SAE projects and community development opportunities.”

Kayla Hack, Miranda Kane, and Matthew Snyder are truly deserving of the Upper Division Agricultural Education Scholarship. The scholarship will prove useful as they journey through their student teaching experience!



The funding for the NAAE Upper Division Scholarship program comes from National Geographic Learning | Cengage Learning and donations by NAAE members. NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators. It provides its nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service”.  The NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, KY.



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.




Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Three Students Recieve NAAE Upper Division Scholarship

Students studying Agricultural and Extension Education at the Pennsylvania State University were selected as recipients for the Upper Division Agricultural Education Scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

The Upper Division Agricultural Education scholarship is awarded to upper level agricultural education majors to help offset expenses during their student teaching experience. Twenty-five students from across the United States were selected based on their academic performance as well as on leadership and service activities. Penn State is proud to call three recipients our own!  Penn State students chosen were Kayla Hack, Miranda Kane, and Matthew Snyder -- 2017 Penn State Student Teacher Candidates.



Dr. Foster, an Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Extension Education and Student Teacher Coordinator, believes that these three students are well deserving of the scholarship.  “As a teacher educator, I believe our goal is to cultivate the dispositions in our candidates of: empathy, hunger for continued learning/critical analysis and service. I believe our three students’ actions have truly evidenced all three of these.” The combination of the described dispositions has allowed these students to become better prepared for their next journey as student teachers.


Kayla Hack will be a student teacher at Pequea Valley High School this Spring. During her student teaching experience she will continue to cultivate hunger for continued learning/critical analysis in the classroom. Kayla believes that, “The future of our country and world depends on agriculture, and will be at the front lines of the global issues that my students and I will face. As an agricultural educator I have the unique ability to ask questions that intersect with global problems and other academic subjects. These questions can lead my students and I to discover how we will face the problems of today and the ones of tomorrow.




Miranda Kane will be a student teacher at Greenwood High School this Spring.  During her student teaching experience she will continue to cultivate empathy in the classroom. “I envision myself working with students of all walks of life, sharing knowledge, and witnessing them grow in their experiences. I enjoy advocating for something that is so essential to humanity, as agriculture. I also love the idea of working with students who can go out and continue sharing about agriculture.”



Matthew Snyder will be a student teacher at Mifflinburg High School this Spring. During his student teaching experience he will continue to cultivate service. Matthew has seen how his service as a future educator is, “Providing opportunities for the youth to expand their knowledge and experiences in agriculture. This can be achieved through hands-on learning with SAE projects and community development opportunities.”

Kayla Hack, Miranda Kane, and Matthew Snyder are truly deserving of the Upper Division Agricultural Education Scholarship. The scholarship will prove useful as they journey through their student teaching experience!



The funding for the NAAE Upper Division Scholarship program comes from National Geographic Learning | Cengage Learning and donations by NAAE members. NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators. It provides its nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service”.  The NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, KY.

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.




Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Student of the Month: Matthew Snyder (@snyder6878) #psuaged17 #studentsuccess

Every month we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! In September, we are proud to share the stories and accomplishments of Mr. Matthew (Matt) Snyder!

M - Mentor
A - Agriculturalist
T - Thoughtful
TTagged

Four words that describe the qualities and characteristics of Matt Snyder.  Matt has exuded these traits through his #TeachAg journey!  But how? 

Matt is a senior majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education, and will be a 2018 Student Teacher at Mifflinburg High School this Spring. A native of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, Matt grew up an agriculturalist.   Involvement on his family’s swine operation ignited his passion for agriculture . Matt was able to expand his knowledge and involvement in the agricultural industry by participating in organizations such as 4-H and FFA. His engagement in these organizations provided him the opportunity to mentor younger members and help guide them in project areas such as swine production. These experiences helped Matt realize he enjoyed helping youth engage and expand their knowledge in topics he was most passionate about.

Although Matt had a passion for agriculture, he was also enthusiastic about numbers. Matt began his post-secondary education experience at West Virginia Wesleyan College; studying Mathematics Education on a scholarship to play football. However not long into the journey, he discovered his heart and interests were still in agriculture. After attending West Virginia Wesleyan College for a year, Matt made the decision to forgo his football scholarship and return home to pursue his interest in agricultural education. The Fall of his Sophomore year, Matt transferred to the Pennsylvania State University. His involvement in the major and agricultural education department has grown throughout his Penn State journey. Matt is a member of the Teach Ag! Society, and has participated in many club events, such as: 2016 Domestic Study Away and Thunder Run.  Matt was named the 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year for Penn State's Agricultural Education Program. He received this honor because his work ethic is described as thoughtful and enthusiastic for everything he does in his pursuit to become an effective educator. “I want to provide today’s youth with a positive influence through school based agricultural education.” Matt has been tagged to Teach Ag! We are excited to see the effect and impact he will leave on his future students.

Want to know some fun facts about Matt? Check them out below!

Hometown: Brockway, PA

Favorite PSU Class: AEE 349

Favorite Place to Eat in State College: Otto’s or Champs

Favorite hangout on Campus: Ferguson 007 (Student Teacher Office)

If you would like to read more about Matt, connect with him via Twitter: @snyder6878




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.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher



Friday, September 9, 2016

Two Penn State Students Chosen to Attend National Conference

Twenty-three future agriscience teachers, who are studying at universities across the United States, will spend three days in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the 2016 Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) symposium that is held in conjunction with the National Teach Ag Day celebrations September 20th-22nd. Of the twenty-three individuals selected, two are members of the Penn State Teach Ag! Society, and Agricultural Education Student Teacher Candidates. Congratulations to George Dietrich and Victoria Herr for being selected to participate in the FAST symposium!

About FAST Symposium-

The FAST symposium consist of professional development training, including instruction on CASE curriculum, and more instructional learning. In addition to professional development, attendees will have the opportunity to explore South Dakota through off-site tours. The FAST symposium is part of the National Teach Ag Campaign, to help raise awareness about the need to recruit and retain quality and diverse agriculture teachers, and to celebrate the positive contributions that agriculture teachers make in their schools and communities

About the Participates-

George Dietrich is junior at the Pennsylvania State University double-majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education and Food Science. He will be a Student Teacher Candidate in 2018, and is currently serving as the Penn State Teach Ag! Society Treasurer. From George’s experience as serving on the Pennsylvania 4-H officer team, he recognizes the need from agriculture and education to provide opportunities for the youth. He applied to attend the FAST symposium because, “To be in a room learning how to be a better agricultural educator sounded appealing and worthwhile.”

Victoria Herr is a sophomore at the Pennsylvania State University majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education. She will be a Student Teacher Candidate in 2019, and is currently serving as the Penn State Teach Ag! Society Secretary. After serving on the Pennsylvania FFA State Officer team, Victoria has been someone who takes advantage of opportunities to grow as an educator. When she heard about the FAST Symposium she knew she wanted to apply to attend. Her reason for attending: “Since there are not many opportunities for students in agricultural education to network in person, this is a great opportunity to get to know other preservice teachers from around the country, and learn more about agricultural education outside of Pennsylvania.” 

This is an amazing opportunity for George and Victoria. They will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge, and experience from their participation in this profession development experience! To learn about George’s and Victoria’s experience from attending the FAST symposium, stay connected.



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.



 Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

 Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

 2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher



Monday, August 29, 2016

Student of the Month: Lisa Boltz (@memyselfandlkb) #studentsuccess

Every month we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! In August, we are proud to share the stories and accomplishments of Ms. Lisa Boltz!


A graduate of Northern Lebanon High School, Lisa began her agricultural education journey in an unexpected fashion.  Lisa joined the FFA organization her freshman year because all freshman at Northern Lebanon complete a meat rabbit production SAE (supervised agricultural experience).  If deemed a successful breeder, the student is then permitted to take home one bunny.  This incentive drove Lisa to dawn the blue and gold, but it was the encouragement of older students to attend events that would eventually spark her passion for agriculture.   

Lisa served as the Parliamentary Procedure specialist for the Penn State Teach Ag! Program from fall 2015 through spring semester 2016.  When asked what she enjoyed most about here position, Lisa mentioned, "I loved being able to help students across the state learn about Parliamentary Procedure, as it is a topic I have come to love and hate at the same time.  I enjoyed being a peer figure students could turn to for advice."  

As an agricultural education major, Lisa looks forward to student teaching in 2019.  Lisa decided to become an agriculture educator midway through her freshman year, making a dramatic change from her aspirations to be a fashion designer!  Her decision was confirmed during her year serving as an FFA State Officer.  "I want to be an FFA advisor for the rest of my life.  I face challenges everyday with a non-traditional agricultural background, but I am relying on college courses, internships and resources to gain new knowledge.


Lisa is a member of the Berks agricultural and environmental club, and PSU Teach Ag! Society.  Lisa has also used her leadership capabilities to serve as a first year mentor on campus, as well as an orientation leader.  



Want to know some fun facts about Lisa? Check them out below!

Hometown: Lickdale, PA

Favorite PSU Class: Ed Psych

Favorite place to eat in State College: The Green Bowl

Favorite Creamery Ice Cream: Depends on my mood: Peachy Paterno or Death by Chocolate

Favorite Hangout on Campus: Commuter lounge at Thun Library

If you could be any animal, what would you be & why?  Definitely a bird so I could fly, have beautiful colored plumage, and so I could actually sing.


If you would like to read more about Lisa, connect with her via 
Twitter: @memyselfandlkb
Instagram: @lkb411


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.







Kayla Hack 


Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher