Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why be an Agriculture Teacher? That's CRAZY! A View from a Mont Alto AEE Major!

By: Matthew Dodson, 

2013 Teach Ag Avenger
2016 Student Teacher Candidate

Everywhere I go I always get asked the same question:  "What are you going to college for?"  Every time I respond, "I want to be an agriculture teacher!"  Most people either do not know what that is or say it is a crazy pursuit.  They always say, "You won't make any money!" or "People actually teach that??"  Personally, I want to be an agriculture teacher to make a difference in the lives of students and ensure the future of agriculture...Instead of me sharing why I think agriculture teaching is so important, let's take a look at what others had to say

The Big Question:  "Why Teach Ag?"

"I want to have the opportunity to help students grow and develop into successful young adults is something I love doing. I love working with students and helping them."
- Sam Reubenstein

"I realized that as an Ag teacher you are not just a teacher, you are a mentor. You are someone who is looked up to, and I would love to teach students who have a passion for the same things I do."
- Kelsey Henry 

"I want to be an Ag Teacher because I want to be able to help students in agriculture grow and develop into the leaders that they all can be! Passing down the skills and knowledge I was taught in high school to the next generation of floriculturalists."
- Mark Wade 

"I want to be an Ag Teacher because I grew up on a farm and I really enjoyed everyday of it and that experience is one I would love to share with my students so they can truly know what hard work really is.  I want to make a difference in their lives, and help them get on the right track to a promising future."
Rea Ianson

These students truly have a passion for agriculture and have their own unique and credible reasons for choosing this career path.  So the question is...Will you Teach Ag??  Check out the following links for some great information on what this career is all about!  National Association of Agricultural Educators campaign Teach Ag has some great resources!

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

National Championship!!! Penn State Alpha Tau Alpha wins National Quiz Bowl Competition

Indianapolis – Five dedicated Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) majors saw their hard work pay off on October 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana as they were crowned National Champions in a National Quiz Bowl Event. Students in any agriculturally related student organization in universities across the nation could compete in the event hosted by the National Alpha Tau Alpha (ATA) organization.   Alpha Tau Alpha is a National Professional Honorary Agricultural Education Organization which plays a vital role in preparing individuals who wish to pursue careers in Agricultural and Extension Education. Alpha Tau Alpha chapters exist in more than thirty one states across the United States and pride their organizations for outstanding and diligent work in professional development, fundraising, community service and fellowship. Penn State's Eta chapter was founded in 1931.
From Left to Right: Ashley Tressler,
Jeanne Case, Caleb Wright,
Mackenzie McCollum, Emily Urban
Each year, the National ATA Organization holds competitive events during the ATA Conclave, which is held in conjunction with the National FFA Convention. Penn State's team consisted of five students, Mackenzie McCollum, senior and 2013 Student Teacher; Caleb Wright, junior and 2014 Student Teacher; Ashley Tresslersenior and 2013 Student Teacher;  Jeanne Casejunior and 2014 Student Teacher; and Emily Urban junior and 2014 Student Teacher; as the alternate

The team endured four rounds of competition in their quest for a national championship.. During the competition, questions were asked to test the students knowledge in three areas; Technical Agriculture, Professional Education, and Agricultural Education. Each round of play consisted of four teams with four members each. The top two teams at the end of the round moved to the next round. Each round consisted of 18 toss up questions, six from each area listed above. Each toss up question was worth two points. Each toss up question was followed by a bonus question, where a team could receive up to four points for the correct answer.
The team anxiously waiting for the next question.

While the competition was tough, Penn State’s well rounded team prevailed, which is not surprising considering the amount of practice they put in to prepare themselves for the competition. Teammate Caleb Wright claims, “Competing in quiz bowl was an awesome experience. The team was able to represent not only the University, but the College of Agricultural Sciences and the AESE Department as well. Bringing home the championship was icing on the cake! Preparing as a team was a great way to forge new friendships and build on the ones already formed. Agricultural Education at Penn State and throughout the country is a close knit group, so any chance to learn more about your future colleagues is always a blast.”
To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter @TeachAgPSU, or on Facebook at