Sunday, June 30, 2013

Farming and I Grow It: Greg Peterson's story

Greg Peterson giving his presentation.
What would you do to advocate about agriculture?
Who made a random YouTube video as a joke and it has now gone viral and been viewed in 219 countries?? – Greg Peterson and his brothers. At the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Youth Conference, Fueling Agriculture and Cultivating Excellence (FACE) the keynote speaker was Greg Peterson. Yes, one of the very same Peterson bros. Greg Peterson is the oldest of four, with two younger brothers and a younger sister. He recently graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Agricultural Communications. This is the story of how it all began..

Greg, a junior in college at the time was enjoying half price milkshakes at Kansas State University’s local sonic when the song, “Sexy and I know it” came on. He jokingly mentioned to his friends that he should change the words and make it about farming. Greg brought the idea home to his two brothers and they began thinking of ways to film and change the lyrics to fit their lifestyle. It took about 2-3 weeks of video recording with only 2-3 nights of recording the audio and editing. While they were going through this process they did not really tell their friends or parents what they were doing because they did not think it was that big of a deal. They joked it would go viral but – that was more just talk and they did not actually believe it would happen. Four days after the video, "Farming and I grow it", was posted on YouTube, Fox News flew him and his family to New York City to be on the show.

The equipment  they use to produce their videos are quite basic. They use a smart phone and an audio technical voice condenser. To put everything together they use garageband to layer the music and the audio. Once the audio was done they put the film clips on top and edit it until it is just right. They set up the phone on a tripod and have their sister stand behind it to make sure they are in the shot.

This is apart of his presentation.
His ideas on how to promote agriculture.
Greg explained that the success of their videos rely on a variety of techniques, such as relating to the audience, creativity, professionalism, homemade aspect, animals, family and popularity of the original song. He included that the animals and the pictures of the babies were put in for all the girls out there. He said that he personally likes the ‘Farming and I grow it’ song better than the Gangam style song even though it got more views. He said “It’s just a Korean guy rapping words we don’t understand”.

His ideas and suggestions for promoting agriculture is to take initiative. Every little bit counts and it is important to support each other (other sectors of the agriculture industry). Greg told the students to stick with what they know and to tell their story because people are listening. He even stressed that it doesn't have to be through making a video, but that really, anything can happen – so make sure to try your ideas because you don’t want to look back later on down the road and wish that you would have taken the chance with some of the ideas you had. “If all of us were having conversations with new people every day (about agriculture), a ripple effect would occur”.

Greg with the PA Farm Bureau Interns.
 L-R Kelsey Zook, Me (Jeanne Case), Greg, Lindsay Royer
During the question and answer session after the presentation the questions got a little more personal, such as, how did this new “fame” affect your family life? Greg said that when they go places, people tend to stare and know who they are. Really, their fame happened in a day. He was just a normal farmer college student who decided to make a spoof. As a family he said it brought them closer together. They get to go on family trips, such as the NYC trip and the trip that they got to take to Orlando, Florida to get an award. A trip coming up for himself, one of his brothers, and his father is that they are going to Germany in November to attend the largest AG conference in the world, AGRI TECHNICA. He said it’s hard not to get a big head but that his parents really keep them grounded and remind them about who they are.

Do you have any issues with music licensing? When they first started becoming famous, people would write comments on the walls and say that they would get in trouble for using other people’s music since they use the music to other songs as their background music. However, after a little bit of worrying and panicking, they found out that if they do not profit from the music, such as by selling it on iTunes, then they will be okay. They do make t-shirts that have some of the words on it, but that is okay since they own the words, as they made them up.

I personally asked him what his goals were after college before and after this ‘fame’ happened. He said that originally he wanted to return to the farm but also write about agriculture on the side as that was focus of his degree. After the success with the music videos he said that he would like to continue with that until the fame runs out, as well as farming. Their family has about 1,300 head of cattle as well as 1,000 acres of cropland. He said that if all of his siblings decide to take over the farm then they will have to expand, but that it is not a concern right now.

I believe that the students got a lot out of his presentation. He is only a little bit older than them and is just a simple farm kid with a cellphone that has recording capabilities. Greg showed them that if you live out your random ideas that you have --that greats things can come from it. My question to you is -- How will you advocate for agriculture?

 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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

2012 PSU Grad, Brittany Arnold, recognized as 2013 Outstanding CTE New Teacher!

The award Brittany received,
Outstanding New Teacher 2013
Brittany Arnold, a 2012 graduate from Penn State’s Agricultural and Extension Education program was the advisor who chartered the Oakdale FFA chapter in the agricultural program at Oakdale High School in Maryland. The school has  been open for only  a couple of years recently expanding with the addition of an agricultural teacher to the high school. In her first year, Brittany received the award “CTE (Career and Technical Education) Outstanding New Teacher 2013”. She was unaware of her candidacy for the award until she received an email stating that she had won and would be honored at a banquet. The email said that the Career and Technology Advisory Council and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce had selected her for the award.

Ms. Arnold and her students showing off their
 FFA sweatshirts
 To start the program and FFA chapter, Ms. Arnold  had to complete a great deal of paperwork including applications to the state and national FFA associations which asked for  school information, roster, officer team, program of activities and her chapters own constitution and bylaws. After the FFA charter was approved, Oakdale FFA was given a chapter number and planned an official ceremony so they could receive their jackets and start their chapter. Ms. Arnold made the decision to not give the jackets to the students until the ceremony because she wanted it to be a special occasion. The Maryland State FFA officers inducted and jacketed all of the officers and they signed the official charter. The district's school board members and administration attended the ceremony since once in history ceremony for the program. type of ceremony.

Brittany said her biggest struggle so far is that there is not enough time in the day to do everything that she feels needs to be done. She had to prioritize and realize that she was not going to be able to check off everything on her ‘to do list’ for the year, and that it was okay to not get everything accomplished. She feels positive though, and said that they will pick up stronger this coming year.

Her proudest moment of the year is when her students led their first Oakdale High School FFA banquet. She said they did a great job especially for not having anything to go off of as an example. They worked as a team and she really enjoyed seeing all of them in their FFA jackets.

Their chapters FFA Bulletin board.
Ms. Arnold's the best moment of the year was when they hosted their first agricultural day at the high school. They called it P.A.S.S. Day which stands for Plants, Animals, Science and Services. Her FFA and agriculture students ran eight stations connected to all the diverse parts of agriculture. Examples of the stations include: World Hunger, Butter Making, Milking the Cow (live), Vet practices, chickens and eggs and more. She thought it was amazing and eye opening to see over 500 students immersed in agriculture when the year before it did not even exist in the school.

When asked about what from her time at Penn State helped her out the most, she responded, ”the heart and dedication that my professors showed me.”   They showed her that being a teacher was more than just showing up and delivering material. It’s about personal connections and showing students you care. At Oakdale High, they give the students an opportunity to write thank you notes to a faculty member and all of Ms. Arnold's notes mentioned that they were thankful that she cared about them. During her time at Penn State, she also learned useful teaching techniques like E-moments and ways to check for understanding – she uses these techniques on a daily basis.

Brittany Arnold at 2012 PSU Graduation
with Teacher Education Faculty
Lastly, when asked if she had any tips or comments for future teachers that will start their own programs she said "don’t hesitate to be different!!!! I did some things this year that many other schools don’t do and I took the program and ran with it. I have doubled my numbers in one year and a lot of that is because I went out and advertised and showed students what agriculture was. Opening your own program or chapter is great because you get the chance to make your own traditions! I started things that I am so proud of and the students really enjoy it. Show that you care about them and that you are really there for them and they will be devoted to you and your program in no time.”

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

Caleb Wright: PSU Teach Ag Avenger and 2013 Case New Holland Intern

Caleb Wright standing in front of New Holland equipment.
Caleb Wright, a spring 2014 student teacher, is interning at Case New Holland, CNH, this summer in New Holland, PA as the Dairy and Livestock Marketing Segment Intern for New Holland Agriculture. He has always enjoyed broadening his education through experiences and internships. He has wanted to have an experience in the corporate industry and has found marketing and public relations interesting.

In CNH there are a lot of opportunities to work in different areas of marketing. To get the internship, Caleb submitted his resume online and completed an interview process with the Case New Holland Talent Acquisition staff.  The Dairy and Livestock Marketing Segment Intern is responsible for marketing all hay and forage equipment, along with mid-range (60-140) horsepower tractors.

Caleb said so far in his internship, no two days have been the same. Right now, his main responsibility is editing and updating a an annual report  sent to all dealers that highlights Model Year 2014 products as well as prepares them for the coming year of retail sales. Additionally, Caleb creates correspondence, other documentation and helps with the photo and video shoots. Caleb is surprised by the amount of time that he spends outside of the office during the shoots. All the photos that are seen on publications that have the New Holland logo are taken by a professional photographer. Caleb is impressed by the amount of work it takes to get high quality usable product for the promotional materials.

When asked what his favorite part of the internship is, Caleb responds with being able to work with the equipment. He typically gets to work with the equipment during the photo shoots or moving the equipment around for a variety of reasons. He gets to drive equipment that is brand new – which is something that many farmers never get to experience. Caleb enjoys being outside and likes to see and use the photos after they are done.

Attention to details are the three key words that Caleb says come to mind when asked how this internship will help him as a future educator. When he has to edit documents, that will be sent to customers and dealers, detail is a necessity to make sure everything is correct. The same goes for when he has to look for the same formatting in the documents. Details are a key element to marketing. An example is looking at photos from New Holland, each one should have the driver wearing his or her seat belt. Details such as this can make a major difference in the eye of the customer. He noted that, for example, that an FFA monthly meeting could be a small detail in the chapter can make a huge difference in the eye of an Administrator or community member.

In conclusion, Caleb says that New Holland is an amazing company to work for as an intern. His advice to others is – ‘any student, no matter your major, should consider having some sort of internship experience!’

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

Friday, June 14, 2013

Returning to School for YOUR Agricultural Education Degree

Agricultural Education - What is your passion?

In the College of Agricultural Sciences, everyone has one similar passion – Agriculture. When someone graduates with their undergraduate degree, they probably have a dream job in their head, but sometimes that does not work out. They may be unsatisfied with their job; or maybe they want better benefits and a steadier paycheck. Teaching agriculture in a high school or through extension is all about the passion, the passion of agriculture. This blog will showcase three individuals who chose to return to school for teacher certification; two teachers that have graduated from Penn State and have been teaching for various lengths, and a current student. Each of them expresses their passion of agriculture and teaching as they go throughout their careers.

Tracy Marchini & Grassland FFA Members
The first teacher is Tracy Marchini, from Garden Spot High School in South Eastern, PA. Her undergraduate degree was in Agriculture Economics and Rural Sociology and it only took her one year to decide that she wanted to come back and get her teaching degree. Before that decision was made, she was working in a factory. She decided to teach Agriculture Education after learning about the opportunities when dating an Ag Ed major. She had wanted to be a teacher, but when she was in school she was told there were too many teachers. (She did not come from a school that had an Ag Ed program so she did not know it was an option). When she found out she could combine two or her interests, teaching and agriculture, she was hooked! Tracy taught for two years in the 80’s before raising her family and now she has been teaching for eight years since she started again. Her words of the wisdom to share are “Love what you do. Teaching agriculture is a very demanding career but the benefits are wonderful. Watching student grow for 4+ years is great. I am now seeing some of my students move onto college and careers in agriculture. If you love what you do you can get up each day and give all that you can for your students”.

Mackenzie Crooks, Lebanon (IN) Agriscience Teacher
The second teacher we are profiling is Mackenzie Crooks who currently teaches in Lebanon, Indiana. She completed the Penn State agricultural education certification program in 2012. Her undergraduate degree was in Animal Science with agribusiness management and equine science minors; she graduated from her undergrad in May 2009 and returned for her teaching degree in January of 2011. Before she returned to school she was a manager at a local Tractor Supply store. She said that while managing Tractor Supply she talked with a large population of people that were agriculture illiterate. Mackenzie found it interesting to hear the customers making comments about agriculture that did not make sense. Her favorite example is when she overheard a customer say that they didn’t like hunting because animals were hurt. Instead they only bought their meat from the store, “where no animals were hurt to make the meat”. She wants to be able to teach the future generations the joys of agriculture. She loves sharing her passion of agriculture with her students now, and has been doing so for a year. Her words of the wisdom to share are “Teaching agriculture is like a roller coaster. Every day is different. You will have days that are great, and you are going to have days that make you question your decision to be a teacher. But at the end of the day, seeing the kids excited about agriculture makes it all worth it”.

Sean Scanlon, 2014 Elizabethtown Student Teacher
Our third non-traditional student to profile is Sean Scanlon, who is currently attending Penn State and will be student teaching in spring 2014. He graduated from Radford University with his M.B.A in 1994 and returned to Penn State in the spring of 2012. He spent the previous 15 years actively farming and got into substituting at high schools which made him want to come back for his teaching degree. He has been substituting for the past 7 years to add to his farm income, and he has decided to downscale his farm to enter the teaching profession because he really enjoys it, and the steady income. He decided to teach agriculture because agriculture is his passion! He studied Animal Science and Agriculture Economics as an undergrad at Virginia Tech and went into extension for two years with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension service before farming for 15 years. Agriculture education, unlike some other disciplines, is singular and unique in its ability to shape, change, and positively impact students’ lives in measurable, long lasting ways. His words of the Wisdom are “If you ever want to instruct at any level in agriculture education/extension take AEE 412 (a class offered at PSU) and the lab. It will stretch you, set you apart from everyone else, and make you an effective educator in any capacity. Keep an open mind about agriculture education (you can learn something from everyone you meet, if you take the time to listen), it’s a craft you develop; PSU is a great place to start developing your craft. Be a true lifelong learner, it’s worth the time, sacrifice, and money (investment).”

These are three people in the Agriculture Education field who all have the same passion – The passion for agriculture. Each one of them has their own individual story, unique to them as to how they became an agricultural educator.  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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Krista Pontius, 1997/2005 PSU AEE Alum = Great People

One of the most wonderful things about being involved in secondary school-based agricultural education is the opportunity to interact with epically amazing individuals.

Krista Pontius is the current life-altering, positive change agent, agriscience teacher at Greenwood High School in Millerstown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State in 1997 with a Bachelor's of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education and in 2005 with a Master's of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education.

Her cooperating teacher was Mr. Ron Frederick at Twin Valley HS in 1997. She was the agriscience teacher at Cumberland Perry Vocational Technical School the 1997-98 school year, at Big Spring High School from 1998-1999, and for the past 14 years at Greenwood High School.

She is a 2013 Teacher Impact Award Winner. Her video is below and she epitomizes the philosophical sound educator that Penn State strives to prepare.

Follow her on Twitter @kristapontius.

2013 Teacher Impact Award Krista Pontius from Fryfilms, LLC on Vimeo.

Two National Teach Ag Ambassadors for Consecutive Years! WE ARE...PENN STATE!

Meagan and Jillian at National Convention,
 one could say they are passionate for FFA

Two Penn State students were chosen to be Teach Ag Ambassadors for National FFA, for the second year in a row! Meagan Slates and Jillian Gordon are two out of 11 students across the country that will be talking to high school students at the National FFA Convention about majoring in agricultural education.

The purpose of the campaign is to increase awareness of the need for more agricultural teachers. Their is a critical shortage of teachers across the nation, a crisis that has been acknowledged in public comment by both the USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDE Secretary Arne Duncan. In the next three years, there are more than 700 agricultural teachers expected to retire. There are also new programs opening up that are in need of teachers to fill their positions. Every student deserves the opportunity to be engaged in a outstanding agricultural education program and the agriscience teacher is the most important element to the success of a secondary agricultural education  program. More information about the Teach Ag Campaign can be found at their website.

Applicants submitted an application, resume, references and an essay on their desire to be a National Teach Ag Ambassador. The next step involved a phone interview. The ideal candidates are friendly or easy to talk to and have a passion for agricultural education. Their duties include attending the nation’s largest annual gathering of students, National FFA Convention, and staffing the National Teach Ag booth in the National FFA Career Expo where more than 54,000 students, teachers, school administrators, former FFA members and guests tour the More than 350 exhibitors at the Expo. In addition, all the ambassadors will be paired with an agriculture teacher as a mentor who will help and guide them to plan, prepare and present an agriculture lesson at a Louisville area middle school, a great field teaching experience! Other opportunities or duties could be assigned as they arise!

Meagan Slates is a senior and going to student teach in spring 2014
Meagan Slates believes that AEE majors in college have the opportunity to pay it forward by really connecting with high school students and get them thinking about life after high school and the best major out there – agricultural education.  Meagan feels honored to be a part of the National Teach Ag Campaign. She highly enjoys interacting and teaching students. Her goal is to have every student that walks by the booth at national convention to at least consider the amazing career of  teaching agriculture. Meagan thinks this position will be a huge learning experience for her. It is bigger than anything that she has ever experienced as an educator. As a girl that does not typically leave the state of Pennsylvania, this position is out of Meagan’s comfort zone, but she looks forward to the challenge. Meagan went with the PSU Teach Ag Society to Arizona to visit agricultural educational programs and learned that there is so much more out there and so many programs to be involved in. Being involved in the Campaign will help her to become a better leader and educator. 

Jillian Gordon is a junior and will be student teaching in spring 2015
Jillian Gordon is a veteran Teach Ag Ambassador. She had to re-apply the same as everyone else and made the cut again. She really enjoyed her first year as a Teach Ag Ambassador and with a year of experience under her, she will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity.  Jill is excited to have the chance to connect with other NAAE (National Association of Agricultural Educators) members around the country. It is important as an agricultural educator to network as much as possible in order to gain experience and become the best agricultural teacher she can be for her future students.  Jill said the position will be very similar to last year, although the structure of the program has changed since last year. The booth will be all new this year and they will receive a workshop day, so they really understand the purpose of the National Teach Ag campaign.

I know Meagan and Jillian will represent Penn State and our agricultural education program well. With Penn State2 again, I hope it really becomes a continuing tradition to always have PSU students involved. Heather Pray, a girl that was a Teach Ag Ambassador last year with Jill, recently graduated this spring and is looking to go into working with youth through 4-H. 

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kyle Norman, 2006 PSU Alumnus, and Brockway Agriscience Teacher finalist for Teacher of the Year Award

Kyle Normal helps his students dissect
a ruminant digestive system
Kyle Norman from Brockway High School, is nominated for this year’s Teacher of the Year award, and has made it into the top 12 so far! He graduated from Penn State in 2006 from the Penn State Agricultural Education Teacher Preparation program. He has been teaching for seven years, with his first year at Central Mountain in Lock Haven and his past six years at Brockway High School. Three other teachers in his school have been previously nominated for the award; they must be doing something right!

His preparation for education started while he was in high school. Kyle had some great teachers in high school but his ag teachers, Mr. Kennis, Mr. Way, and Mrs. Carr really stood out. They gave him the inspiration to become an ag teacher and the background knowledge that he would need to be successful in college. Penn State helped him with teaching by requiring him to take a wide range of classes, giving him a good range of knowledge to adapt to different topics and situations that occur in a high school setting. His professors at Penn State also helped to inspire him to continue with his career goals, especially Dr. Scanlon, his adviser, who helped keep him on the right path. To continue growing as a great teacher, Kyle keeps up with his professional development by taking college classes to earn his masters degree and he continues to take courses beyond the degree requirements. He also attends workshops when they are offered at SLLC and other FFA activities.
Brockway agriscience students constructing a  high tunnel

At Brockway, his class sizes could be considered small, ranging from about 7 students to as large as 16. Sixteen students in one class are the largest he can have as per the recommendation of  his local program advisory committee. Mr. Norman's classes are structured in the the traditional format of  ag 1, ag 2, ag 3, and ag 4. In those classes, he focuses on different topics including animal science, horticulture, small gas engines, forestry, wildlife, electrical, wood working, welding and other topics that his students find interesting. He tried to build in a little time in each class to directly address his students interests. If they are really interested in a topic, he will take extra time to go more in-depth with it. Kyle goes above and beyond in the classroom by teaching engaging in hands on lessons like dissecting the digestive tract of a cow and teaching students how to use a GPS system by having them geocaching in their area. GPS systems are being used more and more in agriculture today such as in planting and fertilizing, especially out west. His program also operates a greenhouse and hi tunnel, as well as starting and running a local farmers market.
Brockway Agriscience Programs Greenhouse

Kyle finds the other teachers at his school that have been nominated inspiring. He says that they are great teachers, and great people. They always put the students ahead of themselves and are always working to better themselves, their classroom and Brockway. With technology changing, they are always looking for ways to integrate new technologies, experiences, and teaching methods into their classroom. He looks to them for guidance and support throughout the whole nomination and award process.

Kyle feels very fortunate to work in Brockway with amazing teachers, administrators and staff. He said the feeling of being nominated for teacher of the year is surreal. “There are about 500 school districts in Pennsylvania and just to be nominated is an honor, but to make it to the top 12 is unbelievable. My program is not all that different from the other agricultural programs in the state. I truly believe that any ag teacher in the state of Pennsylvania could be in the top 12!”
Mr. Norman's students release pheasants
with the game commission

A video can be found here, showing Kyle Norma with his students. It was done by We Are Central PA. 

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

Endurance. Knowledge. Leadership - AEE Major plays pivotal role in National Champion ROTC Team

Penn State ROTC Sandhurst Team with AEE Major Kate Bassett
at the Award Cermoney. 
Endurance.  Knowledge.  Leadership.  These three components can describe a wide variety of things in this world- Agricultural Education, FFA, sports,or THE MILITARY.  One AEE Major, Kate Bassett (2015 Teacher Candidate) found out first hand how they applied an international military skills competition – Sandhurst.  Kate has been at University Park for the past two years and in that time she has participated in the Reserve Officer Training Corps(ROTC) and served as the female representative on the Penn State Sandhurst Team. Penn State ROTC is the number 1 team in the nation and the number 2 team in the world! The 2nd overall placing set a record as No ROTC school has ever placed that high in Sandhurst history!

Growing up on a small family farm showing Percheron horses, Kate is evidence that farm kids can go anywhere and achieve anything they set their mind to. The goals of the competition are to develop leaders and international relationships. In order for a ROTC school to compete, they have to first win their Brigade Ranger Challenge in the fall. There are a total of 8 brigades in the country and 8 ROTC schools compete. The 10 international teams that competed this year included two from the UK and one from China, Chile, Brazil, Qatar, Australia, Germany, South Korea, and Canada.

Kate Bassett and her team putting on their proper gas masks
What’s involved?? Out of the members who competed in the Ranger Challenge, only 9 can go on to the Sandhurst; companies have to try out against each other to see who can attend. After the team is selected they train each morning from 5:30-7:00 a.m! Sometimes they even have to meet at 5 a.m! They also have two, two hour labs every week dedicated to training for the competition. 

The team does lots of physical training, but they also train for a variety of skills which include: military equipment identification, rope bridge construction, throwing grenades, proper pro-mask (gas masks) assembly and running/ completing tasks with them on, 5 different weapon systems assembly/disassembly, obstacle completion, marksmanship, TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care), land navigation and much more. In addition to all that training during the week, they also have a field training exercise that is 16 hours on a Saturday.  Above and beyond their practice during the week, they also like to enjoy weekend runs as a team. Furthermore they are expected to work out on their own in addition to the morning training – this will help build and maintain physical endurance.
Kate Bassett, 2015 AEE Major and her team running to the finish line

Competition Day.  Friday’s competition during the Sandhurst included approximately a 9 mile course that had checkpoints along a designated route. One of the checkpoints was marksmanship and another was a two hours time slot for land navigation up and down very steep and rocky terrain. Friday took 5 hours for one team, from start to finish on the course.. Saturday was about a 7-8 mile course with 18 different stations that each had a separate task. For example one was scaling a 10 foot wall while the rest were the tasks they had trained for. More information about Sandhurst can be found here.

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher  
Twitter: @JRose_Case