This past June was the 84th Pennsylvania State Convention. Just as any other conference, it took a lot of work and volunteers to make sure that the convention ran smoothly. Teachers from across the state chair different CDEs and individuals in the industry, teachers, or college students judge the contests. Penn State Agricultural Education majors, and members of the student organizations Collegiate FFA and TeachAg! Society are highly encouraged to help out during activities week. One student, Cassidy Cheddar, a junior at Penn State, spent her time helping with the Floriculture CDE, where she helped with the identification portion and other tasks that needed done. This work at the State Convention helped her to realize that the Agricultural Education major was where she really belonged. Cassidy told me that while she was there she talked with some of the FFA members and teachers. She was re-inspired by the students desire to learn and it caused her to reconsider what she REALLY wanted to major in. Cassidy talked to people that she respected in the same major, cementing her decision to return to Agricultural Education. Carly Schaffer, another junior Agricultural Education major, helped out as well. Carly did not have FFA in her high school and was not exposed to it until she attended Penn State! Her overall impression of the week was that “It was amazing to see how people pulled together in such a mass amount of energy for the common goal of agriculture, it was pretty inspiring! I left feeling mad that my high school had not given me that opportunity.” Carly also had an interesting misconception of the general session in the auditorium, she thought that they were going to go there to worship corn, but after seeing what happened she was in awe with all the different Career Development Events that the students could get involved in. She left the week feeling less stressed because she felt like the experience helped to guide her with ideas about what her future curriculum could hold. The college students that help out with State Activity Days really get a lot out of the experience as well as the high school students.
|Samantha Bliss and other delegates discuss state issues.|