Friday, January 31, 2014

"Howzit!" Following up with 2013 AEE graduates Ag Ed South African Adventure!


This is Britney Marsh in Arizona!
Did you know that South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit? Or has its own penguin colony? Or that it has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world?!? Well one of Penn State’s AEE Alumni from 2013, Britney Marsh, is actually taking a group of her high school agriscience students to South Africa from May 25th to June 2nd!
Britney Marsh is a secondary Agricultural Educator/FFA adviser at Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center (AAEC)- Red Mountain Career Prep High School in Mesa, Arizona. She has traveled a long way to teach her amazing group of students and is now taking ten of them on an exciting adventure. They will be traveling and staying in Port Elizabeth at the Ulovane Environmental Center as well as traveling to the Amakhala Game Reserve.

If you have never heard of the game reserve before, it is a fantastic place. The founders wanted to make a malaria free safe zone in the eastern part of the country for animals to roam freely. They are trying to restore the land into its natural conditions again. The students will have the opportunity to learn about terrestrial plants, different bird species, and about the mighty mammals of South Africa. They will also be observing animal behavior on the reserve.
A group of tourists on the reserve!
  On top of all of that, they will be going on night safaris, exploring the marine intertidal ecosystems, look at the changing vegetation at the AddoElephant Park Woody Cape, going on a coastal scrub, and even looking at the dune forest in the diverse Albany Thicket. Studying is not the only thing they will be doing. They will have the chance to visit the village of Patterson where they will visit an Isipho village, (a program that helps the iNzinga people) multi-purpose facility which assists victims of AIDS. 

They will sit in on a lecture of the “Role of the Wildlife Veterinarian in South Africa.” Then they will be able to learn how to capture and immobilize animals. After they learned the proper procedures, they will actually practice shooting darts and then capture antelopes by themselves! They will practice ear notching and taking blood samples for DNA. Crazy right?! There will be no breaks on this amazing educational trip!

Britney is looking forward to bringing new information for her classes next year. The trip should be an awesome experience for all people that will be in attendance!
If you would like more information about the trip, or how you can start a trip like this in your school, Britney Marsh (@b_marsh216) provided her email address: BMarsh@aaechighschools.com, 
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   




Thursday, January 30, 2014

2015 Student Teachers and Ag. Ed. Majors Travel the Nation Inspiring Student Success

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Jillian Gordon and Matthew Reutlinger, 2015 PSU Student Teachers (#psuaged15) were chosen to visit many states and facilitate conferences for hundreds of youth throughout the year. The 212 Conference, which Jillian and Matt are a part of, is one of the seven conferences put on by National FFA.
Matthew Reutlinger and Jillian Gordon have been travelling to many states
facilitating conferences for the National FFA program.
The conference is called 212 because that is the temperature at which water boils. This conference focuses on taking students to the boiling point of leadership. It also focuses on student development and challenges students to push the limits. This year's conferences have been utilizing the Growth curriculum. This curriculum is designed to engage students through sessions about their personal growth. Students tackle questions, share success stories, and ultimately identify a mentor to help them with continued growth.
Matthew Reutlinger, 2015 Student Teacher

Matt and Jill typically facilitate to a group of about 180-200 high school students. Most of the conferences last two days and they highlight personal, mental, emotional, physical, social and lifelong growth. Matt (@mreutlinger) stated “We try to make each session as high energy as we can because students and sponsors have given a lot to make these conferences happen. It is Jillian and my responsibility to make sure they get the most for it.”

Jillian Gordon, 2015 Student Teacher
Matt and Jill have been facilitating many workshops, events and conferences for about 3 years. With the 212 program they have traveled to Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois and have upcoming trips to North Dakota and North Carolina. Jillian (@jillianpsu) said “My favorite part about the 212 conference is getting to know how students learn and engage different every place we go. There really is a difference in personalities and it’s fun to figure out how we need to modify our curriculum or teaching style for those students."



For more information on the FFA 212 conference and other opportunities through the National FFA program visit www.ffa.org/events.

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
2015 Student Teacher
@Its_LauraBeth





Distinguished Alumni Dr. MeeCee Baker

MeeCee Baker
Penn State College of Ag Sciences recently recognized Dr. MeeCee Baker as a Distinguished Alumni of the College. Dr. Baker graduated from Penn State in 1982 in Agricultural Education, which led her to more than twenty years teaching at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, the first female president of NAAE ( National Association of Ag Educators), appointed to executive office at the PA Department of Ag with educational outreach and now is a managing partner and chief operating officer for Versant Strategies. She is also the owner of a cow calf operation in Central Pennsylvania and was a faculty member at Penn State. To receive her award she spent three days on campus attending a banquet and talking to students in classes and open discussions. She went to one of the student teachers classes and shared stories and guidance on how to be a good agricultural teacher. She left the student with 9 trigger words that would help them remember things that are important to a teacher.


 Engage, engage your community and develop that advisory committee that Dr. Ewing talks about.

Communicate, parents, supervisors, school board and anyone else. Call the parents to introduce yourself and tell them when their child does something good. Keep the school board up to date with the happenings in the ag program. She would have her reporter develop a page of what the program had accomplished to hand out at the school board meetings.

Craft Brand. Who do you want to be? What is most important to you? She suggested to watch facebook and to make sure that you are displaying your best face publicly and to think about how you want people to think about you.

Bring ENERGY. It’s contagious, so if you bring it, others will get it!

Introduce Self. Make sure to introduce yourself to the office staff, kitchen, janitors, other teachers, principal, ect. Get a letter of recommendation from principal and superintendent. By being respectful to everyone it gets you respect.

Wait Two Days. If you get mad and just want to yell at someone or send a nasty email, write the letter, but don’t send it for two days. If after those two days you still want to send it, send it. Turn bitter into better.

Raise Profile. Celebrate big ag events and invite representatives and senators to the events. Utilize the extension and make sure to participate in community service.

 Connect. Every day connect with your students, greet them at the door, call on them. Don’t let them be INVISIBLE!

Take/ Accept. Accept every single one of your students. Make your classroom so inclusive that you cannot tell the number one student from number fifty. If you accept students it will also attract new students.


It was very interesting to listen to her nine trigger words and tips for success. It really tied the senior agricultural education classes together and made it possible to see them applied in real life. She shared some of her best moments teaching, and some of her worst with the class which made it more real for the students. As an agricultural educator, there is the ability to change lives and help students grow as individuals.

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!




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

Monday, January 27, 2014

Teach Ag! Society Excited to Begin 2014

A new semester means new ideas for the Penn State Teach Ag Society! The group met on January 21st to re-group, introduce the new officers and make plans for the upcoming year. The purpose of the Penn State Teach Ag Society is to promote the high standards and ideals in agricultural and extension education, promote a bond between individuals in and those that have an interest in the world of agricultural and extension education and aid in the development of leadership, citizenship, and scholarship.

Newly elected president Jillian Gordon (@Jillianpsu) stated, “It is awesome to finally begin the year with Teach Ag! We have a lot of exciting events coming up that we hope the entire college can be a part of.” Jillian, along with the other officers, has been working on planning events, social activities and meetings for the coming months.

The new Teach Ag Society Officers
(Back Row) Tyler Schaeffer, Rea Ianson, Amanda Forstater, Katie Andrews,
Olivia Murphy-Sweet, Deanna Miller, Janae VanBuskirk and Howard Poole
(Front Row) Rachel Telesz, Jillian Gordon, Laura Metrick and Cassidy Chedder
Some of the exciting opportunities coming up are an AgriCorp seminar, National FFA Week Social with guest speaker Dr. Connie Baggett, CPR certification and a Peace Corp seminar. The society hopes that the events will not only be fun, but they will be education and an opportunity for professional growth.

Katie Andrews (@klandrews_24), a 2016 Student Teacher, is one of the co-chairs for the social committee this year. She said “I believe the Teach Ag. Society has a great balance of professional development, planning, and fun. This year the social committee members have some great ideas for everyone to enjoy. Our social events are diverse. They include food, creativity, athleticism, competition, conversation, and even other clubs.” Some of the exciting social events coming up are ice skating at Pegula Ice Rink, Wii nights and even themed meetings.

The Penn State Teach Ag Society hopes to continue to expand each semester. If you are interested in joining the Teach Ag Society or would like more information on any of the upcoming events, contact President Jillian Gordon.

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
2015 Student Teacher
Twitter Handle: Its_LauraBeth

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

AEE Student Awarded Scholarship at PA State Farm Show

The Pennsylvania State Farm show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America. Each year hundreds of thousands people attend the event in Harrisburg to view many farm equipment displays, livestock and educational exhibits and agriculturally related demonstrations. Many students from Penn State exhibit animals and projects throughout the week and several volunteer their time working at many different booths.

Another aspect of the Farm Show that has been exciting for numerous Penn State students is the annual scholarship program. In 2014, twenty five students received the $3,500 award. Ten of those students attend Penn State and one is an Agriculture and Extension Education major.

Megan Kellar participating in the Hereford
Cattle show at the 2014 State Farm Show
Megan Kellar (@MeganLego) was born and raised showing livestock and has been attending the PA State Farm Show for as long as she can remember. She stated "Being able to receive the 2014 Farm Show scholarship is such a great honor. It is great to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication I have put into my education as well as my hobby and passion which is showing livestock." Megan, a 2015 student teacher candidate, has shown a wide variety of animals including goats, swine, cattle and lambs.

The College of Agricultural Sciences has contributed additional scholarship money to students enrolled in good standing in the college who receive Farm Show scholarships. The amount of this year's scholarship is $3,500, and the college will add $2,000. The Farm Show Scholarship Foundation was established in 1993 through the generous support of several key leaders in agriculture and three companies that contributed more than $11,000 toward scholarships. Since its founding, the Foundation had awarded nearly $1,064,750 in scholarships to 395 worthy 4-H and FFA Youth.
Megan Kellar accepting her scholarship along with her parents, Secretary of Agriculture: George Greig, Senator John Eichelberger, Congressman G.T. Thompson and Sponsor Phil Clemens

To learn more about the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Scholarship Foundation visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us

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
2015 Student Teacher
Twitter: Its_LauraBeth

PSU AEE Students help with FFA Food Stand at Farm Show

Any food product with this label is grown in PA and
supports local farmers!
What unifies all humans? If you guessed FOOD than you are correct! When the Pennsylvania Farm show comes to Harrisburg, people come for the exhibits, shows, events, but also to eat the amazing food that is only there for one week out of the entire year! Cheese cubes, pizza, milkshakes, fried mushrooms, and so much more are all PA Preferred products that are sold.
PA Preferred has been working with several food booths for a common goal. They feel that is their duty to restore thousands of PA companies to only sell products from local farms to support the economy as well as the farmers who grow the products. One of the stands that works with PA Preferred is the FFA Foundation Food Stand. Tyler Schaeffer, as well as myself, had the privilege to be the mangers over the week of Farm Show. 
Olivia Murphy-Sweet's photo.
Top (left to right) Kelsey Paulus, Olivia Murphy-Sweet, Dave (Ice Man), Shannon Christie,
Bottom (left to right) Ali Emig, the Nittany Lion
From open to close, FFA members from all over the state, came to work with us at the stand to make some FFA dollars. From working they could save money that goes to their chapter to go on trips at a discounted price. One of those students Ali Emig from the Cumberland Valley chapter said, “I work here every year with my chapter. It is a great way to make friends as well as money to use on trips! I hope that when graduate I can still come back to work because the relationships you make here with people last a lifetime. I am still friends with a girl I met freshman year of high school!” She worked all week to save up money to go to Washington and Oregon with her chapter for their spring trip. She will also be going to the Penn State branch campus Mont Alto in the fall.
State FFA Officer, Lena Bioni
working at the FFA Food Stand
During the week it was awesome working with students and their teachers to make the week a great success. We raised over $30,000 dollars at the stand during the course of the week. Tyler and I also received a scholarship from working through the FFA foundation.
To learn more about the Pennsylvania State Farm Show visit www.farmshow.state.pa.usOr if you are interested on being a manager for next year you can contact Mark Lowery at mark.lowery@newholland.com
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
 
 
 

A New Leadership Team for Teach Ag! Society!

With Teach Ag’s first year coming to a close, the new officers for the 2014-2015 year were selected to start off the New Year. Although the new team has awesome events in the works for the upcoming year, we cannot forget how much the first year’s officer team made a difference in the College of Agrisciences. 


Rea Ianson giving her speech on why she
should be the Professional Development Committee
When Teach Ag! Society was formed, the officer team did a great job making sure that it was open to all majors but focused a lot on promoting agriculture education. They participated in the Alpha Tau Alpha Conclave at the National FFA convention where students competed in Parliamentary Procedures, Quiz Bowl, the Essay Writing Contest, and Debate. They also tried to bring new topics to meetings to help out the members further their education. They will not be forgotten as Penn State’s Teach Ag first officer team!

As the voting process began for the members who were running, they had a chance to stand up and talk to the group about why they wanted to be an officer. Each member had the chance to talk, and then we did a ballot vote on who we wanted to be in the office. All the votes were private and it led to our new 2014 Teach Ag Executive Team! The members who were elected in to office are down below.  
Introducing the 2014 Teach Ag Society Executive Team
President:
Ms. Jillian Gordon, 2015 Student Teacher, @jillianpsu

Vice President: 
Ms. Laura Metrick, 2015 Student Teacher, @Its_Laurabeth

Secretary: 
Ms. Cassidy Cheddar2015 Student Teacher, @crcheddar

Membership Secretary:
Ms. Janae VanBuskirk
2015 Student Teacher, @Janae VanBuskirk

Treasurer:
 Mr. Tyler Schaeffer2015 Student Teacher, @TylerDSchaeffer

CFFA Liaison:
Ms. Deanna Miller, 2015 Student Teacher, @deannapsu15

Social Committee Chairs:
Ms. Amanda Forstater2015 Student Teacher, @CityAggie
Ms. Katie Andrews2015 Student Teacher, @klandrews_24

Prof. Dev. Committee Chair:
Ms. Rea Ianson2015 Student Teacher, @rnianson08

Fundraising Committee Chair:
Mr. Howard Poole2015 Student Teacher, @howie_plumcrazy

Outreach & Comm. Service
Ms. Rachel Telesz2015 Student Teacher, @rachie12rach
Ms. Olivia Murphy-Sweet2015 Student Teacher, @OSweetMurph

The new Teach Ag Society Officers
(Back Row) Tyler Schaeffer, Rea Ianson, Amanda Forstater, Katie Andrews,
Olivia Murphy-Sweet, Deanna Miller, Janae VanBuskirk, and Howard Poole
(Front Row) Rachel Telesz, Jillian Gordon, Laura Metrick, and Cassidy Chedder
The new officer team will start their term in January at the first meeting on January 21st. This year will be filled with education, great friends, and of course, fun!

Teach Ag! Society’s mission is to promote the high standards and ideals of agricultural and extension education, to promote a bond between individuals in and those that have an interest in the world of agricultural extension education, to aid in the development of leadership, citizenship, and scholarship, and to cooperate in promoting the interest of the national organizations of Alpha Tau Alpha and Teach Ag!




Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger
Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph

2016 Agricultural Education Teacher