Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Adventure to New England: The 2014 Big E Trip!

On September 12th, six Collegiate FFA students traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts with Dr. Ewing to help out at the Eastern State Exhibition, better known as the Big E! After arriving in
Springfield after the 7 hour van ride early Friday morning, the Penn State students had the chance to work with two different CDE's (Career Development Events).

Janae Herr (@kjherr17), Janae Bickhart (@janaebickhart) and Laura Metrick (@its_laurabeth) had the opportunity to judge the Extemporaneous Public Speaking CDE. There were eight competitors from 8 different states competing this year. The competitors had 30 minutes to prepare a 4-6 minute speech on a topic they chose at random.

Kate Bassett (@bassklynn), Amanda Forstater (@cityaggie) and Mikaela Hermstedt (twitterlessMikaela) along with Dr. Ewing (@jce122), helped out at the Vet Skills CDE on Friday as well. The purpose of this CDE is to demonstrate student knowledge and abilities in the small animal care field. This includes information and skills used in a veterinary hospital, laboratory facility or pet shop/grooming facility. Amanda Forstater said "Working in the skills demonstration part of the contest gave me the chance to work one-on-one with the students and see what they knew! I had a great time and I am really excited to possibly coach my own Vet Skills team during my student teaching!"

FFA members participating in the Poultry
Evaluation CDE
On Saturday, the Penn State students helped out with the Poultry Evaluation and Environmental and
Natural Resources CDE's. In the Poultry CDE, students worked as an individual and a team to complete many tasks. Some of the stations included judging live hens, eggs and processed poultry products. Janae Herr was one of the students that served as a group leader this year. She stated"I love the opportunity to watch students get a little competitive while applying the skills they learned in the classroom to industry practices. It was great to see all of their hard work paying off!"

The environmental and Natural Resources CDE is designed to prepare students to enter careers in the environmental and natural resources industry. Students also competed as both an individual and a team in this event. The competitors go through many activities and practicums environmental and natural resource scenarios.

Penn State CFFA Members: Amanda, Kate, Mikaela, Laura, Janae B.  and Janae H. 
On Saturday evening the Penn State Crew attended the annual CDE awards banquet. Individual and team awards were given out for each of the Career Developments that took place that weekend along with the sweepstakes award that is given to the state that does the best overall throughout all events. This year it went to Ohio! National FFA Officer, Jason Wetzler, was there to give a speech as well!

The 2014 Big E Trip was a great way for Penn State students to see how the CDE's work on a different level, represent Penn State and of course get to know each other better on that seven hour van ride!

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

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