Friday, May 15, 2015

#PSUAgEd2Miss - Day 2: SAE SuperStars! Loyd Star and Ocean Springs






Editor's note: This is a continuing series on our third annual Teach Ag! Society Domestic Study Away to Mississippi to help with financial literacy and supervised agricultural experience.

Day 2- Wednesday May 13th started with leaving the beautiful Mississippi FFA Center located in Jackson, and heading out to Loyd Star Agriculture Academy. This unique and historical agricultural program was built by the creative and industrious students of Loyd Star Attendance Center several years ago. Our team was all impressed by the metal work the students were able to work on in the agriculture metal fabrication shop. From metal art to fire pits, the projects and designs were student chosen and implemented.


Penn State Students sitting on the front porch of the Mississippi FFA Center

The Penn State team was also able to talk to the students at Loyd Star about SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience’s) and how keeping records are important for future successes. Many of the students are already engaged in employment, hobbies, or projects that could easily be transformed into an SAE project. The students interests ranged in these categories from logging, cattle ranching, raising a horse, taking care of their pet, and working at restaurants. The students were also able to draft goals and discuss different options relating to SAE’s with the Penn State students. Deanna Miller and Janae Bickhart did an excellent job facilitating discussions between the Loyd Star and PSU students. In fact, we also had Roger Hanagriff, the creator of AET (Agriculture Experience Tracker) speak with the students via webinar! It was awesome to engage with the students and have them show us their projects and tell us about their program from their personal experiences. Next, we piled in our vans and made the trek down to Ocean Springs High School to continue our SAE shenanigans.

Students at Loyd Star listening to a presentation about SAE’s from Penn State Students
After a scenic drive to eastern Mississippi, we visited Ocean Springs High School and their brand new aquaculture program. The new class, which is five and a half months old, encourages students to implement and design projects with aquaculture and hydroponics, otherwise known as aquaponics. Mr. Bryan Butler provided the materials and instructions and let the students fully construct the facility. Learning by doing. It was powerful to see the glowing interest in the students eyes about how much the program meant to them. Hopefully becoming a chartered FFA in the near future, we left feeling that we had made an impact on each and every one of the students at Ocean Springs.

A student and the Oceans Springs teacher, Mr. Bryant, examining one of their aquaponics systems.

That evening we checked into our hotel rooms and then headed down the street to Aunt Jenny’s Restaurant to get a taste of southern cuisine. We were able try the savory seafood that Mississippi is famous for. We also engaged in fellowship and reflected on our day visiting different programs across the state, and inspiring rising SAE superstars!

Submitted By:
Sarabeth Royer, 2016 Student Teacher, @sb_royer 
Mason Tate, 2016 Student Teacher, @mttate18








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