Thursday, May 14, 2015

#PSUAgEd2Miss - Day 1 of the Domestic Study Away: On the Road Again!

We are excited to once again be engaging in the our Domestic Study Away Program. This is our third annual program (2013 - Arizona with focus of multiculturalism; 2014- Colorado with a focus of service learning) thanks to our supporters like CHS, the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, and Penn State University Park Allocation Committee.  The focus of this year's adventure is financial literacy and we are proud to be in the hospitality state of Mississippi! The 2015 chair is Janae Herr (@kjherr17) and the 2015 vice chair is Nathan Repetz (@N8_Repetz). The hashtag for this years event is #PSUAgEd2Miss, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Nittany at MS Capital!

After a long flight in, the Penn State Teach Ag! Crew made it to the Mississippi FFA Center (@MSFFA) around 1:30am on Tuesday! We caught a few hours of sleep then made our first trip to the Mississippi Farm Bureau (@MSFarmBureau) where we met five of their important figures in the organization. They taught us about the Farm Bureau, Mississippi’s agriculture industry, and an organization known as the Farm Families of Mississippi. The Farm Families of Mississippi (@farmfamiliesms) organization is a branch off of the Farm Bureau that brings light to family farms through various benefit programs. 

In honor of #MayBeefMonth, our next stop was the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association. Deanna Miller, 2015 graduate (@deannapsu15), Heather Wasson, 2018 Student Teacher (@heatwasson), and Dr. Daniel Foster (@FosterDanielD) volunteered to participate in the Beef demonstration. They each cooked three different types of ground beef to determine the amount of fat content in each sample. This led well into the discussion of the beef industry and a delicious lunch put on by the Association. After lunch, we got the opportunity to learn a little more about the geography of Mississippi’s agriculture. Two members from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce came in to speak with us about agriculture throughout the state.

Our final destination for the day was to Brandon High School to visit Mr. White and the Brandon FFA Chapter. We had the opportunity to give back to Brandon FFA chapter by presenting a workshop for the FFA members on financial literacy with specific application to recordkeeping and using the Agricultural Experience Tracker program (AET) to maintain their Supervised Agricultural Experience projects. It was an eye-opening experience to work with students who have had different instruction and experience working with SAE’s. It was great to deliver some additional perspectives on components of Agriculture Education to the program as well as experience Mississippi culture within the program. We were very thankful to have the support and help of the National FFA (@nationalffa) Local Program Support Specialist, Dr. Nina Crutchfield (@ninacrutchfield) in this effort!

The Brandon FFA Chapter had a lot to offer the teacher candidate through sharing their experiences working with the community, both inside and outside of the school walls. Additionally, the Brandon program does a stellar job of providing their community with various adult education programs. 

The chapter president and Mr. White have such genuine personalities and have great hospitality. It was such a pleasure to receive great advice from them both. And a special thanks to Dr. Gaea Hock, Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University, (@gaeawimmer) for escorting us around Mississippi for our first day! We are looking forward to our second day of adventures! Be sure to follow along with our daily posts!

Submitted by:

Janae Bickhart, 2015 PSU Graduate, @JanaeBickhart

Erin Yoest, 2016 Student Teacher Candidate, Mohawk High School, @eyoest519

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