Tuesday, September 29, 2015

National Teach Ag! Day Recap #tagged15 #hookedonpsuaged

On September 24th we celebrated National Teach Ag! Day with a lot of fun events! We hosted Dave Burgess, had a one on one workshop session with Dave, and also was able to tune in to the live stream hosted by the National Teach Ag! Campaign. Let’s break down the day a little:

Dave Burgess Keynote:
Dave Burgess spoke in the HUB Robeson Center and delivered a one of a kind message to the university. Staff members, students, and even some alumni came to listen in! His energetic message and delivery of his speech made everyone in the audience truly think about how they can change up their classrooms, meetings or any day to day activity and make it better! At the end of the Keynote, Dave Burgess was kind enough to sign books for the audience members and take a couple of pictures as well!

#psuaged16 Workshop with Dave Burgess and Cooperating Teachers

After the Keynote concluded, cooperating teachers and the AEE seniors were able to go to a different classroom and begin a one on one teacher workshop session with Dave. He brought more of his examples that he uses in the classroom and how he gets his students fired up to learn about the lesson of that day. After it concluded, teachers and students alike were all excited to go back to the classroom and implement the new strategies they learned.
National Live Stream
Due to technical difficulties, our live stream was not able to make it on the big screen down in Washington D.C.! We look forward to other opportunities in the future and partnering with the National Teach Ag! Campaign.
Overall it was a great day filled with lots of learning and working with our Ag Ed Family! We look forward to many more National Teach Ag! Days and inviting new people to collaborate with the Penn State Ag Ed Majors!

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Dave Burgess #WOWW

Dave Burgess author of Teach Like a PIRATE
Tomorrow is the day. The day that will change lives of the Agriculture Education students, cooperating teachers of the 2016 student teacher candidates, and of course anyone at the University who gets to experience the one and only educational pirate, Dave Burgess.

Dave Burgess is delivering inspirational messages to Penn State students on National Teach Ag! Day which is tomorrow, September 24th! How did Dave Burgess become a Pirate you may ask? Well that is simple! Dave wrote a New York Times best-selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE and is a co-author of P is for PIRATE: Inspirational ABC’s for Educators. In regards to his book, Teach Like a PIRATE, it has sparked a fullscale revolution in the educational world and has inspired teachers from all over the globe to achieve new levels of excellence in their schools and classrooms.
 Due to his hard work and different styles of teaching, he has been recognized as a 2014 BAMMY Award for Secondary School Teacher of the Year which was presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Other awards include, award-winning teacher of the Year from San Diego, California, recognized as Teacher of the Year, is a Golden Apple recipient and has been a faculty standout for 17 consecutive years! As you can tell by all of his awards, Dave Burgess has been a role model in the teaching industry.
Tomorrow on National Teach Ag! Day, Dave will be presenting an inspirational work session in the Freeman Auditorium located in the HUB- Robeson Center from 8:30 to 10AM and you can purchase his book and even get it signed by him! Following this presentation Dave will also be doing a workshop session with the 2016 Student Teacher Candidates and their Cooperating Teachers! Please come out and enjoy his innovative work session tomorrow! See you there!

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 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Pirate is sailing in on the Horizon! #hookedonpsuaged #tagged15

Join Teach Ag! Society at the Freeman Auditorium in the HUB Robinson Center from 8:30AM-10AM to enjoy 2014 BAMMY Award recipient Dave Burgess author of "Teach Like a Pirate!" This event is FREE! We hope to see you there!

Monday, September 21, 2015

#tagged15 Collegiate Commercial Contest #votepsu

We're celebrating National Teach Ag! Day this Thursday! Help us rock out and win the ‪#‎tagged15‬ Collegiate Commercial Contest by viewing our video! WE ARE... ‪#‎hookedonpsuaged‬!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Program of the Month: Cumberland Valley High School #studentsuccess

In Pennsylvania we have over 150 FFA chapters that represent the Blue and Gold at its finest. There is one chapter that has stood above the rest this month to become our September Program of the Month. I am proud to say that my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School, is that program.

 FFA members were invited to
volunteer with the 75th Anniversary of Heifer International.
CumberlandValley’s FFA was chartered in 1954 with goals to focus on professional development and enhancement of their leadership capabilities on their members. Under the supervision of Ms. Darla Romberger and Mrs. Weyer, Cumberland Valley since then has developed CASE curriculum and have had active students in the community with their various service projects. They are event branching out of the community to corporate agriculture companies such as Heifer International, competing in career development events on the State and National level, and are constantly making a name for themselves.
Cumberland Valley Agriscience Program offers a wide array of classes for their students to take including:
Case Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
CASE Animal Science
CASE Plant Science
CASE Food Science
CASE Animal and Plant Biotechnology
Agricultural Power and Technology
Agricultural Fabrication
FFA Leadership I and II

Some of their latest chapter accomplishments are highlighted below:
National Chapter Award: 3-Star Chapter Ranking in 2013, 2014, and 2015

First Place State FFA Marketing Plan Team (2015)

Second Place State FFA Horse Evaluation Team (2015)

National Silver Ranking in Agricultural Communications (2014)

5th Place National Gold Ranking Parliamentary Procedures Team (2013)

4 State Proficiency Winners

6 State Proficiency Finalists (2015)

2 National Finalists in FFA Agriscience Fair (2014&2015)

Recipient of $2,500 National FFA “Food for All” Grant (2014)

Recipient of $2,500 National FFA “Living to Serve” Grant (2014)

FFA Banquet- Over 250 members, parents, school administrators, and guests present. 
Cumberland Valley has done a great job in being an awesome chapter and having a great curriculum for students to help ready them for career and educational success. We look forward to seeing more from this chapter and what great things are yet to come!

If you would like to contact them for information about the program you can reach them at these social media outlets:

Facebook: Cumberland Valley FFA
FFA Twitter: @CV_FFA1954
Program Twitter: @CV_AgSciences
Instagram: @cvffa 

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 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wait for the Drop: Lisa Boltz Parliamentary Procedures Specialist

Hello! My name is Lisa Boltz and I am from Jonestown, PA! I am super excited to announce that I am the PSU Teach AG! Parliamentary Procedures Specialist this year at Penn State. Although I know this is a great opportunity my first year as a college student, I can't help but get that feeling you get in your stomach when you are just jumping right on in to something exciting and new!

My life often feels like the feeling you get when you jump from a diving board, when the roller-coaster crests over the largest drop in the tracks, or even when you miss a step on the stairs. I personally call this the “drop” mentality and it seems as though I have been addicted to it my whole life.

The first drop I encountered in life I would compare to that of a roller-coaster cresting the highest peak and plummeting its way to the bottom of the tracks before rising again. I say this because similar to a roller-coaster I was strapped in for the ride and didn’t have a lot of say in where I went. This drop would be my family buying the campground and general store in good old Jonestown, Pennsylvania. I call this a ride because as many entrepreneurs know a business is a business, and it is always full of unknowns. Many people don’t realize from the outside looking in, that a campground is a “24 hour, 7 days a week” business and that meant my parents were always moving, and I became one independent little firecracker as I got older.

I love to try new things and as a high school student I experienced my second drop into the unknown as I entered in the agriculture education classes, little did I know it would be similar to that of a jump off the diving board, you can see where you can go, although you must choose to jump. The descent of soaring through the air consisted of endless public speaking competitions, hilarious FFA conference experiences, nights burning the midnight oil to finish my record books on time, finding a second family in my parliamentary procedure team, and finally earning my spot to serve on the 2014-2015 State FFA Officer team. I had to work hard and prepare to pull off the dive I wanted, but the ride was so fun that I feel the need to go back for more.

Finally, I come to my third huge drop in life and that would be missing my step on the staircase. We’ve all felt the absolutely terrifying experience as it happens and then look back and laugh at our overreaction. I pray that is what is happening currently. I and feeling the terrifying drop into the unknown as a plow my way through tough college courses and grab at any opportunities I see, just as any “good” college student would do. Despite my terror I and extremely excited to start my journey as a college freshmen who plans to major in Agriculture and Extension Education. I am also ecstatic to jump right on in to also being the PSU Teach Ag! Parliamentary Procedure Specialist.

I invite you all to giggle at my stumble down the stairs as long as you all are there to catch me if I truly do land on my rear.  I am truly blessed to be starting this journey with the PSU Teach AG Society, the FFA, and the loving family I have and will grow at Penn State

To contact me feel free to email me at lisaboltz1009@gmail.com 

Friday, September 11, 2015

#psuaged15: Jill Gordon: A Pennsylvania girl in Ohio: I still haven’t figure out what a Buckeye is

Each week, the Penn State Ag Ed Roars! Blog will highlight a student teacher that is out in the field teaching and learning valuable experiences that they can use in their future! Jillian Gordon (@jillianpsu) is teaching at Ridgemont High School in Ohio under the supervision of Mrs. Jolliff in Mount Victory Ohio.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I can tell a lot about a person based on the way they look at me when I tell them I am a Pennsylvania born Penn Stater student teaching is rural Ohio. Almost anyone I talk to, the conversation ends with “oh, good for you! Best of luck!” The difference is that some people say that phrase with a look of genuine support and others still just look confused. The look of confusion people don’t get why I would take a risk and move 7 hours away for a semester when I could have easily gotten a great experience at a high school nearby my home in Pennsylvania. The genuine support people understand that while the risk of falling exists, so does the chance to fly.

Ever since I started my journey as a Penn State Ag Education major, I wanted to travel to another state for my student teaching experience. Not because I didn’t like Pennsylvania, or the PA Ag Ed Family, I consider many teachers across the Keystone State to be some of my best mentors, coaches and friends. I wanted to go to another state because I strive to see things from a new perspective. I can still remember sitting in Dr. Foster’s office as a sophomore, explaining my goals. As any good mentor does, he gave me more questions than answers as I left that meeting, but I still left with a smile knowing my goal was still a very real possibility.

Fast forward to junior year, sitting in AEE 311. The topic that day was creating and managing an effective Program of Activities, and Mrs. Stephanie Jolliff from Ridgemont High School in Ohio was the virtual guest speaker for the day. Like most of my classmates, my jaw was dropped for most of the presentation. One way or another, leadership was “ripped right out” of all of her students with each of them planning at least one event, they were a National Models of Innovation Winner, TWICE, and she had three kids and an ag teacher for a husband to top it all off. This lady was a rock star! The presentation ended, and Dr. Foster said his final remarks, “you know, I have always wanted to send a student teacher to Ohio…” A smile was instantly plastered across my face.

And now here I am, sitting in an Agricultural Education classroom in Ridgeway, Ohio working with that awesome lady who I called a rock star over a year prior, and not to mention the nearly 90 kick-butt students here at Ridgemont High School. Although Mother Nature does not seem to be a fan of me teaching (I have been here for six weeks, and been in school for only two Thursdays and one Monday…) I cannot even begin to describe the amount of growth and learning that has taken place for me.

Since most of you are probably not familiar, this is where I have been for the last six weeks.

I am a little over an hour Northwest of Columbus. It takes me about 7 hours to get here from State College, 9 and ½ hours to get home to Morgantown, PA. I am living in Mount Victory, Ohio a small little town with one stop light and a whole lotta corn fields. There are 500 students at Ridgemont (K-12). Here at Ridgemont, I get to teach plant science, FFA History, robotics, experimental design, welding and metal fabrication, professional communication, and integrate a brand new flipped/blended learning piece, just a mention a few things, thanks to the unending support from administration and staff across the district.
It has been a challenge for sure. Planning units and lessons is a whole different ball game when you gave the faces of students you will be teaching right in front of you. Some of my students are far more knowledgeable than me on some of the topics that I am teaching, which can be both a massive resource and a huge intimidation factor. I struggle with balancing doing cool learning experiences with the students versus teaching them the things they are “supposed to learn” as mandated by the state. On top of that, I am definitely not used to living in an area where a grocery or Wal-Mart trip takes a little extra planning to fit into my schedule. I am also not used to working in such a small school that has about 130 students and 20 faculty.
My lessons don’t always go as planned, creating a consistent routine has been all but impossible and if I am being honest I really miss all of my friends back home in Happy Valley. These are some of the things I struggle with, but from struggle comes greatness. Although parts have been challenging, I have loved every second of it. The students at Ridgemont are wonderful, and push me every day to be the best educator. Mrs. Jolliff has been an unbelievable mentor in offering me guidance, reality checks and more often than not a good solid belly laugh. Only six weeks in, I have an even greater assurance that I want to be an Agricultural Educator.
I have said this in previous blogs I have written for Penn State Teach Ag ROARS! But I think it is important enough to say it again. I have learned that no matter where you go, students are students. Whether they admit it or not, they crave learning and attention. The students don’t care that my favorite dress to wear is blue and white, a shout out to my favorite place in the world, Penn State, or that I have absolutely no idea which schools are rival schools both in sports and FFA events, or that I have no idea what a Buckeye is (seriously though, I’m not kidding, what is it?!).
What they care about is the fact that I care about them. I might only be here for 15 weeks, but I will always call the “my kids.” The Ridgemont community has welcomed me with open arms. Only five weeks in, I know it is going to be very difficult when I need to say goodbye.
After graduation, I am not quite sure where I will be. My heart is very much in Agricultural Education, if you can’t already tell, and I have a few (very different) options in front of me currently that I am weighing, while still searching for teaching jobs and the like.
As someone who hopes to start an Ag Education program from scratch in a more urban setting, I have spent a lot of time out here just thinking. Thinking about how the philosophies and successes here at Ridgemont can be transferred into a community that isn’t quite so tight knit, or how to create the level of trust and support that exists from the administrative leadership of Mrs. Jill Stover and Mrs. Emmy Beeson. I have been thinking about the professional lessons and life lessons I have learned, and the ones that I still hope to gain. But most importantly, I have been thinking about how much I love this job and the opportunities I have in it.

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
2016 Student Teacher Candidate
Blog Editor

#teachagtech -> Teach Ag!! Technology Tips, Part 2 and the Signing Off as the PSU TeachAg! Tech

As my time as the PSU Teach Ag! Tech comes to an end, I have truly enjoyed posting and interacting with fellow agriculture educators.  At the heart of anything I develop, is the hope it can be of use to some of the hardest working educators I know.  We are innovators, counselors, coaches and our students' lifetime advisors.  I have truly appreciated the opportunity to serve in this manner and hope to be help in the future.  You can find me resuming blogging activities on my personal blog:  www.elearninag.com .


Teach Ag! Technology Tips Part 2:  Here is the second installment logging entries from the TeachAg E-mail Blasts located here.  There is a great deal of information here that can hopefully help you in your classroom.  

Using Mindmapping Tools to Connect Concepts

Implementing Technology in the Classroom with the SAMR Model

Using BrainPop to Expand Classroom Learning 

Newsela to Help with Assessing Student Reading Level

Find a Formative Assessment Tool in Kahoot!

2015-16 PSU Global Teach Ag Intern: Victoria Herr

Mastering the Art of Being Me

From a young age, I have been considered weird. When the rest of the girls in my kindergarten class were having tea parties in their princess dresses, I was out catching bullfrogs in my overalls. I had two older sisters who tried their hardest to dress me up and make me act “normal” but despite their efforts, a dress was always my last pick. Throughout childhood, I was happy to collect bird’s nests and turtle shells while my peers collected dolls, I was happy to be me. 

As middle school came, I began to realize that I was different than the rest of the world, and in middle school, different is bad. I tried my hardest to fit in and be happy with who everyone wanted me to be, but I still felt left out and even worse about who I was. Luckily in high school I found the FFA and a group of people who didn’t mind my lack of style and my love of mud! In FFA I was free to be me and I even began to grow and learn more about the person I am. FFA was my safe place, but once I left those ag classrooms, I again would begin to wish I was like all the other girls. High school, although filled with great memories, was a hard time for me, and a place I wish I could make more comfortable for the students who spend their days trying to fit in.

After high school came a time of tremendous growth as I served Pennsylvania as the State FFA Secretary. This past year allowed me to do what I love (and people even thought I was cool for it!) In my time as a state officer I was finally able to figure out who I was and begin to embrace it, I began to master the art of being me.

And then there’s college! Penn State is this magical place filled with diversity and acceptance, you can be literally whoever you want, and no one will care. I even saw a student in full out knight armor walking down a busy street last week and not a single person gave a second glance. College is the place where no matter who you are, you fit in. I love college. I have finally found the place where I can wear what I want, do what I want, and be who I want, and have confidence in it! So what do I want to do? Who do I want to be?

I want to be a life changer, a friend to those in need, a hugger, a comforter, a mentor, and whatever my students need. My goal is to be an Agricultural Educator. My goal is to change the world, one student at a time. My goal is to teach my students to embrace their differences. My goal is to open my students’ eyes to the amazing world we live in. My goal is to hug a student as they cry, and tell them it’s all going to be okay. My goal is to have a classroom that feels like a home. My goal is to train scientists, politicians, businessmen, pastors, farmers, and all sorts of other leaders. My goal is to be the person who gives students hope. My goal is to be the person that I needed, and the person that I got.

These goals have led me to Penn State as I plan to major in Agricultural and Extension Education with minors in International Agriculture and Leadership Development, and what better way to dive into my involvement than by serving as the Global Teach Ag! Intern for the College of Ag?! As Global Teach Ag! Intern my mission is to assist educators across the state and country in developing programs that will create globally competent students. I am super excited to see where this internship will take me and I’m confident that it will only push me more towards mastering the art of being me!

To contact me feel free to follow me on twitter, @vherrrrrrr, or email me at vzh5064@psu.edu!

To learn more about the PSU Global Teach Ag!: http://aese.psu.edu/teachag/global/ 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Introducing the new Co-Curricular Programs Manager: Melissa Sankey

The Agriculture Education department would like to welcome a new member of the team who will be working closely with the activities that go on in the office. Melissa Sankey, a previous undergrad from Penn State, decided to come back to her alma-mater to become our Co-Curricular Programs Manager for the Center of Professional Personnel Development!
When Melissa first came to Penn State she received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management with a minor in Animal Science. After she graduated she decided to get her masters degree at Delaware Valley University where she was awarded her MBA in Business Administration with a focus on Global Executive Leadership while working full time. All of her education and talent brought her to the right place here at Penn State! She states “I’ve always had an affinity for agriculture education and fully understand the importance of high school agricultural education programs.  At one time, I anticipated being a high school agricultural educator but my vision changed through college.   Working as the Co-Curricular Programs Manager allows me to immerse myself back into the agricultural education realm and support the efforts of programs here at Penn State and across the Commonwealth.” 

Her passion for our program and her attitude towards agriculture education has been like no other since being in the office! Melissa also wants to bring some of her own flare as well! “I want to bring my strong industry connection to Penn State, with the hope it will increase the awareness of our program.  As well as create an interface with agriculture industry partners to create dialogue to meet their growing labor needs.”
Since she has been here she has been working hard to meet her goals and we know she will continue to do awesome things for the school as well as the students that she impacts! We know that she will live up to her favorite quote of “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire! Welcome again Melissa Sankey!

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 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Introducing our PSU Visiting Global Teach Ag! Fellow: Michael Cahill - Creating the Journey

Hey everyone! My name is Michael Cahill and I am from Richmond, Virginia. I am happy to be the new Global Teach Ag! Fellow and excited for this opportunity to advance global competency in education for educators and students across the nation.

Waimanu Valley, Big Island 
I am married and I have 2 boys, Forest, who is 2 and Barrett, who is 3 months old (as of September 2015) and they are awesome. I love being a dad and my little family is very important to me.  My wife and I both love to travel. For our honeymoon we lived on an organic farm of Oahu, HI for a month and then backpacked/hitchhiked around Big Island and Kauai for another month. On our flight back to the mainland, we each made a list of all of the countries that we had traveled to in order to see who had been to more (we are also sorta competitive); as it turns out we are tied at 10. So, hopefully I will get the chance to travel somewhere while I am at school and officially be in the lead.

Gocta Waterfall in Peru
I don’t have a background in agriculture or education, but I love them both. After graduating from high school I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I decided, with a shove from my dad, to go to college. I attended Virginia Commonwealth University for a year and I didn’t really like it so, my good friend and I went to live for the summer on an intentional community that sold organic, heirloom seeds through a catalog.  That was my first real experience with agriculture and I really liked it.  That fall I left to serve a 2 year volunteer mission in Peru for my church. As I had mentioned before I had traveled a bit when I was younger, but 2 years is a bit more than traveling and I think that it is safe to say that I lived there. It was an amazing experience, but it was really hard at times. If I had one experience that really defined my life and build who I am today, that was it.


Today, I am working on earning a Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Extension Education and International Agriculture and Development. I am driven by my passion for agriculture and inspiring youth to actively engage in making the world a better place.
It may seem banal, but life really is a journey and we create that journey by choosing what experiences we seek after. I have loved my journey so far and I look forward to what is to come.

Feel free to email me to chat about anything, cahillms89@gmail.com

Student of the Month: Mason Tate #psuaged16 #teachag

Every month, we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! For this month, that student is the one and only Mason Tate!
Mason is a senior this year and is going to be student teaching at Lampeter-Strasburg in Lancaster, PA this spring! He has always had a deep passion for agriculture since he was young and continued his passion in high school when he took agriculture classes. He states “Agriculture classes are what molded me into who I am today.” Mason always brings a sense of fun and energy everywhere he goes. 

Mason involved in a wide variety of activities on campus including, a brother at Delta Theta Sigma, a member of the Agronomy Club, a member of Teach Ag! Society and Alpha Tau Alpha! In the future Mason hopes to become an Ag Teacher or an extension agent while running his own farm.
Want to know some fun facts about Mason? Check them out below!

Hometown: Athens, PA
Favorite PSU Class: Agronomy 435 Field Crop Management
Favorite place to eat in State College: DP Dough
Favorite hangout spot on campus: ASI Computer Lab
Other favorites: Hunting, Hamburgers, and of course, John Deere

If you see Mason on campus, don’t be afraid to stop and talk to him! His passion and personality shine no matter what the circumstance is! 

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