Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy National FFA Week from Penn State Teach Ag!


Holidays: they are what we look forward to for days, they help us get through the longest days of the year.  Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, Valentines Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day... we all know the big national or religious holidays, but what about those everyday ones?  This week for instance has various holidays, Tennis Day, National Tortilla Chip Day, Love Your Pet day, Be Humble Day, International World Thinking Day and even Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Sure they are random, but they give us a good laugh and maybe even a reason to celebrate.  The biggest celebration this week in our opinion is even better, February 20-27th marks National FFA Week.  National FFA Week is a time to celebrate past and present accomplishments of agricultural education students, teachers and supporters across the US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, to advocate for agriculture and to say "thank you".  It is a week where many former members are brought back to their "glory days," the days they wore that coveted blue corduroy jacket.  We reminisce and celebrate the success of the largest school based, student run organization in the country.  


The FFA mission statement says "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."  So what did FFA teach you? How did it make that positive difference?  Hear from our students, faculty and staff below, and share your comments!  We want to hear how FFA has influenced you!  

Dr. Laura Rice, Instructor, Agriculture Education Program
Matt Snyder, Agricultural & Extension Education,
Class of 2017




Matt Wagner, Agricultural & Extension Education,
Class of 2019




Victoria Herr, Agricultural & Extension Education,
Class of 2019
Dr. John Ewing, Assoicate Professor Agricultural &
Extension Education
Ms. Melissa Sankey, Programs Manager 

Kayla Hack, Agricultural & Extension Education, 
Class of 2017





Miranda Kane, Agricultural & Extension Education,
Class of 2017

There you have it!  This is how FFA has made a positive difference for us.  What is cool is that we get to help make that positive difference through FFA in our students lives someday! It has taught us about ourselves, our industry and our communities. FFA will continue to teach us, as we learn to teach our students!  Happy FFA Week from a few of us at Penn State Teach Ag!  Share your stories in the comments! 






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.




Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher




















Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teach Ag! Avengers Serving with ACES

Penn State Ag Education is home to a dedicated small group of students that go above and beyond to serve our major and our profession.   We call these individuals the Penn State Teach Ag! Avengers! They are selfless in their acts of helping others understand agriculture education, they share why agriculture in important and are always thinking of new ideas to tell the story of Agricultural Education.  This year we have four dedicated individuals that are already working diligently on new projects.  Their newest project: FFA ACES Conference Service Project.  




Students writing their cards at ACES.
This year the Avengers were asked to participate in the annual ACES Conference (Agricultural Cooperation Establishes Success).  This conference encourages student leaders to expand their skills in leadership areas through workshops, and activities with chapters across the state.  The Avengers role was helping with the community service projects.



  They partnered with the Four Diamonds Foundation associated with THON, a 46 hour dance marathon to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer.  Their mission: to provide emotional and financial support, spread awareness and ensure funding for critical research - all in pursuit of a cure Various Penn State students dance for all 46 hours, and are usually in need of a little encouragement!  All the members at ACES were able to make cards for the dancers participating in THON to encourage them to keep dancing For The Kids.  







Ms. Hilbert shared the story of Four Diamonds.
This project couldn't have been more timely, Penn State just completed this year's dance marathon!  Although the FFA members were not able to interact with dancers or Four Diamonds families face to face, they were able to hear from Leigh Anna Hilbert, a Four Diamonds representative.  Hilbert shared the story of where Four Diamonds was named.  She shared the story of Christopher who was diagnosed with childhood cancer and to keep fighting, he wrote a story about a knight who needed to discover the four diamonds: courage, wisdom, honesty and strength to reach his goals.  She encouraged the students to think of a local fundraiser or awareness event they could do, such as a mini-THON, to keep fighting with courage, wisdom, honesty and strength, For The Kids.   Avenger Miranda Kane said, "Their (the students) thoughts and kind sentiments can go a long way for the tired dancers of THON."  All 530 cards will do just that!  Great job FFA members and Avengers, keep serving!  



Meet the Avengers:



Miranda Kane

Class of 2017

Nathan Repetz

Class of 2017






Victoria Herr

Class of 2019









Matthew Wagner

 Class of 2019





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.




Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher





Thursday, February 18, 2016

Reflections From a Pre-Service Teacher: "Shop things"


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” We have heard this quote many times before in regards to teaching and learning. Benjamin Franklin had a point.  As a student that is starting to look at classes and content through the eyes of a teacher, I couldn’t agree more.  Reflect with me for a few moments…


This is a lot different than a vehicle, and the other skid steer I
learned to drive!
The first day of AEE 349, Shop Processes for Agricultural Educators, Dr. Ewing asked us, what we thought the class would be about.  I watched three other roommates take the class so I responded with confidence and a smirk: “shop things.” We all laughed at how generic my response was, but reality hit hard that first day, I knew close to nothing about “shop things.”  The laughter and lack of knowledge about “shop things” was funny in the moment, but I didn’t realize it would bother me in the coming weeks.  The realization that I may have to teach agricultural mechanics processes one day set in, and so did my nerves.  Five weeks into class, they still do.  Every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 pm, I feel this anxiety bubbles up inside me.  Absolutely everything is new to me.  Four stroke engines, hardscapes, circular saws, welding, oxy acetylene… the list goes on and on.  Some of it is a foreign language to me, and I know a foreign language… But this, I might have to teach this. 

When about 4:05 pm hits and we are ready to get our hands dirty disassembling engines in the shop the look on my face must reflect the inner anxiety I feel.  It never fails one of my classmates, the teaching assistant or Dr. Ewing himself notice, ask if I am okay and reassure me that I can do it.  I will learn, and they will take care of me.

One of our units is small gas engines, my partner
and I are in the disassembling process. 
Some days it is easy to walk into class and pretend to know it all, or act like we have it all together.  When we are brave enough to raise our hand and guess, and it’s wrong, sometimes we are encouraged, and sadly other times we are not.   It is easy to say “no, that is not the exact answer I was looking for.”  It takes more thought and care though when a teacher responds with more questions; “Hmm… why do you think that?” Or “what does this part do? So does this make more sense?”    In this class, I can’t and I won’t know it all right away.  The process of learning something new is interesting and exciting, but filled with doubts and unknowns.  I have decided I will ask questions, even the ones with an obvious answer.  I will volunteer to explain how intake, compression, power and exhaust function, mess it up and be corrected so I learn the right process.  I will volunteer to use a circular saw in front of class, to demonstrate safety- but more than that, to step out of my comfort zone and put myself in the shoes of a student.   When I look at this with the eyes of a teacher, I realize I am learning.  I may be surrounded by people that have taken an agricultural mechanics class before, but chances are my future students, will be in my shoes: curious, anxious, interested and maybe a little confused or concerned. 

I hope I don’t forget the anxiety I feel in lab.  It gives me the correct fear and respect for equipment, and it is a feeling my students might have.  I had a false idea that I shouldn’t take classes that I don’t know anything about, maybe because they’re uncomfortable to be in, but isn’t that where true learning happens?  “There is no growth in a comfort zone, and there is no comfort in a growth zone.”  I will keep involving myself in learning about “shop things,” letting myself grow in the process. 


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.




Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher




Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"How do I choose?": A Practical Guide to Selecting Classes for AEE Majors. Part 3 of 3.


There are hundreds of classes in the College of Agriculture Sciences, not to mention all of the ones outside of the College of Ag, how do we choose!?  Waiting by your computer starting at 11:50pm, before you rapidly log into elion at 11:59pm to choose all the classes you’ve been planning to take.  Sometimes it is stressful. Thanks to some graduates and upper class men, we have a few suggestions for you!  Check out what some of our students say! Class of 2018 and 2019, this one is for you! Stay tuned for more throughout the semester! Thank you Miranda, Katie and Matt!




Name: Janae Herr, Class of 2016

What was your favorite Class in the College of Agriculture?
AGBM308W
Description: Learning to analyze and create strategic management plans for agribusinesses particularly in the Food Service sector.

Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"Skills gained and content taught in this course is absolutely applicable and transferable to agribusiness courses/units taught in the classroom. "

What was your favorite Class Outside the College of Agriculture?
ENGL202C
Description:  "Technical writing course in the context of business and management"

Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"This course was very helpful in discovering ways to deliver content to various different audiences in professional and informal formats."

Do you have other suggestions,  advice or activities students must do while at PSU?
"Take EDPSY014 and LARCH060"
Want to ask more questions? Tweet Janae: @kjherr17


Name: Matthew Rider, Class of 2017


What was your favorite Class in the College of Agriculture?
SOILS 403
Description: Soil
morphology, and Penn state soil judging team.

Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"It teaches a lot about soil judging which is part of a CDE, it also is a skill that can be valuable to students who don't want to go to college."

What was your favorite Class Outside the College of Agriculture?
ENGL 181A
Description: Chesapeake literature and visit to an outdoor school

Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"Gives a great look at an outdoor school on the bay, and is the best way to meet the literature requirement of the major."

Do you have other suggestions,  advice or activities students must do while at PSU?
"Take Soils 422!"
Want to ask more questions? Tweet Matthew: @mvr5027


Name: Janae Bickhart, Class of 2015
What was your favorite Class in the College of Agriculture?
AEE 311
Description:  "A youth-leadership development perfect for anyone wanting to become an Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor, as well as beneficial for any agriculturalist planning to work with students or other youths."

Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"INVALUABLE experience that helps to prepare for student teaching, advising an FFA Chapter, and provides opportunities/experiences that have helped me get/manage a career as an Agriscience teacher."

What was your favorite Class Outside the College of Agriculture?
English 202C
Description: Teaches technical writing of the
sciences.

Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"Good resource I've used with helping students prepare Agriscience Fair projects"

Want to ask more questions? Tweet Janae: @JanaeBickhart


Don't Forget!  
Schedule a meeting with your advisor Dr. Daniel Foster or Dr. John Ewing, Scheduling starts soon.  If you are at a branch campus do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ewing and Dr. Foster!



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.





Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla


2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Student of the Month: Rose Cowan #psuaged18 #studentsuccess

Every month we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! February we are proud to share some stories and accomplishments of Ms. Rosalind Cowan!

Why Agricultural & Extension Education for Rose?  Well, because it is  "A Perfect Combination." Rose is a sophomore at Penn State.  Her plan was to become an animal science major when she arrived at PSU, but it's didn't take her long to realize it wasn't for her.  "In high school, I had three teachers who were extraordinary and really influenced my life.  I remembered how much I learned from them and realized that I want more students to be able to have teachers like that.  It was then that I discovered the AEE major." The combination of agriculture and teaching is exactly what Rose was looking for.  She does not take a moment in AEE for granted, and will definitely pass that onto her students an agricultural science teacher some day!  


Rose is a familiar face in our major, always willing to offer a helping hand.  She has been an active member of Teach Ag! Society, serving as this year the Vice President of Program Development.  Rose is the chair of the Essay contest committee, where she is able to challenge other students to pursue the "perfect combination" of a major that she chose!  She is a participant on Penn State Equine Research Team or PSERT.  PSERT is dedicated to giving undergraduates an opportunity to do equine research, and provides a space for equine science discussions.  Outside the College of Agriculture, Rose is involved with CRU a Christian ministry on campus.  




Want to know some fun facts about Rose? Check them out below!

Through her involvement in PSERT, Rose has had various
equine experiences that will assist her when she teaches!

Hometown: Julian, PA

Favorite PSU Class: BIOL 110

Favorite place to eat in State College: Baby's  (We couldn't agree more- burgers, fries and shakes, Yum!) 

Favorite Penn State Athletic Team: Women's Soccer

Favorite Hangout on Campus: HUB










If you would like to read more about Rose, connect with her via Twitter: @cowan_rosalind.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Introducing The PAAE Mentor of the Year: Dr. Daniel Foster!


  
"Pennsylvania ag educators and the incredible
students I have been able to help along their
#TeachAg journey will always have a special
place in my heart.  Thank you!"
The Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators recognizes various members each year for outstanding service, dedication and accomplishments.This year Dr. Daniel Foster is the PAAE Mentor of the Year!   He believes being a secondary ag teacher is one of the most noble of professions.  His continued dedication and mentoring to various secondary ag teachers makes him deserving of this award. He was nominated by the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania Agricultural Educators and will be recognized this summer for his outstanding accomplishment at the summer conference, then compete at the regional and national level. 

The National Association of Agricultural Educators says "This award program will provide additional incentives for experienced teachers to become mentors for beginning teachers, and it will provide beginning teachers a way to say thank you to the experienced teachers who have influenced them."   Dr. Daniel Foster's philosophy matches that of NAAE and PAAE.   "We have  all had someone in our life at some time extend a hand to help us up, share a word of encouragement, or just invest in us as an individual. To whom much is given, much is expected."  His past students, colleagues and friends would agree!  



 "It is our obligation to return that investment tenfold by paying it forward through active engagement as a mentor in our professional organizations." 

 When asked about his recent recognition he responded: "I feel blessed and honored. The most wonderful job I have ever had was being a secondary agricultural educator in Willcox, Arizona. It was a sacrifice to leave that job, but I did with a hope of expanding a sphere of influence. " Dr. Foster, your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.  Your continued dedication to Teach Ag!  encourages and challenges us all!  From all those that you have mentored, thank you.  Congratulations Dr. Daniel Foster! 

 



Congratulate & Connect with Dr. Daniel Foster on Twitter: @FosterDanielD



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.






Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla


2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher



Thursday, February 4, 2016

Program of the Month: Athens #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 October Program of the Month. This month Athens High School, is that program.


Congratulations on increasing your involvement!

Athens High School FFA was chartered in 1934.  Mr. David Steinfelt and Mr. Jacob Banik are the current teachers at Athens.  Mr. Steinfelt and Mr. Banik currently have 153 students in the program and the participation in state level FFA conferences has been growing!  Athens is home to two greenhouses, one of which is used for hydroponics and the other is used for the annual flower and vegetable plants.  The program also has a strong Agricultural Mechanics shop, where welding, electrical wiring, plumbing, small gas engines  and even some construction!   This year Athens is a cooperating center for teacher candidate Sarabeth Royer.   



The greenhouses are essential parts to the Ag Ed
program at Athens
Athens High School offers various classes for students to choose from including: 
Animal Science 


Vet Science

Horticulture

Agricultural Mechanics I

Agricultural Mechanics II

FFA/SAE

Introduction to Agriculture 



Recent Accomplishments for Athens High School FFA Chapter:

5 Keystone degree winners 22 FFA Jacket Winners at the 2016 PA Farm Show

Successful integration of AET into the program

Recently established Alumni Chapter

2014-2015 State FFA Officer: Mara Tate and 2013 State FFA Forestry Team Winners



New FFA Jackets Awarded at PA Farm Show demonstrate the pride
and tradition of our organization!

The growth and recent success at Athens high school shows they are in good hands, and on the road to even more success!  Congratulations on being selected as February's Program of the Month!  
Ms. Sarabeth Royer and her cooperating teacher Mr. David Steinfelt

Want to hear what is going on right now at Athens?  Tweet Ms. Sarabeth Royer, PSU Ag Ed Student Teacher.  @sb_royer.

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.




Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"How do I choose?": A Practical Guide to Selecting Classes for AEE Majors. Part 2 of 3.

There are hundreds of classes in the College of Agriculture Sciences, not to mention all of the ones outside of the College of Ag, how do we choose!?  Waiting by your computer starting at 11:50pm, before you rapidly log into elion at 11:59pm to choose all the classes you’ve been planning to take.  Sometimes it is stressful. Thanks to some graduates and upper class men, we have a few suggestions for you!  Check out what some of our students say! Class of 2018 and 2019, this one is for you! Stay tuned for more throughout the semester! Thank you Miranda, Katie and Matt!

Name: Miranda Kane, Class of 2017

Thanks for sharing Miranda!
What was your favorite Class in the College of Agriculture?
HORT 101
Description: This course is an introductory course about horticultural sciences.
Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"AEE majors should take this course not only because plants are pretty cool, but also because it covers topics that teachers are likely to teach in their classrooms."
What was your favorite Class Outside the College of Agriculture?
EDPSY 14
Description:  "This course is primarily for education majors, and teaches about the psychology of youth as well as provide understanding of the diversities between people."
Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"Teachers will be better able to understand the motivations of their students or learn to be adaptable to all learning abilities and personalities in their classroom."
Do you have other suggestions,  advice or activities students must do while at PSU?
"Visit the arboretum!"
Want to ask more questions? Tweet Miranda! @mir_kane


Thanks for your thoughts Katie!
Name: Katie Andrews, Class of 2016
What was your favorite Class in the College of Agriculture?
AGBM 106
Description: Agribusiness problem solving
Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"It opens your world to the functions of excel.  It is all computer based and the skills are transferable into any business setting."
What was your favorite Class Outside the College of Agriculture?
CMLIT 184
Description: Comparative Literature Course - short story focused
Why should an AEE Major take this course?
 "The professor cares about student and student learning. He wants to teach, he is an interesting person, and he pushes students to be their best."
Do you have other suggestions,  advice or activities students must do while at PSU?
"Take AGBM338, AGBM 330W." As for Penn State suggestions, check out Katie's blog: "What I Believe All Penn Staters Should Do".
Want to ask more questions? Tweet Katie!
@klandrews_24


Name: Kayla Hack, Class of 2017
Thanks for sharing your
insight Kayla!
What was your favorite Class in the College of Agriculture?
INTAG 100 & 490
Description: International Ag 100 is the introductory course for international agriculture and 490 is the Senior Capstone Course for International Agriculture Minors.
Why should an AEE Major take this course?
"Both of these open your eyes to issues facing agriculture in our world. It challenged my views, improved my writing and discussion skills and gave me ideas in how to talk about international agriculture in my future classroom!"
What was your favorite Class Outside the College of Agriculture?
CI 280: Curriculum and Instruction 280
Description: This is the introductory course to teaching English as a second language.
Why should an AEE Major take this course?
 "This may have been my favorite class at Penn State so far. I took the virtual tutoring section and loved it. This class showed me ways I can assist and encourage emergent bilinguals in my classroom and the challenges and issues in ESL education. The professor was also great!"
Do you have other suggestions,  advice or activities students must do while at PSU?
"Always say yes to creamery Ice Cream and get involved outside the College of Agriculture!"  And of course hike Mt. Nittany!" 
Want to ask more questions? Tweet Kayla: @hackkayla


Don't Forget!  

Schedule a meeting with your advisor Dr. Daniel Foster or Dr. John Ewing, Scheduling starts soon.  If you are at a branch campus do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ewing and Dr. Foster!


Share your Penn State favorite classes here: http://goo.gl/forms/pnQtYKDefl. 

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.  




Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla


2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher