Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Outstanding in his Field: Matt Wagner, Forage Production Proficiency Winner #StudentSuccess

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to do hard work at work worth doing."  Theodore Roosevelt.  

Penn State Agricultural Education students work hard at work worth doing through their academics and agricultural pursuits daily .   Agricultural Education and FFA are dedicated to Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success, and every year students excel in each one of these.  Our very own Matt Wagner is no different.  Matt is the State winner of the Pennsylvania Forage Production Proficiency Award. 

Matt's entrepreneurial spirit will carry him to even more success!
Proficiency Awards highlight the success of FFA members who have excelled through their supervised agricultural experiences. Winners are selected for their commitment, success and how they demonstrate their career readiness and growth in that area. Matt is an entrepreneur, owning his own business growing hay and custom baling it.  He started his experience growing hay for his family's beef cattle farm.  As he grew he started to bale more hay than was needed on the farm, that's when his business took off. He bought hay equipment and started renting land.  Matt says, "After I realized that there was some profit in the business I upgraded my equipment and rented and bought some more land to expand."  

His favorite sight on the farm is the wagons filling up!
Matt credits much of his support to his dad and who shared his knowledge and experience with him.  This honor comes with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for Matt, "receiving the proficiency award lets me know that my project was successful."  And it was indeed!  His favorite thing about his business is watching the wagons fill up throughout the season and at the end of the day seeing a barn full of his own hay!   

Matt is a freshman at Penn State
Matt is a freshman majoring in Agricultural & Extension Education, with minors in Animal Science and Agronomy.  His involvement in FFA is paired with his student organization involvement on campus with Teach Ag! Society where he serves as an officer and is a Teach Ag! Avenger.  Matt is also involved outside the major in Penn State Pullers, Block and Bridle and the Agronomy Club.  He grew up in Orrtanna, PA and attended Gettysburg High School where he was "Tagged to Teach Ag!"  Now as a student in the Penn State Teach Ag! Program, he has started to look at Proficiency Awards and SAEs through the lens of a teacher.  Matt believes these awards benefit students saying "they provide students with a goal for their SAE career. Although I am an advocate of gaining skills in many areas, I also believe that it is important for the student to select one area of particular interest and become an expert in that area. The Proficiency award program strives to encourage that." 

Congratulations Matt! We wish you continued success as you move on to the National competition, and as you prepare to be a great Agricultural Educator steering students to this same kind of success!

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.

Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

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