Friday, April 29, 2016

"Oh the Places You'll Go!" Celebrating a Year of Accomplishments #studentsucess

"Oh The Places You'll Go, Today is your day. You're Off to great places your off and away..."  These famous Dr. Seuss lines are perfect for both endings and new beginnings.  It is that time of year, where classes are coming to an end and graduation is right around the corner, a time to celebrate and reflect.  This week  Teach Ag! Society, Collegiate FFA, and the Center for Professional Personnel Development all came together to recognize club accomplishments and say good-bye to graduating members at the 80th Annual Banquet.  Not only was it a time to remember the year's accomplishments and say good-bye to our 2016 student teachers and a new beginning as the 2017 student teachers rise to become seniors. 

Mr. Cliff Day receiving an award and recognition at the banquet!
The guests in attendance from Pennsylvania FFA and the Agriculture community at Penn State made the banquet a success. The Center of Professional Personnel Development recognized Mr. Cliff Day for over 40 years of service to Pennsylvania Agricultural Education, in his role at the FFA Facilitator and as an Agriculture Teacher!  We wish him well in his retirement and a sincere congratulations in all his accomplishments and years of service!

 We had the opportunity from hearing from a leader in agriculture, our keynote speaker Mr. Scott Sheely.   Mr. Sheely is the Special Assistant for Workforce Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and resides in Lancaster County.  He challenged us as agricultural educators that are the next generation of agriculturalist and those that will prepare the next generation of agriculturalists.    He concluded by encouraging us to take advantage of opportunities and the turns that they make take in agriculture and beyond. 

Following the keynote, there were awards that were presented to special people nominated by Teach Ag! Society and Collegiate FFA for having accomplishments in the agriculture education career, in the agriculture industry, and being an outstanding member in Teach Ag! Society and Collegiate FFA. Those people that were selected for at award are outlined below!

Diane Glock-Cornman

Educator of the Year Award

Teacher at Penn Manor High School

 Matthew Snyder

Outstanding Teach Ag! Member of the Year Award

2017 Student Teacher

CHS Inc.

Teach Ag! Valued Partner of the Year

Collegiate FFA Senior Award

Katie Andrews
2016 Student Teacher 

Collegiate FFA Outstanding Freshman

Hunter Kauffman

Collegiate FFA Outstanding Junior AwardMikaela Hermstedt

Alpha Tau Alpha Honorary Agricultural Education Fraternity Initiates

We finished the night by celebrating our graduating seniors, the 2016 teacher candidates!  Best of luck to all of you, congratulations on completing your student teaching experience and enjoy graduation!  "Your mountain is students are waiting, so get on your way." 
Congratulations Seniors!  

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

Saturday, April 23, 2016

#psuaged16 returns: They are CHANGE agents

Our TWELVE 2016 Penn State Agricultural Education Student Teachers (#psuaged16) return from their fifteen week internship in secondary schools across Pennsylvania.

Below is a snapshot of this incredible group of students we are so very proud. You can also see the 2016 Student Showcase at:

The 2016 student teachers (#psuaged16):
  • Impacted the lives of  1,114 individual students
  • Taught 71 different classes to students from 8th to 12th grades that are 42 minute periods to 180 minute “block” periods in length.
  • Delivered 159 units of instruction on topics from leadership development, agricultural mechanics, environmental sciences, plant sciences, animal sciences and much more!
  • Helped cooperating centers earn and implement $22,800 of extramural funding assisted from grants, sponsorships and fundraisers.
  • Led students in the completion of 179 community service hours
  • Has earned (or will earn) a degrees 4 areas: Agricultural & Extension Education (B.S.); Agricultural & Extension Education (M.Ed.); Livestock Science and Management (B.S., Del Val); Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (B.S.)
  • Obtained 7 Minors/areas of emphasis: Agribusiness Management; Agronomy; Animal Science; Environmental Inquiry; Equine Science; International Agriculture; and Plant Science.
  • Participated in Global Learning in 11 countries, including: Austria; Belize; Germany; Haiti; Honduras; Italy; Korea; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Switzerland
  • Will have members who are Pennsylvania Certified (with reciprocity in more than 40 states) in the following 3 areas: Agriscience K-12; Environmental Science; General Science
  • Earned 8 different Additional Certifications/Accreditations/Licensures
    • Accredited Parliamentarians from the Society of Agricultural Education Parliamentarians; Artificial Insemination Certification through Select Sires; Beef Quality Assurance; Certified Poultry Technician; First Aid/CPR/AED Certification;  National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Instructors; Project WILD curriculum; Wilderness First Aid
  • Involved in 24 professional organizations/clubs .
    • Ag Club, Penn State Altoona; Agriculture Student Council, Penn State; Agronomy Club –Penn State; Alpha Tau Alpha, National Agricultural Education Honorary; American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA); American Society of Agronomists (ASA);  Athletic Director’s Leadership Institute, Association of Career & Technical Education; Block & Bridle, Penn State; Coaly Honors Society, Penn State; Collegiate FFA , Penn State;  Collegiate Horseman’s Association at Penn State (CHAPS); Delta Tau Alpha (Del Val);  Delta Theta Sigma; Gamma Sigma Delta; Graduate Student Association, AEE, Penn State; National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE); Omega Phi Alpha Community Service Sorority, ParmiNous; Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators (PAAE); Pennsylvania FFA Alumni; Spirit Lioness;  Teach Ag! Society, Penn State; Varsity Athletics
  • Completed THREE Domestic Study Away Programs in Arizona (Multiculturalism in school-based agricultural education) , Colorado (Service Learning Pedagogies with Farm to School Initiatives) and Mississippi (Financial Literacy through agricultural education in Appalachia Areas)
  • Gained experience or have been employed with 23 different relevant jobs/Internships: 
    • Chasing Rainbows Therapeutic Riding Center; Carbon County Environmental Education Center, Cherish Creamery; CNHi – New Holland; Hoober Inc.- CASE IH Dealership; Hoss’s eating establishments, Local Produce Farm, Local Poultry Operation, National FFA Association; Pennsylvania Farm Bureau;  Pennsylvania FFA Association; PSU – Animal Sciences Department Teaching Assistant; PSU- Biology Department Teaching Assistant; PSU- Center for Undergraduate Excellence English Tutur; PSU -Center for Professional Personnel Development; PSU- Dairy Barn; PSU Extension – Bradford County; PSU Extension – Lancaster County;  PSU Extension – Philadelphia; PSU Extension- Washington County; PSU - Pennsylvania Governors’ School for the Agricultural Sciences, PSU-Poultry Education Research Center (PERC);  V&C Forest Management; Veterinary Clinic of Indiana
  • Completed 12 action research projects, including:
    • Ag Mechanics I Unit Objectives and Competencies
    • Analyzing the results of scores from small group versus large group instruction
    • Evaluation Properly Restraining and Handling Small Animals in a Lab Setting
    • Evaluation of Mastery and Growth of Student Competencies in Horse Selection and Evaluation 
    • How can student involvement in SAE’s be increased through classroom instruction, examples, and implementation?
    • How do questions affect my students learning
    • How will hands-on instruction compare to in-class instruction while learning the strokes/parts/tools of a 4 stroke engine?
    • Integrating online safety testing into an Agricultural Laboratory
    • Retention of electrical wiring skills gained in a general agricultural mechanics class
    • SAE Implementation in the Classroom
    • SAE Improvement
    • Student assignment completion comparisons between paper and online platform.
  • Completed 12 custom learning projects for their center (DIY Teacher Education), including:
    • A guide to FFA Parliamentary Procedure
    • Bellwood-Antis Officer Selection Plan
    • Connecting agricultural education students from West Perry to Students in Mississippi
    • Enhancing Curriculum for Eighth Grade Agriculture Education
    • Floral Design Handbook Development
    • Introduction to Athens Area High School Agriculture Education Program Parent/Guardian Handbook
    • Officer Selection Plan Development
    • QR Code Hallway Pass
    • Saul Instagram 2.0
    • SAEP Manual
    • Successfully growing a pumpkin crop.
    • Wellsboro Agriscience Department SAE Implementation Guide
Fun Facts about #psuaged16:
    • One member will be participating in the United States Marine Corps Reserves
    • One member was a varsity athlete with the PSU Field Hockey Team that won  two Big Ten Conference Championships, two Big Ten Tournament Championships, and had 4 NCAA appearances.
    • One member owns their own egg carving business.
    • One member's students planted over 5,000 plants that include (basil, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, bok choi, kale) at local CSA.
    • Experienced blizzard Jonas which dumped 26 inches of snow in Lancaster, PA.
    • Some members had zero previous FFA experience beyond PSU Courses.
    • Includes a passionate dairy goat enthusiast.

You can learn more about each of their individual professional journey in their student teaching blogs listed here and via Twitter (#psuaged16).

Cooperating Center
Katie Andrews
Big Spring HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Stacia Gouger
Wellsboro HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Kelsey Henry
Northern Lebanon HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Janae Herr
Midd-West HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Matt Holt
West Perry HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Secondary Agriscience Teacher/FFA Advisor, Brockway HS
Olivia Murphy-Sweet
W.B. Saul HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Peace Corp in Senegal
Sarabeth Royer
Athens HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Rachel Spicher
Penns Manor HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Mike Swartwood
Bellwood-Antis HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Mason Tate
Lampeter-Strausberg HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Jenna Timmons
Kennard-Dale HS
Post Graduate Plans:  Seeking Opportunity!
Erin Yoest
Mohawk HS
Post Graduate Plans:  United States Marine Corps Reserves Duty

Monday, April 18, 2016

Student Success Leads to Faculty Success: Daniel Foster Receives College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

"I am an agricultural educator by choice an not by chance."  

The Ag Teacher's Creed is something Dr. Daniel Foster lives by.  Whether it is the first line or the last line he is dedicated to the creed and the mission of agricultural education.   His commitment comes second to his passion and he is truly an agricultural educator by choice and recent recipient of two awards in the College of Agricultural Sciences! 

"I dedicate my life to its development and the advancement of its people"

Between teaching, research and visiting student teachers in the field, Dr. Foster meets with nearly half of the students in the Agricultural & Extension Education major.  From academic advising questions, to questions about job interviews he always has advice to lend his students. Dr. Foster's experience and success does not go unrecognized and he is the winner of the 2016  Excellence in Academic Advising Award!  Every year the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society awards one College of Agricultural Sciences faculty or staff who advises students an Excellence in Academic Advising Award.  Nominees are selected based on their success in academic advising, individual student goal-setting and career planning, and personal counseling.  His door always seems to be revolving with students going in and out asking him questions about Penn State classes to their future classrooms.  If they can't reach him in his office, he is only an email or tweet away.  His dedication to students and his constant choice to put agricultural education first is shown beyond his office walls.   He has encouraged and enabled students to step foot into high school classrooms, extension offices and across country boarders to teach abroad.  His commitment to  student relationships is matched with his dedication to research to advance agricultural education.

"I will endeavor to develop professionally through study, travel and exploration."

Dr. Foster and the team of students and faculty he took to
Korea to learn about global agricultural education. 

It is Dr. Foster's love for travel and exploration paired with student learning that put him on the path to receiving another award through the College of Agricultural Sciences.  The Roy C. Buck Faculty Award in Agricultural Sciences Award is awarded to a faculty member on a tenure-track in the College of Agricultural Sciences for the best refereed article in a scholarly journal.  Foster's article was published in the Agricultural Education Journal in 2014.  The article titled: "Preparing Agricultural Educators for the World: Describing Global Competency in Agricultural Teacher Candidates." His co-authors were Laura Sankey Rice and Melanie Miller- Foster both of Penn State and Kirby Barrick of the University of Florida.    His article showed his dedication to preparing students for global competence in agriculture.  His research looked at how classroom teaching and field experiences together lead to understanding and perceptions.  He measured global competency in students that were involved in a class prior to and after a travel experience. Future research recommended is to measure how teacher candidate perceptions could impact the practice in secondary school based agriculture classrooms. 

The first Global Teach Ag! Leadership Team led by Dr. Daniel &
Melanie Foster

 Foster continues his dedication to global competency in teacher candidates by offering opportunities for students to do international undergraduate research, encouraging studying abroad and applying for grants to take students on global travel experiences.  He is also one of the co-founders of the Global Teach Ag! Initiative that is dedicated to developing agriscience teachers for a global impact in food, fiber and natural resources through youth development and education.  

"My love for youth will spur me on to impart something from my life that will help make for each of my students a full and happy future." 

As he nears the end of his 6th year at Penn State, his love for youth and inspiring the secondary teachers that will teach the youth of tomorrow is evident.  Congratulations on your awards Dr. Foster, your commitment is an example to all of us! Connect with Dr. 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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.

Kayla Hack

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

2016 Impact FFA CASE Institute Scholarship Recipient: Katie Andrews!

Katie is a 2016 student teacher.
As pre-service teachers there are many ways future agriscience teachers can develop themselves professionally to set them apart in the field. For one of our Teach Ag! Stars, this has been a goal since day 1.  "Pursuing a degree in Agriculture Education was my goal since day 1 of freshmen year. Preparing agriculturally aware and competent students with 21st skills to be successful in anything they decide to do is my passion. Penn State has provided me with endless opportunities to maximize my skills and knowledge and I am excited to provide the same opportunities for students.”  A senior in agricultural education and  minors in International Agriculture and Agriculture Business Management, her next accomplishment comes as no surprise!  Congratulations to 2016 Impact FFA CASE Institute Scholarship Recipient Ms. Katie Andrews! 

Katie has been student teaching at Big Spring High School.  At Big Spring she has been able to teach the CASE Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources curriculum and has found many crossovers with science and math principles.  Katie says " Case does an excellent job of integrating STEM into the curriculum and it's adaptable."  To further develop herself professionally, and add another tool to her tool box as a teacher, she looked for opportunities to be certified to teach with CASE curriculum.   For the FFA Impact scholarship, she was one of four students to receive this honor.  Katie said "this scholarship will assist me with supporting my curriculum development as a new teacher."

CASE or Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education, provides materials, and education materials to students and teachers to "enhance the rigor and relevance of agriculture, food, and natural resources subject matter. CASE uses inquiry and problem, project and activity based lessons.  Each CASE lesson is aligned with math and science standards.  In order for a teacher to utilize CASE curriculum, it is necessary that they attend a CASE institute offered every summer.  

Sherisa Nailor, Katie Andrews & Sarabeth Fulton
As student teaching is nearing an end Katie reflected on the experience she has had at Big Spring.   She told us that her mentors and her students are her biggest supporters.  Katie said "the people you surround yourself with in life will gauge your happiness and who you are."  Her two mentors have provided her support, encouragement and professional growth.  Katie's cooperating teachers, Ms. Sherisa Nailor and Ms. Sarabeth Fulton are "excelling in their profession and care endlessly for students."  And Katie can't say thank you enough!  

If you would like to read more about Katie and her preparation for student teaching, check out her bog at: or connect with her on twitter @klandrews_24.  

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Program of the Month: Wellsboro High School

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 April program of the month. The Grand Canyon FFA Chapter at Wellsboro High School!

The Grand Canyon FFA Chapter was chartered in 1929 as the Wellsboro- Charleston FFA where it was housed in a different high school. The chapter has been housed in Wellsboro High School since 1942. Ms. Melanie Berndtson is the current agricultural educator and FFA advisor at Wellsboro. She says "The Wellsboro Agriscience Program is a modern, innovative agrisciece program that prepares students for careers in food, fiber and natural resources through being enrolled in classwork, having supervised agricultural experience, and participating in FFA." There are 115 students in the Agriscience Program that are all offered affiliate membership in the FFA, and since Ms. Berndtson has been the students at the participatory/active level of membership have increased from 15 to 56. This year Wellsboro High School is also a cooperating center for our very own teacher candidate Ms. Stacia Gouger.

Ms. Stacia Gouger & Ms. Melanie Berndtson
The Wellsboro Agriscience department is home to a 13 acre woodlot and a classroom and lab area which is full of animals!  Students in the program raise trout and tilapia and have a ball python, corn snake, bearded dragons a parakeet, guinea pigs, rabbits and every so often a hamster and chinchilla.  The chapter has continued to grow over the years, and every time they have participated at the state Forestry Career Development Event under Ms. Berndtson, they have received 1st or 2nd.  Among their Career Development success, they are active in service projects, leadership conferences and participated in various state level events.  

 Current Classes Offered: 

Introduction to Agriscience (CASE AFNR)
Plant Science I
Plant Science II
Animal Science I
Animal Science I
Natural Resource Management
Ag Leadership (Face to face and online)
Supervised Ag. Experience

Recent Chapter Accomplishments:

1st American Degree Application submitted since 1956
Gold, Silver & Bronze Proficiencies at the National Level 
Improvement on the National Chapter Award, from a 1 star to a 2 star chapter
2 Gold Forestry CDE Teams at the National level

High School FFA members at Wellsboro

The growth and commitment to preparing the next generation of students for careers in agriculture, food and natural resources at the Wellsboro High School and Grand Canyon FFA is an example for all of us to look to. Congratulations on being named our April Program of the Month! 

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

Friday, April 1, 2016

Student of the Month: Sarabeth Royer (@sb_royer) #psuaged16 #studentsuccess

Every month we like to highlight students that have gone above and beyond in the Agriculture Education department! April we are proud to share the stories and accomplishments of Ms. Sarabeth Royer!

From a dairy farm in Lancaster county, to student teaching in Bradford county, Sarabeth's  agricultural education experience started at a very young age.   She takes her farm roots to heart saying, "There are so many valuable lessons learned on a farm that cannot be transcribed onto a lesson plan. Lessons about life with a newborn calf and newly sprouted corn. Lessons on responsibility, cherishing life, valuing time, and so much more. As a future agriculture educator, I strive to not only integrate the lessons on agriculture, but also those "life-lessons" for my students. I want to help them see the potential in not only the agriculture industry, but also the potential in themselves."

Sarabeth is a Schreyer Honors student, representing the 5% of college students at Penn State that earn this honor.  Not only does she excel in her academic honors, but she is one of the most involved students in the major.  She invests her time within the major through Teach Ag! Society and as a member of Alpha Tau Alpha Agriculture Education Honor Society and Collegiate FFA.    She is involved in Dairy Science, Poultry Science where she is on the Poultry Judging Team and in the Coaly Society.  Sarabeth has served as an Ag Advocate promoting Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences to new and visiting students as well as the student body.  Outside of the College of Ag, Sarabeth is involved in Navigators Christian Ministry.  

 A senior in Agriculture & Extension Education and Animal Science Minor, she is quickly nearing the end of her time at Penn State.  She is one month from finishing her student teaching experience at Athens High School with Mr. Steinfelt.  When asked about what she loves most about teaching thus far, she responds: The Students.  "Being able to foster relationships with these students who can be  funny, entertaining, frustrating, exciting, and inspiring all at the same time is life changing for me. Being able to look at a student and tell them "I believe in you, you can do this," or "It's alright, try again," and seeing the glimmer of hope and sometimes belief is fantastic. I wish that my students could see how truly incredible they really are!" 

 Your students are lucky to have you Sarabeth!  Good luck as you complete your semester, we are looking forward to seeing you graduate and seeing where you end up teaching next year!

Sarabeth is always encouraging her students and her
cohort with her quotes of the week. 

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

Hometown: Elizabethtown, PA

Sarabeth, her cooperating teacher and some of her students
 visiting the capital after SLLC
Favorite PSU Class: Soils 102 (Lab), Poultry Judging, An Sci 201

Favorite place to eat in State College: D.P. Dough & the Creamery

Favorite Penn State Athletic Team: Dairy Science Flag Football Team

Favorite Hangout on Campus: Poultry Education Research Center 

Favorite Creamery Ice Cream: Death by Chocolate

Favorite Tractor Color: Red

If you would like to read more about Sarabeth, connect with her via 
Twitter: @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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.

Kayla Hack 

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @hackkayla

2017 Agriculture Education Student Teacher