Friday, May 27, 2016

It's a Wrap: Domestic Study Away 2016 #PSUAgEd2TN

Editors Note: The following is the final blog instalment of #psuaged2TN, our domestic study away program. Nate Repetz (@N8_Repetz), a junior and member of #psuaged17, shares below. This incredible opportunity is made possible by the generosity of the CHS Foundation.

The whole group at Clarkrange High School

On Sunday May 8th, seven future agricultural educators and one brave teacher educator loaded a van. The destination was the Volunteer State. The reason was the 4th annual Domestic Study Away trip. The focus was STEM in agricultural education in urban and rural settings. We each had different reasons for going on this trip, but we all ended with renewed passion for agricultural education.

This was our fourth annual Domestic Study Away, and each has had a different feel to it. Others have questioned why we would sacrifice a week of summer to visit ag ed programs. This year, our four greatest take-aways are why we do this trip.

4 Take-Aways

2016 crew downtown Nashville
1. Exposing ourselves to agricultural education throughout the nation: Agriculture is truly a global industry. You do not always need a passport to see these differences. The agriculture industry, and therefore agricultural education, looks different in TN than it does in PA. This trip allows us to see these differences so that we may feel prepared to teach in any location we choose after graduation.

2. Expanding our professional network: We had the pleasure of meeting several wonderful individuals during this trip. Each one was open to future questions and advice. It is never to early to make connections throughout the nation.

3. Connecting OUR classroom content to concrete experiences: Agricultural Education is always hands on, but in teacher education it is hard to have these hands on experiences before we student teach. This trip gave us the opportunity to work with hundreds of different students with numerous backgrounds in a very short period of time. Also, we were able to apply educational theory that we learned in our own classes. One example was Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory. We had our concrete experiences during the trip, every day we reflected and learned from the experience, and tried to implement what we learned the next day. This trip provided a glimpse into the life of a teacher
Grand Ole Opry

4. Grow as a cohort: There is no better way to get to know someone than by spending a whole week with them in hotels and rode trip in a van. With all the experiences we have as ag ed majors, our fellow students start to feel like our family. This trip is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with some of our best friends.

In conclusion, the 2016 Teach Ag Society Domestic Study Away was one for the record books. We could not have done this trip without the help of our 4 continued sponsors: The PSU Center for Professional and Personnel Development in Agricultural Education, the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, the University Park Allocation Committee, and most importantly, the CHS Foundation. I would also like to thank Dr. Billye Foster, Dr. Chaney Moslty, Dr. Kris Elliot, Ms. Beverly Flatt, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, and all of our other partners. Without their support, this trip would not have been possible. Here’s to the bright future of Agricultural Education!

Here is short fun video I made of our experience and the "Cascarones" experience we culminated with:

We are excited to begin planning our 2017 experience to Wisconsin. This will be lead by our co-chairs, Heather Wasson (hlw5145) and Rose Cowan (rvc5334). If you are interested in partnering with us in 2017 or would like to be considered as a 2018 destination, please contact the student chairs or our adviser, Dr. Daniel Foster, @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.

Nate Repetz

2016 Teach Ag! Society Domestic Study Away Chairman

2017 Student Teacher

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