Friday, May 12, 2017

Guest Blog: 5th Annual Domestic Study Away: Day Three - "Classrooms, Cranberries, and Connections"

Editor's Note:
What is a Domestic Study Away? A Domestic Study Away (DSA) is a non-credit experience that is 100% Student-Developed and Student-led. The Penn State Teach Ag! Society runs where a group of students travel to a State to explore the following: 
  1. What does #AgEdu look like in other states? How is the total model of school-based agricultural education (Classroom Instruction, Youth Leadership Development <FFA> and Work-based learning <SAE>) uniquely provided? 
  2. Who are the #AgEdu Stakeholders in the state? Specifically, what agricultural industry is being served? 
  3. A unique yearly selected professional development topic! For #psuaged2WI, it is "Gender in the Agriculture Industry, Agricultural Classroom and Agricultural Education Profession. 
You can virtually-engage with this experience by reading and commenting on the daily blogs and following the experience on Twitter and Facebook with our hashtag #PSUAgEd2WI. We could not complete this transformative learning experience with out the incredible support of our partners including: The Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators, The Wisconsin Team Ag Ed, The Penn State Center for Professional and Personnel Development and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Student Activities Fund.

This is a series of blogs capturing reflections from each day of the experience by one of the participants. The goal is to post the daily reflection 24 hours after completion of activity. Below is the second day reflection of Lisa Boltz (@MeMyselfandlkb), a member of the #psuaged19 cohort with a minor in Political Science. The reflection focus is the third official day of DSA in New Richmond, Wisconsin at New Richmond High School, Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, WI, 

Welcome to day three of our Domestic Study Away to Wisconsin. Our adventures began at 6:30am as we commuted to the New Richmond High School's agriculture department, taught by Ms. Sauvola (@MrsSauvola).

Our group split into two groups to instruct Ms.Sauvola's inquiry based learning classes in Veterinarian Science and Environmental Science. Michaela, George, Rose and Lisa led a lesson on Animal Nutrition, students learned about the six essential nutrients for an animal's diet. Macy, Allyson, Katie, and Angie taught a lesson on fresh water, students learn about the importance of this resource and human impact on freshwater sources. For many of us, this was our first attempt at teaching using inquiry based learning methods. A group consensus was that it was a fun challenge that helped us grow and develop. Ms. Sauvola's advice to our group was that we should not fear curriculum, failure, or being told No. We should go all out and work that hardest we can to provide opportunities for our students.

Upon our depart from New Richmond we traveled to Warrens, WI to visit the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center. Here we learned many new facts about the cranberry industry, such as the name, which originated from the sand cranes that were feeding near a wild patch of Crane-berries, as the Native Americans referred to it. During our tour we were escorted by Wisconsin Farm Bureau's Deb Raemisch to the Wetherby's Cranberry Farm where we spoke with Nodji, a third generation Cranberry farmer. She added valuable content regarding gender roles in the industry. When she inherited the Wetherbys she was a single woman that had just left her previous career as an English teacher, she spoke about the struggles she endured physically and mentally. Now after raising her family she aspires to pass on the farm to her grandchildren, making Wetherbys a fifth generation farm.

The drizzling rain chased us from Wetherbys to our destination in Wisconsin Dells, where we had dinner with representatives of Accelerated Genetics and Foremost Farms. Joan Behr, with Foremost Farms, discussed the role that their cooperative plays in Wisconsin as it serves 1,300 Farms in the Great Lakes Region. Angie Lindloff, with Accelerated Genetics, informed us of the roles the company takes on as a premier supplier that prides itself in the quality of business they provide to cattle breeders world wide.

Our nightly reflection focused on the progress we made today in efforts continue the momentum through the remainder of the DSA. Keep tuned in to hear more about our amazing adventure, and please enjoy the video created by Macy (@macy_fisher) summarizing the days events!

To read more about our #psuaged2WI adventures, see:

Lisa Boltz, 
2019 Student Teacher Candidate

1 comment:

  1. Nice reflection on the day. Glad you had the chance to teach!