Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Guest Blog: #PAAE17: Learning from the Wise

Here, by the owl... 
The owl is a time honored emblem of knowledge and wisdom.

The Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators held their annual conference in Philadelphia from July 11th through July 14th. The 2018 cohort of Penn State Agricultural and Extension Education Majors had the opportunity to attend.

Tuesday, July 11
Tuesday the student teachers and their cooperating teachers took part in the "Teach Ag Adventure Orientation" guided by our fantastic Ag Ed specialists Dr. Daniel Foster, Dr. John Ewing, Dr. Kevin Curry, and Dr. Laura Rice. I feel more prepared for my student teaching than I did prior to this meeting and I want to thank my professors for this. 
Ms. Carole Fay having lots of fun
at Dave and Buster's.

After our meeting we joined the other conference goers for an interesting evening filled with fun and games at Dave and Buster's. I never knew how much fun a great group of agriscience teachers could have but I sure am glad to be joining this group of superb teachers and interesting individuals. 

Wednesday, July 12
The Philadelphia FFA Chapter at
W.B. Saul is the largest
chapter in Pennsylvania! 
On Wednesday we made it to Walter Biddle Saul Agricultural High School! We began our day with committee meetings and a school tour. It was amazing to see kids so passionate about agriculture in such an urban place. Afterwards, the conference attendees broke up into groups and headed off to respective tours. I was lucky enough to receive a behind the scenes tour of the Philadelphia Zoo! I learned about the unique programs that the zoo hosts for high school students annually. After the zoo we went to dinner near Reading Terminal Market. Then one of my favorite activities of the week was a double decker bus tour of the city of brotherly love! 
The 2018 cohort posed for a photo on the bus with Ms. Fay
and Ms. Seibert photo-bombing in the back.
Macy learning about
wildlife forensics and
gaining tools for

Thursday, July 13
Thursday was a day filled with workshops at W.B. Saul that provided me with many teaching tools that I cannot wait to utilize in the classroom. Our banquet was that evening and one thing is for certain, we all clean up nicely! Awards were given out at the banquet and we had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Foster auction off items that were donated to support the association as well as the national relief fund. 

Friday, July 14
On the final day of #PAAE17 we attended meetings and our final workshop which provided even more exciting teaching tools. After thanking our wonderful hosts we started the journey back to University Park. 

I was thankful for this experience to build connections with seasoned leaders as I continue to grow my teaching skills. I may be just a fledgling but hanging out with owls for a week has taught, excited, and inspired me for my #TeachAg journey. I can't wait. Hoot Hoot!

Angela Becker
2018 Student Teacher at Manheim Central High School
Twitter: @BeckerAngelaM
Instagram: @MissBecker_MC

Monday, July 24, 2017

Welcome @PAFFA Vice President Thomas Gabel (@gabel_thomas) to @TeachAgPSU

Newly elected #PAFFA Vice President, Thomas Gabel, will be joining our @TeachAgPSU
Thomas Gabel, State FFA
Vice President
family this fall!  Thomas will be an incoming freshman to Penn State majoring in Agriculture and Extension Education. 
Thomas’s interest in the agriculture industry started at a young age as he grew up working and learning on his family’s dairy farm.  He was heavily involved with 4-H as a youth which was mirrored later in his years in the Newport FFA.  His favorite Leadership Development Event was Parliamentary Procedure and his Supervised Agricultural Experience was on farm employment at his home dairy farm in Perry County.  Thomas quickly became intrigued by the countless opportunities and career options within the industry.   This is when his passion for teaching began.  He was able to watch his teacher, Mrs. Natalie Barkely, impart knowledge and wisdom onto students daily. When asked what made you decide to become an Ag teacher, Thomas replied “I was inspired by my teacher, Mrs. Barkley, to pursue teaching so that I could have a positive impact on the next generation of students, and be an advocate for agriculture.”

Thomas is excited and anxious to see what his year of service to our state’s FFA organization has in stake for him.  He has a year’s worth of classroom visits, leadership conferences, and public 
The 2017-2018 Pennsylvania
State Officer Team
speaking engagements yet to come.  I asked Thomas how he thought the skills he is going to gain and sharpen over the next twelve months of being a state officer is going to help him going into Ag Ed, he said I believe I will gain a better understanding of the agriculture industry, learn valuable teaching and facilitation skills, gain confidence, build connections, and gain experience with teaching and interacting with high school students.”
I actually got to spend some time with Thomas and the rest of the new state officer team, recently at the Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators (@PAAE) conference in Philadelphia.  When I got to sit down and talk with him, he voiced why he thinks Ag Ed is so important.  “Agricultural Education is crucial in the fight against world hunger and in the goal of educating the world.  There are many misconceptions across the globe about the agriculture industry and agricultural education classes provides a platform to better educate people about the industry.  These lessons and knowledge can be applied to many different fields, including those dealing with production agriculture and in result, help feed the world.”  He is a very energetic and enthusiastic young man who is devoted to expressing the importance of the agriculture industry.  I think that he is going to make a great teacher some day and indeed with inspire a few students just as he was by his own teacher. 

In his last remarks, I asked Thomas what he would say to someone who was thinking about being an Ag teacher.  He told me “I would tell them that being an Agricultural Educator is one of the most important jobs in the world.   People in this profession have the unique opportunity to advocate for an entire industry and help students find their future careers and passions.  It is, without a doubt, a career path worth pursuing.”  We wish Thomas and the rest of the Pennsylvania FFA State Officers luck on the year ahead and each of their journeys.  Welcome to the PSU Ag Ed family Thomas!
Thomas has officially been
Tagged to Teach Ag! 

Macy Fisher, Student Blogger
Twitter Handle: @macy_fisher
#psuaged18 member
2018 Selinsgrove Student Teacher