Thursday, December 7, 2017

December 2017 Program of the Month: Bald Eagle High School

All across the great state of Pennsylvania there are 145 school districts that have Agriculture Education courses and the FFA program. Each month we like to highlight a chapter that has stood out from the rest. December's program of the month goes to Bald Eagle High School, Bald Eagle FFA Chapter.

Background Knowledge:

The current agricultural educators at Bald Eagle are Mr. Todd Biddle, Mr. Jade Thompson, and Ms. Morgan Campbell. The program was charted on January 12, 2012, and had not been a charter for over 30 years prior to that date. The students that were interested in learning about agriculture attended State College's program, and as that number grew the district decided to start a General  Agriculture program. Bald Eagle has a three period forestry program to train students for that industry.

Classroom Instruction:

The current offered of courses are Introduction to Agriculture, Animal Production, Animal Science, Horticulture, Agriculture Mechanics, Forestry Production (wildlife management taught within), and Agriculture Leadership. They have expanded animal science offering this year for those who have strong ambitions toward animal agriculture. All of the teachers have general science and biology certifications, and have taught science courses at Bald Eagle currently or in the past. Mr. Thompson had started the program in 2012, Mr. Biddle has been teaching agriculture for five year, and this year is Ms. Campbell's first year. Some innovations that are being implemented are producing and drying the lumber that the woodshed students will use since they have their own sawmill. There is also talk about selling the lumber to other local school districts.

FFA Accomplishments:
Bald Eagle FFA had earned the two star National Chapter Award in both 2016 and 2017. Their application has ranked in the top 10 within Pennsylvania for the past three years. The students are also very successful in area agricultural competitions with winners and winning teams in ag sales, forestry, poultry judging, livestock evaluation, public speaking, etc. At PA Farm Show the students also have done very well with tractor restoration, landscape box, window exhibits, and youth rabbit competitions. The chapter has received several grants that have allowed them to establish a pollinator garden on campus that is affiliated with the Snetsinger Butterfly garden at Tudek Park. The FFA chapter has worked with local state agriculture clubs as sites for agriculture conferences.

SAE Accomplishments:
Since 2012, Bald Eagle has had 14 students earn their Keystone Degrees. Seven of those students will receive their degree this year. In 2016-2017 one of the students was the state winner in goat production efficiency area, and scored silver at the national level.

Bald Eagle is a newer program, but still producing fantastic results from their short time as a chartered program! We are excited to see where your program will go in future years. Congratulations on being 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.

Luke Kerstetter
Communications Team Member
Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96
2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher