College of Ag Sciences junior develops knowledge in agricultural education through internship


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– Morgan Bear, a third year majoring in agriculture and education at Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, traded a typical classroom for a mobile agricultural education lab last summer as an intern in education for the Friends of Agriculture Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation is a charitable organization that focuses on creating educational programs for middle and elementary school children who may have limited exposure to agriculture. The foundation also trains teachers in agricultural concepts while helping them meet their continuing education requirements.

As an education intern, Bear’s primary responsibility was to develop lesson plans and work in the mobile agriculture lab.

“It was fascinating to see how students with little or no agricultural presence in their schools or communities interacted and participated in our classes,” said Bear. “Some of the students might have basic knowledge, but farming was a strange concept for most. “

Bear, from Newville, has taught many lessons on bees, milk quality, soybeans, insect identification, ecosystems, and more. Each lesson took students through the scientific method and was created for ages from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Bear has completed prep work for several events and committees. She has planned Agricultural Literacy Week 2022 and packed participants’ boxes for the Educator’s Agriculture Institute which took place over the summer. She has also worked with the Agriculture Promotion Committee, which is a resource for county agricultural offices in developing programs and activities focused on educating people about agriculture.

In addition, she liaised with the Workforce Development Committee with Grow PA Agriculture, an initiative designed to support the growth of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry through the collaboration of agribusiness companies and organizations. The committee was made up of interns from other member organizations, including Land O ‘Lakes, AgChoice Farm Credit, PennAg Industries Association and the Center for Dairy Excellence.

Bear collaborated with the other interns on the website www.agandfoodcareersinpa.com to help students discover new careers in agriculture and food. She created a quiz on the website to help students find potential careers in agriculture that might match their interests.

“The agriculture career quiz that Morgan developed has proven to be very popular on the website,” said Charlene Espenshade, executive director of the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation. “The quiz peaked at 100 per month, so it had to be updated to make room for more submissions.”

As Bear reflected on all she’s done over the summer, she said every aspect of her job will help her become a better agricultural teacher.

“Whether it’s developing lesson plans and teaching materials that meet our state’s standards or talking to our sponsors about the courses that take place in the Mobile Agriculture Lab, every task has given me a point. different view, ”Bear said. “I entered my internship not knowing what to expect and came out better equipped to teach agriculture. “

Espenshade noted that Bear brings knowledge to the group as much as she learns new skills through her work.

“From the start Morgan was part of the team,” Espenshade said. “Not only did the foundation gain her perspective as an aspiring teacher, it also gained experience leading courses at various grade levels. “

When counseling someone looking for an internship, Bear offers a reminder to be genuine.

“Success comes down to being yourself,” Bear said. “No one knows you better than yourself. While it’s great to reach out to all relationships, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what you are going to do with your internship and set yourself up for success in your future career.

Information on internships and careers for College of Agricultural Sciences students is available online at https://agsci.psu.edu/students/careers/jobs-internships.