More than 30 Teachers from across Pennsylvania gathered at Penn State University to get a better understanding of the world of agriculture and how to implement it in their classrooms. The Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation Educator’s Ag institute provides PreK-12th teachers, pre-service teachers and informal community educators a unique learning experience.

To start the institute, the attendees of Educator’s Ag Institute 1.0 arrived on June 23. First-time attendees of the event attended Educator’s Ag Institute 1.0. Registration was full of new, excited faces, eager and ready to learn. Each attendee even got to take a gift bag with an array of resources and goodies for them to utilize in their classrooms. Not only are they provided with resources as well as tours and presentations but receive 25-28 continuing education credit hours.

Educator’s Ag Institute 2.0 arrived on June 26. Prior attendees attend Educator’s Ag Institute 2.0, and they can earn 13-15 continuing education credit hours. Like Educator’s Ag Institute 1.0, they also were provided with resources and attended multiple tours and presentations. It was amazing to see all the diverse types of educators that made their way to the event, and each of their backgrounds.

“What I get most from the event are things that I can enlighten my students about,” Kelly Damore, a fifth-grade teacher from Erie County said. “Taking the little bits, we can get and taking them back to our classroom and putting them into the standards that we need to teach.”

Over the course of the week, the attendees ventured on several tours ranging from Way’s Fruit Farm to Brush Mountain Bison and Hemp Farm in Centre County. Each farm unique, showing various aspects of the agriculture industry. Many of the attendees were amazed with just how much went into the agriculture industry and were beaming with questions. The attendees were even able to take a close look at how the dairy and poultry farms operated at Penn. State University. Not to mention a deep dive into the beautiful collection of plants at the PSU Arboretum. Teachers were also able to experience the foundation’s Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab during the visit to Way’s Fruit Farm.

Now, Educator’s Ag Institute is not strictly tours, but guest speakers and educational presentations as well. This year the featured speakers were members of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania Dairy Princesses, Pennsylvania FFA, Pennsylvania 4-H, Center for Dairy Excellence and more.

As far as educational presentations, the topics covered many aspects of the agriculture industry and touched on how to implement them in the classroom. The attendees learned about landscaping, sustainability, forestry, aeroponics and many more valuable topics to bring into the classroom.

“I like attending workshops of this nature because I teach at a private school in the city of Eire,” Beth Keller, second-grade teacher from Eire County said. “This just gives me ideas on how to bring the outside world inside into the classroom.”

When it comes to the educational presentations the local 4-Hers went above and beyond and even brought their 4-H projects. The 4-H’ers were more than happy to help teach the attendees about agriculture. There were eight groups, and the attendees were encouraged to ask the 4-H’ers questions to help them grow their communication skills and confidence. Each group had a chance to talk to all the teachers and did an outstanding job explaining all aspects of the species from breeds, to by-products and even how to show them.

When both Educator’s Ag Institute 1.0 and 2.0 were in attendance, a dinner banquet was held. At the banquet, the attendees were rewarded with a certificate and were applauded for their dedication to planting the seed of agriculture into their classrooms. Along with attendees, the foundation thanked our multiple sponsors that helped to make this event happen.

There are so many children and adults to this day who don’t know where their food comes from. Ag literacy is a huge topic in the agriculture industry and across the world. By doing our part to help educate the younger generation we are building a brighter future. All the attendees are helping to do their part and help to educate the youth. All it takes is one person talking about agriculture to spark the conversation. Without agriculture, we wouldn’t be able to feed the world. So, by educating the children of today, we can look towards a better future.

Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation is a charitable organization supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The Foundation has been educating the public and promoting agriculture, the largest of the Commonwealth’s industries since its inception in 1986. To learn more about foundation programs, go to

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