I am honored to be named as a 2020 Targeting Excellence Scholarship Recipient and represent the Targeting Excellence Organization. Thank you for committing your time, resources, and energy to opportunities for current college students, like me. I am appreciative of this financial investment you have made in my education. I am especially looking forward to my upcoming agriscience student teaching experience. I will be teaching several animal science, plant science, and agriculture mechanics courses that provide students with hands-on experiences in the agricultural industry. It is my goal that when students leave my classroom they are informed consumers and are comfortable pursuing agriculture either as a career or hobby.
I am currently a junior at Penn State University studying Agricultural and Extension Education. I am also pursuing minors Environmental Resource Management and International Agriculture. I have proven myself to be a dedicated student, as I have been on the Dean’s list every semester and was accepted to the Penn State Schreyer Honors College as a freshman. I grew up surrounded by agriculture on my grandparent’s 500-acre dairy farm (Buttonwood Farms) and my parents’ 10-acre heifer operation (Bentz Hollow Farm). As a result, I developed an appreciation for agriculture and dairy cows, exhibited many projects through 4-H, and served York County as the 2016-17 York County Dairy Princess. From these experiences, I found my passion was a combination of the education and outreach that I was doing as the Dairy Princess, and my lifestyle of growing up on a dairy farm. It is my goal to become an agricultural science teacher for high school students, where I can foster their interests and inspire them to pursue agricultre as a career or as a hobby. It is also important to me that my students leave my program informed consumers. I am an active member of my school and local community. At Penn State, I was accepted to the Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Through this group, I had the chance to invent a gardening service that would bring agriculture to urban and suburban communities, decrease food insecurity, and create habitat for pollinators. As the team captain, I guided my team through the preparatory work for the finale which was in the form of a startup pitch, similar to pitches given on the popular TV show Shark Tank; and we won the competition! I am also an active member of the Literacy, Education, and Agricultural Development (LEAD) Society and Dairy Science Club. In my local community, I am a member of my church’s Stewardship and Mission Committee the York County Farm Women Group #4. My career goals align with The Three Circle Model of Agricultural Education. The three circles are classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience (SAE), and FFA. In my opinion, the SAE component is the most important because this is where students get to apply what they learned in the classroom via a self-driven project. I believe that hands-on experiences like taking soil samples, managing a greenhouse, or completing an internship on a beef farm are valuable experiences that cannot be replicated by classroom instruction. William Glasser, a famous American psychiatrist, says that we remember 10% of what we read, 30% of what we see, and 80% of what we experience. As an educator, it is my goal to foster as many of these out-of-the-classroom experiences for my students as possible so that they can experience, and develop an appreciation for agriculture.