Agricultural and Environmental Education
Milton Hershey believed students benefit from learning beyond the classroom. Since Milton Hershey School’s founding in 1909, agriculture has been a part of its legacy. Today, the program is known as the Agricultural and Environmental Education (AEE) program.
Every day we see exactly what our students can achieve when given the best opportunities in education. With a focus broader than traditional classroom academics, our students are given even more tools to thrive. See how MHS classroom learning reinforces hands-on AEE instruction.
Hands-On Field Experience
Agricultural and Environmental Education at MHS is diverse. It engages students of all ages, pre-K through 12th grades, through hands-on learning. Most AEE activities are offered outside of the regular school day. Students choose if they want to participate.
More Than Farming
AEE exposes students fully to the industry. They gaining environmental and agricultural literacy working with:
- Crops and orchards
- Beef cattle and horses
- Dairy goats and sheep
- Other small animals
Learning the Business
Students also are able to see the business side of the industries. Learning touches upon agriculture-focused:
From Resources to Products
Last, they dig into learning about available resources and work to develop commodities, including:
- Food and fibers
- Wood products
- Natural resources
- Other plant and animal products and resources
Agricultural and Environmental Education’s Five Components
The MHS AEE program is staffed with experts. They work closely with our Scholastic and Home Life departments. They also work to integrate STEAM into their programming. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Their goal? To provide real-world experiences for students and help them decide if they have career interest in the field.
Learn details about the five components that comprise the MHS Agricultural and Environmental Education program:
MHS offers more than 150 projects integrated between AAE and Scholastic. These accommodate all grade levels and content areas.
MHS provides 50 Senior Division students experiential learning internships. We partner with experts in AAE-related career fields. Internships are tailored toward student interest. MHS also partners with professionals and colleges. These outside partners serve as mentors to students.
Co-ops are the best of all worlds! They provide MHS students with classroom-based instruction. This is combined with real-world experience in our Agriculture and Natural Resources career pathway.
The Agriculture and Natural Resources career pathway exists for students exploring a career in these fields. It is one of 12 career pathways offered through the MHS Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. Learning is more targeted than general AAE programs and includes a classroom element.
Students are able to work with:
- Plants and flowers
- Beef cattle
- Milk goats
- Small animals
Students can earn up to 10 industry-recognized certifications while at MHS.
Club participants can target participation based on interest. Club offerings include 4-H, Future Farmers of America, PA State Farm Show, and more. Available clubs provide learning in the following areas:
- Industry and show standards
- Selective breeding and rearing
- Animal husbandry
- Raising animals for market
- Showing animals at various competitions
- Pre-veterinary fields
- Equine management / horsemanship
AEE In Action
Project Market is a local produce market open to the community. Student interns and staff pick year-round, fresh produce and sell it at Project Market. They also participate in planting and growing the products.
PA Farm Show Preparation
MHS students make final preparations with cattle for the Pennsylvania Farm Show. It is a hands-on learning opportunity that is preparing them for careers in agriculture and veterinary medicine.
Project Market operates through an authentic, student-run business model. It is a partnership with the school’s AEE and CTE programs. Alumni experts and local business partners provide guidance to students. Interning with Project Market builds collaboration skills and reinforces character and leadership lessons being learned in the classroom and student home.
Students manage all aspect of running the business, including:
- Logo and branding development
- Profit margin analysis
- Patron research and analysis
- Customer service
- Inventory control and management
- Shelving and product showcasing strategies
- Research and design in product development
- Business management skills