Milton Hershey School Agriculture Student Extends Learning to the Pennsylvania Farm Show
By Jenna Allencastre-Doersom, MHS Senior
When I enrolled at Milton Hershey School in second grade, I was determined to get involved with the school’s Agriculture and Environmental Education (AEE) program. Growing up, I always loved animals, and I had dreams of working with them in my future career. Since I was eight-years-old, I have been a part of animal therapy, beginner animal club, and goat, sheep, and beef clubs, while also interning at the MHS Animal Center. Beyond those club opportunities, I love participating in the Pennsylvania Farm Show the most.
At this year’s Farm Show—the 107th since its founding in 1917—I enjoyed the opportunity to work one-on-one with my animals and be able to reap the benefits both inside and outside the show ring through ribbons and personal relationships. I saw firsthand how my commitment to going to the barn after school every day to prepare was both beneficial and fun. It taught me so much about the ways agriculture exists in every part of our lives.
Learning about agriculture and the environment in school is important as it provides a foundation for everything we use and consume. From food, technology, and everyday items, we source so much material from the environment. Without it, we’d have nothing. My time in the AEE program has shown me the importance of this field and has made it clear to me that as the world and our capabilities continue to expand, agriculture will play an imperative role in how we operate.
Beyond what I’ve learned inside and outside of the classroom, it’s the sense of community that makes the AEE program so special. I’ve found lifelong friends within the program. The resources we have and the real-life learning opportunities like the PA Farm Show and other fairs that we can attend, play a big role in helping students determine whether an agriculture-focused field is something they want to pursue in the future.
Thanks to the graduate resources at MHS and the school’s AEE program, I will be able to attend college to study animal science. I couldn’t have done this without MHS and opportunities like the PA Farm Show.