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MHS FFA Members Organize Agriculture Festival for Spring Family Weekend

During Milton Hershey School’s 2019 Spring Family Weekend, four MHS seniors who are members of FFA organized the school’s first-ever agriculture festival.

Jordan Edmonds, Skylar Nace-Gerhart, Kerri Hoffman, and Aliza Blackburn organized hands-on activities as a way to educate visitors to the world of agriculture in an effort to help them better understand how their food is produced. Activities included a goat milking simulation, a soil station—which taught visitors about the importance of both soil quality and worms in agriculture—and a petting zoo organized by MHS Animal Center interns. In addition, students sold items at the school’s student-run market, known as Project Market, and prepared edible ‘dirt’ cups for hungry guests at the soil station.

Agriculture festival visitors participate in hands-on learning activities.

The students worked diligently to prepare for the event and collaborated with students participating in other career pathways through the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. Their hard work paid off in the number of items sold at MHS Project Market:

  • 1,000 plants.
  • 55 units of goat soap/lotion.
  • More than 150 units of ice cream.
  • More than 100 produce items, which included, asparagus, hydroponic peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, radishes, and assorted microgreens.

In addition to selling plants and vegetables, students sold storage chests and tool trays crafted by students in the school’s Construction and Carpentry CTE career pathway, art tiles and MHS postcards created by MHS Visual and Performing Arts students, and composition books made by students in the Graphic Communication Technologies CTE career pathway.

“We were beyond excited to provide this opportunity for our students,” said Bradley Wasserman, MHS STEAM Instructional Advisor. “We gave them the framework, put it in their hands, and let them run with it to create an incredible experience. Organizing the event and activities gave them a chance to apply their learning in a real-world context while engaging with the community.”

For those who missed the agriculture festival, and are interested in purchasing MHS students’ products and produce, MHS Project Market is open to the public one day a week—each Thursday, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. until the summer, when the hours will change. Anyone interested in receiving updates on Project Market’s hours of operations can follow the market on Facebook or sign up to receive updates.

FFA students participate in Milton Hershey School’s Agriculture and Natural Resources CTE career pathway—it is one of 11  pathways offered through the school’s Career and Technical Education program. CTE provides MHS students opportunities to gain experience through an array of specialized classes, hands-on learning, and professional development—all aimed at ensuring they receive the skills and knowledge to achieve success post-graduation.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. View full Equal Opportunity Policy.