Sunday, June 30, 2013

Expanding our Capacity

The most precious resource for most agricultural educators is...TIME!

How can we continue to evolve as catalysts for positive change, fulfill our roles as program directors of our secondary agricultural education programs and provide more quality one-on-one instruction for our students? I believe there is opportunity in engaging more volunteers and/or stakeholders in our program.

The recent issue of Time Magazine focused on "How Service can Save Us!" I was reading it on my return trip from the amazing Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators Conference. The article listed four websites that I thought might have potential for secondary agricultural educators to utilize to expand their human resources for their programing. 

The community-service search engine offers a mobile app to link volunteers to local nonprofits and grassroots organizations.

Dedicated to promoting service among children and teens, the site grants $1 million each year to youth-led projects

More than 93,000 nonprofits recruit millions of volunteers through this outfit.

Catchafire matches professionals' skills with what volunteer organizations need most.

Of course, there is great responsibility to successfully implement volunteers. One must be able to articulate the clear vision of what is to be accomplished and the specific educational outcomes that are targeted.

If you decide to try to utilize any of these services and increasing the number of volunteers in your program (both help your students and potentially expanding the agricultural literacy of your volunteers), please email me at and let me know how it goes!

Welcome! Time to Walk the Talk!

Hello all,

My name is Daniel Foster and I am an agricultural teacher educator at Pennsylvania State University. Prior to Penn State, I received my graduate degrees at The Ohio State University and taught secondary agriculture in Willcox, Arizona.

Recently, I have been a vocal advocate of my teacher candidates of agricultural education at Penn State and other teachers of agriculture to develop a professional blog. I believe that this will go a long way in helping us tell the story of school-based agricultural education to strategic partners.

The blog is entitled Exponential Impact. I truly believe that each of us has the capacity as agricultural educators to make an IMPACT not an impression. To exponentially change the world around us for the better.  I appreciate you reading and passing on those nuggets of knowledge that you think are worthwhile.

As we talk about truly being catalysts for positive change, we have to ask: WHO is going to do the Job? Who is going to embrace the role of being the torch bearer? I wanted the first blog entry of Exponential Impact to include the poem below:

Everybody, Anybody, Somebody, Nobody and Someone Else

Let me tell you the story
Of  four young lads by the name
Of Tom, Dick, Harry and Joe.
Their full names in fact were as such;

Tom Somebody,
Dick Everybody,
Harry Anybody,
and Joe Nobody.
Together they were the best of friends,
But I must confess
when to came to a task they weren't very good.

You see when ever they were given a job,
They all began to fight.
Because this is how it always went;

Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it,
And Anyone could have done it
But in the end Nobody always ended up with the task.

When Nobody did it,
Somebody was angry because it was Everybody's job.
But Everybody thought that Somebody would do it instead.
Now Nobody realized that Nobody would do it.
So consequently Everybody blamed Somebody
When Nobody did what Anybody could have done 
In the first place.

Now don't start arguing yet
because I have another story 
of these friends to tell;

Now as you may have guessed
these four were fun, active, busy people
But what they accomplished was a shame and Everyone knew it.
You see Everybody had a good idea,
But Everybody thought Somebody would follow it through,
However Somebody  thought Anybody would work on it.
And Anybody thought Everybody should do it.
So Nobody ended up working on it...AGAIN!
Now one day a contest was announced,
All the boys were sent to enter.
Now Everybody thought Anybody could win the prize.
Anybody thought Somebody would win.
And Somebody thought Everybody would get a prize.
Nobody was the smartest of the four.
And Nobody was very faithful.
Nobody worked very hard.
Thus Nobody won the prize!

No I have one more tale to tell you
of another friend of the four
this is a sad sad tale of the death of
a man called Someone Else;

You see all the boys work at a firm
and at this firm worked Someone Else.
Now the four were greatly saddened
to learn of the death of one of the most
valuable member - Someone Else.

Someone's passing created a vacancy
that will be difficult to fill.
He had been around for years and for
everyone of those years,
Someone did far more that a normal person's
share of work.
Whenever Anybody mentioned leadership,
Somebody  always looked to this wonderful
person for inspiration and results;
"Someone Else can do that job!"

When there was a job to do, a need to be filled
or a place of leadership, one name was always given....
....Someone Else.
Everyone knew Someone else was the largest giver
of time and money.
Whenever there was a financial need,
Everybody, Anybody and Somebody always
assumed that Someone Else would make up the difference.
Now Someone Else is gone.
And the boys all wonder what they will do,
No longer can they utter the words;
"Let Someone Else do it"
If it is going to be done, one of them
will have to do it....And I guess most of the time
it will be Nobody.