Summary 2022 — Pennsylvania
Launched in the fall of 2022, the foundation partnered with GIANT to start the PA Farm to Families Immersion Lab powered by GIANT.
The PA Farms to Families Immersion Lab powered by GIANT, supported by the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation allows guests to learn about PA farms, discover environmental considerations to impact food production, experience riding on a tractor through a VR corn field, quiz yourself to see how well you know common fruits and vegetables, practice building a balanced meal with Pennsylvania-grown foods and learn about the community it takes to bring food from the field to the plate for PA families.
All these activities and more are waiting for you inside the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture's new exhibit trailer! You can explore Pennsylvania's agriculture through hands-on activities, creative exhibits, and fun games. It's our latest tool to help Connect Families for a Better Future through agriculture and education.
PA farms highlighted within immersion lab:
- BrightFarms - Aquaponics
- Painterland Farms - Organic, Regenerative Dairy Farm
- Lazy Hog Farm - Hoffman Farms
- Buono Farms - Mushroom Farming
Major Program Impacts or Outcomes
90,000 students, grades k-8, were educated last year in the Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab, with pre/post surveys showing a 10% increase in agricultural literacy.
36,000 students, K-2, met a member of Pennsylvania's agricultural community while learning about where their food comes from through an ag accurate book and activity as part of our 5th Annual PA Ag Literacy Week program.
Pre/Post assessments of the 110 Ag Institute participants showed an increase in their ag awareness, including an increase of 15% in the highest pre and post assessments. The pre/post opinion question of Do you have the knowledge and tools to incorporate agriculture into your classroom went from 60% pre to 100% post.
Program Leader Biosketch
Charlene Shupp Espenshade is the executive director for the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation. She has a bachelor's degree in dairy science and a minor in communication studies from Virginia Tech. Espenshade joined the foundation in 2018 as its executive director. She and her husband live on a dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Charlene earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification in 2022.