Student Stories: Global misconceptions -- Ag. Ed. major's eyes opened in Kenya

After spending three months in Africa, Jenna Moser was disturbed by the way Kenyans viewed agriculture, believing that it consists only of farming and that it is a "poor man's job."

At Penn State, the senior agricultural and extension education major (AGEE) has learned that working in the agriculture industry includes much more than growing crops and rearing livestock.

"I found that there is a misconception in developing countries about agriculture," said Moser, a Philadelphia native who interned with Zawadi Youth Enterprise in Nyeri, Kenya, last summer.

"The youth in Kenya didn't know how to treat livestock and crops properly," she said. "My hope was to teach people in the community that everything is connected to agriculture and there is a great need for them to want to be involved in the industry."

Moser traveled to Kenya through a Community, Environment, and Development class offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences. "The class stayed for three weeks, but I stayed three months instead," she explained.

Moser was an intern with an agricultural focus at the Children Youth Empowerment Centre in Nyeri, which is a place for children whose parents either are not present or cannot afford to provide for their children's basic needs. The center is what Moser described as a career or tech school where the youth are in charge of different enterprises such as art projects, gardening and livestock care.

During her time in Nyeri, Moser worked on a variety of projects -- including planning an "ag day," which drew on her previous experience as a state representative for FFA. But the main focus of her time there was a composting project.

Moser hopes to graduate in the spring of 2015 with a minor in international agriculture to go along with her AGEE degree. She would like to work with farmers globally, assist with the sustainability of food and help start agricultural education programs in developing countries.

Learn about the Agricultural and Extension Education major.

 

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Last Updated July 17, 2014