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Ag Ed adventure brings Pagel to Union

September 17, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

Hannah Pagel, an Ag Education student from Iowa State University, is applying her education and experience this semester at Union High School as a student teacher working with Louis Beck in his agriculture classes.

Originally from rural Sumner, Pagel grew up on her father's row crop and cow/calf farm and was raised on agriculuture, but it wasn't until her freshman year of high school and taking ag classes that she learned she had a passion for ag.

"I grew up showing lifestock at the county fair-sheeps, goats, beef cattle-and once I started taking those ag classes, it made me want to go to Iowa State originally to study politics with agriculture," Pagal said. "I thought I wanted to be a lobbyist for the industry, but realized I didn't want to deal with politics for the rest of my life. I knew I was passionate about education and agriculuture, so I switched my major and here I am completing my student-teaching portion."

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Hannah Pagel

Pagel first started her student-teaching by observing Beck in his classrooms over the course of the first few weeks of the semester. In the past week, Pagel has started teaching middle school classes and developing her own lesson plans.

"I learned how Mr. Beck interacts with the students, how he teaches his lessons," Pagel said. "I started with the middle school teaching about animal indentification, talking about different breeds and livestock. I create lesson plans, effectively deliver the lesson to the students. We just had a quiz over that content. I'm up to four classes and starting agronomy in one of those classes."

Outside of the classroom, Pagel has spent her time getting to know Dysart and La Porte City and has volunteered her time at the high school concession stand to interact with students and community members more.

"It's a great community and I've enjoyed my time here so far." Pagel said. "People have been very helpful since I arrived."

Before setting foot in Dysart or La Porte for her student-teaching, Pagel spent this last summer as an intern for Ag News Daily, a podcast hosted by Mike Pearson and Delaney Howell, the former and current host of Market to Market on Iowa Public Television.

"The podcast focuses on three main things," Pagel said. "You'll get roughly 12-15 minutes about agriculture news of the day, then Mike will get into the closing markets and then we ended the podcast with an interview with someone in industry. Usually on Mondays, we focus the interview on the markets, Tuesday on technology in ag, the rest of the week is open to anything from cranberry growing to the Farm Bill going on in Washington D.C."

Pagel's duties as intern included editing and uploading of the podcast on to the Ag News Daily website as well as digital marketing, logo designs and other occasionally hosting duties herself.

"I would say my technology skills improved immensely just with learning how to use programs like Adobe Creative Suite to edit down the podcasts and learning how podcasts function," Pagel said. "I learned how to splice things together and how to communicate with an audience when they can't see your face. Hand gestures help tell a story face-to-face, but in a podcast when I was hosting it, my listeners can't see my hands or my facial expressions. I noticed I had to change the way I talked and put more inflections into my work."

Having learned from industry experts such as Pearson, Pagel now wants to share her experience with broadcasting in the classroom and apply whatever she can from her internship.

"I want to use the skills I learned from that internship in the classroom here by helping FFA students prepare for Radio Broadcasting for a contest in the spring," Pagel said. "instantly, I feel like I could help students learn how to put that inflection into their voice, how to deliver the markets. Students feel like farming is the only career out there for them, but there are interests such as marketing they can explore. My internship could be something they can explore one day. If I ever have students of my own interested in doing a podcast, I can help them start that. There are some many facets I can help with because of my internship."

As she nears completion of her degree this December, the ISU senior from Sumner hopes to learn as much from her time at Union and with Beck to be able to teach or start her own FFA program one day .

"I want to learn how to communicate with an audience, whether it be with farmers and interested community members, or now with students," Pagel said. "Finding that balance is important. I want to get better at my organizational skills as a teacher with planning and classroom management. Overall, I want to deliver a lesson and know my audience is following along and finding it interesting."

In her free time, Pagel enjoys the outdoors and activities such as hiking and kayaking. She loves spending time with her family: her father, her mother who works as a nurse manager at the cancer treatment center in Waterloo and her older and younger brothers. Pagel is also an avid artist.

"I love to paint," Pagel said. "There was a time I switched my major to Elementary Education and wanted to be an art teacher. I have a huge passion for painting and pottery."

Getting to know people is also a hobby of hers, so if you see Pagel around the middle school or high school, make sure to say hi, even if your a fan of the team that devastated her Cyclones 13-3 recently.



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