Agricultural & Environmental Education (AEE)
In keeping with the Deed of Trust, the mission of Agricultural and Environmental Education (AEE) at Milton Hershey School® is to support student success by engaging children and adults in experiential, land-based learning.
The goals of AEE are to:
- Enhance student achievement in all academic areas through first-hand experiences that provide an authentic context for learning.
- Foster improved agricultural and environmental literacy.
- Facilitate development of life and career skills.
AEE uses the following land-based learning resources to meet these goals:
- The Environmental Center combines laboratory, classroom, and outdoor learning environments to provide students with the opportunity to explore nature on and off campus. Its resources include a fish nursery, meadows, ponds, streams, wetlands, and woodlands. Students are involved in community service and stewardship projects as part of their environmental learning experience, such as building barn owl boxes and habitat restoration.
- The Horticultural Center supports the year-round study of plants and crops in various environments. Students learn about plants used as food (fruits and vegetables) and for ornamental purposes (landscaping and gardening). In addition to the science of plants, students learn about the art of plants through a student floral design business.
- The Animal Center provides students opportunities to learn about the diversity and value animals provide to our society while working with large animals (horses and beef cattle) and small animals (sheep, goats, and rabbits). Students who participate in 4-H show their livestock at county fairs and the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
- The General Agriculture Program provides students the opportunity to work with all cropping and harvesting operations, including preparing the soil, planting, maintaining equipment, and storing crops.
AEE internships give students an opportunity to continue their hands-on learning while gaining valuable career and life skills. Programs include:
- Animal Internships – Interns participate in the care, handling, and feeding of animals and in the maintenance of the barn facilities. Interns work with large and small animals or choose to work with horses.
- Horticulture Internships – Interns learn about the art and science of growing plants. Interns either work at the Project Market harvesting and selling produce to the public or in the area of Floriculture where interns learn about sustainable agriculture, floral design and the art of horticulture.
- Spartan Ice Cream Center Internships – Interns participate in the production, marketing and selling of Spartan Ice Cream to the public.
- Environmental Internships – Interns learn about our natural resources through habitat restoration, tree plantings and wildlife studies.
- Community Outreach Internship – Interns learn the importance of giving back to the local community through trail maintenance at a State Park, harvesting for food banks, assisting with animal programs.