Ag Education: Reflections

Some excerpts from the culinary students reflection papers on the Fair field trip:

In the one day we were there we learned so much about not only food but how things become food. Between the different barns and buildings and interviews and question we asked I gained so much knowledge. For example when we talked to Jeff Bradshaw about his honey straws he was able to explain the whole process of how they were made. Then in the dairy barn fellow CTC students told us about their dual purpose cows and how they used them for not only dairy but also meat. It was a very educational and I would highly suggest to take it with future students. This trip helped me become a better chef and will help me understand what more I have to do as a chef then cook. This trip showed me is I have to explore and show my personality off and express myself for what I love to do. The only way to learn is to be taught and by asking those questions you gain knowledge, for example we asked Mr. Bradshaw about his honey straws and he explained how they were made which I never even know that these straws existed. That’s where you had to open up and come out of your bubble with not being shy and asking people things. I think as years go on this trip could help many people such as the vendors, the great Frederick fair, and even your name out and into the mouths of people.

I absolutely loved this project. Not only did I love this project because the fair is my favorite place to go and be, but I loved that it brought a whole new perspective to me about the fair. It made me look at the animals and the other farm exhibits in a new light of how these things are actually of importance to our community and environment and how they help us out in having the freshest food. I also really enjoyed getting out of our classroom and see a different side of the food industry. As a student I want to say that I wished we had more time at the fair but I do understand one day is good enough. How this project helped me be a better culinarian is I learned how to better talk up my food/ sell my food to customers and expand my vocabulary describing foods. This project also expanded my knowledge on the animals that have to do with just about most of the products that we use in the kitchen and it showed me more about why they are used for what they are used for and that they are hard to take care and very valuable animals. To expand on from that this project changed the way I look at the farm animals too, instead of looking at them as just animals and being cute I look at them as how important they are to us and all that they really supply for us every day. Another way this project made me a better culinarian is it showed me that there is more options in the food industry than just cooking, I could go out and write food commercials, make food commercials or go out and try food and advertise the business. Not only could I do all that but it showed me that people/ vendors make a lot of money for being at the fair and selling their product and that I could have my own little food stand at the fair and become known.

The past Monday I had the chance to go to the Great Frederick Fair. What an amazing experience since I never been to a county fair. Although, I didn’t ride the rides, I saw the farm animals and of course the food, it was truly fun. What I liked about the fair was the food, the people, and the atmosphere. The people that were working there were so nice. Everyone that entered and even the security guards were nice. They would just wave and have the biggest smile. Lastly, the atmosphere. Yes, it was raining a little bit, it didn’t bother me that much. The fresh air, seeing all kinds of vendors and what they offer was fun. I couldn’t help but just looking around everywhere I go.

I really like the freedom that you gave us and having the radio guy come in. This project helped me be a better culinary student by getting out there and seeing what other opportunities and jobs or places you could work and it opened my perspective of fast food, especially at a fair. Most of it was very quick Pace, get it out the door and some of it wasn’t like just hot dogs it was Chinese food, it was like full-on breakfast food plus Crepes and then the two barbecue places like they were on point. Also I got to see what other people do in their kitchen and that can help you think about what you want to do in yours.

Some of the things that I liked about the fair commercial are I liked that we got to go out of the classroom and actually be in the real world and really get a chance to work on the project and work on all the detail. Also we got to go to the fair for a whole school day and who wouldn’t want to do that. Plus we got to pick our own food stands and get to ask questions and get into details.

Overall I highly enjoyed this project and I recommend to keep doing it with future students. Some of the things that made this project so enjoyable was first off we had the opportunity to go to The Great Frederick Fair. I also liked that we had the chance to talk to employees that were in the same field as us students. It really put into perspective that this industry can break off into such a variety of different businesses. Having the free reign to walk around with just my partner was something I liked as well. This gave us more of that one on one feel when talking to the vendors and allowing us to really connect more to the people we were interviewing. This leads to my favorite part about this whole experience besides us getting to eat the entire day and that would be when we got to ask the worker about the vendor we chose. During this time we were allowed to really connect with all the workers at the vendor. Everyone seemed happy that we were their asking them questions about their business and all seemed eager to talk to us but there was one worker, she seemed like the head person in charge that took time to really go in depth on some of the questions we asked. I guess the reasoning behind this being my favorite part of the trip was to hear how passionate she was about how they cook their meats.

On Monday our class went to the fair and I believe our trip was very beneficial to understanding more of what goes into all food and restaurant marketing. I have learned that it is not nearly as easy as it looks and a lot more time in effort go into planning and producing any advertisement than I ever thought. All in all I believe that our field trip to the fair was a great project/chance to understand where our food comes from. Also that we understand more of how food marketing and commercial making is actually produced in the real world and how to go about it. The help of Brian Mo in the editing of our final commercials was invaluable as he really has a lot of experience in making and recording commercials of all types for many different types of vendors. I believe that our final project will be more than acceptable and I am surprised that I actually enjoyed making these commercials and food marketing and it’s nice to know that it could be a possible career path in my future and I may have never thought of it before.

The assignment was a great learning experience. I liked that I got to interact with the people in the industry. I also liked the fact that we got to know a little bit more of the farm aspect. I liked the fact that the people working the vendor were really nice and friendly .I liked the idea of interviewing the vendor. I loved the idea of having both the AM and he PM classes going to the fair. Having the PM class go to the fair even for about forty five minutes, and it still gives them an idea of what to expect for the next year. This assignment has helped me interact more with my classmates. This assignment has caused people to interact with each other and get rid of their differences.

I really liked this project because it’s something different to do other than cooking and I think that sometimes we need to just take a day every once in awhile to do something else involving other things you can do in the industry other than cooking.

The things I liked about this project was mostly that we actually went on a field trip. I haven’t been on a field trip since 8th grade and I had a really fun time. I also liked how a radio host actually came to talk to us and give us advice on how to make the commercial. I learned that in the good business you can make commercials and advertise food for a job which I find very interesting. I liked going to the fair and being able to see the different types of animals and learning small facts about them. I saw things at the fair I’ve never seen before because when I’ve gone in the past I’ve only been where the rides are and didn’t really look at the animals or any of the contests. It was a new experience that I really enjoyed. Knowing that there are thousands of ways I can go in life that still involve culinary in some sort of way was helpful.

Going to the fair as a class was great, it was a good opportunity for everyone to learn about the different aspects of raising animals and the certain things that are necessary in farming livestock. The project was very interesting though. It was really cool messing around with the editing and making the commercial come to life with different filters and transitions. I liked how we had freedom to walk around the fair on our own with minor restrictions, such as not walking where the rides where, it made getting footage more challenging because it was a decent sized space that we couldn’t use for filming proposes, it was also really cool seeing some of my former teachers at the fair with their own classes and getting to talk to them for a brief moment. I also liked the freedom to choose our vender and the food, because there were so many options and different ways you could tackle the assignment, like comparing vendors to each other, and seeing with vendor made the best burger for example, or just talking about how that one vender was better than all the others.

The fair project was a great learning experience for everyone in the culinary arts program. Not only did we have an opportunity to talk to people in the agricultural field. We also got the chance to speak to food vendors and learn more about the culinary field. There were many examples of things that I enjoyed and things I did not enjoy. Firstly the different environment was a nice change of pace, and the chance to eat some fair food during school was just a bonus. Another thing I really enjoyed was the fact that we really had a lot of creative freedom with what we wanted to do in our commercials. This project could have a great effect on me as a culinarian in life from now on. I actually spoke to someone in the pig barn and they sort of quizzed me on the different parts of a pig and what meats come from that area. And it alone was a great experience and taught me even more than what we had learned in class. We also got to learn a little more about possible employment opportunities in the future, such as working a food truck or a tent at the fair. I will definitely think more about where the meat I get comes from due to this project and it could help me with work down the road.