FFA alumni takes next big step in her career

Newest intern at MAEF


 North Harford graduate Jasmine Coates has begun an internship with the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF).  An active member of the FFA program, and a Conservation and Wildlife Management major at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pa., Coates is ready to apply her skills in a new environment.

     The MAEF is a “non-governmental nonprofit established through teacher workshops, scholarships, grants, and Mobile Labs and Showcases,” according to Morning AgClips, and “the Foundation pursues its mission to promote the understanding and appreciation of the importance of agriculture in everyone’s lives.” 

     The internship starts immediately and lasts through summer, Coates said she will assist with general office work to help coordinate the state FFA convention and Maryland Ag Educator’s Conference, along with assisting MAEF’s mobile Ag Showcase exhibit.

     MAEF executive director, Susanne Zilberfarb, claims Coates’ “familiarity with MAEF and FFA programs and her demonstrated leadership ethic made her our natural choice [for the internship].” Being the director of the foundation, Zilberfarb will be leading Coates through this opportunity and she “looks forward to working with her in the summer.”

   Ms. Erika Edwards, NH ag teacher, said Coates was an active member of the FFA program, serving as State Officer in 2018-2019.  Coates said she saw this opportunity as a means to jump start her career. She states, “the vast skill and knowledge I knew I could learn pulled me into such a welcoming environment which will help me continue a path in agriculture education.”

     Edwards had Coates for several years as a student in FFA and magnet programs, and if anyone were to be credited for Coates’ knowledge and passion, it would be Edwards.

     Being a “go-getter with a hardworking and dedicated drive to the things she is passionate for” helped her run for state-office in her high school years, along with her “bubbly and fun personality,” Edwards explains.

    While running for state officer, there were a lot of things Coates had to keep in mind since it is a “huge commitment,” states Edwards, so she had to “put college on hold for a year to uphold her duties, which included huge leadership roles in the FFA.”

     Throughout Edwards’ classes in the ag-program, Coates, along with other students, have to complete “hands-on skills outside the classroom in areas of agriculture related to their specific interests,” she states, and “all the volunteering, mentoring enhances their skills and knowledge, leading to well-paid jobs in the future.”

     Edwards has witnessed first-hand Coates’ work ethic and drive for agriculture, and she believes “the ample background knowledge she gained through classes she took here combined with leadership and networking skills gained through FFA will serve her well in her internship.”

     Coates is now off doing big things in the world of agriculture, and it all began at North Harford. By working hard for her goals, she is able to start fulfilling her passions.