Dr. Carol Hardbarger previously held a position on the PA Milk Marketing Board, appointed by Governor Tom Wolf in June 2018. She resigned that position on March 20, 2020 to assume the position of Executive Secretary for the Agency.
She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Extension education with a minor in Demography from Penn State University, beginning her career in the public schools nearly 40 years ago teaching agriculture (specialty animal science), biology and chemistry. While earning her master’s degree she served as a Research Assistant at Penn State and later for the PA Council on Vocational Education. During her doctoral program and working full time at Penn State she was responsible for applied biology and chemistry workshops for science and agriculture teachers and taught several agricultural education and research methods classes. Her dissertation focused on factors influencing job choice of rural youth in PA and won the Outstanding Research Award (for career and technical education) at the 1997 American Education Research Association.
Dr. Hardbarger was on the faculty of Cornell University’s Education Department and developed a research program focused on systemic reform in education. She has over 40 refereed publications, research reports (including a national study on aquaculture education sponsored by USDA) and many refereed and invited presentations. She conceptualized and coordinated a national project to develop standards for teacher education in agriculture (still in use today), organizing a coalition of stakeholders and partners as well as securing federal funding for the initiative. Dr. Hardbarger’s most recent employment was as Chief Educator for the GLOBE Program, a multi-agency environmental education n program started by Vice-President Al Gore in the mid-1990s, followed by work with SRI International as a Senior Researcher. In that position she managed the US Department of Education’s research on the Title II, Part D portion of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Prior to assuming her Board position, Dr. Hardbarger managed her own consulting business, working for a variety of organizations including the National Association of Agricultural Educators, the Propane Council, the PA Association of Agricultural Educators, and others. She lives in Newport, PA and is the proud mother of three, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of five. A native of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Dr. Hardbarger also volunteers with the Perry County Community Fair and in her spare time enjoys gardening, reading, and crocheting.