Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAEs)
An agricultural education program is made up of three integrated parts: Classroom instruction, FFA and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). Students with an SAE learn by doing. With help from their agricultural teachers, students develop an SAE project based on one or more SAE categories.
Own and operate an agriculture-related business or enterprise—start small and watch what happens with hard work and perseverance. The basic requirement is that you own the enterprise, equipment and supplies, making the management decisions and taking financial risk, with the ultimate goal of earning a profit. As part of an ownership/entrepreneurship SAE, you might own and operate a lawn care service; produce bedding plants, flowers or crops; or raise animals or livestock.
If you like to research or analyze, this is the SAE for you. You will plan and conduct a major agricultural experiment using the scientific process and discover new knowledge. As a part of your research SAE, you verify and demonstrate or learn about scientific principals in agriculture. Some types of research opportunities include determining if phases of the moon have an effect on plant growth or determining the strength of welds using different welding methods.
If you like working for someone else, this is the SAE for you. You’ll gain experience and knowledge, and you may be paid, too! Your job or internship could be on a farm or ranch or in an agricultural business, school laboratory or community facility. Track your progress by keeping records of the number of hours you work, your responsibilities and any earnings. Your placement SAE might involve working after school at a farm supply store, on Saturdays at a riding stable or even in a florist shop. Placement programs also include activities where you volunteer your time, learning valuable skills, but are not paid for your time. These unpaid hours can be done as directed school laboratory, community service or service-learning hours.
In an exploratory SAE, you get to explore agriculture in one of a variety of ways. As a part of your exploratory SAE program, you might attend an agricultural career day or prepare a scrapbook on the work of a veterinarian.