Agricultural education is made up of three parts: classroom instruction, FFA, and a supervised agricultural experience (SAE). SAE is required for every student involved in an agricultural class and is designed to show them different opportunities for various careers. SAE will teach students appropriate behavior, develop specific skills, and are given opportunities to apply academic and physical skills in a work environment. Students will learn how to use their education and skills as they transition into college and careers.
Different SAE Program Examples
Students with an ownership/entrepreneurship program learn how to operate an enterprise and are in charge of supplies and equipment. They assume financial risks as they work to produce a product or service. Examples of this include building/buying and selling agricultural equipment, buying and reselling feed, seed, or fertilizer, owning a pet care business or programming and installing computers in tractors.
Placement/Internship programs are designed to teach students by “learning by doing” strategies by placing students in an agricultural related field. These experiences may be paid or unpaid. Such placements may be working on a farm, in a farm supply store, or a non profit agricultural organization.
Research SAE programs teach students how to conduct scientific experiments using appropriate procedures and the scientific process. This type of SAE can be entrepreneurial or placement/internship. This can be done working as an individual or as a member on a team. Examples can be studying to find the most efficient way to feed cattle, fertilize plants, or to determine the best way to weld something together.
Exploratory SAE’s are generally introduced at beginning level agricultural classes. The purpose of exploratory SAE’s are to introduce students with the world of agriculture and teach them to show them different examples of careers in agriculture.
This type of SAE is a student managed entrepreneurial or placement project that takes place in a school based setting outside of scheduled class time. One of these projects should provide a good or a service to fit some sort of need. Examples of this can include but are not limited to; managing or working in the greenhouse facility, agricultural research done at school, and working on or fabricating equipment.
Service learning SAE is a student managed service catering to a needs based assessment. Students will plan the budget of the project, write the objectives and goals, and promote the service. This can be for the school, a church, community organizations, or a non-profit organization. Students in charge of the project will be responsible for raising funds if needed and can not be a part of an ongoing FFA project or community fundraiser. The project can be started by an individual or a team.