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Farm Credit System

02/19/2021 | News release | Archived content

Supporting the Future of Ag Via Experiential Learning

February 19 2021

Heritage ducks, insect habitats, lambs, houseplants, honeybees, floral businesses, steers… these are just a few of the many fascinating 2021 Farm Credit-sponsored FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects.

In 2021, Farm Credit partnered with FFA to sponsor 51 SAE projects for students ranging from 7th-12th grade across 38 different states.

What is SAE?
Agriculture education is a three-pronged philosophy. It includes classroom/laboratory learning where students engage in contextual, inquiry-based instruction and learning through an interactive classroom and laboratory; FFA, where students develop premier leadership skills, undergo personal growth and practice skills for career success through engagement in FFA programs and activities; and experiential service and/or work-based learning through the implementation of a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) project.

SAE projects fall into two primary categories, foundational SAE and immersion SAE. Foundational SAE projects range from career exploration and personal finance management, to agricultural literacy, workplace safety and college/career readiness. Immersion SAE projects include entrepreneurship and ownership, internships, research projects, school business enterprises and service learning.

Participating in an SAE give students the opportunity to translate the concepts they are learning in the classroom to their community, skills that will prove helpful as they transition out of high school into college and/or a career. Students develop a project idea and then, with the guidance of their FFA advisor and, in many cases, additional mentors, work to implement their project.

Supporting the future of agriculture
Farm Credit's mission is to support rural communities and agriculture. That means doing our part to ensure that the next generation of America's farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals is prepared to carry on our industry to future successes.

That's why Farm Credit is proud to support 51 FFA SAE grants each year. We understand the importance of students gaining hands-on experiences that will help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Let's hear from the students
It's no surprise that the 2021 Farm Credit FFA SAE grantees proposed a range of creative and inspiring projects. Here are just a few examples of this year's projects.

Photography enterprise
Nola Goss, a 12th grader from Grass Range FFA in Montana, plans to use her SAE grant to start a photography business. It is her goal to use her photographs to provide insight into her community's everyday lives, as well as to capture her FFA chapter's activities to keep her community informed. She plans to sell her products at local stores, as well as online and put 10 percent of the profit back into her FFA chapter.

Plant propagation
Alexis Morales, a 12th grader from Woodlake FFA in California, will use her grant to propagate and sell houseplants and vegetable seedlings. She is currently utilizing her school's greenhouse, as well as rooms in her own home. However, it's her goal to use her grant money to purchase a small greenhouse to expand her project. She plans to develop and implement a management plan for plant production that involves all practices from the initial cost of propagation to the development of a calendar for germination and propagation. She then plans to start a website for plant sales.

Creative desserts
Cameron Albers, a 10th grader from Center FFA in North Dakota, owns Cam's Cakes, where he takes orders for custom cakes, cupcakes and other desserts. With his SAE grant from Farm Credit, Cameron hopes to expand his business by purchasing items that would allow him to make more high-end desserts, as well as to diversify the types of desserts he is able to make.

Livestock infrastructure
Mason Pritchard, a 10th grader from Weatherford FFA in Oklahoma, will use his SAE grant to manufacture and sell pig troughs and other animal-related products. He will use the funds from Farm Credit to purchase the machinery, sheet metal, hardware and PVC pipe to build 20 feeders. However, his goal is to sell 70 feeders by the end of November 2021.

Fur-trapping
Blayke Carson, a 9th grader from Missisquoi Valley FFA in Vermont, traps fur-bearing animals, harvests the fur and sells it to the clothing industry. He plans to use his SAE grant to purchase wire fur stretchers, a new professionally made fleshing board, better trapping baits and lures, and additional traps to make his business more cost and time effective.

Youth engagement
Miranda Salgado, an 11th grader at AAEC South Mountain FFA in Arizona, plans to use her SAE grant to add livestock to a local elementary school's garden. She plans to bring in Barred Rock chicks because they have an easy-going temperament and great to handle around children. She hopes to teach the elementary schoolers how to handle the birds and how to care for them. She then plans to sell the eggs the chickens produce to generate income to support the continuation of her chicken project.

Bees and conservation
Gannon Sallach, an 11th grader from Red Oak FFA in Iowa, plans to use their SAE to raise honeybees and sell bee-related projects including soap, chapstick, candles and honey, while simultaneously raising awareness for honeybees' dwindling populations and the subsequent importance of conservation.

These inspiring young people demonstrate the diversity of SAE projects around the country. Farm Credit is honored to have the opportunity to support their experiential learning through FFA.