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Ag Happenings: SAE 2019

WHS students plan Supervised Agricultural Experience projects


by McKenzie Sweigart - January 14, 2018

Every student within an Agriscience class at Wellsboro High School has to do a Supervised Agricultural Experience project, or SAE project. An SAE project is a planned project that a student completes outside of class time and covers some sort of agricultural topic area. These projects relate to the class that the student is taking. Students sometimes complete projects at school that utilize the school facilities like the greenhouse or the animal lab area. Melanie Berndtson, agriscience teacher and FFA advisor helps students to plan and conduct their projects. She says that it is important for students to select projects that are meaningful to them and allow them to explore different areas of agriculture. These projects help students to build skills that help them in their future whether it is career skills, personal growth skills, or entrepreneurial skills.

Every SAE project falls into one of four categories. Foundational projects explore agricultural careers by doing activities such as attending a career fair or creating a report. Research projects allow students to plan and conduct a scientific experiment. Entrepreneurship projects are for students who own or operate an agricultural business and placement projects allow students to get a job at an agriculture based business or volunteer somewhere for an extended period of time. Some of these projects can include things such as raising and showing rabbits, raising livestock, growing and selling plants, conducting experiments on mice and many others.

Students conducting these projects have many class requirements pertaining to their project. Each student has to create a project plan to be approved by their parents to allow them to start their project. The plan allows students to set goals for their project, identify the time constraints of the project, create a budget, and select learning objectives. Students have to record the time that they spend working on their SAE project on a website. This electronic record keeping helps them to efficiently view data about their project and see financial statements including profits and losses. They are also required to record the financial records for the project. Each marking period students are required to have a set amount of hours which is entered in as a grade for their class.

Sophomore students from Wellsboro High School, Will Porier and Zach Singer complete their SAE project within the school. Will and Zach take the natural resource management class and maintain a trout tank located in the school office. This tank is a part of the Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom Program. Daily, the students have to test the nitrites, nitrates and pH along with other things to make sure the tank has the right environment to allow the fish to survive. Projects like theirs will allow them to gain experience in the field that they plan to go into after they graduate high school. Wellsboro Agriscience Program’s participation in the Trout in the Classroom program was made possible through a unique partnership between the PA Fish and Boat Commission and PA Council of Trout Unlimited. This partnership, coupled with assistance from local conservation organizations was created to introduce Pennsylvania students to coldwater resources and their importance to all communities. The partnership also provides brook trout eggs, trout food, technical assistance, curriculum connections and teacher workshops each year.

SAE projects are excellent resources for students to attain experience in different agricultural areas in real world projects. They are great opportunities for class projects and help students get a head start on building career and college ready skills for their future.


Videography: Tim Crane

Video Editing: Tim Crane

Writing: McKenzie Sweigart


Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by UPMC Susquehanna, Pop’s Culture Shoppe

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