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Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE)

 • SAE
   • SAE Student Support
   • Iowa FFA Degree

   • American FFA Degree
   • SAE Workshop                          • Lesson Plans

Guiding Principles for SAE programs are available from The Council for Agricultural Education. Be sure to check out the respective infographic and other information at the bottom of the webpage.
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. SAE programs exemplify work-based learning.

Students own the enterprise, equipment and supplies, make the management decisions and assume the financial risks to produce a product or provide a service.

Involves the placement of students in agriculture, food or natural resources-related businesses to provide a "learning by doing" environment. These experiences may be paid or unpaid.

Students plan and conduct experiments using the scientific process and discover new knowledge. Research SAEs can be entrepreneurial or placement and can be conducted along or cooperatively with other students or mentors/employees.

Exporatory SAEs are appropriate for all agriculture students. This SAE activity is usually beginner level, short-term and designed primarily to help students become literate in agriculture and/or become aware of possible careers in the AFNR career cluster. Exploratory SAEs should help students create a larger, more focused SAE.

School-Based Enterprise
These enterprises are student managed, can be entrepreneurial or placement and takes place in a school setting outside of regularly scheduled class time. The project provides goods and/or services that meet the needs of an identified market and should replicate the workplace environment as closely as possible.

This is a student-managed service activity where students are involved in the development of a needs assessment, planning the goals, objectives and budget, implementation of the activity, promotion and evaluation of a chosen project. It may be for a school, a community organization, religious institution or non-profit organization. The student(s) are responsible for raising necessary funds for the project (if funds are needed). Projects must be stand-along and not part of an ongoing chapter project or community fundraiser. Service-learning SAEs may be individual or a small group effort amongst students.