"Step-up to SAEs" By
Kerington Bass, State Vice President
Chores - everyone has them, and only some of us actually complete them, but they undoubtedly exist. Day after day, we do our chores. This continuous cycle has made me wonder, what's the point in doing them and how will this benefit me or my future? My daily chores included feeding my livestock, tending to my grandparents’ garden, and taking care of my many dogs. After a while, I saw no joy in doing these tasks and saw it as a big waste of time. It wasn’t until my advisor introduced me to the acronym SAE. She explained that SAE stands for Supervised Agricultural Experience, or agriculture outside the class, like my daily chores. My advisor showed me a list of SAEs
(https://www.ffa.org/participate/awards/proficiencies) and how many I actually could be apart of.
My advisor also showed me that with any SAE I can apply for a proficiency award. This organized my SAE by detailing what my responsibilities are, the challenges I faced, impacts this SAE has had on me, skills I have obtained from it, and so on. After completing the application, I was able to compete with other members in the same category. Similar to any CDE I have competed in, the top four placings are given a banner. Besides the banner, I also got a check which I used to improve my SAE in the upcoming years!
Before learning about SAE, I saw my chores as useless, tedious tasks. Now I see the value and have pride in my work. Time management skills are practiced when caring for my livestock in my Diversified Livestock Production SAE. From each new insect infestation, I was able to learn which treatment works best for each bug when tending to the vegetable garden for my Vegetable Production SAE. I was able to add new pens for my dogs in my Small Animal Care SAE with the money I won. These accomplishments will not only help me in the coming years of my SAE, but also in any career I finally decide to go into.
Many of you probably feel the same as I once did about your own chores or job. I encourage you to check if you fall under an SAE category and complete a proficiency application so you are able to find a sense of purpose in your chores.
Here are some more resources: