A total of 37 Wisconsin FFA members from 27 different chapters have been awarded $28,950 in Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants from the Wisconsin FFA Foundation.
The Wisconsin FFA Foundation awarded the 2016-17 SAE grants in five categories: aquaculture, dairy, livestock, organic agriculture and start-up. Successful candidates were chosen based on the level and scope of their SAE in accordance with their age, future goals and plans for the program, as well as financial need.
Through the SAE program, students are able to create their own business or build career skills through an existing operation. They apply concepts learned in the classroom to real-world challenges and work experiences, learning valuable lessons from the outcomes.
To apply for a Wisconsin FFA Foundation SAE grant, students must complete a five-page application explaining their SAE program, how much funding they are in need of, the expected use of those funds, and future goals with their SAE as well as FFA and other school activities. Their FFA advisor also must submit a statement about their involvement in the organization and the student's vision with their SAE.
Organic Agriculture SAE grants are sponsored by Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative and Viroqua Food Co-op. Two $1,000 grants were awarded to Jacob Schreiber of the Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA and Zach Sirianni of Whitehall FFA.
Jacob Schreiber is using the SAE grant to start his own herd of organically raised beef by purchasing two heifers and a round bale feeder.
Zach Sirianni will use the funds to expand his fair swine project into a business. The grant will enable him to purchase organic feeder pigs, grain, forage and minerals, pasture rent, fencing supplies, and feed equipment.