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Summer Agriculture: Student Agriculture Experiences

Animal Systems

Animal Systems - Entrepreneurship

Buy and show a calf at fairs
Form a cooperative with other students to raise broiler chickens
Grow catfish to sell to local cafes.
Operate a pet-sitting service.
Organize and/or run a petting zoo at local fairs or farmers' markets.
Provide a kennel cleaning service.
Provide equine training services.
Provide fishing and hiking services for area youth groups and elementary students.
Raise and sell farm-fresh eggs.
Raise and sell purebred dogs.
Raise and train hunting dogs.
Raise chinchillas, hamsters or gerbils and sell them on the Internet.
Raise fish for the state fish and game department.
Raise game birds to sell for the training of bird dogs.
Raise game fish for sale to stockponds.
Raise indigenous snakes and release into the wild (at approved area) each summer.
Raise market pigs.
Raise pheasants or quail to be released into the wild.
Raise your own livestock or specialty animals.
Run a trapping business.
Start a dog obedience training service.
Start a dog walking business.

Business Systems

Business Systems - Entrepreneurship

Operate custom combining service.
Operate custom heifer raising service.
Operate custom hog raising business.
Work at a seed corn dealership.
Operate a poultry litter clean-out service.
Operate a lawn mainteance/mowing service.
Start a franchise of an existing fruit/vegetable stand.
Start a service that cleans leaves from gutters.
Operate a hay hauling service.
Operate a custom spraying service.

Environmental Service Systems

Environmental Service Systems - Entrepreneurship

Start a leaf collection service in the fall and sell mulch in the spring.
Own and operate a water system farm drainage (tilling) company.

Start a service to collect used pesticide containers.
Sell shop safety equipment door to door.
Create a service to remove algae from area lakes and fishing ponds.
Run a soil testing service for town gardens or farm fields - take samples, send in and delivery results.
Sell radon detectors and collect radon samples.
Start a water sample collecting service.
Start a manure removal business for acreage owners.
Provide a wood chipping service and sell the chips as mulch.

Food Products/Processing Systems

Food Products/Processing Systems - Entrepreneurship

Sell gourmet popcorn products.
Use unsaleable zucchini in baked goods as a side to vegetable production
Raise trout and sell to local restaurants.
Process and sell specialty products - bison, wildflowers, ostrich, etc.
Process wild game for jerky.
Collect wild mushrooms and sell to local vendors.
Sell picked vegetables.
Make jams and jellies for sale at a farmers' market.
Start a service to grow gardens for the elderly.
Work for and/or operate a wild bird processing service.
Food Products/Processing Systems - Placement

Natural Resources Systems

Natural Resources Systems - Entrepreneurship

Raise wild game fowl for sale to local hunters.
Stock and maintain fish populations in ponds.
Raise Christmas trees and sell at Christmas time.
Cut firewood and sell at local stores.
Raise fish for the state fish and game department.
Operate a trapping business.
Contract with landowners to plant food plots for wildlife.
Construct and sell game feeders.
Create and sell soil survey maps for area farmers and land owners.
Build bat, bird, duck or squirrel houses for use or sale.
Develop hunting ranges; Set up indoor/outdoor ranges for bow competitions.
Develop a forest/wildlife management plan for a local landowner.

Plant Systems

Plant Systems - Entrepreneurship

Grow flowers for sale at a local farmer's market.
Rent land from a neighbor and grow soybeans.
Start your own pruning business.
Start your own spraying business.
Start your own forage testing service.
Start your own soil sampling business.
Start your own lawn mowing service.
Grow and sell plants through the high school greenhouse.
Raise Christmas trees.
Raise and sell pumpkins.
Raise and sell strawberries.
Provide services to fertilize lawns, till garden spots, prune trees, etc.
Grow organic vegetables for a local café.
Grow and sell red worms used to produce compost.
Sell and install water gardens.

Power, Structural & Technical Systems

Power, Structural & Technical Systems - Entrepreneurship

Design, build and sell lawn ornaments.
Operate a lawnmower service and repair business
Build garden sheds for homeowners.
Start a basic computer help service for area agriculture producers.
Start a custom spraying service that utilizes GPS.
Design custom computer programs using Excel or other software to solve problems for producers.
Provide basic internet and e-mail training to producers to increase their level of confidence in using technology.
Map fields, weeds, etc. for producers using GPS and GIS.
Operate a business that computerizes farmers' records.
Make business cards, stationary, etc. for businesses or chapter members.
Run a custom fence building and repair business.

More Ideas
1. Develop, plant, and maintain a detailed garden plot at your home or other property.
2. Create a plant growth experiment by altering different soil types or some other variable.
3. Create a plant growth experiment by altering environmental factors such as light, temperature,
fertilizers or different types of music.
4. Construct a landscape project such as a wall or fence.
5. Construct a landscape project such as a fountain or arbor.
6. Construct a landscape project such as a walkway or patio addition.
7. Build window boxes for flowers.
8. Plant seasonal flowers at your home, school or community.
9. Adopt a stream in the community. Keep accurate records and data.
10. Adopt a section of road in the community.
11. Adopt a subdivision entrance and improve its appearance.
12. Create a landscape plan for your home, subdivision entrance or place of business and then
landscape the area.
13. Create an educational video about almost any topic relevant to agriculture or natural resources.
14. Conduct a plant experiment using hydroponics.
15. Make a collection of pressed leaves identified at your neighborhood, school or community.
16. Create a detailed web page for an agri-business company or organization.
17. Conduct an experiment with different treatment of seeds.
18. Visit commercial greenhouse operations and report back with an educational video.
19. Build a portable home plant propagation tent and conduct root experiments.
20. Build a “cold frame” for germinating seedlings in the winter time.
21. Experiment with the grafting or layering techniques of fruit trees and different plants..
22. Conduct your own experiment growing small trees in the Bonsai technique.
23. Develop a plan to produce, market and sell terrariums for holiday gifts.
24. Compare the effects of different herbicides (weed killers) on various plants.
25. Create a business of providing teachers with constant desk flowers for a monthly fee.
26. Interview adults who work in an environmental or horticulture field.
27. Prepare a scrap book or video about an agriculture career field that interests you.
28. Start up a small business of selling firewood.
29. Start up a small business of lawn care in your neighborhood.
30. Start up a small business of leaf removal in your neighborhood.
31. Create your own personal agriculture business that suits YOUR skills or interests.
32. Work as an employee or volunteer intern at a plant nursery.
33. Work an as employee or volunteer intern at a vet clinic, horse stable or farm.
34. Raise honey bees.
35. Build a compost bin for recycling home organic wastes.
36. Begin planting a small orchard of fruit trees at your home or community.
37. Research different types of landscape tools and demonstrate their use.
38. Research landscaping equipment such as Bobcats and backhoes and video their usage.
39. Research the golf course industry. Visit different courses and explain their construction.
40. Research the athletic field industry. Visit different fields and explain their construction.
41. Develop a recycling program for home or community.
42. Study entomology and make an impressive insect collection for display.
43. Work as a volunteer or employee at a florist and share what you have learned.
44. Develop a nature trail or help to improve a nature trail that you know of.
45. Research the hobby of drying flowers and demonstrate your findings.
46. Visit different types of greenhouses and compare different types.
47. Identify a need and coordinate a fall tree planting event in the community.
48. Visit pumpkin farms in our area, interview the growers and give a program on pumpkins.
49. Refurbish an old lawn mower or landscaping tool.
50. Create a welded sculpture using old rusted garden tools
51. Interview public servants such as Foresters, Extension Agents, Arborists, etc.
52. Work or volunteer at a zoo, public garden or nature center and report about the jobs available. 53. Develop and plant a herb garden.
54. Start up a small business of holiday wreaths, bows or services.
55. Start a crop of strawberries, grapes or blueberries from start to finish.
56. Install a small section of night-scaping lamps at your home or deck area.
57. Interview 2 landscape architects and demonstrate symbols and lettering methods.
58. Identify and label the trees or shrubs found on campus, park or community area.
59. Overhaul a piece of landscape equipment such as mower, wheelbarrow or other tools.
60. Rebuild a small engine.
61. Research and video poinsettia crop production.
62. Work in a florist shop and document what you find out.
63. Creat an experiment to determine if the phases of the moon have an effect on plant growth. 64. Compare different rooting hormones on root development by conducting a plant experiment. 65. Demonstrate the impact of different levels of soil acidity on plant growth.
66. Cutting and selling firewood with a chain saw.
67. Changing oil in mowers, tillers or other equipment.
68. Build a Gun Rack
69. Build a Flicker/Woodpecker House
70. Build a Picnic Table
71. Build Corn Hole Boards (Bean Bag Toss)
72. Build a Tool Box
73. Build a Small Engine Stand
74. Build a Nail Box
75. Build a Saddle Rack
76. Build a pair of Saw Horses
77. Build a Work Bench
78. Build a Dog Box or Livestock/Animal Shipping Crate
79. Build a Bat House
80. Build a Wood Duck Box
81. Build shelves or a bookcase
82. Develop wildlife habitat or a food plot
83. Construct a deer stand
84. Tan animal hides and/or create animal skull mounts
85. Start a pet-sitting business in your subdivision.
1. Agricultural Communications: Do you have a knack for writing, talking or capturing the world around you? Start a social media page or a podcast to share facts about agriculture. All it takes is access to a computer. Whether you want to go into video production or act as a spokesperson for local fairs or stock shows, this SAE will help you enhance your skills.
2. Agricultural Education: Developing and presenting curriculum isn’t limited to those with a teaching degree. Teach ag to those around you through a PALS program or elementary school program. Gathering plant and animal specimens or even creating a study guide for career and leadership development events (CDE/LDE) and selling those kits to other chapters and schools can kick-start a career in agricultural education.
3. Agriscience: Did you know agriscience projects are an SAE? Research and reporting are vital to creating change. Is there a debate in your community about milk additives and alternatives? Conduct a social systems survey. Are you concerned about the prevalence of food deserts? Research access and availability of food in the community and create a map for others to use.
4. Services on the Farm: Are you looking for on-farm experience even though you didn’t grow up on a farm? Start a business that offers on-farm services. Water gardens during dry months, offer to feed animals while a rancher takes a well-deserved vacation or learn to be an auctioneer. Agricultural services come in many forms.
5. Services in the Home: Perhaps you are looking for ag experience in an urban setting. Pet boarding, pet sitting and dog walking are all popular services. Want to be involved in something trendier? Create a plan to become a window gardening consultant, or offer your services designing interiors with houseplants.
6. Service-Learning: While FFA chapters across the country are known for their volunteerism, service-learning is also an SAE. Find a need in the community, create a plan, do the work and report the results. Perhaps your community is lacking a farmers market — create one. Maybe wildfires are affecting your hometown — demonstrate how landscaping can help fireproof homes.
7. School-Based Projects: While you may not have the space or resources to start a business, chances are your agriculture education program does. The ag mechanics labs at schools are often open all summer. You could run a small-engine repair business for the summer. Also, the school greenhouse needs year-round attention. Sell plants you grow or board houseplants for vacationers at the school greenhouse