Supervised Agriculture Experience Program
Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) is defined by the National Council for Agricultural Education
as, "(T)he actual, planned application of concepts and principles learned in agricultural education.
Students are supervised by agriculture teachers in cooperation with parents/guardians, employers and
other adults who assist them in the development and achievement of their educational goals. The purpose
is to help students develop skills and abilities leading toward a career." This chapter highlights how the
agriculture education program has incorporated supervised work experience into the total program
thereby making SAE an integral part of overall agriculture education.
Formal supervised agricultural programs can be traced back to the early part of this century. Initially
intended for male students from farms and ranches, this work experience program was designed to aid the
future farmer/rancher in the development of:
· Skills and knowledge regarding the development and operation of a financially successful
production agriculture business
· Practical knowledge in the newest advances in agriculture
· Skills and abilities to establish a career in farming or ranching
Today's agricultural programs have changed dramatically from the earlier pattern of training agriculture
students to simply return to the family farm when their education was completed. The current agriculture
educational programs have been modified and enhanced as a direct result of the changes in technology,
market place demands, computerized product and livestock management programs, genetic manipulation
of both livestock and plants, hydroponic gardening and other advances in the science of agriculture.
While under the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, vocational agriculture was very focused and specific in its
training of young men for farming, the current SAE program has adjusted to the many changes in the
"agriculture community." For example, programs offered today in agricultural education emphasize more
fundamental and transferable knowledge as opposed to the more job specific knowledge and skills
emphasized in the past. These changes have resulted in an expansion of the scope and nature of the SAE
program and the agricultural profession. Currently, program offerings recognize the need for not only
employment skill training but also coursework and workplace experiences in non-production areas such
as: agricultural mechanics, agricultural supplies, horticulture, forestry, natural resources and resource
Agricultural education, and in particular the SAE Program, has transcend from what was in place in the
early 1900's to a program which encompasses agricultural areas of a general, academic and/or
occupational nature. The program now includes a wider range of students with equally varied
backgrounds and occupational interests who will be undertaking an array of activities leading to an
assortment of competencies under the much broadened academic area known as agricultural education.
Students participating in the SAE Program will be expected to:
· Study and understand the concept of SAE.