Sun Prairie FFA Advisor Krist Kvalheim said this year due to COVID-19, the Sun Prairie FFA members have really focused club Activities on student developed projects called Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s).

Students in all of Sun Prairie High School Agricultural Classes have participated in these projects; here are a few students who would like to share their experiences:

“For the past year, I have been working on an SAE where I started working at a local horse boarding stable. I then met the horse trainer there and started working under her. I gained experience cleaning tack, teaching riding lessons, grooming and saddling, and much more. I continue to spend about 12 hours a week there before or after school, even during the winter months.

I have made many new friends, both humans and horses! If I’m not feeding horses or cleaning stalls out there, I will spend most of my time working with horses or observing lessons.”

— Maddie Quint

“For my SAE I chose Starting an English and Western Tack Shop in the Madison Area. My SMART goals were I will research/buy/make tack patterns and write a journal entry. I will go to Fleet Farm in Deforest and buy sample hardware. I will take pictures of all the hardware and write a journal entry. I will make/assemble the tack, take photos of the tack and upload it to my journal, and write a journal entry about the process, what went well, what didn’t go well, etc. I will make a pricing chart to find out how to price my products and upload it to my journal.

I will post flyers at my riding stables/work and call local pet/farm shops to see if I can put my products in store. So far, I made a pair of Western dovetail spur straps with my dad in his workshop after researching and creating patterns.

Some things I learned from my SAE were time management, resource management, and focus.”

-- Celeste Hayes

“For my SAE project I decided to train two chickens (a hen named Gucci and a rooster named Vlad) to complete two different challenges after I realized the chickens tired quickly during training.

I started completely from scratch by researching chicken training. I chose to train my chickens with a device used for dogs called a “clicker.” to give them a basic foundation of right and not so right.

I worked with each chicken for 5 minutes, twice a day and about a month later I got Gucci to pick the correct puzzle piece (shape of a chicken) out of a puzzle and trained Vlad to jump on my arm.

The most important thing I have learned is that I can apply training with one species to many other species by helping them understand what I am trying to teach them.”

— Ruth Brosig

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