SAE's are an integral part of the FFA experience and one that is available to every student. Madera FFA supports over 800 students with their SAE projects. The 20 acre school farm is equipped with state of the art buildings to house numerous members projects. An agricultural education program is made up of three integrated parts: Classroom instruction, FFA and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). Students with an SAE learn by doing. With help from their agricultural teachers, students develop an SAE project in entrepreneurship, placement, research and exploration.
The Madera Agricultural Farm is a host to many students SAE projects. The farm does it best to incorporate all aspects of the agriculture industry and allows students to develop their SAEs to their best abilities.
Madera School Farm
The Madera School Farm is 20 acres of production agriculture. The farm hosts a variety of farm animals and crops that the students care for throughout the year.
The school vineyard covers three acres and hosts 3 varieties of grapes, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet. The vineyard is cared for by student managers and the viticulture & enology classes. All classes can utilize the vineyard in their curriculum and all students participate in the harvesting of the grapes. The grapes are sent to a nearby winery and made into wine.
The school runs a flock of cross bred ewes. Students have the opportunity to work with ewes all year long. Every year the ewes produce lambs can show at the local fairs and sell as market lambs.
Greenhouse and Nursery Operations
Horticulture students have access to a fully functional greenhouse and shade house that house student projects from both their classes and SAE projects. The greenhouse is used to grow and develop plants for our two plant sales held every year.
In the summer of 2015 the department planted a one acre citrus orchard. The orchard is home to 300 mandarin trees. The trees and orchard are used by multiple classes in the program and provide valuable experience to all of the students. Once the orchard is in production the fruit will be sold to the Madera School District for use in their school breakfasts and lunches.
Students run a fully operational market rabbit cooperative. They raise meat rabbits for both private buyers and fairs. They profit share with each other and the department.
For those students who have always wanted a horse, they have the opportunity to rent one from the school. Students are taught how to care for their horse, work on the ground and ride. They participate in the county fairs and show at local gymkhanas and horse shows.
Other SAE Opportunities
Along with working with the crops and animals on the school farm students can participate by creating their own projects. A wide variety are supervised by advisors both on and off campus.
Students in the Fabrication classes are often hired by local farmers and businesses to design and build equipment for them. Students in this class can utilize the facilities of our state of the art shop to fulfill these orders.
Members have the opportunity to participate in numerous market animal projects through our chapter. They can also show at three different fairs through out the year; the Madera Fair, Chowchilla Fair and California State Fair. The market projects shown by our members include:
With such great farm facilities students can choose to start breeding projects or become apart of the projects already at school. They can also show at the fairs our chapter attends as well as shows across California.