Sae project Ideas ag-business, leadership, communications, and literacy

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SAE Project Ideas


Agricultural Advertising Services

Freelance writer for newspaper, magazine, or radio concerning ag subjects

Freelance photographer for newspaper, magazine, or radio concerning ag subjects

Promotions services

Sign making company

Weather reporter for local radio programming

Create and maintain a recycling program for a business or school

Conduct soil tests in partnership with the Cooperative Extension Agency

Sell gourmet food products

Process and sell specialty products (jams, bison, wildflowers, ostrich, etc)

Process wild game to sell as jerky

Computer help service for area ag producers

Design custom computer programs to solve problems for producers

Provide internet and email training for ag producers

Operate computer business to keep farm records

Make business cards, stationary, etc. for ag businesses, FFA members, etc.

General Ag Mechanics

Report on agriculture inventions and inventors that are related to ag-mechanics

Choose an everyday product and trace its production, processing, and marketing until it became a finished product. List points along the way where ag mechanics were used.

Identify an ag-mechanics career that interests you, research its requirements, earning potential, future outlook, working conditions, educational requirements, hazards, etc.

Using the yellow pages, record businesses and agencies that employ people in the ag-mechanics job of interest to you

Using the classified ads of the paper, list all the jobs available that require a knowledge of ag-mechanics

Visit a local business that hires people wit agricultural mechanics skills, interview the employer or workers concerning working conditions, travel requirements, employee benefits, skills needed, salary, etc.

Collect 10 newspaper and magazine articles on home, shop, farm, or work accidents. Classify each as preventable or not preventable. Explain your classification

Study the machines in a home shop, evaluate each for hazards, safety features or lack of, and proper operation

Report on the steps necessary for preparing lumber from log to finished board

Create a bill of materials for completing a fence, deck, or other lumber project from around your home

Obtain a bill of materials for a shop project, gather prices for the materials and estimate the cost of materials for that project

Conduct a soil percolation test to determine if your home sits on property that is well drained and

suitable for building on

Properly prepare and finish a wood or metal surface (sand, prime, paint or stain)

Take a CPR and safety course from the Red Cross

Interview a professional surveyor and report on the working conditions, training and education, who

they work for, job tasks, potential earnings, job competition, etc.

Tour an agricultural machinery museum

Conduct field demonstration using GPS

Complete home/farm improvement project

Construct prototype of hydraulic system

Study latest advancements in robotics with an agricultural application

Research water savings accomplished by new irrigation techniques

Ag Structures

Research a particular job relating to designing, maintaining, and building ag structures

Pick a piece of vacant property, evaluate it according to site considerations for ag structures

Research what kinds of permits are required to erect a structure in Minnesota

Interview a surveyor and report on their job activities

Visit a work site that has the foundation prepared for pouring, report on what you find

Create a chart identifying the good qualities and poor qualities of different types of flooring in relation

to a raised slab, flat slab, raised wood floor with crawl space

Visit local lumber yards and compare lumber sold and pricing

Build a model pole barn.

Assist in building an agricultural structure, roof, floor, etc.

Using design skills, draw a simple plan for a pole barn and create a bill of materials that would be

necessary for its construction

Create a chart comparing OSB, hardboard, particle board and MDF materials for uses, weight, cost,

and composition

Visit a local lumber store and create a list of the available framing connectors, include function and


Use a CAD program to design a simple ag structure

Take a CPR and safety course from the Red Cross

Create a chart comparing the good qualities and poor qualities of the various types of agricultural

structures (Post-frame wood-frame, metal-frame, concrete/masonry, and pole buildings)

Create an inventory of all the professionals that are involved in creating structures, describe what each

person is responsible for

Animal Science

Research several species of livestock/specialty animals for history, beneficial characteristics,

uses, physical descriptions, etc.

Interview a local livestock/specialty animal producer

Shadow a local livestock/specialty animal producer and summarize activities

Tour an agricultural museum and write a report on exhibits

Attend a livestock/horse/specialty animal show-describe the different breeds represented and

the benefits of each

Compare feed tags for nutrients provided for different breeds of livestock/specialty animal

and chart on a poster

Compare the differences between ruminants, non-ruminants, and poultry

Make an art collage that illustrates the different breeds of livestock/specialty animal (must

have a key for explanation)

Develop a word search puzzle or cross word puzzle using livestock/specialty animal

production terms to be completed by the class

Make a time line illustrating when the various livestock and specialty animals were domesticated in relation to major world events of the times

Make a chart illustrating the breeds of livestock raised in our county and the numbers of each (census available from instructor)

Survey the Sunday newspaper classifieds for 3 weeks and find the average costs of the

livestock animals being offered for sale in the state

Visit local agribusinesses and survey the items sold for livestock/specialty animal production uses

Create a poster illustrating the functions of animals in our society

Create a map of the great cattle drives in early American history

Write an essay describing current trends in animal agriculture and compare them to trends of the past

Research career opportunities for graduates with degrees in Animal Science

Create a poster illustrating the difference between genotype and phenotype

Create a poster illustrating the difference between homozygous and heterozygous

Using pedigrees from animals, show and explain examples of line-breeding, cross-breeding, and in-breeding

Write an essay on how genetic selection has used hybrid vigor to improve the livestock industry

Write an essay comparing the practices of raising purebred livestock versus commercial livestock

Compile a list of appropriate feedstuffs for various groups of livestock

Compile a list of poisonous/toxic feedstuffs for various groups of livestock

Illustrate the use of a Pearson square when combining 2 commercial feeds to get a desired amount of protein, include the feed tags

Compile a list of feed additives/supplements appropriate for a particular species of livestock/specialty animal and explain the basis for adding each item

Develop a feeding program for a gestating female of your favorite livestock/specialty animal species

Compare the nutritional quality of 3 types of hay commonly used in the area

Outline the building requirements for raising cattle, hogs, sheep, horses. Compare the differences and similarities between species

Research the various watering systems used in hog operations and poultry operations

Research parasites that infect your favorite species of livestock/specialty animal

Tour a local slaughter/packing plant and report on the facilities

Interview a local butcher and report on how the meat is processed thru their facility

Price compare similar products at various meat counters in the community

Conduct an experiment to determine which meat counter sells the highest quality meat products by purchasing the same product at various stores, preparing the product the same, and the taste testing

Create a poster illustrating the difference between animal welfare supporters and animal rights activists

Research an animal rights group and report your findings (you’ll have to do this one at home, the school filter won’t allow access to most of their websites)

Create a poster illustrating the various cuts of meat from a particular livestock animal

Tour a livestock museum and wirte a reports

Shadow a USDA inspector

Volunteer at local animal shelter

Conduct a survey of all livestock operators in the area to determine their concerns

Survey local wildlife populations

Conduct a horse safety camp

conduct a livestock/specialty animal showing clinic

maintain chapter show equipment

plan and implement a livestock related field trip

adopt homeless pets and care for them

visit a nursing home with certified therapy pets

volunteer at the county fair livestock show

conduct feed trials for broilers, swine, cattle, etc.

research cage layers versus floor layers for egg production

research estrus synchronization hormone effectiveness

research methods of predator control and trapping

survey community pet owners and prioritize their concerns

research various pet diets

study effects of genetic selection in groups of animals over time

Natural resources

Attend a hunter education class

Interview a game warden, park ranger, or conservationist about their job and activities

Analyze a local river or stream for biology and cleanliness

Conduct a water experiment using tap, pond, and river water to determine which is the healthiest for wildlife

Research the major trees grown in Minnesota for the lumber industry

Evaluate the local water sources for their potential for recreational use, cleanliness, accessibility, etc.

Inventory the natural resources in Meeker County, include soil, water, forest, fish and wildlife, metals, minerals, energy, and outdoor recreation

Write a report on a selected natural resource and how it affects the community and how the community affects it

Interview someone who has lived continuously in our community for 50-60 years about how the use of natural resources has changed over the years

Evaluate how the goals of conservation have changed over the past several decades

Compare non-exhaustible, exhaustible, and renewable resources that are present in our county

Pick a natural resource issue and write a conservation point of view and a preservation point of view

Make a rock collection from the local area, label each as igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic as well as their location where found

Make a poster using real pictures showing sheet, rill, and gully erosion

Conduct an experiment on a bare sloping bank by raking and covering one area with straw and leaving another area exposed, after rain, report your findings

Conduct a survey of local businesses to determine types of erosion control being used

Select a career related to soil management and research the activities, working conditions, education/training required, etc.

Keep a log of the water you use in one day, evaluate where and how you could have reduced your usage

Evaluate the industries in the area concerning their usage of water

Report on how wastes are disposed of in our community

Explain how rainfall is predicted

Evaluate the temperature range between various locations in town, out of town, in the sun, in the shade, etc.

Prepare a report on a species of endangered animal and how it can be prevented

Evaluate the various game hunting management techniques employed by the regulating body in our state

Chart the various species of wild game according to their locations, hunting seasons, and regulations concerning harvest

Attend a and pass a hunter’s ed course

Interview a game warden, park ranger, or conservationist about their job/activities

Outline the requirements for an area of land to be labeled as a game protection area

Contact the state game and fish commission concerning employment opportunities

Compare the various careers in the wildlife area concerning activities, working conditions, training/education, and earnings

Create a map of national and state outdoor recreation sites in Minnesota

Using a selected species of wildlife, outline where on the food chain the species is found and illustrate its relationships with other organisms

Study sources of pollution on the school grounds that could damage habitat (parking lot runoff, drainage ditches, chemical use, emissions, transportation, etc) and how it could be reduced

Make a poster identifying various wildlife tracks

Research the making of bio-fuels and how to make them available locally

Create a list of native plants for the area and determine how prevalent they are

Research impact of ATV’s on public land

Research local parks and activities most people prefer

Study changes in the mining industry technology over time

Research effectiveness of habitat restoration projects in the community

Establish greenbelts along stream banks on a farm

Research CRP

Research area pollution concerns

Study pollution practices

Monitor dust levels in the are at various sites and times of the year

Research effects of erosion on various crops

Shadow a water quality lab worker

Tour area farms to determine effective pollution control

Develop plan to manage school food waste

Monitor water quality for commercial ponds

Attend meetings of the local/state conservation board

Interview a naturalist

Shadow NRCS employees

Shadow Game & Fish Commission employees

Assist with habitat construction

Develop walking trails

Create activities/labs for Natural Resource class

Plan and implement a wildlife field trip

Clean shelter belts & stack refuge in piles

Campground cleanup

Create posters on soil conservation for home owners

Create brochure on how to establish wildlife habitat in back yards

Study effects of excessive lawn chemicals by wildlife


Create an album showing the different species of fish raised in Minnesota

Select an occupation in aquaculture, interview someone in the job or research its requirements, report on your findings

Select a body of water that is, or could be, used for aquaculture. Test the water for pH, DO, nitrogen compounds, hardness, and other qualities. Assess your findings and report on its suitability for


Report on a chosen fish disease that affects the aquaculture industry

Create a poster illustrating the various fish diseases and methods of treatment

Report on the ways to improve the dissolved oxygen problems encountered by Aqua-farms

Draw conclusions concerning how to increase their consumption and/or awareness of aqua-crops.

Report on the grading processes for fish

Prepare a poster board illustrating the production of trout

Using an existing aquarium, keep a log of the water quality, fish health, and management techniques

used to keep it healthy

Horticulture and Plant Science

Install a landscape feature

Compare local greenhouse businesses for size, # of plants, average prices of commonly purchased items, # of

employees, etc

Shadow an individual working in the nursery/landscape/greenhouse sector and report findings

Interview a Master Gardener concerning their interests and participation in the organization

Investigate the opportunities for horticulture professional degrees at universities and colleges

Make a poster illustrating the horticulture occupations in the local community (include pictures of the businesses

and employees at work with a description of their activities)

Conduct a growth experiment using plants

Install a landscape plan

Plant a perennial flower bed

Plant trees and/or shurbs

Interview someone in the horticulture industry about their work, education, training, activities, earnings, etc.

Select a method of propagation illustrate, demonstrate, or give a detailed report on the steps to complete it


Report on biological pest management techniques employed by the horticulture Industry

Make an insect collection of insects that are harmful to the horticulture industry

Make a leaf collection of the damages caused by the pests and diseased combated by the horticulture industry

Research the occupation of interior landscaping and report on working conditions, education/training, earning

potential, etc.

Plant a dish garden

Plant a terrarium

Plant shrubs

Plant spring bulbs, report on proper techniques

Create a spreadsheet of plants that are suitable for growing in our climate zone, include mature size, water and sun

requirements, physical description of desirable characteristics, etc.

Visit a local nursery and compile a list of available trees, shrubs, or ground covers

Interview a local nurseryman/woman concerning their activities, education/training, earning potential, etc.

Design an annual planting bed to include plants appropriate for our growing area

Design a perennial planting bed to include plants appropriate for our growing area and that would provide color

throughout the various seasons of the year

Visit a local grower of perennial plants and report on your findings

Locate a landscape that is appealing to you, sketch the plants as they are and label each with their common and

scientific names, cultural requirements, and where the landscape is located

Design a flower bed using bulbs that will flower throughout the spring and summer

Conduct an experiment to force bulbs to grow in the greenhouse

Create a poster of the various bulb flowers (identify each with cultural info)

Practice correct pruning techniques

Conduct composting workshops for homeowners

Study the construction, type of greenhouse, and how they are heated and cooled

Construct models of the various styles of greenhouses

Design the layout of a potential greenhouse operation, identify what is grown and how much, heating

and cooling, construction materials, etc.

Visit a local greenhouse operation and video the various jobs required by the business, be able to

explain the different tasks, etc. being performed

Grow a greenhouse crop, keep detailed records of planting, germination, growth, fertilizers, etc.

Collect samples of greenhouse covering materials and develop a chart showing the positives and

negatives for each one


Select 5 common products sold by local floriculture businesses, compare each business for display of the product, price, inventory, and projected potential of sales for each product

Survey local florist stores concerning most popular products sold, seasonal items, additional items sold besides flowers

Interview a local florist business owner concerning management and problems with it

Make a floral arrangement

Shadow a floriculture professional and report on their activities

Investigate the opportunities for floriculture professional degrees at universities, colleges, and technical schools

Interview someone in the floriculture industry about their work, education, training, activities, earnings, etc.


Research major chemicals used in our area for agriculture purposes

Write a report on the impact of biotechnology in agriculture

Take soil samples, submit for analysis, and analyze the data

Collect insects related to the crops in our area

Write a report on water and/or air pollution

Create a display showing labeled samples of the different soil types

Obtain several plants of one kind. Use different fertilizers, various application methods and rates. Record your observations and growth results

Review a pesticide label and report on your findings

Take soil samples from your lawn, submit for analysis and report on findings

Interview an entomologist concerning control of agronomic pests


Survey a local lumber sales yard for types of wood products available

Interview a forester concerning job activities

Visit a tree farm, report on management techniques used

Report on the use of fire as a tool in the forestry industry

Interview a fireman concerning the experience of fighting forest fires

Compare the various careers in the energy resource fields concerning activities, working conditions, training/education, and earnings

Research and report on alternative sources of energy becoming available

Conduct a water experiment using tap, pond, and river water to determine which is the healthiest for wildlife

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