What are Proficiency Awards?
Agricultural Proficiency Awards are based entirely on a member’s Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). They recognize individual skills and career-based competencies developed through multiple years of participation in Immersion-type SAE projects.
Agricultural proficiency awards are divided into “areas” in which members exploring and/or becoming established in specific agricultural career pathways can receive recognition. Each area has a specific description which the SAE project must fit to apply in that area.
Nationally, students can compete for awards in nearly 50 areas ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management. Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels.
What are the award areas?
To determine which agricultural proficiency award area an applicant should apply in, the correct SAE type must first be known. The types of SAEs for proficiency applications are:
Entrepreneurship/Ownership - SAEs related to the ownership of an agribusiness or agriculture-related enterprise. The member plans, implements, operates, and assumes financial risks of ownership.
Examples include raising your own livestock, growing your own garden and selling produce, or starting your own food processing sanitation business.
Placement/Internship - Supervised agricultural experiences that include non-ownership, agriculturally-related paid or unpaid employment and/or volunteer work.
Examples include working on your family's ag operation, volunteering at the local horse shelter, or interning at the county extension office.
Combined - Award area for supervised agricultural experiences that are not split between entrepreneurship or placement. Applicants can combine both placement and entrepreneurship records if both are included in the SAE.
Examples include working for a farm and raising your own crop or volunteering at the local fish hatchery and rearing your own rainbow trout to sell.
Agriscience Research - Supervised agricultural experiences that involve planning and conducting an agriculturally based scientific experiment based on hypothesis and the use of the scientific methods of investigation on the hypothesis.
Examples include studying the effects of glyphosate on crops, researching society's perception of new ag technologies, or tracking the growth of animals on different feed rations.
How do I apply?
If you have an SAE and are ready to apply, you can apply for a proficiency award at the chapter and state level. State-winning awards advance to the national level. Make sure you have accurate records, then generate the application in AET. Talk to an advisor for help!