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  • Agriscience Fair – Students design an experiment, gather data, analyze data, and report their results. There are categories to choose from but topics are endless as long as the project relates to agriculture and has a scientific basis.
  • Fair Animals – There are a variety of livestock that students raise for the fair. Most students raise a market animal that will be sold at the Junior Livestock Auction. The animals that can be sold at auction include Market Steers, Market Lambs, Market Hogs, Market Goats, Rabbit Meat Pens, and Chicken Meat Pens. Depending on the type of animal the investment ranges from $1,200 or more for a steer to $20 for a pen of chickens. There is no guarantee that a student’s project will qualify for the sale. Just like in the agriculture industry, there is a risk. There is also the potential to sell a project for a significant profit. All Patterson FFA members are eligible to show and sell at the Stanislaus County Fair as long as they are in good standing with the chapter.
  • Some students who choose to show at the California State Fair, the Junior Grand National or other shows. Only the champions qualify for sale at these shows. The level of competition is quite high. The financial investment to be competitive is quite high as well. This is a great experience for students who want to participate and learn how to show animals.
  • Livestock Breeding Projects – Some students have projects in which they raise livestock for purposes other than the show ring. Any type of livestock can be raised for the student project provided it is something other than a pet. For example, a pet rat would not be considered a project. A student could raise pigs or sheep and sell the offspring for meat or breeding purposes. There are a variety of these types of projects to choose from. For more information, consult an agriculture teacher.
  • Plant and Crop Projects – Some traditional crop projects would include raising hay, grain, or row crops. It seems as though few of our students have this opportunity to produce acres of crops. A student who has the use of a greenhouse could grow plants for a project. A student could grow a garden. A student could design and landscape an area at their home. A student could grow wine grapes, Christmas trees, or sweet corn. They could grow ornamental plants. They can grow these crops in large or small quantities. The requirement is that the goal be to make a profit. Through keeping records, they will learn what the value of their project was. They will learn how to determine the cost of production and profit margin. These are all skills that will be beneficial to a student regardless of their career goal.
  • Work Experience Projects – Any work done in an agriculturally related field is acceptable. This is a very broad area. A student could work on a farm, for a veterinarian, or at a feed store. A student could work in a law office if the clients of the lawyer are agricultural clients. A student could work for a construction company building barns. A student could work for an irrigation supply company. A student could work at a grocery store if they work in the produce or meat department. The potential is endless. Discuss potential work experience projects with an agriculture teacher. The Patterson High School Agriculture department does have 12 paid internships available this year. Speak to your Agriculture teacher if you are interested in participating.
  • Unpaid Work Experience Projects – These projects can be in any of the areas previously mentioned. A student can have a home improvement project. This project could be anything that improves the appearance of the home or farm. It could start with mowing the lawn. Over the four years that students are involved in the agriculture program, we expect their project to grow. This would mean they have additional responsibilities. Just remember projects need to have an agricultural connection.

If you have questions about a potential project speak to an agriculture teacher. They can help you develop the project in a manner that will meet the requirement of the program while also helping the student develop an appreciation for the value of setting and attaining goals.


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