In FFA, two of the lines of the motto are: learning to do, doing to learn.

In FFA, two of the lines of the motto are: learning to do, doing to learn. One way that Sleepy Eye Agriculture students have been living by this motto is by taking part in several hands-on projects in all classes this semester with the three agriculture teachers, Mary Hoffmann, Adam Manderfeld, and Hunter Klontz.

The Ag Survivor class has learned how to stick weld (shielded metal arc welding) and wire feed weld (MIG weld). After they have learned skills in welding, they are now putting those skills to the test by creating a metals project.

The seventh grade Intro to Ag class has learned about the broad field of agriculture, careers, livestock, and crops. They have just finished up the crops unit by making a 3-D model of a soybean plant. This project allowed them to really see the parts and functions of the plant.

Students in the Exploring Ag class have created a board game to teach people about all of the different areas of agriculture; made a poster puzzle piece about their part of Minnesota and the crops and livestock raised there; created a FFA timeline; and are now learning about CDEs (Career Development Events) and SAEs (Supervised Agricultural Experience) Projects.

In Landscaping Class, students have learned about the principles and elements of design; how to conduct client interviews and site surveys; preliminary design concepts; and proper pruning techniques. They are now doing plant/tree research to prepare for their final landscape design drawing. Finally, they will put their paper designs into a computer landscape program.

In Large Animal Science, students have learned about the Animal Industry, Dairy, Beef, and Meats. They have been doing several hands on projects including: making butter, identification of cheese, beef breeds project, and more. As a wrap up to the meats unit, they visited Schweiss Meats where Logan Schweiss explained and showed them the steps to processing.

Alternative Animals class has been learning about the specialty animal industry, including horses and poultry. The unit finished up with a Poultry Barn Design Project.

In Horticulture class, students have learned about the horticulture industry parts and businesses, constructed photosynthesis, respiration, and flower models, as well as designed annual and perennial gardens.

Transitions/Ag. Leadership class has been learning various skills, including the Habitudes of Leadership, the AET record keeping system, and their last project involved the topic of How to Feed the Population of 9 billion people by 2050. Students were looking at how they could create an environment in the ocean to produce food more sustainably for the growing population.

Food Science has become a very popular class for students. Students learn about the components of foods and the science behind it. Labs that they have done so far include: Measuring, Sensory Evaluations, Sugar (Jam, Cookies, Caramels), and Carbohydrates (Gravy, Overnight Breakfasts). Labs yet to come are Fats (Burgers, Fats in Cookies), Fermentation (Refrigerator Pickles, Homemade Pizza), and a Careers Project.

On the Job Training students are participating in opportunities to learn on the job at various placements and develop strong connections in Sleepy Eye.

In Ag survivor B, students have been building walls—from the point of planning, all the way to a finished drywall product, while learning basic electrical wiring.

Students in the Junior High Intro Classes in the Shop are learning about how to use the various tools and machines, while constructing wooden and metal tool boxes.

Construction classes are attending the Construct Tomorrow interactive career fair, that features each of the construction trades, including boilermakers, bricklayers, carpenters, cement mason, electricians, floor coverers, iron workers, laborers, plumbers and pipefitters, roofers, sheet metal workers, and more. The trade trainers provide hands-on experiences for students to learn about careers in the construction industry and union apprenticeship training programs.

Currently, several Ag. classes are working on making crop samples. To make a crop sample, students work on finding the proper screens to screen the crop for size. Next, they work on quality by picking out the seeds that are not uniform with the rest of the sample or not of good quality. Finally, they weigh the sample. The crops will be displayed at the Sleepy Eye Crop Show on Monday, Nov. 18, then stored until the County and State Fairs in 2020.

Agriculture classes are a great way for students to demonstrate what they have learned by completing hands-on projects. These classes are open to St. Mary’s and Sleepy Eye Public students who are interested in applied learning.

Just as the FFA motto states — we learn to do; then we do to learn!