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SAE Skills and Competencies

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					           Proficiency - Skills and Activities Examples
There are 38 official Proficiency award areas. Click on the link to the award area li
         below to view the skills and activities examples for that award area.
                       E = Entrepreneurship         P = Placement

      Agricultural Communications                     Floriculture
      Agricultural Education                          Food Science and Technology
      Agricultural Mechancis Design and Fabrication   Forage Production
      Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems           Forest Management and Products
      Agricultural Repair and Maintenance             Fruit Production
      Agricultural Processing                         Grain Production
      Agricultural Sales                              Home and/or Community Develo
      Agricultural Services                           Landscape Management
      Aquaculture                                     Nursery Operations
      Beef Production                                 Outdoor Recreation
      Dairy Production                                Poultry Production
      Diversified Agricultural Production             Sheep Production
      Diversified Crop Production                     Small Animal Production & Care
      Diversified Horticulture                        Specialty Animal Production
      Diversified Livestock Production                Specialty Crop Production
      Emerging Agricultural Technology                Swine Production
      Environmental Science & Natural Resources       Turf Grass Management
      Equine Science                                  Vegetable Production
      Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production                Wildlife Production and Managem
Examples
nk to the award area listed
 hat award area.
ment

ure
 ence and Technology
 roduction
 anagement and Products
 duction
oduction
 d/or Community Development
pe Management
Operations
 Recreation
Production
 oduction
nimal Production & Care
y Animal Production
y Crop Production
 oduction
 ss Management
 e Production
 Production and Management
                                      Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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 ↓
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications      Adobe Program Usage




       Agricultural
                                 E           Advertising
       Communications




                                   Attending meetings of different
                                     agricultural organizations to
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                   learn about what is going on in
                                             the industry.




       Agricultural
                                 E Basic Computer Maintenance
       Communications


                                 P
       Agricultural Communications           Broadcasting




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    Circulation Management




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    Column and Story Writing




                                   Communicate/Work with Many
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications Different People in Different
                                       Types of Situations.




                                   Communication (Local Farmers,
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications Agriculture Spokespeople or
                                     Leaders in the Agriculture.)




       Agricultural
                                 E      Communication Skills
       Communications

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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                 P
       Agricultural Communications     Conducting Interviews




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications      Contribution Writing




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications Coordinated Planning Meetings




                                     Correspond with Co-workers
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                           and Customers




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    Create Newspaper Layouts




                                      Designing, Building, and
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications   Maintaining the Website with
                                        Microsoft Frontpage




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications           Distribution




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                                      Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    Edit and Produce Newspaper




       Agricultural
                                 E              Editing
       Communications

       Agricultural
                                 E     E-mailing Ag Information
       Communications

       Agricultural
                                 E          Equine Science
       Communications




                                    Finding farm news that matters
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications to local farmers and writing new
                                                stories.




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                              Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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       Agricultural
                          P     Front Office Assistant
       Communications




       Agricultural
                          E        Graphic Design
       Communications




       Agricultural           Head Counselor/ Assistant
                          P
       Communications            Activities Director




       Agricultural
                          E        Image Scanning
       Communications




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                   Improving Mathematical Skills
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications and Understanding of Financial
                                            Programs.




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications     Inventory Recordkeeping




                                       John Deere's Usedxpress
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    (Online Database for Used
                                             Equipment)




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                                       Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                 P
       Agricultural Communications       Layout and Publication




       Agricultural                  Learned how to supervise guests
                                P
       Communications                        at the barnyard.




       Agricultural
                                P     Learned Job Interview Skills.
       Communications




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                              Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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       Agricultural            Learned time management
                          P
       Communications                    skills.




                               Learned to incorporate
       Agricultural
                          P Agriculture Literacy into daily
       Communications
                                      activities.




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       Agricultural
                                P Learned to lead a nature walk.
       Communications




       Agricultural
                                P Learned to operate front desk.
       Communications




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications       Live Broadcasting




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                 P
       Agricultural Communications   Live Broadcasting Interviews




                                        Mailing and Database
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                            Management




                                     Maintaining General Office
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications   Equipment, Computers and
                                        Computer Software.




       Agricultural
                                E             Marketing
       Communications




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                       Microsoft Frontpage (to
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    Construct and Maintain an
                                       Operational Website.)




       Agricultural
                                E        Money Management
       Communications




                                     News, Editorial, Feature, and
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                       Headline Writing Skills




                                     Operating the Computer for
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                             Recording.




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                                      Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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                                     Photography (Digital and Non-
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                               Digital)




                                      Photography Equipment and
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                               Facilities




                                      Photography, Keyboarding,
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications    Word Processing, Database
                                       Skills, and Spreadsheets.




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications       Proofreading Articles




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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       Agricultural
                                E         Public Relations
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                E         Public Speaking
       Communications




       Agricultural
                                P           Ranch Tours
       Communications




                                       Recording and Editing
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications
                                            Broadcast



       Agricultural
                                E         Recordkeeping
       Communications

       Agricultural
                                E         Recordkeeping
       Communications

       Agricultural
                                E            Research
       Communications




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                                     Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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       Agricultural
                                 E    Researching current events
       Communications




                                 P
       Agricultural Communications   Setting up Audio Equipment




       Agricultural
                                 E            Speaking
       Communications



                                 P
       Agricultural Communications Subscription Renewal and Sales


       Agricultural
                                 E     Use of Adobe Photoshop
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                 E      Use of Paint Shop Pro
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                 E Use of photograph in agriculture
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                 E   Use of recording technology.
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                 E     Using a Digital Camera
       Communications




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                                      Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples

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       Agricultural                  Using a File Transfer Protocol
                                E
       Communications                            (FTP)
       Agricultural
                                E        Using Dreamweaver
       Communications
       Agricultural                     Using Microsoft Officer
                                E
       Communications                         Publisher
       Agricultural
                                E        Using the Print Shop
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                E           Webpage Links
       Communications

       Agricultural
                                E       Webpage Maintenance.
       Communications
       Agricultural
                                E           Website Design
       Communications



                                        Word Processing Skills
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications   (Knowledge, Presentation and
                                            Keyboarding)




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                                   Worked with Fellow Layout and
                                 P
       Agricultural Communications Designers to Create Newspaper
                                               Layout




       Agricultural
                                E             Writing
       Communications

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                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


Through my SAE I have learned how to use a number of Adobe Programs. When I
first started my SAE I used AdobePageMaker to create chapter newsletters. I also used
PageMaker in my Agriculture Communications CDE and during my first year on the
Convention Chronicle Staff. As time changed so did technology. During 2005 Adobe
developed a new product line: Adobe Creative Suite; which includes Adobe InDesign,
Illustrator, and Photoshop. I immediately began to learn the new programs. After a
while I began to use the programs in everything I did within my SAE. I used Adobe
InDesgin and Photoshop for producing the Convention Chronicle, as well as in my
agriculture communications CDE.
By setting up at local agriculture events and promoting "What's News in Agriculture" I
have been able to increase my sponsorships by over 10 sponsors this past year.
One way to gather farm news for the broadcast is to attend meetings. I attend these
meetings, not only to conduct news interviews, but also to stay current on the subjects
myself. I feel that by keeping up with the news in the industry, I will be a better farm
broadcaster and individual with his heart in agriculture. It is important also to stay up
on current agricultural trends so when I do live or taped interviews, I will have the
background needed in the subject matter to be able to ask the right questions at the
right time. Some individuals that I was able to interview included the Darke County
and Randolph County Indiana Extension Agents, local FFA Chapters, Dennis Sargent
of the National FFA, Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture, and representatives of
the Ohio and National Farmers Union.
Constant updating of virus protection systems is very important when working on the
internet. Defragmenting on a regular basis is also crucial in minimizing down time.
After the farm news broadcast is recorded and edited, I always take time to listen to
what I have just recorded. By listening to the broadcast recording, I can be sure that the
broadcast sounds good, flows smoothly, and contains no errors. I strive to have
broadcasts that appeal to the listeners and that I am proud of. The worst thing that we
can do is to air a program that is not done correctly and does not appeal to our




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                                           Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


One of the first things I learned at the paper was circulation management, I learned the
monthly process of mailing out subscription renewal notices. When people sent back
their checks for renewal, I learned to handle the billing and updating of our
subscribers' database. This was critical to my SAE as it taught me how to make sure
our readers got our product - the news they wanted and needed.
I began learning about forming the content of the paper - actually writing - and
continued to practice through 2006 and the development of my interview skills. This
skill development involved my learning about formulating newsworthy pieces, finding
a way to make even simple stories sound compelling, and communicating them in an
effective way. I learned this skill through writing numerous "practice" articles and
columns, and by integrating my leadership positions in FFA to contribute chapter news
This SAE requires that I know how to work with many types of people in many types
of situations. Before I began my SAE in 2002 I was rather shy. However, by the
summer of 2005, upon completion of my term as Coastal Bend District Sentinel I was
able to communicate to large groups of people. During my term as CBD Sentinel I
had to give many presentations, and host leadership camps and conventions. Whether
I am in front of an audience, one-on-one with a staff member, or with someone in my
chapter I can effectively communicate with them. Through my placement in this SAE
I am confident that I have the skills required to effectively communicate with any type
of audience that comes along.
This year we have tried to get people into the studio for interviews. We contacted local
agribusinesses, farmers, and others that have agricultural interests about coming to the
studio for an interview to talk about specific farm programs or issues. Sometimes we
are successful in getting them worked into everyone's schedule to accomplish this, but
many times arrangements can not be made. When this happens, I can either go out to
them to conduct the interview or we can arrange an interview over the telephone. The
in studio interviews provide the best sound for radio while the phone interviews are
the poorest quality. However, with everyone's busy schedules in today's society,
sometimes we sacrifice quality of sound for up-to-date information for our agricultural
Knowing how to communicate in a business-like manner has helped me while dealing
with my printer and selling books directly to customers in a professional way.

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                              Knowledge/Competency


The agricultural community has so many stories to tell, and recording those stories was
an essential skill for me to acquire in becoming proficient in ag communications.
During 2005, I got practice in conducting interviews with both ag related and non-ag
related subjects. This learning process involved brainstorming ideas, contacting
interviewees, conducting the interview and procuring information, and organizing it to
Another part of my regular duties is short contribution writing, which hones my
communication skills. I am frequently given small assignments and have to complete
them by the weekly Tuesday deadline.
It was my responsibility as Assistant Editor of the Convention Chronicle to help the
Editor in running the morning planning meetings. At the planning meetings we would
assign the news writers and photographers to their assignments for the day. We would
set deadlines and make sure that everyone knew exactly what they were doing and
where and when they needed to be places. In addition, I also worked with the Editor to
think of story ideas that would be fun and creative additions to the paper. I also
worked with the reporters and photographers when they needed assistance. However,
my main responsibility was to work hand-in-hand with the layout and designers. I was
there to assist them whenever they needed it and to help guide them along with I
noticed they were struggling. I had final say on how the layout looked for each page of
each edition of the paper.
When maintaining a website, it is imperative to stay in touch with fellow employees. If
I didn’t communicate with them to find out what they have sold and traded for, then
the data displayed on my website would be inaccurate. I call and E-mail fellow
salesman on a daily basis to ensure website accuracy. It is also important to be able to
communicate with customers and those who are viewing the website. Website viewers
often have questions, comments, complaints, and concerns that must be dealt with to
ensure customer satisfaction. I provide my email address and cell phone number on the
website so that I am always available to answer any questions a customer may have. I
also am sometimes required to write letters to those who are unable to communicate by
other means. This SAE has dramatically improved my skills of correspondence.




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                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


When I began my SAE I knew little about creating newspaper layouts. However,
creating layouts soon became a major part of my Agriculture Communications SAE.
Through my SAE I learned how to create newspaper layouts that were of the highest
quality. I learned to produce layouts that were eye appealing and ones that could
communicate information in a clear and organized fashion. Acquiring this skill took
many hours of hard work and many instances of trail and error. I now have the skill of
creatively cropping and inserting pictures, text wrapping, and truncating text. By the
summer of 2005 at the Texas FFA State Convention I was so proficient in what I had
learned I was able to teach others.
When building, designing, and maintaining a website, thorough knowledge of the
software you are using is essential. I quickly learned how to properly use the software.
Now I use FrontPage on a daily basis to maintain our website. I first had to construct a
basic layout for the website. This was probably the simplest part of the process. I
picked a layout that I thought was both informative and easy to use. Next I had to
import the database I had made, and create links and charts to utilize the data I
imported. This is a complicated task because if a link is incorrect, then the entire
segment of data the website is displaying will be incorrect. Daily maintenance is also
highly important to guarantee accurate information to the users of the website. I spend
the majority of the time of my SAE maintaining the website. To keep the site running
Another early skill I learned was how to manage the distribution process. This
involves receiving the paper each week from the printer, labeling the papers, sorting
them for the post office, and delivering them to newsstand locations and vendors as
well as the post office. Also, I learned how to manage the subscribers' database (which
worked in conjunction with circulation) as was necessary when preparing for the




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                               Knowledge/Competency


As Assistant Editor it was also my responsibility to help edit the final paper. At the
end of the day when the layout was complete, I along with the Editor and advisors
would sit at a round table and jointly edit the paper. We had to make sure that the
paper was completely flawless and ready for publication. After we finished making all
the necessary edits we would then go back to the computers and make the changes.
Once we were 100% satisfied with the paper we would proceed to export the
document to an Adobe PDF file. The publisher, such as The Lubbock Avalanche
Journal would use the PDF file and run the edition of the paper through their printers.
They would print approximately 8,500 copies of the paper each edition each year. The
articles were also placed on an online edition so the entire World can view them.
I spend more time editing than writing. It's always important to go back and revise and
edit, otherwise the story will not turn out as good. This has sharpened my grammar
and spelling skills.
By using my What's News in Ag e-mail account I have been better able to correspond
with sponsors and the public who have had questions related to current events in
agriculture & the radio show.
To give my books credibility, I have first-hand experience with horses. I spend a lot of
my time volunteering at a therapeutic riding stable working as a stable hand. I also
compete in FFA Horse Judging.
As morning farm news director, I have to find news that will impact the local farmers
of our listening area. I check several sources to find what to record for my broadcast.
Once I have determined what stories to cover in the farm news broadcast, a script has
to be written, the broadcast has to be recorded and edited to fit the broadcast slot.
Keeping in touch with what is happening in the agricultural community is important to
help prepare news that will affect farmers in all of our listening area also known as
Tiger Country. Some of the stories that have been written and aired are Soybean
Aphids, Asian Soybean Rust, Extension News, FFA Banquets, FFA Chapter activities,
Bio-diesel, Mad Cow Disease, safety programs, livestock and crop reports, State and
National FFA Conventions, and others.




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                               Knowledge/Competency


Work in the front office requires me to perform a variety of tasks on a daily basis. My
duties require me to answer telephones, make reservations, check guests in or out,
prepare statements and deal with the day-to-day scheduling of activities. I am in
charge of entering guests' information into our computer database. I input their stays,
birthdays celebrated with us, special needs, family information and contact
information. In addition, I help to utilize our website, where we receive requests from
potential visitors. Our office has two computers for use in record keeping and
communications, and they are used consistently throughout the day. This is also an
area in which I can use all of my customer service skills as it is where guests will come
I've used an image maker before I started creating book covers, so working with it
more and more ha made my covers look more realistic as I get more experienced.
I am responsible for the planning of daily activities for the children staying at the
ranch. The age range is usually between four and eleven years. I focus on activities
that stress the importance of agriculture and take every opportunity to emphasize the
impact that agriculture has on everyone everyday. I am responsible for tours of the
ranching operation, nature hikes, daily children's activities, hay rides and evening
programs. I am responsible for the guests' safety and educating them about the various
safety issues found around a ranching operation. I am continually challenging myself
to keep our activities new and exciting, since we have many return visitors, while at
the same time keeping the ongoing theme of agriculture literacy. I must keep up to
date on current agriculture issues, since most of our guests are from urban areas and I
am often their only source of agricultural information.
Being able to scan actual photos has minimized working time. If individuals can bring
in their own photos, I am able to scan them to the preferred resolution for web




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                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


When maintaining a website, it is imperative to stay in touch with fellow employees. If
I didn’t communicate with them to find out what they have sold and traded for, then
the data displayed on my website would be inaccurate. I call and E-mail fellow
salesman on a daily basis to ensure website accuracy. It is also important to be able to
communicate with customers and those who are viewing the website. Website viewers
often have questions, comments, complaints, and concerns that must be dealt with to
ensure customer satisfaction. I provide my email address and cell phone number on the
website so that I am always available to answer any questions a customer may have. I
also am sometimes required to write letters to those who are unable to communicate by
other means. This SAE has dramatically improved my skills of correspondence.
When maintaining a website primarily focused on the sale of equipment, it is
mandatory that the equipment on the website be exact with the inventory of the
dealership. When I started the website, inventory on the website never corresponded
with the inventory shown in our dealer database, and the dealer database never
corresponded with the actual inventory at the dealership. It took a lot of work to get
this straightened out. I had to first work on updating our records and database before I
could start on the website. I created a database of my own with specific details about
each machine so I could link the Usedxpress database to it and then link
www.sjblack.com's inventory to the Usedxpress database. If I didn't use good methods
of record keeping, then my website would not be successful. Good record keeping is
When communicating with such a large customer base, it is important to have means
of communication outside the dealership's website. I encouraged my dad to enroll our
dealership in a program called Usedxpress. Usedxpress is a database that is updated
daily to provide specific details of our dealership's inventory. Updating this web
database is difficult yet at the same time essential to maintaining an accurate website.
Since the inventory on our website is linked directly to the Usedxpress database, if one
site is displaying inaccurate information, both sites are. I spent several hours learning
how to properly input information into the database. Using Usedxpress is a key factor
in the success of my website and my supervised agricultural experience.




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                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


I began to learn some of the more intricate and technical parts of the communication
process with this skill. I learned how to "package" the news within the layout (using
the computer program Quark, as well as Adobe Photoshop) and to make it fit and be
presentable. I am now able to gather the content of the paper and take it from screen to
printer successfully.
The barnyard is another area that is a favorite among guests, young and old. The most
important lesson learned is safety around livestock. I am responsible for education of
all guests about how to approach livestock, handle them and work in their pens safely.
By introducing children to a variety of livestock, I can tell them about the different
products that we get from them, different rations fed, and also to help them understand
that animals can be used for food and still treated in a compassionate manner. The
opportunity for families from urban areas to see animal husbandry and production on a
first hand basis helps to bridge the gap between reality and the stereotypes that are
often seen in popular media. I also have to be able to identify the different breeds of
cattle, sheep, swine and goats that are kept at the ranch and be able to answer questions
Communicating and talking to guests about the agriculture industry, beef cattle
production or just answering general questions can sometimes feel like a job interview.
I must always project professionalism, courtesy and honesty. When conducting an
activity, I must always be prepared and be ready to provide a proper response to any
question. I must be sensitive to the fact that some of our guests are vegetarians,
Animal Rights advocates and many are from urban areas, and must always be
diplomatic, choosing my words and responses correctly. As I am the primary example
of an agriculturists for many of our guests, I must always put my best foot forward.
This skill has already been of benefit to me, as I went through several interviews for
scholarships and received scholarship money based on my ability to communicate




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                                             Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                                Knowledge/Competency


I have had increasing responsibility in planning children's activities over the last three
years. When I began, I did not realize how important it was to plan the activities for
certain time periods. However, if I do not manage the activity and complete it in the
time allotted, it can throw off the rest of the day. All meals are served at specific times
and many of the activities for adults and children are planned for certain times of the
day. Planning these activities is also a challenge because we always try to tailor the
activity to the age range of children that we have staying at the ranch, and this can
change from week to week. By organizing myself ahead of time and communicating
with the front office about the number and ages of guests staying at the ranch, I have
made this part of my job responsibility much easier and am able to focus on the quality
Through my experiences with the Food For America and PALS programs in FFA, I
found many great ideas for lessons and activities that I could take back to the ranch.
One major skill that I learned was to always be ready for a "teachable moment" and
incorporate information about agriculture into many of our everyday activities. My
classroom is usually somewhere outside, under a shade tree, by a pond, on a hay ride
or down at the corrals and I have learned to use these times to provide our guests with
a positive experience with agriculture. I truly believe that if we continue to promote
agriculture literacy, we will increase the understanding of the general public and help
to alleviate many problems found throughout the industry because of misinformation.
The ranch is an example of this on the "grass roots" level, and I know that I will take
this skill with me in my future career.




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                               Knowledge/Competency


A nature hike is the perfect opportunity to communicate with guests in a variety of
ways. I talk to children about the importance of preserving the environment, help
them to identify different wildlife and native plants that we see and talk about the his
history of the area. It is the perfect opportunity to show how agriculturists are
environmentalists. If parents are on the hike with us, I can show that by preserving
ranch land, we are providing a safe environment for wildlife at the same time. With
the threat of urban sprawl and continuing development, agricultural land is serving as
habitat and is often the only area left for many species of animal and plants. The beef
industry is evident wherever we take our hike and we usually see "working cowboys"
somewhere along the hike. This always sparks interest in the guests and provides time
for question and answer sessions about how a cattle ranch operates.
Working in the front office requires excellent communication skills. Each day that I
work at the front desk I am communicating with guests in a variety of ways and
concerning many different topics. We have a website and respond to emails from
prospective clients everyday. I have to be comfortable speaking with guests over the
phone regarding reservations, brochure requests, general information, rate quotes and
even agricultural issues (we have had numerous calls from guests with questions about
BSE, or "Mad Cow Disease"). Communicating effectively with our guests when they
visit the front office is critical. Not only do they complete important liability
paperwork, I also can answer questions and discuss their stay. Guest satisfaction is
crucial to the success of this business. All communications, whether by email or in
person, must be completed in a professional and courteous manner.
Many times we have the opportunity to do live broadcasts at community functions in
the agricultural community. One of the biggest events that we covered this past year
was the Great Darke County Fair. We had a remote live broadcast almost every day of
the fair talking with 4-H and FFA members and other exhibitors. One of the other
duties that I had at the fair was covering the harness races. I had the opportunity to
broadcast the harness racing live at the 2005 Great Darke County Fair which was a
first for me and for our listeners. Other live broadcasts that I did this year included
reports from the Ohio FFA Convention and the National FFA Conventions,


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                               Knowledge/Competency


During live remotes, we conduct a lot of interviews. Prior to the remote, I have to do
some homework so I have an understanding of the topics that needed to be covered in
the interview. Not all of the people, especially some of the younger 4-H and FFA
members, that we interview are "real talkers", so I have to continue asking them
questions to pull out the answers that I am looking for in order to keep the interviews
flowing. Every interview is different so I must be able to make a quick judgment on
how well the person will interview and have that list of questions in my head in case I
need them to make the interview a success.
My regular duties also require me to assist in the weekly mailing and distribution
process of the paper. I have to manage and edit the database of subscribers, from
which we obtain the mailing labels and the postage information for the sorting of the
papers. Again, this is a critical action in the delivery of our news to the community.
My SAE of Agricultural Communications requires me to use such devices as copy
machines, scanners, digital cameras. When using this equipment, I have to be able to
care for the equipment. Copy machines and printers require ink/toner cartridges. I must
be sure that these cartridges maintain the proper level of material so that I can print or
copy when it is required. Being both a salesman and a webmaster, I very seldom have
free time, so my equipment must always be in proper operating condition. I use such
software as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, FrontPage, Outlook, and photo
editing software. I must also maintain my computer, since it is the heart and soul of my
webpage. I must regularly de-fragment the hard drive, delete unnecessary information,
and keep the fan and keyboard clean.
Marketing skills are crucial if I want my book to go anywhere. Through my SAE I
was able to learn all about the importance of marketing my item and making it look
more appealing to customers.




                                                                      1162
                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


I started off by reading books on website design and watching others in the web design
industry. I then quickly learned how to properly use the software to design and
maintain a website that is both functional and easy to use. I learned how to use many
of FrontPage’s features to create a website that is both informative and simple. I
learned such how to import local weather, databases, maps/driving directions, and up
to date commodity prices. Through my SAE of Agricultural Communications, I have
learned many things about designing and maintaining a good website that’s both user
friendly, functional, and informative..
This has helped me a lot. I could never keep money in my hands for a while. Now that
I have this SAE, I know I need to save money for future shipments, so I don't go out
and spend it all.
Through my placement in this SAE I have greatly enhanced my skills in news,
editorial, feature, and headline writing. At the beginning of my SAE I knew little
about Journalism and writing; my main interest started in computer applications and
graphic design. However, after my first term on the Convention Chronicle staff my
interest for this field sparked. Ever since then I have been competing in various
journalism events within my SAE and other school sponsored events. In 2005 I began
competing in UIL news, headline, feature, and editorial writing contests. I
immediately began winning at almost every contest I participated in. In 2005 I won
various invitational meets and went on winning 3rd place in News Writing on the
district level. In 2006 I became District Champion in News Writing and District
Champion in Computer Applications. These skills have helped me become a better
We have a computer in the recording studio that saves me a lot of time. I can use the
computer for writing copies of all my stories and I can print them out so I can read
them while recording my broadcasts. The computer also allows me to edit my
recordings, so if I do make a mistake I can keep going and come back to fix it later. If
we did not have the computers to aid in editing the broadcasts, then I would have to
spend a lot of time recording the programs over again.




                                                                     1162
                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


At my placement position, it's sometimes necessary for me to get photos for the paper,
both in the digital and non-digital medium. Early on I began getting practice with
photography, mostly "in the field" at events, school, and stories that my colleagues do.
Photos, just like stories, help communicate with people, and I now have a mastery of
basic newspaper photography.
Photographs are a key aspect of a successful website. I have a Sony Cybershot digital
camera that I use for photography of facilities and equipment. I must take good
pictures of the equipment that is listed for sale on the site. Some of the
customers/potential customers we communicate with are on a global level, and often
times they will purchase a machine sight unseen based upon the pictures provided on
the website. . For the customer to be satisfied with a purchase of such large financial
proportions, the machine they receive must meet their wants and needs. So if the
pictures on the website were incorrect or improperly taken, it could create negative
Through my agricultural communications SAE, I have increased my computer skills. I
can now type much faster and more accurately and I am now very efficient in word
processing. I learned how to build and maintain a database to properly keep track of
equipment inventory. My photography skills have also improved. Good pictures on a
web site can make or break a sale, so it is essential that I have good photography skills.
I can also now edit these photographs to ensure they will provide the customer with the
most accurate information possible. I also use spreadsheets to calculate costs, margins,
profits, and prices.
One of the main skills I have obtained through my SAE is improved editing abilities. I
frequently had problems with misspellings and grammar, however, now I am fairly
confident with my writing abilities. I have learned how to edit news articles
incompliance with the AP style guide. This skill has been obtained primarily through
my work on the Convention Chronicle, my work on the school newspaper, college
English class, and FFA newsletter. In addition, I have also improved my editorial
abilities through my training and participation in my AG Communications CDE. I
now have the ability to assist staff writers in editing and proofreading their articles




                                                                      1162
                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


By sending a letter to each sponsor and keeping them updated I have been better able
to continue to hold sponsorships through positive communications and simple updates
related to the show.
Public speaking has been beneficial in being a chapter officer and reporting news to
the local newspaper. It has also helped in making presentations in class and to parents.
Potential ranch guests visit the Rankin Ranch to see if it will provide them with the
vacation that they want. I take visitors on a tour of our ranch and facilities and answer
any questions that they may have. In addition, I take our guests, both adults and
children on an orientation tour when they first check-in and answer any questions that
they have about the ranch. I always use these opportunities to communicate about the
agriculture industry. This initial tour can have a wide range of questions as guests see
the cattle ranch and I explain how the operation works and why specific tasks are
performed. It is always fun to see the face of someone who has never seen a "real
cowboy" before and the immediate positive associations that guests make with them.
After the news is selected, it must be recorded for broadcasting. Recording the news
for the broadcast actually is very simple. I make a copy of what I want to say and start
the program, adjust the volume, and record the program. Use of the editing computer
is very helpful because I can go back into the recording and remove errors, add more
information or interviews, and edit blank or skipped spots. Through the recording and
editing sequence 5-minute farm news broadcasts become ready to air.
Before I started, I was not a good record keeper. Now that I have my SAE, I'm forced
to keep accurate records so I now to whom I'm selling my products, and the profit I
made from that sale.
By keeping track of all of my sponsorships through the use of technology I have been
better able to manage my business and determine the capital that I have for future
investments.
The equine character in my story is based on a rare color gene found in Thoroughbred
horses, so I had to do a considerable amount of research before writing so the reader
would know why the horse is so rare.




                                                                     1162
                                            Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


By researching topics prior to taping, I have been able to develop quality shows that
indicate the current events that are taking place in agriculture. Thus increasing my
total audience and their knowledge.
During live remotes, several pieces of equipment must be set up to send a signal back
to the studio. The antenna or phone lines must be established, Marty (mother board)
and power source hooked up, and all the necessary cables and microphones working
properly. A sound check with the station is also very important before any live
broadcasting can take place. If the equipment is not set up correctly, then we will not
get a high quality signal. Without a high quality signal, we will have a poor broadcast
and we really don't want that for the station and our listeners.
By practicing key words and developing the ability to speak clearly while taping, I
have been able to produce shows that sound professional and represent my sponsors in
the best light possible.
A regular part of my placement at the Enterprise is the monthly subscription renewal
cycle, as well as the sale of new subscriptions. I maintain the billing of incoming
subscription payments and manage the outgoing notices. I also sell new subscriptions
to customers and otherwise assist them in the office. This activity plays a major role in
the value of our news and reporting - this is how we get that unique information to the
By using adobe Photoshop, photo editing is very professional. This program also
minimizes distortion of pictures viewed on the internet.
Paint Shop Pro is another photo editing software that also has additional features that
allow the user to build custom images like logos and banners.
By using a digital camera, I have been able to take pictures of current events in my
community related to agriculture and FFA and then putting them on my webpage to
keep the community updated.
By using the Sound Forge computer program I have been able to produce a
professional sounding radio program that has allowed me to increase my total
We are in the digital camera age. Learning to use all of the features of our olympus
camera has been useful in capturing pictures high in clarity at various activities.




                                                                      1162
                                           Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


File Transfer Protocol is a technical term used in the web design industry that links
two computers over the internet. Our chapter website is hosted off campus and utilizes
an FTP program.
Dreamweaver is a web design program that allows a me to easily build and maintain
an internet website.
Publisher was the very first program I used in order to make flyers for our chapter
fundraiser. It has also been very useful in building our chapter calendars that are on
display in the classroom.
The Print shop is a software program that allows me to publish brochures, flyers, etc..
In a professional manner. This program is great for building fundraiser flyers.
By spending time finding quality links to agriculture websites, I have been better able
to communicate the word of agriculture through providing others with more material
related to agriculture.
By keeping updated on current trends in agriculture I am able to go to my webpage and
relay that information onto my audience who goes online. This has enabled me to
spread the word about agriculture.
Learning how to create my own website was very helpful. I now know how to use the
HTML code, Pagebuilder and other web tools used in creating my website.
Through this SAE I have vastly improved my computer knowledge and skills in many
areas. The skills I have learned include word processing, presentation, and
keyboarding. I entered my SAE knowing little about word processing and the
applications used. However, at this point in my SAE I am now not only more efficient
and proficient in Microsoft Word, I am now Microsoft Office User Specialist in Word-
Expert and also in PowerPoint-Core. In addition, I have improved my typing skills
from 45 words a minute to 76 words per minute. Possessing these skills has helped
me in all aspects of my SAE and is optimal in today’s field of communication.




                                                                    1162
                                           Agricultural Communications Skill/Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


As a member of the layout and design staff of the Convention Chronicle it was my
duty to work with the other three members on the staff to create the newspaper layout.
After the morning planning meeting we would meet as a group to discuss what articles
were to be placed on what page and how to we wanted the layout to look. This step
took a few hours and much discussion. The articles and pictures to be placed in the
paper would come to us in a manila folder from the Assistant Editor. The photos
would already be selected and the articles would already be edited. Thus, we had to
wait for the rest of the staff to finish their part before we could begin ours. Once we
received the folder we could continue to begin placing them on the computer in Adobe
PageMaker. I enjoyed this step the most. I intrigues me how different one can make a
page look through the use of different fonts, type size, and the placement of pictures.
In order to write books, I have to know how to write and formulate realistic plots,
characters and settings. By continuing to exercise my writing skills, I've become more
confident in my writing.
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                                                                    1162
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      Agricultural
                      P      8th Grade Tours
      Education




      Agricultural        Accurate Records of All
                      P
      Education            Grades and Activities




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      Agricultural
                      P    Ag Ed Speaking
      Education




      Agricultural
                      P   Ag in the Classroom
      Education




      Agricultural        Ag in the Classroom
                      P
      Education                  Project




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      Agricultural        Agricultural Awareness to
                      P
      Education                the Community




                           Attending Ag
      Agricultural
                      P Ambassador Leadership
      Education
                            conferences.




      Agricultural            Beef Promotion
                      P
      Education                 Workshops




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      Agricultural
                      P   Being a Leader
      Education




      Agricultural
                      P   Being Organized
      Education




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      Agricultural        Calving Procedure Before
                      P
      Education              and After Process.




      Agricultural        Central Wisconsin Lamb
                      P
      Education                 Spectacular




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      Agricultural
                      P Civic Group Presentations
      Education




      Agricultural
                      P   Classroom Preparation
      Education




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      Agricultural         Communication and
                      P
      Education               Team Work




      Agricultural        Competition Rules and
                      P
      Education               Regulations




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      Agricultural        Coordinating an Ag-Ed
                      P
      Education              event for youth.




                        Created FFA Promotional
      Agricultural
                      P Materials and Agriscience
      Education
                              Recruitment




                                                        44
                                 Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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                          Creating Materials to be
      Agricultural
                      P    Used in Ag Literacy
      Education
                                 Programs.




                        Designing/setting up
      Agricultural
                      P displays for farm
      Education
                        days/County fair




                            Developing and
      Agricultural      Presenting Agri-Science
                      P
      Education         Educational Programs for
                            Middle School




                                                         45
                                Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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                         Developing PowerPoint
      Agricultural      study presentations for the
                      P
      Education             ag mechanics team
                                 members




                        Developing Presentation
      Agricultural
                      P   Skills and Teaching
      Education
                                Methods




                        Developing Presentations
      Agricultural
                      P    in PowerPoint and
      Education
                         Computer Technology.




                                                        46
                               Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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                               Developing
      Agricultural
                      P   Publications/Writings
      Education
                           Related to Ag-Ed.




                        Explain How Our Milk is
      Agricultural               Made.
                      P
      Education            (pasteurization vs.
                           homogenization).




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                                Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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      Agricultural          Explaining Cattles'
                      P
      Education             Nutritional Needs




                        Explaining the Milking
      Agricultural
                      P  Procedure to Young
      Education
                              Children.




                        Facilitating Leadership
                        Training Conference and
      Agricultural      Workshops for local and
                      P
      Education         state officers of various
                         Career and Technical
                         Student Organizations



                                                        48
                              Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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      Agricultural
                      P    FFA Quiz Coach
      Education




                          Finding methods to
      Agricultural
                      P   educate any young
      Education
                                learner.




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                        Food for America for 3rd
      Agricultural
                      P   Grade Students/Ag
      Education
                                 literacy




      Agricultural        Fundraising and Financial
                      P
      Education                     Skills




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                           Implementing and
      Agricultural
                      P   Planning Educational
      Education
                               Activities




      Agricultural
                      P   Interpersonal Skills
      Education




      Agricultural        Lead and Coach Ag
                      P
      Education            Mechanics Team




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      Agricultural        Lesson Plan and Writing
                      P
      Education                    Skills




      Agricultural        Marketing Farm Produced
                      P
      Education                   Products




      Agricultural
                      P Meat Poultry Production
      Education




                                                         52
                               Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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                             Member of the
      Agricultural      Horticulture club and Ag
                      P
      Education          Ambassadors for Butte
                                College




      Agricultural
                      P        Mentoring
      Education




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      Agricultural
                      P    Motivating Others
      Education




      Agricultural
                      P Multimedia Presentations
      Education




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                        National Junior Hereford
      Agricultural
                      P    (NJHA) Board of
      Education
                               Directors




      Agricultural
                      P    Organization Skills
      Education




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      Agricultural
                      P           PALS
      Education




                           Prepare and Present
      Agricultural
                      P   Lessons in the Correct
      Education
                                 Format




                         Preparing / Presenting
                         Lessons for Adults and
      Agricultural
                      P Educating the Community
      Education
                         about the Need for Ag
                           Literacy Education




                                                        56
                               Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples

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                        Preparing and Presenting
      Agricultural
                      P Agricultural Lessons for
      Education
                          Elementary Students




                        Preparing and Presenting
                            Programs for the
      Agricultural
                      P Teaching Agricultural
      Education
                         Safety to Kids (TASK)
                                Program




      Agricultural         Promoting FFA and
                      P
      Education               Agriculture




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      Agricultural
                      P   Public Speaking
      Education




      Agricultural
                      P   Public Speaking
      Education




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      Agricultural
                      P     Public Speaking
      Education




      Agricultural        Public Speaking and
                      P
      Education            presentation skills




      Agricultural        Recruitment of New
                      P
      Education                Students




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      Agricultural        Safety of Summer Camp
                      P
      Education                   Children




      Agricultural        Serving as Ag Ed Tour
                      P
      Education                   Guide




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      Agricultural        Students as Teachers
                      P
      Education                Program




      Agricultural        Summer Camp Farm
                      P
      Education              Education




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      Agricultural         Taping Ag Ed related
                      P
      Education                   PSA




                        Teaching ag students how
      Agricultural
                      P to weld and work in the
      Education
                        shop




      Agricultural        Teaching Knowledge of
                      P
      Education                  Subject




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      Agricultural
                      P   Teamwork
      Education




      Agricultural
                      P   Technology
      Education




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      Agricultural
                      P     Technology Use
      Education




                                Time
      Agricultural      Management/Discipline
                      P
      Education          and Healthy Learning
                             Environment




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      Agricultural        Workshop on Infestation
                      P
      Education           of Eastern red cedar trees




                        Writing an objective and
      Agricultural
                      P designing a lesson plan to
      Education
                                 teach.




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                                                         65
                                             Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


I had the opportunity to present to the 8th graders on the Intro to Ag Class and try to
persuade them to take it was a freshman. I had 2 to 3 minutes to try and inform them
about the class so they would take it. I helped with 8 grade tours my junior year and
that year I was promoted to the main speaker. This time I had the opportunity to
present on all the Ag classes while using a Powerpoint Presentation. This presentation
was timed to be around five minutes in length and I had to present to the 8th graders
about how these classes would help them in life and in fun. My fellow officers and I
came up with a plan, where we would present on how Ag classes are hands on type
learning. The students seemed to enjoy the fact they get to use their hands to l earn. I
became more involved in the community and school as I learned how to convince
students to take ag classes in order to insure that agriculture classes would still be
around. I also polished up my speaking and leadership skills.
It is vital to grade student's work and evaluate their progress through tests and
evaluation. I have learned to write tests and scoring guides that challenge students, yet
allow them to experience success. I have entered grades into the grade book and
figured scores. I have also learned to use the school's computerized grading system. In
addition, I have learned to evaluate record books and students SAEs. This is a
necessary skill if I am to develop my own outstanding agriculture program in the
future. I truly believe that SAE's are the one thing that really sets our program apart
from all others, and we need to stress them at every opportunity. Another related skill
was the development and implementation of an FFA leadership points chart. This
allowed our officers to keep track of each member's attendance and level of
participation. It also helped select National Convention delegates and chapter




                                                                       66
                                             Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


In speaking about Ag-Ed I have always remembered that presentation means a great
deal but knowledge is equally as important. In terms of speaking about agriculture
probably the most important thing is to have a good knowledge. In all of my time
going around the state and speaking about Ag-Ed and FFA, I have spent a countless
amount of hours researching information to prepare myself. When you are speaking
you never know when a questions may come up and you need some kind of answer.
Thus my extensive knowledge of agriculture has came through reading and staying up
to date on current trends. Presenting is also important and I have learned a great deal
along the way. I always speak in a tone that is correct for the room size. I have
worked with many people who scream at the top of their lungs, and I am not one of
those people. Agriculture is important to me and making sure that my message is
what they remember has led me to gain knowledge & speak well.
Ag in the Classroom is a program that educates grade school teachers about
agriculture and how to incorporate ag into the daily lessons. All students need to be
aware of the importance of agriculture. I have helped grade school teachers by
coordinating petting zoos and by going into actual classrooms to help teach lessons on
agriculture. In July 2006, urban school teachers toured agricultural facilities in my
hometown to get a first hand look at agriculture. I served snacks to the teachers. The
state director of Ag in the Classroom invited me to bring other members to September
Fest. This is held every year on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion. I worked at the
Poultry Federation tent serving chicken and educating the public about the poultry
industry. The state Department of Agriculture sponsors this event to educate the
My latest venture into agricultural education came this past winter. I realized the huge
problem that we have with agriculture literacy in this country. I decided I would do
my part to put a stop to this problem by starting an Ag in the Classroom project with
our third graders. It was also a wonderful opportunity to work with my mother, who
is a third grade teacher. I taught 50 young people about basic agriculture facts, and
then we made ice cream in a baggie. It was alot of fun and the students learned alot
too. You might not believe some of the questions I got! I enjoyed spending time with
these younger students. They are our future and my students to be.


                                                                      67
                                            Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


The farm is open to the local community with a membership pass, and to buy our
farm products. Because many of the people who enter the farm are not aware of
farming techniques and animal care they have many questions about what the farm
hands are doing. Working on the farm has given me the knowledge to explain our
procedures to visitors. This is important to our farm because we want to educate the
community about what we are doing. The more people understand about New
England farming, the more they will support Connecticut agriculture. Being required
to teach the public about what I am doing, in return helps me understand what I am
doing. In school, I learn techniques on how to educate people who are not familiar
with agriculture. I then am able to use these skills at my job. This educating has also
helped me with customer relations and communication skills.
I learned more about agriculture every time I attend a conference. I then have more to
share with my local community and I get to network with other ag students in across
the U.S. to make it easier to promote agriculture. I am able to promote ag more
effectively by majoring in agriculture and continuing with leadership conferences,
after high school, so I can maintain my leadership edge.
I wrote a grant to the Beef Council. Our chapter was awarded $200 to be used to
promote beef. I organized and worked serving hamburgers to our high school
students and staff. I worked at booths handing out healthy beef tips and recipes using
beef. Dates were scheduled to present a beef promotion presentation to local civic
organizations. I developed a PowerPoint presentation with beef facts to aid in the
presentations. There was a drawing for beef bucks to be used to buy beef. I also put a
beef promotional brochure on our FFA chapter's website which is a part of the school
website. This website is used by all parents in our school system. Brochures and
recipes were handed out at basketball games and local gatherings such as Lion's Club
meetings and our local stock show trophy auction. I also coordinated a beef coloring
contest for all grade school students.




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                                              Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


My leadership ability was never my strong point when I started my SAE. However,
with the help of the PALS program and the FFA, I feel I have developed into a great
leader. Someone had to step-up and become the new PALS coordinator this past year
and I stepped up to the challenge. I knew without a leader, the coordination of this
project would not get done. I also developed into a leader when I became the main
presenter for 8th grade tours and for FFA. I have also led my chapter and developed
this skill when I was a chapter officer and chapter president. I have to learn to listen to
everyone and make sure that all problems are solved. I make sure I present myself as a
true leader by being a role model to others. This skill is why I want to become an Ag
teacher, because I want to be a leader for others.
I realized that being organized is something that is critical when it comes to getting a
presentation ready. When I first started this SAE I was an unorganized person who
would lose just about everything and forget what to say when presenting a project.
Once I realized this was an essential skill, I developed the habit of putting projects,
activities and career development information into binders so that I would never be
unorganized. During my sophomore year I purchased a Jump Drive so I could store all
my computer projects and transfer them from my house to the Ag Department. This
was a hard skill to start, but once I did it has become part of my daily routine and it
will help when it comes to organizing a variety of activitites as an Ag teacher.
Organizaiton is the key when it comes to finding the right information for a project,
contest or presentation. Organization also helps individuals become more organized




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Many people come to the farm to see the newborn calves. It is incredible for most
people to interact with a cow at such a young age. This also inhibits many questions
from the visitors. I have been on the farm to experience at least fifteen calves' births,
so I am able to answer these questions. I show the visitors how soft the calves hooves
are when they are first born for calving ease. I also bottle feed the calves around
milking time when visitors are there to see it. Many people do not realize that calves
cannot eat grain and hay or drink water as soon as they are born. This give me the
opportunity to give visitors an explanation of a ruminant stomach. Keeping calves
healthy is extremely important because you want the calf to grow to its full potential.
For this reason I tell visitors how we dip the naval with iodine to decrease the chance
of infection, and the importance of colostrum, just like in humans.
As a Director for the NJH Association, I strive to promote and educate the importance
of the beef industry through leadership and education. I serve as an ambassador for
the American Hereford Association and am a role model for junior members ages 7-
22. As a board member, our major responsibilities are to successfully coordinate the
Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) and PRIDE (Program for Reaching
Individuals Determined to Excel) Convention. Throughout the week-long JNHE, I
assist in the people and cattle registration process, and coordinate judges and times for
the educational contests that are offered at the show. The PRIDE Convention is a
three-day forum to inform juniors of current industry issues while enhancing their
leadership skills through personal growth. At the 2006 PRIDE Convention I'm
planning on presenting a leadership workshop to the junior membership.




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Now at this point in my SAE I have presented for numerous civic organizations from
the Lions Club to the Ruritan Club. All of these individuals are focused on what you
are saying and how you say it. In doing these presentations I have found that you
must remember some simple rules to master this skill. Keep the talk under 10
minutes and have clean points that the individuals can leave with. One of my initial
opening things for a presentation such as this is making sure that I get to the event
early and that I make contact with many different individuals. By getting to know my
audience I am better able to figure out what I should really address and what I should
not spend a great deal of time on. Another thing I have found is that clear main topics
and facts are important. I want people to remember what I said more so then
anything. Thus it is important to have a clear message that can be taken home at the
end of the meeting. Presenting will be an important skill for me in the future.
My SAE has been a great "doing to learn" project. Before I could do the lessons, I
have had to learn about each subject matter that I was teaching about. Whether the
topic is Eastern red cedar trees, beef as a nutritious part of a balanced diet, the
Oklahoma poultry industry or each species of animal in the petting zoo, I must be an
expert in order to present agriculture in a positive light. I must be educated about
topics so that I can further educate the general public about agricultural topics. One
can never be over-prepared for questions especially when dealing with all ages from
kindergarten to senior citizens. I have utilized resources to find information to study
and build presentations. These resources include websites, books, informational
brochures, teachers, experts in our town and state and my agriculture education
instructors. These resources help me educate non-agriculture audiences.




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Communication is a skill I have had the opportunity to use in school and in
agriculture; it will continue in my daily life. To kick off the school year, I presented a
leadership workshop at the officer training session. During the session we did hands-
on games allowing us to work with others and set goals for our POA. The FFA officer
sessions have made us a stronger team that works for the betterment of our chapter. I
have used communication by reaching out to FFA and Hereford members who are
new to the organizations. Before the 2005 JNHE, I made phone calls welcoming each
new family, informing them of the show procedures, and answering any questions
they might have. The use of officer mailboxes and e-mail improved efficiency and
communication. I remain professional in my work by sending thank you notes,
returning phone calls promptly and being organized in all my activities.
As an FFA member I took part in five career development events and three speaking
contests. All of these advanced to state competition. This allowed me to learn a great
deal about a wide variety of topics. Included in these were FFA Knowledge, Creed
Speaking, Ag I and Ag II Speaking, Poultry, Dairy Cattle, Agricultural Sales and
Livestock Evaluation. As a senior I coached the Poultry team. I taught my students
how to fill out judging cards, score sheets and how to follow the rules for the contest.
This year I coached our creed speaker. It was important to know the time limits, rules
about words, as well as presentation. I am proud to say the student received third
place in our state contest this spring. It was a wonderful experience that was made
possible because I made myself aware of the rules for our CDE's.




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This past December I coordinated a youth event where I had some assistance of
people who were in the community. In planning an event the first thing a person must
do is develop a plan of action. In this case I did that and enlisted the help of people
that I knew could get things done. For example the plan of action must target your
audience, in my case it was kids under the age of 10. Once a target audience was
established then it was a simple as developing a handout to send to the local
elementary schools, because I knew that was where my target audience would be.
Second part of my plan involved a layout of the entire activity so I could include that
into the flier that was sent. By making an Ag-Ed youth event look fun and sound
entertaining then you can easily secure interested people. One of the final steps I
found was making sure that workers were always present who cared about agriculture
and were interested in teaching others. Coordinating is a key skill for all careers.
Prior to the Manawa agriculture program reinstatement, I promoted agriculture by
speaking at several school board meetings. With a goal of increasing membership and
awareness of opportunities, I created the Manawa FFA website using Microsoft
FrontPage. I have also designed letterhead used for thank you notes and
correspondence. Our marketing plan has focused on making the FFA mission a reality
for members. This past year, I planned and created a recruiting seminar with a
powerpoint CD to publicize the importance of agriculture classes to 8th graders as
well as the guidance counselor, administration, and school board. I'm responsible for
writing in three beef publications promoting upcoming events and informing readers
about advancements in the industry. At the state level, I worked to educate others
about the benefits of agriculture classes and careers through a PSA contest.




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* Created an "Ag Twister" game which I used in the Summer College for Kids
program and in the elementary classroom. Colors on the board were replaced with
pictures of agricultural objects * Developed a Career Bingo game which I have used
in conjunction with the elementary school units on Careers. This was completed as
students were preparing for standardized tests which included career material. *
Developed Food Pyramid project requiring students to identify food groups of
common foods * Developed a Wheel of Fortune game to review general agricultural
concepts * Made sure that all materials used are safe for kids and that all activities are
age approriate * Developed a Warning Label Relay Race to be used with our Ag
Since I enjoy building in the shop I volunteered to construct and develop the displays
needed for farm days and the fair. At the fair the school set up fences with the display
mounted on them. It was a walk thru display so anyone could just stroll through the
fenced area and learn about agriculture. For the farm day display I constructed a
wooden barn front the elementary students had to walk through in order to get to the
main part of the livestock display. It was fun to watch the kids get excited and stare
up at the big wooden barn before they entered to see and learn about the animals.
* Used the state's Agri-Science Kits to develop materials for the presentations * All
presentations were made in high school and middle school science classes * Planned
and facilitated activities related to agriculture that would involve participants in the
presentation A. Making Plastic Bag Ice Cream illustrating science applications used
in making ag products B. Building "Corn Starch Towers" illustrating biodegradable
ag products * Presentations were made in conjunction with our chapter's recruitment
presentations * Developed a recruitment flyer for participants and for use with the
Eighth Grade Parent Orientation Night highlighting how science concepts are taught
in our agriculture classes




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When I started learning tool identification I struggled. Then I started to study for the
written test and had the same problem. Both of those combined are worth 200 points
in the contest, so I had to devise a way to learn the material more effectively. That is
when, after learning how to use PowerPoint in biology, I began building one for the
mechanics team. I improved my scores by 20 points and could score in the 90's for
each part, so I knew it would help the beginning kids. Each slide presentation is 100
slides of quizzing material over knowledge and tool identification. I put the
presentation on a compact disc for the students so they could take them home and
* Developing actvities to ensure that participants are actively involved in lessons or
presentations * Providing instructions in a format that young people can follow *
Reinforcing positive behaviors among young children as a means of controlling
discipline * Structuring my lessons to maintain attention and help kids remember
material * Providing practical applications whenever possible * Using public
speaking skills to effectively communicate messages * Working with fellow
presentors so that they are prepared for their presentations and have the needed
supplies * Understanding learning styles and adjusting presentations to meet the needs
Going back to my days as a song leader at my church throughout my senior year of
high school, I have learned to use technology such as powerpoint to a high degree.
Each Sunday I would have to get the music together on my church laptop along with
the outline for the message that day, thus I had to be very versed in technology. Now
I have found that when I promote Ag-Ed to FFA chapters and other groups that I will
sometimes take a powerpoint presentation along to make things more interesting.
Some of the skills I have learned related to this bit of technology is how to make clear
presentations that are easy to follow and that are done with the right colors and font.
Also I refuse to read directly from the presentation because I was taught in high
school that the majority of my audience can read the material for themselves. Often I
just use it as a guide to help people know where I am going. I feel that this use of
technology will serve me well in my career someday in the field of law.




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I have promoted Ag-Ed many times through writing in various forms. For example I
have developed newsletters that contain Ag-Ed information on them in order to
distribute at events and even to my community as a whole. In developing a writing I
always drawback to the skills I learned in high school that allowed me to have a
distinguished portfolio my senior year. Making sure that you have a clear audience
and that the purpose of the message is direct is always a must when communicating
through the written word. My focus has always been on making sure that I have used
the correct spelling and language to the highest degree. Often in short publications
that is easy but in longer ones such as the proficiency form it becomes more difficult.
Also many times I use facts that I have gathered from research to add into my Ag-Ed
publications so I can have something that is concrete to support me. Overall writing
is an important skills and in the case of promoting Ag-Ed it has been essential.
Milk that is sold in stores must be pasteurized and homogenized according to
regulations. However, selling our milk right from the farm gives us the choice of
homogenizing our milk or not. There is a sign on the refrigerator door letting
customers know that our milk is not homogenized; however, many customers
question this. It is my job to market our products in an educated manner. I have to
explain our milk is pasteurized, which means the milk is heated to kill any bacteria in
the milk. However, homogenization is the removal of the extra butter fat content. This
is why our milk has a layer of cream at the top when it is first opened. This also gives
our milk a thicker constitution and a creamier taste. It is important that customers
know the difference between pasteurization and homogenization, so they know our
milk is not strictly raw, but does contain a higher fat content.




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One of our weekend volunteers is a mother, who has little knowledge about
agriculture. She enjoys spending time on the farm, but she is extremely sympathetic
towards the animals. For example, she does not understand nutritional values of the
cattle. Cows need a lot of hay and grain to produce mass milk quantities, but when
they are not producing milk, excessive amounts of food are just turned into fat. This
means when a cow is about 60 days away from parturition, she stops milking and her
feed intake is decreased to keep her from gaining too much weight. This volunteer did
not understand this concept at first and would question it being cruel to the cows. She
thought such large animals would require a lot of food. I had to explain the entire
process lactation cows go through and their nutritional needs. We follow safe
management practices and want the community to understand this.
There is a strict procedure that must be followed when milking cows. This procedure
takes time to learn and practice to perform. This makes the milking procedure hard
for children to understand, but most are very curious about it. I had to find a way to
explain this to children in an understandable manner. The farm has a life-size, two-
dimensional wooden cow that has a box to insert bottles in. One activity I do with the
campers is letting them milk this cow by hand. However, I first go over a colorful
poster which describes the milking procedure all the way to how milk is delivered to
be sold in a store. Then, I show them the parts of the actual milker unit and they
watch one of the farm-hands milk a real cow. Then, they are able to milk the wooden
cow with bottles by hand. This helps them learn the fore stripping technique and see
how long it would take to completely milk a cow by hand.
* Assisted with the facilitation of professional leadership training conferences for
CTSO State Officers * Presented leadership workshops for chapter & section officers
* Presented & facilitated two day-long Greenhand Leadership Training workshops &
a Section Greenhand Training * Presented sessions on the basics of Parliamentary
Procedure and Public Speaking * Facilitated a Goal Setting Process in which the
group identified problems in their organization, brainstormed solutions, established
measureable goals, and developed a plan of action * Planned and facilitated activities
wich required team members to utilize problem solving & teamwork skills *
Reinforced Self Esteem through the use of positive reinforcement activities

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After learning how to teach students, my next step was to help coach and lead fellow
members in an activity. I had experience in helping coach and motivate the Nursery
Landscape team. This past year I had the opportunity to be a Quiz coach for the
chapter at District competition. The advisors were full with other events so I took the
Quiz contest on as I was high individual at districts the last 2 years and I received 2nd
High Individual at State this past summer. I updated the quizzes and study guides with
new information and placed them on the computers in the Ag department so the team
could take a quiz for experience. I met with the team and gave them the information
they needed to study and helped them with their questions. We went to district and
received 3rd place. I gained valuable leadership skills as I learned how to be an
effective FFA advisor for the students, by supplying them with information and
This was the first skills I had to learn when I joined FFA. Everyone has a different
learning style. The four main learning styles are: hands on, audio, visual and sense.
Every age group and student has a different learning style. After analyzing elementary
students, I chose to teach them with the hands on, visual method. Developing a
presentation that would suit them was rather easy, as it was not intended to be hard
and difficult for them to understand, but rather simple and fun. The presentation
included games, pictures and things for them to touch. Learning how to teach younger
kids helped me to adapt to the situation and find an effective way to get a point across
with a certain audience, as freshmen students can handle a little lecture now and then
but hands on learning works great. This skill has helped me learn that a teacher has to
analyze the class in order to find the most effective teaching method for the students




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Teaching students where their food comes from is vital since less than 2% of
Americans live on farms today. FFA members taught 100% of the district 3rd graders
how agriculture is related to everyday life. Using "Ag in the Classroom" materials, I
helped create visuals and activities for students. At the farm we set up seven different
stations for students to attend: Earth bracelets, nutrition, soybean necklaces, butter
making, animal care, technology and Ag Olympics. Milk jugs were used to illustrate
that a cow produces an average of 76 pounds of milk per day. I was a group leader;
assisting children at stations and answering questions about farm life and timing the
interactive sessions. Our chapter had farm animals such as rabbits, goats, poultry and
cattle on display. I also coordinated transportation for the animals. This proved to be
a memorable event for the 3rd graders.
Fundraisers have provided the FFA chapter funds to assist members in attending
leadership and agriculture literacy functions. To meet our financial needs, I
coordinated a dessert auction held at the awards banquet. The auction profited over
$1,000.00. Due to its overwhelming success, the chapter has decided to make this an
annual event. I coordinated all details--from contacting donors, to creating bidding
sheets, to thanking supporters, to the financial recordkeeping. We hope to make this
annual event and will take steps to improve the fundraiser for next year. Another
example in fundraising is the Hereford semen auctions I coordinated. When
conducting fundraisers, I learned the importance appreciating and thanking donors
throughout the country. By developing strong fundraising skills and having practice in
creating a profit/loss balance sheet, I have increased my financial skills.




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When planning and coordinating FFA projects I follow a four-step process. These
steps are: identifying the challenge, constructing a plan of action, implementing and
adapting project details, and analyzing the finished product. An example of this would
be my creation of an FFA involvement incentive. After proposing my plan to my
officer team, I created a chart to tally each event that members participated in. The
chart was prominently displayed in the agriculture room so members could visualize
their involvement. Each activity earned an "FFA Buck", which I designed. To
encourage attendance at the banquet, members were given an envelope with bucks
earned to have chances at winning prizes. I sought feedback at the completion, and
have created a file for upcoming years. Students have become more aware of the
opportunities available through FFA membership.
Learning to do has been an important part of my SAE program. I have learned how
other people do things. Some people respond to visuals, while others need audible
stimulants to accelerate their learning. Agriculture education has room for all people.
A grade school student became interested in showing pigs. This wasn't a problem,
except that he is 95% deaf. He can lip-read and do sign language. In order for him to
receive instruction from our agriculture education teacher on showing his hog, I need
to be there to do sign language to help this young person and our ag teacher. Our
chapter also has an member that has Down's Syndrome. He and I are classmates and
cousins. Our ag teachers have encouraged him to attend many FFA functions such as
alumni camp. I make sure that I am with him to interpret for him and others. "Living
to serve" is an important aspect of this SAE.
I have been a member of the ag mechanics team since my freshman year in high
school. I remember anxiously awaiting our weekly practices because it was my
favorite time of the week. My senior year I decided I wanted my team, which were
mostly first year members, to have the same anticipation I did, so I volunteered to run
extra practices during the week and help Mr. Drew with the weekly practice. I taught
the students all the skills necessary in the six areas of the contest; welding, electrical
wiring, and woodworking, as well as how to study for the written skills test and tool
identification. The students enjoyed working with me and I learned how important it
was to be prepared before each practice in order to make the time count for everyone

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Preparing lessons takes a lot of time and effort. Lesson plans are vital to any teacher,
whether they are in a classroom setting, in front of a crowd or tending to animals in a
petting zoo. In order to present information in an educational setting, I have had to
learn how to write effectively. Researching topics, compiling information and then
organizing it into a useful form are a priority for this SAE. Memorizing scripts for
presentations also takes time. Scheduling presentations, petting zoos and other
activities take planning so that I will have time to be properly prepared. I have
learned to write lessons for all ages. My writing skills have improved as a result of
my efforts in this SAE project. My writing skills have helped me in CDEs as I am the
news writer for our Ag Communications CDE team that were state champions and I
was the 10th high individual at the 2006 national contest.
The farm has numerous livestock animals, which all contribute to the products we
produce for sale on the farm. The chickens produce eggs all year for sale; but, we also
cull roosters every summer and sell them for me at. The cows' milk is used for milk,
eggnog, yogurt and cheese. Our bull calves are used for veal sale; and our ram lambs
are used for lamb meat. We also have numerous gardens in the summer, which
produce flowers and numerous vegetables for sale. Not all our customers know about
every product we sell, so they ask many questions about how products taste and how
they are produced. I need to be able to answer these questions and assist the customers
in buying our products. Having a knowledgeable staff gives the customer reassurance
in the quality of the products they are purchasing.
Just like in any herd or flock of animals, the lower producing animals must be culled
to keep production rates high. For this reason, every summer we cull our lower
producing hens and many of the roosters. This then allows us to introduce more
efficient hens. We sell the larger hens and roosters to be consumed as meat.
Customers arrive asking to buy the laying hens in the coop. I need to explain the
difference between layer hens and meat hens. Layer hens have less muscle and body
capacity because they are focusing their maintenance on producing eggs, not a large
body. Roosters are suitable for eating because they have a larger body mass. I help the
customers understand this difference, and pick out chickens that will feed the people
in their family. Many Hispanics come to buy the roosters, so some of my Spanish

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When I first attended Butte college I knew there had to be a way for me to get more
involved. My brother was already attending college, so I went to some of the same
group meetings he already attended. I was hooked and from there volunteered to do
anything the clubs were doing. I helped assemble promotional material, traveled to
workshops around the nation, and did reach out programs to convince students to go
to Butte and have as much fun in ag as I am. During workshops I presented material
about Butte, I also gathered current information about agriculture, and helped cook at
the weekly barbeques and dinners the Horticulture club hosted to recruit more
I have done mentoring in almost all of the Ag-Ed activities that I have been a part of.
For example even being a tour guide is mentoring to some extent, because you are
being a role model and working with younger students. In mentoring related to Ag-
Ed I have always tried to teach about agriculture but also to be a role model. When I
am working with youth I am sure to conduct myself in a professional way. I am sure
to use the most correct language possible when I talk so I can model the way the
english language should be spoken. Also I am sure to be well groomed. In working
with youth it is important to set an example in every way and in dress attire it is
equally important. The young people need to see that even people involved in
agriculture can dress nice and present themselves in a professional way. The most
important part about Ag-Ed mentoring is getting the message across and making sure
the mentoree feels good about themselves & what they have learned in the end.




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I never knew that motivating others would be a skill I would develop during my high
school years. I have seen motivational speakers, teachers and adults motivate students
to try new things to succeed in life. This past year I had the opportunity to develop
this skill when I was the coach for the FFA Quiz for District Leadership. The team
that was participating in this contest had four individuals who had never participated
in the Quiz contest. I had to try and motivate them to do their best in the contest. I
gave them the information to succeed and I told them if they studied hard enough they
would succeed. I gave them the story about the Nursery Landscape team that I had
participated on where we worked hard and we received first place at state. My
motivational skill worked as they all worked hard and the team received 3rd place
gold at districts this past fall. Motivation is a skill that any coach or teacher needs to
try and encourage students to work hard in order to succeed.
A wide variety of media has helped me deliver my messages about agriculture. I have
built several PowerPoint presentations and burnt them to CDs and flash drives.
PowerPoint projectors and computers have helped me add graphics, such as pictures,
text and graphs, to the lessons that I was presenting. Information about beef
promotion was added to our chapter and school website. A valuable part of the FFA
and agriculture education is "doing to learn". By adding hands-on features, I can help
people learn why agriculture is so important to our everyday life. Young kids love to
be able to do things that are fun. They can learn while doing. Petting zoos, especially
with young animals, allow kids to handle animals while learning. I can teach them
about animal agriculture, but having the actual animal in their hands opens their
minds to ask questions and therefore, adds to the education.




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As a Director for the NJH Association, I strive to promote and educate the importance
of the beef industry through leadership and education. I serve as an ambassador for
the American Hereford Association and am a role model for junior members ages 7-
22. As a board member, our major responsibilities are to successfully coordinate the
Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) and PRIDE (Program for Reaching
Individuals Determined to Excel) Convention. Throughout the week-long JNHE, I
assist in the people and cattle registration process, and coordinate judges and times for
the educational contests that are offered at the show. The PRIDE Convention is a
three-day forum to inform juniors of current industry issues while enhancing their
leadership skills through personal growth. At the 2006 PRIDE Convention I'm
planning on presenting a leadership workshop to the junior membership.
Planning has been the key to success in this area. I have had to learn to keep records
of my hours worked in my Agricultural Education SAE as well as income/expenses
for my beef SAE. I have learned to keep records of presentation dates and petting
zoos. Keeping records helps me stay organized. I have contacted local civic groups
about scheduling times and dates to make presentations. I have to work with the
grade school principal and teachers to setup times and locations for the petting zoo. I
then coordinated the petting zoo by working with other members to have them bring
in different species of livestock. I have utilized my FFA record books to keep track of
my hours. Sometimes "earning to live" does not involve a paycheck. Although the
hours are unpaid, I have earned many valuable skills that will help me throughout life.
Being organized is a skill that is always in style




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My freshmen year, I had the opportunity to be a PALS mentor for local elementary
students. In being a member I had to create a presentation on an agricultural related
topic. Once a topic was determined a presentation was designed and then presented to
local elementary students. Creating a presentation that would be both fun and
educational was hard at first, but after experience over the years it became easier.
Over the years I got to present on ice cream, popcorn, pizza, apples, fruit smoothies,
and a few more food related topics. This activity helped me as an individual learn
how to teach and develop a plan to present a topic. This past year I was moved to the
PALS Coordinator, where I help to arrange the dates to present to the elementary
schools, listen to the presentations and give ideas, help coordinate the rotation in
which the presentations are performed. I have gained valuable skills in becoming a
leader and cooridnator of different activitites, while also developing lesson plans for
By working with my agriculture teachers, I have learned to make complete lesson
plans that in turn have made me a more effective teacher. In the beginning, I filled out
lesson plan forms. This showed me how to organize the information. I learned to
introduce the lesson and get the student's attention. I have also l earned to present
lessons in a clear, organized fashion. By having clear objectives and communicating
high expectations, I have become a better teacher. I have also learned to evaluate the
student's progress and to ask for feedback so I can improve my teaching. Vocational
education is hands-on education, so I try to plan as many lessons as possible that
include student involvement. As my skills in this area have improved, it has become
easier and more enjoyable to teach and spend time with the students.
* Presented Bottle Biology Project to 30 elementary science teachers in the Earth
Partners Program * Lessons for adults have to be designed in such a way that these
plans are practical to the participants * Provided practical examples of experiments
that they could use in their science curriculum * Each participant in the program
constructed a terrarium to take home * Lesson plan ideas were presented to the
teachers which enabled them to incorporate agriculture into their elementary
curriculum * Educating the community about our literacy program is accomplished
through presentations made to civic organizations


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* Kindergarten Lessons were related to coordinating letters of the alphabet with
agricultural concepts * Utilized Ag In The Classroom activities for first grade lessons,
including the Apple Kit, Pumpkin Kit, and Nutrition/Food Pyramid * Presented a
series of lessons on Illinois Agriculture, including common crops and animals
produced in the state * All lessons have to be age appropriate and fun for the kids *
Coordinated all lesson plans with teachers * Agricultural activities are related to their
academic curriculum. For instance, I developed a program on careers in agriculture
when the first graders were preparing for standardized tests covering career
* Developed and Presented Chemical Look-A-Like program instructing young people
how to handle dangerous chemicals * Developed and Presented Warning Label
program teaching young people to be able to identify warning labels on common
household chemicals * Taught the curriculum to my other presentors * Developed
high energy activities that the kids would enjoy, to illustrate the concepts * Worked
cooperatively with Moultrie County and Shelby County Extension Services, as well as
the Farm Bureau to instruct over two hundred third graders and over four hundred
fourth graders each of two different years
I worked on displays for the Farm Days, at our county fair, FFA week and helped
publish a newsletter about the chapter and agriculture. I also spoke to different
groups including the local radio station, The Union newspaper, the school newspaper,
elementary students, as well as middle school students and parents. I helped to
coordinate the concession stand at the football games where we also had a
promotional booth for anyone interested about the program. I worked with Mr. Drew
in developing community service projects such as serving dinners to the county Farm
Bureau, County Ag Youth Boosters, County Livestock Producers, area Rotary groups,
and our large FFA annual banquet. I also worked with the FFA chapter officers
during Donation Day, a local food networking activity that helped to feed over sixty
families during the holiday season.




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                              Knowledge/Competency


Public speaking is the biggest fear of most people. I began my public speaking career
when I joined 4-H at the age of nine. At first I was scared and I hated it. As I got
older and became more experienced, I began to enjoy the feeling of being in front of
other people. I realized that people were listening to me and I was in control. I have
competed in FFA, Oklahoma Farmers Union and 4-H public speaking contests. My
favorite form of public speaking is in front of a crowd. I have used my public
speaking skills to deliver presentations at Lion's Club, School Assemblies, grade
school petting zoos, county-wide Farm Safety Day Camp and banquets. I have been
on a state championship Ag Communications team and I was the 10th High
Individual at the national Ag Communications CDE contest. I have also used my
public speaking skills to win Marketing Plan CDE contests.
My Agricultural Education SAE has allowed me to increase my confidence and
expand my skills even farther through volunteering and working with community
members as I educate about agriculture education. I have used my public speaking
skills to encourage students to participate in competitive events that will allow them
to excel beyond the classroom and develop career skills. I am able to utilize the
speaking skills I demonstrated during my NJHA candidancy to promote and educate
junior members about the opportunities available to them. I able able to adapt the
message of my presentation, whether presenting to an elementary class, the local
chamber of commece, or giving a demonstration on Parlimentary Procedure. As a
result of the public speaking skills that I have gained through my Agricultural
Education SAE, I will be able to serve as an advocate for the agriculture industry.




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                                              Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


I began my public speaking career when I joined 4-H at the age of eight. At firrst I
was scared to death, and I hated it. Once I began to get up in front of people, I realized
that it was for me! I was the state junior winner in 4-H three times and palced third in
the advanced division last year. I have put this skill to use mostly through FFA. I have
participated in the FFA Creed contest, where I was a state finalist. I was also the
district winner in the Ag II contest. I spoke in the Pork Speaking contest and took part
in the state Public Speaking contest, placing 4th and 2nd. I then became a counselor
for the event. I have used these skills in communications to work with leaders from
our community and stqate on topics about agriculture literacy, swine production and
leadership. This also allowed me to put on FFA leadership seminars and to be named
an Agriculture Ambassador for the College of Agriculture at the University of
Missouri. Only twelve students were selected for this honor and speaking made the
Since my freshman year I have had a fear of public speaking. Fortunately, after I
enrolled in Ag, I learned to get over my fear, particularly when I began presenting to
educate about agriculture. I have given many presentations to local groups about
resource management, agriculture, ag education, as well as just informing the
community about the FFA and the college. I also entered several speaking contests
that forced me to prepare a 5-10 minute speech and this helped me completely
eliminate my speaking anxiety.
Practice writing and performing an effective and entertaining presentation for
recruiting students, originally to my high school, then when I began Butte College,
they asked me to continue with presentations as member of the ag ambassadors. I
developed material, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and finally, scripts for the
additional students helping me to recruit students.




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                                            Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


Safety is the #1 skill an instructor must have when working with children. Any animal
can be unpredictable, and any situation is potentially dangers, especially while on a
farm. Not only do I need to worry about every child being safe, but I must not put
myself in a dangerous situation either. The farm is responsible for the health of the
summer camp children the minute they step onto the farm. Working around the cows
is one of the biggest responsibilities. Before the children are even let near a cow I
have a talk with them about the nature of cattle and what to do around them. For
example, they know they should be calm around the cows, talk to them, and keep
their hands on the cow as they move around them. They also must wear closed toe
shoes at all times. Rules apply when working around any of the animals and I must
keep track of what every child is doing.
Probably one of the most educational events that I ever took part in was serving as an
Ag-Ed tour guide especially at the North American Livestock Expo. When serving as
a tour guide for youth Ag-Ed events such as this, someone has to be on their toes
because young people will ask many different questions. With the NAILE tours, I
often had inter city Louisville students who knew nothing about the animals they were
looking. Thus when I explained things to them, I really had to break the information
down into simple english and terms. Another tour guide event that I greatly enjoyed
was being in charge of groups for our local Ag-Career day which was always a
fantastic event. As we went from speaker to speaker, you would summarize for the
middle school participants. Being a tour guide is about making the topic interesting
and being able to answer questions. My knowledge of agriculture served me well in




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                              Knowledge/Competency


My biggest activity in terms of hours was my participation in my high school's
Students as Teachers or SAT program. I took part in this activity for two years. My
work was done with freshmen and sophomores in our Agriculture I and II classes.
This enabled me to gain real hands-on teaching experience in the field of agriculture. I
taught lessons in animal and plant science to over 60 students. I planned and formed
lessons, taught and evaluated students. I handled classroom management and
discipline, as well as learning about the paperwork involved in teaching. I also trained
a contest team and worked with speakers. I have spent nearly 500 hours in the
classroom in the past two years. When I began this activity, I thought I wantd to teach,
but by the time I had finished I knew what m career would be.
Every summer, the farm has three summer camp sessions with about 12 campers in
each. The "Early Bird Camper" is a program where every morning a different camper
comes to the barn and helps for one-hour doing morning chores, like feeding the
heifers and chickens, and filling the water tub. After clean-up is done, the farm group
of campers comes to the farm to do a planned activity for one hour. I am in charge of
these campers. I work with the "Early Bird Camper" each morning helping them do
farm chores and teaching them about the animals on the farm. A co-worker and I
teach the activity for that morning to the group as well. This responsibility continued
my desire to work with children. I have gained trust with these groups and am
required to keep everyone safe. I have also improved my ability to explain farm
chores so an urban person can understands sustainable agriculture.




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                                             Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


Throughout the course of my placement I have taped numerous public service
announcements related to promoting agricultural education such as informing the
public about farm safety and agriculture in general. My last year of high school we
started our own school radio which allowed me to work on a lot of my skills in this
area. Also I have taped PSAs at a local radio station for various events. In doing
PSAs I have learned several things about writing them and presenting them. First in
the writing the statements need to simple and direct. Often something that is catchy
that stands out is the most effective. In presenting them I have found the real key is to
take my time and speak clearly at a level tone. In the outlets that I have taped PSAs in
I have found that most of them have a gauge that shows you what level you are
talking at. By paying attention to that level and speaking smoothly I have found that
it develops the best message. This will be a skill that I will use someday as a career if
Throughout my senior year I served as a peer tutor, teaching students the basics of
gas, mig, and arc welding, and how to weld safely and effectively. My ag teacher's
expertise is not in the shop, although she does a great job with the kids, so my job was
to work one on one with the students in the welding booths. I also help after school
with student ag mechanics projects and the assembly line set-up when the shop is
contracted to produce picnic tables for the fair.
My SAE has been the perfect learning by doing tool. I have learned a lot about
livestock, crop production, agriculture mechanics, agriculture sales and other relevant
topics. My classes have also served as a great source of information. From my own
experiences as a student, I have learned you really don't respect a teacher if you don't
have confidence they know what they are talking about. For that reason, I have strived
to be as informed as possible about agriculture. Since enrolling in college, I have
improved my knowledge about agricutural education. I have also joined several
organizations and commodity groups and have taken part in many shows and
conferences. These activities have also improved my knowledge about my chosen




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                                             Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


Throughout my FFA career I have had many opportunities to develop the skill of
teamwork. My first time working with other individuals was through the PALS
program. As a team we had to work together and create a presentation on agriculture.
I also gained valuable teamwork skills through the CDEs that I participated in. I had
the opportunity to work hard with the Nursery Landscape team my sophomore year
and the Floriculture team my junior year, as we were determined to win the state
contest as a team. Booth years we made it past state and participated at nationals. This
past year the Floriculture team helped me realize that a team who sets a goal and
works hard to achieve that goal can accomplish just about anything. At national
convention this past year our team received 3rd place in the nation. I will need
teamwork because I will have to work with other teachers and advisors, but most
importantly I will have to teaach team work and setting goals to students.
I have found technology to be a key marketing tool. In my graphic arts class, I was
able to utilize my new skills and apply them to the agriculture industry. Throughout
the course I learned to design the FFA website on Adobe PageMaker and Microsoft
FrontPage. For the past two years I created banquet placemats using the layout skills I
gained from my class. As an aide to the agriculture instructor, I organized digital
pictures from FFA events for the newspaper and promotional purposes. I created a
recruitment powerpoint for use in the agriculture department. I provided an e-mail
advertising service to Hereford Breeders throughout Wisconsin using Microsoft
Outlook; these electronic advertisements reached breeders throughout the country. To
remain in contact with other officers, members, and advisors I utilize e-mail to stay in
touch with project planning and arrangements.




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                                             Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                              Knowledge/Competency


I have used technology in many different ways related to my SAE in Agricultural
Education. One of the primary means has been to research current topics and develop
information that can be sent out to others in order to promote ag-ed. Each day I do
something related to either increasing my own ag knowledge or sending knowledge of
agriculture out to others. The internet has probably the most current information and
using various websites I am able to stay up on what is happening. In my case I like to
have this information because when I go out to promote ag-ed throughout the state it
helps to have current knowledge. I have used powerpoint, internet, and other forms of
technology to promote agriculture education and in my SAE. The skills that I have
learned through this activity started in high school and have now carried into my
college career. Also I am positive that they will be a big part of the next step in my
life and that is my career.
Planning has been the key to success in this area. My first few attempts at teaching
left me with about thirty minutes of information and an hour of extra time left to kill.
This won't work! I know the correct speed to use to present information. I also
prepare plenty of extra work and incorporte our textbooks into the lesson. Making
lessons that involve hands-on activities takes extra time to lan and prepare for, but
they are also some of the things the students will remember most. Being close to the
same age as the students has made for a few disciplinen challenges. Being fair and
consistent, as well as strict, has helped set the tone for learning. My agriculture
teachers have also been right there to back me up if I needed them. Keeping the
classroom clean and organized also helps maintain a good learning atmosphere.




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                                              Agricultural Education Skills and Activity Examples



                               Knowledge/Competency


Last summer, I was researching possible speech topics. I contacted our county
extension agent who mentioned that Eastern red cedar trees were an ever-increasing
problem. I began researching material and decided that this was a problem that more
people needed to be educated about. I developed a PowerPoint presentation outlining
the facts and reasons for the need to control these trees. I wrote a script to discuss the
methods of control and other facts regarding Eastern red cedars. On October 11,
2006, I gave this educational seminar to the Lion's Club about this problem in
agriculture and how it affects all of Oklahoma, not just farmers and ranchers. I made
educational brochures and a CD of the PowerPoint to be used by others. Our ag
communications team, which I am a part of, used this topic at the national CDE
I had the opportunity to design and create a lesson plan for Ag classes on FFA. Most
of the students I presented to were freshmen or 8th graders. I first established an
objective of what I wanted to accomplish. Sometimes it was FFA knowledge, or
leadership and teamwork. Once I had an objective I created a lesson plan that fit the
objective. I had to think up what I was going to say and how I was going to present
the subject to the class. I realize that everyone is different and most freshmen want a
fun learning environment. I created a few games about leadership, cooperation and
FFA. I also made sure I read the reactions of my audience so I could adapt to how
they were reacting to make sure it is an exciting learning experience for them. There
is a lot that goes into designing a great lesson plan, and this skill has helped me to
establish objectives and design effective lesson plans. This skill will help when

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                            Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples

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                                 All equipment is field tested
       Agricultural Mechanics   before sold. * Record Keeping;
                              P
       Design and Fabrication     * Equipment Improvement;
                                 * Updating fabrication plans




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P          Arc Welding
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P      Assembling Augers
       Design and Fabrication




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P      Constructing Forms
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics   Crew Truck Inventory, Safety
                              P
       Design and Fabrication        and Maintenance




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P      Customer Relations
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P       Customer Service
       Design and Fabrication




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P         Dig Trenches
       Design and Fabrication




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                                  Fabrication of Grain Bin Dryer
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     Equipment and Hoop Barn
       Design and Fabrication
                                     Structural Components




                                  Farm Grain Auger, Pneumatic
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P    Grain Handling Systems and
       Design and Fabrication
                                     Grain Dryer Assembly




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       Agricultural Mechanics     Finished grain bins with the
                              P
       Design and Fabrication        necessary components




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P       Forklift Operation
       Design and Fabrication




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     Grain Bin Construction
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics      I am skilled in MIG and stick
                              P
       Design and Fabrication                 welding.




       Agricultural Mechanics   I have a perfect safety record in
                              P
       Design and Fabrication        all areas of this SAE.




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                                  I have developed the ability to
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     do estimates on fabrication
       Design and Fabrication
                                             projects.




                                  I have developed the ability to
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     do estimates on fabrication
       Design and Fabrication
                                             projects.




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                                  I have developed the proper
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P    finishing techniques for all
       Design and Fabrication
                                       manufactured items.




                                  I have developed the proper
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P    finishing techniques for all
       Design and Fabrication
                                       manufactured items.




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                                 Learning new welding skills,
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P practices, and operations of new
       Design and Fabrication
                                            machines




       Agricultural Mechanics   Loading grain bin components
                              P
       Design and Fabrication           for delivery




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                                        Machine Operation.
       Agricultural Mechanics    * Milling; * Drill Pressing; *
                              P
       Design and Fabrication   Welding; * Lathing; * Painting;
                                    * Sanding; * Sawing




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       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P Machine Set-up and Operation
       Design and Fabrication




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                                  My communication skills have
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     improved greatly in this
       Design and Fabrication
                                       proficiency area.




                                  My communication skills have
       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     improved greatly in this
       Design and Fabrication
                                       proficiency area.




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                                Operate an air powered nailer
       Agricultural Mechanics     and hydraulic press for
                              P
       Design and Fabrication   constructing laminated posts
                                    used in hoop barns.




       Agricultural Mechanics   Operate Backhoe Mounted on
                              P
       Design and Fabrication            Skidsteer




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       Agricultural Mechanics   Operation and proper placement
                              P
       Design and Fabrication       of hydraulic bin jacks.




       Agricultural Mechanics     Plasma cutter operation and
                              P
       Design and Fabrication               setup.




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P Plasma cutting torch operation
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P       Pouring Concrete
       Design and Fabrication




       Agricultural Mechanics       Practicing Good Crew
                              P
       Design and Fabrication          Communication




       Agricultural Mechanics       Practicing Safe Work
                              P
       Design and Fabrication            Procedures




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       Agricultural Mechanics      Proper Use and Care of
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       Design and Fabrication           Equipment




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P        Recordkeeping
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P         Recordkeeping
       Design and Fabrication




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P Safety and Safety Information
       Design and Fabrication




       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     Stainless Steel Welding
       Design and Fabrication




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       Agricultural Mechanics
                              P     Wirefeed (MIG) weld
       Design and Fabrication




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                                                           1162
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                          Knowledge/Competency


One of the most enjoyable parts of this SAE is testing our work. All metal
work is tested in some way before leaving the shop. We test all the horse
drawn equipment we build as well as all other equipment. In order to better
satisfy our customers, we want to give them the best quality. Field testing
allows us to see first hand how our product is going to work and hold up for
the years of use we hope it will receive in the future. During this test run, we
write down all the pros and cons. Based on this list we can improve the next
piece of equipment we manufacture. This is true for all equipment we make.
We keep accurate records of all the equipment we build along with a list of
possible changes for the future, what worked really well and why, and
customer thoughts on their orders. We hope by doing all this, we can only
make all our products better. With better products, we will be able to
increase our customer base; this can only be done with time, and I am willing
I learned to ARC weld when I was nine years old. It was the first welding that
my father taught me. After completing welding classes in the Ag program I
am very proficient in my Arc welding skills. It has been the welding skill that
I base all my other welds against. I understand the Machine setup, rate of
Travel, Arc Length, Lead Angle and Position Angles have to be followed in
all the welding that I do. I never forget the basics and this increased my
efficiency in completing jobs. I strive to complete welds that are structurally
strong and that will not need grinding.




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                            Knowledge/Competency


Along with the grain bins that C-S sells we also handle GSI Augers. When
they come in they aren't put together. It is my job to assemble all the
components. I have to unload the trucks and store the augers in a good place.
Then I have to take the components to the shop and put them together. First
are the tubes and the flighting. Then the lifting frame is put together. We then
have to lift the tube up, and slide the frame underneath. I then add the wheels,
cable supports, hitch and finally attach the swing hopper. The cylinder and
the hoses are next. If a power swing hopper goes on, we attach it. The power
take off and the grain funnel are the last things to go on. I test the lifting
capabilities and all of the auger operations to make sure that they work. Then
it is either time to deliver it or take it to the storage lot so it can be sold at a
Once the trench is finished we put in the center pin. We use this to level the
bin, and set the laser level that is used to level the forms. Then we need to
pound the stakes in by the trench wall. We are using sledgehammers so we
need to be careful not to hit ourselves with the sledge. Then we start to attach
the forms. We level them with the laser level, once leveled we attach them
with the gas powered impact nailer. We need to be safe when shooting nails
into the forms. We go all the way around the bin leveling and nailing the
forms. Then we nail a small strip of underlayment around the bin to stop any
concrete seeping up from under the forms. This is also to make sure that we
can get the top form off when the cement is dry. To keep the forms from
busting out we put a cable all the way around and tighten it up with a come
along. This is the final part of the form construction process.




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                          Knowledge/Competency


I am responsible for making sure that the truck's inventory is re-supplied to
make sure that we are able to complete the next day’s jobs. This has become
more and more important as fuel prices have risen. If we have to send another
truck out with the supplies that we need it not only cost in gas, but it also
takes that vehicle and driver away from whatever it was that they were doing.
It costs the company money and doesn’t make the boss happy. I also need to
report to my boss if we need to order supplies from the lumber yard to make
more forms and stakes, or a new bundle of re-rod. When a tool is broke I
report it so we can get a new one. If we need to do maintenance on the
trencher, I report it so we can order the parts. I keep the truck on the road
with the necessary supplies.
Good communication with my customers is essential for the success of my
business and enables me to find out their needs and insure that the job is done
correctly. This is probably the hardest part of my job. After talking with a
customer, I have to make sure that I document all the specifics for their
project. There have been a few instances where I had to make an executive
decision on a project, and then explain the details to the customer. I can
explain the changes in the design to their satisfaction most of the time. I
hope that I do not have to deal with this part of the business as much in the
next few years, as I understand why my father does not do it. There are many
times when the customer does not understand the process, and it can take
valuable time explaining specific details that are trivial to the completion of




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Customer service is very important to my father and me. Relying on word of
mouth for advertising, we want our clients to be happy. Working as a team
we have developed a routine to get products done in the minimal amount of
time, allowing us to do more jobs and keeping our customers satisfied.
Keeping a quality product is not that hard to do, during the fabricating
process we are constantly checking and rechecking one another work. I
know that we are never afraid to call up our customers to ask a question
pertaining to their product. The finished product always turns out great,
especially since we double check that everything is complete and then take it
for a field test; doing this allows us to guarantee our product. Having a
variety of options for our customers to choose from lets them have a product
that suits their needs and makes us all the happier to make it for them.
Seeing a happy customer walk out the door makes our day!
When we go out to the site, we make sure that the site is level so there isn't a
waste of gravel and concrete. Then we find the center of the bin, so we can
attach the anchor for the trencher to the ground. Then we unload the trencher
off the truck. When the trencher is on the ground we unfold the boom to the
correct radius. Now it is time to begin digging, we let it dig around once, and
then move in the boom six inches. The machine leaves loose dirt in the
trench so it is necessary to dig out that dirt. This can be the hardest and most
dangerous part of the digging operation. Safety is a must for the
crewmembers at this time. Your shovel can become entangled in the chain
easily so it is vital to maintain awareness at all times. When the trench is
finished we need to load the trencher back on the trailer. When the winch is
operating it makes falling and pinching hazards, so we need to be careful.




                                                                      1162
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                          Knowledge/Competency


Through the design of a template used with a plasma cutting torch, I was able
to modify some of the grain dryer equipment for the installation of fans. This
saved the company the expense of having them shipped out for this
modification and it saved installation time for the customer. I have also made
suggestions on how the "building tree" or ladder could be made lighter and
stronger. This would make bin construction easier and safer. Accuracy and
attention to detail is very important. I am also able to make modifications to
hoop barn structural components which allows us to custom design hoop
barn structures. The customers' appreciate this extra service and it makes
their building more useful. Quality and efficient construction results in
increased sales and profitability for the company. Customer satisfaction is the
I help assemble large farm grain augers and grain dryers. I review the
directions and study the design of each auger. Care has to be taken so the
augers are assembled properly and everything is tightened according to
specifications. Safety is extremely important since they are very heavy.
Correct alignment is necessary for the augers to run properly and to continue
to give good service. Proper use of hand and power tools makes the assembly
easier and more efficient. Several attachments are installed after following
the directions. The installation of pneumatic grain handling systems requires
accurate measurements and proper alignment. Attention to detail is
appreciated by the customers because of proper assembly. Customer
satisfaction results in repeat sales and it is also the best form of advertising




                                                                      1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                           Knowledge/Competency


After the roof and sidewalls of a grain bin are erected all of the finishing
work needs to be done. We will add in the floor and unloading auger. This
consists of putting in the floor supports and connecting all of the pieces of
floor together. Halfway through the bin the auger needs to be slid in and
attached to the floor. The floor needs be cut to fit sometime so I use a torch to
cut them, being careful of hot edges and wearing eye protection. The outside
end of the auger needs to have the head section attached with the safety
shrouds, belts, belts pullies and motor, and then the control rods and then the
bin is ready to unload. The fan and the air transition, if the bin is to receive a
dryer it is attached at this time, they need to be attached to the rear of the bin
to keep grain from spoiling. If the bin gets an air system to blow the corn to
other bins we attach that now. Finally all the bins safety features are added.
Safe and efficient forklift operation will make the flow of materials and
equipment move smoothly. Loading and unloading materials and equipment
can be accomplished effectively if attention is given to the location of the
forks. Proper balance of the materials needs to be addressed. Careful
attention to detail will prevent damage to building materials. Also, the proper
placement of materials at the bin site will make the construction process
easier and more efficient.
I work with a crew in the construction of grain bins. Most of the bins we
build are 48 feet in diameter and 10 rings high for a capacity of about 62,000
bushels. I am responsible for keeping track of the hours for the entire crew,
usually about 7 people. special attention must be given to the design of the
bin. The heaver gauge bin sheets go on last, since they are on the bottom. The
location of the door and unloading auger needs to be determined at the
beginning of construction. One of the most important aspects of bin
construction is the placement of the hydraulic bin jacks. The owner/customer
ask me to put together a hard working, dependable crew for next year's
season. Being foreman of that crew will add to my responsibility. Our
objective is to provide the customer with quality construction in an efficient



                                                                        1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


Welding is what we use to fabricate almost all of our equipment. When a
customer picks up their order, we expect them to have the top of the line.
We take pride in what we make and won't settle for anything less than our
best. When a customer walks away with a high quality product that is what
makes the hard work worth while. I have taken welding 'I' and 'II' in school
to advance my welding skills and knowledge even further. A strong weld
means properly setting the voltage, wire speed, or correct welding rod. This
allows for proper penetration which is a must whenever welding something
that has to bear a heavy load. Safety precautions are always taken, especially
when welding. Welding is always done outside or by a vent which will help
eliminate the smoke which is a result of welding. Welding masks are always
worn to prevent welders flash. Welding is something that I enjoy and staying
safe will allow me to enjoy this task for many years to come.
 Every hour my work involves being safe around all equipment and
machinery. Safety is the main idea stressed in the shop. Operating all
machines safely allows everyone to go home with all their fingers at the end
of the day. Safety glasses are worn at all times, long hair tied back, and loose
clothing is not worn. All machines have guards in place and no short cuts are
taken in any machining operation. All outlets in the shop are grounded and
all cords are in good shape with no frayed areas. The shop floor is kept clean
and free of all clutter that may cause someone to injure themselves. When I
work alone I always tell someone that I am out in the shop. While working
alone I take extra precautions to make sure that I will remain uninjured.
Therefore, in the worst case scenario, if I do become injured someone will




                                                                      1162
                                  Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


Doing estimates is a job that has to be done. When doing estimates for a job,
I figure the amount of time it will take, the materials needed to complete the
job, the amount of current inventory such as bolts and nuts we will use, and
how much new material we will have to buy if not in stock. Sometimes
when we know people well, it is hard to give them the actual estimate; then I
remind myself that we are in business and that makes it easier. Friendship is
no reason to do something that will cost you money while using up shop
inventory. Our prices are firm and fair. I always like to check what other
people have to offer. I always strive to improve our product to better suit our
potential customers. With our estimate comes our guarantee of satisfaction
as well as our guarantee of finishing the job on time.
Doing estimates is a job that has to be done. When doing estimates for a job,
I figure the amount of time it will take, the materials needed to complete the
job, the amount of current inventory such as bolts and nuts we will use, and
how much new material we will have to buy if not in stock. Sometimes
when we know people well, it is hard to give them the actual estimate; then I
remind myself that we are in business and that makes it easier. Friendship is
no reason to do something that will cost you money while using up shop
inventory. Our prices are firm and fair. I always like to check what other
people have to offer. I always strive to improve our product to better suit our
potential customers. With our estimate comes our guarantee of satisfaction
as well as our guarantee of finishing the job on time.




                                                                     1162
                                 Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                         Knowledge/Competency


The paint makes the product. When people see horse drawn wagons and
other equipment, they notice the paint job first. Then they look at the other
aspects, but the finishing is what is noticed. Before painting the steel and
wood they have to be sanded. There can't be splinters left in the wood
because people are going to be sitting on it. Sharp edges and welds on steel
have to be filed or ground down. Safety is what we emphasize. Once the
steel and wood is ground or sanded I have to paint it by hand. This can be
rather stressful. The runs usually show up no matter how careful you are, but
I have developed a technique to help prevent runs. All of the equipment we
sell is finished with, customers color choice, painted or stained wood and
painted steel. We are looking into plastic lumber for our next wagon which
is good news for me, no painting the wood just the frame. This new lumber
would cut down production time and overall make our product even better.
The paint makes the product. When people see horse drawn wagons and
other equipment, they notice the paint job first. Then they look at the other
aspects, but the finishing is what is noticed. Before painting the steel and
wood they have to be sanded. There can't be splinters left in the wood
because people are going to be sitting on it. Sharp edges and welds on steel
have to be filed or ground down. Safety is what we emphasize. Once the
steel and wood is ground or sanded I have to paint it by hand. This can be
rather stressful. The runs usually show up no matter how careful you are, but
I have developed a technique to help prevent runs. All of the equipment we
sell is finished with, customers color choice, painted or stained wood and
painted steel. We are looking into plastic lumber for our next wagon which
is good news for me, no painting the wood just the frame. This new lumber
would cut down production time and overall make our product even better.




                                                                   1162
                                  Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


By learning new skills, practices, and operation of new machines such as a
plasma cutter, I am able to stay up on new methods and maximize the time
that I spend in the shop working on customer’s projects. I had to attend a
class on the proper procedures and troubleshooting of the ESAB plasma
cutter. I thought this would be easy but I was wrong. It was a forty hours
class plus 20 hours of project designing. Even though this was a hassle, and
not that much fun, my time on the cutter is half of what it used to be. The
fact that I am able to get my job done quickly has a direct affect on the
companies’ bottom line. The trailers, feeders, and breweries only change
price when metal costs go up. If I am able to work more efficiently then I can
When we receive the grain bin components at the beginning of the year they
are unloaded off the trucks with forklifts and stored in the bin warehouses.
When we are ready to build a bin all of the components for that bin need to
be loaded from the warehouse onto a semi for delivery. It is my job to take
the components list to the warehouse and select the right components and
load them onto the truck safely so that people aren't injured and there are no
damaged products. It is vital to load the correct components so that the bin
building crew doesn’t have to come back to the warehouse to get the parts
that they need. If they are forced to chase around for parts they lose time and
productivity. Last the things need to be secured to the semi so that nothing
falls off and injures someone or damages components.




                                                                     1162
                                  Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


 I am able to operate all machinery in the shop, which has allowed me to take
on the tasks that are necessary to complete all processes in the fabrication of
products. The machinery I operate in the shop includes wire and arc welders,
metal lathes, vertical milling machines, drill presses and metal saws. I am
also able to operate all hand tools; these tools are used to put the finishing
touches on the equipment that we fabricate. All equipment uses just about
every piece of equipment and tool that we have to complete. With every item
we sell we invest some of that money back into a new piece of equipment to
make our jobs easier and to possibly offer our customers new products. My
father depends on me to help complete all projects. I have grown
accustomed to taking tasks to finish; this gives my Dad a chance to work on
The projects that I make require me to use an Arc or Mig welder. Good
welding practices must be used when I am using the welders in order to
maximize the penetration that is being made. I really thank my Ag teacher for
these skills. I had to complete 24 proficiency welds each year in school.
Learning the proper setting on the machines, proper lead and rod angles are
the basics of welding. I am very confident in all position welding from flat to
vertical up welds. I can cut, heat, and bend steel with the torch. With proper
operation of the torch I am able to bend/form steel in to the correct
dimensions of what is needed which allows me to complete jobs and saves
time. The torch was the first tool that I learned to use at school before I was
able to use one at home. I am proud that I created and presented the safety
program my instructor now uses for freshmen and sophomore students in Ag




                                                                     1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                           Knowledge/Competency


My skills as a communicator have improved greatly. When I have a
question, I have to understand the answer. Furthermore if I am in charge of a
project I have to be able to give orders clearly. If a customer has a question, I
have to be nice about explaining things that may come to me as second
nature. I can owe most of my improvement to the numerous FFA leadership
conferences that I have attended this past year. Listening is as important as
talking and writing in all communication areas. Without listening, projects
would never be completed and supplies would never be ordered. Listening to
the customer is also an important factor. If the customer isn't satisfied with
the way you treated them, then they may decide that they can find someone
else to do the project and won't recommend you to anyone else. Customer
satisfaction is very important to us. We strive to keep our customers happy
and are always willing to cooperate with them.
My skills as a communicator have improved greatly. When I have a
question, I have to understand the answer. Furthermore if I am in charge of a
project I have to be able to give orders clearly. If a customer has a question, I
have to be nice about explaining things that may come to me as second
nature. I can owe most of my improvement to the numerous FFA leadership
conferences that I have attended this past year. Listening is as important as
talking and writing in all communication areas. Without listening, projects
would never be completed and supplies would never be ordered. Listening to
the customer is also an important factor. If the customer isn't satisfied with
the way you treated them, then they may decide that they can find someone
else to do the project and won't recommend you to anyone else. Customer
satisfaction is very important to us. We strive to keep our customers happy
and are always willing to cooperate with them.




                                                                       1162
                                  Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


The construction of laminated posts is made easier and more efficient
through the use of an air powered nail gun and a hydraulic press. These
laminated posts are an important part of many hoop barns. Accuracy and
attention to detail are necessary for a quality end product. Customer
satisfaction is the desired end result. Safety procedures are important to
prevent injury to the operator or anyone nearby. Proper air pressure and the
correct hydraulic pressure result in smooth operation. The use of safety
glasses and ear protection are safety precautions that are required. A
complete inventory of the supplies needed to construct the laminated posts is
maintained. An inventory of posts required for each hoop structure assures
the customer the building design has been followed and efficient construction
A farm water line was installed using a backhoe mounted on a skid loader.
The design of the installation is important to be sure the proper depth is
maintained to prevent freezing. The location of a livestock water fountain
and two hydrants needed to be taken into consideration. It is important to
check the trench for any rocks that may be too close to the waterline. Also,
any bends in the water line should be gradual so the pipe does not kink or
crack. Connections should have a double hose clamp attached and the liens
should be tested for leaks before backfilling takes place. Coordination of the
hydraulic controls is one of the skills I developed while effectively operating
the backhoe. The skid loader bucket works well to backfill the trench. The
attachments for the skid loader are easily changed from one operation to the




                                                                     1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


Safe and quality grain bin construction is dependent on the operation and p
roper placement of hydraulic bin jacks. The grain bin design will determine
where the bin jacks need to be located. Attention to this detail at the very
beginning of the bin construction will prevent serious and possibly dangerous
events later as the rings are added. Strong wind gusts could cause severe
damage to the bin and crew if the jacks are not located properly. The
blueprint design needs to be properly interpreted so the jacks can be placed
correctly. Care should be taken when removing the jacks once the base ring
and anchors are installed. Safe, efficient and quality construction is good for
the company and customer satisfaction is the end result.
The ability to program and operate the Computer assisted Plasma cutter has
increased efficiency 100% in our shop. I am able to design pieces and utilize
the software in the program to place the material patterns on the metal with
only a 1% loss. This took 40 hours of classroom time that the company
provided. The company sent a representative to our shop to teach us. Being
able to utilize all aspects of the plasma cutter has allowed me to be more cost
effective with the jobs that I am assigned.
A Plasma Torch is desirable when cutting steel because it reduces the amount
of warp that may occur to the steel. This is a result of the reduced amount of
heat applied to the steel. The proper setting requires the air pressure to be
about 60 pounds per square inch, depending on the machine. Also, the
voltage and travel speed will need to be adjusted according to the thickness
of the steel. The tips may need to be replaced periodically. A straight edge
clamped to the steel or template is useful when trying to cut accurately.
Proper safety procedures need to be followed. This should include a dark face
shield, leather gloves, fire resistant jacket and leather shoes. Attention should
be given to the sparks and molten metal to prevent a fire or injury. The
Plasma Torch is very useful when fabricating metal projects because the




                                                                       1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


When I finish measuring for the concrete, I call the redi-mix company that
the farmer wants to get the concrete from. We usually order concrete that will
withstand 3500 pounds per square inch. When the concrete truck gets to the
site we make sure that it is the right consistency to flow into all the forms.
When that is done we move the truck around so we can fill the entire bottom
of the trench. When the trench is full, we begin to pour the top six inches of
the bin pad. When the top is filled we run the stinger- vibrator- around and
make sure that it is all filled in around the outside of the forms. Now it is
time to screed the top. We go around one time with the magnesium screed
board. When that is done we attach a vibrator to the screed and vibrate the
top and smooth it out. Upon the removal of the screed I run the bull float
around and put the final smooth coat on the pad. I edge the pad to finish.
Communication between our crewmembers, different crews and with the
office is very important. When we are working it will save money, time, and
possibly prevent injuries. When we communicate problems it speeds up
things fixed. Communication of ideas ay find a better way to complete a task.
When crews communicate what has been accomplished, it eliminates crews
going to complete a job that has already been accomplished. If some supplies
are needed, good communication will ensure that they will get there so we
can complete the job. If we will communicate with one another it will lead to
a safer, more productive, and happier working environment.
All of the different tasks at my job present a wide variety of safety concerns.
There are many hazards from the digging equipment, impact nailers, cement
trucks, sharp edges of steel bin components, operating different vehicles,
drills, grinders, welders, torches, plasma cutters, impact wrenches, handling
heavy loads and falling objects. We need to be aware of all these hazards and
be prepared to deal with them. We include first aid kits in with all of the tools
that we take out to a job site. It costs the company time and productivity
when someone gets injured, and needs to be taken to an emergency room. It
also takes a vehicle to transport them away from the jobsite.



                                                                       1162
                                  Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


Most of what I do in terms of Ag design and fabrication requires the use of
equipment to complete the job. The job will go much easier if you have the
right tool for the job. I have learned to use almost every kind of tool around
the shop. Some of the tools that I have experience operating include; arc and
mig welders, Tig welders, hand tools, grinders, forklifts, plasma cutters, chop
saws and air tools. It is important to make sure that equipment is kept in good
working condition. If a tool or piece of equipment is broken, I report it
immediately to my supervisor. After completing a job, I always clean and put
my hand tools back in my toolbox. That way I can take inventory and make
sure nothing has been left out. Keeping tools and equipment in their proper
place helps maintain a clean and safe work environment.
Keeping accurate records of every item we refurbish or build new in our shop
is very important. In doing this I am able to see how much time was spent on
each project and, what materials/equipment and machine operations were
used on each project. Pictures and blue prints allow our customers to see the
quality and possibilities of our work. Having special features for our
customers to choose from allows them to feel like they can have what they
have always wanted. Inventory allows me to keep track of every nut and
bolt. Having enough materials to complete a project keeps everything on
schedule. That is why it is important to keep inventory on a regular basis.
Having a variety of sizes in stock is a must, because we never know what
size bolt or steel a piece of equipment may require. This saves time and
allows us to keep projects moving through.




                                                                     1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                           Knowledge/Competency


Through my Agriculture Education classes I have learned the value of good
records. Whether I am working on repairing a trailer or cutting out parts for
home breweries, I have found that all my jobs have one thing in common;
record keeping. Daily, when working, I have to write on my timesheet how
many hours I spend on each job or task. This information is needed so they
will know how much to bill a customer for work on their order or for the
parts. This gives the shop manager an idea of how long specific projects take
and if the shop is running efficiently. I am also required to document material
used when working on a customer order. This helps us better understand the
agriculture design and fabrication business in general, and introduces me to
flat rates, service pricing guides, set-up times, and work orders. I also keep
records on the number of orders completed during a particular time of the
Whether I am working on the breweries, citrus trailers or most recently calf
feeders, safety is my major priority. We have monthly safety meetings to
ensure safety requirements are being followed. I completed an OSHA Safety
Course during the summer of my junior year at the local Junior College.
Working with welding and cutting equipment there is a greater potential for
accidents because of the type of equipment and the materials used. When I
work on a trailer or any welding project, I make sure my jack stands, clamps,
straps and safety guards are in place. I always wear safety glasses when
operating high-speed equipment. Safety glasses and appropriate safety gear
is used at all time in order to lessen the possibility of burns or cuts.
Possessing a constant awareness of possible hazards promotes a safer work
This is the most recent skill that I have learned. It has taken hours of practice
to become confident in my abilities to stainless steel weld. The home brew
kits are made form mild steel and stainless steel kegs. I have to weld the kegs
together so the customer can assemble the brewery. The welds on the
stainless tanks need to be flawless, as they are easily seen if they are not.
Even the most structurally sound weld needs to be cosmetically pleasing
when the customer is showing off their system. I have had to practice 100
plus hours to get to this point.

                                                                       1162
                                   Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Skills/Activity Examples


                          Knowledge/Competency


Effective wire feed (MIG) welding is dependent on several factors. The
proper wire speed, argon gas pressure and voltage settings must be adjusted
according to the thickness of the metal. The steel should be clean and free of
rust. A grinder could be required to prepare the metal for the best welds.
Proper safety procedures should be followed. This would include an
approved welding helmet. The self darkening welding helmets are preferred.
Welding gloves, fire resistant jackets, leather shoes and safety glasses should
be worn at all times. Flammable materials should be kept out of the welding
areas. A needle nose pliers is useful to have close by so the tip can be kept
clean. Proper penetration can be determined by looking at the back of the
metal to see if penetration has occurred which would provide the strongest
welds. Metal fabrication is made easier with a MIG welder.

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 ↓   Agricultural Mechanics
     Energy Systems
                            E          A good initiative




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P        Ag Mechanic Safety
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E Being able to sell your services.
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P Computerized Record-Keeping
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P Customer Parts Troubleshooting
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P        Customer Service
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P     Equipment Maintenance
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E     Equipment Maintenance
     Energy Systems

     Agricultural Mechanics   Finding problems that you did
                            E
     Energy Systems                 not know existed.


     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P     Forklift Safety Instructor
     Energy Systems


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     Agricultural Mechanics   General repairs and maintenance
                            P
     Energy Systems            to mechanical energy systems.




     Agricultural Mechanics        Hydraulic Repairs and
                            P
     Energy Systems                    Adjustments




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E   Identifying Engine Problems
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P        Inventory Control
     Energy Systems


                              Knowledge of different types of
     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E engines and the theories of how
     Energy Systems
                                        they work.
     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E       Machinery Operation
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P   Maintenance and Equipment
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P Making New Hydraulic Hoses
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P Mill and Lathe . . . (CNC/CAD)
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P      Product Identification
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics       Removing and Installing
                            P
     Energy Systems                 Hydraulic Pumps




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P Repairing Hydraulic Cylinders
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P       Repairing Starters
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P    Replacing Blown Seals
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P    Safe Machine Operation
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P        Shipping/Receiving
     Energy Systems


     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E         Shop Cleanliness
     Energy Systems
     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E           Shop Safety
     Energy Systems
     Agricultural Mechanics
                            E        Time Management
     Energy Systems




     Agricultural Mechanics   Transmission repairs on various
                            P
     Energy Systems              pieces of farm equipment.




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     Agricultural Mechanics     Use of an ohm meter to test
                            P
     Energy Systems                 electrical systems.




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P   Use of Equipment Manuals
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics     Using Precise Measurement
                            P
     Energy Systems                       Tools




     Agricultural Mechanics     Welding Rods, Ports and Butt
                            P
     Energy Systems                       Plates




     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P       Welding Technology
     Energy Systems




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     Agricultural Mechanics
                            P     Working on Alternators
     Energy Systems




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                                                           1162
                                       Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems Skill/Activity Examples


                       Knowledge/Competency


I do not stand around doing nothing after I have completed one of my
tasks, I do everything that needs to be done when it needs to be done
so that I may get through with everything.
Throughout my placement I have been involved in is safety. In order
for a person to be a successful mechanic in this field they must be able
to work accident free. In my case when dealing with farm machinery
there is a high incident of potential accidents because of the size of the
equipment. For example when I work on tractor tires I have to make
sure that the jack stands are secure before taking the tire off. Also
another point of safety is making sure that I wear safety glasses when
grinding down equipment. Often I have to grind down areas that I am
welding on and it becomes important to wear glasses. Also another
safety aspect is my dress attire. Wearing clothing that fits properly and
that is not a hazard in getting caught in equipment is an essential skill.
These kinds of cloths reduce the chance of catching on fire because of
high flammability. Thus safety is a key part of my SAE and will
always be a part of my career.
When you do the job right and help the customer to see what you have
done you will receive more business.
I have learned accurate record-keeping skills. This skill allows for
quick reference to prior activities and jobs. This skill enables me to
quickly reference things that have happened during the past month or
year. With a quick reference I can keep track of money and time spent
on a project. In addition I can track parts, service records and
maintenance information on customers parts, so that if they have the
same problems twice, we as salesmen and trouble shooters save time
looking for the information in product catalogs. We can look up a
record and have all the information we need.




                                                                       1162
                                        Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems Skill/Activity Examples


                       Knowledge/Competency


When customers bring parts into our shop, its is one of my jobs to
troubleshoot the part and determine why it is not operating to
manufactures specifications. This can deal with anything from testing
the part on one of our test benches to disassembly of the part for
internal evaluation. We can then determine whether or not the part can
be repaired or if a replacement part must be purchased.
Customer service plays a key role to my job. Some customers have a
certain operation they want to do, but they do not know what parts they
need to make the machine function the way they want it to. It is my
job to recommend the correct part for the job, while keeping the cost
in the customers price range. I take time to read parts evaluations so I
have the knowledge of parts and there performance records. Customer
service deals with everything from talking to people on the phone, to
dealing with them at the sales counter.
In the repair shop there are several test benches that are run on a
regular basis. These machines are used to test parts, that have either
just been repaired in the shop, or to help find a problem with the part.
They allow use to run a part at various speeds and service loads like a
customers machine to help us determine the problem. It is my duty to
see that these machines are kept in top condition. I must check oil
levels, and that all parts of them are operating correctly.
The shop equipment needs to be maintained everyday just like
everything else. If you do not keep the equipment maintained then it
will not work to proper specifications.
When you find problems that you did not know existed and tell the
customer about it. You let him know you are looking out for his/her
welfare.
To comply with new OSHA laws, everybody allowed on a forklift or
man lift must be certified to use it. It is one of my jobs to see that this
is done. I travel from one store in the company to the next making
sure this is done. I administer the test. I must meet with OSHA
personal to keep up to date with laws concerning forklift operation.

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Overall most of all my skills fall under general mechanical energy
system labor. For example I recently completed some general labor
related to the transmission of an international tractor. When it came in
I started to trouble shoot immediately through the use of an ohm meter
because the owner said that the tractor did not want to turn over. After
using the meter I noticed that there was little electricity making
through to the starter. Thus I tracked the wiring back to the battery
and then came back forward. At the end I was able to do the complete
repair without any problems in terms of repairing it. Almost all farm
equipment needs to have some general system maintenance done over
the course of a few years. I have learned when equipment comes in to
ask the person what the problem is and then working from that point to
save time. One day general repairs will be a part of my career work
will be part of my own shop.
In this area of energy systems I have spent a lot of time working with
various hydraulic systems on farm equipment. For example the tractor
and many of the implements are really controlled by hydraulics. One
of the first things within this skill as related to hydraulic labor is
changing fluids. This is one of the most common things along with
checking hoses for cracking. Many times people start to show
problems with hydraulics they do not think about checking these two
things. In terms of adjusting the system I have learned to drain fluid
first, remove debris that can buildup such as metal, replace the filter,
reassemble through checking the pressure in the system. I have
learned to use a compression tester to find out if things are functional
as related to building up compression once I am done. Overall this has
been a valuable skill and one that I will use throughout my life and
Problems have to be identified in order to fix the problems so that the
engines may run properly.




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I am responsible for removing parts from there packing and placing
them on the shelf for easy locating. I also have to make sure the right
parts are in the correct area on the shelf. If a part is in the wrong area
it can cause inventory to be wrong. So I must make sure everything is
in the correct place, to avoid these problems.
Knowing what you are working on and how it works helps you to
figure out problems that might occur on the job site.
I have operated several different types of machinery such as a jack
hoist. A-frame hoist and a metal lathe. This has enabled me to do work
more efficiently.
Keeping our test equipment and tools in good working condition is
important to managing an efficient shop. Shop maintenance is
completed using a variety of techniques. Each piece of equipment
must be inspected, repaired and/or replaced. A typical maintenance job
would include greasing, oiling and lubricating the equipment. Welders
periodically need their liens and clamps replaced. Machines must be
pressurized and testing equipment must be recalibrated to ensure
Making new hydraulic hoses is a multi-step process. First, the old
worn out hoses must be removed. I must then find the right fittings by
measuring the old fittings. The new fittings are then taken to the hose
press to be assembled. Cutting the appropriate length with the right
hose and pressing the new fittings on is the next step. The type and
size of hose needs to be determined by amount of pressure that will be
pushed on the hose. If a hose is to be used with under 2500 psi, then a
2 wire hose can be used. over 2500 requires a 4 wire hose. For greater
pressure specialty hoses must be purchased. At 8500 psi a 6 wire hose
must be used with specialty fittings.




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Practicing this skill has allowed me to be efficient in measuring,
precise machining and basic machine technology. The lathe is an
interesting machine to operate, turning threads to a specific TPI
(threads per inch). The mill is also an interesting machine. Milling
eyes down to center the doll pins helps to ensure a straight rod. This
also allows the welds to be more accurate. Using the computer on
CNC and CAD machines to cut and form an object is a new type of
technology that will only increase in the future.
Customers bring in various parts that are unidentified or
unidentifiable. Some hydraulic parts that are brought into the shop
have a part number on them, with this number I can use this in my
reference books to look up the part specifications. Parts that don’t
have this number, require a little more effort. I must look in-depth at
the part to find out what it is used for and compare the part to pictures
in parts catalogs and make a decision if I am satisfied with the answers
in the book based on the evaluation of the part.
Hydraulic pumps are the work horses for the hydraulic systems. These
power houses are also in need of repair and maintenance. To replace a
worn pump the first step is draining the oil from the transmission. The
pump cover must then be removed for the installation of the new one.
After the new pump is installed the cover is replaced and the machine
is ready to be put back to work. Pumps are used for pushing the oil
into the hydraulic lines and running the equipment. Equipment such as
breakers on backhoes and track hoes. Buckets on all skid steers and
hydraulic equipment must be operated with a hydraulic pump.
People bring blown cylinders, bent rods, bad tubes, dented pistons and
just out of working condition hydraulic cylinders. If a cylinder has a
blown seals its an easy fix, remove the worn seals find new ones and
replace the cylinders. Bent rods, bad tubes or dented pistons require
machine work; running new threads on tubes and rods is a precise and
critical part. After new parts are made they are taken to the welding
shop and welded back with accurate welds.

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One skill that I have developed at Wayne's is the rebuilding of starters.
No matter what it is, tractor or farm truck, the starter can eventually go
out of it. At the shop this has became one of the areas that I am very
skilled in and one that I feel I can do on my own with relative ease.
First in this process takes testing the starter with a digital multimeter.
This allows me to know that the starter is what is wrong for sure and
that I need to replace it. In most pieces of equipment my next step is
to check the binding, motor brushes, and armature. All of these items
must be checked in order to make sure that the equipment is functional
and to see if one of them needs to be replaced. In the case of a
complete rebuilding of the starter I will have to replace all of these
parts which takes a great deal of time to do. This is a skill that I know
will come in handy one day when I start my full-time career as a
When a customer brings in a cylinder the first step is to determine the
problem. After some troubleshooting we determine if it is indeed the
cylinder that needs replaced. First, the hydraulic cylinder must be
taken apart. After removing the shaft we examine it for imperfections.
If they are dent free we then remove the old seals and measure for new
ones. The Calipers are used to measure to the nearest one thousandth
of an inch or even smaller. After properly measuring with Calipers, the
old seals are replaced with new ones. The piston is then reassembled
back into the hydraulic cylinder and ready for testing. Testing is an
important step to repairing a hydraulic system because I need to ensure
the customer will not be sent home with a leaky cylinder. Customer
service is the most important part of my job.
In an industrial company safe machine operation is key to a successful
day. I must know what safety equipment is required to operate in a
safe shop. I must have knowledge of the equipment safety manuals
and must know were all safety equipment is located in case of an
emergency. Knowing these things could spare injury to myself or any
person around me.


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It is my job to ensure that when a delivery truck arrives it is unloaded
or loaded with the correct parts. I must read the packing slip and then
count the parts in the box or crate to make sure the number match-up.
If there is a mistake in shipping, I must contact the distributor to
arrange shipment of the correct part.
The shop must be kept in order and tools must be kept clean and stored
properly. This is to let me know all the tools are accounted for.
Proper attire such as gloves, safety glasses, welding helmets and
brazing shields are needed to do work without harming your body. I
also store and dispose of chemicals properly.
By utilizing my time wisely, I was able to complete all tasks associated
with my SAE, as well as participating in FFA and other school
In terms of true mechanical energy system labor this is probably the
top thing, because without the transmission no mechanical system can
go. First in terms of a tractor the transmission is cased in the middle
of the piece of equipment. Thus you have to be skilled enough to
remove all of the outer items such as the seat, fenders, and other items
that are located at the break area. After that is removed then the
process becomes more mechanical such as turning the flywheel,
working with the throughout baring, and checking the shifter arm for
problems. The actual assembly process takes a great deal of time and
requires following a pretty detailed layout. The biggest part about
transmission repairs is the fact that you are really breaking down a
piece of equipment. All the parts are coming out and they must go
back in correctly. Thus I have learned this skill to the point where I




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                                      Agricultural Mechanics Energy Systems Skill/Activity Examples


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A very handy tool for trouble shooting electrical problems is a volt
ohm meter also called a Multi-Meter. It can be used to test cables, AC
power levels and batteries as related to various pieces of electrical
farm equipment. The ohm meter helps me tremendously in trouble
shooting problems that come into the shop. Often I can use my
previous knowledge to know what should be reached, but in other
cases I have draw back on a manual to double check. We have
numerous meters around the shop and this was probably one of the
first pieces of true diagnostic equipment that I used. The Ohm setting
on the meter is used to test the conductivity of something. This could
be a wire, it could be a switch, it could be almost anything that is
supposed to carry electricity from one point to another. Thus by
knowing this I have been better able to do the work in this area that is
I have become skilled in the use of equipment manuals for all kinds of
energy systems. First I have developed the ability to understand the
written instructions and the diagrams within the manuals. I have
found that probably one of the most important things starting out is to
take the time to look over what the procedure is for the repair you are
about to make. Sometimes mechanics just fly into working without
consulting a repair manual and then have to stop and figure out what
they have done with the use of the manual. Thus I have learned to take
time to read up on what I am doing first. Also I have learned how to
purchase manuals on equipment that we do not have already at the
shop. Through this skill I have learned the importance of making sure
that you have the correct knowledge to do a job before you get started.
The use of repair manuals is an important part of my current




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                       Knowledge/Competency


This includes Calipers, Dial Indicators and Tape Measures. Learning
to use these measurement tools allowed me to be essential in Lathe
and Mill Work. It also allows me to be precise on steel accuracy that
goes into the lathe, and also very precise on measurement of Hydraulic
Hoses. We measure to the closest 10 thousandths. On most projects
that is the closest we need to measure. The calipers are used for
measuring your ID (inside diameter) and your OD (Outside Diameter).
Your dial indicators are used for measuring the circumference of rods
After the machine process the welding is a very important part to a
finished product. You must be very precise with your welds and how
level your steel tubing is to your butt plates and ports. The ports are
very precise they must go in a certain direction and they must not leak.
High pressure hydraulic oil coming out of any leak can cut through
skin like a laser.
Welding is a very important part of the rebuilding process. Welding on
rods consists of attaching the eyes back onto the rod. To ensure
precision we use a machine that spins the rod after the eye is tack
welding to the rod. Ports are an essential part to finishing your project.
The port is probably the most difficult portion of the project to weld. If
the port leaks after the cylinder is all put back together, the cylinder
must come back apart and the port re-welded. doing door jobs such as
welding fittings or specialty latches back onto trucks or pumps. Dump
truck drivers bring in latches and pumps they have torn out from
underneath their trucks and want them re-welded.




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Another skill I have developed within this area is working on
alternators. This is a skill that I really just started doing in the last
couple of years. The first step in this skill is running a test to see what
the exact problem is. Again using the multimeter it is easy to check
the alternator output and test the rectifier to determine what is at fault
of the piece of equipment. In some cases I have found that the only
thing that needs to be replaced is a minor component, but in many
cases I have had to replace the entire alternator which takes time and
skill. Through this skill I have learned the value of using trouble
shooting skills. By using the multimeter I am better able to know what
the problem is in order to start my repairs. Overall this is a skill that
will stay with me throughout my involvement in this area as a career.
In repairs that I have been involved in can be an important part of my

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                                                               In adjusting the valves on an engine you must remove the valve cover and
                                                               find top dead center, which is the number one piston being at the top of
                                                               its stroke. You first have to loosen the jam nut that is located on the top
                                                               of the rocker arm. Then you take your feeler gauge, after finding the
                                                               required specs, and place it between the flat of the rocker arm and the top
     Agricultural
                              Adjusted Valve Clearance and     flat of the valve stem. Then you tighten the stud until you have a slight
     Mechanics Repair and P
                                         Backlash              drag to the feeler gauge and next you secure by tightening the jam nut.
     Maintenance
                                                               After you adjust the intake and exhaust valves for that cylinder, then you
                                                               repeat the same steps for the remaining cylinders, you have to rotate the
                                                               engine over to find the alignment for the other cylinders. For the next
                                                               cylinder that you advance to it may be different depending upon the
                                                               engine, model type and 6 cylinder or V-8 engine.
                                                               This is a skill I gained from my SAE program that taught me organization
                                                               and how to read a chart. Before the beginning of irrigation season, some
                                                               farmers liked to update the sprinkler packages on their pivots so they
                                                               could water their fields more efficiently. I began helping put on sprinkler
                                                               packages in my first year at Irrigation Systems. During the installation of
     Agricultural
                              Assembling and installing new the first package my job was to read the sprinkler chart and make sure
     Mechanics Repair and P
                            sprinkler package on pivot system. that the right sprinklers were being put in the right places on each span.
     Maintenance
                                                               This job was fairly easy and required minimal skill as I had to remember
                                                               which sprinkler was next. In my second year I also helped put on
                                                               sprinkler packages, but had more responsibilities. In my third year, we
                                                               completed a sprinkler package on a swing arm pivot system. This
                                                               package was different because we put all new hoses and sprinklers on at




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                                                                   Backing tractors and trailers is a skill that I use daily. Although it is a
                                                                   simple skill for me, if it is not performed properly can result in thousands
                                                                   of dollars in damage to TI Irrigation. When I back a truck and trailer into
                                                                   a dock, I look to make sure the dock is clear. I also evaluate the area in
     Agricultural                                                  front and to the sides of the dock. After putting on my seat belt, I adjust
                            Backing tractors and trailers into the
     Mechanics Repair and P                                        the mirrors to make sure I can see both sides of the truck, as well as
                                           docks
     Maintenance                                                   behind the truck. Every business has a little different arrangement to
                                                                   their docks. At TI Irrigation I need to back up to the docks at an angle.
                                                                   This makes the task a little more difficult. I try to drive the truck and
                                                                   trailer perpendicular to the docks so I can back up straight the first time,
                                                                   without needing to re-arrange the position of the truck and trailer.
                                                                   Cleaning and organizing the repair/assembly shop, warehouse, parts
                                                                   room, offices, and welding areas must be performed daily. Although this
                                                                   skill is not glamorous, it is a must for the safety of employees, high
                                                                   standards of performance, and public relations. When I clean I sweep all
                                                                   floors, pick up plastic and cardboard, along with miscellaneous assembly
     Agricultural                                                  and repair parts. For the organizational portion of this skill, I must make
     Mechanics Repair and P     Clean and Organize Shop            sure that all tractor parts and raw metal are in their correct places so the
     Maintenance                                                   welders do not have to waste time searching for materials. It is vital to
                                                                   keep all areas clean and organized to reduce accidents, save time, and
                                                                   enhance the appearance of all areas. Some of the other tasks that I
                                                                   perform include cleaning tools such as wrenches, screw drivers, pliers,
                                                                   impact wrenches and all their accessories. It is important to keep tools
                                                                   clean and in a working condition because they are a huge investment for




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                                                              The first task I was assigned was to help the shop foreman install a new
                                                              clutch in my 190XT tractor. This was the first time I had ever seen a
                                                              tractor split in half. In doing this, I learned the terminology of the
                                                              different parts that make up the clutch assembly and I learned how they
                                                              wear. I found out just how important clutch pedal free-play is to a long
     Agricultural
                                                              life of the clutch components. Next, we worked on a similar tractor's
     Mechanics Repair and P Clutch and Transmission Over-Haul
                                                              transmission. I then learned what was next in a tractor's drive train. Even
     Maintenance
                                                              though a tractor may not move very fast, on the inside the mechanical
                                                              working of the transmission can spin very quickly. I found it is vital to
                                                              the longevity of a transmission to have the correct shaft end play. The
                                                              many bushings need to be within their original specifications or the drive
                                                              to the field may turn out to be a very costly one from a repairs standpoint.
                                                              Through my work at Irrigation Works there were many opportunities to
                                                              interact with other people and farmers. One skill that I built through this
                                                              activity was customer relations and how to treat customers with respect.
                                                              When I was working in the shop I would assist customers that came into
     Agricultural
                                                              the shop for parts. I would help them look for parts, assist in loading the
     Mechanics Repair and P         Customer Relations
                                                              parts in their trucks, and explain how to install the parts properly. I also
     Maintenance
                                                              came in contact with farmers while out on service calls. At times I would
                                                              explain to the farmer the problem with the pivot and what we did to
                                                              repair the pivot. I would also act as secretary, take phone calls in the
                                                              office, and write down service tickets when farmers called in about pivots
                                                              In the past I have had a lot of experience in re-wiring systems and
                                                              tracking down intermittent problems. Sometimes I have done some
                                                              wiring on our trucks, tractors, construction equipment and trailers. I
     Agricultural                                             recently re-wired the entire electrical system of a goose-neck stock trailer,
                             Electrical System Re-wiring and
     Mechanics Repair and P                                   with the guidance of my agriculture instructor. Everything worked as it
                                         Diagnosis
     Maintenance                                              was supposed to when I finished. Before I worked on the trailer,
                                                              everything was wired poorly and the animals had destroyed the interior
                                                              wiring. The John Deere Ag tech program has greatly expanded my
                                                              electrical knowledge, especially in the areas of wireless technology - GPS

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                                                                   Over the years I have attained the knowledge to properly maintain diesel
                                                                   and gasoline engines, transmissions and drive trains. This includes
     Agricultural                                                  checking for leaks, noises, power loss or any other malfunctions that may
                              Engine, Transmission and Drive
     Mechanics Repair and P                                        occur. In maintaining these features there has to be a k knowledge of
                                    Train Maintenance
     Maintenance                                                   every working component in each of these items. This takes alot of time
                                                                   going into each of the several items listed above to be able to understand
                                                                   how they operate and knowing how to repair them.
                                                                   This is one skill that I learned the summer of my third year. I was
                                                                   learning this skill along with other technicians because our business
                                                                   began using this device on their pivots that year. The technician and I
                                                                   became really familiar with how to install the new GPS system and how
                                                                   to determine what was wrong if it wasn't operating properly. The system
     Agricultural
                                                                   consisted of a gray tower box with a computer board in it, a white
     Mechanics Repair and P   Installing GPS system on pivot.
                                                                   receiver that was placed in the control panel, and the satellite receiver.
     Maintenance
                                                                   The first task was to boot up the satellite receiver so that it could locate
                                                                   satellites in the sky and find the coordinates for the field. Next, we would
                                                                   install the satellite receiver on the end of the system and when you would
                                                                   power up the pivot provided the location of the pivot in degrees. This
                                                                   was a huge step in technology that many farmers are using to control
                                                                   Inventorying parts in the shop was critical to meet the needs of our
                                                                   customers. Timely repair is affected if current inventory is not kept up to
                                                                   date. The overall goal was to get the job done for the customer and
                                                                   without the proper parts being on hand this goal was difficult to achieve.
                                                                   At the end of each day inventory was taken and orders were placed to
     Agricultural
                                                                   restock the inventory. One of my responsibilities was to restock those
     Mechanics Repair and P   Inventory control of pivot parts.
                                                                   parts. This helped me understand the various parts associated with the
     Maintenance
                                                                   pivot and also help me in knowing which parts were most likely to be
                                                                   used in the repairing of the pivots. I learned early that there are certain
                                                                   parts that were generally used on a day to day basis. We were fortunate
                                                                   to be located within 35 miles of the company that manufactures the pivots
                                                                   that we serviced allowing for quick turn around on the parts that we

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                                                               I unpack, sort, stock, and document thousands of dollars of inventory
                                                               each month. After I gather the inventory, I unpack each item to inspect it
                                                               for shipping damage, and make sure all the items and supplies that were
                                                               ordered arrived in the shipment. I then place the small supplies on
                                                               labeled shelves and the larger supplies in the warehouse and on pallet
     Agricultural
                                                               racks. Some examples of small inventory include: nuts, bolts, valves,
     Mechanics Repair and P       Inventory of Supplies
                                                               value fittings, hoses, and small tractor parts. Large inventory includes:
     Maintenance
                                                               loader arms, tubing, raw metal, and all the accessories that arrive in large
                                                               crates. As I place the inventory in the proper locations throughout the
                                                               store, warehouse, and assembly shop, I input the item's barcode, quantity
                                                               shipped, and date in the computer. Some type of inventory is taken every
                                                               day, with bulk shipments arriving once a month.
                                                               Most customers contact me in October and November to check the anti-
                                                               freeze, perform a coolant flush, add light oil (10W-30), put Iso-Heet in
                                                               the diesel, make sure the glow plugs are operational, and monitor the
                                                               battery charge. During the early spring months, customers ask me to
                                                               perform an overall service on their tractors. This includes changing the
     Agricultural
                               Maintenance on tractors and     oil filter, fuel filter, hydraulic filter, oil, front differential fluid,
     Mechanics Repair and P
                                      accessories              transmission fluid, and hydraulic fluid, grease all the zerks, as well as,
     Maintenance
                                                               check the air pressure of tires. I also evaluate the entire tractor for any
                                                               fluid leaks. I also monitor all the accessories attached to the tractor. I
                                                               check the belts, pulleys, bearings, and guards of snow blowers. On the
                                                               woodchoppers, I again check the belts, pulleys, bearings; guards as well
                                                               as making sure the blades are not chipped. The last maintenance step




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                                                               Since the pivots that I serviced functioned using electricity I learned how
                                                               electricity is used to operate a pivot. When I first started I had never
                                                               worked around 480 volts of electricity and really didn’t want to find out
                                                               how bad it hurts when you get shocked. Before I would work on any of
                                                               the control panels I would have to turnoff the main disconnect in the
     Agricultural
                               Operating and understanding     panel box. I also learned how to wire a control panel and how electricity
     Mechanics Repair and P
                                    electrical systems.        was used to turn on and off particular circuits to allow electricity to pass
     Maintenance
                                                               to certain parts of the pivot. Pivot systems have safety shut offs and to
                                                               gain access to the wires you would have to shut off some type of safety
                                                               switch in order to touch the wires. Overall, this skill made me be
                                                               extremely cautious around wires when they were hot and I always
                                                               remembered to shut the power off first.
                                                               Everything I repair I always make sure it is operating correctly before it's
                                                               returned to the customer. These machines are equipped with many
                                                               hydraulic functions that a person must have a knowledge about to be able
                                                               to operate. I first learned how to operate heavy equipment from my dad
     Agricultural           Operation/Testing of Equipment and
                                                               and now I am using that same knowledge to operate equipment at my job.
     Mechanics Repair and P Maintaining Equipment, Setting Up
                                                               When maintaining equipment, I check all fluids, change the oil and
     Maintenance                        Equipment
                                                               filters, check tire pressure, adjust tracts, check under-carriage wear and
                                                               take all oil samples to send off for analysis to see if the system
                                                               components are breaking down prematurely. I realize the down time on
                                                               equipment is costly to my/our customer so I try to fix things quickly and




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                                                                When I order supplies, parts, and raw metal I use the telephone, fax
                                                                machine and internet to facilitate the order. Tool Implements (TI) uses 31
                                                                suppliers. At TI, the parts and supplies come from different parts of the
                                                                world. For example, the tractor parts come from China. It takes about a
     Agricultural                                               month to get them from the order date to the day the supplies arrive at TI.
                              Ordering parts, raw metal, and
     Mechanics Repair and P                                     If they are transported in a crate, a ship will bring them to the east or west
                                        supplies
     Maintenance                                                coast depending on the manufacturer. Other sources of transportation
                                                                include semi-trucks, air freight, UPS, and Speedy Delivery. If the parts
                                                                are needed immediately I request air freight, which takes about seven
                                                                days. The steel that I order comes from either Wausau Steel or Nitro
                                                                Steel. Due to the length of time to get parts and supplies TI has a hefty
                                                                One task I do is taking a tractor that has been traded and painting it to
                                                                look like new. The first one I did was an International 666. In doing this, I
                                                                learned that in order for the finished product to look like new, it required
                                                                hours of cleaning to ensure there is no dirt or oil to interfere with the
     Agricultural                                               paint. All oil leaks need to be fixed before painting to allow the paint to
                              Preparation of body work and
     Mechanics Repair and P                                     stick and to minimize risk of scratching the new paint if you fix it later. I
                                   painting of tractor
     Maintenance                                                also learned from an expert about the old decal removal and also how to
                                                                remove dents and prepare the body. I was taught how to mix-up the paint
                                                                you are going to use. Then, after the tractor was painted and the sheet
                                                                metal was put back on, I learned how to use soapy water to put on the
                                                                new decals. Painting a tractor can be a relatively inexpensive way to




                                                               1162
                              Agricultural Mechanics Repair Maintenance Skills/Activities Examples

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                                                                In order to insure the longevity of farm equipment, preventative
                                                                maintenance is a must. The first hours of operation are the most critical.
                                                                During this time all of the surfaces that slide against each other and the
                                                                gears are wearing into each other and creating small metal filings that
                                                                will contaminate the oil. The newer the tractor is, the more complicated
     Agricultural
                                                                they become and they have larger oil capacities with many more oil
     Mechanics Repair and P     Preventative Maintenance
                                                                filters. We do offer to service out all the tractors we sell. Our customers'
     Maintenance
                                                                will bring in their tractors during their off time and we will service out
                                                                the entire tractor according to the manufacturers maintenance schedule.
                                                                This would include greasing bearings, change oils and filters along with
                                                                checking the entire tractor for leaks and other fluid levels. I've seen that
                                                                another good reason for keeping up on your preventative maintenance is
                                                                This is a skill that takes time and practice to master. It required all three
                                                                years of training to learn how to align a pivot that wasn't straight. Each
                                                                tower has two springs and rods that are attached to the tower box and
                                                                these rods are used to tell the pivot when to move each tower. If a tower
                                                                ever gets ahead or behind the rest of the towers, you can use the thumb
     Agricultural                                               screws on each tower to adjust the speed of the tower that is uneven. In
                               Realigning a pivot for proper
     Mechanics Repair and P                                     order to move a tower that is behind, you climb up to the top of the tower
                                        operation.
     Maintenance                                                that is out of alignment and you adjust with the thumb screws located on
                                                                top. It works best if you have someone on the ground telling you which
                                                                way each tower needs to go and which thumb screw you need to turn. I
                                                                was very proud of myself during my third year because the technician that
                                                                I worked with allowed me to align one pivot myself and when I was
                                                                finished the majority of the towers were aligned.




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                                                                All tractors sold today have batteries. These batteries are used to start the
                                                                engine for us rather than having to crank the engine by hand. Electric start
                                                                is very handy, but it can easily cause down time because of a broken
                                                                starter motor or a drained battery. I have learned a lot about electrical
     Agricultural                                               systems. I have learned how to rebuild these starter motors if they fail to
     Mechanics Repair and P   Rebuilding Electrical Systems     do their job. I have also learned about the other half of the electrical
     Maintenance                                                system, the charging side. I have learned the different parts of alternators,
                                                                generators and regulators and how to rebuild these units. Knowing about
                                                                Ohm's Law is very nice when it comes to the ignition circuit on older
                                                                tractors. It is vital to the longevity of the ignition coil and the distributor
                                                                points to have the proper resistance and voltage applied to them.
                                                                I have rebuilt several engines from bare parts to a running engine. This
                                                                however does not include the machinery side of this process. I have
                                                                machined engines in the past but only under the supervision of my father.
                                                                Rebuilding these engines includes installing bearings, connecting rods,
                                                                pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, lifters, push rods, rebuilding the heads and
     Agricultural
                              Rebuilding Engines, Diesel and    installing, making all the adjustments necessary for the engine to run
     Mechanics Repair and P
                                        Gasoline                properly, and torquing all bolts and nuts to the proper specification. Some
     Maintenance
                                                                of the engines I have done only required swapping parts from engine to
                                                                engine due to the new engine coming as a short block. timing is a very
                                                                important key to the running of an engine. The engine must be in time to
                                                                allow the exhaust and intake valves to open t the proper time. This is
                                                                another adjusting measure I did in the building of these engines.




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                                                               Through my Agriculture Education classes I have learned the value of
                                                               good record keeping. Whether I am working at the farm, at Irrigation
                                                               Works, or attending classes in high school, I have found that record
                                                               keeping is common among all my jobs. When I work at Irrigation
                                                               Works, I had to write on each service ticket to tell what service we
     Agricultural
                                                               completed on the service call. This information was needed to know how
     Mechanics Repair and P          Recordkeeping
                                                               much to bill a customer for the repair on their pivot. It gave the
     Maintenance
                                                               supervisor an idea of how much time specific jobs took and if we
                                                               completed enough service calls each day. I also experienced record
                                                               keeping through the flock of sheep that we maintain. For the past three
                                                               years, I have used Microsoft Excel to track lambing records each year,
                                                               maintain a record of who purchased lambs, and list the sale price of each
                                                               While in my agriculture classes and showing at the market animal show, I
                                                               learned how important it was to keep accurate and complete records. On
                                                               pre-delivery machines when they come in, I follow a check sheet to
                                                               prepare them for sale. You have to check fluids, pressures on hydraulic
     Agricultural                                              systems, fuel , all bolts are torqued and machines operating correctly.
     Mechanics Repair and P          Recordkeeping             Every day I worked I had to write on my time card the number of hours
     Maintenance                                               spent on each job. These records are vital to the customer and the
                                                               dealership so the dealership knows how much to bill the customers and
                                                               what services were performed. While at school I was required to
                                                               complete my record book for the agriculture coop class and recorded to
                                                               the state. I also keep work orders and the service records on the m




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                                                                    When repairing front end loaders, rote tillers, wood chippers, snow
                                                                    blowers, and back blades the first step is to acquire background
                                                                    information. It is important to be aware of the mechanical knowledge of
                                                                    the patron. If the patron is has a mechanical background, I ask him or her
                                                                    to “describe the problem." With a person with less experience, I ask the
     Agricultural           Repair front end loaders, rote tillers,
                                                                    following questions; “What were you doing with the equipment?" "What
     Mechanics Repair and P wood chippers, and snow blowers,
                                                                    sounds did it make when it broke?" and "Was it leaking any fluids?" I
     Maintenance                      and back blades
                                                                    then evaluate the condition of the accessory. I look at the broken portion
                                                                    of the equipment to determine if I can fix it on site, or if I need to get
                                                                    parts. Some equipment, I load on my truck and bring it to the shop to fix.
                                                                    I always use my problem-solving skills to repair the accessories in the
                                                                    least amount of time and at the least expense to the customer. Experience
                                                                    Replacing a clutch is an in-depth process in w hitch you remove the
                                                                    transmission to gain access to the clutch. You then proceed to remove the
                                                                    clutch and pressure plate which holds the clutch into position. Most of the
                                                                    time you have to send the fly wheel to be turned, or resurfaced to allow
     Agricultural                 Replacing Clutch in an            proper mating of the two surfaces. Install the new clutch and pressure
     Mechanics Repair and P Automobile/Replacing clutch in plate and then re-install the transmission. On a tractor this procedure is
     Maintenance                 Tractors and Equipment             totally different. The tractor must be split into two pieces, separating the
                                                                    engine and front half from the transmission and the rear half of the
                                                                    machine. In doing this you must disconnect any line or hose in the way of
                                                                    separation. You must replace the throw out bearing to allow proper
                                                                    function. You then put the tractor back together.




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                                                               One job that I participated in on numerous occasions was changing wheel
                                                               gear boxes on pivots. Changing gear boxes is necessary because once a
                                                               wheel gear goes out the pivot can't move unless you change the gear.
                                                               Most of the calls we received for gear boxes would happen to a tower that
                                                               was in the middle of a corn or bean field. In order to fix the gear box we
     Agricultural
                            Replacing gear box on center pivot needed the following supplies: 1 new wheel gear, 2 hi-torque bolt
     Mechanics Repair and P
                                         system.               packages, 1 drive shaft, 1 four-wheeler with compressor, 1 jack, and the
     Maintenance
                                                               necessary tools to take off the nuts and bolts. We would drive into the
                                                               field and change the gear on the tower that was unable to move. I began
                                                               helping with this task my second year and by my third year I became very
                                                               accustomed to the task and was able to change the gear box without
                                                               assistance from the head technician.
                                                               When working safety comes first. We have a weekly safety meeting.
                                                               When I first started I was shown where the eye wash station is, the
                                                               Material Safety Data sheets are kept, taught fire training, emergency
                                                               procedures and the important people to call. If we have an oil or fluid
     Agricultural                                              spill I use stai dry to contain the spill and then dispose of it correctly.
     Mechanics Repair and P               Safety               When working on tractors I always make sure the tractor's parking brake
     Maintenance                                               is on and in gear. when unhooking and hooking equipment I turn off the
                                                               tractor and I always turn off the PTO when working around it. I also
                                                               chalk the wheels to ensure the equipment doesn't roll. I always wear my
                                                               safety glasses and am aware of the potential safety hazards in agriculture,
                                                               thus I try to do everything with safety in mind.




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                                                               Whether I am working on the farm or at Irrigation Systems, safety is a
                                                               major priority. In the equipment we use, most of the heavy duty
                                                               equipment has safety precaution labels on the machine. There are also
                                                               danger and warning labels placed inside the control boxes of the pivots
                                                               reminding us that there is 480 volts of electricity running through the
     Agricultural                                              box. Through my FFA Chapter I have assisted with educational activities
     Mechanics Repair and P              Safety                during the Annual Farm Safety Day Camp to promote safety. Working
     Maintenance                                               with electricity creates a greater potential for accidents because of the
                                                               high voltage that runs through the wires. Before working on a pivot, I
                                                               would always ensure that all power disconnects were off and that there
                                                               was no water on the wires. At Irrigation Systems, I would wear clothing
                                                               that wasn't loose fitting or a hazard to catch on equipment. My ability to
                                                               be aware of possible hazards promoted a safe work environment.
                                                               There are many occasions where a customer is unable to bring his
                                                               equipment to our shop. If the customer wants us to, we will go on a
                                                               service call to the customer's place where we will diagnose the problem.
                                                               When going on a service call, I must be sure I take all the tools I'll need. I
     Agricultural
                                                               must pay attention while at the shop to gather all of the parts I may need
     Mechanics Repair and P           Service Calls
                                                               so I will be able to repair the problem. After arriving at the customer's
     Maintenance
                                                               place, I'll talk with them to try to understand more of what the problem is
                                                               and what was happening when the problem occurred. From there, I'll
                                                               further diagnose and repair the problem. Though sometimes the problems
                                                               are more severe than anticipated, we may have to haul the machinery




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                                                               Servicing tractors is the backbone of Implements. The company is built
                                                               on 100 percent customer satisfaction. When servicing a tractor, I change
                                                               the engine oil; check and usually add hydraulic fluids; change front
                                                               deferential fluids; check and usually change engine coolant; change fuel,
                                                               oil and hydraulic filters; check air pressure in front and rear tires; grease
     Agricultural
                                                               all fittings throughout the tractor; and check the charge of batteries. I
     Mechanics Repair and P         Servicing Tractors
                                                               monitor the condition of all gauges and instruments. I will contact the
     Maintenance
                                                               customer if I detect any damages or problems to the tractor. Many times
                                                               clients don't have any idea about functions of tractor parts, so it is
                                                               important that I educate my customers to enhance the performance of the
                                                               tractor, reduce wear on the parts, and increase safety while operating the
                                                               tractor. After I service or make a small repair to a tractor, I operate it to
                                                               Another cause of down time on the farm is a flat tire. Maintaining equal
                                                               and proper air pressure in tires is a good practice to get the longest life
                                                               out of your tires. On occasion, a tire can get punctured by a thorn or a
                                                               nail. This leaves the tire in need of repair. One of the first things I l
                                                               earned was repairing a tire. Since we don't have a tire machine we have to
     Agricultural                                              use a bead breaking hammer and spoons. Newer tractors that we get in
     Mechanics Repair and P            Tire Repair             are tubeless which can be a totally different experience than a tire that is a
     Maintenance                                               tube type. The ability for me to repair tires has come in very handy at
                                                               home, whether it be my truck tire that is flat or a tractor tire. At work, our
                                                               forklift can be put through much abuse, whether it is unloading trucks or
                                                               disposing of old pallets. The tires on it get worn out very rapidly and it is
                                                               essential that they be repaired quickly so we can get the next truck
                                                               unloaded and down the road.




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                                                               Most problems occur on tractors can be isolated to a single part that is
                                                               worn or has failed. These components can usually be fixed and placed
                                                               back to specifications. I have learned how to overhaul many of these
                                                               components, including carburetors, distributors, starters, generators,
                                                               pumps and hydraulic cylinders. Most importantly I have learned how
     Agricultural
                                                               these components work internally. This must be known before attempting
     Mechanics Repair and P   Tractor Component Overhaul
                                                               to repair anything. These components usually come into the shop
     Maintenance
                                                               separately. Our customers will bring them to the shop needing the part
                                                               rebuilt. Most commonly these are carburetors and hydraulic cylinders.
                                                               These overhauls can be worrisome for me because I want to know how
                                                               the component will work after it is reassembled. In situations like these,
                                                               I'll call the customer at a later time to see how they are getting along with
                                                               The most common major damage done to tractors includes: cracked
                                                               block, cracked cam and crankshaft, burned piston rings, bad engine
                                                               valves, glassed clutches, and deteriorated freeze plugs. After asking the
                                                               customer questions about the problem, I start a diagnostic test. For
                                                               example, when I start a tractor and it makes a loud clunking sound, the
                                                               problem is most likely a bad cam or crank. In this case, a tractor probably
     Agricultural
                                                               will not even start. If a tractor is producing excess smoke out of the
     Mechanics Repair and P     Tractor Diagnostic Repair
                                                               exhaust system, the problem is usually burnt piston rings or the pistons
     Maintenance
                                                               are scored. If the engine intake and exhaust valves are stuck because they
                                                               get built up with oil, the tractor sounds like it is running on fewer
                                                               cylinders than it suppose to. It is vital that I continue the diagnostic test
                                                               until I determine the malfunction or malfunctions of a tractor without
                                                               damaging the tractor even more. I then tell the customer the extent of
                                                               the damage, cost of the repair, and ask them their wishes.




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                                                               Most farmers want more power out of their farm m machinery. One way
                                                               to make sure you are getting optimum performance is to keep your
                                                               engines properly tuned. If a tractor doesn't run very good, I will usually
                                                               go ahead and tune it up. It is an inexpensive way to keep your engine
     Agricultural                                              running better for a longer period of time. To ton-up an engine, you
     Mechanics Repair and P      Tractor Engine Tune-Up        adjust 3 out of 4 things that make an engine run. The fuel/air mixture,
     Maintenance                                               ignition and timing. For ignition, the distributor needs to be rebuilt and
                                                               the new contact points need to have the proper air gap. The carburetor
                                                               should be disassembled and cleaned to ensure good glass flow. It should
                                                               also be calibrated to the engine speed governor. After all this is done, the
                                                               distributor should be timed to the engine with the help of a timing light.
                                                               The disassembly of a tractor is the easy part. When it comes to the re-
                                                               assembly, that is when it can become difficult. This is when I'll break out
                                                               the service manual for the tractor I am working on. The service manual is
                                                               very handy in helping me reassemble a tractor because it will tell me
     Agricultural                                              exactly how the parts go back together. This is helpful because even
                               Use of Operator and Service
     Mechanics Repair and P                                    though you might think you know how it goes back together, it is worth it
                                        Manuals
     Maintenance                                               not to take the tractor apart again to fix what you did wrong the first time.
                                                               The service manual will tell me the torque for fasteners, rolling torque in
                                                               a transmission and the end play and clearances needed to bring what
                                                               you're working on back to factor specifications. I don't recommend these
                                                               manuals as night time reading material, but they are essential during my




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                                                               I have trained to rebuild water pumps from all different types of
                                                               equipment. This requires attention to details due to the fact the water
                                                               pump housins are fragile when pressing on them. In rebuilding a water
                                                               pump you first have to pull the pulley from the shaft and remove the
                                                               backing plate. The next step is removing the impeller. This can be
     Agricultural                                              accomplished by using a press or puller, depending on the style. There are
     Mechanics Repair and P      Water Pump Rebuilding         certain steps that can be taken from here. "Somo" water pumps have snap
     Maintenance                                               rings, retaining the bearing and shaft assembly. After the shaft and
                                                               bearing assembly is pressed from the housing it must be properly cleaned
                                                               and make sure the weep hole is free from any debris. You then reverse
                                                               the steps, press the shaft and bearing assembly back in the housing
                                                               through the pulley side, install the snap ring (if equipped), install seals,
                                                               impeller, gaskets and pulley. This is the process that must be followed for
                                                               Welding is very important part of my employment at Implements. First
                                                               of all, I make sure I wear a welding helmet, leather gloves, coveralls, boot
                                                               coverings, and steel-toed boots. The bulk of my welding is performed on
                                                               raw steel to repair Jinma tractors, front end loaders, rote tillers, wood
                                                               chippers, snow blowers, and back blades. I use mig wire feed welders to
     Agricultural
                                                               perform horizontal welds on the equipment. I use a chart to determine
     Mechanics Repair and P             Welding
                                                               the heat of the welder, speed of the wire and the correct pound per square
     Maintenance
                                                               inch (PSI) of oxygen. I will continue my training and education to
                                                               become a certified welder. I am also enrolled in a welding class at our
                                                               high school to enhance my skills and experiences. Over the years I have
                                                               learned how to weld horizontally and vertically. I can weld in circles
                                                               right side up, and up side down. I am starting to learn the skill of welding

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                                                             1162
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 ↓   Agricultural
     Processing
                      E         Aged Rinds




     Agricultural
                      P    Bag Processed Animal
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P   Breaking Down Carcasses
     Processing




     Agricultural         Cheese - Dressing Colby
                      P
     Processing              Longhorn Cans.




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     Agricultural           Cheese - Maintaining the
                      P
     Processing             Facilities and Equipment.




     Agricultural         Cheese - Performing Titratable
                      P
     Processing            Acid Test on Colby Curds.




     Agricultural         Cheese - Processing Wholesale
                      P
     Processing                Orders for Shipping




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     Agricultural            Cheese - Receiving and
                      P
     Processing              unloading milk trucks.




     Agricultural           Cheese - Removing Del-net
                      P
     Processing           from Colby Longhorn Cheese.




     Agricultural
                      P      Cheese Manufacturing
     Processing




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     Agricultural
                      E       Cheese Packaging
     Processing




     Agricultural         Clean and Sanitize the Meat
                      P
     Processing            Cutting Rooms Properly




     Agricultural         Cleaning Out the Lungs of
                      P
     Processing                    Poultry



     Agricultural          Correctly Storing Honey
                      E
     Processing                    Frames




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     Agricultural
                      P    Curing and Smoking Hams
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P       Customer Relations
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      E        Cutting the Curd
     Processing

     Agricultural         Extracting Honey from Hives
                      E
     Processing                    and Combs




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     Agricultural
                      P    Fabricating Meat Carcasses
     Processing




     Agricultural         Facility and Equipment Clean-
                      E
     Processing                         up

     Agricultural
                      E       Farmers Market Sales
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P    Grinding and Stuffing Meat
     Processing




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     Agricultural
                      P Harvesting Animals Correctly
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      E       Honey Extracting
     Processing
     Agricultural           Human Relation Skills
                      E
     Processing             Working With People


     Agricultural
                      E           Invoicing
     Processing




     Agricultural          Killing and Eviscerating
                      P
     Processing                     Animal




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     Agricultural
                      P   Killing Poultry and Rabbits
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P        Knife Sharpening
     Processing




     Agricultural         Knowledge of Wax Separator
                      E
     Processing                   Machine




     Agricultural
                      P     Livestock Slaughtering
     Processing




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                            Longevity of Bee Hives
     Agricultural
                      E   Attributed to Mowing Grass
     Processing
                                 Around Hives




     Agricultural
                      P    Making Summer Sausage
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      E       Marketing Honey
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P         Meat Cutting
     Processing




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     Agricultural           Meat Cutting - Customer
                      P
     Processing                    Service




     Agricultural         Meat Products - Cleaning and
                      P
     Processing            Maintenance of Equipment




     Agricultural         Meat Products - Cutting Retail
                      P
     Processing                   Cuts Safely




     Agricultural          Meat Products - Processing
                      P
     Processing                    Carcasses




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     Agricultural          Meat Products - Processing
                      P
     Processing                   Retail Cuts




                       Meat Products - Sanitation and
     Agricultural
                      P Maintenance of Locker and
     Processing
                                Equipment




     Agricultural         Meat Products - Smoking and
                      P
     Processing                     Curing




     Agricultural           Meat Products - Stuffing
                      P
     Processing                    Sausage




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     Agricultural
                      P    Meat Products Processing
     Processing




     Agricultural              Meat Products
                      P
     Processing              Wrapping/Packaging




     Agricultural         Meat Room Preperation and
                      P
     Processing                   Cleaning



     Agricultural
                      E Milk Components and Solids
     Processing


     Agricultural
                      E       Milking Sanitation
     Processing




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     Agricultural            Mixing Cure Solutions
                      P
     Processing                    Correctly




     Agricultural
                      E    Organizing Farmer Markets
     Processing




     Agricultural            Plucking the Poultry and
                      P
     Processing                  Pinning the Bird




     Agricultural         Processing Meat into Specialty
                      P
     Processing                     Products




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     Agricultural          Processing primal cuts into
                      P
     Processing                    retail cuts




     Agricultural           Producing Quality Artisan
                      E
     Processing           Farmstead Sheep Milk Cheese




     Agricultural
                      P    Properly Skinning Rabbits
     Processing




     Agricultural         Purchase Bottling Supplies in
                      E
     Processing                      Bulk




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                        Recognizing and Processing
     Agricultural
                      P Wholesale and Retail Cuts of
     Processing
                                   Meat.




     Agricultural         Removing Internal Organs
                      P
     Processing           from Poultry and Rabbits.




     Agricultural
                      P      Removing the Hide
     Processing




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     Agricultural
                      P   Sanitation - Processing Plant
     Processing




     Agricultural           Sanitation of Processing
                      P
     Processing                      Rooms




     Agricultural
                      P       Scalding the Poultry
     Processing




                                                             1162
                                    Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples
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     Agricultural
                      P     Sharpening Knives
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P    Skinning Carcasses
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      P   Smoking Meat Properly
     Processing




                                                          1162
                                       Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples
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     Agricultural
                      P    Tearing Down Equipment
     Processing




     Agricultural
                      E   Use of Uncapping Machine
     Processing


     Agricultural          Value Added Commodity
                      E
     Processing                    Growth




     Agricultural         Weigh Processed Poultry and
                      P
     Processing                     Rabbit




                                                             1162
                                    Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples
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     Agricultural
                      P   Wrapping Meat Correctly
     Processing




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                                                          1162
                                                    Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


I have worked on a way to develop the quality of the rind on our aged cheeses. During the
months they age mold grows on them. I learned how to produce a presentable rind to the
consumer. During aging I let the cheese alone except for flipping. When it is ready to be sold
I brush off the mold, either with a dry brush or wet depending on the cheese, then apply olive
oil which stunts mold.
After the animal has been cleaned, it is put into a tank with overflowing cool water. Once the
animal has been cooled for ten minutes, it is then taken out of the water and drained. At this
time, the poultry is put into a plastic freezer bag. In order to keep the meat fresh, I make sure
all of the air is out of the bag and then close it by tying it off with a plastic twist tie.
Sometimes the customers would like the return of the bird’s organs once cleaned. Properly
packaging the processed meat to the customer’s specification usually results in repeat
business, and if the customer is satisfied, they will pass along our name to other potential
After the carcass has hung in the cooler for the proper amount of time, I begin to break it
down into wholesale cuts, followed by table-ready retail cuts. I use the meat band saw to
form wholesale cuts from the halves or quarters previously made. I then process the
requested retail cuts. After I have processed the retail cuts, I trim any excess fat from the
meat and begin packaging the cuts right away to insure quality. After all primary cuts are
taken from the carcass, I utilize the "scrap" meat for use in making ground meat or sausage.
This is the most time consuming activity. I use a boning knife to remove all of the meat from
the bones. I cut it into small 2x2" chunks so that it will go through the grinder easily. I
grind it with a coarse screen the first time, and run it through a fine screen the second time to
Colby longhorn is made in 14 lb pieces that are pressed in stainless steel cans. The curds are
placed in these cans one day and overnight they are pressed to form cheese. The next
morning they are knocked out (turned upside down on a table) and packaged. In order to
make sure the cheese comes out in one piece and easily, the cans have to be specially
prepared before the cheese is added. The first in preparing these cans is washing them. This
entails placing them in wire baskets upside down and running them through a large washing
machine. The cans are then lined with del net (a plastic material that has tiny holes that
allow the whey to drain out of the cheese as it is being pressed) by placing a del-net disc in
the bottom then a del-net sleeve in the inside. The sleeve is then rolled down over the top
and a stainless steel collar is wedged inside the top of the can to make it longer.


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This is an activity that seems endless. Maintaining facilities and equipment is vital to the
success of any business. In a food business everything must always be as clean as possible,
especially the food contact surfaces. The cans and cylinders that are used to press the cheese
are cleaned everyday as well as the carts used to move them around. The presses and sealers
must be cleaned daily. I do mundane but vital tasks such as hosing down floors and taking
out trash. Around the facility, I mow and trim. Other things that I do include wash trucks
and tractors. I also have painted pipes, floors, and roofs. In the winter, I have plowed snow
with the tractor, shoveled and threw salt. In the spring, I plant flowers and do anything
necessary to keep our buildings looking nice. Whatever needs done; I'll do it!
While curds are in the draining vat and most of the whey has been pumped off salt must be
added. In order to ensure consistency and high quality the time at which the salt is added
must be closely monitored. To determine exactly when spread the granular salt onto the
curds the acid is tested by using this titratable acid test. Once the salt is added the acid will
stop moving so it is important to add the salt when the curds are at the correct acid level. I
have learned how to perform this test. It has three basic steps. First, measure out the amount
of whey needed (50 mL) with a pipette. Then three drops of a phenophaylene indicator is
added to the whey. Finally a Sodium Hydroxide Solution neutralizer is slowly added to the
whey solution from a granulated pipette with a valve until the solution turns pink. When the
solution is pink, you record how much neutralizer was added and that is what we use as the
value. Colby cheese has a target salt-acid of 22 or 23.
The first part of this skill is getting the orders from downstairs in the office. Then I must get
a skid to place the order on and start to pull the orders. The best way is to do it one at a time
to make sure not to get confused. As I pull the cheese from the different areas of the cooler I
record the weights on the boxes. I can do this either by using a hand held computer with a
scanner that reads the barcodes or by simply writing them on a piece of paper. All orders
must be stacked correctly on the skids, because different cheeses come in different size
boxes. This is sometimes hard to do. The cases range from seven pounds to 55 pounds.
After the order is all finished I must wrap the skid with strapping tape and/or plastic wrap
depending on how far the order will travel, how well it is stacked, and how many cases are
on the skid. By learning this skill I am able to fill in when the man who usually does this is



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                                                    Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


This is a skill that I have learned more recently that has allowed me to get a few more hours
on the weekends and also lets me help out when they need someone to unload the milk
trucks. Unloading milk is a complicated process that has a lot at stake. Federal law requires
the milk must be tested for antibiotic drug residue (beta-lactams) before it is unloaded from
the truck. I have been trained on how to operate the Charm test to screen the milk for
antibiotics. So this is the first thing that must be done, take a sample out of the top of the
truck and test it. Then if the test is negative the milk is pumped off the truck into a silo.
Before I hook up the trucks I must make sure the milk will go into the correct silo and make
sure the chiller is on so the milk is cooled before it enters the silo. After the truck is
unloaded it must be washed by dropping a washing arm into the truck and turning it on.
Finally I have to make sure the truck is completely detached from everything before it pulls
This is one person's job on the packaging line in the morning and many mornings, it has been
my job. After the cheese is knocked out of the can onto the table, I have learned how to
quickly rip the seams and pull the del-net off the cheese. This is something that may sound
easy to learn, but quite hard to master. It is difficult to keep pace with the line when the del-
net continues to rip and you have to pull it off of hundreds of pieces of cheese. Of course it
is inefficient if the line has to stop temporarily to allow you to catch up. Another part of
mastering this skill includes being aware of others and being able to help them if they need it.
The goal of the packaging line is to package all the cheese correctly in as little time as
possible so sometimes when I am removing del-net I have to stop and help someone else that
needs it in order to make the line run efficiently.
In the manufacturing activity I work mainly on Colby varieties of cheeses. I know how to
evenly distribute salt onto a vat of cheese. I can test the acid levels of the curds to determine
when to add the salt. Preparing cans is a lengthy process that entails lining the cans and
placing a tray on top of them so the curds can pour on top of them without falling between
them. I also shovel curds out of the draining vat and operate the pusher that pushes the curds
to the end of the vat where they are elevated onto the cans. I often press the curds into the
cans for longhorns or the cylinders for the deli horns. Another important part of
manufacturing quality cheese is keeping good records. I am sometimes responsible for
keeping records on cheese and keeping lot numbers in case we would ever need to recall a



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                                  Knowledge/Competency


I have learned to package cheese in a way the keeps the cheese alive and the taste staying the
same as the day it was wrapped. Also packaging that appeals to the consumer is key. The soft
ripened cheese I wrap in perforated paper that allows the cheese to breathe. For the aged
cheese I wrap in parchment paper so the cheese will not absorb a plastic taste from other
packaging.
When cleaning the equipment and tables we use Dawn dish washing soap. Dawn is very
effective in cutting grease and cleaning the blood from the surface. We also use Dawn
because it is very reasoanably price. We first get all tables and equipment wet using a
pressure hose with water at 180 degrees. After all things are wet we then apply Dawn soap
and take a scrub brush and scrub thoroughly. When scrubbing is complete we take the
pressure hose and rinse thoroughly. All stainless steel items are rinsed in a solution of water
and bleach. The purpose of the bleach is to sanitize, when sanitizing we are reducing the
possibility of bacteria and disease spreading.
Once the animal has cooled in the cold water tub, I use a lung cleaner which grabs the lungs
of the animal and pulls them out. The lung cleaner is a long metal bar that has teeth in the
shape of an oval. This device also helps clean out any organs that might not have been
removed from the poultry in the first cleaning. Proper lung removal is an important step as
one does not want to break the breast bone later in the processing to remove such material. It
is important to not break the breast bone as it is a part of the most valuable meat cut on a
bird. Removing the lungs isn't a very fun job, but it is vital to the overall processing of
If stored correctly the fumes are aerated better through the supers. This fuming process kills
parasites which could cause damage to the




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                                    Knowledge/Competency


I learned this skill by watching my grandfather. I am now in charge of all the curing done at
the locker plant. Curing hams is very difficult to learn and do correctly. It is important when
pumping them with brine that I get the needle at the right angle and the right amount into
each area, so it is cured but isn't salty. I then put them into the cooler in large carts to cure for
one week. After that they are hung in the smoke house where thy are smoked at 130 degrees
Fahrenheit. It is important to observe the outside temperature before soaking the saw dust. I
soak the saw dust to guarantee that it will burn slow enough to fill the room with smoke, but
not to slow so that it won't smoke at all. The temperature affects this because when it is hot
outside the room stays warmer and the burner does not run as much, so I would use a dryer
mix of saw dust. When it is cold outside the burner may never shut off so you want to soak
the saw dust heavily so it does not burn up within 2 hours. They are in the smokehouse till
they reach the appropriate temperature.
One thing that I have learned while working at Burdick Meat Market is customer relations. I
have learned how to relate to the customer and make them feel welcome. This is important
because there are other meat locker plants in our area, and if I don't treat the customer with
respect and kindness, they can take their business elsewhere. The business as been in the
family for 85 years. Because of good customer relations and quality products we have been
able to build up a customer base. I normally deal with customers when they bring in beef and
leave instructions on how they want their beef fabricated. I must be able to take their
instructions and also inform them of what is possible and what isn't in regards to their
requests. I also deal with customers when they come to pick up their meat. I collect the
money for the processing and help load the meat into their car.
I have learned to cut and stir the curd of the manchego cheese in a uniform manner as the
curd slowly rises to 104 degrees over thirty minutes while the curd is in the whey. It is
crucial to cut uniform curd because it will ensure a consistent final product. The cheese will
have an even consistency after aging if the curd was stirred properly in the early stages of
I can process honey from the comb to the bottling or creaming stage and package the product.
I can save money by doing these processes myself.




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                                                   Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


Fabricating beef, swine, deer, and buffalo carcasses is a skill that I have wanted to learn how
to do for several years. I start by taking the hindquarter of beef and cut the flank off and
throw it over to the boners tables for processing into hamburger. I then take my hand saw and
cut the hindquarter, right behind the rump, to separate the loin so I can cut it up on the
bandsaw. After that I slice the loin into steaks and put them on the wrappers tables where
they are packaged then stored in the freezer. I then process the round into round steaks and
rump roast. After finishing the hind quarter I begin fabricating the forequarter. I begin by
sawing off the plate. I then cut the chuck into roast and steaks and cut the neck bones up to
be boned for hamburger. The process in similar for swine, deer, and buffalo carcasses. I can
process 2 beef carcasses in 5 hours or 8-10 swine in the same time. I have to make sure that I
am meeting the consumers needs when fabricating each carcass.
Proper sanitation is important to prevent insect contamination and promote cleanliness of the
work area and equipment.
I sell half of all our cheese at markets where we can sell at a retail price and gain exposure.
Through farmers markets I gained consumer trust with our commitment to local food. Selling
at farmers markets the profit is 64% higher then selling wholesale thus more of the income
goes directly into our pocket. Also through the public exposure at markets we gain new
After all the meat is boned out we then grind the trim. When grinding the trim we first run it
through a coarse plate. After all meat has been ground once we then change the plate on the
grinder and grind the meat a second time. We use a medium plate when grinding meat for
sausage and a finer plate when doing ground beef or deer. Each year we make a large
quanity of sausage for customer or benefits and social functions. When making sausage we
add the seasoning and water mixing thouroughly to make sure the seasoning is blended into
the meat evenly. After all the sausage is mixed we run it through the grinder without using
the cutter knife or plate, this forces the sausage into casings. We use two different size
casing for our sausage when stuffing sausage. For our country style sausage we use a pork
casing. With the summer sausage we use artifical casings.




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                                 Knowledge/Competency


Harvesting the animal is an activity that has to be done before anything else can be started.
First I have to put the animal down in a proper humane way so that it does not suffer. Once
incapacitated, I must let it bleed out by hanging it upside-down before I begin to remove the
hide. I begin removing the hide at its ankle joints and work from the rear to the head. The
next step is to properly remove the inner organs of the animal, making sure not to puncture
any of them that could stain the meat or give it a bad taste. After that is accomplished, I
remove the feet of the animal, and then split it in half by sawing down the middle of the
backbone. Sometimes I quarter the larger animals so that they can hang in the cooler without
touching the floor. To finish, I wash the remaining carcass to remove any debris before the
carcass is hung in the cooler.
The extractor also allows for a higher honey extraction because the machine is computerized
and holds 135 frames per cycle.
These skills are valuable when asking permission to allow my bee hives to be placed on their
land. These skills are also valuable in working with customers.
I developed a system of invoicing store orders and accounts payable. I created invoices and
organized them on the computer to invoice the stores that buy our cheese and record what is
owed. In order to bill the stores that buy the cheese wholesale I weigh the orders then make
invoices. Invoices will go to the stores accounting office. Then I record it in our
computerized books.
When a customer wants to have an animal processed we place it in a storage pen for one day.
We keep the animal off feed to ease in the slaughtering process. The animals are killed using
a .22 caliber rifle firing a single bullet one inch above and directly between the eyes. When
the animal falls to the ground I stick it by using a 5" boning knife and cutting the jugular
vein. Once they are stuck we hoist them up using a tractor with a front end loader. After the
animal bleeds out we place the carcass on a skinning rack on it's back. When skinning we
start with the legs and then we work our way down as far as possible. The next step is to
raise the animal and skin the back removing the hide. We then begin the evisceration
beginning at the back end of the carcass working our way to the front. It is essential to be
careful not to puncture the internal organs or slip and cut yourself.




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                                                   Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


In order to process the poultry, the bird must be killed first. This process includes putting it
into a funnel so they do not flop around and break their wings. Using a bleeding knife, I then
slit the animal's throat. This cut should sever the jugular vein and another cross vein causing
the animal to bleed to death quickly. The funnel is made up of metal that makes a half circle
and wood that is made up of a one by twelve piece of wood. Slaughtering of rabbits is done
by holding them by the back legs and quickly striking the rabbit between the eyes. There is a
major vein located between the eyes on rabbits and a quick blunt force strike will quickly and
humanely break this vein, causing a quick death. This is done over a large container so that
all blood is collected immediately and floor cleaning time is reduced. Learning to properly
and humanely kill the animals is essential in the processing business.
A dull knife is a dangerous knife. When cutting meat a dull knife requires forcing which
could mean danger. I do most of the knife sharpening for our business and at school for the
high school meat science class. We sharpen all of our knives by hand using a three faces oil
based sharpening stone. The three different faces of the stone vary in coursness. I use the
coarse stone on all knives that are in real bad shape or have damaged edges. We try not to
every let a knive get in that bad of shape. I usually take the knife and run it over the medium
stone for a couple minutes putting a sharp edge back on the knife. Once the knife has that
sharp edge I use the fine surface to hone the knife to an extremely sharp and usable edge.
When cutting meat the use of a steel is essential in maintaining that cutting edge.
The machine separates foreign materials from the honey. This promotes honey purity and
clarity.
Slaughtering can be a very physical activity with out the proper equipment. We have the
needed equipment to make the job much less physical. Killing the animal can be done in
several ways, we use a .22 rifle because our business is located in the country and we don't
have to worry about being in a confined area. We also have a large pit where we can bury
the internal organs and cover them with dirt, this saves alot on storage and shipping hassle.
When slaughtering it is also essential to concern yourself with sanitation, Mattern Meat's is a
state inspected facility. Part of my wages is generated from the sale of the hides when we
slaughter. This has been something I have recieved since I have been old enough to help
slaughter. Slaughtering is something that reqiures time to get used to. When I first started
slaughtering I was very hesitant, know I rather enjoy this part of the job.


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Bees prefer a clean flight pattern around the hive. This promotes a longer, more productive
life span for the bees.
Summer sausage is by far the hardest type of sausage to make. We make ours out of 2/3 beef
and 1/3 pork. There are a lot of ingredients such as; garlic powder, protein supplements,
black pepper, and others. I have to be very meticulous when measuring because if I am off
on one, it could throw the entire batch. The unique flavor is what keeps customers coming
back. It is essential that I formulate the ingredients correctly and the same way that my
grandpa has done for years. The recipe that we use at Burdick is for 100 pounds and if I am
doing a batch smaller than that I have to reduce the recipe to have the same flavor. We also
make deer summer sausage and this last deer season I made 1,500 lbs. of deer summer
sausage on my own. It is also my responsibility to keep inventory and let my grandma know
if she needs to order more of a certain ingredient.
Producing a quality product is essential to having repeat customers. I market the honey in
bear shaped containers, 3 lb. jugs, 5 lb. Jugs, and creamed honey. A variety of containers
allow me to sell to a wider base.
Meat cutting consists of many different tasks. The main thing is to take the animal carcass
and process it into the retail cuts desired by the customer. Each and every customer is
different. I have to be able to break the carcass down into the various primal cuts. Each
primal cut is then processed into the retail cuts. We use a knife and hand saw to break the
carcass into the primal cuts. Once the primal cuts are ready I use the meat band saw to cut
the desire retail cuts. In grocery stores and meat markets today most cuts are boneless, we
also make alot of boneless cuts for our customers. However a majority still prefer the cuts
bone in. I feel when cooking the added bone increase the flavor of the meat. Serving as a
processing plant going from live animals to retail cuts most products are not sold by the
pound. We charge them a fee per pound for cutting and wrapping.




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Serving the customer's needs is a crucial part of any job. My primary responsibility on
Saturdays is to wait on customers. We make sure the retail cases are full, and they look
enticing to stimulate the customers' willingness to buy our products. We make sure there are
plenty of staks, roasts, chops, lean ground beef, sandwich meats and specialty cheese items. I
am always polite and as helpful as I can be to the customers. I enjoy hearing when customers
return and respond with positive comments about our service and products. Without
customers, there is no business; and without a business, there is no job.
Not only must the equipment be clean and sanitary, the building itself must remain clean and
functional. I am responsible fro making sure the walls and floors remain clean. The meat
locker has a hanging false ceiling, and when it needs to be cleaned, it is my responsibility to
make sure it is cleaned properly. Our tile floors in the customer retail area can become very
dirty, and although someone is hired to clean them professionally, I sweep or mop in between
professional cleanings. During the winter, our sidewalks get icy and snowy and it is my
responsibility to keep them clear, safe and attractive.
This is the skill I learned hat has made the biggest difference in the operation of Minnewaska
Meats. I have learned how to process carcasses into retail cuts of meat. The staff have taught
me how to position the wholesale cut on the sae, adjust the thickness of the cut and use
proper safety techniques while cutting the meat. By learning this skill, it has allowed me to
work more efficiently with wholesale cutting on the meat saw by myself. Safety has always
been emphasized by my supervisors and I have made a strong effort to provide a quality
product in a safe and healthy working environment.
I can do every step involved in processing a beef or swine carcass. I begin by skinning the
animal by using the technique that I have learned by watching others and practicing over the
years. I am very careful while performing this activity. I then am able to fabricate retail cuts
from either species after the carcasses have aged the appropriate length of time. A notecard
is made out when the customer delivers the live animal, giving directions on the fabrication
of the carcass. The fabrication may require specialty cuts due to customer requests. This is
one area that I have to be very careful not to make the wrong fabrication for a customer. I
have worked hard to learn how to correctly fabricate retail cuts from beef and swine
carcasses. This has become a major part of my job. The more experience I obtain the more
accurate I will be at this.


                                                                           1162
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                                    Knowledge/Competency


I am responsible for writing detailed orders as to how the customers' request their orders be
cut. I am also responsible for grinding their ground beef and keeping their tags alltogether so
their orders won't get mixed with other customers'. I have also learned how to operate the
meat saw and how to adjust the thickness of the cut to meet a customer's needs. I l earned
how the bones and muscle groupings are arranged in the right cuts of meat. I grind the beef
and pork through the grinder, season and mix. I stuff out the sausages and hang them on the
smoke racks, roll them into the smoke house and smoke them to the desired color,
I am responsible for making sure all meat processing equipment and facilities are properly
maintained and sanitized. I perform the cleaning and sanitizing as soon as I am done with the
equipment. Proper cleaning will ensure that none of our customers become ill from bacteria,
and the product they receive is of highest quality and safe to consume. I disassemble, clean
and inspect the power equipment to make sure it is thoroughly clean. While I have the
equipment in pieces, I inspect it to make sure none of the lubricants are leaking, blades are
sharp and everything is in good working order.
When smoking and curing meat with a brine, I submerge the meat in a salt water (brine) bath
for a specified length of time, depending on the size and thickness of the cut. For larger cuts,
like hams, a brine pump is used to inject the brine into the meat for a mroe even flavor
throughout the cut. I am responsible for hanging the cured meat on the smoke racks, making
sure they are not touching each other while being smoked. I also make sure the smokehouse
has the proper amount of wood chips. The amount of time the cut hangs in the smokehouse
depends on the thickness of the meat and the temperature of the smokehouse.
Although it may look and seel like a simple job, it takes a lot of time and practice to be an
efficient sausage stuffer. We have two stuffers, a hydraulic and an aqua stuffer. I have
learned to use both and do a lot of the sausage making for meat display counters. Before the
sausage can be stuffed out, it must be ground and seasoned properly. While stuffing, it is
important to use the correct amount of pressure on the casings. If too much pressure is
applied, they will break open; if too little pressure is ussed, they will not be filled to their full
potential. I also take care of the preparation of the casings to make sausage.




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I am the person in charge of all the smoked and processed meat products. This means that I
process all the summer sausages, bacon, hams, pepper sticks, and jerky. Unlike fresh meat
products, processed meat take longer to make therefore we need to keep an accurate idea of
how many we have on hand and make sure that we make more before we are completly out.
Sometimes this revolves around what time of the year it is. For example, around Christmas
we sell a lot of potato sausage and during hunting season people stop in a buy jerky. It is
important to make sure we stock up on things in order to fulfill our customers needs.
Wrapping meat was one of the first things I learned at the meat locker. It has allowed me to
help customers by wrapping their meats correctly. To wrap meat, I need to be able to identify
what the cut of meat is so it can be marked for the customer's identification. I also need to
carefully wrap the meat to prevent freezer burn and spoilage during the customer's storage.
Besides making sure the package of meat is correctly and easily identifiable, I must also
make sure the packages are correctly dated. All wrapped meat must be wrapped properly so it
doesn't leak or spill, as this will not be convenient for the customers.
Nothing helps return business more than a quality product and a clean facility. One of my
duties is to keep the facility clean and sanitized. We are inspected by the state and must keep
up with state and federal standards. HACCP rules and guidelines are followed strictly.
Failing to comply with the required state and federal guidelines can lead to the shut down of
your facility. When cleaning we use Dawn dish washing soap to cut
I have vast knowledge concerning milk components. I apply this expertise when making
managerial decisions during the cheese making process. I work to produce milk that is high
in solids. The milk solids are what becomes cheese; everything else will become waste in the
form of whey. High components mean better yield.
I milked ewes in a very sanitary manner, which prevented mastitis infections. I made sure
that the udders were clean along with the milking equipment and the milkers hands. Sanitary
conditions while milking are key to good quality milk. Any bacteria in the milk will affect
the quality of the cheese. Clean milk will allow the good bacteria to develop a richer taste in




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Mixing and injecting seasoning and cure solutions is by far the most important task during
the making of specialty meats. Making sure that I measure out the right amount of seasoning
is important because of the taste factor that each spice contributes. Everyone has different
tastes, but it is important not to mix it too weak or too strong. After I have measured the
spices out and poured them into the meat, I need to make sure the product is mixed
thoroughly. I also have to measure out the cure salts to add and mix into the meat as well.
The proper amount of cure is needed to preserve and store the meat for an extended amount
of time so it doesn't spoil without it being frozen. We also cure bacon with our own
marinade recipe. Ron has a special brine that I mix and place the bacon slabs in for a few
days, allowing the marinade to soak completely through before I smoke them.
By organizing efficiently the cheese and supplies needed for Farmer's Markets, such as tent,
tables, coolers, tablecloths, we are able to attend multiple markets per week and things went
smoothly.
After the animal is scalded, I take it out and put it in the plucker. I can place up to five birds
in the plucker at a time. I set the timer to 20 seconds and push the start button on the plucker.
When the timer runs out, the plucker will stop on its own. The plucker is a device that has
little finger-type tools that help remove the feathers. This helps to reduce the time in which it
takes to hand pluck and process poultry. As the plucker may not get all of the feathers, I may
have to manually take some of the pin feathers out. For this process, I use a pinning knife or
pliers to help take hold of the feathers. If all pin feathers are not removed, the bird does not
look as appetizing and there may be health concerns. Thorough cleaning and removal of all
feathers is a must and doing it properly leads to repeat business.
Processing the meat into specialty products is one of the most tedious jobs. First I have to
weigh out the right amount of meat. Each kind of sausage requires different proportions of
beef, pork or deer. Then the next step is to add the proper amount of seasoning and cure salt
to the meat. After thoroughly mixing all of the ingredients together, I then stuff the meat into
its proper casing. I use a 5 gallon electric stuffer with a hand control to do this. Next, I
either cook it in a boiler cooker and smoke it, or just smoke it without being pre-cooked
depending on which type of product I am making. I make sure that it reaches the proper
temperature of 160 degrees to kill any bacteria. After that I take it out of the smoker and
begin to chunk the product into smaller sizes so that I can package and sharp freeze it. This
is a method of freezing the meat quickly to ensure food safety.
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                                                   Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


After the animals are slaughtered and halved we hang them in the cooler for about a week.
We then must break the halves down into the primal cuts. Each primal cut is further
processed into the desired retail cuts ordered by the customer. All of the remaing trim and
unused products are ground into ground beef. Each primal cut can be processed into a
number of retail cuts. All customers choose different ways of having their meat processed,
some like more steaks where others may prefer steaks and some even prefer more ground
beef. Each of the primal cuts is then wrapped tightly making sure no oxygen enters the
package through the freezer wrap used. Oxygen causes packages to loose their shelf life.
Beef should last between 9-12 months in the freezer, a package not sealed properly will start
to deteriate in quality much quicker. All packages and cuts must be neat and attractive.
Producing good quality artisan farmstead sheep milk cheese that appeals to people who have
money and want to buy quality, local food that comes direct from the farmer and a source
they recognize. It is important to have a product of the highest quality so consumers will
continue to buy our cheese. I have accomplished this by producing high quality, local,
farmstead artisan cheese.
I grab the rabbit out of the holding pen, hold it by the back leg, and proceed to humanely
slaughter the animal; the rabbits are bled out in our sanitary kill room. Once it is dead, I
hook the rabbit by the back legs on a hanger-like device that my grandpa and I built (it looks
like an H and has hooks). This device allows us to hang the rabbit under some tension so that
we can then cut the skin around the legs. We then peel the skin off as we keep cutting
around the body of the rabbit. As I cut the skin, I cut deep enough to penetrate the outer wall
of the stomach lining. This method allows all of the internal organs to fall into a bucket
before I cut the neck and head off. The process allows my grandfather and I to most
efficiently slaughter rabbits. We have been able to increase our processing to almost twenty
rabbits per hour, thus increasing our profit margin.
Purchasing in bulk amounts will keep expenses lower and increase my profit margin.




                                                                          1162
                                                     Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


Knowing what part of the animal's carcass is used for each specific cut of meat is a skill that
takes knowledge and time to develop. Our customers request T-Bone steaks, rib steaks,
sirloin steaks, round steaks, and also some roasts. Knowing that the rib steaks come from the
loin area in the front quarter, and the T-bone and sirloins from the loin area of the rear
quarter, tells me where to cut. The round steaks and some roasts will all come from the lower
hind quarter. Most of the shoulder area is used for roasts or ground meat. Also knowing
what size to cut the steaks and roast is important. A steak is somewhere between one half
and one inch thick, depending on how the customer prefers to cook it. A roast is usually cut
into a larger chunk. When making minute steaks out of sirloins or rounds, I make sure that
the extra-muscular fat and gristle is removed completely before tenderizing it.
Once the poultry is cut open, I pull out the internal organs and clean out the gizzard, liver,
heart, and neck fat. This includes cutting open the gizzards to remove the interior lining and
contents, as well as washing each internal organ. The internal organs that are kept include the
gizzard, liver, heart, and neck. These parts are then put back into the bird's body cavity. This
is done for ease of packaging, and most customers request the return of these organs. The
offal is then composted to be spread later upon my grandparents' very large vegetable garden.
With rabbits, the removal is similar. All innards are removed and disposed of in the compost
pile. Proper removal and disposal of the offal is necessary to eliminate disease and food
Properly removing the hide from the animal is a very important skill that one needs to
acquire early in processing meat. I begin by cutting around the ankles, making slits down the
legs to the center, and then continue down the belly. Once they are opened up, I remove the
hide starting at the rear end and continuing down to the head. It is important to avoid cutting
into the meat while you are removing the hide. Doing this could damage some of the high
value cuts. Another aspect of this process is how close the fat should be trimmed off of the
hide. I can either get it really close to the meat to keep the carcass lean, or trim some of it off
later. Sometimes it is best to leave some on the outer covering so that the meat doesn't dry
out and discolor while aging. Cleanliness is very important because there is usually mud or
fecal material on the hide of the animal before processing begins.




                                                                             1162
                                                   Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


Sanitation in a processing plant is required by state inspectors. It is necessary to do proper
cleaning to pass inspection. Prevention of bacterial growth is necessary to prevent meat
contamination. I breakdown the equipment to throughly clean them. After cleaning and
sanitizing the machines I clean the floors. This has to happen after every working day. We
are inspected every Wednesday and they also make surprise inspection visits. If I do not
perform this job correctly they could red tag a piece of equipment which would cause a delay
in processing until the problem is corrected. While I have been employed at Burdick and
performing this task we have not had any major issues with the inspectors.
Once processing of the animals is done, the processing area needs to be cleaned and
disinfected. I sweep up all the feathers of the poultry and put them in a bucket. The feathers
go to a mulch pile that is made up of sea weed. Rabbit skins are collected and also put on the
compost pile. I then clean the plucker out and dump the water out of the scalder. The blood is
cleaned out of the drip pan and disposed of on the mulch pile. I then wash down the floors
and walls using a power washer and disinfecting soap. The sanitation process for rabbit
processing is very much the same, only it's fur instead of feathers. We get the sea weeds from
nearby lakes after it is harvested. This is done to keep the lakes looking nice. We use sea
weed because we have found that it breaks down the feathers and skins faster, allowing us to
put it on our fields and garden sooner and to reduce our fertilizer bill.
Once the animal is dead, I pull it out of the funnel by its legs and dip it into the scalder for
ten seconds or until the feathers are easy to pull off. The temperature of the water within the
scalder is 140-180 degrees Fahrenheit. If the feathers of the animal do not come off easy, it
can be left in the scalder longer. I then take the poultry out of the plucker and pluck the
feathers by hand or with the plucker. The scalder makes it is easier to pluck the bird, as the
heat loosens the skin on the bird and the feather come out easier.




                                                                           1162
                                                   Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


 Sharpening knives is also an important skill. There are many different ways that you can
sharpen a knife. One way is to use a sharpening mineral stone where you hold the stone in
one hand and tilt the blade towards you and run it across the stone in the direction away from
you. Another way is to use an electric knife sharpener. Using this is a quick and easy way to
get your knife sharp. Then a steel or hone is used by running the blade the opposite way to
put the finishing touches to it. You can either use both of these methods together or each
separately. The metallurgy quality of the knife blade also makes a big difference in keeping
a sharp edge on the blade. Making sure that your knife is sharp is an important measure that
you take in order to get the job done faster, and can also be a safety precaution, because
usually you get cut by the dull knife.
In the summer, I work Wednesdays at the slaughter house and there I learned how to skin the
carcasses so we could sell the hide to a tannery. It is important to use proper technique when
doing this so the hides will bring a premium price. For example, the hide company is very
particular on how the first cuts are made so that they can utilize more of the hide. It is also
important not to cut holes into the hide. I use a skinning knife and make the first cut down
the belly then begin skinning out to the sides and down the legs. I can skin a steer in about
35 minutes when working alone, but with a partner I can finish in 15 minutes. I am only able
to help skin during the summer because they are skinned in the morning when I am still at
school. I do skin deer during the season, but the process is much simpler. I have had to cape
out deer skins for customers that wish to keep the hide.
Having the meat properly smoked is a very highly appreciated service that the Country Store
provides. First I begin by hanging the product on special meat racks, making sure that none
of the casings are touching each other or the walls of the smokehouse. I then turn the burners
on to let it preheat before I add the wood chips. I keep the meat in the smokehouses until the
internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. Heating the meat to this temperature kills any
bacteria that may be in the meat. This process usually takes from eight to sixteen hours
because I use a low heat to allow the meat to absorb the smoke flavor. Next I carefully pull
out the racks and set the meat on the counter to cool. In the case of large sausages, I
immediately put them in an ice water bath to cool them down quickly which sets the liquid
fat before it can settle to the bottom of the casing.



                                                                          1162
                                                   Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


I have learned how to tear down and put back together all of the equipment on the processing
floor. It is important when tearing down the machines to do it properly, so you don't bend or
break any of the components. We tear down all the equipment to clean and sanitize at the end
of every day. The equipment that we use includes; saw, grinder, tenderizer, slicer, and
stuffer. The grinder head needs to be on square and true so that the bearing doesn't wear out.
I use soap and 180 degree F water to first clean all the machines. I then use a chemical
sanitizer to sterilize all the equipment. The equipment has been in use for many years and
the way I tear down and clean the equipment endures that it will be around for many more.
Also, when the inspector comes he goes over the equipment in detail and I have to make sure
that it will pass the inspection.
This machine is used to remove the wax cap from the honeycomb. This process allows for
quicker honey extraction.
I learned to take a commodity that has a limited market and expand it into a value added
product. This allows me to enter into a different market that enables more growth. Instead of
limiting our market by only producing meat or wool I have found a way for our farm to be
sustainable by raising dairy sheep and producing artisan cheese to enter a growing world of
local food.
n order to provide the best service to each customer, I weigh the poultry and rabbits using a
certified small animal scale. I then write the weight of the animal on the bag and place it in
the freezer. I take the weight of the processed poultry and rabbits and multiply that by
$0.45/$0.65 respectively, to get the right amount of money that is owed. We determine the
price by pound, because all of the poultry and rabbits that we process are not the same size. If
we would charge a flat processing rate of $2.00 a bird or rabbit, some customers would be
overcharged. Cornish poultry are extremely small in size and weight so we only charge a flat
processing fee of $0.25 per pound. We have chosen to keep the price per pound at a
relatively low cost compared to other processors and are able to make a profit. We hope to
increase business through customer satisfaction and repeat business.




                                                                           1162
                                                     Agricultural Processing Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


Wrapping the meat properly is an important skill because it greatly affects the quality of the
product when frozen. I first put the meat into a plastic bag, make sure that all of the air is out,
and then seal that bag. Next, I wrap that bag tightly with white meat wrapping paper.
Sometimes large cuts are difficult to wrap because of their bulkiness so on occasion they
have to be double wrapped. Making sure that all of the air is out of the bag and that it is
tightly wrapped with paper is important so that the meat does not have the chance to become
freezer burned. There are different grades of weights of wrapping paper that can be used to
protect the product. I use a high quality paper so that the customer receives a top quality
product. The final step is to label each cut of meat. It is important to make sure packages are
not miss-marked to ensure customer satisfaction.
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                                                                             1162
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     Agricultural
                        Acquiring New Customers
     Sales



                    P
     Agricultural
                    E       Addition of fragrances in the soap.
     Sales

     Agricultural
                        Advertising
     Sales
                    E




                       Arranging Fresh and Silk Flowers and
     Agricultural
                    P Putting Together Corsages, Boutonnieres
     Sales
                                   and Bouquets




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                        Assemble Equipment from Suppliers,
     Agricultural
                    P    Which comes "Knocked Down" for
     Sales
                                Shipping Purposes



     Agricultural
                    E            Assessing Risks
     Sales




     Agricultural       Assisting Customer in Loading Their
                    P
     Sales                           Purchases




     Agricultural
                    P         Bank Deposits Nightly
     Sales




                                                              1162
                                              Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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     Agricultural
                        Beef - Advertising
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Animal Selection Bought for Resale
     Sales          E
     Agricultural       Beef - Artificial Insemination (taken
     Sales              classes and am training on cows)
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Background Knowledge of Industry
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Billing
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Equipment Maintenance
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Fed to Breed at 15 months of age.
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural       Beef - Genetic Factors and Inheritance
     Sales              Knowledge
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Marketing at Auction Sales
     Sales          E
     Agricultural
                        Beef - Problem Solving
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural       Beef - Recordkeeping and Inventory
     Sales              Control
                    E

                                                                   1162
                                            Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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     Agricultural       Beef - Start Heifer Calves in Hutches (keep
     Sales              them isolated until they go into group pens)
                    E
                      Beef Feed Rations - I use for different age
     Agricultural
                      groups of calves after consulting with a
     Sales
                    E nutritionist.
     Agricultural     Beef Identification - Heifers when
     Sales          E Purchased and Log this Information for use
                      Beef Sales - I provide the papers or
     Agricultural
                      registration, as well as the records of the
     Sales
                    E dam from which they were born.

     Agricultural
                    E           Business Plan Development
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    P             Care of Fresh Flowers
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    E               Commodity Pricing
     Sales
     Agricultural
                    E             Communication Skills
     Sales



                                                                 1162
                                          Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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     Agricultural
                    E            Communication Skills
     Sales

     Agricultural
                        Communication Skills
     Sales
                    E




     Agricultural
                        Communication Skills
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                    E           Cooking Bison Products
     Sales

     Agricultural
                    E           Cooperative Resourcing
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                        Corn Maze - Design, create and Maintain
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural
                        Corn Maze - Face Painting
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural
                        Corn Maze - Facility Management
     Sales




                    P

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     Agricultural
                        Corn Maze - Pumpkin Painting
     Sales



                    P




     Agricultural
                    P          Creating Product Displays
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                    P               Customer Orders
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    P             Customer Relations
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Customer Relations
     Sales
                    E




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     Agricultural
                        Customer Relations
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural       Customer Relations - Skills and
     Sales              Relationships




                    P




     Agricultural
                    P               Customer Service
     Sales




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                                            Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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     Agricultural
                        Customer Service
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural           Displaying desirable personal and
                    P
     Sales                         professional skills




     Agricultural        Displaying Products in Window or Show
                    P
     Sales                               Floor




                                                                1162
                                            Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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     Agricultural
                        Employee Knowledge
     Sales
                    E




     Agricultural
                        Equipment Operation
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                        Facilities and Calf Hutches Rental
     Sales          E




     Agricultural
                        Farm Tours
     Sales




                    P




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     Agricultural
                        Finalizing Customer Sales
     Sales


                    P



     Agricultural
                    P               Forklift Operation
     Sales




                        Garden Center - Best Management
     Agricultural
                        Pesticide Practices for Quality Assurance to
     Sales
                        Consumers


                    P



     Agricultural
                        Garden Center - Customer Sales
     Sales


                    P



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     Agricultural
                        Garden Center - Distribution
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural
                        Garden Center - Marketing
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural       Garden Center - Product Orientation and
     Sales              Display




                    P

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     Agricultural
                        Garden Center - Retail Sales
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                        Goats Milk Soap Products - Advertising
     Sales          E
     Agricultural       Goats Milk Soap Products - Avoiding
     Sales              Hazards
                    E
     Agricultural       Goats Milk Soap Products - Compromising
     Sales              and Negotiating
                    E
     Agricultural     Goats Milk Soap Products - Customer
     Sales          E Service
     Agricultural     Goats Milk Soap Products - Making
     Sales          E Products
     Agricultural
                        Goats Milk Soap Products - Marketing
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural       Goats Milk Soap Products - Organizational
     Sales              Relationships
                    E




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     Agricultural
                        Goats Milk Soap Products - People Skills
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural     Goats Milk Soap Products - Recordkeeping
     Sales          E - Budgeting/Banking
     Agricultural       Goats Milk Soap Products - Strategic
     Sales              Planning
                    E
                         Good health maintained in the goat herd
     Agricultural
                    E    with regular vaccinations and observing
     Sales
                                  eating and behavior.




     Agricultural
                        Greenhouse Management
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                    E             Harvesting Tomatoes
     Sales




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     Agricultural       Haunted Grainary - Setting up and Scaring
     Sales              People




                    P



     Agricultural         Human Relations Skills Working With
                    P
     Sales                  Employer/Employees/Customers




     Agricultural
                    P             ID Flowers and Plants
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    E           Identifying Cuts of Meats
     Sales


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     Agricultural
                        Inventory Management
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                    E                   Irrigation
     Sales


     Agricultural
                    P      Keep Store Appealing and Pleasing
     Sales




     Agricultural        Learned to operate the cash register and
                    P
     Sales                      send bills to customers




     Agricultural
                    E    License - Temporary Restaurant License
     Sales




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     Agricultural        Main Appearance and Safety of Outside
                    P
     Sales               Walks, Drives, Parking Lots and Grass


                      Maintaining constant quality in the grain
     Agricultural
                    E   and hay used in the feeding of the
     Sales
                                    livestock.
                      Maintaining constant quality in the grain
     Agricultural
                    E   and hay used in the feeding of the
     Sales
                                    livestock.




     Agricultural
                        Maintaining Product Inventory
     Sales




                    P




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     Agricultural          Maintenance of Foliage Plants/Fresh
                    P
     Sales                       Flower Arrangements.




     Agricultural
                    E               Market Research
     Sales


     Agricultural
                        Marketing
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                        Marketing Effectively
     Sales
                    P
     Agricultural
                        Marketing Program
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                    E        Marketing Strategies and Timing
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                    P            Merchandising Displays
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Mixing Paints
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural
                        Modern Marketing
     Sales



                    P




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     Agricultural
                    E                 Networking
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    P     Operating Computerized Cash Register
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Operating Specialized Equipment
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                        Ordering Products
     Sales
                    E

     Agricultural
                    E                  Packaging
     Sales



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     Agricultural     Perform Minor Veterinary Practices on my
     Sales          E Animals.




     Agricultural       Petting Zoo - Maintaining a Safe
     Sales              Environment




                    P




     Agricultural
                        Picking Pumpkins
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural
                    P             Plant and Product Care
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                    P               Plant Knowledge
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Planting and Maintaining Pumpkin Patch
     Sales




                    P




     Agricultural
                        Power Equipment Service
     Sales




                    P




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     Agricultural
                    E      Preparation of Marketing Tools
     Sales

     Agricultural
                    E      Preparing By-Products for Sale
     Sales




     Agricultural       Preparing for Weddings, Funerals and
                    P
     Sales                             Parties




     Agricultural       Pricing Products for Both Retail and
                    E
     Sales                      Wholesale customers




     Agricultural
                    P            Product Assembly
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                        Product Demonstration
     Sales




                    P

     Agricultural
                    E             Product Development
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Product Orientation/Display
     Sales




                    P




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     Agricultural
                    P                 Product Quality
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Product Shelf Life Knowledge
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural         Proper and efficient use of an industrial
                    E
     Sales                                 stove.




     Agricultural
                    P           Proper Display of Products
     Sales




     Agricultural       Proper packaging to maintain fragrance in
                    E
     Sales                               soap.

     Agricultural
                        Protein Level Knowledge
     Sales
                    E



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     Agricultural
                    E   Public Relations & Product Promotion
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    P             Public Speaking
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    E            Quality Assurance
     Sales


     Agricultural
                    E            Quantity Discounts
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                    P                Recordkeeping
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    E                Recordkeeping
     Sales


     Agricultural
                    E                Recordkeeping
     Sales

     Agricultural
                        Recordkeeping
     Sales
                    E




     Agricultural
                        Recordkeeping/Inventory of Product
     Sales



                    P



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     Agricultural
                    P             Resetting Plan-O-Gram
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    P                   Retail Sales
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Safety
     Sales
                    E


     Agricultural
                    P            Sales at Farm Supply Store
     Sales




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     Agricultural
                        Sales Displays
     Sales



                    P




     Agricultural       Sales, Communication and Customer
     Sales              Assistance




                    P
     Agricultural          Setting Up Attractive and Persuasive
                    E
     Sales                              Displays.




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     Agricultural
                        Shipping and Receiving Management
     Sales




                    P
     Agricultural
                        Show Supply Use
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural
                    E       State and Local Health Standards
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Stocking Merchandise
     Sales




                    P




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     Agricultural
                    P       Stocking Product on Freight Night
     Sales




     Agricultural
                    P               Stocking Shelves
     Sales




     Agricultural       Survey of craft show participants regarding
                    E
     Sales                     the presentation of products.
     Agricultural
                    E            Taking Customer Orders
     Sales
     Agricultural       Through trial and error, the use of "color"
                    E
     Sales               in the soap added variety to the product.

     Agricultural
                    E               Time Management
     Sales




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                                            Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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Down Main Sheet                            Skill
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     Agricultural
                    E           Tomato Hybrid Selection
     Sales




     Agricultural
                        Tracking Accounts Receivable
     Sales


                    P
     Agricultural          Use of "food grade" sanitation in the
                    E
     Sales                 handling of the milk and equipment.

     Agricultural
                        Use of Credit
     Sales
                    E
     Agricultural          Use of label to identify the soap as a
                    E
     Sales                     product of an FFA project.
     Agricultural       Use of molds instead of a box in the curing
                    E
     Sales                             of the soap.

     Agricultural
                    E        Weighing/Pricing Bison Products
     Sales




                                                                    1162
                                          Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples

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     Agricultural
                        Workshop Presentations
     Sales



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                                                              1162
                                                      Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


When I am at shows, I try to watch for potential customers. When traveling,
animals will go off feed and water. I will approach the person and talk to them and
try to get them to try some of our product. I first have to gain their trust by sharing
my knowledge on the product and what it can do for them. It also helps to share my
stories about the product with them. I have donated some product to them so they
can see how it works. I usually go with them and make sure that it is administered
properly to the animal, as this is critical to the success of the product. In donating
the product, this shows the potential customer that I believe in my product and this
has helped me secure a sale.
By making soaps with a fragrance, it is a value added feature to encourage the
consumer to pick my soap over the generic soap sold in the store. Six fragrances
and a plain soap offered to customers.
Radio advertising was used in the beginning. Newspaper ads later became the main
source of advertisement with three different newspapers running the ads on a
weekly basis.
 The main part of a flower shop is to make unique arrangements for a customer's
specific needs. Another crucial part of this business is weddings. In both areas,
design, unity, balance and harmony are the keys to making something beautiful.
Together, these elements create a demand for me to be knowledgeable of the
techniques involved in making vase, basket, and other special container
arrangements for individual customers, weddings, funerals, and parties. Also, for
various events, it is required that I know how to make corsages and boutonnieres.
In the time I have worked at Owen's I have learned how to make these things as
well as gift basket arrangements, candy bouquets, and wedding bouquets. A major
part of making these arrangements is being able to see balance while maintaining
functionality. These skills are what make me a valuable asset in the floral industry.




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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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Many of our larger products are shipped "knocked down". I assemble these
products for display or for customer pick-up. I first read the instructions to make
sure I understand everything, then I get the proper tools and assemble. After it is
assembled I test the product to make sure it is assembled and adjusted correctly. I
either call the customer to tell them their order is in, or put it on display. I have
learned many skills in mechanics by assembling products that we sell. Common
items that need some assembly include: lawn mowers, riding mowers, drill presses,
hydraulic presses and engine hoists.
I decided to buy crop insurance for my home grown tomatoes. Luckily the past four
years, crop insurance was not needed for my tomato enterprise.
 I help the customers load their feed, toolboxes, cases or buckets of oil, and
anything else that they cannot load themselves. I also load all the products off the
side lot and front lot, which include gates, fence wire, fence posts, tractor
equipment, tanks, and troughs. For products that are too heavy to lift by hand, I use
the forklift to lift items such as coils of fence wire, tractor equipment, air
compressors, protein tubs, and feed, if it is bought by the ton. We have several
different pieces of equipment that we use to help load products. We have many
types of carts, pallet jacks, and hand trucks to make our job easier. When loading
products such as lawn mowers, ATV’s, and tillers we use a special plate that is put
on the forklift to pick up the product without damaging it.
 Part of the cashier's job is to complete a deposit each night. The deposit includes
all checks received along with the amount of cash that was made. Credit, debit, and
gift cards are all submitted electronically to the main office. The Tractor Supply
Company corporate headquarters then collects from each bank and credit institute.
Tractor Supply Company uses a disposable bag each night for each cash register.
Every night when the store closes, one must do a deposit and count to see if the
money drawer comes out to the correct amount. At Tractor Supply Company, we
keep some change on hand but all the earnings of that day are deposited that night.
Once the money balances, the totals for the day are put into the corporate system.
A member of management must drive to the bank, while another team member
follows to ensure safety and for theft reasons as well.

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Before every breeding season I run an ad in The Register advertising the new bulls
in the breed. We also advertise in other publications that cater more to other breeds
as well as the commercial industry.
Switching a major part of my business to buying and selling has given me
numerous contacts and expanded my business greatly. I now provide animals
Being able to keep a semen tank at home will allow me to breed my own heifers to
better bulls. I will be able to discontinue using a bull and save feeding costs as well
as lessen safety concerns.
Prior knowledge of the beef industry and the current trends and problems are
necessary to help the customer find what they need. If your opinion is asked for you
must know where to direct them.
Following a shipment a bill is sent out to the purchaser for the semen and the
shipping and handling. Every six months a commission check is sent to the owner
of the bull; I keep a percentage.
To insure that the semen stays fresh and thousands of dollars are not lost the
equipment must be maintained every month. Each month the tanks are filled with
nitrogen and they are checked for leaks.
This allows me to sell them as springers at about two years of age. Size, rather than
age determines breeding dates, and a good ration lessens the time I need to keep
each animal before selling her.
Genetics are the key to selecting the appropriate bull for reproduction. The more I
know about the genetics and inheritance; I will be able to help customers prepare
for superior genetics.
Having multiple marketing opportunities has allowed me to raise the average price I
receive for my bred heifers by nearly $100 per head.
Dealing with semen distributors and shipping companies, tanks do get lost through
mail. It is my job to use the tracking numbers to find the tanks and insure that they
get to the purchaser on time.
Every two or three months an inventory is taken of the current supply of semen and
is recorded in the database. Upon shipment, the units sold are recorded in order to
keep inventory current.

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                                                       Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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I have healthier heifers and less disease and other health problems. This means I
have a faster growth rate and can breed my heifers on time so they freshen at about
24-25 months of age.
Working with a feed consultant has allowed me to mix rations, which cost less, but
still provide maximum growth rates.
 am able to give correct information on the pedigree and performance records of the
animals I sell. This increases the price I can ask for them.
This also raises the price I can charge for my bred heifers, which provides me with
a higher return.
Communicating strategies and goals; Outlining resources to realize objectives;
Planning for company success: Developing a business plan, helped prioritize goals
for the enterprise. The process required research, planning, record keeping and
sales forecasting.
 Fresh flowers need a great deal of attention to extend their shelf life. Before we
receive the flowers, it is my responsibility to fill floral buckets with fresh water and
preservative and set the buckets out to assume room temperature. When the flowers
come in, it is my job to take them out of their packing, cut the stems to allow for
more water uptake, and place them in the floral buckets for a few hours so that they
have time to adjust to the water before being put into the cooler. Leaves from
flower stems often fall off or are knocked off of the stems. After a couple days,
there becomes a build-up of debris in the floral cooler. It is my responsibility to
maintain a clean cooler. I take the old, soft flowers out because, if left in the
cooler, they will contaminate the others. Part of my job description is to maintain
healthy flowers; by doing all of the tasks previously mentioned the flowers' shelf
Using agribusiness skills, I was able to track commodity pricing by talking with
wholesalers. I was able to price my produce competitively with other markets.
This has allowed me to effectively correspond with potential customers. Giving
potential customers more information about our bison products and by-products.



                                                                            1162
                                                   Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


                            Knowledge/Competency


Using my personal and life skills learned in the FFA I was able to greet customers
and talk to them to make them feel comfortable and confident in purchasing a
quality product.
Along with customer relations you must first have the communication skills
necessary to correspond with the customers in any way needed. Effective
communication is needed both verbal and nonverbal.
One skill I have really had to work on since starting my placement SAE is
communication. When I started at the hardware I was 15 and somewhat shy when
dealing with customers. This was my first job where I had to deal directly with
customers. As I continued to work at Ace I became more familiar with the product
line. My knowledge helped me gain the confidence I needed to be more
comfortable in talking with customers. Communication also involves listening,
which is very important when dealing with customers and their problems. When I
moved to Ace, these communication skills became even more important because of
the large number of customers I deal with each day. These communication skills I
have developed will prove very beneficial in the future in working with co-workers
and customers in the Agriculture Equipment field.
This has allowed me to give accurate information to customers on how to prepare
our bison products. I am able to give them tips on grilling and other traditional
methods to prepare meat.
A local farm provided me with farm fresh produce and in turn bought wholesale
tomatoes from my 1 acre tomato patch. I was able to retail my own tomatoes as
well as buy other produce at wholesale price.




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                                                      Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


Each year, we try to create a new maze in one of our corn fields. By working with
my uncle, I have learned all the skills needed to not only design a maze, but to
construct, maintain and tour through unique mazes. Every spring, we sit down, plot
the field, and make maps. By doing this we can create a maze. After we plant corn,
we wait until its mid-June before we go through the field and remove the corn that
is not needed. It is there where we put the maze path. Throughout the summer we
go back through the field again to make sure we have not missed some of the stalks.
Once it comes to like mid-September, we go through this maze and make sure
everything is the way we want it. We pull out all weeds and insure that the path is
smooth for people to walk on. Then we place "scary people" in there just to add a
Face painting is fun. Ever since I was a little girl, I liked to paint. I have used this
skill to make many a young person happy. By developing unique creations and
practicing them over and over, I have gotten good at this skill. My family works
together to develop new looks each year. We have certain experts among us who
are truly talented. They take the lead and show us exactly what to do so that each
of us creates a good painted picture. Among my favorite ones are creating spiders
and ghosts. It is really neat to see how excited the kids get when they get a cool
figure painted on them. On average, I probably paint about 50 kids a day during a
busy weekend, sometimes more during a really busy day. It is important to me to
provide as many unique opportunities to our customers as possible.
There is lots of time put into this business making it is what it is. Keeping the yard
maintained is a big job. I am in charge of mowing and weed-wacking, to keep all
the grass and trim maintained beautifully. We have to keep everything looking
appealing to the customer. We must eliminate as many hazards as possible because
safety is such a very important factor. Due to our concessions, there is lots of
garbage left behind. In October where the wind tends to be stronger, waste flies
around a lot more, so the garbage does not always stay in the garbage containers.
Since there are so many areas we maintain in the pumpkin farm, such as the
Haunted granary, crafts, petting areas, and more, these areas need to be maintained
often. Because it is October, it does rain and there are leaves everywhere. All these
things must be taken into consideration when planning a business like this.

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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


                             Knowledge/Competency


Every pumpkin holds the potential of some really cool art. Painting a pumpkin
requires you to pick "your" pumpkin- the pumpkin that best fits you. I then wash
the dirt off and dry it. The better pumpkins to paint on are ones with a flat surface.
The pictures we paint on have to do with a witch, scarecrow, scenery and much
more. After I am done painting, I give it its finishing touch by spraying it with a
glossy finish to provide protection for the paint. Not only do we paint them and sell
them, but we have an area when little ones or whomever can paint the pumpkins
themselves. This is tons of fun helping the little kids think of ideas to paint on and
to see the final result. A love of children and art is necessary to make this skill a
Setting up displays was another part of my job in agricultural sales. In order to
properly set up a display, I had to attain much knowledge in coordinating plants that
would grow well together and compliment each other as well as a general theme.
Other considerations that went into decision of plants to use in a display is the
blooming season, leaf or foliage texture, height, growth habit, focal points and
color. Plants that look great the entire season are more likely to sell. Customers
will usually purchase more plants than intended if they see them planted together in
a display. Customers can usually replicate the displays we have at the nursery.
Displays promote the use of different landscape principles. Sales usually increase
if a customer can see how certain plants can be used. They tend to be attracted to
plants they usually think would not compliment each other in a planting.




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Many of the orders that we fulfill come in over the phone. It is crucial for me to
have the public relations skills and prices, availability, and descriptions of products
to help our customers. Dealing with customers over the phone proves more
challenging than dealing with those who come into the flower shop because I have
to have the ability to visualize, as well as helping the customer to visualize,
products, flowers, and plants as I describe them. It is important to keep the
customer satisfied and deliver exactly what the customer is expecting, if not more.
We are the link between the customer and the recipient of the order and their
satisfaction lies in the mutual understanding of the product being ordered. Placing
orders with other flower shops around the nation is also important in this business.
I try to make the transition from flower shop to flower shop as smooth as possible
to ensure a quality product that our customer will be proud to give as a gift.
A major part of maintaining a good customer base is customer satisfaction. In
order to maintain customer satisfaction, it is mandatory to have good "people
skills." By working at Original Floral Designs I have learned many skills that will
be useful in my future, no matter what career area I choose to go in to. Being
courteous, kind, and helpful to customers, without being pushy and annoying, is a
must. I have learned many ways of dealing with customers, both in person and via
telephone, in the last year and a half I have worked in the floriculture industry. I
am always more than happy to answer any questions customers may have, and I do
my best to thoroughly explain our products in an understandable manner. I enjoy
working with our customers and doing all I can to ensure their happiness with our
products and service. After all, making people happy is the major part of what
Each day the business encounters breeders and livestock producers from across the
US and in other countries. I must be able to help and satisfy any questions or
problems.




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Telephone orders start with making sure the costumer gets the right product for the
right animal. Some people that call do not realize we have several different
products. They may only be familiar with our 5 pound bag of powder. I also try to
get to know their animal and its needs. In taking telephone orders I have to make
sure that I have the right address to ship to and I need some method of payment.
This has helped me improve my communication skills by talking with different
people with different concerns and needs. It has also helped me learn more about
the product which has helped me increase my product sales. This also helped me to
win gold emblem individual at the National Floriculture contest. In the contest we
had to take a telephone order for flowers and it is not much different then taking
telephone orders for Fastrack.
Working at the Farm Market and Garden Center gave me the opportunity to work
directly with customers. Every day I helped individuals select the correct plants for
their home landscape, solve pest problems and provide correct and accurate
information. During my first year of employment, and continuing thereafter, I
began to understand the proper procedures, such as etiquette and courtesy, of
personal interaction with customers. My daily contact continually stressed and
reiterated these characteristics. I never was pushy or ignorant towards customers as
they considered their landscape options, for a home landscape is a lifetime
investment. An efficient salesman listens to the customers in order to identify the
customer's personal needs. I felt and was taught the customer should make the
decision, not the salesman. Proper customer relations skills can make or break a
In order for a business to succeed, it must provide an adequate amount of customer
service. I learned many aspects of customer service to help maintain current
customers and attract new customers. If a business doesn't provide appropriate
customer service, it will develop a bad reputation and lose customers. In both
business situations, I provided the customers with the service they needed before
and after they purchased a product. I helped them find plants, provided knowledge
of the different plants, and helped assist customers in getting their products to their
vehicle. Gaining customer service skills has helped me to be successful in my SAE
program in Agricultural sales as it is a necessary component of any business.

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In each of my Ag Sales placement experiences, customer service has been a
necessary skill requirement of the business. To stay in business and be competitive
with the big box stores, Ace Hardware keep their customers coming back by the
quality customer service they provide. At Ace Hardware, I greet customers the
minute they come in the door. Many customers are looking for very specialized
items and appreciate that I and our other employees are there to help them. In many
cases, I even have to help customers determine what they need for their situation. I
often help customers determine the particular landscaping products they needed. I
feel I have learned a great deal about satisfying customers and these skills will be
useful as I make the transition into the equipment field in the future.
Most customers feel comfortable when they have established a working
relationship with a salesperson. Gaining the customer's confidence and
determining their individual needs, I will be able to assist them in making a
purchase they will be happy with for a very long time. In turn, they will return to
the business. This is most important when it's the customer's first experience. I
assist customers in many different areas such as providing information on plant
requirements, helping them find certain plants, greeting them when they arrive, and
thanking them for their business. I have learned many desirable personal and
professional skills in agriculture class, the Agricultural Sales Career Development
The displays in the window at the store are crucial in bringing customers into the
store and showcasing a variety of the products we offer. The window display and
the show floor display help to make items more easily accessible and easier to view
while also making a good impression on our customers by showing them that we
are more than willing to take the time make quality arrangements to fit their various
needs. It is important to have the ability to decorate the window and show floor
while also keeping in mind the balance and overall design of both. These areas are
not only for show, they must also be functional in order to optimize the limited
amount of space. From the street, customers see the window and on many
occasions that is what draws them into the store. I am capable of decorating the
window and show floor in a balanced and functional manner in hopes of increasing
business and sales as well as giving me a chance to display my talents.

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Learned to treat employees with respect, pay them on time, rotate task to avoid
monotony. An enjoyable work place has improved worker productivity and
provided a pleasant atmosphere for customers.
From the very beginning of my job at Landscape Supplies, one of my primary skill
requirements was operating the loading equipment associated with the job. The
business supplies and erosion control products mainly for contractors. Many of our
products were sold in large quantities, requiring specialized equipment to load.
Operation of both a forklift and a uniloader was a direct requirement of my job.
Having already learned to operate heavy equipment and tractors really helped with
my job requirements. I learned early on that each type of material we sold had
different loading characteristics. I also learned that care had to be taken to prevent
damage, either to our equipment or to the customers' trucks and trailers that were
being loaded. Loading cross ties, mulch, soil products or erosion control products,
each presented its own challenges.
This allows for less capital investment, provides my parents with extra income, and
reduces the fixed cost of interest for me.
Giving tours around the farm is pretty fun. One thing you must know is that kids
will ask any question that comes to their mind. Because of this, it is important to
know a little bit of everything about the farm. We take them through the barns and
fields, and to see different animals. We also teach them about how to raise their
own pumpkins. It is important that when kids leave our farm, they have learned
something about farming. We take field trips out to fields and let them pick their
own pumpkin. Along with doing this, we teach them how to keep pumpkins for a
long time so they can do it themselves. We also built these wagons that we pull
behind a lawnmower to give tours around the farm. I also must train people who
come to help us to give farm tours, explaining what each area in agriculture is all
about. This allows them to help represent us to the public.




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As I began to work independently, my duties required me to finalize sales on my
own. This required me to set-up deliveries, utility mark outs and secure payment for
the materials and services. I also helped answer any last minute questions the
customers may have, such as delivery dates and additional care after the planting of
the materials, and write-up the final sales receipt. Through my observation of other
employees, I learned the proper skills to help build proper customer relations in the
future, such as a handshake, a pleasant attitude and the importance of body
When using the forklift I first check all fluids to make sure the forklift is working
properly. I check to see if everyone is out of the way before I start the motor. I
carefully drive-up to the semi to unload it. I carry loads low once I get the pallet off
of the trailer. While loading I move slowly in order to not lose the load and to take
extra care and caution where customers may be walking. Generally, I take the
loaded pallet to the warehouse. Eventually the pallets are moved to the store where
I unpack the supplies and price each item.
Working in the greenhouse gave me experience in pesticide practices. When using
pesticides, you must be aware of the nature of the chemicals. Some pesticides are
applied using a light mist, while others must be applied to run-off. Utilizing these
chemicals allow the grower to provide quality products to the consumers. I applied
growth regulators at specific intervals tailored to the chemicals, for example some
require 14 day intervals between applications. Consumers prefer high quality trees,
shrubs, and flowers and remember that quality in the future. This taught me that
quality is key to a successful business, and one must be willing to utilize the best
pesticide practices.
As I began to work independently, my duties required me to finalize sales on my
own. This required me to set up deliveries, utility mark outs, and secure payment
for the materials and services. I also helped answer and last minute questions the
customers may have, such as delivery dates and additional care after the planting of
the materials, and write up the final sales receipt. Through my observation of the
owners, I learned the proper skills to help build proper customer relations in the
future, such as a handshake, a pleasant attitude, and the importance of body



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I became actively involved in the ordering of plant material and supplies at the
Farm Market and Garden Center. This gave me important insight into the business
world. One of my duties early in the year allowed me to become actively involved
in the pricing of trees, shrubs, and perennials. This allowed me to see how the
prices are determined, taking into consideration initial cost, freight, and other
charges which might become part of the final cost to the consumer. I often took an
active role in the final decisions to changes prices, taking into consideration
consumer trends and the profits received by Farm Market and Garden Center.
Understanding the transition of goods from the wholesaler, to the secondary seller,
and finally the consumer is an important part of the modern business world.
The Farm Market purchased the LabelView labeling software and the TEC thermal
printer. This system prints easy to read, long lasting, and consumer friendly labels.
My responsibilities allowed me to develop hang tags, tags used for trees and shrubs,
and individual signs for plant material on the retail lot. These labels provide
customers with beneficial information including: height, spread, common and
botanical name, and a brief description of the habit and uses. Providing consumers
with worthwhile information allows them to develop an understanding of the
material they may be purchasing. Part of my job required me to make sure that each
plant was priced and was marked with both a tag and descriptive sign. Over two
years, I created over 1000 templates that are utilized throughout the year for
effective marketing of trees, shrubs, and other landscape items.
The Garden Center owner continually stressed the importance of a clean and
orderly sales area. During free time between sales, fellow employees and I would
"deadhead" plants, make sure signs were in the proper places, and straighten up
plant material in the sales areas. Often, the first impression a customer receives
about a retail shop is made when they first enter the sales area. If plants are neatly
placed in sales beds and on tables, the customer receives a positive impression of
the business. I have had customers tell me how the overall appearance effects their
buying decisions, stressing the Farm Market and Garden Center was top of the top.
These comments and the continual reinforcement from my employer allowed me to
see the importance of product orientation and display.

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Majority of my responsibility on the retail lot was to effectively provide customers
with information and to sell quality merchandise. In order to enhance the sales of
plant materials, part of my responsibility was to provide customers with oral
instructions, written pamphlets, and the necessary resources in order for the buyer
to properly maintain a quality plant. Product insurance was provided in the form of
a one year guarantee of all plant material and future assistance with customer
purchases. I became actively involved in this process, giving me experience in good
consumer relations. I was taught by my employer that the customer should be
provided with information that they can take home and use. Allowing the customer
to walk away without acquiring knowledge about the material the purchased is an
ineffective sale. An educated consumer can parley into a returning customer.
Newspaper ads have proved to be very successful. Other ways of advertisement
include verbal, donations, a website and a flyer listing and displaying my products.
This allowed me to create my business without putting myself, as well as others, in
harm's way. Working with lye can be hazardous if you come in contact with it - so
safety is a must.
This allowed me to be able to get my product out there. This also allowed me to
make the best decision for marketing my product that would benefit me, as well as
the businesses it is being sold in.
Being able to offer your customers a value for their dollar is very important. Extra
services include delivery and custom made gift baskets.
This allowed me to properly make my products and produce them so they could be
used and sold outside my home.
I possess good information about my market and know a great deal about my most
loyal customers. By fulfilling the needs I know are important to my customers, I am
better able to supply the products they need.
Being actively involved in the FFA gave me the opportunity to promote and
advertise my products at various FFA activities. This helped to get the word out
about my business.




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                              Knowledge/Competency


A good relationship with your customers is very important if you want to have a
great business. Learning to deal with people with various personalities is essential
to future success.
I have learned I must keep good records to track my needs. I have to budget due to
the fact my business is not my only enterprise.
Planning is a crucial part to being successful in any business. I have to anticipate
my customer's needs long before they do. I also must change scents and molds to
keep the customer coming back.
Regular health checks and vaccinations helps ensure that the goats produce milk
regularly so that there will be more milk for soap production. Preventative
maintenance is more cost effective too.
Part of my responsibility in the greenhouses required me to apply pesticides and
regularly inspect 27 production greenhouses, ranging from 1500-4000 square feet,
for possible problems. Using modern growing methods, such as Integrated Pest
Management, we delivered quality products to the consumer. To ensure quality
products, networking is a resourceful skill. My employer and I worked together
when contacting Griffin, a local horticultural supply company, and the Rutgers
Cooperative Extension to learn about the new practices being utilized for crop
production. Some of these included new chemicals, planting techniques, and
technology in the growing process. All of these practices help provide the customer
with plant material, whether it is for the landscape or interior-scape, that is high in
quality and can improve a home's aesthetic value.
I harvest tomatoes throughout the summer and begin picking early in the morning
or late in the evening so it doesn't interfere with the product stand. I have learned to
pick quickly without damaging the tomatoes.




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                              Knowledge/Competency


This activity seems to be the one I am most interested in. Setting up the grainery
takes lots of time, but it is well worth it. We tend to make it not so scary and
bloody/gory. This is important because there are children that do go through this
and we want this to be a fun experience, not something they will have nightmares
about for the next year! I think why I like this so much is just the excitement people
have. You wouldn't believe the faces people make. It makes everything worth it!
We try to set up the maze different each year, adding doors or dead-ends to make
the scaring experience a little more fun. We also take time to look for new
costumes. This keeps the whole idea fresh for us, and fun for those that come to
visit. We have added special lighting, curtains, music, and noises, which make this
An important thing I do is listen and follow directions carefully when given by my
supervisor and the manager/owner. I also work well with the other employees when
we are doing jobs that involve two or more people to do the job. I also immediately
assist customers to our store to assure they are getting everything they need. We
want our customers to understand they are welcome and important. I always watch
my clothes, actions or words so they would never be offensive to the public
shopping in our store.
When customers come into the shop, it is essential to know the basics of all the
flowers and plants we carry. Knowing the different varieties of flowers and their
preferences as far as amount of light, humidity, and ideal temperatures are great
pieces of knowledge to have. The customers can tell that I know what I am talking
about and feel confident that they have received correct information from me to aid
them in making their selection. At times, I have to travel to nearby cities to pick up
flowers and/or plants. On these occasions is it extremely helpful for me to know
exactly what I am looking to pick up if I have to pick them out. It is also good for
me to be able to mentally grade them on quality to pick the best for the shop. My
boss has trust in my abilities to pick the right varieties of flowers and plants when I
travel to pick them up, and also confidence in my ability to select the best quality
I have developed skills in identifying cuts of meat by participating in FFA and 4H
meat and livestock judging teams. My experience in meat and carcass evaluation
has allowed me to assure the customer of the product that they are purchasing.

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A truck is shipped with product which comes to my house twice a month. After it is
unloaded I help my parents go through and split up all the orders and check it to the
invoices. Once I am sure that all the product matches the invoices. I then separate
the product to fill my orders. Some of the product that is delivered has to be kept
refrigerated until it is picked up. Once I have all my orders separated I put all the
perishable products in the refrigerator. I then try to put together all my orders that
have to be delivered and contact those customers to set up a convenient time. Other
orders will be picked up at my house, so I can contact them when they arrive. I
realize how important it is to make sure the delivery matches the invoices, because
if product is missing I cannot fill my orders. It also has helped me with my
All 2,500 tomato plants are set I plastic with drip line irrigation for dry summer
months. This allows me to meet customer demands, even if we have not had ideal
conditions for tomatoes.
I make sure the store is in proper condition in respect to appearance. I do dusting of
shelves and sweep the store. After I'm done sweeping I walk around and make sure
all products are displayed neatly and in an organized fashion. I work hard to keep
the store in a nice and clean condition. A major project I have been involved in is
restructuring the displays within the major departments.
Operating the cash register is important to know when closing a sale. If a customer
is paying for their products at the time of purchase I will use the cash register to
ring up their order and provide them with a receipt. At the local nursery, we also
allow customers to have a charge account. If a customer prefers to charge their
merchandise and receive a bill in the mail, I must fill out the proper paperwork
necessary to be able to send them a bill later on. I help fill out bills and mail them
to customers on a regular basis. Providing billing options to customers is an
This has allowed me to conduct cooking shows, which draw in more customers,
increasing profit per pound. Retail meat sales have also increased as a result of
participating in cooking shows.




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In the winter I take care of removing the snow and keeping the ice melted. In the
summer I mow the grass, trim around the building and supplies stacked outdoors. I
control the weeds using residual herbicides. I clean up any metal bandings from the
fence post piles and pick up the bandings and paper from the stacks of livestock
gates. Keeping the outside of the store neat in appearance is important. The safety
of our customers is of extreme importance.
The surveys led to the current design of the labels and shrink wrapping of the
product. Sales are driven by location and product. The product needed to be
packaged and labeled effectively to draw customers.
This assures constant quality and volume of milk used in the production of the
soap. As learned in my research, pH, ppt and ms can affect the smoothness of the
soap when mixed with lye.
One of the daily activities that involves much of my time is maintaining the
inventory of merchandise we have for sale. Our store carries general hardware,
tools, paints, power equipment and many other items. The merchandise has to be
continually replenished as items are sold. Since our inventory is computerized, an
order of merchandise that must be replenished is generated from the computer each
week. Each Wednesday, our store receives a shipment of merchandise from the Ace
warehouse based on this computer order. anytime I am not assisting a customer, I
am busy restocking from this order. Our store also does special orders for
customers as well as periodic sales. This merchandise has to be handled differently.
In many cases, we have to create special displays for the sales item which involves




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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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By keeping the foliage plants in our shop in peak condition, we are able to use them
to fill orders for longer periods of time. I work hard to maintain a clean, fresh
cooler full of a wide variety of fresh flowers. These flowers are what many
customers come in to look at, so I am expected to take good care of them in order to
make them beautiful for a longer period of time. We take pride in sending only
well maintained and preserved flowers and plants from our shop to their recipients
for our customers. The plants usually keep longer, naturally, but by applying the
proper treatments and nutrient additives to the floral foam or soil, the flowers and
plants are healthier when they leave the shop and more likely to last even longer.
Plants require a specific amount of water, light, and humidity to look their best. I
ensure that their needs are fulfilled by observing and making adjustments to these
Gathering and analyzing data; Applying sociology to evaluate consumer
preferences: Customer preferences in flavors, packaging, and price setting can be
predicted by conducting research, analyzing data from taste tests, surveys, and
questionnaires, and sales histories.
A successful business is one that has the advantage of marketing. Marketing is key
to the success of my semen sales business. Marketing enables me to show the
semen I am offering to a large audience.
The Farm Market purchased the LabelView labeling software and the TEC thermal
printer. This system prints easy to read, long lasting, and consumer friendly labels.
My responsibilities allowed me to develop hang tags, tags used for trees and shrubs,
Sales techniques help to market the products to increase business. Monthly specials
are run to bring in and increase movement of products and decrease time that the
product sits on the shelf in the store.
Crop management relies on timing for irrigation, pesticides and herbicide
application and harvesting of the crop to be successful.




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Displays are known to attract customers to products they may not usually busy.
Displays promote products in many ways. At The Nursery, I create and maintain
displays for many different aspects of the business. There are displays with water
plants, soil products, shade and sun plants, annuals, perennials, and much more.
Many times, I create displays customers can replicate at home, striking an interest
for the customers to purchase more plants than what they set out to get in the first
place. Things included in a display are choosing a theme, finding props to blend
with the theme, prices for the products and keeping the display properly
maintained. Attractive displays will aid in selling many products.
Over the period of time that I have been employed at Ace Hardware, as I have
demonstrated mastery of certain assigned tasks, I have been given the opportunity
to take on new activities within the store. My latest task assignment has been
mixing paint. Ace chain has its own brand of paints that come in a variety of colors.
In addition, the chain also provides a number of bases that can be utilized I
preparing customer orders for our customers. In our store, I am able to use a special
scanning device to scan an item or color for determining the appropriate base and
tints for customer colors. Once the item is scanned, the computer generates a code
that tells the quantities of ingredients to place in the mix to achieve the appropriate
mix. During the entire process, each step has to be performed very accurately to
achieve the appropriate color and customer satisfaction.
I began a project to effectively label all plant material in inventory using the
LabelView Tagging software, which offers a database of approximately 5000
different plants. I helped implement the use of technology to enhance marketability
and displays of products. The more information that is provided to the consumer
helps facilitate sales. Tidy display areas entice customers to make purchases and
helps provide future incentives to return. The use of technology, such as computers,
helps make those areas look cleaner and more professional. Implementing these
technologies help increase sales and further develop customer satisfaction at the
Farm Market and Garden Center.




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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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Communicating with business contacts; Exchanging business information;
Increasing business revenue. Networking with officials from agencies such as the
USDA Rural Development increases the opportunity to become aware of programs
available to agricultural entrepreneurs.
All of the products that are sold at Tractor Supply Company have to be scanned
with the handheld scanner. The reason Tractor Supply Company scans all products
is to ensure that we are selling the right product at the correct price. It only takes
one number punched in wrong to sell the wrong product. After the amount has been
displayed, we select the type of payment. Tractor Supply Company has a card
scanner so the customer can scan their own card. If the customer writes a check we
run it through a system called TeleCheck, this ensures that the amount of the check
is good. Tractor Supply Company accepts all major credit cards, cash, checks, and
Tractor Supply Company gift cards. Tractor Supply Company also has personal
and business credit cards.
At both sites in which I have been employed, I have been required to operate
various types of specialized equipment as part of my job duties. While employed,
one of my main activiti4es was loading the products purchased. Because of the
heavy or bulk nature of the material, I used both a forklift and a uniloader. I had to
practice on each piece of equipment to acquire the proficiency needed in the job. At
Ace Hardware, I have been given the responsibility of serving the power
equipment. This activity also requires the use of specialized equipment like our
chain sharpener. I have also been taught to use the paint mixing equipment. The use
of this equipment, as well as our registers' requires an understanding of computers.
Training in the Ag Education program helped greatly in this activity area.
Ordering products is a very important part of a business. Knowing what products
move at a particular time of year and correctly ordering the right amount of each
product to order is crucial.
Presenting attractive product to the public; Using quality materials to insure safe
product; Innovative packaging for increased value: Attractive packaging is a
successful marketing strategy that increases sales in niche markets such as gourmet
food stores. Premium prices are paid by consumers of these products.

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Being able to vaccinate, give shots, treat hoof problems, and administer a program
of parasite control lessens veterinary costs and improves profits.
Petting zoos are a great opportunity for kids to really get a chance to experience
farm life. They get right into a facility and learn how an animal acts, eats, and
plays. In our "petting zoo", kids are able to handle and feed animals of all sorts,
such as calves, rabbits, kittens, puppies and more. When kids are able to do this, it
is important that they know safety precautions. Each person who works for us is
trained on both animal handling and are tutored on answers to questions kids could
ask. It is important to present the best knowledge possible so that the kids get
something from the experience. We make sure the animal doesn't leave the
designated area. We use pens that little ones are able to walk into and pet the
animals. We also offer each child a cleaning wipe to sanitize their hands after they
are done petting the animals to prevent any possibility of the spread of disease.
Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. First we go to the field and cut the stems
off the vines. When doing this, I make sure to have gloves on and am using a
clippers because the vine and stem have these little picky things, which cause little
slivers in your fingers and hurt. When we cut the vines from the stems, we then
place them in rows wide enough that the tractor and wagon will be able to go
through. Pumpkins are then put on wagons and brought back to the farm. There we
unload them, placing them in the correct row. The pumpkins that do not make our
standards we sell to hunters, by truckload, from Upper Michigan where they can
bait their deer. By the end of October, I really do not ever want to see a pumpkin
again. But come the next fall, the whole cycle starts over and we pick thousands
Caring for the plants and items sold at a business helps to promote the quality of the
product. If a plant is not watered, it will die and be unsaleable. At times I would
water, fertilize, prune, weed, organize, spray, and mulch plants to promote the
highest quality product possible. A business in the area of sales must provide
quality products to maintain sales and remain in the business. I would also make
sure the soil, fertilizer, seeds, and other products were readily available and within
reach for the customers. Product care promotes a good reputation, attractive
displays, and continuous customers.

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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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There are many criteria's that must be evaluated in order to make sure customers are
purchasing landscaping materials. Once the customers goals have been determined,
I can make suggestions about what plants will work best for their individual
situation. It is important to determine what size, climate, color and flowering
period when considering their wants and needs. Meeting these criteria allows the
customer to gain personal information about their future establishment.
Knowledge of plants has helped me to be successful at my job, because I was able
to make sales by knowing valuable information to provide answers to questions of
Planting pumpkins is a long process. This isn't something that can be done in just
one day by a machine. The planting experience depends mainly on what type of
pumpkin seed you are trying to plant. If you've got the one hundred fifteen day
seed, this is planted in mid-May. The ninety-day seed is planted in early June. The
process of planting a pumpkin consists digging a hole about four to five inches
deep. Then you place the seeds (five to six) in the hole and cover it up with the dug-
up dirt, lightly packed. Finally, you hope for lots of rain throughout this season.
When the pumpkins come up, it is important that you weed them and maintain the
fields. We often go out and hoe certain areas as well as spray herbicides to help the
plants grow better. By getting good growth and healthy plants, you get a larger
After I became familiar with the procedures for stocking merchandise, assisting
customers and ringing out sales at Ace Hardware, my employer decided he wanted
to train me to help service the Echo power equipment that our store sells. He asked
if I had any experience in this area. I explained that through a combination of
agriculture classes, my home experience and working at my previous placement
site, I had developed a fair mechanical aptitude. As he began showing me various
adjustments to perform on the equipment that was brought in, he was surprised at
how easily I adjusted to the activity. I now regularly sharpen chains and perform
general maintenance on chainsaws. I also work on string trimmers, blowers and
other Echo equipment. I enjoy this part of my job very much and feel I am gaining
skills that will fit in well in my future career area.




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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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Graphic Designing; Photo Composing; Proficiently using technology systems:
Sales brochures provide public awareness of products available. Order forms are
not only a convenient way for consumers to place their orders, but are also
beneficial for record keeping procedures.
This has allowed me to do the initial preparation of our by-products. Being able to
prepare hides for tanning reduces my tanning costs which in turn increases profits.
Weddings, funerals, and parties are very important to our business. The customers
expect certain types, colors, and arrangements of flowers for these specific events.
In order to make this day go as smoothly as possible for our customers, we sit down
with them to figure out exactly what they need, want and expect and show them
pictures or look at their pictures to get a better idea of what they are looking for.
Next, we create a detailed file containing all of the information so that we can refer
back to the pictures and descriptions at a later time to make sure we do not miss
anything and prepare everything as the customer expects. We make everything that
needs to be made for the event and then go back and double and triple check to
make sure everything is accounted for. For weddings we make sure to label each
corsage and boutonniere with the persons name to make the experience less
This has allowed me to ensure all of our customers a fair price according to
industry standards, as well as allowing me to quote prices to wholesale customers.
 Many of the products sell better once they are assembled. It is my job to assemble
some of these products. At Tractor Supply Company we have a section called the
assembly area. In this section of the warehouse there is a table with the tools
needed to assemble products. We also have an air compressor to run air tools and
air up tires. Some of the products I assemble are air compressors, trailers,
lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, hand trucks, 3-point implements, and even dog
houses. We charge an assembly fee for products that require more than 45 minutes
to assemble. If the product is assembled and the only one available, then we do not




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                                                      Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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We do several different types of booths such as Veterinary Conferences, Farm
Shows, or Fairs. So, we have to make sure we have the right product for the show.
We also have to make sure that we bring enough product to have some to sell to
interested customers. Some booths are 10 X 10, some are 10 X 20. You want to
make sure it catches the crowds attention. We have lead cards in the booth that
people can fill out for us to send them more information, so after we get home we
spend time on sending out packages of information to them. I have to be able to
meet and greet people I don't know while working in the booths. They all have
different questions that I have to be prepared to answer. I also use my experiences
with the product to try to help make the sale. Working a booth allows me to build
my customer base and reach more potential customers.
Creating and evaluating product; Testing, analyzing and validating product;
Processing new product for market: Implementing the phases of product
development such as initial recipe, ingredient evaluation, processing, test batches
and productions, reduces risk of producing a product that is unsuccessful.
The owner of Farm Market and Garden Center, continually stressed the importance
of a clean and orderly sales area. During free time between sales, fellow employees
and I would "deadhead" plants, make sure signs were in the proper places and
straighten up plant materials in the sales areas. Often, the first impression a
customer receives about a retail shop is made when they first enter the sales area. If
plants are neatly placed in ales beds and on tables, the customer receives a positive
impression of the business. I have had customers tell me how the overall
appearance affects their buying decisions, stressing the Farm Market and Garden
Center was top of the top. Thee comment and the continual reinforcement from my
employer allowed me to see the importance of product orientation and display.




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Reduction of pests leads to a healthier and more attractive product. Sanitation is
the best method to prevent insect and disease problems. Other methods used to
improve plant quality consists of dead heading, pruning, fertilizing, watering,
pulling weeds, and mulching. I check the plants daily to determine their needs and
provide adequate supplemental requirements as needed. Customers are more likely
to purchase plants if they are high quality. Creekside nursery strives to provide the
best quality products possible.
Relationship with the lender, proper accounting practices, and making sure cash
flow is adequate for day to day operation, determining credit limitations for the
business and customers.
By using the industrial stove, I cut down the soap making time by a half hour. This
increased the amount of soap able to be produced in a day. More soap produced
equates to increased sales p
Proper display of the items at all times is very important. The shelves should be
stocked evenly with the products. The products and shelves should be clean and
every item should have a price tag at all times. The sections in the middle of the
store are called a mass. A mass changes three to four times a year according to the
season. At the end of each aisle, we have what we call an end cap. The end caps
usually change once a month. The season plays a huge part in all of our displays.
All the products on the front lot and the side lot are displayed to the highest quality
at all times to make it shopper friendly for our customers. Seasonal products for
the spring and summer months could consist of lawnmowers, garden supplies,
fencing, and fans. In the winter months, our main focus is feeding equipment, log
splitters, wood shavings, and most of all insulated clothing and heaters.
By shrink wrapping all of the soap, it will not lose its fragrance. The consumer will
still enjoy the fragrance when they buy it. The packaging also is attractive to
display the soap design.
The knowledge of the products offered allows me to correctly and efficiently
respond to questions, which in turn, moves more products and improves the
business profitability.



                                                                           1162
                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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Positively relating to customers; Projecting positive product image; Influencing
consumers to purchase: Taking advantage of every opportunity for product
promotion and public awareness of my products is a successful marketing tool that
is evident in sales records.
Speaking is a key element in selling a product. I answer the phone for customer
assistance. There are times when we must call a customer to let them know the
status on their order. Once a week we call five random customers that have
received a refund, just to follow up with them to make sure everything was okay
with the process. Being able to discuss the product with customers is the key way
to sell it. I give presentations to the crew on new products that the store receives.
The FFA has helped me in being able to speak well. I have competed in the Job
Interview CDE several times. I feel that this FFA event has helped me in several
ways, not only training me to do better in an interview, but to help me in the future
when I must interview employment applicants.
Customers were provided with a large, ripe, graded product, free of blemishes and
scarring. I was able to provide my customers, (the local farm wholesale) and
individuals retail pricing with an excellent product.
Evaluating return on investment; Calculating percent markup on retail; Price
setting: Offering quantity discounts for orders over 150 jars is a marketing strategy
that encourages sales and promotes customer satisfaction. Caution must be taken to
insure limited reduction in profit margins.




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I have been exposed to many of the aspects of running a small business during my
work at Original Floral Designs. A prime example of this is being left alone to run
the shop for extended amounts of time while my boss is out of town. I have also
learned a great deal about keeping books, accounting records, and paying bills. I do
a good majority of the bill paying and an extensive amount of record keeping and
filing of paperwork. Along with learning these skills I have learned how to handle
a great deal of responsibility. When handling important documents and dealing
with the finances of a business, it is essential to realize that the work I am doing is
important and should be taken seriously. I pride myself in my ability to maintain
these records accurately and efficiently. These skills will be of great value to me in
the future when keeping my own financial records and the records of a business that
Preserving data critical to business success; Creating financial reports; Calculating
trends to plan for the future: Collecting and recording data on production, sales,
income and expenses, and market research aids in marketing decisions such as price
setting, supply and demand, and expansion decisions.
Using a computer I developed my own recordkeeping system by using weekly pie
charts on cash sales and cost. I was able to keep accurate records on my hours
spent, receipts and disbursements.
Accurate records identify the profitability of the business. Each customer receives a
accurate sales receipt of their purchase. This provides them with accurate records
for their tax management.
When I order from the main company the product must be paid for before they will
ship it out. I can put my product ordered on a net 30 pay period with the company.
This allows me time to get the product in and delivered to the customer and pick up
their payment. Many of my customers are veterinarian's and they prefer to be
invoiced each month. I do this on the 25th of each month. I prefer to have a credit
card payment on product that is shipped directly. I run the credit card payments on
the day the order is placed. It has helped me to better understand credit and paying
bills on time. When someone pays me late, it causes problems. These are
problems I do not want to cause others.



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                                                       Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


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At Tractor Supply Company every aisle and every product is plan-o-grammed. The
plan-o-gram is set up at the Tractor Supply Company Headquarters before it is sent
to the stores. A crew at Tractor Supply Company works out all the main problems
to ensure that the set up maximizes space and that the layout makes the most sense.
Some of the plan-o-grams are short and do not require much time and effort, while
others take up to a week to complete, with several working on that reset. The idea
behind the plan-o-gram is to make most of the stores somewhat the same. Almost
every regular item has a sequence in a plan-o-gram. The item's exact location can
be found in the Tractor Supply Company system. When the item is inquired about,
it lists the plan-o-gram number, sequence and even shows the way the shelves
The first step in retail sales is greeting the customer either over the phone or when
they enter the parking lot. This requires personal skills I learned from previous
experience at the nursery and the FFA organization. Secondly, it is vital to have
knowledge about the products I am selling. Competing in the Floriculture Career
Development Event and experience with the plants at the Nursery has helped me
with this ability. I am responsible for selling landscape products to customers.
Items sold include seed, fertilizer, bedding plants, trees, shrubs, chemicals, and yard
decorations. I operate the cash register and fill out tickets for billed sales. I make
recommendations according to the customer's comments and desired goals on
whether there is a problem with a pest or make suggestions for planting.
Inside or outside the feed store, all areas are safe and easily accessed. All buildings
plans were made with the American Disability Act in mind. This creates an
environment suitable to any customers
I look at the price of the product and then ring it in the cash register. After the price
ahs been subtotaled, totaled and taxed I tell them the price and then take the money
and make the proper change. If it is a charge, I fill out a charge slip and have the
customer sign it. I also have learned how to use the scale to weigh hardware. I
always greet the customer who is checking out and say thank you. I also ask if that
is all they need.




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The booths are setup the day before the show opens. I am responsible for setting up
the displays of products on the tables. I also help set up the backboard with our
pictures and product information. I only have ten seconds to catch the customers
attention, so the set up of the booth is very important. There are other products on
the market that are similar to mine, therefore, I have to be able to show the
differences between mine and theirs. Some product is sold out of the booth and
some people are just looking for information. I have lead cards that they can fill
out so I can contact them with more information. Working a booth helps me
introduce Fastrack to many people and add new customers to my business.
I believe the key to being a successful employee in an Ag Sales Placement
Experience is having the ability to communicate with customers in a positive,
mature manner. I have had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of
customers. As I have gained experience in various areas of agriculture, the ease
with which I can provide assistance has greatly improved. I have also found I can
learn information from one customer which I can then use to provide assistance for
another. The key to my success and the success of the business in which I am
employed is being able to provide timely, factual assistance. Relating to customers
has helped me gain confidence in my own abilities. In addition, I feel a sense of
accomplishment as I ring up a sale and the customer leaves the store, satisfied with
This has allowed me to setup a display that is appealing to customers. Attracting
customers to our booth allows me to give them more information about bison and
bison products.




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The product is ordered from the main company. Through the month as we are
trying to put a truck together we call and make the orders and they add them to the
truck until it is full. I have to have at least 300 pounds of product in order for it to
be shipped. There are times that a customer orders and they need their product
right away or they live to far for us to deliver. Those orders are made and then
directly shipped either by truck or UPS to the customer. This has also helped me be
more organized, so that I get the orders correct, get the shipping right and get them
to the customer in a timely manner. This has also developed my communications
skills by having to talk to customers and the workers in Shakopee. I use a program
through the Conklin Company called Vols Plus that helps me to track my sales and
what others have ordered.
Gained a working knowledge of which show products should be used for which
purpose. With this knowledge, I can assist other FFA members in furthering their
success with show projects.
Following these health standards has allowed me to continue to pass annual
inspections. Allowing me to maintain the license to sell an agricultural product.
One of the primary job responsibilities I have at Ace Hardware is stocking
merchandise. I list this as a skill because of the importance of being able to
accomplish this task in an efficient manner. Each week, our store receives an
average of 6-8 pallet sized bins of merchandise. Some of these items are special
orders for customers, but most are standard store items and are to be used to
replenish depleted floor stock. Each item has to be unpacked and carefully checked
in for inventory purposes. Our inventory system is computer driven, so this step is
crucial. The items are then placed in their correct location in the store. Of the
thousands of individual items we have in stock, each piece of merchandise has its
own special location in the store. For the convenience of our customers, this
location must be carefully maintained during the stocking process.




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                                                     Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


                             Knowledge/Competency


 The products that Tractor Supply Company offers comes in on a freight truck from
the Tractor Supply Company distribution center. All of the products must be out of
the warehouse by the next day. The small products come in a plastic tote, with all
kinds of different items mixed together. The pet food comes in mixed up on two or
three pallets. Some of the outside products come on this truck also, therefore they
must be put on the side lot as soon as they are unloaded. The products that require
assembly are set aside and assembled the following week. I place the overstock
feed in the warehouse and re-stock the feed throughout the following week. I like to
wait on most of the large pallets until after hours, I want to focus on the customer's
needs and their safety first.
I start by taking a list of the feed that needs to be stocked. I then go to the
warehouse and pull the feed. I always rotate the feed for freshness. Along with
rotating the feed, I must pull out the feed stacks and sweep the floors. If there are
spills on the floor it will lead to rodent problems. Several kinds of feed at Tractor
Supply Company are put on display one ton at a time because of the demand for the
feed. Tractor Supply Company gets a feed truck once a week. The feed is kept in
the warehouse until it needs to be stocked. This skill is one of the most important
that I have. Both Livestock feed and pet food are of the top sellers for Tractor
The surveys led to the current design of the labels and shrink wrapping of the
product. Sales are driven by location and product. The product needed to be
packaged and labeled effectively to draw cu
This has allowed me to not only sell product to the consumer, but also maintain
product records necessary for the sales enterprise.
This leads to a superior product in presentation of the soap. Color inspires people
by creating a mood. By coupling the fragrance and the color, it is more enticing for
the customer to buy the product.
Prioritizing; Scheduling; Delegating: Organization, multi-tasking, and wise use of
my limited available time allows me to perform tasks essential to the success of my
products while keeping hired labor to a minimum.




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                             Knowledge/Competency


I selected Empire for large red tomatoes, a few Sweet Clusters for small box
tomatoes and golden Jubilee for yellow tomatoes. These hybrids are appropriate for
my climate and soil type.
I am responsible for collecting payment for product that I have sold. I have to make
an invoice no matter how they pay, that way I have a record of all transactions.
Some invoices may remain open until payment is received and others may be
closed out immediately. After I take an order I send the invoice out to the
customer. After two weeks if I have not received a payment I then rebill the
costumer. This helps me to keep track of my accounts and keep them current. The
methods of payments I except include: Visa, Mastercard, and check by mail.
This assures constant quality of milk used in the production of the soap. It is
another assurance to the consumer that care has been taken to give them a safe and
dependable product.
Relationship with the lender, proper accounting practices, and making sure cash
flow is adequate for day to day operation, determining credit limitations for the
business and customers.
This helped in the marketing of the soap. It personalizes the soap and gives the
consumer confidence that their money is going to a worthy business person.
By using molds the soap sets quicker allowing me to make more soap in less time.
I also use molds specific for dairy goats to help my marketing strategy for increased
sales.
This has allowed me to efficiently and accurately price each individual cut of meat
for the customers. This way our customers know the unit weight and price of our
products.




                                                                         1162
                                                    Agricultural Sales Skills/Activities Examples


                             Knowledge/Competency


 I have presented workshops to 4-H students about the Fastrack product. I like to
speak in front of groups and inform them of the benefits of having their animals on
Fastrack. Most of the kids in our local 4-H have animals and they were really
interested in our product. However, there are some of the students that do not own
livestock so I have to tell them about the other Fastrack products we have such as,
the dog and cat line. This has also helped me share my product with others and
gain new customers. I also get the opportunity to use my public speaking abilities
that I have developed in FFA. Confidence, posture, and volume of voice are skills
that help me promote my product.
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      Agricultural
                      P Assessing Soybean Aphid Damage
      Services




      Agricultural        Beekeeping - Communications and
                      E
      Services            Pollination Contract Sales

      Agricultural
                      E Beekeeping - Hive Management
      Services

      Agricultural
                      E Beekeeping - Honey Bee Handling
      Services

      Agricultural
                      E Beekeeping - Machinery Operation
      Services

      Agricultural
                      E Beekeeping - Medication of Hives
      Services

      Agricultural
                      E Beekeeping - Pallet Construction
      Services




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      Agricultural        Beekeeping - Plant and Crop
                      E
      Services            Familiarity
      Agricultural      Beekeeping - Small Business
                      E
      Services          Management
      Agricultural      Beekeeping - Strapping and Netting
                      E
      Services          Truck
      Agricultural
                      E Beekeeping - Tax Preparation
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P     Building Habitat Scenes on Bases
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P         Building Shipping Crates
      Services




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                      P   Cleaning and Organizing
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                      E    Communication Skills
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                      E    Communication Skills
      Services




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                      P   Computerized Settlements
      Services




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                      P      Customer Relations
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                      E    Effective Advertising
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                      E   Employee Management
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                      P   Employee Management
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                      E   Equipment Maintenance
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                      E   Equipment Maintenance
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                      P     Equipment Safety
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      Agricultural
                      E        Equipment Transportation
      Services




      Agricultural        Estimate Soil Moisture Using a
                      P
      Services            Probe.




      Agricultural
                      P               Finish Work
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P        Fleshing and Salting Skins
      Services



      Agricultural
                      E                Flexibility
      Services



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                      E            Fuel Management
      Services




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                      P     Greenstar Computer Applications
      Services




      Agricultural        Hail Damage Evaluation - Reporting
                      P
      Services            to Farmer




      Agricultural
                      E              Hay Moister
      Services




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                      P          Inventory Control
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                      P Loading and Transporting Equipment
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                      E       Machinery Identification
      Services




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                      P          Machinery Operation
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      Agricultural        Maintenance and Pre-Maintenance of
                      P
      Services                        Equipment




      Agricultural         Operating Harvesting Equipment:
                      E
      Services            Disc Mower/Tedder/Rake and Baler
      Agricultural
                      E        Optimum Hay Harvesting
      Services
      Agricultural
                      E              People Skills
      Services




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                      P Planter Adjustments
      Services




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                      P    Preparing Mounts for Finish Work
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      Agricultural        Progress Communication to
                      P
      Services            Producers




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                      E            Recordkeeping
      Services

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                      E                Safety
      Services




                        Scouting for Pests (such as cutworm,
      Agricultural       rootworm, wireworm, grassphopper,
                      P
      Services             corn leaf aphids, cornborer, and
                           western bean cutworm in corn.)




      Agricultural
                      P           Sewing Mounts
      Services




      Agricultural         Stacking Round and Square Hay
                      E
      Services                         Bales




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      Agricultural        Stand Counts Early Summer Growing
                      P
      Services            Season.




      Agricultural
                      P Taxidermy - Bird Painting
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P Taxidermy - Creating Bear Rugs
      Services




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      Agricultural
                      P Taxidermy - Deer Horn Mounts
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P Taxidermy - Finish Work on Mounts
      Services




      Agricultural        Taxidermy - Preparation of the Deer
                      P
      Services            Horns




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                      P Taxidermy - Sewing Deer Hides
      Services




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                      P Taxidermy - Squirrel Mounting
      Services




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                      P Taxidermy - Turkey Tail Mounting
      Services




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                      P Taxidermy - Whitetail Mounting
      Services




      Agricultural
                      E          Time Management
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P          Time Management
      Services




      Agricultural
                      E          Time Management
      Services
      Agricultural
                      E            Tractor Safety
      Services




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                      P     Troubleshooting Combine Errors
      Services




      Agricultural        Veterinary Clinic - Anesthesia and
                      P
      Services            Surgery




                        Veterinary Clinic - Clean, Package,
      Agricultural
                      P and Sterilize Surgical Instruments for
      Services
                        Surgery.




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                        Veterinary Clinic - Complete Forms
                        Required for Regulatory Agencies for
      Agricultural
                      P Health Certificates, Brucellosis
      Services
                        Testing and Vaccinations and
                        Tubercullosis Testing.




      Agricultural        Veterinary Clinic - Financial
                      P
      Services            Management




      Agricultural
                      P Veterinary Clinic - Inventory Control
      Services




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                        Veterinary Clinic - Prepare and
      Agricultural      Administer Medications and
                      P
      Services          Vaccinations per Doctor's
                        Instructions.




                        Veterinary Clinic - Prepare Samples
      Agricultural
                      P for Laboratory Testing and Perform
      Services
                        Laboratory Tests




                        Veterinary Clinic - Technology Skills
      Agricultural
                      P Maintain and Operate the Clinic's
      Services
                        Computer System.




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                      P Veterinary Clinic - Website
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P Weed Identification
      Services




      Agricultural
                      P Writing Reports
      Services




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                                                               1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


In 2003, a new insect emerged as a problem in Northeast Nebraska. This new insect
was the soybean aphid. It has been documented in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South
Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska. The soybean aphid has been an early season
problem in the northern states. Nebraska is very unique in which the insect doesn't
reach economical treatment level until late July or early August. This insect has been
very hard to determine when to treat. As the plant matures, yield loss is less. Using
Minnesota data has been nearly useless in determining when to spray. We saw very
few aphids in 2003. In 2004, temperatures were cool which resulted in a lot of
treatment. Three to ten bushels of beans were gained by treating. In 2005,
temperatures were hot which resulted in low numbers. No fields were treated in 2005.
(Soybean aphids thrive in cool conditions). This insect appears to be temperature
sensitive. This insect will need to be constantly monitored.
Communication with farmers and consumers is how many of our contracts are made
and finalized. Being able to explain the benefits of honey bees to farmers and how it
effects their crop yield, it also a vital skill.
Hive Managament includes checking for diseases, hive problems, overpopulation,
adding and taking off honey suppers, feeding the bees, ect. This is important because it
keeps the bees alive.
In Beekeeping, inadequate safety techniques and measures can result in serious injury
or death. It is also important to know how to handle the hives so they are not damaged
when working with them.
Operating Machinery is a vital skill in Beekeeping. We often times have to transport
hives a long distance. We also have to load many hives in a short time using forklifts
and tractors.
Knowing how to properly medicate the hives can mean the difference between a strong
healthy hive and dead hive. The medication is also very expensive so knowing how to
apply it correctly is vital.
All hives are secured to custom-built pallets with pallet clips. We build our own
pallets, which require the use of power tools and to accurately measure the dimensions
of the pallets, boxes and lids.



                                                                        1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


Knowing the bloom length and season of crops has allowed us to help give the farmers
the best pollination possible. Knowing when a crop will bloom helps us to get the bees
in the orchards on time.
Bookkeeping skills, including paying and sending bills, tracking depreciation of
equipment, recording travel expenses, organizing filing system for quick access to
Moving hives requires strapping them down, and should be done quickly. If
improperly strapped the hives can fall off the truck or lids and boxes can blow off the
Every year my dad and I go through our records and make a spreadsheet of the income
and expenses. We use this to file the taxes and get better returns. I have also learned
how Oregon's tax laws work.
Many of our mounts are done on displays that depict the environment that the animal
came from. We do many different life-sized mounts and the display is just as
important as the actual mount. I help create these displays which begin with
construction that will best display the mount. Once the display is constructed, it is
covered in various material that imitates real life materials. We use actual dry grasses
to create an authentic look. Snow is created using Salt and Resin. Water features are
simply made with Resin which creates an awesome feature. Finally, artificial trees and
shrubs are created using cedar branches which are drilled out for artificial limbs to be
With thousands of mounts coming into our business, building crates for shipping
specimens all over the World has become a skill that is crucial. We ship using freight
and FedEx and have mounts of varying sizes and shapes so learning to build a crate
that is safe for the mount and capable of being shipped is vital. Imagine trying to ship
a giraffe or moose shoulder mount with 7 foot antler spreads. Several of our African
mounts exceed 500 pounds. You can imagine how important this skill is when it
comes to the business. By working with shipping companies and along with guidance
from Mr. Bynum, I have learned the proper shipping details that are needed.




                                                                        1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


Although I would prefer to spend my time working with customers and mounts, there
is also a realistic side to my job. I spend considerable amounts of time cleaning around
the business. Things can get a little dirty in this type of business and since first
impressions are so important, it is imperative to keep the business clean and organized.
I perform any job that needs to be done. Whether it is cleaning the lobby, mount or
salting rooms or cleaning the coffee pot and bathrooms, I realize the importance of
each task and do my best to help the business.
Learned to talk, listen, question, and restate ideas in order to complete a job to
everyone's satisfaction. The hauling rate had to be agreed upon in order to avoid hard
feelings at the job's end.
Learned to talk, listen, question, and restate ideas in order to complete a job to
everyone's satisfaction. Providing good service and a polite response has encouraged
my customers to use my service.
Organization and professionalism are major influences on a customer’s image of a
business. I have had some difficulty in gaining trust due to my youth. However,
advertising and people skills have gotten me a lot of jobs. Learning to provide accurate
settlements to my customers once the job is completed has extended their trust in me
and ensured doing business with them in the future. Compiling settlements is a long,
difficult process. I must classify farms, keep track of acres, and record bushels
harvested. It is my responsibility to see that my truck drivers have the correct
information each time they leave the field. As a job is finished, I check with the
elevator to ensure that I account for all of the grain tickets. I then transfer the
information to the computer. The final product shows the farmer the average yields,
total bushels he has for market, and how much they owe me for my services.
This skill is one of the most important of the business as people are our main purpose.
We are here to provide a service that enables customers to save a cherished memory.
Deer season is the craziest time of the year and I meet people at all hours to accept
their game. Once we meet with the customer, a work order is filled out and we visit
with the customer to help them with poses, display choices, etc. Helping people with
these choices is a job that I have really enjoyed and one that I feel has kept me
interested in the business.


                                                                       1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


Classified newspaper ads were beneficial at first. Creating eye-catching flyers and
cards and distributing at feed and convenience stores and ag shows are proving more
advantageous at present.
Learned to treat an employee with respect, pay them promptly, rotate tasks to avoid
monotony, and have a good radio. Music helps the job seem to go faster and helps
keep a rhythm when stacking.
One of the most frustrating things about operating in today's society is finding good
labor to help you. Farming/harvesting is a difficult job with long hours of manual
labor. It is hard for many farmers to compete with high salary city jobs because the
farmer's margin for error is so diminutive. Over the years, we have struggled to find
good labor. I have learned to better communicate with employees and to be patient.
There are also times when they push the limit because they know you are short-handed
and you can't afford to let them go. These are perhaps the most difficult situations. You
are trying to run a business and even though you think you can do it by yourself, you
can't! I have learned to bite my tongue and relax. However, when something or
someone is endangered, no matter how much you need them, you have to make the
Taking proper care of the tools and equipment is a necessity, not an option. Greasing
joints and bleeding brake lines are essential before each job to prevent costly
breakdowns or accidents.
Taking proper care of the tools and equipment is a necessity, not an option. Checking
all moving parts before starting helps prevent major breakdowns. Lubricating the baler
twice daily is a must.
Understanding the range of motion and capabilities of equipment is an important safety
precaution to acknowledge. Loading equipment is the most dangerous part of my SAE.
Proper securing of loads is also vital and required by law. Nonetheless, it is important
to continually keep safety in mind, even when the dangers seem to be lessened. There
are other areas of risks; however, that can be dangerous when coupled with the
operation of equipment. 1) Fatigue is a large factor in accidents and injuries. Even
though the task at hand is to accomplish your job as soon as possible, knowing when to
call it quits is the wisest decision that you can make. 2) In addition, we do not allow
our employees to smoke or use alcohol, and 3) we limit their use of cellular phones.
Awareness is very important to prevent equipment damage or personal injury.

                                                                        1162
                                                   Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


Any job I do takes the time to get there. It is different driving a tractor vs. a car. I
always leave in plenty of time to be sure I get there safely. The tractor and baler both
had a SMV sign and flashers.
Learning how to probe the soil and test for moisture is a needed skill in crop
consulting. We use a soil probe to evaluate the soil moisture in the top two feet. Each
week we would probe three inches from the stalk (root zone) and determine the
moisture in the profile by ribboning the soil. We would place a number value on each
soil type on the way it was ribboning to determine the amount of depletion. Each soil
type has a different water holding capacity (i.e. sand equals 1.0 inches of water
available per foot and clay equals 2.2 inches of water per foot). Evapotranspiration
was received from the Northeast station and was used to calculate water use for the
week. I learned that putting on too much water or not enough can help or even hurt the
crop. During peak water times (July and August) we told the farmers to run their
One of the most important parts of the taxidermy service is to provide a realistic and
professional mount that appears as close to the live animal as possible. Finish work is
the fine detail work that really creates a professional mount. We use Sculptall to blend
all the stitches together so that they are non-visible on the mount. We also use
Allgame around the eyes and nose to create more realistic mount. The allgame is
mixed with Red Flock to create the pink color around the eyes and noses of animals.
Another finishing job is creating nodules on the muzzles of animals using Modge
Podge which is later painted by the taxidermist to create the realistic look of the live
When a hide arrives at Bull Creek Taxidermy, we remove all fat and tissue by scraping
with a knife. This is crucial to the soft tans such as those that will be used for rugs,
furniture, clothing and decoration. Once the pelt is scraped, it is covered in salt and
hung for 24 hours. We salt it a second time and again allow it to hang for 24 hours.
Prior to shipping to the fur dresser, each pelt is identified with a serious of holes that
mark the number of the order. Finally the pelt is folded and shipped to Quality Fur in
Spring, Texas.
Always be willing to listen to your customers and adjust your bale length and density
to fit their needs. This makes for a better work environment for the customer and



                                                                         1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


Trying to haul for several farmers in a close location before moving to a different part
of the county has helped fuel costs. Purchasing extra fuel tanks helped eliminate
excessive re-fueling trips.
Precision agriculture is arguably the most beneficial and efficient aspect of farming in
today’s society. As agricultural technology continues to progress, it is necessary to be
able to recognize what is happening within the cab of the machinery. Computer
systems are intended to assist the operator, but without the proper knowledge, they can
become expensive and useless. An on-site tutorial from my John Deere dealer’s
technician allowed me to become more familiar with the systems and their benefits and
functions. I learned to successfully track efficiency records, acres, farms, and other
available information accurately on my Greenstar and Auto Trac systems. I have
developed the techniques to using my programs to their fullest potential and can
honestly say they have paid for themselves. Even though it only took a few hours to
learn, I continue to learn everyday as the programs change.
During the course of every growing season, hail is received at different intervals
throughout our consulting area. My dad and I evaluated leaf defoliation, stalk bruising,
stalk breakage, and pod damage. Since the hail was received at different times, loss
varied from field to field. We estimated defoliation and breakage using NebGuides
from the University of Nebraska to access the damage. During different growing
stages, the damage to the crop was either raised or lowered. During pollination, loss
from hail to corn is the greatest while loss for soybeans is the greatest at pod set and
pod fill. Many times, early in the season, corn can be fully defoliated (seven leaf or
less) and yield will not be effected. Soybeans also will not loose yield if hail occurs
prior to three trifoliate. The growers really appreciate this service in collecting
defoliation and breakage percentages for hail loss with adjusters.
Before I start to bale at any job, I always check the hays moisture. I take a couple of
stems and twist them off in my hand, if they break the hay is dry.




                                                                       1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


Keeping track of skins, skull and antlers is a non-ending job at Bull Creek Taxidermy.
It is also one of the most important jobs at the business as customers are very touchy
about their mounts. We track all skins by punching ID numbers in the pelt using a
small pelt punch. Antlers are tagged with a wire and paper tag that includes the work
order number that matches the punched numbers on the matching pelt. It is imperative
that all pelts and antlers stay matched throughout the process and because they are
separated until the actual mount is created, it is invaluable to know how to identify
each. This may seem easy but as of today, we have over 600 mounts awaiting service
Moving equipment is one of the most dangerous and time consuming activities I
encounter. It is my responsibility to ensure that all of my equipment is secured and
safely transportable. I must properly inflate tires, hook up trailers, load and tie down
machinery, and remove free objects. Establishing a method to loading equipment each
time I move is an important factor in reducing time. I have to verify the width and
height of each load to assure that we will have no complications involving bridge
overhead or width collisions--this includes getting permits for each state. My
responsibility greatly increases when I sit behind the wheel of a 90,000 lb. truck that
can be up to seventeen feet wide and lead the crew across the country. Pulling oversize
equipment is one of the toughest jobs in the world of transportation and the
paperwork/legalities is immense, but I love knowing that I can do it any day of the
Learned to identify well-running machinery from machinery about to break down.
Costly repairs can be avoided if problems can be identified while they are minor or
when they give the first indications.




                                                                        1162
                                                    Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


Since learning how to operate a tractor when I was seven years old, I have continued to
increase my abilities in performing operations with equipment. In 2002, during a field
day with John Deere, I was certified as an applicable combine operator at age thirteen.
Machinery is continually becoming larger and harder to maneuver, even in rural areas,
but my ability to operate equipment in tight areas and over open ground allows me to
be more efficient and better than the average operator. Loading equipment takes
caution and awareness. With my experience, I can do it faster and recognize mistakes
before they occur. My knowledge of how equipment operates and performs allows me
to, from the seat of my combine or truck, be able to conduct my business and inform
employees about what they should be doing in the field to ensure that the job we are
doing is of the utmost quality.
One of the dirtiest jobs about the farm is maintenance; however, it is also the most
important! Pre-maintenance is very effective in the prevention of costly breakdowns.
By keeping accurate records of repairs and maintenance schedules, I can make my
servicing more effective. During the winter, it is my job to keep our over-the-road
trucks on the road. This may include changing tires, changing oil, greasing, changing
axle seals or wheel bearings, washing, fixing lights, or making the necessary
adjustments to the engine. While on harvest, the records I keep allow me to service the
equipment more efficiently when the time is near. For example, when I get exactly 150
hours on the combine, I can't just pull up to the edge of the field and shut it down to
change the oil. So, when we have a rainy day or complete a job, we perform the
maintenance tasks that will be coming due in advance.
Able to harvest all hay by myself and operate the equipment properly to not break
anything. If too high of a ground speed, or too high of RPM are used, the probability of
breakdowns increase.
Harvesting the hay at the right time dramatically increases the nutrient level. If it is too
far along in the growth stage, the nutrients decrease and hay becomes stemmy.
Learned to talk with and respect the opinions of local farmers. Providing good service
and a polite response has encouraged my customers to continue using my services.




                                                                           1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


In March and April I helped my dad adjust and overhaul planters. We check: the
bearings; trash wipers; check over chains and springs; measure and replace fertilizer
and true-V discs; change idler brackets and idlers; check gauge wheel bearings and
spacing and true-V bearings; replace true-V scrapers; change press wheel bearings;
overhaul finger units (change plates, brushes, belts, and springs); and check the gaskets
and seed plates in the vacuum planter. Once the planters are in the field, we checked
for kernel depth, down pressure, and spacing. The planter is the single most important
tool to the farmer. When we go over this machinery, it insures a good stand for the
farmer and also reassures the planter is in good working condition. As farms grow,
farmers do not have the time to change bearings, springs, or discs during planting.
Delayed planting can cost the farmer five to twenty-five bushels per acre.
Many different finishing jobs are needed to create a realistic and professional mount.
Preparing mounts for the finishing work is very important. I help build nodules on the
muzzle of animals creates a more realistic look. Another task is pulling pins that are
used to hold ears in the proper position. Another part of preparing mounts for
finishing work is placing felt and hangers on the back of shoulder mounts. Combing
out the hair of mounts so that it lays correctly and hides all stitching is very important.
We use clay to make the hair lay properly and all this has to be removed prior to
finishing work. Finally, cleaning the eyes and horns finalizes the preparation needed
Communication is probably the most important aspects of this profession. I have to be
on the same page as the farmer at all times. We must both work together as a team to
be the most profitable. We have to discuss the problem, evaluate the options, and
make a plan of action. Writing the report acts as documentation to the field while
verbal communication discusses the issue. Farmers like the personal touch a
consultant offers. Discussions may include irrigation scheduling, diseases, weed and
insect management, stage of growth, the new farm bill, and general agronomic issues.
Each year I talk to farmers more than last year. I began to have a new relationship
between each farmer that was special. To a golfing farmer, for instance, I might start
out a conversation with asking about golfing. I could always ask a farmer about how
the pivots were running during the week. Each farmer is different and every year I feel



                                                                          1162
                                                     Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                 Knowledge/Competency


Accurate records identify the profitability of equipment usage and job selection. I
provide farmers statements to aid their recordkeeping as well as to convey honesty in
the work for which I am collecting.
Learned to operate all of the machinery in my business as well as some machinery of
my clients. I have learned the safety aspects and impress upon my employees that
safety comes first.
Scouting for insects in corn takes a majority of the day. As the year progresses, the
scouting for insects becomes more involved. At the beginning of the summer,
cutworm and wireworm are the first insects to be scouted. After the corn has grown to
about two feet tall, scouting for rootworm larvae takes place. We scout for rootworm
larvae in corn fields that have been continuous corn acres because rootworm eggs are
laid in the previous corn field. Rootworms generally do not survive on bean ground.
After rootworms are scouted, grasshoppers are scouted next. We look for leaf
defoliation on the perimeters of the fields where grasshopper populations are highest.
First brood corn borers are evaluated at the same time as the rootworm larvae. Many
times we can time the chemical application to control both the corn borer and
rootworm. Approximately four weeks after rootworm treatment, we scout for second
brood corn borer and western bean cutworm. Insect activity is in or near the ear zone.
We use spider wire to sew our mounts. Spider wire is like a braided fishing line that is
very small but incredibly durable and strong. We use S needles and prepare each
mount with diligent care. We use many different sewing stitches depending on the
mount. A Baseball Stitch is used on most shoulder mounts and life-size mounts that
have plenty of hair cover such as deer and bear. Whipstitches are used to repair any
holes in the capes prior to mounting. Finally, we have developed our own special
stitch that we call the African Stitch that is used on all of our thin haired mounts such
as cape buffalo, giraffes and most of the African animals. This stitch allows us to
mount the capes in a way that eliminates suture lines.
Thanks to this skill, I can maximize limited space on trailers and in sheds. This also
helps in transportation of the hay. If hay is stacked improperly, it can fall off the trailer.




                                                                             1162
                                                    Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


During the beginning months of summer, my dad and I spend a lot of time out in the
field. The main reason we are out in the fields the longest is due to stand counts. We
spend about 45 to 60 minutes per field as soon as the crop has emerged. In corn, we
step off 34 feet two rows wide if the row space is 30". If the row spacing is 36" wide,
we measure off 29 feet two rows wide. We count both rows, divide that number by
four and then multiply that number by 1,000 to find how many plants per acre. We
make one stand count per quadrant on each field during the first two weeks. For
soybeans, we count off ten feet of row and then count the plants in those ten feet.
Once completed, we divide by ten to find the average number of soybeans per foot.
Then we multiply by number of linear feet on different row spacing to find out the
After using the air-brush for finish work, I was confident in my skills to start painting
birds. I paint many different species of birds, the first step is to clean off any clay on
the bird, and I feather dust it really well. The first color I use is the lightest color. I
always paint light to dark, so I start on white and end on black. The feet also need to be
painted. As the bird dries, it looses all the color it used to have, so I have to use a book
as my color reference. Many of the birds have bars on their feet and legs. I have to
paint the webs of their feet a dark tone and the toe part light. I have to use many
different speeds on the air-brush to control the coverage on large and small areas. After
I have finished painting the bird, I usually make a scene for the mount by putting
grasses and habitat items in the scene. Most of the birds are mounted on driftwood, or
When tanning the bear rugs, I send them to Quality Tan in California. I do this so the
hides are more flexible and softer. The hide is put into water so it will stretch and a
head mold is put in. After drying for about a week, I trim the sides of the hide so it is
even on both sides. I use black spray paint to cover the spots. I trim and paint the arm
pit area where there is less hair. Next, I cut about six strips of felt and use a pink
machine to put a nice border on the felt. I start gluing the strips around the edge of the
bear. When I am done, I put three layers of padding on the tanned side of the mount.
Using this much padding makes the mount look much fuller and makes the hide look
thicker. I trace the bear over the bottom layer of felt with a white marking pencil. I cut
out the traced pattern of the bear and use the pink machine to put the same border as
the top layer. I glue the bottom layer on and the felt part is done. I complete the job by


                                                                           1162
                                                    Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


I start a horn mount by trimming it down on the ban saw. I do this so the plate of the
skull will sit evenly on the mold used for the horn mounts. Next, I drill three holes in
the skull plate, so I can screw the plate to the mold. I use one 2-inch screw and two 3-
inch screws. The longer screw usually comes out the back of the mold, so I use the
grinder to grind down the back. After grinding the back, sometimes the screws loosen,
so I hand tighten them. It is now time to apply clay to the mold and skull plate to
smooth everything over. The leather can now be put on. When I put the leather on, I
use a staple gun to staple the leather on the back. I fit the leather around the base of the
horns by trimming off the excess leather. I use a tool to push the leather underneath the
base of the horn. After fitting the leather around the horns, I staple the back. The final
After the deer, bear, coyote, etc. has been drying for usually over a week, it is time to
do finish work. There are many final touches to make the mount look complete. First,
the mount must be well combed and wire brushed on the face. Next, epoxy is applied
around the eyes, which keeps them from cracking. Also, epoxy needs to be applied in
the tear ducts, the nose and any other holes on the face. After epoxying, the mount
needs to be air brushed. Black paint is sprayed around the eyes and on the nose, and
should be a light mist of black. I use paint thinner to take off the extra paint I sprayed
on the eyes. Once the paint is dry, I apply modge podge on the nose, which gives the
mount a live look. When that is dry, fish spray gloss is misted over the eyes and nose.
This makes the eyes look wet and much more realistic. I let dry and double-check
After getting the deer head and horns in from the hunter, the first step is cleaning.
Once the horns are cut off the deer's head, the head and horns need to be cleaned. To
get the head clean, it has to first be fleshed down with just a knife, so there is no meat
on it. Then, I start a kettle boiling with water. We put the horns in the boiling water;
usually about 3 sets of horns will fit in one kettle. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour
for the flesh to be ready to be cleaned off, depending on how fresh the horns are. After
cleaning away the flesh on the skull plate, each individual horn needs to be cleaned. To
clean the horns, I wire brush around the base of the horn and around the tines. Some of
the horns have blood on them and that all needs to be cleaned off. Finally, the horns re
ready to be put in order on the beams, so each mount is done in the order in which it



                                                                           1162
                                                    Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


Sewing up the deer is a time consuming job because the hide is very thick and not all
of the hides fit the form as well as you want them to. If a hide is short, I have to pull a
little more than usual. I have to be very careful because it is easy to make inconsistent
stitches. If the stitch isn't the same every time, lumps will form. I am always aware of
the hair because the hair gets in the way of sewing. The thread I use is double threaded,
fifty-pound test, so I can pull stitches really tight without the thread breaking. The
needle is very sharp and heavy duty. It is important the stitches are tight; otherwise,
when the hide dries it will pull away and leave a gap right down the middle of the
back. After sewing the deer, if there are lumps a broad pusher is used to put pins in the
lumps to smooth them out. Finally, the hide needs to be trimmed in the back and
The animal I most enjoy mounting is a Squirrel. Skinning the squirrel is the hardest
part. I use a very sharp scalpel and make one fine cut up the belly. Then, I tube the
legs, so there is less to sew up. I pull the tail very carefully to skin it. Next, I tan the
hide. I must put the hide in the salt room so the hair will set on the hide. After five
days of being in the salt room, the hide goes into the pickle. The pickle consists of
formic acid, salt and mostly water. By putting the hide in the pickle, this makes the
hide mountable. After being in the pickle for two days the holes I cut in the hide must
be sewn shut. Once the squirrel hide has no holes, it needs tanning cream poured on it
and rubbed in well. The hide is ready to mount. I make sure the form is the right
measurements. I set the eyes on the form, fit the hide on and sew up the belly. I let the
mount dry for a week, then epoxy and paint the face.
I need many skills when it comes to mounting a turkey tail. First off, I need to cut the
tail off of the turkey's body. This can be tricky because not all turkeys are the same and
you have to be sure there are plenty of feathers on the tail for mounting. Also, the
beard needs to be cut from the turkey's body, as well as the spurs if desired. some of
the spurs are not real long, so they are not always included in the mount. The tail has to
be fleshed of any extra meat. After fleshing the end of the tail and the bard, borax is
rubbed on it. This is so it preserves itself and does not put off an odor. The tail needs
to be fanned out to produce the best look. Some tails are missing some feathers from
being shot. After setting the fanned tail, I use auto-body filler to hold it in place. The
filler will harden in about 5 minutes, then I put the tail on a plaque and the mount is


                                                                           1162
                                                   Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


I help in many different areas on mounting over 150 Whitetail shoulder mounts. I start
by cutting the horns off the skull plate with a saw. The skull needs to be cleaned off
and needs borax rubbed on it. Once there are about 40 sets of horns on the floor, it is
time to boil them. After boiling the horns, all are set in number order. I help with
ordering the forms by reading the numbers and size of the form. When the order of
forms comes in, I sort out what form goes with each set of horns. Next, I get the capes
ready for mounting. I tan them all and sew holes. Once summer comes, I prep the
forms for mounting. This requires trimming the horns, screwing them on the form and
putting plaster on the top to smooth everything over. To eliminate bumps under the
hide, I use a file to smooth the sharp edges on the forms. I also drill the eyes out of the
form so when the eyes are set, they sink into the face. Then, I rub hide paste on the
form so the hide sticks. Finally, I start to sew.
Anytime I had to be at a customers farm to bale, I had to use my judgment and tell
them when the earliest time I could arrive assured the field would be ready.
As fuel prices continue to increase and farmers' net profit continues to decrease every
year, one must become more efficient in what he does. In my situation, the most
obvious is the traveling and transporting of equipment around the country. Having an
organized plan of action allows unnecessary trips to be eliminated. It is important to
plan for the future so that the needed equipment will not be 1,000 miles away.
Accomplishing tasks in a timely manner is another desirable trait to acquire. There will
never be more than twenty-four hours in a day, so using each hour effectively is
important. That does not mean it is necessarily to work longer; but instead working in
the most productive and organized way to better utilize the time. By organizing your
time, confusion is less of a problem and everyone knows what they need to do in order
Keeping apprised of my customer's planned cutting schedule, equipment status, and
anticipated weather conditions helped us haul for more farmers in the same area.
I can safely harvest hay and transport it as well as equipment on public roads. I am able
to perform all functions of the operation thus reducing labor costs.




                                                                          1162
                                                   Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


Breakdowns are always dreaded, but everyone knows one will occur sooner or later.
Diagnosing breakdowns and quickly solving problems is a key asset to attain. I spent a
day observing different problems and fixing applications on the 9860sts combines just
prior to going and picking up our new machines at the factory in Moline. With the help
of John Deere technicians, I learned to more efficiently and effectively fix problems
that arise while in the field. I was instructed on how to fix the latest mechanical
problems and notified about potential problems they were looking at. Although I did
not learn to fix every single occurrence, I developed a common knowledge about the
new machines that we would be running the following summer.
 I assist the veterinarian in surgery. This requires knowledge of surgical insturments,
suture types, and sterile techniques. The patient must also be anesthetized, in which I
assist by restraining the animal then setting the anesthesia levels on the aneshesia
machine. On some patients I monitor the anesthesia in order to make sure the patient is
breathing at a proper rate and at an adequate level of anesthesia. I must know what
surgical pack is needed, when to hand the surgeon the needed insturment, which suture
types are needed for specific proceedures, which surgical drugs are needed for certain
procedures and what I can and can not touch. I can also revive puppies when C-
sections are preformed. I also monitor the patient during its recovery. I like to assist in
I can now clean and disinfect surgical instruments after use and sort the instruments
into their appropriate surgical set. This requires being able to identify the instruments
and know which instruments are required for each surgical procedure. The veteinarian
must have the correct instruments to perform the surgery. Gauze and a set of suture
needles is then placed with the set of instruments. They are then wrapped with a
surgical drape and called a surgery pack. The prepared packs are then placed in the
autoclave. This machine sterilizes the instruments with heat and pressure. A very high
quality control must be maintained to avoid contamination of sterilized surgical
instruments with bacteria. Sterile instruments are required to prevent infections after
surgery. The sterile instruments are then stored in the surgery room or in the truck for




                                                                          1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


Government regulatory agencies such as the USDA and Texas Animal Health
Commison require that certain forms be completed for health certificates, Brucellosis
testing, Brucellosis vaccination, Tubercullosis testing, and Equine Infectious Anemia
(Coggins) testing. These forms must be completed carefully and accurately for the
veterinarian to sign. Each form requires a description of the animal being tested and its
ID number, brand, or tattoo. The forms also require owner information such as name,
address, phone number, and where the animal is stabled or pastured. The veterinarian's
name, address, and phone number is also required.
At the veterinary clinic I can "balance" the money at the end of the day. Checks, credit
cards, and cash must total or balance to match the end of day report printed out by the
computer. After properly balancing the day's receipts, a bank deposit must be prepared
with the day's earnigs. Good financial records are important to the operation of any
business. My goal is to eventually be a veterinarian and own this veterinary practice.
Learning sound management practices is important to having a complete
understanding of the operation of a successful mixed animal veterinary clinic.
Correctly counting and maintaining a thirty day supply of all drugs and products is
very important. I maintain and update the clinic reorder list. I check stock of inventory
items and record items low on stock on the reorder list. Expiration dates must be
recorded and checked to maintain good quality control of products used in the clinic
and sold. Out of date items can be returned for credit or exchange within 60 days of the
expiration. I must also know which veterinary product distributor makes which product
so the order can be placed. I restock shelves with over the counter products and dog
food in the veterinary clinic. I also restock the clinic's supply of prescription
medications when an order is received. This requires knowing where items are stored,
if refrigerated, and checking expiration dates.




                                                                        1162
                                                   Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


I can administer medications by doctor's instructions to hospitalized patients. I can
administer boluses, pills or liquid by mouth. I can also maintain IV fluids on sick
animals after being started by the veterinarian. I can also administer medication
through the IV fluids on the veterinarian's order. I can give injections intramuscular
(IM) and subcutaneouly (SQ), but only under direct supervision of the veterinarian. I
can prepare injections, vaccinations, and fill prescriptions of liquid and pill
medications. This requires reading the labels, following instructions, knowing where
the pharmaceuticals are stored, and the size of needle and/or syringe needed. I have
recently been required to calculate dosages based on the weight of the animal and
dosage amount labeled, instead of just being told how much to prepare.
Blood samples must be prepared for evaluation. This includes knowing what type of
blood tube and syringe is needed for certain tests, centrifuging samples to collect the
serum and/or plasma for testing, packaging for shipment, or making a blood smear for
staining. Proper preparation is not only important in preserving the sample, but in
maintaining a high quality control of all laboratory tests done in the clinic. I can now
perform a heartworm check, feline leukemia test, feline aids test, fecal floatation,
blood counts, blood chemistry and electrolyte analysis. I routinely set up fecal samples
to check for internal parasites. I can either read or am familiar with the test results and
blood values on both small and large animals, but final analysis or diagnosis is always
Using skills I have learned in computer classes at Dayton High School and on the job I
am able to trouble shoot, repair, and upgrade the clinic's in-house computer network. I
am responsible for its upkeep and its updates. I am also able to make adjustments to
the veterinary software and minor repairs to the hardware. I also make sure a daily
backup tape is made of all records in case of a computer failure. I am the only person
at the clinic with working computer knowledge. When I am not working at the
veterinary clinic, an outside repairman must be called. This makes me feel essential to
the operation of the veterinary clinic, since all records, receipts, and inventory are
stored on the computer system.




                                                                          1162
                                                  Agricultural Services Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


After convincing the veterinarian about the importance of having a web site for the
clinic, I was able to create a web site for the veterinary clinic with skills learned in
computer classes at Dayton High School and skillls learned on my own. It is:
www.Chacvet.com. I felt that in today's high tech world, that having a website on the
internet would be an important source of information for the veterinary clinic's clients
and potential clients. I am also repsonsible for maintaining the website. The web site
has a lot of infomation about the veterinary clinic. Services offered, clinic policies,
product information, and animal health links are some of information items I have
Identifying and controlling weeds is very important in crop production. Weeds are
scouted intensely every week for the first four to six weeks. Weed identification, size,
and density were very important in determining the herbicide and timeliness of
spraying. Economic treatments were based on weed counts and density using the
Weedsoft program by the University of Nebraska. When I first started crop consulting
for my dad, I had trouble distinguishing the difference between marestail and kochia.
After many years of gaining experience through trial and error, I have been able to
automatically differentiate between marestail and kochia. Determining the right weed
was the most important part in spraying a field. I learned the names of some weeds but
I still have some trouble with a few grass species. If I need any help, I can ask my dad
During the beginning months of summer, my dad and I spend a lot of time out in the
field. The main reason we are out in the fields the longest is due to stand counts. We
spend about 45 to 60 minutes per field as soon as the crop has emerged. In corn, we
step off 34 feet two rows wide if the row space is 30". If the row spacing is 36" wide,
we measure off 29 feet two rows wide. We count both rows, divide that number by
four and then multiply that number by 1,000 to find how many plants per acre. We
make one stand count per quadrant on each field during the first two weeks. For
soybeans, we count off ten feet of row and then count the plants in those ten feet.
Once completed, we divide by ten to find the average number of soybeans per foot.
Then we multiply by number of linear feet on different row spacing to find out the
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 ↓    Aquaculture   E   Advertising




      Aquaculture   P   Advertising




      Aquaculture   P    Aeration




      Aquaculture   P   Age Scales




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                        Aquaculture Presentations
      Aquaculture   P
                            and Tour Guide




                        Boiler - Operate Wood
      Aquaculture   P Splitter; Chain Saw; Tractor
                        and Restocking Boiler




      Aquaculture   P      Breeding/Spawning




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      Aquaculture   P         Cage Repair




                        Calculate Nutritional Feed
      Aquaculture   P
                                  Rates




      Aquaculture   P Calculating Poundage of Fish




      Aquaculture   E   Cleaning/Processing Crop


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      Aquaculture   P    Collecting Catfish Eggs




      Aquaculture   P        Collecting Fish




      Aquaculture   P Collection of Water Samples




      Aquaculture   P    Communication Skills




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                         Conduct Water Quality
      Aquaculture   P
                        Management and Disposal




      Aquaculture   P     Customer Relations




      Aquaculture   P      Customer Service




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                      Determine Sex and Sorting
      Aquaculture   P  Tilapia Production and
                             Spawning




      Aquaculture   P   Equipment Maintenance




      Aquaculture   P        Farm Safety




      Aquaculture   P          Feeding




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      Aquaculture   P   Filter and Aeration System




      Aquaculture   P        Fish Deliveries




      Aquaculture   P         Fish Feeding



      Aquaculture   P        Fish Measuring



      Aquaculture   P          Fish Traps




      Aquaculture   P            Fishing




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                        General Aquaculture Facility
      Aquaculture   P
                         and system Maintenance




      Aquaculture   P        Grading Fish Size




      Aquaculture   P       Grading of Product


                         Harvesting Adult Fish for
      Aquaculture   P
                                Shipment


      Aquaculture   P         Harvesting Eggs


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      Aquaculture   P    Harvesting Fish For Sale




                        Identify and Treat Disease
      Aquaculture   P   and Pathogen Problems in
                             Freshwater Fish




      Aquaculture   P Installing Irrigation Systems




      Aquaculture   P   Knowledge of Fish Habitat




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                     Koi, Tilapia and Ornamental
      Aquaculture   P Fish Production and Lab
                             Management




                        Managing Fish and Pond
      Aquaculture   P
                             Equipment




      Aquaculture   P    Marketing Knowledge


      Aquaculture   E     Money Management




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      Aquaculture   P         Night Shocking




      Aquaculture   E       Optimum Feed Rate

      Aquaculture   E        Optimum Growth




                        Perform System and Aeration
      Aquaculture   P
                        Installation and Maintenance




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                        Perform System Design,
                       Materials Calculation and
      Aquaculture   P   Ordering Receiving and
                      Construction of Recirculating
                        and Aquaponic Systems.




      Aquaculture   P         Pest Control




      Aquaculture   P         Plant Control




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      Aquaculture   P   Public Interaction




      Aquaculture   P       Pull Nets




      Aquaculture   P   Pull Nets in Lake




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      Aquaculture   P       Recording Data




      Aquaculture   E        Recordkeeping


      Aquaculture   P        Recordkeeping




      Aquaculture   P        Recordkeeping




      Aquaculture   P   Running Trout/Fish Lines




      Aquaculture   E            Safety

      Aquaculture   E            Sales

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      Aquaculture   P    Seining Ponds for Fish




      Aquaculture   P          Stock Fish




      Aquaculture   P   Stock Fish in Farm Ponds




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      Aquaculture   P   Tank Maintenance




      Aquaculture   P   Time Management


      Aquaculture   E   Time Management




      Aquaculture   P   Transporting Fish




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      Aquaculture   P           Trapping




      Aquaculture   P     Treating Infected Fish




      Aquaculture   P   Weighing and Deliver Fish




      Aquaculture   E Wildlife Management Skills

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                                                           1162
                                                    Aquaculture Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


I have learned to create advertising materials to promote my catfish sales. Each year I
increased sales and my customer base expanded by using several different forms of
advertising.
Advertising is one of the most expensive areas for us. We use the money from the fish for
supplies and other necessities. So the money for advertising is from our own pockets and
has the most effect. The most we do is a section in the classifieds and flyers that are put
in popular areas and in mail boxes. We are going to be trying to put up a web site so we
can get better business and higher amounts of sales. People are always inquiring about
the farm but with no real enthusiasm. Soon we also hope to be selling the fish to the local
Aeration is one of the key points of successful perch fish raising in tanks or ponds. We
used to check weekly on our wind mills during winter but this year bought a generator.
We aerate during winter so we are keeping holes in the ice so we can feed. Sometimes
the wind conditions can also be damaging to the windmills. We have even had one of the
of them get blown over and one of the fins was completely destroyed. The windmills help
because it is much cheaper to use wind energy than electrical energy to aerate the ponds
in summer. During the summer we also check every day because the heat / evaporation
can cause problems with low oxygen levels in the tanks. The tanks oxygen are constantly
checked because of the high amounts of fish in each tank. The good oxygen level is
between eight and a half to thirteen ppm. The aerating is crucial to a great perch farm.
The scales that we take from the fish are pressed onto strips of acetate so they can be
looked at to determine the age of the fish. The age of the scale is same age as the fish. By
determining the age of the fish you can make a growth chart telling how old the fish, or
how old the population of fish are in a lake. Also, you can determine how fast the fish, or
fish populations, are growing in that lake. Annual growth rings called annuli are present
on the scale. Each annuli represents a year of growth, similar to tree rings. The number of
annuli are recorded on a data sheet and will also have the length, and weight of the fish
recorded on it. All of this data will go into a chart that will tell how fast the lakes fish
populations are growing. By determining the population growth rate we are able to
determine how many fish we need to stock in that lake, to boost a fish population or to




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The aquaculture industry regularly uses speakers and presenters to market their products.
In fact, the aquaculture industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in U.S. Agriculture
according to the USDA. Serving as a leader for my aquaculture class has taught me how
to work well with others. Being able to listen to others and lead a team is an important
skill in any job area. Developing the aquaculture presentation for the annual barnyard
tours gave me the experience of writing, editing and revising a script for presentation.
Delivering the presentation to 2,000+ elementary students helped develop public
speaking and presentation skills that are vital to all areas of the aquaculture industry.
Serving as a leader, presenter and speaker has prepared me for my future dream career as
a small animal veterinarian. Wherever I work, these qualities will help in acquiring,
The boilers are how we keep the greenhouses at a desirable temperature for the fish
during the winter. The wood rolls into the wood splitter so they can be cut into the correct
sizes. Then, the cut logs are loaded onto the trailer and shipped to the boiler area. I have
to get the smaller pieces of wood and put them into the boiler to get the fire going. Once
the fire is going, I have to put the bigger pieces of wood into the boiler to get more heat. I
have to continue adding the wood until the boiler temperature gets to 180 degrees and
this will heat the greenhouse to the desired 70 degrees.
Every spring we cut balsam and pine boughs and place them around the outside of the
pond. This is where the perch will normally spawn. While they are spawning we count
to see how many strings of spawn that we have and there are about 15,000 eggs in a good
sized female spawn. Unfortunately, only about half of them will successfully hatch but
that still provides us with a lot of fish. The fish do not spawn until it is about 65 degrees
in the water because at that temperature the eggs won't freeze or have difficulties
growing. We will not see the fry until they are about three months old because of their
size and color. The main reason they are so small is so they can hide easier from the
older perch. The perch should be about an inch and a half long by the end of September.
We also have tried collecting the semen and eggs in order that we can grow the eggs in




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Cages are very seldom damaged and are in need of repair, but if the need arises the matter
should be taken care of immediately. Gloves, safety goggle and long sleeve clothing are
recommended for this skill as a safety precaution. Cages are made of PVC coated
galvanized wire shipped from Texas so rust is not a pending issue for this process. Cages
are clipped together with stainless steel clips and approximately 250 clips are used for
each cage and these cages are almost indestructible. Cages' floats sometimes come apart
from the wire and this causes the cage to sink and fish are lost due to the cages becoming
escapable. The fish cage's PVC floats are held on with plastic ties. These plastic ties
sometimes rot and have to be replaced along with the cage's lid's plastic ties. The float
and lid are a crucial element for this cage to work properly. The float keeps the cage
above water while the lid prevents predators, blue herring birds from stealing fish from
Calculating the nutrition requirements for tilapia, koi and ornamental fish requires using
science and match skills. First you must take into consideration the water temperature
and the species of fish that is to be fed. Using this information allows me to create a
ration that is equal to 4% of the total fish mass in the tank. The fish species affects the
percent of protein that should be fed. Tilapia receive a 32% protein feed, while the koi
require a 40% protein feed with added caratinoids. Feed conversion in fish is typically
high; however, after keeping accurate records of the young tilapia I found they gained an
average of 1 pound of every 1.3 pounds of feed fed. The koi were not as efficient, gaining
1 pound for ever 1.8 pounds of feed fed. This skill will be useful in managing any animal
species. As a veterinarian I will be able to use these same math and science concepts.
My father and I catch fish for pay lakes, and individuals to purchase for their ponds. We
charge our customers 80 cents per pound of fish. It is important for me to be able to
calculate and keep track of the fish poundage of catch. We convert pounds of fish to
dollars and cents. At our house, we take the fish out of holding tanks and weigh them.
We do this to ensure we get the correct poundage for the customer. For example, we just
finished a customer that wanted 9,400 pounds of fish. At 80 cents per pound that would
be $7520 in gross income. If we weighed inaccurately we could lose money and worse
possibly lose a customer. Weighing is an essential part of any commercial fishing
I have learned to create advertising materials to promote my catfish sales. I tried many
different techniques that made the amount of time to process a fish go faster.


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Spring is the perfect time of year to collect catfish eggs in the ponds because it is a
spawning season for channel fish. This skill is slightly dangerous for the collector
because male catfish can be quite aggressive. Waders are optional for this skill but are
not recommended because the waders are difficult to move around in. A small floating
basket, bucket, fry net and rope are required for this event. Buckets are laid on their sides
and slightly covered with motar mix and are placed in the ponds for catfish to breed. The
female enters the bucket and the male follows to fertilize the eggs. The egg's color
determines if they are ready to be brought into the hatchery. If the eggs are a peach color
then they can be gathered, but if the eggs are white they must stay in the buckets as they
may not be fertilized yet. Once eggs are collected they are brought into the hatchery and
placed into circulating water, this keeps the eggs moving and prevents them from rotting
Collecting fish is a process used when electro fishing. The fish are stunned by a current
of electricity, which immobilizes them and they float to the surface. The fish will be
stunned for only a few seconds. We take long-handled nets and dip the fish out of the
water and put them in a live well. They will stay in the live well until the sampling
station is over. Then the fish will be transferred to a data boat where they will record data
from the fish. When collecting fish we use nets that have fiberglass handles. This is to
ensure that we do not receive a current of electricity. We also wear flotation jackets or
life jackets when in the boat, for there is a risk of falling out of the boat. Another safety
device is the pad we step on, it is the on/off switch for the current of electricity going into
the water. When you are not stepping on the pad the electricity is not flowing through the
Every week one of my duties is to collect water samples from the fish tanks, ponds and
fresh water supply on the farm. T his is done to check the PH level. The water supply
must be kept at a balanced level of 6.5 to 7.0 so the fish will not contract any diseases
that may be found in the water.
I have been able to use my communication skills to meet new customers. I am also able
to set shipping dates for orders that have been sent to our farm via the computer or
phone/fax. I have gotten to know several of our customers quite well and they are always
pleased to see me when they visit the farm. They know I am aware of the quality product
they are looking for.



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Water quality management and disposal is important everywhere. Nine different
parameters are tested for using a LaMotte test kit and other digital test meters. Other
parameters are checked using test strips and electronic meters. The lab must exchange a
minimum of 10% of the water when ammonia, nitrate or nitrate levels reach lethel limits.
Instead of simply releasing the water into the drain, the water is now directed to three
different locations. The first location is a hydroponic system where nutrients are added
so vegetables like cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes can be grown. Another portion of
the wastewater is directed to the aquaponic systems, where green leafy vegetables are
grown without the aid of added nutrients. The water is cleaned by the plant roots and then
returned to the fish tanks. The final disposal method involves holding the water and then
pumping through sprinklers over the lawn to conserve water and fertilize the lawn.
Being a relatively new business, we are still building up a customer base. My dad and I
try and not get overbooked; because we want to do a quality job for the customer.
Currently we have five customers. Each customer has a big order so we take our time to
fill that order with quality fish. We tell that to our customers up front so that they do not
get frustrated. We have done a good job with our orders so far and treat our customers
fairly. I anticipate that we will get all the customers we want just by word of mouth
which is by far the cheapest and best advertisement.
Not all people are capable of baiting good hooks or filleting fish so when it comes to
customer service I step in and help them however I can. I'll show them areas to fish that
are popular feeding areas and sell bait / worms to them. We will even run the fish
through a de-scaler so that they won't waste the meat when they are skinning the fish.
Year round we care for the fish and the ponds. We aren't that extensive of a business but
when people come we want them to feel as if they are on a huge lake fishing for the big
one and we want it to look good. Every fall we seine the ponds and see our stock and
take about 200 fish in varieties of sizes from each pond. Then we take those fish to the
house and set up aerated tanks with different size fish in each tank. This is our major
area of profit as people buy fish to stock their ponds.




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The ability to determine the sex in young tilapia is of great economic importance. A tank
filled with all male tilapia will have faster and more uniform growth. Determining the sex
only comes with much practice. I studied books, watched videos and observed my
advisor in order to perfect my skill. While this procedure may be simple for the
traditional livestock project, determining the sex of small tilapia is extremely difficult.
When I first started I used a dye to distinguish between males and females. Now, I can
identify them with only a quick look, I have sorted more than 450 tilapia using this
method. Determining the sex of tilapia is also important for spawning. Through my
aquaculture class and research I have learned it is best to stock 1 male to 3 or 4 females.
If you stock them at a 1 to 1 ratio, the male may injure and possibly kill the female. I
made that mistake during my first spawning attempt. My first successful spawn was last
One of the great things about this business is that there is little overhead. We have two
boats, trout lines, traps, water tanks, holding tanks, a weigh station, net, bait, and fishing
poles. All this equipment, especially the boats require routine maintenance. I must make
sure all the traps are in good working order; and that the tanks do not have any holes in
them. By marinating the equipment we keep down our overhead, and the business up and
running.
Practicing good farm safety and encouraging others to do the same is of vital importance
when working around water and equipment. It is my duty to make sure all safety and
warning signs have been placed in their correct location on the farm. This helps keep our
operation injury free.
For healthy perch / fish it is important to keep a healthy diet that doesn't force them to eat
their young. When the fish are young we try to train them to take the Fry Powder
(ground pellets). We do that by sprinkling the powder (after most of the spawning strings
are gone / usually around June) around the edges of the banks. Some take to it and others
will not the ones that do tend to grow faster. The sizes of feed that we use range from 100-
400 and fry powder. We usually give two cups of mixed to each of our six ponds. We
typically feed after daybreak (7 AM - 10 AM) and towards dusk (about 5 PM - 7 PM).
We try to feed twice a day to prevent them from eating their young and reducing our
ability to continue increasing fish populations. This spring I plan to experiment with
feeding to see what would be better for our production.


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I have to check the Aeration system for any problems and clean the filters. I monitor
these systems on a regular schedule. The aeration system has to be up and operating at its
capacity to ensure the proper environment for the fish. The filters must be kept clean so
they will work properly and remove toxic build ups.
This activity has been extremely beneficial to my SAE and very enjoyable. Making fish
deliveries has allowed me to learn how to interact with the public and meet many new
people. I have also learned new routes and have become familiar with different
surroundings. Sometimes negotiations have to be made with the customers and this has
become a useful skill in everyday life. I have gained a sense of independence and have
also learned how to manage a routine fish delivery. Being friendly and cooperative are
needed in order to do business with each customer which has benefited me in the outside
world. If customers are not satisfied or are rude, then I must have patience with them in
order to maintain their business. What I do and the impression I leave on the customer
also reflects on my parents and the business, so good behavior is required.
Fish in the tanks must be fed according to size and temperature. I feed some of the fish
twice a day and some of them once a day. Maintaining the correct amount of peletized
commercial fish food for the pounds of fish in the tank is essential in order for the system
to run correctly so the filters can do their job.
In order to check the fish size for production or to sort and fill orders, I have to catch the
fish and then measure it from head to tail. This is done at the fish farm, by using your
hand as measurement compared to a ruler.
In addition to running fishing lines, we also set up traps. The traps we make and
maintain are basically a rectangle box that we bait with cheese. We put the trap in the
water and tie them to a tree or post. We check them regularly for fish, and if we are
lucky the trap will be full. This device also allows us to catch a great deal of fish to fill
Fishing to most people is a hobby, and some may think is not a skill. Fishing however, is
more than just casting a pole in the water awaiting the catch. Fishing involves knowing
the fish's behavior, its habitat, what bait to use, and how to set up traps and lines. Trout
lines and traps allow us to catch the greatest quantity of fish. Having this skill allows us
to catch the amount of fish our customers want in a reasonable amount of time. Fishing
changes with the seasons, weather, and water conditions, knowing this is the way we can
make money all year round.

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Conducting maintenance in the lab is a regular activity. The lab is located in the
greenhouse, so I have had to work with the Horticulture teacher to prevent fish losses due
to pesticide drift. Maintaining water quality is of utmost importance in the lab. The
industry requires regular water checks of all aquaculture production systems. In addition
to water quality, it is important to monitor bio-filters and air filters. The bio-filters allow
the conversion of harmful ammonia nitrogen to nitrates, which are safe for the fish up to
high levels. The air filters must be checked for proper pressure. A new industry
equipment called the Bubble Bead filter must be cleaned on a weekly basis in order to
properly remove waste from the system. Other general maintenance which must be
conducted includes cleaning and organizing the deck, checking chemical treatment
supplies, scraping algae from tanks, conducting fish health surveys, testing and checking
This process is fairly easy but requires a great amount of moving fish. Once fish are
brought from the pond and then unloaded off the truck, they are graded into needed sizes
for sale or sent to a fresh pond to continue growing. All fish, regardless of size, are
released into a large mesh wire cage and fish too large to escape are retained in the cage.
The fish small enough to escape through the mesh enter another cage with a smaller mesh
wire. Whatever size fish are needed for the order are moved to another holding tank by
themselves while the other fish that are not needed are sent back to their original pond to
continue growing. Once desired fish size has been caught, they are counted and placed
back onto the truck for delivery. If more than 1,000 fish are needed for an order, a weight
count is done. 1,000 fish are counted into a basket and then placed on the weighing scales
and their weight is recorded and then other baskets will make the same weight instead of
I have learned the skill of quality grading. It is my duty to grade the fish correctly. This
helps to make threat undersized fish are not packed and are returned back to the fish
ponds where they can continue to grow to a marketable size before being shipped to our
When it is time to harvest a tank, I catch the fish using a net. This job takes at least 2
people. When the fish are in the net; we pick the net up out of the water and put it on the
scales. The fish are then weighed, sorted and placed in containers according to the buyers
The eggs have to be collected from the mouth of the fish and moved to an incubating
tank. I must catch the fish and remove the eggs. The fry will hatch the eggs and I must be
sure the hatching jar is working correctly so the fry are not lost. Oxygenated water is
circulated throughout the incubation tank.

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I have helped harvest the fish that are needed to fill orders called in each day. In order for
this task to be filled we must net the fish from a large pond and move them to the holding
tanks located inside the hot houses. This is the final step before the fish are boxed and
shipped to their destination.
Identifying freshwater fish disease and pathogen problems is an integral part of
freshwater aquaculture. Regular health surveys must be conducted to check the fish
population for signs of disease. There are 4 main categories of diseases in fish, parasites,
bacteria, viral and fungal. I have learned from my advisor, books and videos it is best to
take a sample of the fish population and carefully examine a few specimens up close in a
confined container. Using this method has allowed me to catch early signs of
ichthyophthiriasis on ornamental fish, fungus on hybrid striped bass, and external
parasites on tilapia and koi. Finding and eliminating the stressor, along with initial
treatment usually saves the entire fish population. A 'dip' is a concentrated solution,
which is usually used to treat a single fish or a small group of fish. A bath is used most
often in our lab by adding the treatment directly to the water for a prolonged period of
It's important to make sure the water system and water lines are operating correctly. This
is an important part of our operation due to the fact that all ponds and tanks must be kept
full of fresh, clean water. The major factor is that I must keep the PH level down in the
tanks and ponds. It is vital that water lines are kept open, free and clear of obstructions.
In order to catch an abundance of fish, you have to know where they are at based on the
different species, the seasons, and their habits. This comes in the form of a great deal of
time of the job and trial and error. You have to know the lake well and where the fish are
to be successful. Fish also behave differently based on the seasons. All of this
knowledge is important to be successful in the commercial fishing business.




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Koi, tilapia and ornamental fish production and lab management require the majority of
my time in the Aquaculture Lab. In fact, the responsibility has encouraged me to increase
my education by reading books and conducting active research. Culturing these fish
species has allowed me to have a greater understanding of how the aquaculture industry
works. I have managed 5 working recirculating systems, 36 aquariums, two 800 gallon
culture tanks by scheduling other workers and by coordinating nutrition management,
water quality testing, maintenance and day-to-day operations. Visiting the University of
Texas Marine Education Center and touring the mariculture lab has allowed me to know
that my knowledge is correct, accurate and that I am ready for the aquaculture industry.
Being a lab manager and conducting my own guided studies have provided me with a
greater understanding of koi, tilapia and ornamental fish production and lab management.
Fish are delicate creatures and have to be handled with care due to their stress levels.
Tanks and nets are to be sanitized before and after every use, since fish are prone to
diseases. Most sanitation products consist of bleach which means equipment must be
rinsed thoroughly before using. Fish also have to be treated constantly by using salt to
keep fish free of parasitic diseases. Fish can no be handled too often because a fish's
protective slime is very important to their survival and if the slime is rubbed off the fish it
has a great chance of becoming vulnerable to diseases and parasites. Pond equipment also
has to be checked regularly for flaws. Water has a tendency to break down the chemical
makeup of plastic, which is often used on the farm and equipment may be due for repairs
within a matter of time. These repairs are not often but are urgent because equipment has
to be in proper condition in order to be used effectively.
I have used my marketing skills to help misunderstand market reports and to help me
acquire the best price for our customers. This has helped the fish farm be able to give
customers the best product for the most economical price possible. This marketing skill
keeps our customers satisfied with a quality product at an affordable price, which in turn
brings them back again and again.
I have maintained my fish farm crop finances and have kept my profits over my losses.




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While night shocking Lewis and Clark Lake we started at sun down or a little after, the
prime time to shock fish is right after dark. We shock along the Nebraska shoreline. We
usually shock 6 fifteen minute stations. The stations are set at intervals for statistical
purposes and catch rates are converted to number of fish per hour. When we shock any
lake the shocking boat goes out to gather fish, then the data boat is launched a few
minutes after the shocking is started. The shocking boat gathers fish by dipping them out
of the water and putting them into a live well. After fifteen minutes of shocking the
shocking boat brings the fish to the data boat. The data boat will process all of the data
needed form the fish. The data taken is species, weight, length, and a few scales to tell
how fast the fish are growing. Once we have the data we need from the fish they are
released back into the water without any harm to the fish.
I have learned the proper feed rate for optimum growth. I have obtained the right growth
rate to achieve optimum profits.
 I have learned the proper protein input for optimum growth. I have achieved higher
yields year to year in catfish weights.
The Aquaculture lab has 5 recirculating systems using air to move more than 5,000
gallons of water through the systems. I have cleaned and/or changed the air filters weekly
in order to maintain a consistent air intake. If the system is not properly maintained the
air tubes may form blockages which will inhibit dissolved oxygen in the system.
Dissolved oxygen is the main limiting factor in aquaculture. Airstones are cleaned
monthly to remove the hardwater build-up. proper safety must be used when working
with chemicals to clean the airstones. This fall I installed a new air system for one of the
aquaponic systems we received we received. A Sweetwater air pump was installed with
1/8" fittings and 3/4" ID clear tubing for air lifts. These air-lifts are what moved the water
from the fish tank to the setting tank, to the bio-filter and back to the fish tank. Installing
the aeration for the outdoor ponds has been challenging.




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One of the 2 new aquaponic systems was designed by my class. As team leader I
sketched the ideas and developed 2 plans. A materials list was created from our drawing.
We completed purchase order forms and placed the orders. The orders began coming in
from the different locations and I was in charge of receiving and inventory. Construction
began as soon as all system components arrived. Parts were laid out, measurements taken
and double-checked before priming and gluing. Teflon tape and putty were used for the
threaded fittings. Knowing when, where and how to apply Teflon or primer and glue is
the most important skill in aquaculture system design and construction. In addition, as a
leader I am always asked to help in setting up aquariums in our lab and in other teacher's
Every year we have problems with turtles, herons, ducks, and possibilities of other
predatory fish. To prevent our entire stock from being eaten we made a turtle trap. We
made it so they go to sun themselves and when frightened would fall into the trap. For
ducks, we basically made it so they can't nest in the cat tails or tall weeds by removing
those parts of the habitat. The herons have been the biggest problem. We have tried
making some heron statues out of styrofoam and have painted them grey. This
sometimes helps because herons are very territorial and this has helped us reduce their
populations considerably. A big change this past year is that we have obtained permits
from the DNR to shoot some of the herons since we are a registered fish farm. We also
have problems with minnow infestations because their eggs come in with birds and then
end up hatching in our ponds. Now we have permits so we can shoot a certain amount of
Most people just let their ponds get seaweedy or put dyes in the water that kill all of the
algae and seaweed. We personally won't do that because both options harm fish and the
fish do need some plants for proper health. They use some of these beneficial plants to
hunt in, provide more oxygen to the water, and nest in. On the other hand, having too
much growth, too much of these plants can be bad because it overtakes the ponds and
uses up too much of the water nutrients. The algae also make it hard for feeding and
observing fish. The food gets hung up on the top and then rots which causes high nitrate
levels. We remove most of the seaweed using a long metal rake or a steel post attached
to a skidsteer. This is a major project in the summer and helps to keep our fish healthier
and our ponds looking better. When the DNR visited they said that we should watch out
for certain kinds of seaweed because they are invasive in our area


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While making fish deliveries I have the opportunity to meet many new and interesting
people. I've come to realize everyone is different. Whether or not their difference plays a
role in making a successful sale is of great importance in order to receive the customer's
business. I have become very comfortable talking to complete strangers because I meet so
many in just one week. My people skills have sky-rocketed and have become very useful
to me in everyday life. I may need to make a presentation to a room filled with people,
but I have no trouble accomplishing this because I have developed presentation skills and
I am comfortable answering any questions that are asked. Fish customers often have
many questions about what kind of fish, how many fish and how to manage their fish. I
have also learned how to create an interesting conversation with the customer and I learn
about customers and their preferences.
Nets are set to catch fish so we have a sample of what kinds of fish are in a lake. Also,
we can see what type of habitat a fish species has to live in. We set nets in specific areas
to obtain an accurate catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE). This data indicates if population
levels are near target objectives. If there is an abundance or a lack of fish we are able to
determine what goals we should have for the fish population in the lake. When we pull
nets we take the fish out of the net and place them in a live well. Once in the live well we
are able to take data from the fish. This is a good technique to find what habitats fish like
to live in and what kinds of fish are in various habitats. The data from net samples will be
processed and used to generate various tables and charts for analysis. These charts will
tell us how fast or slow a population of fish is growing and if we are at target objectives
for length and population levels.
To pull nets you must first have set nets. When the weather forecast looks good for a few
days we will set nets. The morning after we set nets we pull them. At Skyview Lake in
Norfolk, Nebraska we usually set 6 to 8 nets. That way we hit all of the key locations in
the lake and collect a wide variety of data. When a net is pulled up we take the fish out of
the net and place them into a live well. After all the fish are taken out of the net we take
data from the fish in that net. The data taken is species, weight, length, and scales. We
take each net out and do that net's data separate from the other nets so we are able to
determine a mean catch - per - unit - effort. Also we are able to determine what kind of
habitats a certain fish population prefers to live in by the location that the nets are set.


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When sampling fish in a lake, total length, weight and scales samples are taken from the
fish. All of the data is written down by one or two people that are processing the fish.
This data will go to the fisheries office and lab in Norfolk, Nebraska. The scales that are
taken off the fish are placed into an envelope, to be processed later. The length and
weight of the fish are written on data sheets, that also include the envelope number that
the scales of the fish are in. That way the scales, length, and weight of the same fish are
easy to find. Catch rates are the rates that determine how many fish get stocked in the
lake to replenish the fish that were taken out by anglers. We collect data on how many
fish the angler caught, where the fish were caught, what type of fish they are. All of this
data goes into a state wide data base called "Win Fin". This program tells a biologist like
my Dad, the harvest rates for each species of fish in every water body in the state.
I have learned to keep accurate records. I have the ability to look back in my books to see
my exact profits year to year.
Through the use of computers over the past two years I have been able to learn how to
keep records such as billing customers, tracking orders that are sent out each day and
keeping all feeding and treatment records of the fish on file. This has helped the fish farm
be able to become more efficient in its everyday operations.
Record Keeping is a valuable skill to have for our business and personal use. During my
agriculture class, I kept up with my hours, activities, income, and expenses on a weekly
basis. It is important for us to keep track of the poundage of fish we sale, and how much
each buyer purchases. This helps us stay organize, fill orders, and fill the need of our
buyers. As our business continues to grow, record keeping will become more and more
To catch a great deal of fish, we have several boxes of lines with hooks attached on them
with bobbers. This allows us to lay the line and catch a large quantity of fish at once.
We have to fill large orders for our customers; meaning we have to be efficient with our
time. We lay the trout lines out and check them on a daily basis, during prime fishing
season. We collect the fish from the lines, and place them in the holding tanks. We do
this until we reach our poundage for the customer. We then repeat the process for our
I have learned safety practices to keep from contaminating the finished product. I have
learned to sanitize the equipment and facility and have had no consumer complaints.
I have learned important skills in the field of sales to the consumers. I have grown a
dedicated consumer base in the community and surrounding areas.

                                                                      1162
                                                    Aquaculture Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


Seining the ponds is a tedious activity and requires a lot of determination. Fish can also
be difficult to handle and this activity has helped me to appreciate the value of hard work.
Seines must be loaded onto the truck. Depending on the size of desired fish determines
the mesh of the 100 foot seine. The seine ha to be pulled across the pond while clinging
tightly to the banks to keep fish inside the net. When fish are gathered at one end of the
pond, they must be dipped up in smaller nets and transported to the trucks and then taken
to holding tanks. Fish are then graded into desired sizes and fish that are not needed are
sent back to their original ponds. Fish are counted out into needed amounts for customers
and inspected for any disease or injury. fish are very delicate and are covered in a
protective slime and cannot be handled much due to slime reduction and stress increase.
Once fish are separated and counted they are put on the truck for distribution.
Fish that are put into the lakes of Nebraska are grown in hatcheries around the state or
neighboring states. We take the fish that are grown in the hatcheries and put them in
lakes and streams. The fish are sent to us by truck spending two to three hours on the
truck. Once we have them we put them in a live tank and transport them to different
locations throughout Northeast Nebraska. When at a lake we take the fish out of the live
tank by net and place the right number of fish in a bucket filled with water. Next we take
the bucket down to the water and release the fish by gently lowering the bucket into the
water. If we are at a bigger lake we will put the buckets of fish in a boat and bring them
to the middle of the lake, then release them. Stocking a stream is a bit more difficult than
stocking a lake. At a stream we take the fish out of the live tank by net & transport them
to the water in the net. Once at the water we gently release them.
On a day that we stock farm ponds, we receive fish at the Nebraska Game and Parks
Commission around 8:00 AM, from the Valentine Fish Hatchery. There we transfer fish
from the hatchery live tank truck to our live tank truck. When hauling fish, a live tank is
put into the bed of the truck. We start out at the Game and Parks Commission Field
Office in Norfolk, from there we travel throughout Northeast Nebraska meeting farm
pond owners and stocking fish in their ponds. When we actually stock the fish we take
them out of the live tank in the truck by net and place them in a bucket filled with water.
Then the bucket is taken down to the water and the fish are lowered into the water gently
to swim away. This process is repeated throughout the day with various owners and


                                                                      1162
                                                    Aquaculture Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


There is many things that are extremely important to a good tank life. Such as aeration,
de-gassing, PH levels, oxygen levels, nitrogen levels and feeding. We check constantly
on all areas. Every morning and night I feed by crushing a half a cup of feed and slowly
administer the food into the water. Then when the fish are done eating I then flush the
large biomedia filter. I let it fill up and then I flush out the tank with the hose. We open
the valve off and on so the suction will extrude the extractments from the bottom of the
tank. Biomedia filter cleans the water by having it pumped into the bottom. Our aerating
rocks are in the bottom of the drum but the water will come out of the top hole so it can
be de-gassed and re-aerated.
By utilizing my time wisely, I am able to complete all tasks that are associated with my
SAE, as well as participate in the FFA and other school activities. Since I work for my
family's fish farm I am able to manage my time between work, homework and school
activities quite efficiently due to my parent's understanding and support.
I have maintained my fish farm crop and have kept up academically as well.
Transporting fish has to be done very carefully in order for fish to remain healthy. While
seining ponds the person seining may lose track of how many fish are in the truck tanks
and overcrowding could kill the fish, as well as low oxygen levels. Clean water and an
appropriate amount of oxygen should be put into the tanks every time transporting is in
action. If the amount of oxygen does not supply the amount of fish in the tanks then fish
become very stressed and fish may die. Children should also be watched while preparing
to transport fish because the children have a tendency to put their hands in the water
which stresses out fish and some chemicals on human hands can also be harmful to fish.
Avoiding pot holes and driving slow is a good idea while transporting fish to prevent
from jostling the fish. Fish should be checked on to insure they are still in a stable
condition, every thirty minutes is recommended because transportation is very stressful to




                                                                      1162
                                                    Aquaculture Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


At all times in summer, we throw in traps to have our own fish frys or when someone is
looking for fresh fish for their family. We usually get a few calls a month saying that
someone would like to have a large fish fry and would like to have a certain amount of
fish. We throw the traps into the water. To get our fish out of the ponds, we often use a
seining method. We normally start seining in fall because by then most of the stock is
the desirable selling size. We have a seining net that is about 100 feet long and 20 feet
wide. It is used by walking slowly with the bottom of the net as close to the contour of
the pond as possible so that fish can not swim around or underneath the net. By seining,
we get to see what we have for stock and then can transfer some into tanks. After we
seine we usually advertise so that people can stock their ponds with the size fish that they
If fish are sickly while stationed in the pond then the entire pond is treated but fish that
are seined up and brought into the holding tanks that become sick, due to stress, are
treated while stationed in the tanks. They are given bagged salt and a liquid breathing
medicine. Salt is used to increase sanitation of the water while the breathing liquid
enhances oxygen molecules of the water. all fish have a protective slime which keeps
them safe from parasitic diseases and harmful bacteria. This slime is vital to the fish's
survival and handling fish may cause it to rub off so it is considered a form of treatment
to assist the fish in keeping a thick slime coat. some diseases are incurable, such as
colomaris and severe ick, and death is the only treatment. Most disease can be treated
properly and whether or not the infection is caught in time or not is also a pending factor.
Once the fish have been caught and put in holding tanks, we take them back to our house
and weigh them. We must ensure that we have the correct weight for our customer so
that they will be satisfied. We do not want to overweigh or we will lose money. Once
the fish have been weighed, we put them back in an oxygenated holding tank and take
them to the customers.
I have learned important wildlife management skills through the raising of catfish. I have
learned to recognize certain diseases of catfish. I have maintained my fish crop with
minimal loss of the product.
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                                                                      1162
                                       Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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 ↓    Beef
      Production
                   E   Analyzing Soil Fertility Test

      Beef
                   E         Animal Health
      Production
      Beef
                   E      Animal Identification
      Production
      Beef
                   E        Animal Nutrition
      Production
      Beef
                   E     Artificial Insemination
      Production




      Beef
                   P     Assisting With Calving
      Production




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      Beef
                   P          Bottle Feeding Calves
      Production




                         Built an Excel database for herd
                      identification to manage finances and
      Beef
                   E     to schedule vaccinations. Skills
      Production
                     acquired from: High School Computer
                     Course, Ag Advisor and Young Farmer
                       By experience, I have learned when
                     and how to intervene at calving time. I
      Beef
                   E have learned how to properly place calf
      Production
                      chains and use a calf puller to deliver
                     calves that otherwise would have died.
                        Castrated bulls in order to market
                      Simmental or Angus influenced steers
      Beef
                   E which leads to higher profitability.
      Production
                       Skills acquired from: Dr. Jim Hobby
                           and Young Farmer Advisor.
      Beef
                   E                Castration
      Production




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                                            Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                     Cattle evaluation skills, using both live
                       evaluation and EPD data to choose
      Beef
                   E breeding animals. I have learned to use
      Production
                      EPD data to choose purebred animals
                         which produce desirable bulls.




      Beef
                   P                Cattle Safety
      Production




      Beef             Cattle Selection Using Pedigrees,
                   E
      Production       Performance. Data and Visual
      Beef               Clipping And Grooming Of Show /
                   E
      Production                    Sale Cattle

      Beef
                   E       Computerized Record-Keeping
      Production




                                                                 1162
                                           Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef                 Construction and Structure
                   P
      Production                 Maintenance




                     Created a breeding program to produce
                      either Simmental or Angus influenced
      Beef           replacement heifers that are moderately
                   E
      Production      framed and structurally correct. Skills
                      acquired from: Dr. Jim Hobby and Ag
                                    Advisor.




                     Designing, building and maintaining
                     fencing for cows. Yard maintenance
      Beef
                   P for feedlot including cleaning waters,
      Production
                     hauling materials, scraping pens, and
                               maintaining fence.




      Beef             Detection Of Internal And External
                   E
      Production                   Parasites




                                                                1162
                                           Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                     Develop skills for being an outstanding
      Beef
                   P employee and progress to supervising
      Production
                         and training new employees.




                       Developed a herd health plan using
                       fecal checks, standard vaccinations,
      Beef              past herd health problems, and by
                   E
      Production       consulting a large animal vet. Skills
                     acquired from: Dr. Jim Hobby, Ag and
                             Young Farmer Advisor.
                        Developed a niche marketing plan
                     which influences my breeding seasons
      Beef
                   E to maximize profits. Skills acquired
      Production
                      from: Stockyard Manager and Young
                                 Farmer Advisor.




                                                               1162
                                            Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                     Electronic identification of animals is
                       the newest form of identifying and
      Beef
                   P tacking animals from birth to harvest
      Production
                     through the use of computer programs
                                 and scanners.




      Beef
                   E Embryo Transfer / Freezing Embryos
      Production
                     Equipment operating and maintenance
                      skills have played a critical role in the
      Beef            success of my cattle operation. I have
                   E
      Production     learned how to keep small engines and
                        tractors maintained and operating
                                      properly.
                       Estrus synchronization and artificial
                     insemination skills have enabled me to
      Beef
                   E    utilize some of the best Limousin
      Production
                      genetics for a reasonable price. These
                       skills will be more important as my
      Beef
                   E           Facility Management
      Production




                                                                  1162
                                  Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef
                   P   Facility Management
      Production




      Beef
                   P        Feeding
      Production




                                                    1162
                                          Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef
                   P             Feeding Cattle
      Production




                     Feeding cattle at Herb Albers Feed Lot
      Beef            for market animals and breeding cow
                   P
      Production        herd at Schroeder Farms require a
                        variety of high technology skills.




      Beef               Feeding, watering, and rotating
                   P
      Production                   pastures




                                                              1162
                                         Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef
                   P             Fence Repair
      Production




      Beef
                   E           Financial Credit
      Production
      Beef
                   E      Handing and Transportation
      Production
      Beef
                   E Handling And Behavior Of Beef Cattle
      Production




      Beef
                   P            Harvesting Hay
      Production




                                                            1162
                                            Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef
                   P           Heat Synchronization
      Production




                          I have learned how to initiate and
                            implement a sound herd health
      Beef            program based on timely vaccinations
                   E
      Production        to solve a specific problem with calf
                      scours. I consulted with a veterinarian
                                 to solve this problem.
                     I have learned how to successfully tube
                     feed calves (an important skill when
      Beef
                   E treating calves with scours). By
      Production
                     correctly placing nutrients and
                     medicine in the calf's stomach, I can
                             I have learned much about the
                       nutritional needs of cattle at different
      Beef
                   E ages. I have also gained an important
      Production
                       understanding of the nutritional value
                                  of certain feedstuffs.




                                                                  1162
                                            Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                        I have learned the importance of
      Beef
                   P maintaining equipment on the farm and
      Production
                            with our baling practices.




      Beef
                   P Keeping records on cattle production.
      Production




                          Learned financial management
      Beef
                   P strategies in purchasing feed, cattle and
      Production
                              marketing seed stock.




                                                                 1162
                                           Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                         Learned the proper technique of
      Beef
                   P   synchronizing heats for AI Breeding
      Production
                              and Embryo Transfer




      Beef               Learned to properly administer
                   P
      Production        vaccinations to cattle on the farm.




      Beef             Learned to properly mix and feed a
                   P
      Production             well-balanced ration.




                                                              1162
                                             Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef             Learned to select breeding stock for the
                   P
      Production        ranch and for commercial customers.




                     Low stress animal handling techniques
                       are used when unloading, moving
      Beef
                   P    within feedlot, loading cattle for
      Production
                      market, when moving pregnant cows
                              and new born calves




      Beef
                   E                 Marketing
      Production
                      Marketing skills and knowledge have
                      been developed by working with other
      Beef           large purebred operations. I now know
                   E
      Production       that to sell purebred cattle you must
                       present them properly and use good
                                      genetics.



                                                                  1162
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                       Meats identification and evaluation
      Beef           skills have helped me to understand the
                   P
      Production      importance of proper feed rations and
                     low stress animal handling techniques.




                      Met the nutritional requirements for
                      calves, pregnant heifers/cows, and
      Beef
                   E lactating cows by having feed and
      Production
                    forage analyzed at state feed lab. Skills
                    acquired from: Dr. Jim Hobby and Ag




      Beef
                   P              Moving Cattle
      Production




                                                                1162
                                       Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef
                   P   Operation of Heavy Machinery
      Production




      Beef
                   E         Pre-conditioning
      Production




      Beef
                   P       Pregnancy Checking
      Production




                                                         1162
                                          Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                     Preparing for 2 sales and year round
      Beef            maintenance on the ranch, and the
                   P
      Production     construction of sale pens and feedlot
                                  expansion.




                        Processing and checking cattle
                        involves: unloading from semi,
      Beef
                   P tagging, vaccinating and implanting
      Production
                     them with average time in chute of 12
                                   seconds.




                                                             1162
                                            Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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      Beef             Production of hay crop and with corn
                   P
      Production        production used in silage for feed.




                      Proper Fitting and Showing skills play
                     a vital role in the marketing of cattle. I
      Beef
                   E have gained very valuable fitting skills
      Production
                     this last year from attending clinics and
                        working with professional fitters.
      Beef
                   E     Proper Nutritional Requirements
      Production
      Beef                Recognition And Detection Of
                   E
      Production          Diseases, Sickness and Injury
      Beef
                   E              Recordkeeping
      Production
                      Removed animal waste from a barn
      Beef            and then applied to pasture land for
                   E
      Production     fertilization. Skills acquired from: Ag
                      Advisor and Young Farmer Advisor.




                                                                  1162
                                            Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                        Safe and Proper Operation - Marsh
      Beef
                   P     Field Truck; Cat Wheel Loader;
      Production
                             Computerized Feed Mill




      Beef              Taking cattle to the stockyards for
                   P
      Production                    marketing.




                          The proper feeding of cattle is
                     important to the overall profitability of
      Beef            the operation. I have learned to use
                   E
      Production       crop residue left in hay fields in the
                     fall, to provide proper and economical
                                nutrition for cows.




                                                                 1162
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                        Understanding the components,
                      specifications and details of when to
      Beef
                   P use each of 15 feed feedlot rations and
      Production
                      rations used for cows in the calving
                             operation is important




                       Used hormones to regulate estrus
                         cycles in heifers and cows to
      Beef
                   E synchronize breeding seasons. Skills
      Production
                      acquired from: Dr. Jim Hobby and
                           Young Farmer Advisor.




      Beef               Vaccinating Cattle for Various
                   P
      Production                   Diseases.




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      Beef
                   P                Vaccination
      Production




      Beef             Working in hay to produce high quality
                   P
      Production                 forages for cattle.




                           Return to Main Sheet




                                                                1162
                                                        Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                 Knowledge/Competency


Testing soils allows for proper application of nutrients that are deficient. Forage that is
of high quality has more nutritional value to cattle which increases all areas of
production and performance
Cattle are vaccinated, dewormed, and implanted upon purchase. These practices have
reduced sickness and increased rate of gain.
Branding has been used for herd identification and numbered ear tags are used to
identify individual animals to aid in keeping accurate health records.
A strong nutritional program has aided in the growth and rate of gain of cattle. Cattle
with proper nutrition have maintained better health and been more profitable.
Artificial insemination allows for utilization of herd bulls that are of superior genetics
and phenotype which increases the ability to market cattle on a national basis
My employer has taught me the art of pulling calves. Throughout the year you will
have several cows that will need assistance when calving. In the case of some of the
farm's higher priced cows who have been bred with relatively expensive semen, it
becomes even more important to assist with calving. First I have gained the ability to
see when the cows are having problems. In many cases I will put cows in stalls that are
near time for calving to take place. In this way I am able to monitor the cow very
closely which helps in determining when she is about to give birth. When the cow
starts to give birth then I will stay back for a time to see if she has problems. If I notice
that the calf is coming out wrong or that she is just having a problem getting the calf
out, then I will help pull it. We have straps that can be hooked to the calves legs. I
have learned to only pull on the straps when the cow is pushing in order to reduce the
resistance on the calf. Through this skill I have saved numerous calves.




                                                                            1162
                                                      Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


I have had several times during my placement where calves have been fed with bottles
and I have been responsible for preparing the bottles and feeding. Within this skill I
have first learned how to prepare the bottle with milk replacer. The powdered milk we
purchase is scooped out of the bag and put into the calf's bottle. Once it is in the bottle
I add warm water. By using warm water it makes the calf more receptive to it because
it is more like the cow's milk. Yet I watch to make sure that the water is not too hot
because what will happen then will be the calf becoming turned off of the bottle. Once
I have stirred up the milk I take it out to the calf. One of the greatest inventions is the
bottle holder which hooks to a stall or fence. This allows the calf to drink the bottle
without me standing and holding it for a long period of time. By having the holder I am
able to manage my time better which allows me to do more work. Overall this will be a
valuable skill when I started farming one day on my own.

My database allows me to accurately record and maintain information such as date of
birth, vaccination schedules, manage finances, which assisted me in my herd
management.


Last year I was able to pull a calf that was coming out back feet first. I knew from
experience that I did not want to wait, and pulled the calf right away. This calf lived
and grew well and was sold for over $600.



By castrating bulls, I am able to market my Simmental or Angus influenced steers for
meat production to ensure higher profitability.


Castrating bull calves has increased the rate of gain of the calf. Castrating at a young
age decreases the stress to the animal thus allowing for faster recovery and weight gain.




                                                                          1162
                                                      Beef Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency



I have been able to sell bulls out of planned matings to generate a profit, which I have
been able to reinvest in purebred Limousin cattle. This extra money has allowed me to
grow my herd faster.

Throughout my placement I have been able to work accident free. Probably this activity
is the most important because if I do not do it, then I will not be able to work
efficiently. I have learned to watch cattle closely and be prepared for the unexpected.
In the case of cattle one thing I do is always talk when I get near the animal. The little
noise I make allows the cow to know that I am around. Many livestock accidents come
from spooking an animal, thus I have learned to always speak to them. Also I have
discovered the importance of staying close to the animal. The further away you are
when an animal kicks, the harder they can hit you. From a distance more force is
generated, up close the animal is not able to kick as hard. The final cattle safety item
that I have learned is to always have an exit plan in mind. I am always careful to know
where the exit is and how quickly I can get to it if trouble arises. This activity has been
very important as related to my success in this area.
Having the ability to evaluate cattle utilizing three methods of evaluation allows for the
selection of cattle that are more desirable genetically and phenotypically
Clipping show/sale cattle is a skill which enhances the overall show/sale ring
performance of individual. Clipping improves overall appearance, improving
outstanding features while concealing faults
The use of a commercial software program specifically designed for beef cattle
operations allows for more efficient, detailed records in areas such as production,
performance and herd health




                                                                          1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


Various buildings and agricultural structures make it possible for me to handle, feed,
and care for cattle, and to store hay, equipment, and tools. While a number of buildings
and structures are present at my places of employment, I occasionally build something
new or repair an existing structure. Building takes careful planning. I have learned how
to build these structures and how to plan a functional structure that suits the required
needs. Some of the projects I have worked on since I have been with the farm have
been working pens, and feed storage facilities. In order to successfully plan the building
of such projects, there are several factors that need to be taken into account. The factors
need to be planned and executed including a budget, time, labor, and factors. Learning
agriculture mechanics skills in school have helped me to plan and build agricultural


By selecting sires which are appropriate for the heifers/cows selected, it is easier to
produce industry standard offspring to meet the consumer demand, resulting in
increased sales.


Fence lines are a very important aspect of any beef production operation. The goal of
the fence is a major variable in determining what type of fence to install. Based on
research and needs of the operations that I work for I have developed skills in building
and maintaining high tensile fences for both the feedlot and calving operation. We
build five strands in case one breaks we still have a strong fence, with metal posts set in
cement in the corners to add strength in feedlot. In the calving operation, the high
tensile fences are electrified to keep animals in, as fence is temporary, being removed
each Spring to allow for farming the area. I have designed and built the temporary
calving facilities that we use with the 612 Angus cows, making improvements each
year based on our experiences the previous year. Keeping pens in feedlot and calving
operation clean is essential to maintaining animal health.
Detecting internal and external parasites allows for proper treatment of parasites.
Parasite free cattle perform and utilize feed stuffs and roughages more efficiently




                                                                           1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


Employee relation skills are critical for life-long success in my career. Working at
Herb Albers' Feedlot I have developed skills in: arriving for work on time, especially
when it is early in the morning, making a commitment that my job is a priority, working
as a team member in a staff of 30 workers from different ethic backgrounds, following
instructions, respecting and taking care of equipment, operating equipment safely,
problem solving to limit losses and increase efficiency in operation, communicating
with new employees explaining expectations and techniques so all are understood and
followed, and serving as role model for job performance for myself and others in
operation. Beginning at an early age working in the cow/calf and market beef
operations at Schroeder Farms as well as the example and expectations of my parents,
helped me develop strong work ethic and desire to accomplish my goals.


By de-worming my cattle and providing vaccinations, the risk of disease is reduced
within the herd. Resulting in healthier cattle that produces a higher dollar per pound
ratio at the market.



By having my calving season in the months of Dec.-Feb. they are ready to be sold in the
fall of the next year. The reason for this is my local stockyard yields a higher dollar/lb.
ratio following Labor Day.




                                                                          1162
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                               Knowledge/Competency


Knowledge in electronic identification (EID) of beef animals are critical skills for
students in the Wisner-Pilger FFA Chapter. Working with my Ag Educator, we
developed a Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Grant that was funded to purchase
a "Blue Tooth" wand, electronic ear tags and "Cow Sense" computer software for
tracking the data in the electronic identification of animals process. I researched
electronic identification of animals, legal requirements, learned how to operate the
wand, proper techniques for placing electronic tags in animals, how to install and use
"Cow Sense" software and developed information into a Ag Demonstration that won
District III FFA Contest and top Silver in State Contest. We taught over 300
community members how to use the equipment and software. My EID experiences are
valuable at Albers when processing cattle and tracking cows and calves in herd
Both processes are being utilized to mass produce offspring and extend the number of
offspring produced by genetically superior females. Both provide additional marketing
opportunities


I have been able to save time by keeping the equipment properly maintained. I have
also saved 20% on my corn costs by buying in a 1 ton bag, and using our forklift to
unload it into feed bins.



In the last year I have used these skills to breed my purebred cows to some of the best
bulls in the breed. The results of these planned matings should be more valuable to sell
as breeding stock.

Keeping cattle handling facilities in good working condition has prevented injury and
reduced stress on animals as well as myself and others while operating the facilities.




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One of my biggest activities in this area has been the maintenance of facilities.
Throughout the course of the year I spend several hours working with fence and making
sure that it is in good working order. Often with the wooden fence around the barn I
will keep it painted and nailed up. In the case of wire fence throughout the farm, I go
around to make sure that new posts do not need to be put in or that other repairs are not
needed. Another aspect of this activity is the making minor barn repairs such as fixing
broken boards and keeping the area clean. Often at Barnett Farms you will have people
come by to see cattle and possibly make a purchase. Thus it is extremely important to
keep things clean. If someone comes to the farm to make a purchase and they cannot
get through the barn because of trash and other debris, then they are less likely to think
favorably of the farm. This particular activity is important and will be something that
will stay with me in my future career in agriculture.
One of my most regular jobs is feeding cattle. I have learned to feed animals by what
class they go into, meaning that certain animals get feed differently by what stage of
production they are in. In the case of cows, pregnant or lactating females get extra
grain and are given hay constantly. This is because the cows are working harder at this
stage of production. In the case of a dry cow, she is not given a great deal of grain and
is generally a grazer. When I feed steers I give them high amounts of grain. Many
times we are looking to feed out these animals and it is extremely important that the
cow gets enough grain so that the feeder can start to show some quality in the meat.
Finally when I feed often I keep records on who is feeding normally and who is not.
Many times I will make a note to myself saying that a certain cow number is not on
feed correctly and to watch for other signs. Overall feeding correctly is a valuable




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Providing feed for cattle is one of the most important responsibilities for a beef
producer. This can be a problem in the winter, when it is hard to find grazing. At all of
the farms at which I have worked, I have taken care of this situation by planting winter
grazing crops. These crops not only provide feed for the cattle but they also protect the
soil from erosion after harvest. In the fall, I help harvest hay. Afterwards, I harrow the
fields until they are smooth and the soil is fluffed in appearance. The fields are then
planted with rye and oats using a Great Plains No-Till Drill. The seeds are brought pre-
mixed by the seed company. After the plants sprout, I will check with my employer(s)
about fertilization. The cattle are allowed to graze for a limited time period every day,
then grass hay is fed everyday to supplement the winter grazing. However, we feed
There are 121 pens at Herb Albers Feed Lot, so when I am responsible for feeding I
must be vigilant to the technical details of the job. The first step is to check the bunk
call sheet to determine the ration and amount of feed that is to be delivered to each pen.
Then the proper ration mix must be programmed into the computerized mix mill in
order that the right feed mix is put together for the pen and loaded in the feed truck.
Next I am challenged to drive the loaded feed truck to the right pen, making sure that I
am lined up correctly with feed bunk and unload the feed evenly and accurately into the
bunk, limiting spillage and loss. Recording the ration and amount of feed delivered to
the pen is critical to tracking the conversion rate of the feed and billing of feed to the
right pen. The computer operated central mixer and mill allow the feedlot to reduce the
cost by 7 cents per head per day.
Year round feeding and watering of livestock is very crucial to the health and
profitability of an operation. I have been a part of all aspects of our operation: checking
and maintaining water troughs, chopping ice in stock dams and helping layout our 12
new tire water troughs for our rotational grazing program. We have fenced off the
stock dams to control access so the cattle have to drink the better rural water. This will
improve pasture gains and spread out our grazing. Controlling access will also increase
grass production and carrying capacity of the ranch. During winter months when cattle
are closer to the home place and in the lots I must feed them a balanced ration each day
to insure their health and I will check to see that water tanks are open and accessible. I
must also clean out the lots so as not to have manure and other waste build up in the

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Repairing fences is one of the first skills that I learned on my placement SAE. Faulty
fencing can injure cattle and enable them to escape. This could be a danger to both the
cattle and people, especially if the cattle wander onto the road. Cattle being able to
escape the farm are certainly a huge liability. In order to fix a fence, one must know
how to drive poles and pull wire. I have worked with barbed/woven wire and electric
fence. I am more accustomed to working with electric fencing because it is not only
safer, but also cheaper. On one farm that I am now employed, electric fencing is used
around the farm perimeter, as well as encircling the cattle grazing. Another farm uses
all woven wire/barb wire combination fencing. The proper maintenance of fences is
important because both properties are near major highways. If the fencing is not
functioning properly, the cattle can escape and cause an accident.
Financial credit has been necessary to purchase cattle. Making timely loan payments
has increased my credit capacity which has allowed me to increase the scope of my
Proper handling and transportation of animals minimizes stress and increases herd
health which in turn helps sustain a positive rate of gain.
Proper handling and knowledge of behavior of cattle enables work to be performed
more efficiently which reduces stress, decreasing chances of injury and improving
overall manageability
Spring and summer are busy times for me at my various placements. I begin planning
and preparing for the late fall and winter months starting in March. This is when I begin
working the hay crop. The hay crop is harvested every twenty-two days. I cut the hay
using a tractor pulling a mower. For two days the hay is left on the ground to dry out
and is then fluffed by a tractor-powered fluffer once a day. After this the hay is raked
and baled with a John Deere baler. I always bale the hay as round bales. I move the hay
from the field by a tractor using a hayfork that picks up one bale at a time. After baling,
I put the hay into rows in the fields. This allows the hay to "breathe" and is not airtight.
Even though the hay might be damaged by moisture, the cows will still eat it. The
quality of hay is determined by the stage of maturity at cutting, fertilization program,




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In the past I have allowed the bull access the brood cattle to breed all through the year.
Recently, I began a new breeding program on these farms that would save labor and
allow us to better care for the cattle. This program is called heat synchronization. In this
program I focus more on the cow's heat cycles, so we can breed them all at the same
time. In doing this, we will be able to predict the birth date of new calves with better
accuracy. I administer a drug called Lutalyse, which causes the cows to begin their heat
cycle. Administering this drug causes all the cows to come into heat and ovulate
approximately the same time. Afterwards, we artificially inseminate the cattle. Those
who do not "catch," will be allowed access to the bulls for "clean up," or breeding those
cows who did not breed artificially. After this, bulls are removed, and we later check
the cows again for pregnancy.


After experiencing calf scour problems that led to significant calf losses, I was able to
utilize a vaccination program which reduced losses by 90%, leading to a higher
weaning percentage.



Tube feeding calves successfully has allowed me to save sick calves that would have
died. These calves have allowed my project to be more profitable and have helped me
purchase more cows.


This knowledge has enabled me to feed diets which meet the animals' requirements,
without wasting feed. I have been able to get cattle to peak at just the right time for the
fairs, resulting in high placings.




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When you look at the prospect of being successful in producing livestock there are
many considerations from selecting breeding stock to providing a good environment to
providing good sound nutritional feeds. One of the skills I learned early in my SAE
was to properly care for all equipment on the farm so that it will operate the way it is
meant to and produce the desired results. I am responsible for swathing much of our
hay and process this into round and square bales for storage. Having maintained the
equipment will insure that I can tightly pack the hay and it will tie and cover for storage
in our sheds to be used when needed without spoilage. By maintaining all the
equipment on the farm it will last longer and reduce repair bills to the enterprise.
Throughout my placement I have been responsible for keeping records on several
different things. During the course of the regular work week I will often record when
vaccinations have been given and if I notice problems in cattle. For example if I notice
an animal that is not feeding correctly then I will make a note in the barn on a clipboard
that is kept there. Through the use of this note system I am able to leave messages for
the other people who are working with the cattle. By leaving this message then the next
person out knows to watch that particular cow number. Also with records I have
learned to record breeding dates and calving times. The breeding dates are extremely
important because of the fact that I need to know when cows should be monitored more
closely. Also by keeping breeding dates I am better able to notice early on if an animal
is carrying a calf or not. Through this skill I have learned an ability that will stay with
me as a cattle producer one day.
The goal of any operation is to produce a product as cheaply as you can, not to over or
underfeed, but to meet the nutritional needs for the most efficient production and breed
back. It is important to analyze the feeds available in your area with the cycle of the
markets. We need to raise a product people are wanting to buy and that they need. A
balanced feed ration fed to each age group of cattle will be the most efficient and
profitable. This will insure that the cattle are presented the best when it is time for
them to be sold. Knowing how to manage these inputs and the storage facilities that are
available to you can greatly increase your profits with purchases made to decrease your
costs per pound. Like any business the cattle industry tends to have cycles of high and
low sales prices and knowing or predicting when they will occur is a strategy that is

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When cows are 45 or more days after calving, we place cidrs in the females for 7 days.
Then we remove the cidrs and give the cow a shot of Lutylase to bring them into heat in
48 - 56 hours. At this time, we can time breed or breed on their heat cycles. We hope
to achieve 70 - 80 % conception with our first breeding for cattle in each group. The
cidrs are a T shaped plastic insert that contain Estrogen that prevents the female from
coming in heat for the 7 days it is in her. Then the Lutylase injection brings the females
into heat together. By synchronizing heat cycles and having cow’s calf together we are
better able to manage our time and make more efficient use of buildings and lots on the
farm. This also helps in maintaining uniformity for calves that will be sold in pens of
heifers or bulls at our annual sales.
Prior to breeding females, it is important that they have been vaccinated properly.
Heifers need to be bangs vaccinated before a year of age. All females are given
Virashield 5 VL 5 before breeding. About weaning time, cows are given a Scour Boss
9 shot and before calving a Scour Boss 4 shot to help the cow pass immunities on to the
calf and prevent some types of scours. It is important to follow directions when
administering vaccines for timing and to help build immunity. In today's beef
production, the location and depth of the injection are important for BQA (Beef Quality
Assurance). I have also learned how to treat sick calves with antibiotics. When I notice
a calf is sick I will put them in a head gate, take their temperature then depending on
the symptoms they displayed I will choose the antibiotic generally Nuflor or Micotil.
Once given a subcutaneous injection I follow up with another if
A well-balanced ration is critical in maintaining herd health especially at the stressful
times of shipping and weaning that we deal with. A Rotomix feed wagon and a John
Deere Loader are used to mix a complete ration of corn silage, hay, distillers grain and
protein mineral pellets. The ration is changed regularly to adjust to the varying needs
of the cattle. Several factors are considered when balancing a ration. The end product
must provide a sufficient level of energy, contain enough protein to make calves grow
and put on weight, and include the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals and
protein needed for a strong immune system and basic metabolic functions. We use as
many bulk purchased by-products as possible to keep our cost per pound of gain to a



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Selecting bulls to use in a seed stock operation, both AI and natural is the most
important part of a successful purebred operation. Because the bull is 50 % of the
genetics in an operation you can go forward or backwards very quickly. Your
commercial customers will benefit from bulls you produce, if your genetic selection is
consistent and accurate. When selecting a herd bull, it is important to know all you can
about the dam, sire and the grand dam. Many people forget that the daughters a bull
produces will look and produce like the mother and grandmother of the bull. By my
participating in the livestock CDE I have learned what traits the industry is looking for,
and I can then pass this on to buyers at our sales or with private treaty sales. Learning
how to read and interpret EPD's has helped in my passing this information on to
commercial producers when looking at our bulls.
Stress on cattle reduces disease resistance and increases health care costs. Some of the
techniques that I have learned and use when working cattle include: remain calm to
limit agitation of the cattle as one agitated animal can cause much damage to the
facility and injury to workers; stay out of animals blind zone to avoid being kicked; do
not chase escaped animals rather calmly work them into a confined area; walking in the
opposite direction tends to speed up movement; the animal's point of balance is their
shoulder so to move them forward stand behind the shoulder and vise verse for move
backwards; an animal's flight zone will vary depending on how calm it is; the flight
zone gets bigger when an animal becomes excited; the flight zone is also bigger when
you approach "head on"; calm cattle are easier to move; and if cattle become excited, it
takes 20 to 30 minutes for them to calm down.
Forward contracting cattle has offered price protection against falling market prices.
The diversity in my marketing has provided many options that have offered profit


My knowledge of how to present cattle to potential buyers has allowed me to sell 2
bulls at an excellent profit the last two years. I know that I will continue to use this
skill as my purebred herd grows.




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Meat identification and evaluation have helped me to develop an in-depth
understanding of animal muscle structure, feed conversion to muscle, effects of low
stress handling techniques on meat quality, impact of vaccinations and implants on
meat quality, concerns related to genetic alteration of animals, animal grading
guidelines and how they affect the price that is received for a carcass, consumer skills,
food safety techniques to insure safe wholesome beef products and how to select a
tender juicy steak. I have excelled in my goals in meat identification and evaluation
placing in 2005 - District 1st Individual & Team, State 9th Individual, 4th Team and in
2006 State 11th Individual on the 5th place team. My meats identification knowledge
will be useful through out my life, foundation goal to be on University's Meats Team,


By creating an individualized feeding regimen, the finishing weight and frame score are
easily estimated and ensures increases profits for cattle that are not over-finished.


Moving cattle is a skill necessary in beef production. Knowing how to move cattle is
important for many reasons such as fence repair, vaccination, pregnancy testing,
worming, sending them to auction, and transferring them on and off winter grazing. For
fence repair, I move the cattle to a different field until the fence has been repaired. This
keeps the cattle from escaping through the damaged fence and decreases my
aggravation during the work. I also move cattle to pens for vaccination and pregnancy
testing. As I have obtained these skills, I have learned to evaluate cattle temperament.
Sometimes it is necessary to make adjustments due to the way cattle interact with
another. We have to move "boss" cows that keep smaller cattle from eating and
drinking. Also, it is necessary to keep bulls away from immature heifers that are too




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When I first began my employment, I was taught to drive the smaller tractors. As I have
gained more experience, I have been learned and obtained a great deal of practice in
driving tractors. We use these tractors and other heavy machinery to help perform such
tasks as cultivating the land and planting for further crop production. One of the best
features of a tractor is that it is quite versatile. That is, it is often used with other
equipment to perform certain jobs. We use the tractor to power and operate tethers, hay
rakes, mowers, balers, harrows, and sprayers, among other equipment. These
implements have various intricacies that must be mastered for successful operation. Of
course, safety procedures are important to operating all this equipment. We often use
tractors to haul equipment in jobs, like fencing or moving materials.
A good preconditioning program for stocker cattle has been essential to get cattle off to
a good start from the beginning. Cattle that have been preconditioned have remarkably
better returns.
Testing for pregnancy is important in the breeding programs at the various farms at
which I worked. This is because it can eliminate un-needed production costs. For
example, if a farmer waits 9 months and has no calf from a cow, he is losing money on
his investment in the cow and the feed she eats. I help check cows initially for
pregnancy in late September through early November. After this we perform a check up
to insure that all of the cattle that were bred are carrying calves. To check for pregnancy
I have used palpation or ultrasound. After getting the cattle into a squeeze chute, then I
insert my hand into the rectum on the cow and feel for the uterus and the status of the
embryos. I have personally used ultrasound by inserting the probe into the rectum,
finding the cervix, and reading the screen. If a cow is not bred, usually she will be sold.




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Maintaining a show place for the sale of purebred cattle is a year round project. I over
see the 9.5 acres of mowing at 3 locations with 2 machines. Sometimes this has to be
done every 4 or 5 days. A portion of our lawns are irrigated. We have a fertilizing and
weed spraying program for the lawns and the pastures. I help maintain trees and
shrubs, trimming and we all get to do the P word - that is paint. As bull and female
sales approach, the work intensifies because we prepare for 600 - 700 people to arrive 1
-2 days before the sale. Buildings are cleaned out and tables and chairs are put in.
Extra small pens and electric fences are put up. Safety signs, parking and barriers are
put up. Last year we constructed 22 new sale pens where we display cattle the day
before and the day of the sale. Over the past two years we have added t more feedlot
pens with cement aprons to house cattle.
My responsibilities’ at the feedlot included: assisting with unloading cattle off of semis
into the holding pens, moving them through the processing chute, giving vaccinations
and proper implants, applying ear tags-electronic and regular, recording data used in
tracking the animals through the operation, and moving them to the proper pen, using
low stress animal handling techniques throughout the process to limit stress to animals
which results in a 2.3 % decrease in the cost of gain compared to conventional handling
methods. For the cow herd, I assist with receiving cows and heifers at the farm for
calving, birth record keeping, branding, vaccinations, implants, artificial
insemination(AI), processing the cows and calves for the time they will be on pasture
and loading them for the trip to pasture once again using low stress techniques. I also




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Each year we plant over 500 acres of corn that is chopped for silage to be fed to our
cattle during the winter months or those kept in lots or pens all year. I will assist in
field preparation with chiseling or disking, planting, spraying and in chopping, hauling
and storing silage for feed. One of my major jobs during the summer months is to
check on our alfalfa fields where I use a hydro swing to swath the hay and our tractor
and Gehl baler to bale. I will then haul all the bales and store them at one of the three
farms where cattle are kept during the winter months. My learning when to cut and
bale hay is essential to maintaining the highest nutritional value of feed for the
operation in maintaining healthy high producing cattle. When working with large
equipment for the production of silage or hay I utilize safety skills learned in the
agricultural classroom and from future experiences to avoid injury.

The presentation of the product is very important in marketing. I am now better able to
fit my show cattle which results in them looking better in the ring and in the barn where
potential customers see them.

Knowledge of nutritional requirements for the various stages of growth and production
allows for more efficient use of feed stuffs which leads to increased production and
performance of the herd
The ability to recognize a disease, sickness or injury allows for more effective and
efficient means of treatment while reducing costly veterinarian expenses
Monitoring cash flow and keeping detailed income and expense records has allowed me
to make better management decisions in my operation.

By removing waste from barn stalls, I was able to minimize production cost by
applying organic fertilizers, instead of in-organic compounds, to my pastures.




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The equipment I use in my daily job responsibilities costs hundreds of thousands of
dollars and is essential to the smooth operation of the feedlot and calving enterprises. It
is imperative that I operate each piece of equipment according to standard operating
procedure for the machine and operation. This will insure that the equipment will
perform properly and last as long as possible. When something breaks down it puts the
entire operation into stress (both animals that are not getting fed in a timely fashion and
employees that must repair equipment under pressure and stay late to complete work for
the day). For my own safety I must also operate it safely so that I do not get injured or
injure someone else. This was emphasized beginning in July 2003 and for 13 months
with an injury to my right arm happened while working cattle. I realized how an injury
can impact an individual and operation.
One of the more interesting parts of my placement has been marketing cattle. Many of
the cattle on the farm are sold for show animals to Simmental producers, but in some
cases there are some calves from brood cattle that will go to the stockyards. I have
found within this skill that it is important to watch cattle prices before you decide to
take cattle to the livestock auction. Many times my employer will call and see what
feeders are bringing at one of our area markets. This allows us to see what the current
market trend is and if the price will increase or decrease. Once we have decided to sell
I have learned how to safely load cattle onto the trailer and get them ready to go to the
stockyards. After we get the trailer to the stockyards we wait for a sell number to be
assigned and the lot to be marked so we are sure to receive the correct price. Through
this skill I have gained the ability to market animals and to understand trends in market
sales which will be valuable for me when I become a cattle farmer.


I was able to lease 50 acres of neighboring hay fields to run the cows on in late October
and November. This feed cost me $.25 per cow per day compared with $1.00 per day
feeding hay.




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My Ag Educator emphasizes the importance and role of all components in the feed
ration, as well as different nutrient requirements of animals based on their stage in the
life cycle. I have used all the knowledge that I have learned in Ag class and three
different animal nutrition workshops conducted by the Animal Science Department at
the University of Nebraska in my beef placement positions. Utilizing the automated /
computerized equipment at Albers' Feedlot, I am able to mix specialized rations that
meet the needs of the cattle in each pen so that they convert the feed efficiently and
effectively, in the shortest period of time, for the greatest ratio of profit. I am able to
change the ration to meet the health of cattle in the pen and to deal with the weather
conditions. We use distiller’s bi-products as part of the feed ration to economically
meet energy and protein needs of the cattle.

y administering a dose of 5 cc of a Lutolycitic agent, I am able to have all of my
cows/heifers become pregnant within a 90 day period. This allows for a more uniform
herd, contributing to higher profits.

During the course of my placement I have spent several hours working with cattle in
order to control diseases. One of the greatest skills I have learned is how to vaccinate
cattle for various diseases. First I have gained the ability to read the label correctly and
determine the withdraw time and the dose amount. The withdraw is extremely
important in steers and other slaughter animals. In the case of giving the actual
injection I have learned to always secure the animal in a chute before giving the shot. If
the animal is restrained the chances of injury to myself and others goes down greatly.
Another part of giving the vaccination is making sure that I select the correct site. For
example I have learned to give injections in the upper shoulder/neck area. This is a
solid muscle away from major muscles but in an area that provides a good amount of
blood flow. During the course of my placement this has been a great skill because I
have kept animal healthy and productive much like I will my own animals someday.




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During my SAE, I have learned not only the skill but also the importance of vaccination
as a part of a complete herd health program. Cattle must be current on their
vaccinations to stay healthy. Some vaccines that I have used to vaccinate include
intranasal IBR-BVD-PL3, 5-way leptospira bacterium, clostridial bacterium, brucella
strain RB-51, and pasterial bacterium/toxide. In order to safely vaccinate and otherwise
handle the cattle, they are restrained in a squeeze chute. This not only makes the
process easier but safer. I vaccinate all calves against Blackleg even if they are shortly
going to be sold. Also, I usually de-worm calves at age 6 months. I have learned how to
judge the amount of medicine to give the cattle by judging body weight. I am also
careful to observe withdrawal times as labeled. I watch this on cattle going to slaughter,
so that the beef will not be contaminated by the antibotics.
During the summer months I spend several hours working in hay in order to have
enough to feed during the winter. On the farm there are only 2 real employees
including myself, thus I have to work very hard in the hay fields. Often I am in charge
of raking and baling hay during the summer. I have learned to always watch the
weather forecast to make sure I avoid rain. In this case we only have about 40 acres
that is used for hay production which means that if a cutting is lost to rain, then the
cattle are hurt greatly. Through this skill I have learned how to manage hay pastures
through fertilization and eliminating weeds from the pasture. Each spring we go out
and spread fertilizer in order to produce a high quality forage when cutting takes place.
Another thing I do is load and unload wagons which takes a great deal of time. I have
learned how to load a wagon to the point where nothing will come off of it and that it
can be easily moved. This has been a valuable skill for me and one I will use in the
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     Dairy
                  P    Administering Vaccinations
     Production




     Dairy            Administering Vaccinations &
                  E
     Production              Medications.
     Dairy
                  E      Analyze DHIA Records
     Production




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                           As we demand more of our cows
                    reproductive efficiency has declined to a
                             pregnancy rate per artificial
                          insemination (PR/AI) of 35% and
                    reproductive failure causes 18% of herd
                           culls nationally. To prevent this
                     discouraging statistic at Rosy-Lane we
                          use the ovsynch program. After a
                     voluntary waiting period (VWP) of 60
                          days cows are put on the ovsynch
                       program. Every Monday open cows
                          receive 2cc of Estrumate (PGF2a)
     Dairy          intramuscularly (I.M.) On the following
                  P
     Production      Monday she receives 2cc of Cystorelin
                          (GnRH) I.M. On Wednesday she
                    receives 2cc of Lutalyce I.M. and is bred
                    AI on Thursday. About 40 days after AI
                    we palpate cows to check for pregnancy,
                       if a cow is open she begins the cycle
                    again. If she is confirmed pregnant or is
                       questionable she is checked again in
                        three weeks. The ovsynch program
                         relies less on visual heat detection,
                    which can suffer due to slick floors, heat
                      stress and several other factors. After
                         two cycles of the ovsynch program
     Dairy
                  E           Assist in Parturition.
     Production
     Dairy            Being able to properly diagnose and
                  E
     Production        treat different illnesses that occur.


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                     Bottle calves are kept in a clean and
     Dairy
                  E healthy environment to ensure survival
     Production
                                  and health.
     Dairy
                  E          Bottle Feeding Calves
     Production
     Dairy
                  E                Breeding
     Production




     Dairy
                  P        Care of Newborn Calves
     Production




     Dairy
                  P     Certified Artificial Inseminator.
     Production




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     Dairy             Chalking tail heads of cows when
                  P
     Production                    breeding.




                       Changes after calving can cause
                      metabolic diseases. Our fresh-cow
     Dairy
                  P program detects problems before they
     Production
                         negatively effect production,
                        reproduction and profitability.




     Dairy
                  E Checking the Quality of the Colostrum.
     Production




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                        Close observation as parturition
                        (calving) approaches and proper
     Dairy
                  P intervention when necessary, keeps the
     Production
                    number of stillborn calves at Rosy-Lane
                                at less then 3%.




                    Complete, accurate records maintain the
                     profitability of our herd, by helping us
     Dairy
                  P make economic management decisions
     Production
                      about each animal's performance and
                                       future.




     Dairy            Creating a balanced ration of purchased
                  E
     Production           grain and farm raised forages.




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                    Dairy cattle evaluation has taught me
                     the significance of good type and the
     Dairy
                  P importance different traits play in the
     Production
                   productivity, profitability, and longevity
                                of the dairy cow.




     Dairy
                  E   Data entry through Dairy Comp 305.
     Production


     Dairy
                  P            Detecting Mastitis
     Production


                      Developing and maintaining a health
     Dairy
                  E program that will keep heard production
     Production
                                at a high level.




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                    Each case of mastitis costs about $251
                    and reduces milk production 20%. To
     Dairy
                  P maximize milk production and quality
     Production
                    we take several precautions to prevent
                                  mastitis.




     Dairy            Entering data into computer using Dairy
                  P
     Production                      Comp 305.




     Dairy
                  P          Equipment Maintenance
     Production



     Dairy             Evaluating and Maintaining Milking
                  P
     Production                    Equipment


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     Dairy
                  P    Evaluating Dairy Cattle
     Production


     Dairy
                  E    Exhibiting Dairy Cattle
     Production

     Dairy
                  E     Facility Maintenance
     Production

     Dairy
                  E   Feed Calves Milk Replacer
     Production

     Dairy
                  E           Feeding
     Production



     Dairy
                  P   Feeding Cows with TMR
     Production




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     Dairy
                  P   Feeding Cows, Heifers and Calves
     Production




     Dairy
                  E          Giving Vaccinations
     Production

     Dairy            Growing weaned calves in the most
                  E
     Production        efficient and productive manner.




     Dairy              Harvesting and Storing Quality
                  P
     Production                   Feedstuffs




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     Dairy
                  P            Heat Detection
     Production




     Dairy
                  E            Heat Detection
     Production




     Dairy
                  P   Heat Detection and AI Preparation
     Production




     Dairy
                  P   Herd Health and Embryo Transfer
     Production




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                    Herd health is the most important key to
                     any dairy operation. When the correct
     Dairy
                  E strategy is taken cows will breed back,
     Production
                       produce more milk, and live longer
                     resulting in a more efficient operation.




                   Lameness in cattle costs $105 per case.
                    At Rosy-Lane we follow protocols to
     Dairy
                  P prevent foot ailments from causing
     Production
                      involuntary culling and reduced
                         production and longevity.




                    Managing the heard in order to keep a
     Dairy
                  E   consistent milking schedule will
     Production
                      maintain maximum production.




     Dairy
                  P      Mastitis Testing and Treatment
     Production




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     Dairy            Mating cows through proper semen
                  E
     Production                  selection.




     Dairy
                  P      Mating of bulls to the cows.
     Production




     Dairy
                  P         Milk Quality Control
     Production




     Dairy
                  P               Milking
     Production




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     Dairy
                  P       Mixing Rations
     Production




     Dairy
                  E        National Sales
     Production

     Dairy
                  E       Operate Milkers
     Production

     Dairy
                  E   Operate Silage Unloaders
     Production

     Dairy
                  E      Operate Skid Steer
     Production

     Dairy
                  E    Operate Square Baler
     Production




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                    Our ovsynch program has reduced the
                     cull rate, calving interval, semen, and
     Dairy
                  P replacement costs, while increasing
     Production
                    calves born/year and daily and lifetime
                                 milk production.




     Dairy              Planning and Communicating for
                  P
     Production              Effective Use of Time




     Dairy
                  E           Production Records
     Production




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                    Proper design and maintenance of our
     Dairy           sand-bedded free- stalls is critical to
                  P
     Production     maximizing cow comfort, udder health,
                         production and profitability.




     Dairy
                  E   Proper management of herd rations.
     Production
     Dairy
                  E        Proper Milking Procedures
     Production


     Dairy
                  P        Proper Milking Procedures
     Production


                      Providing a comfortable environment
     Dairy
                  E   for the cows to maintain and increase
     Production
                                   production.




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     Dairy            Rake exercise pens, scrape corrals, rake
                  P
     Production                   freestall pens.




     Dairy
                  E                   Safety
     Production

     Dairy                Sanitation & Inspection of milk
                  E
     Production               equipment & facilities.

     Dairy
                  E      Sanitation of Milking Equipment
     Production




     Dairy
                  P      Sanitation of Milking Equipment
     Production




     Dairy
                  E            Selection of Heifers
     Production

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     Dairy
                  P Servicing and Maintaining Machinery
     Production




     Dairy            Silage Pit Maintenance/Maintain Feed
                  P
     Production                      Quality




     Dairy
                  E               Tag Calves
     Production

     Dairy            Testing and evaluating production of
                  E
     Production                each cow monthly.




     Dairy
                  P           Testing for Mastitis
     Production




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     Dairy
                  E            Treating Animals
     Production
     Dairy
                  E         Using Embryo Transfers
     Production
     Dairy
                  E             Vaccinate Cows
     Production

     Dairy            Working with and observing each cow
                  E
     Production                      daily.

                         Return to Main Sheet




                                                                1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


Administering vaccinations helps insure health of the cows. I make sure that the cows
receive the correct medications with the correct procedure and area. By medicating
correctly, milk quality is maintained. Site administered vaccinations is located on the
neck through intra-muscular. When giving penicillin to the cows the site administered
medication is located on the rump through intramuscular. For mastitis, majority of the
time is intra-mammary when giving a TODAY tube. When a cow is down with milk
fever, within 72 hours after calving, I administer calcium and dextrose intravenous
through the juggler vein for a quick response with the medication.
Reading labels of proper dosage and site locations for medication. Also working with
my veterinarian on vaccines for different stages of the herd to get the highest quality of
milk production and growth.
I analyze these records to compare the feed costs to milk production to check and
make sure the cattle re getting nutrition they need to produce properly.




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To begin the vaccination program each newborn calf is given 2-quarts of colostrum
minutes after birth, which has been tested with a colostrometer too ensure it contains a
minimum of 50 mg/ml of immunoglobulins. 45-60 days pre-fresh cows are vaccinated
with ScourGuard 4KC and J-Vac to pass immunity to their calves in the colostrum,
which prevents scours and mastitis. Newborn calves get a First Defense Bolus, which
helps prevent scours from E. coli and coronavirus. At 4 months old calves are
vaccinated for Brucellosis, given 2ml IM of Bovi-Shield 4+L5 to prevent IBR, BVD,
PI3, BRSV, Vibrio, and most strains of Lepto. Eprinex pour on is used across the herd
in the spring and fall as a dewormer because it is long acting, weatherproof, and has a
zero milk withdrawal period. Vision 7 20/20 is given during fly season to prevent
pinkeye. Fresh cows are given Bova-Sheild 4+L5 by 20 days and at dry-off receive
ScourGuard 4KC, J-Vac, and are treated with 4 10ml tubes of ToMorrow to prevent
mastitis.




One of the single most important times in a cow's life is their birth. Knowing how to
assist in the birthing process and ensuring a safe and quick birth has benefits in saving
many of my calves lives.
Baby calves commonly will scour which is associated with to much milk or
pneumonia. Udder care is also vital to prevent mastitis. I keep a close eye on all


                                                                           1162
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                               Knowledge/Competency


Calves are removed from the cows 12 hours after birth. Heifers are bottled until four
months of age and bulls, until three months. All calves are started on a calf starter
ration at 10 days of age.
By mixing milk with warm water and taking the time to completely mix the powder I
have been able to make bottles that calves enjoy and take in the needed nutrients for
By using both natural breeding techniques with my bulls and with AI I have been able
to produce some outstanding heifers that have either been sold or kept in the herd to
improve the overall genetics.
A productive life begins before birth. We began vaccinating our lactating cows at
drying off and heifers 8 weeks prior to calving with Scours Bos 9. After the initial shot
we boost with Scours Bos 4 four weeks prior to calving. The new vaccination program
has decreased our calf hood death rates by 27 percent. At birth, we ensure that each calf
gets a minimum of 2 quarts of colostrum within an hour of birth. Calves get their
mothers milk for the first three days after that we feed a 28 percent milk replacer, a 22
percent calf starter and free choice fresh water. Calves must be watched closely for any
illness such as the scours. If they develop the scours we immediately start feeding them
Taking a class in June of 2006 with Alta Genetics Semen Sire Company has helped the
family operation financially. Being able to detect heats and breeding the cows every
day saves the dairy thousands of dollars instead of paying for a certified artificial
inseminator to come out to the dairy every morning. I have a routine of walking behind
the cows, which are locked in the feed stanchions, making sure the cows are locked in
the individual feed stanchion so they do not get out while they are eating their ration.
While walking, I chalk the cow's tailhead with orange paint stick and mark the ones
that have the orange paint stick rubbed off to breed. It is done in the morning around 6
a.m. due to most mounting of cattle are in the cooler part of the day, which is the night
before and early part of the morning. Dairy cows come into heat every 21 days and the
heat lasts for approximately 16 hours.




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Once the cows are locked in the stanchions while eating during the morning, I walk
behind the cows and chalk their tailhead with orange paint sticks. I use this tool
because it is the cheapest and allows me to see the cows that are rubbed off, which is a
sign of being mounted while the cow is in heat. If the cow doesn't have chalk on her
tailhead I look at her tailhead for loose hair, missing hair and/or missing skin. If she
has these signs, then she can be bred because she is in heat.
After calving a cow's uterus shrinks, she losses body condition, and her calcium and
energy demands grow. These changes can cause ketosis, hypocalcemia, metritis,
retained placentas, and displaced abomasums. The first step in prevention is IV'ing,
second lactation and older cows with 500mg of calcium gluconate 23% and 50ml of
dextrose 50% per 100lbs. of weight to prevent hypocalcemia (milk fever) and ketosis.
They also receive 4cc of vitamin E and 6cc of oxytocin. Over the next 10 days we take
temperatures and observations. Depending on the presence of a fever (temperature
greater then 103 degrees) the cow is put in one of four groups. The first group, cows
with a fever and looks sick get calcium, dextrose, and Naxcel. Cows with a fever and
look fine are treated the same, however don't get Naxcel until the second day of high
fever. Cows with no fever and look sick are given calcium, dextrose and checked for
DA's. Cows with no fever and look fine are checked daily to complete the 10-day
Using a Colostrometer to check the quality of colstrum from the freshen cows is a tool
used to keep only quality colostrum to feed the newborn calves. Proper storage and
thawing is also needed.




                                                                         1162
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Cows are moved to a bedding pack to calve, usually unassisted. If the cow appears to
be in distress, with an understanding of dairy cattle anatomy I disinfect the cow and
equipment to prevent bacteria from entering the reproductive track before entering to
correct most malpresentations. Once the calf is in the correct position I use obstetrical
chains, with a downward force as the cow pushes to deliver the calf. Next, I establish
regular breathing and a heart rate, and give the calf 2-quarts of colostrum, Nasalgen
IP3, and a First Defense Bolus, before weighing and moving it to an individual cubical
in the calf barn. The average stillbirth rate in Holstein heifers is over 13%, and costs
the dairy industry $125 million annually. We did studies with U.W. Madison...
crossbreeding Holstein heifers with Jersey bulls to prevent dystolsia (difficulty calving)
at 22-months of age. Crossbreds were easy to deliver and have a 0% cull rate after
their first lactation, which ensures several quality replacements are available in the
Record keeping begins with the birth of each calf. We record birth date, weight, dam,
and sire information, sex, and any difficulty at this time. If it's a heifer calf I make an
ear tag as its first form of identification. The calf is registered before it's 3 months old
to keep registration fees low and to provide pedigree information, which aids us in our
mating program and increases the calf's marketability. Records also track an animal's
progress through our vaccination program. Recording breeding and fresh dates allows
us to monitor an animal's reproductive performance and prepare it for different phases
in its cycle. Records on the rations help maximize production and reduce expense.
Once a member of the milking herd the AFI and Dairy Comp 305 programs track daily
milk weights, component percents, somatic cell counts, days open, and other factors to
identify which cows to market bulls from and which to cull. Having information on all
aspects of the farm allows us to manage it to its fullest potential.
Our nutritionist comes out every time there is a switch in forage so adjustments in the
ration can be made. This is a must so that we do not suffer a decrease in milk
production due to an improper feed ration.




                                                                            1162
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                               Knowledge/Competency


With little knowledge of type ideals I began attending weekly dairy judging practices in
high school. I began by simply learning the parts of a dairy cow, but then I learned how
to recognize the desirable and undesirable traits in cattle, how to read and interpret
pedigrees, linear score, and how to present an articulate set of oral reasons. Becoming
a skilled judge has taught me the importance of a good breeding program and the
relationship between type and production, while successfully judging at district, state
and national contests. I have also selected and managed a state fair blue ribbon heifer.
Placing in the top 5 individuals in multiple contests has been rewarding, but the
highlight of my judging career so far was being a member of the 2nd place team at the
Wisconsin State FFA Contest in 2006. Judging and reasons in particular have
improved my communication skills. I now present my ideas in a well-organized
manner, which will continue to benefit me regardless of how I work in the dairy
Dairy Comp 305 is a tool I use to manage my dairy herd. I use the software using
commands and lists for vet checks, herd health lists, breeding lists and calving dates.
Priming a cow before putting on the milking machine is the best way to detecting if a
cow has mastitis. Many ways I can detect if a cow has mastitis is discoloration and
coagulation of the cow's milk. Once detected, I can determine what medication can be
used to treat the type of mastitis that the cow has. Another prevention that I use is a
post dip that contains 7% iodine to help fight off infections after milking the cow. Post
dipping is the best preventative medicine due to the teat canal still open to the
Herd health is the most important key to any dairy operation. When the correct strategy
is taken cows will breed back, produce more milk, and live longer resulting in a more
efficient operation.




                                                                         1162
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We milk 591-cows in a double-8 parallel parlor at 5 A.M. 1 P.M. and 9 P.M. After the
cows enter the parlor they are pre-wiped with an individual towel to remove bacteria
from the teats and aid in milk letdown. Then, I cover each teat with a sanitizing pre-
dip. Next, I take 2-3 strips from each quarter to promptly detect and treat mastitis.
Finally, I rewipe teats and attach the milking unit. After the cows are milked I apply a
1% iodine solution to the entire teat and release them to begin the process again.
Keeping the cows, freestall barns, and parlor clean keeps our somatic cell count (SCC)
below 150,000 cells/ml and our plate count below 10,000 cells/ml. Along with quality
we take pride in the production levels we've achieved due to our meticulous
management. Our rolling herd average is 32,218 lbs. of milk, 1140 lbs. of fat and 947
lbs. of protein. We have 2 of the top 50 Holsteins for milk production each with over
57,000 lbs. of milk in 365 days and are milking 6 cows with lifetime totals over
Dairy Comp 305 has revolutionized the dairy industry. With this program I can keep
detailed records of each cow at a fraction of the time previous methods took. Ensuring
animal health and quality. I keep records of the entire herd including milk cows, dry
cows, breeding heifers, non-breeding heifers and calves. Weekly I enter current
information for medicated and vaccinated cows and heifers, moving cattle to other
lactating pens, entry of breeding dates and sires used, veterinarian information after he
has armed the cows and determined days pregnant. I run lists when needing to move
cattle, vaccinate cattle and vet check the cattle. Every month, each milking cow get's
tested for Somatic Cell Counts, pounds of milk producing, pounds of fat producing and
pounds of protein producing to assist in the management of the dairy. These tests are
used to create pens and feed rations high quality.
Keeping proper maintenance of equipment is important especially when cows are
needing to be milked 365 days a year and twice a day. Keeping all moving parts
greased and lubricated can prevent break down of equipment and parts on the tractors,
loaders, implements, feed wagons, crowd gate and other equipment needed on the
I do regular checks on the milking equipment and washing system. In order to lower
the somatic cell count and decrease bacteria levels, we check the inflations for cracks
and blisters and make sure the equipment is clean. We use an acid base wash to remove
any milk or milkstone from the milking equipment. We check the water temperature
weekly to be sure that it is reaching the proper temperature.
                                                                         1162
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In order to pick out the correct bulls to breed the cows to, I have had to learn to
evaluate the dairy cattle. As a member of the MHS FFA dairy cattle judging team, I
have improved my abilities to determine the faults of the cattle, so that I may chose the
correct bulls to improve the phenotype in the offspring of the mating. I have set criteria
of 2.0 on type, 2.0 on udder composite and 1.0 on feet and leg composite.
By spending countless hours working with young heifers I have been able to become
more skilled in exhibiting dairy cattle. By working with them I have been able to win
several showmanship awards.
Through keeping facilities clean and repaired I suffered no major injuries or diseases
through the year. Animals thrive in clean organized conditions and I provided that for
mine.
I feed my calves m ilk replacer so I can sell the cow's milk sooner. I mix the replacer at
a 2:1 ratio of milk replacer to water. Milk replacer is high in protein and fat necessary
for fat growth.
By understanding what animals need the most feed, cows in gestation and ones that
have just calved, I have been able to provide adequate nutrients which has helped keep
my animals healthy and productive.
Using a total mixed ration for all animals on the dairy is very useful. Meeting with the
nutritionist on a monthly basis helps me to make changes if needed to the ration.
Different rations are used to the different milking strings, which are determined by the
milk production of the string. The heavy milking pen will receive more energy than
the stripper pen (low milk production, ready to dry). I use a combination of dry matter
including alfalfa and corn silage, protein, energy, fiber, by-pass protein and minerals.




                                                                           1162
                                                       Dairy Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


In a dairy operation, there are a variety of groups of cattle that require specific care and
feeding based on their age and stage of production. Our milking herd receives corn
silage twice each day that I provide with a bucket loader and free choice alfalfa hay.
The dry cows and heifers are pregnant and non-lactating so they have lower protein
requirements. I feed them silage twice a day and provide free choice grass hay.
Replacement heifer calves are fed a mixed ground feed that is 12-14% protein twice a
day. They also receive grass hay. New born calves are fed colostrum within twelve
hours after birth and continue to be bottle fed colostrum for the first two days. I feed
them cow milk from our milk line twice a day and as they age I provide grain and
water. These calves receive a higher quality grass hay. Free choice mineral and salt, as
well as clean, fresh water is available to all cattle at all times.
By spending countless hours working with young heifers I have been able to become
more skilled in exhibiting dairy cattle. By working with them I have been able to win
several showmanship awards.
Weaned calves are put into small groups where they are fed twice daily. I believe in
allowing a calf to grow at its own pace which will result in a healthier more productive
cow in the future.
Not only am I responsible for planting our corn and soybeans, but I am also responsible
for harvesting and storing all our hay and silage. I put up our 15 acres of alfalfa hay in
three cuttings. I put up one cutting dry in large round bales stored under the roof. The
other two cuttings I store as wet-wrapped bales stored outside. Silage is chopped when
the corn is at an adequate maturity and moisture content. I operate the tractor and two-
row chopper and wagon. If I am not operating the chopper, I haul silage to the pit and
pack it in, using a weighted tractor with duals and a blade. I will apply an inoculants if
the silage is too dry. Packing silage properly leads to better fermentation and less
spoilage. I harvest any extra corn and all soybeans as grain and haul it to our local grain
elevator for sale or storage based on needs and market trends.




                                                                            1162
                                                     Dairy Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


Cows that fail to breed back quickly are an expensive loss to the bottom line of a dairy
operation. Effective detection of estrus is a vital part of our Artificial Insemination
program. I have learned the signs of heat include restlessness, riding and vocalizing. In
addition, standing heat is best detected by observing which females are being ridden. I
use a paint stick on a cows tailhead when I think she is close to standing heat and when
the marker is gone it is an indication she is in heat. Recently, we started using CIDR's
to force estrus in our cattle and therefore allow for more effective planning of the
breeding and calving times. I have learned to insert CIDR's into the vagina. As I am not
certified in A.I., when I do detect cows in heat I contact our inseminator with the
pertinent information and assist in breeding when possible.
Through careful monitoring of cows I have been able to increase conception rates. It is
critical that cows are bred back to keep a 12.5 month calving interval in order to
maintain peak milk production of the
Cows must get pregnant in order to calve and produce milk. It is important that we get
heifers bred on time and cows bred between 60 and 90 days postpartum. In order to
properly detect heats, I walk through the herd daily with a clipboard and mark the cows
with orange tail paint, check and record any signs of heat such as mucous discharge, a
swollen vulva, rubbed off paint, or bleeding. This has improved our heat detection and
we are getting cows bred back quicker. I have been assisting with the artificial
insemination of the herd through semen preparation. It is important to properly thaw
the semen and get it deposited into the cow in a timely manner.
Daily I walk through the milk herd to check for signs of illness, heat, and any
abnormalities. During routine walk through, I may have to check cattle for displaced
abomasums by listening for a ping in their side. If a cow needs a shot, I will put her in
the headlock and administer the injection. Once a month the veterinarian comes in to
do a herd check. We check all cows that have been bred at least thirty days for
pregnancy, cows that are fresh, and all open cows. I will give prostaglandins to animals
to bring them into heat. I also will have cows checked that we are going to flush for
embryos and the recipients so we may synchronize their cycles. In order to improve
udder health we use sand for bedding. This has been a factor in decreasing our somatic



                                                                          1162
                                                      Dairy Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency



When selecting a bull, I look at body type, production of dams, and how long they live.
By using this information the quality of our cows has improved and will continue to
improve.

To control inter-digital papillomatosis (hairy heal warts), which causes more then 60%
of foot problems, we place footbaths in exit allies with a 10% copper sulfate solution. I
change the solution after every 100-150 cows to ensure all cows have access to an
effective solution. Every third day a zinc sulfate solution is used to prevent the copper
sulfate from causing bridal cracked feet. Providing a clean environment prohibits the
growth of fuso-bacterium necrophorum and other organisms that cause foot rot and
other complications. All cows are trimmed biannually to maintain normal foot shape...
a 45-degree toe angle and a 3-inch toe length. Providing a balanced ration with the
correct fiber content and a minimum forage particle length of 1.5 inches stimulates cud
chewing to prevent rumen acidosis. A 2-week "steam up" ration allows rumen
microbes to acclimate to the high concentrate ration. Limiting time in the holding area
to 3 hours/day and comfortable stalls ensure cows rest and ruminate for 12-14 hours a
To maintain a consistent milk schedule allows the cows milk production levels to stay
at a higher level, rather than milking at different times, which will cause milk
production to decrease.
Mastitis is an inflammation of the udder which is usually an indication of a fever
caused by infection. Milk from cows with mastitis is high in somatic cells and cannot
be used as fluid milk. Early detection reduces treatment time which gets the cow back
into the productive milking herd. Early detection also reduces SCC in the bulk tank and
therefore increases our milk profit. I fore strip each teat prior to milking looking for
abnormal milk. If I notice a cow has mastitis, I milk her out separately and dispose of
the milk. I take a sample of the infected milk and send it to a lab for a culture analysis
which will provide us with information about which treatment to use on the cow to
fight her infection and get her healthy so she can be profitable again. This takes the
guess work out of treating cows and reduces antibiotic costs.



                                                                          1162
                                                       Dairy Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


Keeping up on the current sire summaries of the different sire companies for bulls that
sire for milk production, type and calving ease. Also using heat detection products
help in catching heats quickly.
Corrective breeding is also an important part of the AI program. By matching the
correct bull to each individual cow, I can help increase the quality of the animals in my
herd. Therefore increasing production. Majority of the time I purchase young sired
bulls because they are cheaper. Young sires only have a smaller margin about the milk
production records compared to the older sires that have thousands of daughters to base
the information off of. Information to assist me in determining the type of bull to use
are pounds of milk, pounds of fat, pounds of protein, calving ease, foot angle and
overall type (frame, rump angle, dairyness, etc.)
I am responsible for milking in the afternoon. In order to maximize production and
produce a high quality product, I follow the protocol of dip, strip, wipe, milk and dip.
The reason for spraying the teat before stripping is to start the kill on the bacteria that
may be on the teat. Stripping is done to remove any bacteria in the teat canal and to
check for mastitis. I try to get the milker on within 45 seconds of spraying the teats. We
have automatic takeoff milkers, so I check the cows while post-dipping to make sure
they have been completely milked. Everyone is required to wear latex gloves while
milking to prevent bacterial contamination. Since changing to sand bedding and
wearing the latex gloves, our somatic cell count has dropped from 290,000 to 199,000.
As the only employee on the dairy and with the owners reducing their involvement in
daily operations, milking has become a major activity for me on the farm. I have found
that using the proper milking techniques and being consistent in the timing of milking
is vital to our production and profit. In addition to sanitation of the milking equipment
and parlor, I attach milkers, post-dip each teat, treat infected cows, monitor the bulk
tank temperature and numerous other activities related to harvesting milk from the
herd. We milk, on average, 45 Holstein cows. I monitor milk production of each cow
and evaluate them based on productivity and days milking. I am responsible for
determining when to move cows out of the milking herd and into the dry cow herd. I
keep accurate records of treated cows to prevent their milk from entering our bulk tank



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                               Knowledge/Competency


On the weekends and during the summer I am responsible for the morning feeding of
the milking herd. Mixing the total mixed ration properly is crucial to maintaining milk
production. Each ingredient must be measured correctly and the ration must be mixed
without over mixing. Our TMR consists of corn silage, haylage, high moisture corn,
soybean meal, and minerals. I am responsible for feeding the newborn calves.
Newborns must be watched very closely to observe any signs of illness. Calves are fed
either whole milk or a 28 percent protein milk replacer, free choice 22 percent calf
starter, and fresh water. At four weeks they are given hay.
By marketing my cattle through national sales I have been able to receive a top dollar
which has allowed me to reinvest back into this area and keep expanding my dairy
program.
I place the milker on the udder so vacuum does not escape. I check to see if milking
cycle is completed by pulling the milker unit down to increase pressure. If no milk
comes down I remove the milker.
I learned to operate the silage unloaders to transport silage from the mixer to the bunk
to give cattle the correct amount of feed. Silage is a main ingredient in our milk cow
rations to provide roughage.
I learned to operate the skid steer to transport round bales to my cattle to keep a
sufficient amount of feed in front of them. I also use the skid steer to scrape the barns
to reduce the risk of disease.
I learned to operate the square baler so I had grass hay and straw for my calves in the
winter and spring. Grass hay provides the cattle with sufficient quality roughage and
straw bales keep the calves dry.




                                                                          1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


As we demand more of our cows reproductive efficiency has declined to a pregnancy
rate per artificial insemination (PR/AI) of 35% and reproductive failure causes 18% of
herd culls nationally. To prevent this discouraging statistic at Rosy-Lane we use the
ovsynch program. After a voluntary waiting period (VWP) of 60 days cows are put on
the ovsynch program. Every Monday open cows receive 2cc of Estrumate (PGF2a)
intramuscularly (I.M.) On the following Monday she receives 2cc of Cystorelin
(GnRH) I.M. On Wednesday she receives 2cc of Lutalyce I.M. and is bred AI on
Thursday. About 40 days after AI we palpate cows to check for pregnancy, if a cow is
open she begins the cycle again. If she is confirmed pregnant or is questionable she is
checked again in three weeks. The ovsynch program relies less on visual heat
detection, which can suffer due to slick floors, heat stress and several other factors.
After two cycles of the ovsynch program nearly 90% of the herd is confirmed pregnant.
Milking is a time consuming job. In addition to milking, I have my own farming
operation and am a full-time student. Cows must be milked at regular intervals to
reduce stress. I have learned to maintain my busy schedule by keeping track of
upcoming events, making a daily plan of farming activities, and communicating
constantly with my employers, family, professors and others so we are all in agreement
as to who is responsible for which activities. I have learned to finish tasks correctly in a
timely manner to prevent from having too many irons in the fire at one time. Now that I
am in college, I work to plan my course schedule in a way that reduces travel time and
dead time between classes. I utilize my free time wisely by studying, working on my
financial records, or my hobby business of collecting and restoring 2-cylinder tractors.
Keeping accurate herd production records assists me in making sound management
decisions. Accurate records help me purchase feeds to ensure highest production of
milk, fat and proteins are met.




                                                                            1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


Using a high quality sand in stalls of varying dimensions helps us maintain a cow
comfort index (CCI percent of cows lying down 2 hours before milking) of greater then
90%. The sand we use has been screened to keep the stalls free of stones and other
debris that may make the stalls uncomfortable and lead too poor stall use. The sand
must have a minimum particle size of .03 millimeters in diameter and low clay and silt
content to prevent the sand from compacting and becoming as hard as concrete. Sand
is added to the stalls twice weekly to maintain a 6 inch sand depth to provide the
necessary cushion beneath the knees and hocks as cows stand up or lie down, this also
keeps the lower divider rail, brisket board, and neck rail at the correct height, so not to
interfere with front and side lunging. Sand is an inorganic material that doesn't support
bacterial growth, cleaning and leveling the stalls daily helps maintain a low somatic
cell count, cow comfort, and keeps cows and the barns clean for visitors.
Determining the correct amount of nutritional requirements needed for each stage of
lactation for all cows to maximize energy requirements necessary for highest increase
in milk production.
By following specific milking and sanitation guidelines in the milking parlor I have
been able to lower bacteria counts and the presence of mastitis thus increasing milk
In order to maximize production and assure a quality product, a strict procedure must
be followed. At Emerson Farms we have started by wearing latex gloves to keep from
spreading bacteria. We spray the teats with an iodine based dip, strip to check for
mastitis and to remove bacteria from the teat canal, wipe with an individual towel,
attach the milker and spray with an iodine based teat dip after the milking. While doing
the post spray we observe the cattle to make sure they have been properly milked out.
Cows are kept up at night, but are able to graze during the day. A free stall barn has
recently been constructed to improve the cow environment. It is important the cows are
using their energy to produce milk.




                                                                           1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


All year long, every three days, I rake the exercise pens that the milk cows are in with a
rake. I use a 3-point pull behind rake with a tractor. This is done to minimize
reproduction of flies during the summer months. It is also done to minimize the spread
of mastitis through the environment and to break the hard manure apart during the
winter and spring months. I scrape corrals during the summer months with a hydraulic
scraper attached to a tractor. I pick-up the loose manure with the scraper and create a
pile in the middle of the exercise pen. The pile is created so it will heat up and kill the
bacteria in the manure and then removed at the end of the summer for composting of
neighbors fields. I also rake the freestall beds to keep the manure fluffy for the cows to
lay in. Cow comfort is important to keep milk production up and keep the cows
By understanding that cows have the potential to injure someone and staying aware of
my surroundings I have been able to work accident free which has helped me increase
my overall program.
Using quality sanitizers for wash-up of the milking parlor facility and knowing when to
replace liners and regularly inspect pulsators & claws. Training employees proper
techniques & sanitation is a must.
By using the proper cleaning chemicals with my milkers I have been able to avoid
problems related to milk quality which has helped greatly in terms of total production
within this area.
To ensure clean, Grade A quality milk, I must maintain clean facilities in the milking
parlor. Prior to each milking, I sanitize the lines. Each cow must be individually
prepped and cleaned prior to milking. After each milking I sanitize the milking lines
with a rinse/detergent/acid wash cycle. I scrape out any manure in the parlor and then
spray down the parlor. I start at the ceiling working to the walls and walkways and then
finish by spraying the floor. Outside the parlor, I use a tractor and loader to clean the
holding pen and parlor exit of all manure. I scrap out rock lots and once a month to
remove manure to reduce the chance of disease. All bale rings and feeding areas are
cleaned regularly to ensure fresh, quality feeds are provided in a clean environment. All
manure waste is spread over our crop fields or pastures that have just been grazed.
By being able to select heifers, I was able to add in several nice animals into my herd.
The advantages of selecting quality stock is that genetic quality will be increased for
years to come.
                                                                           1162
                                                        Dairy Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                Knowledge/Competency


Properly maintaining machinery on the dairy farm reduces down time and repair costs.
I am the resident mechanic on the dairy farm and am in charge of maintenance as well.
I change oil in our tractors every 100 hours and grease all machinery each day it is
used. I perform maintenance on all machinery prior to the season of its use to reduce
down time and be prepared for operation when weather cooperates. I have replaced
clutches in tractors, replaced front and rear main oil seals in tractors, and repaired tires.
I set up planters, change mower knives, replace rake teeth, service the baler including
belts, drive chains, oil bearings and twine. I try to keep machinery washed and clean to
prevent fire hazards. I am a skilled welder and can handle all repairs that require
welding. I also repair stanchions, replace milk hoses and milk cups every three months.
Poor quality corn silage can result in poor conception rates, abortion, reduced milk
production and off-flavor milk, which are all profit-killers in a dairy operation. I have
learned to properly maintain our pit silo and spend time each week on this activity. I
remove the top six to ten inch layer of silage and four feet wide across the entire pit as
it is not of f feed quality due to spoilage. I do this by hand to make sure I am removing
all the low quality silage and not wasting good silage. I keep the sides of the pit pushed
in tight to reduce spoilage. I remove any un-eaten silage from the feeding area at least
once every week to make sure cows are not eating moldy feed.
I learned to tag calves so I can keep accurate records of each animal. I use plastic ear
tags that are punched through the outer ear. Also, a numbering system lets me easily
identify calf to mother.
DHIA tests the milk for somatic cell counts and keeps individual records for each cow
on how much they are producing. This is helpful when a decrease in production occurs
I can search for the reason.
I have begun doing California Mastitis Testing on our cows with high somatic cell
counts. Monthly I look at the Dairy One summary papers to see what cows have
somatic cell scores of 4 or higher in order to decrease our somatic cell count from
290,000 to 199,000. I have used mastitis treatment and culling as a way to solve the
high counts. In order to stop the spread of mastitis through environmental means, we
have started wearing latex gloves during milking, use individual towels for drying the
cows teats and have changed our bedding from sawdust to sand.


                                                                             1162
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                                Knowledge/Competency


I use antibiotics to treat my animals that are infected with harmful bacteria. Penicillin is
the main antibiotic I use to treat animals with diseases such as mastitis and pneumonia.
We implemented the use of embryo transfers to help improve the genetics of our herd.
By using embryo transfer I am able to improve the quality of the offspring.
I vaccinate my cows with Cattle Master VL5 and Cidecten to keep them immunize to
diseases. Since I have used these products I have lowered the risk of the cattle catching
skin or breeding disorders
Interaction with each cow is very important. The cows not only gain your trust, but
respect you as well. The knowledge of each cow allows me to monitor the herd more
effectively for abnormal behavior.
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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P       Animal Handling
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E Beef Herd Health Management
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P   Calculating yield estimates
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E       Calf Management
     Production




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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P   Care of Cattle and Marketing
     Production




     Diversified           Chemical Application and
     Agricultural     P    Calibration of Sprayers and
     Production               Fertilizer Spreaders.




     Diversified
                          Communication and Decision
     Agricultural     P
                                  Making
     Production




     Diversified
                             Computerized Farming
     Agricultural     E
                                 Equipment
     Production
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                      E           Corn Planting
     Agricultural




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     Agricultural     P        Crop Management
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                          Crop scouting fields for insect
     Agricultural     P
                                 and other pests
     Production




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     Agricultural     P           Crop Stress
     Production




     Diversified
                          Dairy milking of 65 cow herd
     Agricultural     P
                                  twice a day
     Production




     Diversified
                          Developing genetic guidelines
     Agricultural     P
                                for AI selection.
     Production




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     Diversified               Development and
     Agricultural     P     implementation of a heat
     Production             synchronization program




     Diversified
                          Development of a herd health
     Agricultural     E
                                    plan.
     Production
     Diversified
                            Development of Feeding
     Agricultural     E
                                   Program
     Production




     Diversified
                          Diversified Grain and Forage
     Agricultural     P
                                   production.
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E   Ensuring Equipment Safety
     Production




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     Agricultural     P   Equipment Maintenance
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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P   Equipment Maintenance
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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P   Equipment Maintenance
     Production




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     Agricultural     E      Facility Maintenance
     Production




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                          Feed Management and Forage
     Agricultural     P
                                  Production
     Production




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     Agricultural     P          Feeding Cows
     Production




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     Diversified
                          Following our farm's nutrient
     Agricultural     P
                           management / 590 program
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P        Forage Production
     Production




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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P Growing and Harvesting Forages
     Production




     Diversified
                          Growing Corn for Grain and
     Agricultural     P
                                 Corn Silage
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P        Harvesting Crops
     Production




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     Diversified
                          Harvesting Ear Corn and Corn
     Agricultural     P
                                     Silage
     Production




     Diversified
                          Harvesting Grain, Forage Crops,
     Agricultural     P
                                     and Straw
     Production




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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P         Harvesting Hay
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E          Herbicide Use
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P   Herd and Crop Recordkeeping
     Production




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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P          Herd Health
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P          Herd Health
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E Implementing Pest Management
     Production




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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P        Irrigation Service
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P Livestock Care and Management
     Production




     Diversified           Livestock Evaluation and
     Agricultural     P   Selection Techniques - Beef
     Production               Cattle for the Farm.




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     Diversified
                          Loading and Unloading Cattle
     Agricultural     P
                                   and Hogs
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P      Machine Maintenance
     Production




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     Diversified          Maintaining Animal Health
     Agricultural     P    through Vaccination and
     Production            Sanitization of Facilities




     Diversified
                           Manure Application and
     Agricultural     P
                               Management
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P    Marketing Feeder Calves
     Production




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     Agricultural     P            Milking
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P Milking and Parlor Management
     Production




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     Diversified
                          Mixing and Rationing Feed for
     Agricultural     P
                                Hogs and Cattle
     Production




     Diversified
                              Mixing and Spraying
     Agricultural     P
                             Herbicides/ Insecticides
     Production




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     Diversified
                          Mixing Rations for Cattle and
     Agricultural     P
                                  Hog Feed
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P       Move and Sort Cattle
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P        Newborn Calf Care
     Production




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     Diversified
                          Operate Machine Correct and
     Agricultural     P
                              Follow PTO Safety
     Production




     Diversified
                             Operating Large Farm
     Agricultural     P
                                  Equipment
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     P Organic Dairy Farm Herdsman
     Production




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                             Performing Preventive
     Agricultural     E
                            Equipment Maintenance
     Production




     Diversified        Planting Wheat, Corn, Alfalfa,
     Agricultural     P     Edible Soy Beans, and
     Production            Conventional Soy Beans




     Diversified        Preparing a Proper Seedbed and
     Agricultural     P Planting Crops to Desired Depth
     Production                 and Population.




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                          Preventative maintenance and
     Diversified
                           repairs on grain, forage, and
     Agricultural     P
                        livestock machinery, equipment,
     Production
                                   and facilities.




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E         Proper Milking
     Production
     Diversified
     Agricultural     E          Recordkeeping
     Production
     Diversified
     Agricultural     E        Risk Management
     Production
     Diversified
     Agricultural     E              Safety
     Production
     Diversified
                             Sanitation of Milking
     Agricultural     E
                                  Equipment
     Production
     Diversified
     Agricultural     E        Scouting Forages
     Production
     Diversified
     Agricultural     E     Selecting Certified Seed
     Production
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                          Soil testing to determine soil
     Agricultural     P
                                   components
     Production




                             Sound and Efficient
     Diversified
                          Reproduction, Dairy Cattle
     Agricultural     P
                           Evaluation, and Genetic
     Production
                                Improvement




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E       Taking Soil Samples
     Production




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     Diversified
     Agricultural     P     Tillage Work and Planting
     Production




     Diversified
     Agricultural     E            Use of A.I.
     Production




     Diversified
                           Utilization of Technology in
     Agricultural     P
                          Today's Production Agriculture
     Production




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                                                           1162
                                           Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


When working with cattle, hogs, and sheep, I am cautious so I do not spook them by
moving too fast. When loading animals onto trucks and trailers, it is important that I
take my time but keep the animals moving so that they are not injured. In the spring
when we vaccinate, castrate calves, and sort cows for pasture, I am careful not to
stand too close behind the animal so I won't get kicked. When I tag new-born calves
in the spring, I try to get the tag in a spot where it will not come out of the ear. This
is usually a 2-person job since some cows are unpredictable. By casually walking
through the hogs, I can mark and sort out pigs for market or vaccination. Using a
board to sort and load hogs makes it much faster and easier because the pig thinks it's
a wall. It is important to practice patience when working with any animal to
eliminate stress which can negatively affect their productivity.
Maintaining a regular schedule for herd vaccinations and worming is an important
management tool. Providing salt and mineral blocks supplements herd nutrition.
Creep feeding baby calves increases gain.
It is an important skill to know how your current field will yield to give you an idea
of how much forage you can expect off of the field. To get the population you count
the number of ears of corn in a seventeen and one half foot long row (one one
thousandth of an acre) for thirty inch row spacing’s. Count the number of ears in the
row. With every fifth ear, record the number of complete kernel rows per ear and the
average number of kernels per row. After gathering this data it is inputted into the
formula developed by Iowa State University. For alfalfa you determine the number
of alfalfa stems in a one foot by one foot area. If your goal is 5 tons to the acre, you
would multiply by .045 to determine the projected yield. There is a square to use for
this - you walk randomly through the field, through the square ahead of you, and then
count the stems in the area it lands in. Do at least 12 samplings in a field.
By making sure that calves are vaccinated early and that they are able to get
colostrum from the mother cow I have been able to reduce deaths in my beef cattle to
only 1 calf this past year.




                                                                         1162
                                           Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


Working with cattle is something I really enjoy. I like to care for newborn calves the
most. It's fun to watch the young females turn into yearlings and eventually become
part of the cow herd. There is a lot of time in between, but there's a definite sense of
accomplishment when seeing a home raised heifer deliver her first calf. At
Palmquist Farms we sell all of the steers the following spring after they are born.
Most of the heifers are sold, and the rest we keep back for breeding the following
year. By doing this, we try to keep our breeding numbers around 200 each year, but
since prices have been good lately we have done our best to increase this number by
buying cows whenever the price isn't too high. I really enjoy picking out and buying
the right cattle. I have increased my own herd now to 30 cows and 1 bull.
Chemical weed control is necessary when farming 2000 acres of farm land.
Chemicals are expensive and applying them at the wrong rate is not only a waste of
money, it is unsafe to people and hard on the environment. My dad taught me to
always think safety when working with chemicals, I never mix chemicals without
proper eye wear and gloves. Changing sprayer nozzles help reduce drift and waste of
chemicals when weather conditions change. Understanding how the sprayer and
spreaders work helps me to diagnose problems that occur in the field. I mix
chemicals, fill the sprayer and apply the chemical to the field. Also improper
application amounts to standing crops will cause crop injury and can greatly reduce
As in any business, communication is crucial to success, especially in agriculture. I
have personally learned through experience the effects of “failure to communicate.”
For example, if I do not communicate to the milker that I need a cow caught so that
she can be bred, time is wasted and productivity drops. I communicate with seed
companies and field men, to determine profitable crops to grow. I learn and discuss
seeding rates, planting dates, germination temperatures and most profitable harvest
points. In addition, I converse with nutritionists in order to maximize production and
efficiency in the cows. I also talk with veterinarians when I have a sick cow that
doesn’t respond to treatment. Communicating with CAFO (confined animal feeding
operation) has helped me keep accurate records and maintained a working
My tractor is equipped with a computerized monitor to regulate fertilizer application
during drilling. Using an air seeder, I am able to regulate fertilizer and seed rates
from the tractor. It helps keep cost records.
                                                                        1162
                                          Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


By gaining an understanding of what is the correct time for planting I have been able
to increase yields along with the proper use of fertilization as related to corn
My involvement with crop management starts with field preparation and ends with
harvest. We disk the stalks once in early spring and once the same day as planting.
When the corn is 6 inches tall my dad begins to cultivate and I follow and knife in
liquid nitrogen. If irrigation is needed because it is not raining we will start the
wells. Usually all we do with our beans after planting is spray and irrigate. During
harvest you will find me in the combine or dumping the truck. At MJR Farms I
follow many of the same processes as I do at home. To prepare the seedbed I disk and
field cultivate. After the corn is cultivated I follow behind and ridge the fields that
will be ditch irrigated. Irrigation is determined the same way as it is at Cuda Farms.
In the fall at MJR Farms, I chase the combine with the grain cart and dump trucks
and it is very rewarding at the end of the year to see that the hard work paid off.
I scout our fields periodically for weeds and pests; every hay crop is scouted for Wild
Mustard. If it is present, I walk the field physically removing it from the field by
pulling it out. I look for pests like alfalfa weavels, potato leaf hoppers, and meadow
spitel bugs. When you scout the field you should walk in a "M" shape so you get a
good sampling from the entire field. In spring I look at the alfalfa stands to see how
they made the winter, I dig up and look at the crowns on alfalfa plants looking for
discoloration, or damage. I also look for alfalfa wilting in the spring - this means it
did not winter very well. I scout the corn fields once a week during the growing
season to check crop progress and to ensure proper pesticide and herbicide
application, or cultivation times. Around harvest times I walk the fields to ensure the
proper time of harvest to attain the highest and best quality yield.




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When the weather is dry, it is important to have the knowledge of how to deal with
crop stress. In the fields where it is possible to irrigate, crops can yield more because
they can be planted thicker. To try to prevent stress on dry land fields that cannot be
irrigated, I have learned that crops must be planted thinner than those in irrigated
fields. I have learned the basics of pivot operation and how to correctly set the
pivot's speed so the correct amount of water is applied. Prior to working at MJR
Farms, I was always curious how too correctly flood irrigate. Now after working
there, I know how flood irrigation works and successfully managed an 80 acre field
while one of my bosses was on vacation. I also learned how to irrigate with tow-
lines, which were mainly used at both farms before they purchased pivots. Between
the two farms I work with 12 pivots and 300 acres of flood irrigation.
Milking occurs twice a day on our farm. We milk Holsteins, Guernseys, and
Ayrshires on our farm with most of the Holsteins. We try to keep 65 head milking at
all times during the year. During the summer we increase to about 72 cows. We
milk with 10 units on the Stender Farms and milk in a double 10 swing parlor. We
considered a carousel parlor but were turned off by needing to build an addition on to
the parlor area. The swing parlor was cheaper because it only uses half of the units
and it fit in the existing building. It takes us about 1.5 hours to milk and another hour
for start up and shut down and to do other chores. Our procedure consists of a water
wash, pre-dip, wipe with paper towels, milk, and then post-dip. Our Somatic Cell
Count right now is at about 110,000 which is in quality goal range. Butterfat is at 3.9
The genetic improvement guidelines that I have implemented for use in our herd are:
the bull must have TPI of 1430 or higher, daughters must be testing at least 400
pounds over herd mates, be plus on components, and must add to productive life.
When mating cows in terms of linear traits, I look to determine if the daughters are
sickled or posty. I look at slope between the hooks and the pins as this has a major
impact on calf deliveries and post-calving cleanings. Size is most important because
of our freestall barn. Cows that are too small or are too frail have a much better
chance of getting injured when going for feed because of more aggressive cows. I
consider udder qualities to be more important than milk production because our cows
are expected to last for several lactations. Overall, our cows have strong bodies
because that has been an emphasis of our AI breeding for many years.
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I had difficultly settling some older cows and finding them in standing heat. I began
using Cystorlin and Lutalyse as part of the Co-Synch program. This programs
involves fewer days and improves settling compared to some of the other programs
out there. I didn’t want to worry about missing days in the sequence with Ov-synch.
The first day of the regiment starts out with a GnRH shot, seven days later the cow
receives a shot of Lutalyse, two days later the cows receives a second shot of GnRH.
Twelve hours later the cow is bred. This has worked great on our difficult to settle
cows and I am very pleased with the improved conception rates. This was the first
time that we had ever used a synch program and I had to convince my father of doing
it before it could happen. I also understand the hormones much better after having
my Large Animal Vet Class during my senior year of high school.
In 2006 I lost 0 cows or heifers from diseases. Through the use of a herd health plan
I was able to make sure animals were vaccinated and boosters were given at the
proper times.
In 2006 the development of a feeding program that consisted of testing forages and
using concentrates correctly resulted in reducing milk production costs per 100
pounds form $8.01 to $6.34.
There are many different skills involved I grain and forage production. Grain
production involves planting, fertilizing, spraying chemicals and pesticides, and
harvesting. As well as being able to service the equipment if it needs it or be able to
fix it if anything breaks down. We raise 2500 acres of cropland, including wheat,
soybeans, edible beans, and corn. Forage production involves being able to know
when you are supposed to cut the hay and what or if any chemicals or pesticides need
to be sprayed on the ground before cutting, cutting, knowing the dry down time,
raking, and bailing the hay. You also need to be able to service the equipment when
it needs it so that it won't get worn out. We bale 10-12,000 square bales along with
Possessing a constant awareness of possible hazards, I always turn the tractor off
when hooking-up, changing, or working on equipment. I make sure that all safety
devices and guards are in place.




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Maintenance of equipment is very important in a large grain farming operation and in
working with our livestock. Knowing when and how to maintain equipment will
save my employer and myself time and money throughout the operating year.
Understanding when to lubricate equipment isn't hard. I usually refer to the owners
manual; or my dad if I don't know how often to grease the equipment. If the parts
look dry and have wear, I will grease the part and replace if needed. Some equipment
has a sticker at each grease zerk that tells me when I need to grease it. I also have to
change the oil in the tractors when it comes time. Each tractor should have the oil
changed at least every 100 hours. I will also check all other fluid levels and filters at
this time to make sure they are serviceable.
Some maintenance activities I do start with getting the planter ready in the spring. I
make sure all of the bearings on each unit are in working condition; if I find one that
is bad I pack a new bearing with grease and install it. Even when machines are
different the maintenance process is similar, because most equipment needs to be
looked over and greased before use. My maintenance activities last throughout the
year getting tillage, haying, harvesting, and yard equipment ready for use. Whenever
I am working I have to be ready in case something would break while in use. In
order to be ready for breakdowns my employers and I make sure that there are tools
and common parts for the piece of equipment we are using with us when we head out
to the field. Skills that I have used while fixing machinery include; welding, tapping
threads, operating a press, and making new hydraulic hoses.
Through the years I have developed skills in maintenance and repair that save us time
and money. I not only service equipment, but I am capable of welding, rebuilding
and basic wiring as well. Because we are a smaller family farm we use less reliable
equipment. Last winter I completely rebuilt the two main gear boxes and upgraded
the blower on our chopper, in order to increase efficiency. For example two years
ago when we were harvesting silage we ran a small chain through the chopper
Saturday night, damaging the knives and throwing the entire machine out of
commission for what many would say the season, however because my dad and I had
purchased four other choppers for parts at 250 dollars, I was able to have the machine
ready for operation by the following morning. This saved us money not only in
repairs but eliminated the feed value loss that seemed inevitable prior that evening.
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Through keeping facilities clean and repaired I suffered no major disease problems or
injuries through the year. Animals thrive in clean organized conditions and I provide
that for mine.
Feed Management is most crucial on a dairy farm. When I started to work on the
dairy I was just doing some of the feeding. As time progressed, and I became more
skilled and trusted by my boss, I was able to help figure out the TMR (total mixed
ration) for the farm's total herds. Since the farm runs the milk herd on pastures
almost six months of the year, I keep the pastures clipped and watered during the
summer, as well as handle the application of manure for fertilizer. There are several
variables to consider in maintaining maximum quality in the forage as it is harvested.
Timing the harvest with variable weather conditions is tricky to ensure the proper
moisture content and maturity of the crop. Finally air must not be present in the
fermentation process to maintain high feed quality.
The cows need to eat twice a day for about six months during the winter when there
isn't any pasture. Feeding a balanced ration is important. At Anywhere Farms we feed
ear corn for energy, 16% treat grain, and 1st cutting high quality hay. We feed ear
corn because it gives the cows energy during the winter. They will have energy to
keep their weight or gain weight during the cold months. Feeding is also important
when you are getting feeders ready for market. At the Somewhere Dairy, feeding is
also an important factor for all aspects of the herd, especially the lactating cows. The
milking cows receive a balanced ration of corn silage, haylage, 22% protein grain,
and 2nd cutting dry hay and also have free choice pasture spring through early fall.
Feeding heifers is also important as they eat silage, haylage and pasture during the
growing season. Calves up to 3 months old receive milk and formulated powdered
milk replacer until they're old enough to consume grain and hay.




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Brown County imposed this requirement on all farms starting in 2005. It regulates
the fields we can spread manure on when the ground is frozen and which areas the
manure must be worked into the ground within a 72 hour period. There are certain
areas of the field where we can not spread at all because of being within 300 feet of a
drainage ditch or stream of any kind. We follow this plan because the fines are
significant for noncompliance. At the same time, I understand how important the
manure is for crop growth, specifically forages because of the phosphorus it brings
in. The more organic matter we put in the soil the better water holding capacity and
the better pot ash levels there are which are important for any forage crop especially
alfalfa. We are working with our county to attain grants to increase our manure
storage, and manage it with building a compost barn for our dry cows.
Forage Production on a dairy farm comes second only to the milking and basic
animal care. In the last few years, I have gone from just driving the equipment and
moving irrigation to managing one employee and being fully responsible for growing
165 acres of organic forages. I have implemented crop rotation practices on the 85
acres we rent and 80 owned acres of pasture. I discuss soil fertility with soil
scientists maintaining adequate levels of nutrients and correct pH levels for the crops
to grow. I utilize legumes for their nitrogen fixation ability and summer annual
forages for their increased yield and sufficient quality. I have communicated with
universities across the country always looking for the next best compromise between
yield and nutrient quality. In addition, I decide when to harvest, managing a
volunteer crew of 8, while maintaining the remainder 80 acres of pasture.




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Growing high yield and high quality forages is a big part of the beef operation. When
the corn is planted it needs to be sprayed for weeds because weeds will overgrow the
crop and the corn will be a waste. Next I put a fertilizer that is 40% nitrogen which
gives the corn a push for growing. After the spraying and fertilizing is done, you
don't have to do much until the harvest except monitor how the corn is growing. In
the fall when the corn is grown to full maturity I wait for a frost to kill the stalk so it
is easier to pick the ears. Also before you pick, you need to make sure that the corn is
dry so it doesn't grow mold during storage and ruin the crop. On the dairy growing
the corn for silage rather than ear corn in basically the same, except different seed is
sometimes used. But the corn silage needs to be harvested at the right time to ensure
corn is mature enough to make a quality forage for the cows. Quality corn silage is
important especially in a dairy cow’s complex diet.
Anywhere Farms grows 10 acres of corn that provides feed throughout the winter to
the cows. It all starts at the end of April when the fields are plowed to turn the new
soil over. When the corn field is plowed, it is harrowed level, then the rocks need to
be picked out of the fields so equipment isn't ruined when it is planted and harvested.
I plant a 115 day corn in May that will have time to grow to full maturity. Usually the
corn is sprayed the next day or immediately after planting (if weather cooperates)
with Atrazine and Prowl which is an herbicide that kills most weeds from preventing
a crop failure. Next we put a fertilizer that contains 40% nitrogen that will give the
corn a push to grow faster and healthier. That is the last step until harvesting, but we
monitor the corn throughout the season. At Somewhere Farm, 150 acres of corn is
grown and harvested for all corn silage for the dairy herd.
When harvest came around, I had many different jobs. My favorite thing to do
during harvest time is operating the combine, because there is always something you
need to be doing so it never gets old. I use a moisture tester to decide whether the
crop is ready to be sold or if it needs to be put in the drying bin after harvesting.
Taking an active part in the farming operation helps me converse with other farmers
and to better understand what the elevator people are asking or commenting on when
I take grain to town. Harvest time always makes farmers try to do more than is
physically possible. Being able to help drive truck, combine, and unload trucks after
school makes it possible for my dad to get a well deserved break.
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After all the corn is planted, sprayed, grown to maximum maturity, the corn needs to
be harvested. The corn needs to be fairly dry at picking time so it doesn't mold
during storage and the ear corn keeps its quality. While picking you need to check the
dryness at different times to make sure it is high quality. When the corn is all picked,
it needs to be put it the corn crib which is raised above the ground with wire around
the crib so all of the corn inside the crib is exposed to air and dries as much as
possible. On the Somewhere Dairy a 2 row 892 pull type chopper is used. Like ear
corn but much earlier in fall, the corn needs to reach maximum maturity before
harvested. During the harvest time I spend many hours hauling the corn from the
field back to the farm safely to storage into a bunker silo. The bunker silo is covered
with plastic for protection from weather and helps ferment silage which helps
preserve the valuable forage throughout the year.
Running the Case 1688 combine is not to hard once you have done it for a while.
You have to monitor engine temp. boost pressure, and know how fast to drive so that
you don’t clog the throat or the cylinder up. You have to know how to solve all
problems in case you have any because the combine has to be running at all times if it
is in the field because it is an expensive machine to run. Harvesting forage crops is a
bit more time consuming process. Unlike grain harvest, forage harvesting takes three
trips over the ground. The first pass is mowing with either a Krone disc mower or a
New Holland mower conditioner. After mowing, you must wait for the grass or
forage to dry down. When the forage crop is dried down it is raked into windrows
with a M & W twelve wheel rake for the baler. Then I use the Gehl 1375 baler to
come behind the rake and take all of the forage crop and put it into a dense uniform




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At Anywhere Farms we bale about 3,000 square bales for feed during the winter off
of 30 acres of hay fields. I am involved in all aspects with the hay operation, which
includes mowing, tedding, raking, and baling the hay. It isn't as easy as it sounds.
First all of the equipment needs to be running well. When all of the equipment is
serviced and the weather looks good, it is time to mow as much hay as you can
possibly handle. When the hay is all mowed and the top of the hay is dry, the hay
needs to be tedded. The tedder spreads the hay out so the sun and wind can dry all of
the hay. This process is done 2-3 times, and when the hay is dry, it needs to be raked
over for the baler to follow. . However on the dairy farm, 30,000 square bales and
400 silage round bales which are about 30% moisture are wrapped with plastic for
fermentation. Round bales consist of about 20 square are produced for sale and feed
for the cows. I am again involved with everything with the forage production on the
Timely spraying of chemicals helps eliminate invader type weeds and maximizes
available moisture for crops and forage. I scout for weeds and spray according to
manufacture’s recommendations.
Herd record keeping is very important to keep a good herd. At Anywhere Farms we
keep all of the cows’ records on a computer. Even though it isn't a huge herd, you
will forget important information such as calving dates, breeding dates, and the sex
of the calves. Records allow you to remember when a cow is going to calve, how old
the cows are, how many calves they have had in their lifetime, and whether they
usually have bulls or heifers. On the dairy cow records are more important for dry
periods, calving dates, breeding dates, which are a major asset in a dairy herd and
helpful for the farmer. Records on the cows allow you to make different decisions
throughout the cow’s lactation. Also, crop records are important for yield and quality
records. These are used when selecting the fertilizers the field needs to make it a
stronger asset in the forage part of the operation, lastly records allow you to know the
expected yields from the individual fields.




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Catching cows before they are sick enough to treat is very important. Prevention is
cheaper than the cost of treating an animal. Signs that I look for include: trouble
breathing for a dry cough, a loss of appetite, droopy or cold ears, and signs of pain.
Since switching to a TMR, we have had more problems with milk fever because we
are having trouble getting the right amount of calcium in the ration. The only other
significant problem that we have encountered is that we do have a couple of staph
cows. Since we feed a lot of long hay to our herd, we rarely have DA’s or ketosis.
Calves offer a different challenge with health, particularly when they are not weaned.
There is a lot of moisture in the air in our heifer building and this has meant some
calves have developed pneumonia. This has been treated with Sulfa drugs and
LA2000 as an energy booster and a probiotic.
Maintaining a healthy and productive herd is a skill all of it's own. When I first
started working, I did the majority of the stall cleaning, which is where the cows
sleep. I have learned the importance over the years of keeping the cows in a clean,
dry, and comfortable environment. Since the farm is organic, we really have to work
hard to keep the cows in dry and level stalls, which is the best defense against the
most well known udder infection in the industry, mastitis. I also have learned the
importance of keeping a good vaccination and health program. One aspect of this is
called herd check, which is when the vet checks the cows. The focus is on the cow's
reproductive system to determine approximately when the cow will calve. Since I
have become herdsman, I have to oversee this and make sure that the vet's dates of
pregnancy complies with the recorded conception dates.
Proper insect and pest identification allows me to determine the best control method.
I try to incorporate pest management practices that are economically sound and
environmentally friendly.




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Servicing irrigation equipment is important to reduce time spent having to fix pivots
or wells in the heat of summer. In the spring, before the crops get too high, my boss
and I conduct maintenance ten electric drive pivots and service them. We drain the
water that has collected in the gearboxes over winter, then check and add oil if
needed. We replace any bad motors, gearboxes, shafts, knuckles, or tires that are not
in working order. By learning this skill at MJR Farms I was able to use my
knowledge when Cuda Farms put up their two electric drive pivots. In helping with a
tow able pivot on the Cuda Farm, I was able to take that knowledge back to MJR
Farms and help instruct them when their landlord put in a tow able pivot. In laying
out main line and gated pipe, I have learned how to lay the pipe out correctly, check
gaskets, and clamp the pipe so that they don't come apart with the pressure.
A lot of the jobs I do have to deal with livestock. When I work with the livestock I
am involved with feeding, I am concerned about animal health, and I help transport
livestock by driving the vehicle that pulls the trailer. When the hog feeders in the
open lots or the bulk bins that feed into the units are close to empty I grind the correct
ration and fill the feeder. In the spring I feed cows alfalfa or prairie hay because they
are contained for calving. In the summer I check pasture grass and in the pastures
that are cross-fenced I help determine when to switch the cows. I help put up electric
fence around cornfields in the fall and aid when cows are moved from field to field.
If I notice a health problem with any of the animals I notify my employer and help
treat the sickness. Also I haul cattle to places of grazing, the veterinary, and the sale
barn. I haul market hogs to slaughter when a semi cannot be filled.
 I have been around beef production all my life, and as a result have always had an
exceptionally strong interest in beef. Judging and selecting beef cattle has always
been pretty easy for me, but is something that's important and something which I
enjoy doing. Therefore, I made it one of my goals to perfect my skill. To attempt to
do this, I practiced by being on the FFA Livestock CDE team. My father also helps
by teaching me more and more about our beef industry and how it works. I have
learned more from my father than anyone could ever teach me out of a book, and I
thank him for it. Through participating in the Livestock CDE team, I have learned
the proper judging techniques and terms. This skill has made it easier for me in
selecting replacement heifers and for selecting herd bulls in my operation and on the
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We raise a lot of livestock, such as 500 stocker/cattle and over 4000 pigs per year.
We have recently purchased a new Volvo truck and a Barret triple deck pot/trailer,
and started hauling all of our own livestock. I have learned how to load our livestock
trailers lately. We will load about one hundred and eighty pigs on our Barret trailer.
All of our pigs get hauled to either Beardstown, Illinois, or Ottumwa, Iowa. The pigs
will come in on three trucks and fill eight trucks at market weight, three times a year.
Once cattle are purchased year round at local sale barns, transported to our farm
where we weigh and vaccinate them, at purchase and again in two weeks. We will
haul all of our cattle to Liberal, Kansas to Supreme Feeders. All pigs come in from
Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and or Missouri. They are sold to Cargill Meat Solutions,
and hedged to insure max profit.
After working at both farms, I have learned how to properly conduct machine
maintenance. I have changed oil in a total of 8 different models of tractors at both
farms. The oil in these tractors must be changed at 100 to 150 hours from the last oil
change. After the oil is drained, I change the oil filter and add new oil. I check the
tractor's manual to determine how much oil the engine takes. Besides taking care of
the tractors, I also check over any equipment that is used, such as the windrower,
feed wagon, disc, field cultivator, grain cart, balers, silage wagons, and planter. The
equipment manuals also inform me of the necessary places to grease the equipment
to prevent wear and tear. I replace any bearings, fix or replace chains, check or
change tires if necessary, and replace any sickle sections or guards. It is crucial that
the equipment is maintained properly so that down time can be prevented.




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All of our animals need care for the prevention of diseases and sickness. All of our
animals get vaccinated, but our cattle are usually processed at least twice. The cattle
get 5.5 cc's (per cwt) of an Ivomec pour-on wormer, Ralgro, eartags, and they also get
de-horned. If we get a sick calf in the pasture we will catch them, give them 6
cc's/cwt of Nuflor and twelve cc's of vitamin B12. We will blanket medicate pigs if
we feel that they are getting too sick. We can give them several different types,
based on the illness we are treating. That is mixed in a five-gallon bucket and then
injected into the water system. Another way that we try to prevent sickness is
cleanliness. Every time that we clean out, the barns are completely washed down and
sanitized before we get new pigs. We also only wear certain shoes into the swine
facilities because of disease cross contamination from cattle to hogs.
With government programs such as Confined Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO,
our farm has many rules and regulations that we must comply with. We must have
manure storage for a minimum of 90 days, as well as records of what field we pump
or spread on, what days, as well as how much. I now work very close with our
CAFO representative in order to meet compliance. When I first started, I had to help
with the pumping of the lagoon, meaning moving pipe and the sprinkler. I have done
this for almost five years and now I manage it. Since the farm is organic, we use
literally every drop for fertilizer. The lagoon is pumped three times a year; in the
spring, summer and fall. Every time we pump the lagoon out completely, we have
enough manure to cover about 132 acres with almost 2 inches of manure. The farm
has become self-sufficient in the area fertilizer production and use.
During the fall when the cows come home from pasture, we wean calves when they
are about six months old and between 500 & 600 lbs. The heifers that we are going
to raise for replacement don't get weaned and stay on their mother to get the extra
milk. For the other calves that are mostly bulls, it is a stressful time for them because
they're changing their life style by having to learn how to live on their own, and not
getting the milk from the mother. We give the calves two weeks to adjust to this
change. It is then time to market them. We try to sell to local farmers or we sell to
the Livestock Auction. My father would rather sell to local people because we set the
price and we don't have to haul them far. Anywhere Farms doesn't have a hard time
selling feeder calves and getting the best prices in the beef market because of the
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I have spent a lot time milking cows at Somewhere Dairy Farm. We are currently
milking 90 grade Holstein cows twice a day in a stanchion barn. Cows need to be
forestripped to detect mastitis (inflammation of the mammary gland) and needs to be
detected to treat and prevent from spreading throughout the whole herd. The cows
need to be pre-dipped and dried with towels to clean before attaching the machine.
Prepping the cows correctly helps with milk letdown by stimulating oxytocin release.
Next the machine is put on and then removed once milk flow stops, usually 6 to 8
minutes later. Correct pulsation and vacuum rates are important because they can
cause strain on the udder or cause other sickness in the mammary system if not
correct. When the cows are all milked, all the machines and the pipeline in which the
milk travels through to the tank are cleaned with soap and acid rinse so they are ready
for the next milking. Sanitary procedures ensure the quality in the milk and cow
Milking cows is a skill I developed at a young age and my skill has progressed in the
last two years from just a milker to parlor manager. The process is simple, but very
important. When the cow comes into the parlor you have to first clean the udder and
teat end thoroughly. Before the milking machine is hooked up, we take a squirt out of
each teat of the cow and check it with a tester we have for the somatic cell count.
Only when we know the milk is Grade A, does it enter the tank. The farm is paid a
bonus for the quality of the milk, so the better I manage the parlor and the one
employee I oversee, the better the farm does. We also have to keep the parlor
equipment clean and sanitized after each milking, making sure to follow the many
regulations set before us. Proper parlor management directly affects the cow’s ability
to produce a high volume of quality organic milk.




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By working with my employer, I have been taught how to properly mix and ration
out feed; therefore I gained more responsibility at MJR Farms by grinding all of the
hog feed. Every week I spend 8 to 10 hours mixing soybean meal, premixes, and
ground corn. After determining the pigs’ weight by their rate of gain and physical
size, I mix the ration designed for that weight group and distribute the mixed feed in
the hog feeder or bulk bin so it is there for the hogs to eat as they choose. In the
spring, since my employers are busy doing fieldwork, feeding cattle becomes my first
responsibility before I head out into the field. I feed first calf heifers, feeder calves,
and cows. At MJR Farms, I feed the first calf heifers a ration of ground alfalfa hay
and corn silage, and the feeder calves receive a ration of ground alfalfa, corn silage,
and rolled corn which are all mixed in a feed wagon.
I have learned how to read labels on all of the herbicides that we use on the farm.
Some labels are tough to read, dad taught me where to find out how much to use and
when to apply those chemicals. Some chemicals, such as Roundup or glyphosate can
be applied pre or post emerge, but others can only be applied pre emerge, (Before the
crop has grown above the surface or the ground), such as treflan. I have learned what
chemicals need to be used on what weed or insect problem that you have. One of the
most common chemicals that we use on our farm is generic Roundup. The rates that
are used with that chemical is one quart per acre with AMS (ammonium sulfate) to
reduce water practical size for better coverage. Insecticides are sprayed occasionally
on wheat and alfafa to kill aphids, blister beatles, and other harmful bugs to the crop.
We use a 1600 gallon 90' boom Shaben Ind. sprayer.




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The farm that I work on uses Dried Distillers Grain (DDG) for the protein in cattle
feed as well as small amounts in the swine feed rations . They have a grinder / mixer
made by Gehl. It will mix up to three tons (6000lbs) per load. Cattle feed, for a three-
ton load consists of 1600lbs DDG, 1000lbs Oat screenings (filler), and a high
Magnesium mineral 125lbs and 3275lbs of Corn. Then the feed is put into a box on
the back of a pickup that has an auger in the bottom of it and has a scale on the box
so that we can measure the amount of feed that gets fed. Swine feed is a bit different,
it uses soybean meal in different amounts through the various growth stages of a pig.
When they are young, they get more Bean meal, but as they grow they get less and
less. Along with soybean meal, they also get a mineral, DDG, Oat Screenings, and
Corn. Swine feed is delivered to the barn and automated augers fill the feeders when
On our farm we use four wheelers which are very easy to operate and have little
maintenance. I have been driving four wheelers for some time now, and have learned
to be very safe all the time. When we move cattle we have to be very careful in case
the cattle get spooked and rowdy. Therefore, we try to make sure when we work
cattle there are at least two people in case anything would ever happen. We sort our
cattle in the spring, mostly to separate the ones we are going to sell from the ones we
plan on breeding in the following year. We also wean off the calves in the fall to
feed them through the winter so they are fattened for the spring when we usually sell
them, depending on the prices.
April is one of the most important times during the year for my father and I. There
are about 15 cows and 5 first calf heifers that are due to calve. First we try to have the
cows calve in a clean and comfortable environment that will ensure a 100% calf
survival. After the cows calve, we then allow the mother to bond with it. This is
important so the mother will clean her calf and get to know that calf is hers and
accept it as her calf. This is especially important with first calf heifers. After this we
dip the naval of the calf with iodine so it is clean and bacteria will be killed. After
this important part of the calving process, we see if it is a bull or heifer and record it
in the computer and assign and put in an ear tag for identification. This will be
important especially when it is time to select replacement heifers and market the
others. At South Farms, calf care is important to us and we take these steps to ensure

                                                                          1162
                                           Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


 Being able to operate a machine, is very important because the only way you get the
job done properly is to know how to correctly run the piece of equipment. Adjusting
the equipment is also very important, because it will cause problems when not done
correctly. If the disk is set too deep, it will dry the soil out more than necessary and
more wind and erosion will occur. PTO augers are very dangerous, if you are not
careful around them. The PTO shaft spins at 540 RPM and if the operators clothing
gets caught on it, it will drag them in and seriously hurt, or possibly kill them. Our
farm tries to run equipment always remembering safety first. This includes using
PTO's with proper guards and performing all maintenance on equipment when
From working at two different farms I have gained knowledge crucial to operating a
wide variety of large equipment. By obtaining this skill it enables me to be more
diverse in my SAE. Many little skills add up to the main one I have listed. These
skills include; preparing seedbeds by disking or field cultivating, cutting prairie hay
and alfalfa with a hydro swing windrower, ridging corn for ditch irrigation, applying
fertilizer to fields with dry or liquid machines, operating grain carts and combines at
harvest, hauling corn to storage with large straight trucks, chiseling, and grinding
feed with a four ton grinder. Between the two places I get a variety of different
makes of equipment to work with. I can successfully operate old and new John
Deere, Case IH, and AGCO tractors. Having this skill will be beneficial to me in the
future either at my own operation or when working for somewhere else.
Animal care and milking is the heart of every dairy. From sire selection to calving,
vaccinations to culling aged non- productive cows, every decision affects the success
of the business. Through the years I have been involved in all aspects of the animal
side of the dairy. Starting as just a worker and later progressing to my current
position as manager, all these activities require a certain set of skills. As herdsman of
an organic dairy farm, I maintain a clean and healthy environment for the calves,
heifers and cows. The availability for disease cure is limited making the task of
prevention even more crucial. I also maintain precise feed rations for the cows at
each stage in their lactation, increasing energy and protein levels at peek production
and minimizing it during their dry stage to prevent obesity. These skills combined
with proper forage management our family farm can be a successful enterprise.

                                                                         1162
                                          Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                              Knowledge/Competency


Changing the oil, keeping grease inserts full, and checking fluid levels ensures well-
maintained equipment. Regular preventive maintenance of equipment helps prevent
costly down time.
Working for my parents I have learned how to run and set the Kinze 40' planter/drill.
Setting the planter/drill is probably the most complicated part of the whole process.
You have to know your math skills and some basic Ag knowledge such as how many
square feet are in one acre. I have ran planters and the drills for my parents for four
years now. You gain even more knowledge when you run the planting equipment.
Like anything, you gain more information through practice. Some information like
what to do if it breaks down and things like that. I have much experience in running
planting equipment for my parents and I will continue running the equipment as long
as I am needed. Different techniques are used for different crops but the basic
principle remains the same through all varieties of crops that we produce on the farm.
I have learned that preparing the seedbed for planting is an important job, to help
plants get off to a good start and to reduce problems with planting. I have also
learned with the weather when it becomes time to plant you need to be ready. Before
we plant corn or soybeans we use a disk, field cultivator, or field finisher to work the
soil. By doing this it moves the nutrients and moisutre to the surface so it is easier
for the seed to get a good start. Over the past few years we have incorporated a
minimum tillage system so much of the preparation is done in one pass, and fall field
work is eliminated. When I plant, I select hybrids that have performed well for us in
the past or that the seed dealer recommends based on other results from our area.
Setting the planter population and making sure the planter depth is correct helps my
corn get off to a good start and produce to its maximum efficiency.




                                                                        1162
                                            Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


I maintain almost all of the equipment at JKH G&L. The other equipments serviced
by the another employee of the farm, Michael Kufal. We do all of the maintenance,
service, and upkeep of all of the equipment/facilities that is/are owned/operated by
JKH G&L. I do all of the work in the swine facilities, as well as the hay equipment.
The swine facilities require electrical troubleshooting, welding, plumbing, carpentry,
as well as design and fabrication work. The hay equipment requires annual
inspections as well as periodical service work. Most of what is required for
maintaining the hay equipment is knowledge of wear parts and your specific
equipment as well as general mechanic skills. I assist in working on all of the other
farm equipment when I am not doing my other livestock and crop related jobs. I am
in charge of all parts ordering and keeping all maintenance supplies on hand.
By pre-dipping, paper toweling, milking and then post dipping I have been able to
reduce mastitis incidents greatly. In 2006 I had an all time low of 9 incidents of
mastitis in my dairy herd.
I keep records on planting dates, seed rates, feed costs, fertilizer rates, grazing dates,
varieties planted, and other pertinent information. Record keeping is the basis for
sound management decisions.
Crop Revenue Assurance insurance helps protect against crop failure or if the crop
produces below its APH (Actual Proven History). Enterprise diversification is
another risk management tool.
By following proper equipment safety techniques such as using lights and flashers
when moving tractors I have been able to stay accident free throughout the course of
my SAE program.
By using the proper cleaning chemicals and taking the time to properly flush lines
and scrub equipment I have been able to receive milk quality premium checks for the
last three years.
By spending time in the spring watching for pests and managing potential disease
problems I have been able to increase my forages by a half ton per acre over the
previous year.
Attending field days to compare test plots & reviewing past records are methods used
to select my seed. I focus on varieties that have a proven history, disease resistant,
and meet my production expectation.
                                                                          1162
                                           Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


It is hard to know what needs from the soil if you don’t already know what the soil
contains. I have learned how to collect soil samples and read the test results
properly. When sampling a field, you should use a soil probe and collect from the
root zone in the field – this is about six inches deep and where the nutrients will be
most available. You should collect from several spots and then combine the samples
together. When you receive the results using the soil recommendations you can
calculate the units of N-P-K you will have to apply, and figure out the cost. Also
with the recommendations you can calculate how much credit you get from your
manure towards your needs or if you will need to even use fertilizer that year. From
the soil test you also know the ph of the soil, this is important for some acid sensitive
crops like alfalfa which likes a ph of 6.8, and it makes the nutrients more readily
Being a herdsman on a dairy has an array of responsibilities, including heat detection
and genetic improvement. It is said that when a dairy cow is not bred back and
settled in sync (60 days after freshening) it costs the farm five dollars per day. To
ensure that this doesn’t happen and to maintain accurate records, I schedule monthly
herd checks with the vet. In addition, through genetic evaluation I have learned what
makes a sound dairy cow. When it is time to breed a cow I communicate with my
boss, finding out what bull he wants each cow bred to in order to maintain future
efficient milk production and continue to improve and direct the herd's genetic
potential. I discuss leading bulls that are available for purchase via AI (Artificial
Insemination) with national semen companies. I evaluate a cow’s production, as well
as overall dairy traits, including mobility since we are a pasture-based dairy.
I take my soil samples to the Extension Office. The soil analysis advises what
fertilizer is needed based on the crop planted. Knowing the proper fertilizer rate at
planting prevents waste and reduces input costs.




                                                                         1162
                                           Diversified Agricultural Production Skills/Activities Examples


                               Knowledge/Competency


Much of my time on the farm is spent in the tractor. I do tillage work two specific
times in a year, in the spring and after harvest. To get the field ready for planting
means turning over the soil and killing any weeds and volunteer crops. The next was
conditioning the field. This is to only work the soil as deep as you're going to plant
the crop. The second time to work the ground is to knock over stubble and any
weeds which may have grown with the crops. I really enjoy spending time in the
tractor. We have three main tractors we use for tillage work. When planting I will
make sure the monitor is hooked correctly so I can always tell if seed is not being put
into the ground. Having done my tillage and making sure I have the proper depth
and population will help our crops get off to a good start and make for a nice stand.
By selecting high quality semen and using the proper techniques as learned through
research and instruction I received a progressive genetics award from the National
Holstein Association.
Our farm is one of the most advanced farms in the precision farming industry in the
area. They grid sample all of their production ag fields. Knowing what the fertility
levels in all the different areas of the fields allows them to variable rate apply
fertilizer where it is needed. Their swine production facilities utilize state of the art
automation. Everything inside the confinement barns are automatically controlled,
from feed to temperature. Many of the replacement parts that the farm uses from day
to day are ordered online and shipped directly to the house so that we don't waste
valuable time running to the parts store every couple of hours. Both of their Case
1688 Combines are equipped with state of the art yield monitoring systems from Ag
Leader. These monitors display and record crop moisture, and yield, speed,
elevation, and other data needed for decision making.
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                                                                         1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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Here
                           Adjust All Machinery
     Diversified Crop
                        E Used to Plant, Manage
     Production
                            and Harvest Crops
                          Adjusting Planter to the
     Diversified Crop
                        E Right Population and
     Production
                                  Depth.
     Diversified Crop
                        E      Alfalfa Raking
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P    Applying Pesticides
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P    Baler Specifications
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E       Buying Seed
     Production



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     Diversified Crop       Calibrating Drill for
                        P
     Production              Depth/Positioning




     Diversified Crop        Change Harvester
                        P
     Production                 Bearings




     Diversified Crop
                        E   Chemical Application
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Chemical Application
     Production




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     Diversified Crop
                        P   Chemical Application
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E   Combine Maintenance
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E       Combining
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Communication Skills
     Production




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                                      Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P Computer Recordkeeping
     Production



     Diversified Crop
                        E       Crop Scouting
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E       Cultivate Corn
     Production


     Diversified Crop
                        P     Customer Relations
     Production


     Diversified Crop
                        E       Cutting Alfalfa
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E        Cutting Hay
     Production
     Diversified Crop        Develop a Rigorous
                        E
     Production                 Work Ethics

     Diversified Crop       Developing a Marketing
                        E
     Production                      Plan

     Diversified Crop
                        E    Diversified Markets
     Production



                                                              1162
                                    Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        E    Double Cropping
     Production

     Diversified Crop       Ensuring Tractor and
                        E
     Production              Equipment Safety

     Diversified Crop
                        E Equipment Maintenance
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E Equipment Maintenance
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P Equipment Maintenance
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P Equipment Maintenance
     Production




                                                            1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P Equipment Maintenance
     Production




     Diversified Crop       Equipment Maintenance
                        P
     Production                 and Operation



     Diversified Crop
                        E    Equipment Operation
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P    Erecting New Pivots
     Production




     Diversified Crop         Evaluate Soil Test
                        E
     Production                    Reports




                                                             1162
                                    Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop       Farm and Equipment
                        P
     Production                   Safety



     Diversified Crop
                        E      Farm Safety
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E      Fertilization
     Production

     Diversified Crop
                        E        Fertilizer
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P    Field Preparation
     Production




                                                            1162
                                    Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                          Field Sweeps to Detect
     Diversified Crop
                        P   Disease and Insect
     Production
                              Problems Early




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Forage Management
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E    Forage Test Crop
     Production




                                                            1162
                                       Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop       Grade Carrot and Onion
                        P
     Production             Crop and Distill Mint Oil




     Diversified Crop
                        P     Grain Cart Operation
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P    Grain Truck Operation
     Production




                                                               1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop       Ground Preparation for
                        E
     Production                   Planting




     Diversified Crop        Harvesting Corn and
                        P
     Production                   Soybeans




     Diversified Crop
                        P      Harvesting Crop
     Production




                                                             1162
                                  Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        E   Harvesting Crops
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E   Harvesting Hay
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Harvesting Hay
     Production




                                                          1162
                                       Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        E Hay Maturity Knowledge
     Production
     Diversified Crop       Herbicide and Insecticide
                        E
     Production                       Use




     Diversified Crop
                        E Implement Maintenance
     Production




     Diversified Crop         Implementing Safety
                        E
     Production                   Procedures




     Diversified Crop       Insect Control and Plant
                        P
     Production                     Nutrition




                                                               1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P   Insect Identification
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P        Irrigation
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P Irrigation Management
     Production




                                                             1162
                                      Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop          Irrigation System
                        P
     Production                   Maintenance




     Diversified Crop          Irrigation System
                        P
     Production                   Maintenance




                          Knowing when to plant,
     Diversified Crop
                        E to get the best crop that I
     Production
                                     can.
     Diversified Crop
                        E     Leasing Equipment
     Production




                                                              1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                           Machinery Design,
     Diversified Crop
                        P Building, Maintenance
     Production
                              and Operation




     Diversified Crop       Maintaining Accurate
                        E
     Production                   Records




     Diversified Crop       Maintaining Harvesting
                        P
     Production             and Forage Equipment




     Diversified Crop          Maintenance of
                        P
     Production                 Equipment




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     Diversified Crop          Maintenance of
                        P
     Production                 Equipment




     Diversified Crop
                        E       Management
     Production
                            Managing the field and
     Diversified Crop
                        E     crop that's being
     Production
                                 produced.




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Manure Management
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E       Market Crops
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E         Marketing
     Production



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     Diversified Crop
                        E        Marketing
     Production
     Diversified Crop       Marketing and Risk
                        E
     Production               Management




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Mix and Spray Fields
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E    Mixing Chemicals
     Production




     Diversified Crop         Monitoring grain
                        E
     Production                  moisture




     Diversified Crop
                        E    No-Till Cropping
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E Obtained Hay Samples
     Production


                                                            1162
                                    Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P    Operate Grain Cart
     Production



     Diversified Crop
                        E Operating Drying System
     Production




     Diversified Crop         Operating Farm
                        P
     Production                 Machinery




                              Operating Global
     Diversified Crop
                        P    Positioning System
     Production
                                    (GPS)




                                                            1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop         Operating Module
                        P
     Production                   Builder




     Diversified Crop         Operating Tillage
                        P
     Production                 Equipment



                              Picking out the
     Diversified Crop
                        E appropriate seed for the
     Production
                          ground and conditions.
     Diversified Crop
                        E      Plant Test Plots
     Production

     Diversified Crop
                        E         Planting
     Production




                                                             1162
                                      Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop          Planting Corn and
                        P
     Production                    Soybeans




     Diversified Crop       Planting Corn, Soybeans,
                        P
     Production                Wheat, and Alfalfa.




     Diversified Crop
                        E      Potash Application
     Production
     Diversified Crop           Proper and Safe
                        E
     Production             Application of Chemicals




                                                              1162
                                       Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                               Proper Set-up and
     Diversified Crop
                        P     Operation of Cotton
     Production
                                    Picker




     Diversified Crop         Properly Set-up and
                        P
     Production                Operate Planters




     Diversified Crop       Protein Testing in Alfalfa
                        P
     Production                       Crop




     Diversified Crop
                        E    Purchasing Chemicals
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E     Purchasing Fertilizer
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E        Recordkeeping
     Production

                                                               1162
                                 Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P   Recordkeeping
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E   Recordkeeping
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E   Recordkeeping
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E   Recordkeeping
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Recordkeeping
     Production




                                                         1162
                                      Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                          Recordkeeping Analysis
     Diversified Crop
                        P    and Management
     Production
                                Decisions




     Diversified Crop
                        E     Research Test Plot
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E Round Baler Operation
     Production




     Diversified Crop       Running and operating
                        E
     Production                 the combine.
     Diversified Crop
                        E           Safety
     Production

     Diversified Crop       Scouting for Insects and
                        E
     Production                    Diseases




                                                              1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop       Scouting For Weeds,
                        E
     Production             Insects and Diseases




     Diversified Crop
                        P   Scouting Row Crops
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E   Seasonal Crop Priority
     Production

     Diversified Crop
                        E      Seed Selection
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E    Seedbed Preparation
     Production
     Diversified Crop       Selecting and Planting
                        E
     Production               High Quality Seed
     Diversified Crop
                        E   Selection of Varieties
     Production
                           Servicing equipment to
     Diversified Crop
                        E keep it in good working
     Production
                                  condition.
     Diversified Crop     Set up Field Day for Corn
                        E
     Production            and Soybean Test Plots

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                               Setting combine
     Diversified Crop
                        E     adjustments before
     Production
                                    harvest




     Diversified Crop         Set-up and Operate
                        P
     Production             Cotton/Corn Cultivators




     Diversified Crop       Soil and Plant Nutrient
                        P
     Production                  Management




                                                              1162
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     Diversified Crop       Soil and Plant Samples
                        P
     Production                     Testing




     Diversified Crop
                        P       Soil Sampling
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E        Soil Testing
     Production
     Diversified Crop
                        E        Soil Testing
     Production




                                                             1162
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     Diversified Crop
                        P        Soil Testing
     Production




     Diversified Crop
                        E       Sowing Wheat
     Production




                          Spraying and spreading
     Diversified Crop
                        E fertilizer using a Global
     Production
                            Positioning System




                                                              1162
                                      Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P     Swather Operation
     Production




     Diversified Crop       Taking and Interpreting
                        E
     Production                  Soil Samples
                          Testing Hay for Protein
     Diversified Crop
                        E and Feed Value after
     Production
                                  Baling




     Diversified Crop
                        P Tillage and Weed Control
     Production




                                                              1162
                                     Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop
                        P     Tillage Operation
     Production




     Diversified Crop       Unloading Haylage into
                        P
     Production                    Bagger




     Diversified Crop       Unloading Haylage into
                        P
     Production                   Harvester




                                                             1162
                                      Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified Crop       Use Conservation Tillage
                        E
     Production                    Practices




     Diversified Crop        Water Management for
                        P
     Production                     Crops




     Diversified Crop       Working Land in Spring
                        P
     Production             and Plowing in the Fall.




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                                                              1162
                                                Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                 Knowledge/Competency


Knowing how to adjust and use machinery correctly, I am able to accurately plant the seeds
and minimize possible crop damage and losses, and increases productivity and yield.
If the crop is planted at the correct population and depth, I will maximize the yield. It is
important for the seed placement to be in moist soil and the seed population is based on the
soil and rainfall.
It is important to rake when there is still dew on the hay. This retains the leaf content and
makes the product more marketable. We produce forage as our crop of choice.
Even though we plant Bt (Bacillus thurigiensis) and Roundup Ready cotton, we still have to
spray pesticides on our cotton. Scouting the cotton also helps reduce the amount of times
that we must spray the cotton. At different times and for different reasons we must spray the
row crops if we expect to produce high yields. It sounds simple to say that we are applying
pesticides, but applying them at the right time and with the right amount is complicated.
After I determine the identity of the pest, I must determine the best treatment for the pest.
The rate of application must be determined and then the chemical applicator must be
calibrated so that I don't apply too much or too little pesticide. Too much would be too
expensive and could cause damage to your cotton plant. Too little may not control the pests
adequately and also aid the pest in building immunity to the pesticide
When baling for numerous customers, it is important to make each customer is satisfied and
know how to set the baler to their specifications. The round baler we utilize has many
different settings such as, the size of the bale, the way it is to be wrapped, and the bale
counter. The size of the bale can determine how many bales are produced from the field. If
the customer wants more bales and does not care about the size, then I make it smaller to
increase the number of bales. When it comes to wrapping, clients may choose from either
net or twine wrap. I have to be able to switch back and forth, in case they want some of
both. The bale counter is important on my part as well. Making sure that the bale counter
starts out on zero is important when it comes to knowing how much to charge a patron. I
want to make sure I am doing my best to satisfy the customer.
Buying seed that is compatible to your soil and field conditions is another crucial ingredient
in getting the highest yield possible.



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Making sure that the depth setting on the drill is correct, is important in growing crops. If
the depth setting is incorrect it could cause the seed to be blown away or prevent the plant
from receiving the nutrients it needs. If this happens it will affect the outcome of the crop.
When I begin drilling, I drill about fifty feet and then check the depth of the seed. I then
make adjustments accordingly. This requires me to go through each disc and move it up or
down. It is also important to make sure that the timing on the drill is set correctly. If the
timing is off, it can cause the seeds to be to close together or to far apart. Depending on the
type of seed, I must set the timing differently. Operating the drill takes a while to get set up,
but once that it is complete; the task becomes much less labor intensive.
Repairs on the fly is incredibly important during harvesting. One of the most frequently
repaired parts of harvesting machinery are bearings. Header bearings, elevator bearings and
even wheel bearings wear out all too frequently. Not only does being able to change them
myself save the company money, but it also ensures there will be very little down time while
harvesting. The saying "time is money" is so true in custom harvesting of grain. Drivers,
mechanics and field men are all on the clock the entire time we are harvesting. The faster we
can get in and out of the field, the more efficient and profitable we can be. "Down Time"
must always be avoided during the harvest season.
If the chemicals are not applied in the correct ratio weeds may not be killed. Also if
chemicals are not applied at the proper time, the crops may harmed.
Another skill that I've learned to become familiar with is the application of different
chemicals and as well as nitrogen. The complexity of this task is made much simpler since a
majority of the crops we produce are a Round-Up Ready variety. Some of my
responsibilities in this area include the following: Deciding the rate at which the chemicals
should be applied (in relation to the amount of weeds and bugs present), mixing sprays in
the correct proportions of water and the chemical, and the changing of nitrogen tanks for
corn. All work in this particular area can be extremely harmful and is completed with great
caution and safety. Although I have not yet been certified to apply chemicals and nitrogen,
it is something that I will be learning in the very near future. This will allow me to be even




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During the winter and spring months it takes a tremendous amount of time and care to apply
chemicals. I must not only apply the chemicals, but at times I am also responsible for mixing
certain chemicals as well. To do this I must make sure I follow proper procedures, mix
chemicals to exact proportions and use the correct safety equipment when needed. When
applying the chemicals, I also must be aware of field conditions, wind (to prevent drift) and
other people who may be in or around the field. Every two years I also attend various state
required pesticide courses to be able to apply certain chemicals. Additionally, I must always
make sure I perform the spraying effectively so as to gain the desired effect with the
chemicals. Good communication with the Pest Control Advisor is also important in this
While the combine is being fueled, I open the bin door and take the air filter from its
container next to the cab. I clean this out with an air hose. I return the air filter to its
container and then I move to the engine and check the engine oil. If it needs oil I add oil. I
also clean the radiator by blowing it out, and then I check the antifreeze level in the radiator
and fill it with water if it is low. I test the fan pulley and make sure the fan turns freely so the
combine doesn't overheat. I then grease every grease zerk on the machine so everything runs
smoothly. While I am greasing the combine I check all of the belts and chains to make sure
they are tight and are in good condition. I then put oil on the cutterbar and put the machine
in gear and make sure the thresher is running smoothly. This is important because the
By making sure that I am aware of my surroundings and that the combine is operated at the
correct efficiency level I have been able to save time and reduced potential damage to it.
Good communication skills are needed in a number of areas regarding this proficiency. With
our family doing most of the labor, we need to clearly establish between each other who is
doing what and where the responsibility lies. I also need to communicate with seed
salesman, people who take tours of our operation and some chemical salesmen. I am also l
earning that if we are to explore new market areas more in depth such as contracting more of
the crop or dealing with the futures, I will need excellent communication skills to be
successful. Finally, I work with some migrants we hire and their English isn't always the
best. Therefore, I need to be extremely precise when I work with them so no dangerous




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Keeping an accurate record of all client contacts and transactions is very important. In the
last couple of years I have been given the responsibility of keeping all client records for our
farming operations. This includes paying bills, invoicing customers and making deposits of
accounts received. I have learned how to use spreadsheet programs on the computer to keep
track of all transactions and keep them as up to date as possible. Payroll is not the only area
of finances I don't regularly handle; however, I am learning the process to become more
involved in this activity.
I crop scout my acreage on a regular basis. Any problems are caught early and can be treated
early, saving me money by decreasing crop loss.
I have planted corn and alfalfa varieties grown for this area. This improves weed control as
well as serving to aerate the soil. University tests show this will increase yields.
Routinely I deal with customers of our operation. Whether it be explaining a cost estimate,
or listening to a concern, I must always try to communicate with our customers in an
intelligent, caring and professional manner. Simply listening can at times be enough to make
a customer satisfied; however, often I must be able to express to them what our needs, terms
or concerns may be. Additionally, promoting this business to potential new clients is very
important to our long term future.
On established alfalfa acres, I cut three times per year. My goal is four cuttings to maximize
the yield as well as the quality of the crop.
I do not cut hay after September 1 until we have had a frost. This lets the crop build reserves
of food to over winter well and get a good start in the spring. This practice will lessen
The success of my SAE projects is due to many long hours of hard work. Prioritizing and
organizing tasks helps my operation run smoothly. Setting production goals helps me
establish a business
To maximize profit, the grain must be sold at the right time. When I see a price that I can
make a profit with and that is higher than normal, I can forward contract the grain to lock in
my price to
A diversified market allows me to spread out my risks. We have marketed forages by direct
customer sales, auctions, newspaper ads, and through the internet. I forward contract 80% of
my



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This year I will receive an even higher rate of earning because of the fact that I have planted
in wheat in some of my fields. This is the first year that I have done this and I hope to
increase my overall income.
Always making sure safety devices and guards are in place on all equipment. Turn tractor
off when hooking up, changing, or working on equipment. Possess a constant awareness of
possible hazards.
The window for making hay is so short that I cannot afford a breakdown. I use a very active
non season maintenance program on all forage equipment. Our winter is spent doing major
overhauls and updating.
Equipment that is properly maintained performs better as well as lasts longer. Anything that
can be done to cut costs in the long run is done.
The better machinery can be maintained and the faster the harvesting equipment can be
repaired can greatly increase the productivity of our day. Some of my activities include
working on tractors such as changing the oil or greasing pieces of equipment. When in the
peak of the harvesting season, I grease all equipment and check over them for problems
every morning before starting up for the day. This greatly reduces the possibility of a
breakdown from occurring. Replacing belts, repairing worn or damaged parts on the
combine, and many other unpredictable repairs are all examples of the different activities
that I perform on a regular basis as well. I feel that it is my responsibility as an employee to
do whatever I can to help reduce the possibility of a breakdown, and therefore, increase
One of the most important tasks of harvesting doesn't happen during the act of harvesting.
Servicing the harvesting equipment takes an enormous amount of time. After the harvesting
day is over, I service the equipment by greasing all harvester bearings, cleaning all heat areas
from shaft and seed cover (prevents harvester fires and check and top off all vital fluids,
including fuel, oil and coolant. Additionally, I try to make all repairs to any broken or
damaged equipment on the harvester and/or baler. Anything I can't repair on my own, I ask
for assistance from the mechanic or my father. Even though I get assistance, I always stay to
assist and learn what I can. Servicing equipment saves down time out in the field, saves
money by repairing problems before they get out of hand and is safe in preventing harvester




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Being able to maintain the harvester on the fly is very important. During the winter months
my duties primarily are to help construct and/or repair the equipment we have. This also
includes building a spray rig, custom harvesting equipment like special harvesting heads and
attachments for smaller or larger grain, seed harvesting and other various equipment repairs.
This requires I be proficient in welding, project layout and design, as well as basic
mechanical engineering. This can often be a tedious task having the necessity of being very
exact with measurements and modifications. Often, we create special harvesting heads that
have never been constructed by anyone, anywhere.
To eliminate down-time from costly equipment breakdowns, proper checks are made to each
piece of equipment prior to operation. This is an example of my routine check points: first, I
check engine and hydraulic oil. Next, I check radiator fluid, air filters and tire pressure.
Finally, I check all safety shields. Each of these checks is noted and adjustments are made.
Each piece of equipment has a maintenance schedule and is routinely serviced at 800 hours
of operation time. One guarantee in farming is that equipment will break down. M goal is to
limit this as much as possible!
Operating the tractors as well as the equipment takes special skill and knowledge. If things
are not done properly, harm to the equipment or the operator may occur.
When building a new pivot, I lay out the pipe in the following order: end pipe, intermediate
pipes and the end pipe. I place the gaskets between the flanges of the pipe and then bolt the
pipe together. While the pipes remain on the ground, I lay out the span cable on top of the
pipe by weaving it through every other coupler and fasten it down. To keep the arch in the
span you truss it up, by laying a truss rod and V jackets on the bottom side of the pipe and
span. The span is raised in sections and trussing is bolted together. I then raise the end and
tighten the span. I wire the tower box and lower the span, by bolting the tower legs on and
support tubes. In the final steps, I attach the base beam and put on the drive train. Finally, I
tow the spans into the field and hook them up and wire the tower boxes and centerdrives.
The new system is now field ready and can be utilized immediately, provided there is a
After receiving the soil test reports, I was able to determine the correct fertilizer amounts to
apply to my projects. By applying only the necessary fertilizer, I was able to increase my




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"Safety never takes a day off" is a common expression used in my SAE. Safety is the highest
priority for man and machine. With only 2 employees, one being myself, down time is a
major problem. It is important all shields remain in place at all times. If a piece of equipment
proves unsafe to operate, it is shut down until necessary repairs are made. Additionally,
proper body gear is always worn. When applying chemicals, suits, gloves, eye protection and
in some cases a respirator are worn. In the shop, safety glasses and coveralls are a must. All
equipment is properly labeled and chemicals are maintained in a safe lock-up.
By making sure that I am aware of my surroundings and that the combine is operated at the
correct efficiency level I have been able to save time and reduced potential damage to it.
By knowing the exact amount of fertilizer to apply through the extension office soil report, I
was able to apply the correct rates which allowed me to receive the maximum yield possible
under our conditions.
I usually fertilize after the first cutting is off and again in late fall. Fertilizer is applied
according to how much hay is taken off the field which is an average of four tons per acre. I
soil test to check current
There are several activities performed to prepare a field for planting. Depending on the
location and available resources a given field may require ripping, disking, sub-soiling,
leveling and even pre-irrigation. I have been involved in all areas of preparation. I usually
am found disking fields with a D-8 Caterpillar tractor, or planting fields in our larger John
Deere. This requires that I not only operate the equipment safely, but also operate it in a
precise/accurate manner to ensure the crops are planted right. As re-planting or re-working
fields is expensive and wastes precious time and money, it is vital I do a near perfect job at




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All of our fields are checked once or twice each week for disease and insect problems,
depending upon the progress of the crop. Some problems that go undetected can multiply in
the course of a few days to where they can do substantial damage. Working with the crop
consultant, I have learned the threshold levels that dictate when treatment is necessary. My
uncles and grandfather are experienced I this area and have taught me a great deal about
disease and insect identification. I am comfortable with the field sweeping duties and can
determine when treatment is necessary as well as identify most pest problems which affect
our carrot and onion crops. Quick and comprehensive action has prevented worse problems
from developing. While corn is not as susceptible to the great numbers of pests which attack
vegetables, I still monitor closely as I check the other crops.
In the hayfield, my duties include mowing and raking. I mow with a John Deere 2520 and a
Rowse double 7-foot Rowse mower. When moving with a double bar mower, you have to be
careful. When turning, you wait until the first bar is out of the grass, lift it up and finally the
second bar will be out. Lift the second bar a little and then turn, but watch out so you don't
jack-knife and then you straighten back out and drop your bars and go. When raking with a
straight rake, you drive back and forth across the field and make windrows. When making a
windrow, you drop the teeth and go straight until the hay fills the rake and you dump. You
make long windrows through the field by dumping hay in a l long line. The baler can then go
straight down the row and turn around and come back on a new windrow. At thee and of the
day, I will grease the mower and the rake.
I forage test my alfalfa once it is harvested. This allows me to let my father see the value of
the crop and compare it to the current price of hay with similar feed values of hay sold at
Equity in Lomira.




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Carrots are graded by our crew and I assist in the process. Those that are damaged or too
small are discarded. The crop is then moved immediately to the factory. In grading onions,
we need to be more strict with respect to grading. Very few onions are discarded except for
extremely small or damaged ones. Slightly smaller onions are graded and bagged as boilers.
The rest of the crop goes as cooking onions and is stored. Once graded, the onions need to
be stored in quarters which maximize their freshness. We do this by circulating air and
maintaining temperatures. We bag them as necessary for sale and try to spread sales out over
the winter as demand and prices dictate. In distilling mint, I monitor all wagons to maximize
yields. Steam is generated by our boiler and used to separate the mint oil from the leaves.
The distilled mint oil is stored in fifty-five gallon drums.
Operating the grain cart can be very nerve racking. When I drove the grain cart up beside
the combine for the first time, I was worried that I was going to hit the combine. I soon
learned the right spot to stay and the correct speed to drive. One day I spent eleven hours
driving the grain cart. Operating the grain cart gives me a chance to be in the field and learn
more about the grain and oil crop industries. There are times when I am able to get out and
walk around while I am waiting on the combines to fill, providing me with the opportunity
to look at the fields and learn more about the different types of weeds and insects that harm
the crops. I have enjoyed every moment that I have spent in the fields. Spending more time
in the fields and learning more about the crop industry, will help me when I receive my own
Driving the grain trucks can be fun, but challenging at the same time. When I am driving
the trucks, there are times that I must maneuver myself out of congested areas, for example
when I take grain to the bin at the farm, it is important to back straight up to the auger. This
prevents the grain from being unloaded onto the ground and ensures it goes into the auger,
thus increasing profits. When I take the grain to the elevator, I must keep track of the
tickets. It is important to know the amount of grain each field produces and how much grain
is at the elevator. This information can be used to help monitor the production of each field,
allowing us to determine if it is profitable. I enjoy being able to drive the grain trucks. This
past winter L&M Harvesting purchased a new grain truck to aid in hauling, and I am looking
forward to learning how to operate it.




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I start by fueling the tractor, cleaning the air filter, and checking the engine oil and hydraulic
oil. When I enter the field, I fold the wings of the implement down and set the depth of the
implement. When I have the depth I want I shift the tractor to second gear and make my
opening round. On this round I have to get as close to the fence or other crop as possible so
that we can use as much ground for our crop as possible. I do this by getting my implement
as close as possibly and then observe the distance between my front tire and the edge of the
field so I don't have to constantly look behind me. I do check behind me every so often to
make sure I am the right distance away and my implement is working right. After I make my
first round, I make two more rounds around the field to give me enough room to turn and
then I work the ground a certain direction depending on the implement.
I learned how to harvest corn and soybeans when I was 17 years old. When you combine,
you travel about 4 MPS and full throttle. Speed will depend on how tough the corn and
beans are. What makes the corn and soybeans tough is when there is too much moisture on
or in the grain. When operating the combine, you need to make sure the head height is just
under the ears of corn to prevent allot of stocks and debris going through the combine. When
harvesting soybeans you run the head close to the ground to ensure you are getting as much
of the crop you can. When the hopper is full on the combine, the grain cart will come up and
unload the combine, usually on the go so you don't slow down progress and can accomplish
Whether I'm hauling wagons to and from the field, prepping the chopper or combine, or
even doing the chopping itself, I am familiar with all areas of forage and grain harvesting.
My knowledge in these areas allows my supervisor to place me wherever he needs me the
most, and, in the long run, helps to increase the production and efficiency of the work we do.
Much of my work in this area includes managing these operations: Making sure there are
wagons out in the field to be filled, checking to see that all tractors and machinery are
running smoothly, and filling in for people wherever I am needed. My job is very important
because I help to make sure that everything keeps moving and that our day is productive. In
terms of efficiency, it is vital to keep the chopper and combine moving as much as possible
and that we limit the amount of breakdown time.




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My next skill is harvesting the crops. I start by cleaning the air filter, fueling the combine,
checking the oil level greasing every grease zerk on the combine and making sure the
cylinder bars are set at the right spacing. After taking the combine to the field, I cut a sample
and test the moisture level. If it is below the dockage point, then I return to the field and start
cutting. First, I cut a little bit and then check behind the combine to make sure I am not
losing wheat out of the combine and make sure the grain is clean in the bin. If I am, I can
adjust my concaves, fan speed and the sieves. After everything is adjusted I can start cutting
around the field. After I have a full bin of wheat, I return to the truck and unload and then
continue cutting or the grain cart will come to me and to unload on the go. I will continue to
cut until the grain is to damp to continue cutting.
We usually being cutting alfalfa at the beginning of May and can get three or four cuttings
during the summer depending on moisture. We start cutting prairie hay and brome around
the beginning of July. We try cutting the brome when it is seeding so we can get the highest
protein level possible. My jobs include cutting, baling and hauling. I may also rake if no
one else is able. Swathing the hay is the first step. I run our self propelled Hesston swather
all day unless we have hay that has cured. Then I will cut in the morning and bale in the
afternoon. We rake the wind rows together so it is faster to bale. It also makes a nicer bale
because there is more hay feeding into the baler at one time. When loading hay, I load the
hay with a front-end loader. These skills are important because the proper management of
when to cut and bale helps us get the greatest yield possible so we can feed our cattle
Harvesting hay is one of the most important tasks I perform for L&M Harvesting. There
have been days that I spent more than twelve hours on a swather. There are times when I
have to stop for repairs, and this can sometimes take fifteen minutes or even two or three
hours. Most repairs consist of changing out broken sickles. This typically takes fifteen to
thirty minutes. The experience I have gained by operating the swather has allowed me to
foresee any potential problems and avoid them, thus improving the efficiency of L&M
Harvesting. Along with swathing, I have learned how to rake, bale, and haul hay. I have
learned how to run both the round baler and the 3'x3' square baler. Each baler has numerous
adjustments and settings, which can be changed in order to satisfy the customers want. I
have learned how to make these adjustments in order to satisfy the customer.



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Mowing at bud stage of maturity allows me to maximize quality and yield. The feed value
and protein content are highest at this time. This helps us maintain an average protein rating
Using chemicals effectively allows for better yields and high quality products. Only a few
chemicals were approved for the Adzuki's so timing was critical. I successfully controlled
weeds and insects.
Equipment maintenance is a very important part of farming. Several things can go wrong
with implements such as bearings going out, tines or disks becoming damaged, or flat tires.
Most bearings on field cultivation equipment are located in the wheel hubs. Since some of
our equipment has up to twelve tires it is common for one of these bearings to go out. To fix
this, the tire must be pulled off after jacking the implement off the ground. Once the tire is
taken off the bearing wheel race must be driven out of the wheel hub and the number on the
race must be used to get a new bearing. Then the bearing is driven into the wheel hub and
the tire is put back in place. Flat tires are much the same in that the wheel has to be
removed. The tire is then removed and if possible the hole is patched and if not the tire is
replaced. Fixing your own equipment saves both time and money.
To be safe on a farm, many safety precautions need to be taken, such as locking equipment
in position before working on it or shutting off the tractor before servicing any equipment
used with the tractor.
Farming is much more complex than sitting on a tractor or opening a valve to irrigate a crop.
The most important aspect of farming operation is maintaining healthy pest free plants in
order to maximize production. This includes constant field check (walking fields) to
determine pest infestations such as Lygus, Spider Mites, Corn Ear Worms, Army Works and
White Flies. By "sweeping" fields of cotton and beans and walking corn and hay fields, I am
able to determine pest levels thereby determining if and when to apply pesticides. Also, by
taking soil and petiole samples of the crops, I am able to determine what nutrients to apply
and the proper amounts of each. This improves crop health and reduces the cost of




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One of the main activities used in scouting cotton is identifying insects. I must be able to
identify the many different types of insects found in a cotton field. Distinct body parts and
number of legs are primary identifying characteristics. Some insects are harmful and some
are beneficial. Insects can be in several different stages of their life cycles, which often
makes them hard to identify. Recognizing the difference between the beneficial and the
harmful ones is often difficult as well. Each type of insect has its own distinguishing
characteristics that I must recognize in order to identify that particular insect. Determining
the population density helps me to recommend when and what type of pesticides to apply.
Since most insects multiply so rapidly, it is important that the number of insects never gets
Irrigating cotton, corn, black eyes, alfalfa and wheat is not as simple as opening a valve and
turning on the pump. Standing water is never allowed because it always affects the crop in a
negative way. For example, when checking hay, I make it a habit to change the water when
its 100 feet from the tail ditch. This prevents water from collecting at the end of the field and
drowning the hay. The same principle applies for corn, cotton and black eyes. Knowing the
proper time to irrigate is also crucial. Utilizing an irrigation schedule accomplishes several
things. First, it gives you the ability to plan for ditch water, eliminating the need to use
pumps. Second, using electric irrigation pumps in off peak hours assists in reducing power
costs. Finally, it provides for irrigation coordination between crops.
One of my irrigating duties is to check pivots regularly. When checking the pivots, you
check engine oil and drip oil in the gearhead. In addition, it is important to make sure the
pivot is in line and check in the panel to ensure the pivot is receiving 480 volts. I usually
have to check them twice a day. Chemigation is also a priority task for irrigators as it allows
us to apply chemicals and fertilizer without passing through the field with an applicator.
Some of the chemicals we apply are herbicides such as Round-up and Prowl. some of the
liquid fertilizers we use are nitrogen and calcium. With chemigation through the pivot
system, we can see a huge savings in time, fuel and soil compaction. This in turn lowers our
break-even price and makes production row-crop enterprises much more profitable.




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In the spring of the year we make a visual inspection of all gearboxes. Looking for grease
leaking from the seals or if the output shaft is protruding past the bearings. If the gearbox
goes bad during the irrigation season the tower will get stuck and the safety will shut down
the system, meaning there will be significant down time before we can go back to irrigating.
To change a gearbox, first you jack-up the side of the tower that you will be working on.
Remove the tire and loosen the bolts on the back side of the gearbox. Then, drop the bad
gearbox off of the system. Pick-up the new gearbox and put the starter bolt in and lift it up to
the slot and line it up, put the other bolts in, reinstall the tire and then let the tower down. I
then go to the power unit, start the system and make sure the system walks back in line and
will stay running before I leave the field.
Irrigation is critical to the success of the crop. We have 2 types of irrigation systems on the
farm and I am proficiently in using both. The above ground irrigation pipes are used as water
levels drop in the fields. We have an underground system where we control water levels by
using culverts and boards to keep water levels higher. This system was built by my
grandfather and keeps the soil water from escaping by underground drainage. During dryer
times, I add a board to the top of the culvert to raise the water levels. The culvert consists
vertically in the soil and has a side cut out for boards. if we add boards, the culvert fills as
the water seeks an exit. If it is too wet, I remove a board and the water escapes the fields.
Yields and profits are increased as better standards of onions and carrots are realized when
This skill allows me to get the crop in at a time when the weather permits and to get
maximum growth at an early stage without the risk of frost. I also realize that an early crop
canopy conserves moisture.
 I lease equipment from my father to plant, spray, or harvest my crops. I can not generate the
cash flow to have my own machinery and this prevents high capital debt.




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We use specialized machinery in producing onions, carrots and mint oil. Much of this has
been designed and built at the shop on the farm and I have been a major part of this process.
Our most impressive machine is our seven row corn planter, which we built to fit the onion
and carrot beds and to plant them without disturbing the soil bed too much. Building our
own machinery has saved money and lets us build what works best. I have assisted with the
design and building of our onion lifter, and our carrot and onion seeders. I also helped
design our unloading trucks which haul onions and carrots from the field. I keep all
machinery on a regular maintenance schedule, which reduces breakdowns and prevents field
work from being stalled. As I tour other farms, I notice their equipment and try to
incorporate good ideas into ours when in the shop.
Records of soil management, planting dates, plant varieties, weather data, chemicals used,
harvest yields, and other appropriate information are kept for future management decisions
on my computer.
This is the major activity of my work experience. On a daily basis, I am responsible to
operate and maintain an assigned harvester, baler or other piece of equipment. This includes
properly operating equipment by maintaining safe speeds, watching for field hazards and
efficiently harvesting the given crop. I also must make sure I am on top of all mechanical
operations of the equipment and repair any problems before they get out of hand. This
includes changing damaged, worn or loose blade parts; refueling; checking/changing oil and
coolant; and cleaning loose chaff in the engine compartment and other "hot spots" also
prevents harvester and equipment fires.
The day I started working for my uncle he taught me the basics of servicing equipment. The
most important part of servicing is making sure that the machinery is properly greased and
cleaned. It is important to make sure that each area gets greased. If an area does not, it
could cause the machinery to break down. I have also learned how to remove the filters and
clean them. This is important to keep the machinery running properly and prevent it from
overheating. I have learned how to change the oil and oil filters as well. Depending on the
equipment, after so many hours of use, it is important to change the oil. If the oil is not
changed, it can make the interior of the motor dirty and cause a domino effect and a
multitude of problems. Servicing the equipment properly is one of the most important skills



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Repairing and maintaining farm equipment is very expensive, but it is necessary in order to
obtain maximum usage of the machinery. We do most of our repair and maintenance in our
farm shop, but occasionally we have to have someone come in to do specialty repair. I have
learned to repair and maintain many pieces of our equipment. Some of the jobs that I have
learned to do include the following: Service the engine air filters and air conditioner filters
on the cotton pickers and tractors; change the oil in the tractors, trucks and cotton pickers;
change hydraulic hoses on the module builder and harrows; change disks on the harrows and
planters; welding broken parts on various pieces of farm machinery and change flat tires on
farm wagons, tractors, cotton pickers and combines. I have learned many of these repair
skills as I assisted my father and grandfather when they worked on the equipment.
Managing the harvesting, planting, pest control, weed control, and marketing is the most
important part. Management is key to running a strong business. We use enterprise
bookkeeping to track
Through soil testing and scouting my fields, I can recognize when the field needs to be
sprayed or fertilized. If the field is not sprayed or fertilized at the right time, crop growth
could be limited.
Unlike not being able to control the weather and other environmental issues, managing
manure is something I can control and can be one of the greatest assets to a crop. This
fertilizer-like application, when used correctly, helps to increase the yields as well as the
quality of the crop being produced. Factors such as what crop is being planted next year,
what was in it this year, and the yields help me to determine how much manure should be
applied. On an annual basis, I haul out hundreds of loads, covering 500 plus acres of land.
Through this experience, I have become proficient in all of areas of this skill including set-
up of all equipment, agitation, and hauling. By understanding and carrying out proper
techniques of manure handling, I help to ensure the safety of myself and others.
Talking with the Greene Bean Project Manager and my parents, I learned several ways to
advertise my products to the people who want them. Quality is the most important key to
success.
By understanding market prices at given times and by knowing how the elevator operates I
was able to research enough this time to receive a maximum price that was offered at that



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I have gained an understanding of how the market works. Because of this knowledge I have
been able to make a larger profit on my corps each year.
Purchasing C.R.A. crop insurance protects me at a higher level and sets my base market
price. I also use put options on my grains before harvest to lock in my bottom side and leave
the topside open.
I decided to become skilled in this area and can mix and spray all restricted and non-
restricted pesticides. I took my pesticide certification test through Columbia County
Extension. I can now spray for disease and insect problems as well as for weeds. All of these
can lower yields tremendously if left untreated. We are not dependent entirely on sprays.
Rotating crops lowers pesticide use by stopping pests from establishing high levels. We also
work the fields as necessary to prevent weed and insect infestation and spray all field roads
and field edges to prevent pests from becoming established easier. Integrated pest
management has been a major part of our control methods for many years. It is more
environmentally friendly and cost effective if handled right.
Properly mixing chemicals saves money as well as lessens the chance of crops being
damaged, which can reduce yields.
This is done by weighing a sample of grain in a balanced container. Then grain is taken out
or added until the container is balanced and a thermometer is placed in the remainder of the
sample of grain and left there. Then the grain in the container is dumped into the machine.
The machine has to be electronically balanced by turning a dial and lining up two points on a
gage. Then the machine is turned on and another gage is balanced by turning another dial.
When the points are lined up on the gage we look at the dial and the number that is lined up
with a red line is the moisture. We then look at the thermometer and add or subtract the
amount on the thermometer depending on if it is above or below zero. This is important
because we do not cut our grain until the moisture is low enough. Being able to test the
moisture by myself at the farm gives me more time to be in the field and saves on gas.
By using no-till cropping I was able to hold in extra moisture this year that my crops really
needed. Also by not breaking ground to plant I am maintaining the topsoil at a higher level.
I use the OSU Extension service to test the hay for nitrate levels, crude protein, and TDN.
This ensures the hay has matured and cured properly, plus I can provide information to my
customers on hay quality.

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Operating the grain cart is simple, but an important job during harvest. The grain cart
follows the combine so when the combine because full it can unload the grain into the grain
cart. Most of the time the combine will stay moving and the grain cart will drive underneath
the auger of the combine and unload on the go, meaning the combine is still harvesting the
grain and you are putting grain on the grain cart. Once the grain cart is full, you drive over to
the semi truck and unload onto the truck. It is important to not fill the grain trailer clear full
because there is more space in the trailer then the semi can legally haul.
By being knowledgeable of how your dryer works you can prevent damage through the
drying processes
Farm equipment is very expensive to purchase or to repair. Safe and careful operation of
this equipment is a must on today’s farms. Safety is stressed on our farm, since accidents
are financially expensive to overcome and could result in loss of life or extensive injury.
There is no guarantee that a farmer will not have an accident, but the proper operation of
equipment will decrease the probability of an accident. Equipment can be replaced, but lives
or limbs can not be replaced. When today's efficient equipment, much work can be
accomplished in a week's time. Proper operation of the equipment is important so that the
equipment will operate to its full potential and so that the equipment work-life will be
maximized. Part of efficient equipment operation is proper adjustment. The equipment
needs to be adjusted so that losses will be minimized during the equipment's use.
This past summer I began operating the sprayer which is equipped with a GPS system. I am
responsible for spraying fields and pastures for weeds, as well as spreading fertilizer. In a
forage operation, it is important to maintain control of weeds, in order to have higher protein
and nutrient levels. It is also vitally important not to leave skips, as they will only continue
to get worse. This requires that I have knowledge about the GPS system, so that I can
operate the equipment to its maximum potential. I must know how to read the system, know
how much chemical or fertilizer to apply per acre, and make sure the equipment is operating
correctly. Otherwise, I could cost the operation to lose a crop or diminish a crop. A GPS
system can be a very helpful and useful tool when it is used correctly.




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A module builder is a large machine that is used to tightly compress bales of cotton in the
field. These large modules (sometimes in excess of 16000 lbs) are left in the field to be
picked up and hauled to the gin for processing. The cotton pickers dump their baskets of
cotton on the ground inside the module builder. The module builder has a seat with controls
mounted high on the front of the machine so that I can see inside the builder as I pack the
cotton. Using these controls, I distribute the cotton from the back to the front of the module
with the bridge that packs the cotton. I then pack the cotton into a large rectangular module.
When I finish packing the cotton, I pull the builder off of the module builder with the tractor
that is supplying the power to pack the cotton and move it to another location to build the
I learned how to disk the corn and soybean field when I was 12 years old. When beginning
to disk, operate the tractor in 4th or 5th gear and around 2200 RPM or as many RPM's you
can get, and gradually work up to 7th or 8th gear after the disk is all the way in the ground.
When disking, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. One is to go around the
outside of the field and make 2 laps. Then beginning at the center of the field or next to the
pivot t a slight slant. Then, before you plant your crop you work the land with a field finisher
and you operate that by driving the opposite direction you disked in.
I need to pick out the right seed for the ground. Since it is dry land sand, only certain hybrids
will produce well. For example, I would want to plant a flex ear so that I could plant at a
lower population.
To ensure good results, I learned how to take special precautions in preparing and
maintaining a test plot. I learned the importance of cleaning each hopper between varieties
and keeping accurate records.
By taking my time and making sure that crop rows are straight and not off I am able to help
myself throughout the year by speeding the process of working in other aspects such as
combining.




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I learned how to operate the planter and could plant corn and soybeans when I was 16.
When planting corn and soybeans you first need to fill the seed boxes and fertilizer tanks.
You start by making your end rows which are 24 rows around the field and then you do your
point rows which are a straight line along the pivot to make your mark to follow through the
field. Put the planter in the ground about 1 to 1 1/2 inches, put the marker down and drive
straight through the field. The tractor should run about 1600 RPM's and 5 to 6 MPH. It is
important to watch the planter monitor, the monitor is the brain and will tell you if you have
a problem with anything on the planter and if you have a row unit on putting a seed in the
My knowledge in planting various crops has grown considerably over the last few years. As
a result, my responsibilities involving planting have increased a great deal as well. I now
have a full understanding and many hours of experience in planting all grain related crops.
By taking my time, paying close attention to detail, and understanding my employer's needs,
my experiences in planting have been a success. Before planting, I make sure that I have the
correct variety of seed and field picked out. If there are any concerns I should be aware of,
my employer makes sure that I know of them. Prior to planting, I adjust the drill depth
relative to the depth of the moisture in the ground, making sure not to go to deep or to
shallow. Once I am out in the field planting, I check to see that all rows are planting
correctly and the depth is correct allowing for best germination.
I apply potash after first crop hay, as needed Alfalfa is a heavy user of potassium, and this
practice increased yields for me.
Weather conditions are checked prior to spraying to confirm proper coverage and minimum
drift. Sprayer is properly calibrated before each use. I always apply and store chemicals
according to MSDS




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Because of the difficulty in properly setting up of cotton pickers, many factors must be taken
into consideration. If the picker is set-up properly, lint grades and "turn-outs" for the cotton
crop can be improved thereby increasing price received. In setting up a picker, the following
must be adjusted: doffers, moistener pads, heads and spindles. Knowing how to properly
operate the picker is critical as well. For example, when morning picking begins, I will in
most cases turn off the moistener pads because of the high dew content of the lint. This
helps the picker from plugging up and/or causing a module fire because of wet lint. Also,
understanding the speed to operate the picker and how tight to set the heads will assist in a
cleaner harvest with less trash and less "tagging" or lint left on the plant.
In the spring, I assist with planting. Prior to planting I pack the beds and mulch and assist
with the set-up of planters. I load seed bags, bring them out to the fields and fill the seed
hoppers. After planting, I "cap" the seedbeds which increases soil temperature and
germination rates. If necessary, I run a "de-capper" to break the surface crust aiding in plant
emergence. During the planting, I must watch the monitor carefully for "plug-ups" in the
seed tube. The monitor has a sensor in the seed tube that shows when there are no seeds
dropping through. This means the seed plates have something blocking the grove.
Testing the protein levels allows the customer to know how much protein is in the hay that
he/she will be feeding to his/her livestock and can adjust the feed rations accordingly.
Testing the hay is simple, yet, time consuming. When testing the hay, I use a drill with a bit
that adapts to a probe. The probe is drilled into the end of a 3X3 square bale and removed.
It is important to test the end of the bale not the side to gather more precise information.
Then, the collected hay is placed in a testing bag and sent to a testing lab in Great Bend, KS.
The hay is analyzed for its protein and nutritional value, and the lab sends a report showing
the values. With this testing process it is easier for L&M Harvesting to receive a higher
profit, as customers are willing to pay more because the quality of the hay is proven by data.
Buying chemicals that are best suited you’re the conditions that you have in your field help
ensure that the your crops will not be harmed, and the weeds will be killed efficiently.
Fertilizer is an important component in raising crops. Fertilizer that is well suited for the
conditions helps you get the best yield for your money spent.
Accurate records allow me to keep track of planting dates, chemical applications and dates,
cultivating dates, harvest dates and many other things related to my various SAE programs.

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Good records are the basis of all management decisions regarding crops. They affect
purchases, the decisions on how we market the crop and the need for adjusting inventory or
plans for expansion. We are moving to computerizing all farm records rather than just some
as we do now. This will allow us to make better decisions and develop a long range plan for
all production decisions. Records kept include irrigation data, yields, fertility programs,
machinery use and repairs, depreciation, separate field data showing abnormal yields or
problem areas and rotation information. Other records I maintain deal with all aspects of my
SAE, from hours worked to skills and proficiencies developed.
By using an accurate record keeping system at home I was able to determine the benefits of
adding extra crop acres this time which will allow me to maximize my total profits.
I keep excellent records concerning yield, feed value, income, and expenses. I use these to
determine whether or not I am making any money and also to give me an idea of my
management skills.
Having good records not only helps with my proficiency award, but also helps you keep
track you for money. It helps with taxes as well.
Record keeping is an essential skill for a successful farm. All of the farm employees must be
capable of keeping accurate and detailed records so that management plans may be formed.
The main records that I am responsible for maintaining include records of insect scouting
and pesticide spray records which assist me in developing a management plan for each of the
fields on our farm. A management plan contains the dates that soil samples were taken and
what results were received from a soil analysis. The management plans also detail what
kinds of fertilizers and how much of these fertilizers should be applied. Management plans
also allow me to assist in making informed decisions about which crops to use to our crop
rotation schedule. By maintaining accurate and up to date management plans, we are able to
obtain a higher level of efficiency.




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Some of the most important aspects of a successful farming operation are decision making
time management and appropriate interaction with people. It is also important to make
informed decisions especially when calculating crops to plant contracts of those crops, and
input costs that will be necessary for each crop. Preparing an accurate and precise budget is
crucial to obtaining operating loans. I have had the opportunity to watch and learn these
interactions and traits and have begun to utilize them in my own life. Therefore, one reason I
am capable of managing the operation by myself, is that I have developed good decision
making and interpersonal skills in my own life.
I learned how to organize my corn and soybean test plots to make them effective in research.
I planted the varieties in maturity order, checked strips within my crops to complete
statistical analysis.
This is the most difficult job when harvesting hay. The first thing I do is grease the baler
and make sure all the parts are moving properly. Since I operate an older baler, operating it
can be a challenge because there are no monitors or automatic functions. The first step is to
make sure the gate is completely closed. Then I engage the PTO while the tractor is idling
and increase the RPMs to 1800. Starting the bale is the hardest part because the speed must
be adjusted according to the amount of hay in the window. If I go too fast, I can plug the
baler and if I go too slowly, the hay may not go through the rollers. After the bale is started,
I have to weave the baler so that the hay is equally distributed on both sides of the bale.
Once the bale is finished, the pick-up teeth will stop turning. After the bale is tied, I
disengage the PTO and open the baler's gate and pull forward to close the gate.
Learning to make the correct adjustments and moving at the right speed with the combine
allows me to get the maximum amount of grain from the field, therefore reducing harvest
Making sure everyone knows the dangers of the operation keeps everyone safe. Even in rush
times safety steps can not be avoided. We have had no injuries which required us to suffer
work time lost.
Insects and Diseases are extremely challenging for any crop producer, because it is hard to
market damaged produce. Scouting regularly helps me determine if pests are approaching a
damaging level.




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Scouting is very important because it tells me what stage my crops are at and what insects or
weeds are causing problems so we act to take care of the problem before it becomes too out
of hand.
Scouting cotton requires a great amount of walking. I have to walk into each field and
randomly check 50-100 plants from different areas of a field. I check the plants to see how
well the crop is growing as I look for pests, plant abnormalities, and signs of moisture stress.
Periodically, I take leaf samples for nutrient analysis and for a closer examination for pest
signs. Upon entering a field, I watch closely for insects that might be flying around, and I
also look for any damage that might be caused by animals or farm equipment. I also check
the boll weevil traps for other insects that may be in the cotton field. I give the report to the
farmer and answer any questions that he may have when I finish. Since cotton insects have a
short life cycle, I scout the cotton twice weekly, while scouting tobacco and peanuts once a
week. I always fill out a scouting report based on my founding.
I make hay my priority in the summer. Timing is so important for the quality, and the
weather doesn't always cooperate. Our grain production works well in spring and fall with
our forage workload.
Certain varieties are better suited for heavier, wetter, ground and other types are better suited
for another type of ground. Forage seed costs divided up throughout the life of the stand,
five years plus.
I know the proper things to do before planting, like chopping stalks, disking and fertilizing,
help to conserve the soil. I utilized reduced tillage to save time and money.
I attend field days to compare test plot results on wheat and grain sorghum varieties in my
area. I focus on varieties that have a proven history, are disease resistant, and will meet my
production
By using Southern Cross variety of corn this time I was able to get a good rate of yield
considering the extreme drought conditions that we faced in our area.
It is important to maintain and keep equipment in proper working condition. Greasing the
equipment at regular intervals prevents breakdowns, which in turn lowers the cost of
producing the crop.
A field day allows my district sales representative and me to showcase the different varieties
to the farmers and potential customers in the area.

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After taking the combine to the field, I set the specified settings for that particular crop.
Then I cut a small swath and then check behind the combine. If there is grain on the ground
then the concaves need to be closed a little by turning a dial to the right of the driver's seat.
Different grains require different settings for the fan speed so to adjust this I push the fan
speed button on the monitor to know how fast it is running and then I adjust the fan speed by
turning a dial right beside the return auger to the settings I desire. After cutting another
swath, I check behind the combine again to make sure there is no grain and I also check the
bin to make sure the grain is clean. If it isn't, the sieves need to be closed by going behind
and underneath the combine and adjusting them. This is important because harvesting
diversified grains requires many different settings and I must know them to harvest more
If the cultivator is out of alignment, a row of cotton, corn and/or black eyes will be damaged
or killed. If one of the knives or sweeps are set too high, it may not break-up the soil or clean-
out the furrow for proper irrigation. There are two different cultivators and each of them
must be set-up differently. The trolling cultivator has spider tines that must be set to break-
up hardened ground. On the other cultivator, the knives must be set to remove weeds.
Cultivators must be set-up and maintained properly to ensure high efficiency. A Lilliston
cultivator must have all parts working together to have even beds, accurate weed control and
plant safety. Additionally, it is crucial to operate the tractor at the proper speed, gear and
Even with perfect growing conditions regarding weather and pests, crops do not always
produce. I have made it a practice to take soil samples prior to planting crops in order to
evaluate soil nutrients, both macro and micro minerals. This provides of more accurate
needs of fertilization and soil nutrients prior to planting. It is also important to incorporate
organic material from corn and what crops into the soil for better production. In addition to
checking soil nutrients, it is sometimes necessary to check plant nutrients. For example, In
the cotton crop, petiole samples are taken to evaluate potassium levels. Potassium is a
crucial mineral in cotton for boll retention and setting of the top crop.




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Proper fertilization is a must in order to produce maximum yields of cotton. The first step in
proper fertilization is soil sampling prior to planting the crop. Soil sampling is not as
effective after the cotton plant is growing. When the cotton plants are growing, leaf petiole
sampling is the most effective means of determining the nutrient needs of the plant for
optimum production. In each field I collect twenty-five leaf and petiole (the stem that
attaches the leaf to the plant) samples. When I collect the leaf samples, I randomly walk
over the field and collect them from various areas of the field instead of in one general area.
If the petiole samples are taken from one area, then the results from the test may be
incorrect. For example, if one side of the field is wetter that the other side, the plant's ability
to absorb nutrients from the soil would differ from an area that is drier.
My uncle and grandfather taught me how to take soil samples and I sample all fields, as
needed. Muck soils contain large amounts of organic matter and fertilizers respond
differently. Working with my uncles and grandfather has allowed me to learn the fertilizer
requirements with respect to amounts as well as application methods and times. For
example, you don't lime soils over a ph of 5.8 to 6.0 due to the high C.E.C. of muck soils.
To do so would be too expensive and not offer much response. The fields all have long
range fertility programs and this allows us to better allocate money for this purpose on a
yearly budget. Our fertility program, coupled with excellent stand management, has allowed
us to increase yields each year in the absence of weather or other major problems.
By getting an accurate picture of a field by taking many soil samples, I have been able to
determine the correct amount of fertilizer for the field thus saving money by reducing waste.
I soil test all acres and can interpret soil test results. I have an understanding of crop
requirements and have been able to formulate a long range plan for my acreages which is
helping me plan as I expand.




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The process of taking small samples of soil and testing them for their different nutrient
levels is known as soil testing. With the different tests that I have performed, I found the
levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and pH. The results of these tests are many times
very surprising. Common knowledge in plant growth and production will tell you that any
crop yield will be greatest when recommended quantities of each nutrient are met. After
completing these tests, my employer has a better idea of what needs to be added to the soil,
and what is already in excess. As a result of these experiments, we were able to save money
by reducing the amount of unneeded chemicals and fertilizers that would have normally
been applied to fields. The completion and benefit from these tests proved to be an eye
opener for both the employer and myself.
This is a complex job and requires great attention and consistency. First, our dual drills must
be unattached and opened up after transporting them to the field. I must make sure that no
rocks or debris have gotten into the disks, preventing them from turning. I then must figure
the amount of grain per acre I want to apply and set the adjustments on the front of the drill.
Typically, I apply a bushel and a third per acre or eighty pounds of wheat, however this can
vary depending on the conditions of the field and if the wheat will be grazed. When starting,
I lower the disks into the ground only when I am moving and put the end disk on the very
edge of the cultivated ground. I then continue following my inside track keeping the outside
disk in the middle of my last tire track. While going around, the corners become to sharp to
turn, so I cut off the corners and then I plant over the corners catching them in one pass after
Using the GPS adds accuracy when I spray or spread fertilizer so I reduce double spraying
and wasting products. Also, I will not miss rows and have inadequate coverage.




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I have operated a tractor since the day I began working for my uncle. Since then I have
gained the skills to operate the swather. I make sure that the swather is serviced and in
working condition in order to make sure that nothing malfunctions while I am operating it. I
am responsible for ensuring that it is cutting cleanly and not skipping portions of forage. I
must know how to perform basic repairs on the equipment, so that when I break down in the
field, I can fix it and continue being productive. There are many electronic devices in the
cab and I must know the function of each device, allowing me to read the monitor and
realize what needs to be adjusted. I also must know when it is time to cut the hay. For
example, I swath alfalfa hay in the afternoon and every twenty-one days. It is also very
important to remember that there is still raking and baling to do after the swathing and the
straighter the row the easier it is to complete these steps.
Soil testing and applying proper amounts of fertilizer and micronutrients provides for
optimum growing environment. Fertilizer costs have increased this past year, soil tests help
me fertilizer more
The test tells me what the hay is worth and help me market it. The hay testing is provided by
the same company that provides our treatment. Ideal dairy alfalfa should have about a 150
REV
Tillage is an important aspect of row-crop enterprises. Tillage can be very beneficial for
controlling weeds, but it can also rob the soil of moisture. I figured every time we pass
through the field with a piece of tillage equipment, we will take an inch of moisture out of
the ground. Disking and field finishing are relatively simple tasks. However, when
cultivating corn and soybeans, drive down the middle rows. On a cultivator, you will have
an extra row which is a guest row and the guest rows on the outside of the cultivator. Begin
with the end rows, then your point rows and finally start thru the rest of the field. When you
turn around, you will then go back on the guest row which has already been done once.
Operate the tractor at about 5-6 MPH and 1600 RPM's. The cultivator will sit all the way in




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I do all field work associated with the preparation of ground for seeding our onions and
carrots, and planting our corn and mint roots. In addition to plowing, the fields for onions
and carrots have to be planed to establish a level seed bed which holds the onion and carrots
when seeded. The beds need to level to facilitate harvesting, especially with the carrots,
which are topped removing the greens and leaving the carrot itself in the ground for lifting
and harvest. Tillage for mint fields involves plowing and lifting old mint roots to establish
new fields. Corn ground is plowed and then mulched and planted in the spring. We do as
much tillage in the fall as possible to facilitate planting as soon as we are able to in the
spring. Regulating water levels in the fields each fall after tillage nearly eliminates erosion
risks by wind and leaves us with nearly level fields in the spring as we prepare to plant.
I am proficient in every aspect involving the set-up, filling, and the teardown of the bagger.
I am the sole individual responsible to see that the bagger is set-up in the right location, it is
being filled to the correct pressure, between 1000 and 1200 PSI, that the bagger runs
smoothly, and that it is being chopped between 60% and 70% moisture. Any questions,
concerns, or problems are directed towards me, and I see to it that they are fixed. Over the
course of the summer, I end up producing eight to ten forage bags, either nine or ten feet
wide and 200 feet in length. My knowledge in this area has grown considerably over the
past few years, and is why I am in charge of this area of forage production. An increase in
knowledge has resulted in an increase of the quality of the bags that I produce as well. This
is beneficial to my boss because it allows him to better focus on other areas of forage
production or his dairy herd that are of his concern.
Like being in charge of all bagging operations, my job requires me to manage all forage that
goes into the silos as well. I am skilled every area of these operations including the set-up
and teardown of the blower, filling the harvester, and checking for moisture for maximum
keep, between 40%-45%. My tasks also include, climbing to the top of the silo and opening
and closing the holes, and in the case of a cement silo, raising and adjusting the unloader.
When someone blocks up the blower, shears a pin, or damages a piece of equipment, I am
responsible for these repairs as well. Throughout my years of experience, I have come
across most any problem that occurs when unloading forage into a silo. As a result of this
experience, I now know different techniques and tricks when unloading and making repairs,
all of which greatly reduces the amount of down time.

                                                                              1162
                                                 Diversified Crop Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                  Knowledge/Competency


Leaving crop residues on the soil surface reduces erosion and improves water availability. It
also reduces labor and saves fuel. Research shows no-till practices improve soil and
increases organic
The lack of water is one of the most limiting factors in producing crops is South Georgia.
The soil in Jeff Davis County is composed of a silt-sand mixture and is mildly well drained
during the year. Jeff Davis County is in the lower Coastal Plains of Georgia and the
majority of the soil is flat that can be subjected to flooding during periods of excessive rain.
Obviously, there is not much that can be done during times of flooding, but irrigation can be
and is extensively used during the periods of drought. Being able to determine the correct
time to irrigate and the total amount needed to meet the plants' needs is a challenge. Cotton
requires the proper amount of water at certain stages of growth to consistently produce the
high yields necessary for a profitable crop. Since it is expensive to irrigate, it is important
for the correct amount of water to be applied for the differing soil types.
When both are combined, working land and plowing can play significant roles in
determining how successful a crop can turn out to be. Plowing helps the ground to utilize
already present or dead plant material and, through a decaying process, turn it into nitrogen
and other much needed nutrients. Every fall, I plow a minimum of a 150 acres or more,
increasing steadily each year as my knowledge in this area grows as well. The opposite of
plowing is working land in the spring. When working land, I ensure that all fields are as
smooth as possible, no matter what the crop or type of soil. Quantity and quality of the crop
produced are greater if the field is work thoroughly. On an annual basis, I work over 800
acres of land every spring and also make many decisions as to what equipment should be

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 ↓   Diversified
     Horticulture
                      E          Calculating




                          Arrange Plants/Hard Goods
     Diversified
                      P     to Gain the Customers
     Horticulture
                                  Attention.




     Diversified            Chemical Control and
                      P
     Horticulture                 Safety


     Diversified           Collection of native seed
                      E
     Horticulture                and cuttings.
     Diversified
                      E        Communication
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E        Communication
     Horticulture




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     Diversified          Complete all greenhouse
                      P
     Horticulture               activities




     Diversified          Construct and Maintain
                      P
     Horticulture          drip irrigation system




                              Creating floral
     Diversified        arrangement, boutonnieres
                      P
     Horticulture       and corsages is part of my
                          job that I enjoy doing.




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     Diversified
                      P     Customer Relations
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      E     Customer Relations
     Horticulture




     Diversified          Customer Service/Retail
                      P
     Horticulture                 Sales




     Diversified          Customer Service/Retail
                      P
     Horticulture                 Sales




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                        Design and Installation of
     Diversified
                      P     Flower Beds and
     Horticulture
                             Arrangements




     Diversified          Designing and Planting
                      E
     Horticulture              Landscape




     Diversified
                      P     Disease Treatment
     Horticulture




                           Effective Displays of
     Diversified
                      P Originality by Use of Plant
     Horticulture
                         and Non-Plant Materials




     Diversified
                      E   Employee Supervision
     Horticulture
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     Diversified
                      E   Equipment Maintenance
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E   Equipment Maintenance
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E   Equipment Maintenance
     Horticulture
     Diversified              Equipment
                      E
     Horticulture          Maintenance/Repair




     Diversified            Equipment Use and
                      P
     Horticulture              Maintenance




     Diversified
                      E    Fertilizer Application
     Horticulture
     Diversified      E    Fertilizer Application




     Diversified
                      P    Fertilizer Application
     Horticulture




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                        Flower identification and
     Diversified          plant identification is
                      P
     Horticulture       essential when working in
                        the horticultural industry.




     Diversified          Germination process of
                      E
     Horticulture                seeds.




     Diversified
                      P   Greenhouse Management
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P    Greenhouse Sanitation
     Horticulture




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     Diversified
                      P        Growth Media
     Horticulture




     Diversified           Hardscaping for Eternal
                      P
     Horticulture              Landscaping.




                          Hardwood and Herbaceous
     Diversified
                      P    Cuttings of Houseplants
     Horticulture
                           and Landscaping Plants.




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     Diversified          Identify Nursery Bedding
                      P
     Horticulture             and Floral Plants




                           Identify/Control Plant
     Diversified          Disease; Insect Damage,
                      P
     Horticulture         Chemical/Environmental
                                  Damage




     Diversified          Identify/Prune Plants and
                      P
     Horticulture                   Trees




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     Diversified          Insect/Disease Recognition
                      P
     Horticulture                and Treatment




     Diversified
                      P       Install Paver Patio
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      E          Installation
     Horticulture
     Diversified          Installing Plants, Trees,
                      E
     Horticulture                  Shrubs
     Diversified        Interviewing Clients/Sales
                      E
     Horticulture                Techniques




     Diversified           Inventory and Organize
                      P
     Horticulture                  Plants




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     Diversified
                      E        Irrigation
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P        Irrigation
     Horticulture




     Diversified           Irrigation System
                      P
     Horticulture             Maintenance




     Diversified
                      E    Jobsite Preparation
     Horticulture


     Diversified          Landscape and Floral
                      P
     Horticulture               Designs


     Diversified
                      E    Landscape Design
     Horticulture


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     Diversified
                      P     Landscape Design
     Horticulture




     Diversified          Landscape Design and
                      E
     Horticulture            Drafting Skills




     Diversified          Landscape Design and
                      P
     Horticulture             Maintenance



     Diversified
                      E   Landscape Installation
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E   Landscape Maintenance
     Horticulture




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     Diversified          Landscaping to Customer
                      P
     Horticulture               Preference




     Diversified
                      E     Lawn Maintenance
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P     Lawn Maintenance
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P       Lawn Mowing
     Horticulture




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     Diversified          Leadership/Management
                      P
     Horticulture                  Skills




     Diversified          Maintain Healthy Plants in
                      P
     Horticulture          Wholesale Greenhouses




     Diversified           Maintenance and Repair
                      P
     Horticulture          and Upkeep of Grounds




     Diversified
                      E          Marketing
     Horticulture
     Diversified               Marketing and
                      E
     Horticulture              Management




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     Diversified
                      P    Marketing/Sales Process
     Horticulture




     Diversified          Mixing Soils According to
                      P
     Horticulture                Plant Type




     Diversified
                      E      Mowing Correctly
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P      Nursery Operations
     Horticulture




     Diversified      E Ornamental Plant Training


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     Diversified
                      P    Pest Identification
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      E   Pesticide Application
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E   Plant and Turf Care
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P        Plant Care
     Horticulture




                                                          1162
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     Diversified            Plant Care - Water,
                      P
     Horticulture          Fertilizing and General




     Diversified
                      P          Plant Sales
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P   Plant Sales and Delivery
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      E        Plant Selection
     Horticulture



     Diversified          Planting Beds for Eternal
                      P
     Horticulture               Landscaping




                                                            1162
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     Diversified          Planting Trees, Shrubs and
                      E
     Horticulture               Ground Cover
     Diversified              Plants Nutritional
                      E
     Horticulture              Requirements.




     Diversified
                      P         Potting Plants
     Horticulture




                        Prepare and Improve Soil
     Diversified         Quality for Transplanting
                      P
     Horticulture       Trees, Shrubs and Bedding
                                  Flowers




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     Diversified           Propagate and Maintain
                      P
     Horticulture             Poinsettia Crops




     Diversified          Propagate Plants by Sexual
                      P
     Horticulture         Seeding/Asexual Methods




     Diversified
                      P          Propagation
     Horticulture




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     Diversified          Propagation Success and
                      P
     Horticulture           Quality of Cuttings




     Diversified          Proper methods to apply
                      P
     Horticulture         fertilizer and insecticides




     Diversified
                      P       Propogate Plants
     Horticulture




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     Diversified
                      P Pruning Shrubs and Trees
     Horticulture




     Diversified          Raising and production of
                      E
     Horticulture               nursery stock.



     Diversified          Read Landscaping Plans for
                      P
     Horticulture                 Planting



     Diversified
                      E        Recordkeeping
     Horticulture
     Diversified      E        Recordkeeping
     Diversified
                      E        Recordkeeping
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E       Repair Equipment
     Horticulture




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                        Reproduction and Care of
     Diversified
                      P Hardwood and Softwood
     Horticulture
                               Cuttings




     Diversified
                      P         Retail Sales
     Horticulture




                          Return to Main Sheet
     Diversified
                      E Safe Equipment Operation
     Horticulture
     Diversified
                      E       Safety Practices
     Horticulture




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     Diversified
                      P Sales and Customer Service
     Horticulture




                        Sanitation and Preventive
     Diversified
                      P Measures to Guarantee
     Horticulture
                             Health of Plants




     Diversified      E        Seed Storage
     Diversified
                      E    Servicing Equipment
     Horticulture



     Diversified            Set-up Temporary
                      P
     Horticulture             Greenhouses



     Diversified
                      E     Time Management
     Horticulture

                                                           1162
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     Diversified
                      E Tools Needed For Jobsite
     Horticulture




     Diversified
                      P     Transplanting Plants
     Horticulture




     Diversified          Transplanting Plants and
                      E
     Horticulture                  Trees
     Diversified      E   Trimming Around Trees




     Diversified          Watering and Fertilizing
                      P
     Horticulture                 Plants




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     Diversified
                      P          Weeding
     Horticulture




                          Wrap Potted Plants with
     Diversified          Poly Foil and Ribbon to
                      P
     Horticulture         Enhance the Beauty and
                          Conceal Imperfections




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                                                           1162
                                                 Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


I need to be able to measure the area of the property to draw the plans and to calculate how
much material is needed. Calculating is also important when I have to fertilize.
Displays in and around the greenhouses and nursery areas must be aesthetically pleasing and in
reach to gain customer attention. Successful displays lead the customer into each of our four
greenhouses and encourage them to make a purchase. I design landscape displays that educate
the customers on what plants go well together based on form and function; such as sun versus
shade gardens, and using shrubs and trees along with perennials and hard goods like gazing
balls and bird baths. Large and small container gardens are created in advance to not only be
purchased, but to give customers quick ideas that they can use in their own containers. It is
important to check our displays throughout the day to replace any plants or hard goods that
have been purchased or moved. It is also good to change the displays so repeat customers can
obtain fresh ideas each time they visit our facilities.
Safety is the number one thing to remember while working in any section of a horticultural
practice. While working at Culberson Greenhouses and the school greenhouse I attended a
course on chemical control and safety. The course taught me properly, how and when to mix
chemicals. If I were to mix too much of a chemical it could cause an explosion or harm to
myself or the greenhouses. Chemicals are very dangerous and if they are not used properly
there could be a serious situation involved.
Collecting seeds and cuttings from local existing species, I am able to reduce my input cost
and also ensure that the seeds or cuttings are viable and of high quality.
Communicating with my customers assures their satisfaction and will bring them back for
further business. New customers have been acquired by word of mouth from satisfied
The ability to think clearly and speak fluently is very important to a successful landscape
maintenance business




                                                                        1162
                                                  Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


While working for DeLoof's I learned all the tasks associated with running a commercial
greenhouse operation. When I first started I did mostly labor tasks, but as I got experience I
started doing a lot more. I believe I have developed the skills that would allow me to go to any
greenhouse operation and get a job. I have learned all the methods of reproducing plants. I
have started flats from seed and transplanted them into sellable sizes. I have taken cuttings to
start new plants. I also helped with fertilizing, watering, and shading. I also helped control
insect and disease problems. We used sprays when necessary, but tried to prevent as many
problems as possible. I also had to help maintain the greenhouse structures, completing repairs
Each of the greenhouses and tarp areas are equipped with their own irrigation systems. The
systems have individual control valves that can be manually operated. We prefer to have the
system run on a timer which spray every evening in either one minute, five minute, or ten
minute cycles, depending on the size of the area. The system is comprised of a pump/timer for
each greenhouse, the system uses pvc pipe to connect to rubber tubing. The system has drop
lines connected to plastic spigots. The spigots are placed throughout the area at six feet
intervals in the greenhouses that contain plants. In our areas that have container trees, the
waterlines are much closer to the ground and spigots are six inches apart, this is a more
efficient way to apply water to the trees. I have helped to construct these systems, and repair
them as needed, especially after storms damaged the area.
 I make arrangements for customers. That includes putting cut flowers together, making vase
arrangements, or any other arrangement the customer would need. During school dances, I
make boutonnieres and sometimes corsages. I also make arrangements for the cooler for
customers to buy that are already made up for convenience to the customer. When deciding
what to arrange for a customer, I take into consideration: the use of the flowers, the style of the
arrangement, types of flowers, price, and ultimately what the customer wants to purchase.
Arrangements typically depict a seasonal theme. The flowers must make sense to what is
blooming in nature. When finished, I spray the flowers with Crowning Glory to help them
stay in their best condition. Quality of products used is especially important to the consumers.




                                                                           1162
                                                 Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


I have learned to develop good customer relationship skills. Waiting on customers is an
important part of our business. It is important for me to be cheerful and courteous as I wait on
customers. I am able to successfully carry out business transactions from start to finish. I am
able to assist customers in selecting plants, checking out the customers, and load plants in
customer vehicles so the plants can be transported safely to their destination. I have been able
to recommend plants based on their needs for water and/or sunlight. Also, another need that
customers ask is how to properly plant the plants. One of my jobs is to help train the customers
in planting. I am able to give recommendations about the water and shade/sun requirements of
various plants. I believe I have been an asset to the business by helping to satisfy the needs of
I speak with potential customers, and arrange times to look at the jobsite and starting dates. I
also update them on my progress and convey any changes or problems that arise.
I was responsible for assisting customers in plant location, carrying plants to the register and
loading them in the customer's vehicle as well as making plant recommendations according to
the customers' landscape and container needs. I handled the sale of bedding plants, shrubs,
trees, ground covers as well as all hard good such as trellises, containers and gazing balls;
therefore I had to know the prices of each and how to run the cash register. We accepted cash,
check and debit/credit cards; so handling money, making change, and knowing the different
procedures for closing a sale were important tasks to perform. Understanding the sales
process, took time and practice to successfully master. I am now able to handle and deal with
even the most challenging of our customers. Part of our services also include taking orders by
phone and making plant deliveries.
I help the customer find the right plants or flowers for their specific needs. I answer any
questions the customer might have. I wrap the flowers and plants according to the weather so
the plants and flowers stay healthy and the customer can enjoy their product as long as
possible. I also answer the phone to address questions people have about their plants or
flowers. I ring up the sale on the cash register and receive payment. This might include cash,
checks, billing, or credit card sales. As much as I enjoy the plants, the customer determines the
success of our business. Through FFA and other school activities, I have learned "people
skills," essential to this part of my job. I am comfortable with people, allowing the customer to
be relaxed while making floral decisions, even during stressful times like a funeral.


                                                                         1162
                                                   Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


There are a number of decorative roadside flowerbeds I had the opportunity to design and
install. I also enjoyed arranging container gardens. Each of the beds were raised with concrete
landscaping blocks and filled with soil. Each were about 6' by 4', and each contained cannas,
Indian grass, verbena and blue calibrachoa. There were also many container gardens I enjoyed
arranging. One of my favorites included Amaranthus tricolor, hibiscus and wave petunias.
Both the flower beds and container arrangements were based off of the principle that there
must be a focal point, filler plant and a trailing plant, all of which prove to be visually
appealing. Other things to consider when designing a flower bed or arrangement would be
similar colors, textures and soil and light requirements. Incorporating all of these factors
requires plenty of knowledge and skill, but effective.
I draw out plans before installing landscapes to show the client what the finished job will look
like. It also helps me complete the bid on how much material is needed.
I have to keep plants in the greenhouse looking healthy. Although in order to treat most
diseases, a pesticide applicators licenses is needed there are some chemicals that can be used.
At Culberson Greenhouse I had to treat a fungus that could have spread to other crops. I
sprayed a fungicide on the crop and on everything in twenty foot radius. If I had not sprayed
the crop there could have been a loss of the entire crop. I was able to identify the fungus
because where was a small spot on the plants. On Culberson Tree Farm I had to dig up a few
trees to stop the spread of a disease that was killing the trees. After I dug up the trees I treated
the spot that the trees were in as well as the trees around the area to help prevent the spread of
I wanted the customer to look at a display and think "wow". In many of my displays, especially
during the holidays, I incorporated themes. For example, during Christmas, I used gift-
wrapped boxes and with the use of various clay pots, I made a man and an animal that after
adding the proper attire were transformed into Santa Claus and Rudolph. In addition, I hung
Christmas lights over the main greenhouses and our road sign. Other forms of displays that I
used were variety displays, with which the items were not related and encouraged the
customers to view the various choices in one gaze; and the price displays which grouped our
container plants by price for those with a strict budget. In each of these, Used a number of
items that included non-plant merchandise, fabric, tables, fountains, engraved stones, colored
lights, decorative containers and other various items.
I have learned to use management of time to increase productivity. I have learned that by
leading by example I set, employees are more likely to accomplish more in less time.
                                                                             1162
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                                   Knowledge/Competency


The equipment will last longer and won't break down as much, requiring less down time and
saving expensive repair cost. Sharp mower blades do a better job of cutting.
All landscaping equipment must be in proper working condition to maintain the lawn and
landscapes as they should be maintained.
I regularly change the oil and clean the air filters and spark plugs. This saves me money by
doing it myself and by keeping my equipment running its best.
By repairing my equipment, I can save money by doing the work myself. Work such as
replacing the pull rope and coils and rebuilding carburetors are examples of repairs that I have
The first thing that I was taught at K. Lawn Care was the safe use and proper care of the
equipment. Mr. K greatly stressed the proper use of the equipment for my safety and so I
would not damage any of the expensive equipment. As I became more familiar with the
smaller tools, Mr. K would allow me to use the larger and more dangerous pieces of
equipment. I learned something new practically everyday about different tools and continued
that trend until the end of my employment. Mr. K realized that due to the cost of the
equipment, proper care was necessary for prolonged use. We followed a regular maintenance
schedule of checking the oil and other fluids in the mowers, changing air and oil filters
periodically, and closely watching the air pressure in the tires to ensure proper cutting heights
Applying the correct fertilizers at the right time is crucial to maximizing growth on nursery
stock. I fertilize with a slow release fertilizer that supplements nitrogen, phosphorous, and
Beautiful lawns and landscapes must be fertilized to develop to their full potential beauty.
All plants need a little help when it comes to beautiful plants. Fertilizer is great for speeding
up the blooming and growth of plants, but I have to be careful when using it. If I use too much
fertilizer, then the plants will burn up. That means the leaves will die and take the plant even
longer to come back. When I fertilized at the school greenhouse I used a water soluble, I
learned how to properly use the right amount of fertilizer in order for the plants to bloom. At
Anywhere Greenhouses I used a water soluble fertilizer and learned how to use enough
fertilizer to maintain the blooms on the flowers. At the Tree Farm I used a pellet fertilizer to
help make the tree roots expand. Landscaping Plus I used a water soluble fertilizer to make




                                                                          1162
                                                   Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


 I have to know how to identify the different kinds of flowers and plants. In the store there are
more than 72 kinds of flowers depending on the season and amount of business. I can identify
over 100 different kinds of herbaceous and 87 woody plants as well as cultivars of each. I am
familiar with their specific needs for lighting, watering, fertilizing, and other care for specific
kinds of plants. At Jung's, I have to go to the greenhouse and locate the variety of plant that I
am required to propagate. This needs to be done quickly and correctly. Also, it is necessary to
be able to find those plants not only by common name but by scientific as well. Because there
are so many different varieties of plants at Jung's, scientific names are almost always used for
identification. At Floral Expressions, customers often use common names, but orders are
placed by scientific name.
Many seeds have special requirements in order to germinate, seeds that germinate slowly can
be expedited, which reduces time needed for each rotation of plants.
Being able to work at two greenhouses I have been privileged to see different ways to manage
a greenhouse operation. At the school greenhouse, when I ordered supplies I would order once
or twice a year. Working at Culberson Greenhouse, supplies would be ordered as much as
twice a week. Seeing how things are operated on two different levels has shown me the best
possible way to manage a greenhouse. Cleanliness is probably one of the most important
practices to use while managing one. Keeping the greenhouse clean helps prevent diseases,
weeds, funguses, and makes for healthier plants. Having concert floors in the greenhouse and
concert around the outside of the greenhouse, having metal or no benchers, instead of wooden
benches, and by being careful who comes in contact with the operation will ensure healthy
Greenhouse sanitation includes eliminating dead or declining plants, empty pots and trays,
pulling weeds from under the greenhouse benches, emptying the trash and keeping the bench
inventory orderly. Included in this activity is making sure our potting soil is fresh and not
reused so that pests, diseases and fungus are not spread. For this same reason, we sanitize our
pots and trays that will be reused. A formula of one part bleach to ten parts water is used for
sanitization purposes. I make sure that watering hoses are kept rolled up and that the water
wand and breaker do not touch the soil so contamination does not occur there either. We
sweep the greenhouse isles and pull weeds within the outdoor displays so they look attractive
for the customers. Part of my job is also to keep inventory records of numbers and types of
pots/containers/hardgoods we have on hand or that have been used.

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To start any seed their must be a knowledge of growth media. I learned that the best way to
start seeds is to use vermiculite. Vermiculite is a mineral and when water is added the media
becomes denser and retains water. If I started the seeds in vermiculite with artificial light they
would germinate quicker. Then I would transplant the seedling into soil. Vermiculite is very
light but when water is added it becomes dense. Before I planted in the soil I would mix it with
water, so it could have greater moisture content. If I was planting a bigger plant then I would
use a mix of mulch, sand, and perlite. The sand helps with the drainage. Perlite is a volcanic
glass that is used in soil medium help retains water.
Installing the hardscape portion of landscapes takes up a lot of my time while working for
Eternal Landscapes. I have had the chance to learn a lot of skills while completing this
important step of the design. Installing retaining walls, walkways, dirt work, and drainage
elements all make the landscape professional. In my years of working for Eternal Landscapes I
have advanced from being the common laborer to being in charge of the work site. To gain
this level of responsibility I had to learn how to follow a plan and had to be able to
communicate to the other workers. I can also use all of the equipment needed independently.
 At the high school, I take cuttings so I can grow my own plants and for class projects. After I
take the cutting, I plant each plant in its own container with adequate space to grow. I water,
fertilize, and care for those plants. At Jung's, I take about 200-300 cuttings at a time depending
on how many plants are needed of a variety. The cuttings are taken early in the morning and
are misted with water frequently before they get planted. Cuttings are usually about three to
four inches long and the lower leaves are removed with a limited amount of foliage remaining.
The lower stems are placed in a specific type of rooting hormone and planted in trays of 72,
98, 128, etc. depending on the size of the cutting. They are then placed under a mist system so
they can start rooting under a minimal amount of stress. Cuttings are taken from about
February until late fall.




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Crop success within the greenhouse largely relies on the proper watering of the plants.
Without water plants cannot survive. Improper watering can result in slow growth, unhealthy
plants and even death. Because greenhouse crops are grown in containers with soil less
potting medium essential nutrients must be provided in the form of fertilizers. Determining
how often to water depends on several factors such as, the amount of light, temperature, and
humidity in the greenhouse and the type of soil, container and even the plant itself.
Techniques used to determine irrigation needs include looking at plants for signs of wilt or
fading, feeling for the weight of the container and moisture of the soil two inches below the
soil line, and looking at the color of the soil. Knowing the appropriate irrigation measures
helped me ensure healthy plants customers wanted to purchase.
A successful greenhouse must have healthy plants. The very environmental features that make
the plants grow - humidity, moisture, warmth - also support diseases and pest growth that can
cause injury and plant loss. Identification is the first step to the cure; by knowing what insect
or pest we are dealing with plus the life stage it is in helps me to determine what form of
treatment would be appropriate. Plants that are not healthy do not sell and thus reduce the
financial returns for the business. In the Agriculture Science II and Landscape Design courses
at school I was able to learn basic entomology and plant pest identification. I utilized these
skills at the greenhouse and am now able to not only identify the problem but also figure out
the correct solution. Until I turned 18, company policy did not allow me to spray chemicals. I
am learning chemical application methods, safety techniques, and the use of personnal
I have learned to identify various plants and trees our nursery has in stock. I am able to identify
plants well enough to correctly sort, display and restock plants and trees according to their
species. I am able to identify which plants do well in shady areas, partly sunny areas, and
sunny areas. I am able to identify plants according to the water requirements. I also able to
recognize which plants will do best in certain types of soil conditions. This knowledge is
essential when waiting on customers. I have learned to trim and prune dead and dying growth
off of plants. Customers are seeking the healthiest plants they can find. Brown leaves, and
dead or dying plant parts detract from the overall appearance of plants. Successful pruning
skills are also useful in helping trees and plants maintain a healthy attractive appearance.




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In the high school greenhouse, there have been some problems. For mealy bugs, I used rubbing
alcohol and cotton swabs, taking each mealy bug off by hand. I also sprayed with Insecticidal
Soap for three weeks, checking to make sure they did not come back. For white flies, I gave
all of the plants a bath in warm soapy water and repeated the process until the pests were
controlled. At Jung's, I am always on the lookout for any type of insect or disease problem. It
is essential to be able to catch a problem right away since a large area can very quickly be
infested. When this happens, the infested areas are sprayed or fumigated after all employees
leave and depending on the type of spray used, the area might have to be quarantined for a
length of time. This keeps on getting done until there are no more signs of the problem or as
Learning how to properly install pavers was a real learning experience. My boss, Avery Zahn,
spent a lot of time showing me the correct procedure for installing pavers. The key to a good
installation is get the base put in right. After carefully grading with a Dingo and by hand, we
placed a weed barrier and packed a sub-base of sand. After we got the grade right on the sub-
base, we would add the fine finish sand to set the bricks in. After being careful to get the first
rows just right, the rest go in fairly quickly by using a rubber mallet and cats paw. After getting
all the pavers placed a plate packer is used to get them settled into place with more finish sand
to lock them in place. It takes a lot more skill than I thought to get this right. It has been a
Laying landscape materials right the first time helps make the job go faster, eliminates
replacing a poorly done job and improves the home's appearance.
Proper cultural practices allow for more successful plant survival rate.
I set up appointments with new clients to establish wants and needs of customer. I make
recommendations and prepare plans and bids.
Packing our delivery truck took great communication and organizational skills. A team of
three to four of us would take the order forms and combine each of the plants into our loading
dock. When we had accumulated all of the plants we would need, we would then sort them
into their individual orders.. Within those individual orders we would slide protective slips
over the plants to prevent broken bracts or branches and then we would label them. Finally, it
was time to load them on the truck. This process occurred by sketching out the locations of
each of the buyers and loading the purchases according to the last location to be visited. some
of the situations in which the truck would be loaded included our house and ornamental plants
to be delivered to local floral shops, as well as shipping our large poinsettia crops to other
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I can install irrigation systems faster with better quality by measuring the water pressure and
area needed to cover by the sprinkler heads.
K. Lawn Care often did work fixing or installing irrigation systems for homes and commercial
properties. My supervisor was happy to teach me how to help him with this my first year of
employment. I learned how to adjust existing heads and also how to install a complete system
with up to seven zones. I had to help with everything including digging and covering up the
trenches and shopping for supplies. For a while I had to watch and learn how to connect the
pipes and how to wire the clock to the system, but finally they let me take control of an
irrigation job and he sat back and watched to make sure I was doing everything correct.
Irrigation is vital to the success of a landscape in our area. Being competent in irrigation
installation has helped me with several landscaping jobs and is a highly desired skill for
Many of the plants are watered on a daily basis, to ensure their maximum growth potential.
Hot summer Texas months, create a need for more watering. I visually inspect plants to help
determine when they need extra water. A portion of our water is done with irrigation spigots. I
inspect the devices on a regular basis to make sure none of the irrigations spigots are clogged
up at any time. We use these spigots in both the greenhouse area and on the plants that are in
the tarp areas. The irrigation system dispenses water in one, five or ten minute cycles. I have
helped to construct drip irrigation systems. It is important to be aware of how much water is
applied to plants. Over watering plants may result in the soil becoming too wet. When this
happens the plants are no longer able to breathe and pick up oxygen, resulting in droopy
I have learned to consider all aspects of the site, both beginning and final look, before digging
the first hole or raking the first clump of dirt. So many factors can affect the final product.
The Event is a diverse company specializing in event planning on the corporate and individual
level. My job is to design and construct container gardens and landscapes for clients. Our
jobs range from political rallys to elaborate weddings. I may be developing garden scenes for
a wedding reception or designing landscapes for a residential community. The project
manager consults with the client and me to coordinate the desired look and then I develop and
implement the landscape design.
Accurate design drawings give the client the description of the design and allow them to
visualize the final product. Helpful tool in selling.


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While working with Lawn Care, we often undertook landscape jobs. These jobs would range
anywhere from planting a simple annual bed to the total landscaping of a yard including sod,
plant material and irrigation. Several times my employer would ask me to meet with him to go
over some plans or to see what I could offer to the design. I realized that landscape design was
something I was interested in doing and when a former employer asked me to landscape her
yard alone for a side job, I jumped at the opportunity. My plan for her yard included the
addition of mostly annuals and some perennials. This yard was a job that I was able to do for
two years until she sold the property. One of the selling features of the property was the
landscaped yard that won the Beautification Award.
Taking landscaping classes improved my landscape design skills and taught me to prepare
drawings to make better presentations to customers. I have increased this portion of my
business yearly.
Working for a landscaping company I was able to expand my knowledge about landscapes and
learn the correct way to landscape and maintain existing designs. I learned how meet the
customer's needs and how to match colors based on designs and create designs based of the
scenery around the landscape. Presentation and costumer satisfaction is everything. If a
costumer wanted something that was seen somewhere else, we had to recreate it to the best of
our ability, without even seeing it most of the time. By me being able to have a basic
knowledge of plants and landscaping helped me when a costumer would try to describe or
Following the plans is essential to getting the desired look of a landscape. The area needs to
be prepared first then everything needs to be lined and positioned before planting.
The ability to maintain shrubbery, trees and flowers are a must for successful landscape
maintenance




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The art of landscaping requires vast expertise. First, I start by drawing a base map, or a sketch
of all the existing physical features, then I assess the facts in the present establishment such as
wind, mud or dust. The next phase of the process is acknowledging what areas are public,
private and service areas. Finally, I can get started. When planning, the needs and desires of
the property owner, easy maintenance as well as budget must all be considered. I will begin my
removing roots, rocks, twigs and other debris, as well as outdoor decor such as bird baths,
statuary and container gardens. I then begin to install the plants keeping in mind to start with
low traffic progressing to high traffic areas, as well as acknowledging drip lines, septic pumps
and water lines. Meeting all of these standards combined with hard labor create a successful
landscape project that the owner can enjoy.
Developed the ability to properly maintain lawns on a monthly contractor basis. This has
enabled me to maximize available labor and equipment
The main income for K Lawn Care was the lawn maintenance end of the business. On my very
first day I went into training on how to properly maintain a lawn and its' landscape. At first,
Mr. K only allowed me to edge and blow off the driveways. As I gained some work
experience, Mr. K taught me all the other components of lawn maintenance. I learned how to
properly use a string trimmer to edge flower beds, operate the mowers, fertilize the lawn,
prune the shrubs, and also how to deal with the customers and their request. I was responsible
for total lawn care so monitoring the health of the lawn and shrubbery was part of my routine.
I became aware of plant cultural needs and addressed such issues as droughts stressing the
lawns and too much rain drenching the lawns. Lawn maintenance sounds routine but there is a
tremendous amount knowledge necessary for proper lawn care.
I was responsible for mowing customers lawns throughout the year. It required knowing my
individual clients and their particular needs. Some customers want their lawns manicured and
maintained to a particular height while others want a more naturalized look. I made
recommendations to the clients based on the type of grass, irrigation system and use of the
lawn. I had to monitor client's yards to make sure the grass was healthy. Depending on the
particular type of grass in the client's lawn I would decide the number of times a month it
needed to be cut and the height to cut. I quickly found out that there was more to the job than
riding the mower. Monitoring the yard and pleasing the client required knowledge and finesse.


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When I began working at K Lawn Care, I was hired as a laborer. My only objective was to do
what Mr. K told me to do, which was usually the back-breaking tasks that he did not want to
do. After my second year working with Mr. K, I was promoted to a crew chief. This new title
allowed me to have people working under me and also allowed me to have my own yards to
maintain. Even though I was considerably younger than the two guys that would often work
under me, they never gave me any grief and said that they like having me as a supervisor.
During the times that my crew and I were left to maintain the lawns alone, we would always
finish them ahead of the time Mr. K allotted for us. My final weeks with K Lawn Care taught
me many skills that I believe will greatly benefit me in the future, such as leadership and
One of my main chores at the greenhouse was care of the growing flats of plants. I had to
fertilize and water the plants based upon their special requirements. Many of the plants we
grew had specific requirements. Some plants, like hibiscus, can not have chlorinated water.
Gloxinias could not have some of the fertilizer blends. It was my responsibility to get it right.
I was also responsible for maintaining the shade cloth that we used to control the light on the
plants. I had to check for problems and move them when needed. I also had to prepare the
specific soil types for the plants being raised
When one operates a landscape business, outward appearances are extremely important. One
of my duties involves maintenance of the nursery grounds. I mow around the greenhouses to
keep the area neatly trimmed. The greenhouse material itself is somewhat fragile. Storms,
winds and everyday wear and tear, necessitate repair. We have to replace the plastic poly
greenhouse material. I need to change or replace the shade cloth covering we use on the
greenhouse itself. I also maintain the floors of the greenhouse making sure to remove any grass
or weeds that invade the area. I routinely inspect the irrigation system to look for problem
areas such as clogged spigots, worn or lose hoses, tubing or connectors. If I detect such
problems, I will replace the worn parts. There is also a display bed, which I keep, neat and
Having customers is the first is the most important part of operating a business. For my
business to expand, I must continually market by services.
I have increased my profit margin by purchasing liners and/or smaller plants and growing them
to a marketable size being able to offer a wider selection of stock in various size.




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Without customers, the greenhouse would not be able to stay in business. As an employee, it
is important to understand the steps involved in the sales process so I can best help our clients.
Whether they call on the phone or visit the business in person, they expect to be waited on and
treated professionally. It is essential to complete three main objectives: establish rapport with
the customer, identify customer needs and close the sale. When a customer arrives they want
to be acknowledged and made to feel welcome. If they request help it is important to truly
understand what their needs and wants are. This is accomplished by asking questions and
listening to their answers. Most importantly, it is important for me to understand when to
close the sale and ensure the customer makes a purchase.
Different plants have different soil needs. One of my responsibilities is to prepare a potting
mixture for plants. I start with a basic mixture of potting soil and add organic matter such as
peat moss. I also add perlite and vermiculite according to the proper specifications needed for
the particular plant. The percentage of the components varies according to the plants I am
repotting. These soils are used to repot seedlings and plants from smaller containers into larger
ones. I utilize a potting mix with mulch to fill planters when I prepare containers of flowers.
The nursery maintains large piles of the mixtures behind the greenhouses. Mixing our own
potting soil is financially beneficial. The nursery does not incur the expensive of purchasing a
large quantity of potting material. We also blend up the mixture as we need it, and do not have
Accurate and precise knowledge to assure that my customers are satisfied and that their lawns
are properly cared for.
Working at a nursery, I receive the opportunity to experience growing and selling plants on a
professional level. I have learned when to market and promote the merchandise. Working at a
nursery customers are constantly coming by and I must have everything looking nice and in
order. Presentation is everything and if the customer doesn't like product it won't sell. I always
check and recheck the plant containers to ensure there isn't a plant missing that has amorality,
disease, or just doesn't look right. Keeping inventory is hard in this type of operation, but I had
to keep a good inventory and check it often in order to up with all of the crops. I used a
computer inventory database that allowed me order more plants if need, calculate propagation
dates, and to print availability list for our costumers.
Training trees and shrubs to an aesthetic and healthy form promotes growth and appearance.


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Pests are in everyone's greenhouse and landscapes and can be a bad problem if they are not
treated. Greenhouse white fly and silverleaf white fly can lead to premature leaf drop.
Greenhouse white flies hold their wing nearly flat, when at rest, while silverleaf white flies
hold their wings at a sharp angle. At the school greenhouse I had to identify and treat insects.
Their were aphids all over a crop Impatiens I had to quarantine the flowers, treat them and
keep them away from the customers and students. At Culberson Greenhouses I threw away a
crop of butterfly plants. The crop had been infected with aphids and the best practice was to
throw them away, in the production setting that we were using. It was cheaper to order another
crop and plant it then to treat and risk the pest spreading. If a ten to twenty foot wide plant free
zone using a weed cloth or mulch outside of the greenhouse reduces on pests.
I am certified to privately apply pesticides to our nursery crops. Correctly applying herbicides
and fungicides has increased the number of live, healthy plants and decreased the amount of
Knowing about plants and grass allows me to keep them healthy. By adding fertilizers,
fungicides, and pesticides at the right time I can extend the life of the plant, lowering
Taking care of the greenhouse plants meant watering 1 to 2 times daily depending on the
greenhouse environment, knowing when to fertilize and which type of fertilizer to use for
specific plants, ensuring each plant had adequate growing room, pinching plants back so that
they would be more compact and grow fuller, deadheading - or removing the fading blooms
from plants, identifying plant pest and disease and alerting the owners of problems. Most of
the plants are fertilized using a balanced water soluble fertilizer (20:10:20). Slow release
fertilizer is used in our hanging baskets, container gardens and nursery stock. Once a week we
flush the plant pots with fresh water to reduce the likelihood of any salt build up. I observe
plants daily to see if there are any signs of nutrient deficiency that might lead us to change our
fertilizer formula or cause us to add micro-nutrients. I also check soil pH on a regular basis.




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At Floral Expressions, I water the blooming, green, hanging, and any other plants that need
water. I also water and care for the plants at school in the greenhouse. I check them every day
because not all of the plants need water every time I water. I properly fertilize the plants
according to standard recommendations for each of the types of plants. Different areas of the
store have their own micro-climate. I evaluate each plant's condition and provide the proper
care for the individual plant according to its needs. At Jung's, I water the bedding and outdoor
plants twice a day which consists of 5 greenhouses worth of plants. I water early in the
morning before the sun gets too strong and again in the afternoon depending on if they need it
or not. The water system is hooked up to a fertilizer tank so all the water is fertilized
Towards the end of that season we would begin trips to sell house plants to flower shops and
retail greenhouses. This required me to sell plants to individuals, document those orders, and
provide healthy plants. It was a good learning experience that required me to use my sales
 I did two types of plant sales. One type of trip would be delivery to the temporary
greenhouses. The other type of sales trip was to flower shops and retail greenhouses to sell
house plants. The delivery to the temporary greenhouses was mostly pre-ordered bedding
plants that the customer was selling for the spring growing season. I had to make sure the
plants were delivered in good shape and help them unload and set them up for sale. We also
supplied landscaping trees and shrubs to some of these locations. Towards the end of that
season we would begin trips to sell house plants to flower shops and retail greenhouses. This
required me to sell plants to individuals, document those orders, and provide healthy plants. It
was a good learning experience that required me to use my sales skills.
Being knowledgeable about plants and their climates, I can assist the customer with selecting
the proper plants for their climate zone to maximize the success of the planting.
 In my years of working for Eternal Landscaping, I have already gotten to learn many of the
skills needed to complete the planting beds in a landscape design. I have spent a lot of time
properly installing the plants needed to complete the design. I have also learned the proper
ways to amend the soil, in cases where it is needed. I have also learned how and where to use
landscaping fabric or plastic and have installed all types of mulches. I have learned as a
supervisor that care must be used to follow the plan provided. This insures that the customer
receives what they expect from our company.


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Taking landscaping classes improved my landscape design skills and taught me to prepare
drawings to make better presentations to customers. I have increased this portion of my
business yearly.
Keeping plants at their maximum health and vigor improves the appearance of the landscape
and the health of the plants.
As plants mature, they may outgrow the containers they are currently in, or they may become
root bound. It becomes necessary for us to repot the plants into a larger container. It is
important to select the right size container when repotting plants. If the container selected is
too small, the root system is not able to pick up the needed oxygen and nutrients. If a plant is
potted into a container that is too large, the root system may not be adequately developed to
support the plant. The resulting product may be spindly or even fall over in the pot. One of my
responsibilities include taking plants from the two gallon containers and repotting them into 4
gallon container Sometimes customers may come in and wish to have a plant they are
purchasing repotted into a more decorative container to match their home decor or landscaping
The most important tool that a gardener works with is their soil and oftentimes the soil that I
am working with is not ready for transplanting. At home, our soil consists of highly compacted
silt and rocks. This causes shallow root growth due to rocks and lack of oxygen and the new
addition to the local hospital left their soil in a mainly claylike structure. An ideal soil mixture
would have an even mixture of sand, silt and clay creating a loamy soil. Therefore, to
counteract these problems I tilled NutriBase, a type of humus, or organic matter, into the soil
to increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the newly established plants could use to
thrive. Finally, I'm ready to transplant. I begin by digging holes three times the diameter of the
plant and even with the surface. When transplanting trees, I also secure them with stakes and
tree wrap to prevent pest damage, pets and sunscald.




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We grow and maintain our poinsettias between June and early January. Benches must be
highly sanitized prior to the cutting & sticking process, both which occur in the early morning
to avoid dehydration. First, the cuttings are inserted into oases foam trays that are later
transplanted into clay pots ranging between 4-10 inches, and the price is determined by the
number of bracts in each pot. As they grow they are repeatedly pinched by removing the top
1/2 inch from new shoots when they reach 4-5 inches to make the plant bushier and more
compact. This process will occur until September, to continue would delay flowering after the
holidays. The plants are also kept in a highly controlled environment by providing 14 hours
darkness then reducing to 7 in November to force blooms in 60-70 degrees F. In all, we had
over 140,000 in assorted varieties including Freedom Red, Prestige Red and DeVinci.
Plants must be reproduced either sexually, by using seeds, or asexually by taking cuttings. At
the greenhouse, we start our plants by seed, taking cuttings and also by ordering in plant plugs
(small plants already established with roots). All three methods cost the business money and
time and therefore must be handled appropriately. Understanding the growing schedule and
length of time from seed to plant flowering helps determine our seeding schedule. Customers
want plants that are in bloom. Therefore, schedules must be adjusted to ensure appropriate
time frames. Asexual cuttings can be taken using a parent plant's leaves, stem and even roots.
However, I must know the plant and cannot propagate and sell patented plants. Sanitation is
also a big concern. To ensure cutting success, I must make sure our materials such as cutting
knives, containers and even soil are free of disease and fungus.
To be successful, I have to propagate properly. I made cuttings from plants that were already in
the greenhouse. I used three different techniques when propagating. I would cut a piece of the
plant and stick it in soil, vermiculite, or water depending on the type of plant. After the cutting
is well rooted then I transplant the cutting. In order to cut the plant properly, in most cases I
would cut below the leaf where it meets the stem. The next type of cutting was root cutting. I
would cut a root anywhere from one to three inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch across of a tree or
shrub. I put the root in a soil medium and place the end that grew toward the stem up, with the
top just above the surface. I also used a seeding method. I put vermiculite in a tray and gently
spread seeds in a row. I covered the seeds lightly with vermiculite. The seeds were misted to
keep moisture in the vermiculite. When the seeds came up I transplanted them into bigger


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After the cuttings have rooted, I go through them and evaluate their quality and the quantity of
marketable plants. If not enough have survived the shock and stress of propagation, I dispose
of the failures and make enough additional cuttings to fill the anticipated market. If a certain
variety or type of plant doesn't propagate as well as I would like, I evaluate the parent stock for
diseases, stress or insects. I evaluate the procedures used to make the cuttings and the quality
of the growing media and containers. The results are recorded for future reference. If the
problem is confined to a specific variety, I recommend that an alternate variety be selected.
Another part of the evaluation process is trimming and pinching back transplants to promote
lateral growth, producing a stout and bushy plant that has eye appeal to the customer.
I have learned how to mix the various types of fertilizers and insecticides. I have learned the
proper way to spray the trees and shrubs. It is important to use proper safety measure when
using chemicals. We use a 5-10-5 mixture as a fertilizer. This would be 5 parts nitrogen,10
parts phosphorus, and 5 parts potassium. This mixture would be diluted with water before
applying to plants. Our nursery applies insecticides such as Diazinon and Sevin as insecticides.
The Diazinon is used to rid plants of chewing and sucking insects. Sevin is applied to
eliminate chewing insects. Some of the safety precautions we adhere to include, wearing
rubbing gloves when mixing materials, and wearing a respirator when application is in
process. Once I turn 18, I intend to complete the necessary study to earn a chemical
 I had to learn all the skills needed to get the different plants started. Most bedding plants we
started from seed. Most house plants were started from cuttings. We used plugs for plants we
were running low on because they got to a sellable size faster. To keep a death loss at a
minimum we used a lot of care when we watered. This helped control fungus and burning
problems. I also had to be aware of any possible insect problems. If I found insect problems
we evaluated what type they were and then dusted or sprayed them. Staying on top of
problems really saves the greenhouse a lot of potential problems. Damaged or unattractive




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Pruning is a skill that is learned by instruction and then by practice. As a part of the lawn
maintenance for our customers it was imperative that I know the proper time of year to prune
the specific tree and/or shrub. I consulted landscape manuals to know all the cultural needs of
the plants and proper pruning methods. When I first began, my employer would guide me
through the process but as time went on, I began pruning on my own. Often times on large
commercial jobs, I would spend 8 hours a day pruning an array of shrubs and trees. This
experience has allowed me to develop pruning skills sufficient for any job. If I am unfamiliar
with a particular tree or shrub, I know to research information about its growth habits and then
Adjustments in water and sunlight must be made in the growing season to allow for changes in
the environment.
One of my jobs for Eternal Landscaping was to follow a detailed plan and install the plants
correctly. I had to read a site plan and lay out all of the plant materials to specification. Once I
located all the plants, I had to go ahead and plant them correctly. All different types of plants
require different planting techniques. I had to be careful not to plant any plants that could get
root bound. If they looked like that could be a problem, I would cut the outside of the root ball.
This stops the roots from growing around in a circle. I also learned how to correctly water in
the plants and make sure that all the soil was settled around the roots.
Accurate records have allowed me to manage my finances and plan for each rotation of plants
by getting materials and supplies ahead of time.
Accurate records are essential for all businesses to prosper.
By keeping good records, I can find out my profits and expenses. I can also keep track of any
bills that I might owe.
If a mower breaks down on the job I can fix it there and avoid not having to go to the dealer
and waiting, this saves me money and prevents lost time.




                                                                           1162
                                                  Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


Cuttings are taken from healthy, well-established plants. These plants are non-proprietary
plants or plants that we are licensed to propagate. All of the cuttings get put under the mist
irrigation system as soon as they are planted. After a few weeks or as soon as I have
determined that they have enough roots, they get placed on large benches where they get hand
watered. They are then transplanted so they are ready to be sold. All of the plants get watered
daily and depending on the weather, sometimes twice a day. The cuttings have to be taken at
the right time so that they can be ready for the garden center starting in the spring and for the
catalog year round. The plants get fertilized water every time they get watered. It is difficult to
estimate the thousands of cuttings that I have made because the rate is varied by the species,
vigor of the parent plant and availability potting material.
Hart's Nursery is a locally owned retail garden center. I was responsible for retail sales of
bedding plants, shrubs, and roses. We also sold garden statues, hardscape materials and lawn
and garden chemicals and supplies. Since it was a local business we stressed customer
service. Many of our customers came to us with questions about their garden and landscapes
and wanted personal attention and guidance. A large portion of my time was spent with
customer care. I enjoyed the interaction with the customer and helping them with their
gardening needs. I assisted them from the time they came in the store with selection of
product, handling cash or credit card sales and loading the merchandise in their vehicle. I had
many repeat customers and it was rewarding to be sought out for advice.

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Safe operation of equipment including tractors, skid loaders, rototillers, string trimmers,
trenchers, and power shears has increased my productivity.
Safety practices are implemented by the use of safety glasses, safety shoes, and other
protective items required to perform the job safely and correctly.




                                                                           1162
                                                  Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


In order to sell a plant, it must first be one of quality, but also requires a good customer
relations employee. During our peak seasons, I often worked in retail providing assistance
finding the perfect plant and advice with the customers purchases. As a salesperson I had to be
knowledgeable and be an excellent communicator by advertising sales and clearances, as well
as anticipating their needs. Upon approaching the customer, I would create attention by
establishing rapport and friendliness. But, it doesn't stop there. I also demonstrated the features
and benefits to that product that related to the customers' wants and needs. Finally, I would
confirm their interest and offer to wrap special purchases with poly foil and ribbon. Even
further, we would sleeve their purchases and personally load their vehicles for them. Great
knowledge in addition to great service ensures multiple return visits.
Sanitation in the greenhouses prevents the spread of diseases. One form of sanitation that I
used was the diluted chemical, Zerotol, which is a non-toxic fungicide, bactericide and viricide
that leaves no residue. I would start by mixing 50-300 parts water/1 part concentrate in the
foam machine, which is a low volume applicator that converts otherwise liquids into foam. It
was used only on the tables, benches, walls and floors; not on the plants themselves.
Additionally, smoking was not allowed in the greenhouses to prevent the common disease,
tobacco mosaic virus. Anyone who had previously been smoking was asked to thoroughly
wash their hands. There have been some cases in which diseases spread and killed a small
portion of our flower crops because of improper sanitation though there have never been large
Being able to store seeds previously collected I am able to utilize them throughout the year.
Reducing or eliminating costs for outside labor to service or repair equipment, thereby making
my business more productive and efficient.
 I was responsible for the set up of greenhouses in a three-state area. These greenhouses would
be the type seen at Hyvee and Dakota Mart. We also set up small greenhouses for flower
shops. As part of a three person crew, I would help assemble the frame structure and then
secure the plastic covering. These greenhouses were maintained through the spring planting
season. At the end of the season we went back to the same locations and disassembled the
greenhouses and brought them home. While on these trips, I was responsible for dealing with
the customer on site. We had to make sure to keep the customer happy and do a good job
In the world of landscaping, time is money. I have to manage time to complete jobs, pick up
materials, and to return phone calls.

                                                                          1162
                                                  Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


If you are far away from home and something breaks down you can do your own repairs
immediately, saving time and money.
At Jung's, this is done by taking plugs and planting them into larger trays of 25's. This is a tray
of individual pots and depending on where the plants will be used, they have labels on all the
pots or on the pots on all four corners. The original type of growing medium used for the
cuttings consists mainly of perlite and a little peat moss. The growing medium that they get
transplanted to is made up of mainly peat moss and a little vermiculite and perlite. The
transplants usually only get transplanted once before they get sold or shipped. Transplanting
allows the plants to spread their roots so they can become large, healthy plants. Also, those
trays can stay in a greenhouse and get watered by hand where the cuttings are under a mist
irrigation system. At the high school greenhouse, we used Jiffy Mix for rooting and growing
Planting trees and transplanting ornamentals has taught me to plant it right the first time for
best results.
The tree will continue to thrive and the customer will be satisfied with my work.
Crop success within the greenhouse largely relies on the proper watering of the plants.
Without water plants cannot survive. Improper watering can result in slow growth, unhealthy
plants and even death. Because greenhouse crops are grown in containers with soil less
potting medium essential nutrients must be provided in the form of fertilizers. Determining
how often to water depends on several factors such as, the amount of light, temperature, and
humidity in the greenhouse and the type of soil, container and even the plant itself.
Techniques used to determine irrigation needs include looking at plants for signs of wilt or
fading, feeling for the weight of the container and moisture of the soil two inches below the
soil line, and looking at the color of the soil. Knowing the appropriate irrigation measures
helped me ensure healthy plants customers wanted to purchase.




                                                                           1162
                                                   Diversified Horticulture Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


The overall appearance of a nursery and landscape operation area and grounds is very
important to the success of the business. Consumers will not wish to purchase plants and trees
from a business that appears unkempt and overgrown. Due to the nature of this business we
have to manually remove most weeds to prevent the plants coming into contact with harmful
chemicals. Initially, I had to learn to identify weeds from desired plant growth. Weeds must be
removed by hand and done carefully so fragile plant parts and root systems are not damaged. I
use small handheld rakes, and spades to insist in the removal of stubborn weeds. Also, it is
important to keep the plants maintained so that when we transplant them into a landscape
project, they don't look old and dilapidated. Heavy rainfalls often necessitate extra time to
remove weeds and grasses.
Oftentimes, customers purchase potted plants for the purpose of a wedding, funeral or special
gift. These purchases are wrapped with florists poly foil to add interest to the plant, as well as
hide defects or discolorations. In the process of wrapping a potted plant with poly foil, the
customer typically chooses the foil color; however, sometimes they feel more comfortable
leaving us with the decision, in which case we simply choose a color that will harmonize the
flowers or foliage of the plant. By holding the foil up 2/3 of the plants height, I cut the foil and
begin a series of folding that will cover the plant. To visually balance the product I add the
final touch, the bow. It took me a while to successfully make a bow, but nonetheless, the final
product was a beautiful piece of art that the customer could be proud to display or give as a

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                                                                            1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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         Sheet
Here

 ↓
     Diversified
     Livestock        P     Administer Injections
     Production




     Diversified
                          Administering Treatment
     Livestock        P
                                  Shots.
     Production



     Diversified       Artificial Insemination / Sire
     Livestock        E selection Use of Clean up
     Production                      bull




     Diversified
     Livestock        P Assisting in Hoof Trimming
     Production




                                                              1162
                                 Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P    Barn Management
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P    Blood Withdrawal
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P   Breeding of Livestock
     Production




                                                            1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P        Bumping Sows
     Production




                         Calf & Lamb Vaccination
     Diversified              Calves - blackleg,
     Livestock        E brucellosis, shipping fever,
     Production         ralgro, leptospirosis Lambs -
                            overeating & tetanus




     Diversified
     Livestock        P            Calving
     Production




     Diversified            Care for the Newborn
                      E
     Livestock               Livestock Properly.
     Diversified
     Livestock        E       Culling Practices
     Production
     Diversified
                      E    Custom Feed Rationing
     Livestock

                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        E       Decreased Costs
     Production
     Diversified
     Livestock        E   Deworming of Livestock
     Production
     Diversified
                          Diagnosing and Treating
     Livestock        E
                                 Sickness
     Production
     Diversified
     Livestock        E       Disbud Wethers
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P       Disease Control
     Production




                        DNA Analysis - Selection of
                         breeding ewes and use of
     Diversified
                        pedigrees in selection, using
     Livestock        E
                         performance tested rams,
     Production
                          learning recessive traits,
                                 phenotype




                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P    Equipment Maintenance
     Production


                          Establish routine animal
                         health care program cattle
                              vaccinated for -
     Diversified
                        IBR,BVD,PI3, BRSV, Scour
     Livestock        E
                        guard 3,anthelmintics; Ewes
     Production
                           & does vaccinated for
                          enterotoxemia, tetanus,
                                  selenium
     Diversified
                      E      Evaluating Pedigrees
     Livestock
     Diversified
     Livestock        E     Evaluation of Livestock
     Production




     Diversified
                          Farrowed / Processed Swine
     Livestock        P
                                    Litters
     Production




                                                              1162
                                 Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P Feeding and Cleaning Swine
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P       Feeding Cattle
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P       Feeding Cattle
     Production




                                                            1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified             Feeding Livestock
     Livestock        P    According to Nutritional
     Production              Management Plan




     Diversified
                          Handled Animals in a Safe
     Livestock        P
                               Caring Manner
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        E        Heat Detection
     Production
     Diversified          Improvement of Practice
                      E
     Livestock                      Arena
     Diversified         Insect/Fly Control/ parasite
                      E
     Livestock          control/ Preventive medicine




                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P   Inserting an IV into a cow
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P      Livestock Breeding
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P     Livestock Evaluation
     Production




                                                              1162
                                 Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P      Livestock Safety
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P Maintenance on Equipment
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        E    Marketing and Sales
     Production
     Diversified
     Livestock        E    Marketing Livestock
     Production
     Diversified
     Livestock        E      Marketing Skills
     Production


                                                            1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P    Measuring Rate of Gain
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P      Milking Dairy Cows
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P     Monitoring Livestock
     Production




     Diversified            Nutrition and Dietary
                      E
     Livestock            Requirements for Livestock




                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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                          Nutrition -Balancing feed
                          rations from crops grown;
     Diversified           use computer program to
     Livestock        E balance my own rations and
     Production         evaluate feed tags, determine
                         difference in trace minerals
                             and quality of protein



     Diversified
     Livestock        P Operating large equipment.
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P   Parasite Control Program
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        E     Pasture Management
     Production




                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        P      Pasture Management
     Production




     Diversified           Pedigree evaluation / DHI
                      E
     Livestock               Record interpretation


     Diversified
     Livestock        P        Piglet Processing
     Production




     Diversified
                          Power washing and applying
     Livestock        P
                                 disinfectant
     Production


     Diversified
                      E      Processing Baby Pigs
     Livestock




                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified        Production and Harvesting
     Livestock        P    of Quality Food for
     Production               Horses/Cattle




     Diversified        Production and harvesting of
     Livestock        P quality food stuff for horses
     Production                  and cattle.




     Diversified             Proper Feed and
                      E
     Livestock                 Supplements
                        Record keeping/Accounting -
     Diversified
                        Farm is registered with Natl
     Livestock        E
                          Animal ID program and
     Production
                             National Scrapie
     Diversified
     Livestock        E        Recordkeeping
     Production

                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
     Livestock        E        Recordkeeping
     Production




     Diversified
     Livestock        P        Recordkeeping
     Production




     Diversified        Safe and Proper Equipment
                      E
     Livestock                  Operation
     Diversified           Safety Working with
                      E
     Livestock                   Livestock
     Diversified        Sales Techniques, Utilizing
     Livestock        E     Digital Camera and
     Production             Computer Software




     Diversified
                          Sanitation and Maintenance
     Livestock        P
                            of Livestock Facilities.
     Production




                                                              1162
                                   Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
                      E Selecting Quality Livestock
     Livestock
     Diversified           Selection, Judging and
                      E
     Livestock              Evaluation Livestock
     Diversified           Semen Handling, Heat
     Livestock        E    Detection and Artificial
     Production                 Insemination
     Diversified
                      E    Show and Fit Livestock
     Livestock




     Diversified
     Livestock        P         Teat Dipping
     Production




     Diversified
                          The milking process (pre-
     Livestock        P
                          washing and post dipping).
     Production


     Diversified        Trained Livestock to Electric
                      E
     Livestock                     Fence
     Diversified        Utilizing Expected Progeny
                      E
     Livestock             Difference (EPD) Data

                                                              1162
                                  Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples

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     Diversified
                          Vaccinating Livestock for
     Livestock        P
                             Various Diseases.
     Production




     Diversified
                          Vaccination, Tracking of
     Livestock        E
                                 Animals
     Production
     Diversified           Vaccinations, Parasite
                      E
     Livestock            Control and Medications




     Diversified
     Livestock        P      Walking the Boar
     Production




     Diversified
                      E     Weighing Livestock
     Livestock
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                                                             1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


I give injection for cows letting their milk down (Oxytocin) and Vitamin B shots when they are
sick. To give an injection, I place the needle into the vial after putting air in the syringe. This
allows for air to replace the liquids I am pulling out of the vial and prevents leakage. I then
withdraw medication, for example, 2 CC'x of Oxytocin when a cow isn't letting her milk down
properly or is having complication in birth. I then flick the syringe to remove all air pockets so I
don't harm the cow by injecting any oxygen into her blood stream. I guide the needle into the
cow's rear leg, making sure the needle goes in straight or else the needle might break. A broken
needle would increase my chance of being kicked or self-administering medication that was not
meant for me while trying to pull the needle back out. After giving the shot, I massage the area
where the needle was inserted into the cow .
Every day when heat checking the rows of opportunity sows, if a sow is in need of a treatment
shot it is written down on a dry erase board, which records the number of days the sow will be
treated and who administered the treatment. The sow is either treated with Penicillin or Tylan or
both, depending on the sow's appearance. If the sow doesn't appear to be eating or has aborted,
she gets a treatment shot of Penicillin; whereas, Tylan is administered if the sow has swollen
joints. Treatment shots are necessary to help get a sow back to its normal health and hopefully
get many more piglets from her in the future. Although this skill is only performed at Iowa
Select Farms, I believe the knowledge I've gained from it will benefit me in the future on the
Using AI has improved my offspring, allowed me to select for the traits I needed to improve my
overall herd; helped improve weaning weights and milk by 15%; cows calved in groups;
conception rate 95%
One of the quickest ways to loose a quality cow is by not maintaining the care of her hooves so
in order to decrease our number of cull cows were purchased our own trimming chute and do
regular examinations of cattle's hooves. Once a cow is in the chute and the hoof that needs to be
trimmed is raised and secured, a trimming knife is used to scrape away excess manure and trim
the toe down to a more comfortable size for the cow. If a hairy wart is found, pine tar is placed
onto a paper towel and then about one to two ounces of tetracycline crystals is poured over the
top of the tar. The paper towel is then placed over the hairy wart and secured with vet wrap. We
usually leave the wrap on the cow for about three weeks, at which time we use a scissors to cut
and remove the wrap.


                                                                           1162
                                             Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


To maintain a clean dairy facility, proper management must be exercised daily. Scraping gutters
and bedding straw after each milking is necessary when pursuing proper management. By first
using the skid steer to scrap the gutters and then following with a hand scraper helps get the job
done more quickly and efficiently. To prevent the cows from slipping in the gutter, the gutter is
limed after being scraped out. Keeping clean and dry straw under the cows helps maintain cow
comfort, which increases milk production. Bean straw is preferred at Miller's Blue Ridge Farms
rather than oat straw because it is more absorbent, which helps keep the milking area clean and
In order to exhibit steers and pigs at the county fair they must be examined by a veterinarian and
have blood samples taken. In order to withdraw blood from pigs they must be restrained by
using a systems of gates and human force but because the pigs value lies within its hams and
sides it is essential that care and finesse is taken. Once the pig is penned-up the head must be
restrained to prevent the pig from biting the withdrawer. The needle is then inserted into the
neck and the plunger is pulled back until between two and five CC'x have been attained. When
first learning how to withdraw blood in swine many people will become flustered by the loud
squeal produced by the pig but practice and experience shows that restraining the pig bothers it
more then the needle being stuck into it.
I have assisted with breeding on a few occasions. The cattle at Maplebrook Farm are artificially
inseminated which means there is a lot more to breeding then just natural selection. I have
learned how to read pedigrees to gain a better understanding of what sire and dam should be
mated together. In the case of a dairy cattle producer they are looking for a heifer calf to be
produced that would show a high rate milk production as a cow. Thus when examining pedigree
milk records are important to study closely. In the case of AI the first step and probably the
most important is to secure the animal for safety purposes. When inseminating it is important to
guide the semen in correctly. The process requires the use of a long glove to help in sanitation.
I have learned to keep records of when the cow was inseminated in order to assure that the
process was successful. Overall breeding dairy cattle has been an interesting and essential part
of the skills that I have gained at Maplebrook Farm.




                                                                         1162
                                               Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                     Knowledge/Competency


Bumping sows is simply just moving a group of sows from one row to another. This procedure
is usually done to make room in the artificial insemination row for sows in estrus found earlier
that day when heat checking. Red hog panels are used to direct the sow or stop it from making a
wrong turn. Bumping is done most efficiently with two people, where one will send the sows
down the row and the other will catch the sows further down the row and put them in crates.
Another time bumping is performed is when new gilts come in. As many as 150 gilts could
come in at one time, and this would mean that 150 crates would have to be open, but rather than
finding crates all over the hog barn, different groups are bumped tight to ensure multiple empty
crates in one area. Therefore, bumping is necessary to keep adequate space in the buildings.

I vaccinate the calves & lambs for blackleg, all heifers for Brucellosis. This helps the resale
value and allows me to enter the calves in state graded sales; has helped in heavier weaning
weights, 50 lbs

I have spent time helping with the calving process. Many times first calf cows have a difficult
time giving birth and I have to step in to help. When a cow has a difficult time giving birth the
potential for death goes up greatly for both the cow and the calf. Thus when the records show
that a cow is nearing time to give birth they are isolated into a field in which it is easier to watch
them. The process of monitoring her is important at this stage because you do not want to be to
late to save the calf if problems arise. If a cow starts to struggle while giving birth then I will
hook straps to the calves legs to help pull. One of the most important points to remember at this
stage is to only pull when the cow strains and pushes. When the cow pushes then the overall
resistance is reduced and it becomes much easier to get the calf out. After the calf comes out
then I remove all of the placenta from around the face so the animal can breath. The importance
I used heat lamps when needed and made sure that all animals nursed or drank in the first hour.
I usually work alone, so culling for disposition helps me select for cattle that are safe and easy to
handle. Culling for poor performance data has increased the quality of the herd and decreased
stress levels.
A custom ration I developed with the help of my Ag Ed Instructor resulted in lower feed costs
and better conception rates. As a result, 95% of all my does settled on the first service.

                                                                             1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


By using animals I raised from my herds, I was able to decrease one large cost associated with
training horses - practice stock. Additionally, worn-out stock is turned out on pasture to
maximize sales income.
I developed the deworming program with our veterinarian. Parasite infestations are the number
one contributing factor to many diseases in sheep and goats. By controlling parasites with
regular deworming, ZERO deaths associated with parasite infestations occurred.
If an animal is sick or injured, I am able to accurately diagnose and effectively treat routine
ailments, which reduces animal loss and costs for vet care. I also know when it is appropriate
and best to call a vet.
Disbudding wethers at the proper age is very important when selling show projects. By
disbudding kids at 7-10 days of age, I was able to save $45 per head if I had to have them
cosmetically dehorned.
Diseases are a major problem in the swine industry. To help prevent the spreading of diseases,
an employee at Iowa Select Farms must shower before entering the building and once in the
boundaries of the building one cannot touch the ground outside a door or chute. Another practice
that is encouraged at Iowa Select Farms is the disposal of used needles. After a needle is used it
is placed in a red plastic biosecurity jug and when that is full it is taken out of the building and
disposed of properly. Although no one can literally control a disease, the spreading of diseases
can be minimized by careful procedures. On the dairy farm a disease control method is exercised
almost every time I leave the dairy barn. This activity is merrily just spraying off our rubber
boots, which are worn all around the farm. We also apply pour-on onto the cattle to kill


Flock enrolled in scrapie free program; all ewes at least QR & rams RR, lambs DNA tested to
improve marketability. To select quality easy keeping ewes, through genotype & phenotyping;




                                                                           1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


I do this for half of an hour after every milking. All milkers are washed with hot water and soap
to remove all dirt and manure. This prevents dirt from plugging up airlines and inflations.
Everything is then sanitized with pipeline acid to kill the bacteria on the milkers and prevent
buildup in the pipelines. I monitor all of the milkers to ensure they are all working properly. If
they are broken, I fix them to prevent mastitis problems or if I am unable to fix the problem I
make sure that an appointment is made to have it repaired. The most common problem is when
the air tubes come unhooked from the claw and I have to reattach them.



The cows and yearlings are dewormed twice per year; ewes every 60 days. Cows are vaccinated
prior to breeding. Ewes are vaccinated prior to lambing. This has decreases death loss and
increase quality.



I choose my livestock with the best blood lines in order to decide which animals are the ones I
would want to keep and use for breeding purposes. I looked at the EPD's on the pedigree.
I participated in judging contests in area competitions. I also participated in meat evaluating
contests. This enabled me to know how to choose which animals of mine I want to keep and
which are my worst.
Sows are cleaned and moved to the farrowing barn two to three days prior to their scheduled
farrowing date. This gives them time to adjust to their surrounding, thus reducing stress. Sows
are then placed on a ration to help keep them loose to avoid constipation. After farrowing, the
sow’s temperature is checked for a couple of days to gauge her overall health condition. An
elevated temperature sometimes is a sign of infection. During the farrowing process I monitor
the sow’s progress, watching for signs of distress or birthing problems. I ensure each piglet is
dry, thrifty and nurses. I remove waste material and make sure the area is clean. Usually at three
days of age piglets are given iron shots and vaccinated for Erysipelas and Rhinitis. Since are
main markets are registered breeding stock or show pigs we do not dock tails or castrate the
entire boar pig population. If the litter is designated as show prospects we do castrate at 14 days
when we perform routine health practices like ear notching and clipping eyeteeth.

                                                                           1162
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                                     Knowledge/Competency


Because we raise our pigs primarily during the summer months it is important that we monitor
their facilities everyday. If the pigs get too hot, they can't perspire to cool themselves, therefore,
they must be provided with shade, but they also need room to travel in order to develop muscle
toning. We water the pigs everyday rather than using a stock tank and a float in order to monitor
their water consumption. We also clean and bed the pig pen everyday with fresh straw in order
to keep the pigs clean and cool. We usually feed our pigs by hand every morning and night from
April until about late July to encourage them to eat more and grow faster. We then switch to
feeding them through a self-feeder in late July because by this point the pigs are fairly large and
can become too aggressive and dangerous when feeding them without assistance from anyone
In the case of Maplebrook Farm there are different categories of feeding cows such as pregnant,
lactating, and dry. All of these different cows have various levels of feed that they receive. For
example, when I feed the dry cows most of the time is just is a minor amount of hay and some
grain. These are cows that are not producing milk at the time and have not been bred back so
they are not burning as many calories. In the case of cows that are wet, they require more feed.
When the cow comes in for milking we will give them a little grain. On a regular basis the cows
receive a large amount of forages and silage. These are cows that are working hard to produce
milk and thus need more energy. In the case of pregnant cows they also receive a great amount
of forages. In this case they are carrying a calf and thus the body is working hard to provide
nutrition for both animals. Overall feeding and understanding feed requirements is an important
part of working in livestock production.
In the case of Maplebrook Farm there are different categories of feeding cows such as pregnant,
lactating, and dry. All of these different cows have various levels of feed that they receive. For
example, when I feed the dry cows most of the time is just is a minor amount of hay and some
grain. These are cows that are not producing milk at the time and have not been bred back so
they are not burning as many calories. In the case of cows that are wet, they require more feed.
When the cow comes in for milking we will give them a little grain. On a regular basis the cows
receive a large amount of forages and silage. These are cows that are working hard to produce
milk and thus need more energy. In the case of pregnant cows they also receive a great amount
of forages. In this case they are carrying a calf and thus the body is working hard to provide
nutrition for both animals. Overall feeding and understanding feed requirements is an important
part of working in livestock production.

                                                                            1162
                                               Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                     Knowledge/Competency


Balanced rations are essential to a good nutritional management program. When selecting a
ration I consider several things nutrient content, cost, availability, and will the animals eat it.
Different rations and protein requirements are feed depending on the stage of health,
development or production of the animal. During lactation a higher volume nutrient dense feed
is needed for animals that are nursing to maintain condition for the next breeding cycle. I have
learned how to balance rations according to the phase of production. Animals in gestation or
maintenance are feed a cost effective diet that maintains the animal’s weight and body condition.
If animal is going to market a feed with a higher fat content is fed to get the animal ready to
butcher. Stocker steers are run on wheat pasture supplemented with minerals and hay. Wheat
pasture is used to grow steers until they are sent to the feedlots.
Safety is a priority in any livestock business. Handling the animals in a safe and stress free
manner reduces weight loss, helps prevent stress related illnesses, provides a safer environment,
and increase profits. I conduct daily safety inspections at the barns and facilities. It is my
responsibility to ensure that the animals are housed and treated in a safe manner. GIF receptacles
are installed in areas where there is potential water exposure to electricity. I inspect all electrical
cords for cuts, breaks or exposed wires for potential hazards. I ensure all electrical cords are
placed well out of reach from curious animals. Heat lamps are only used in areas that are free
from fire danger and inspected regularly. Heater flues are checked for obstructions. Alleyways,
pens, and crates are inspected for damage or for any obstructions that could cause injury. If
something is identified as unsafe it is removed or repaired immediately. The grounds are kept
free of trash and debris. Equipment is maintained in safe working conditions.
I used K-Mar heat detection strips on my cows to accurately detect when they are bred. This
allows me to predict calving dates, and to ensure that all cows are bred. This helped me get
100% calf crop.
I used panels to narrow my practice arena to help keep the calves running straight. Allowing the
practice calves the opportunity to turn back really hinders training of roping horses.
Spraying cattle about once a month and vaccinating for pink eye decreased the incidence of pink
eye from 4 cases to none




                                                                             1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


After a cow calves, if she shows any signs of becoming ill, she is immediately IV'd with one
bottle of calcium and one bottle of dextrose. If a cow goes down and is unable to perform or
stand, she is also given an IV. The first step is to place the bottles into a bucket of warm water
so that the temperature of the calcium is close to the body temperature of the cow. A small
amount of iodine is added to the water for sanitation. We then tie the cows head to the partition
to prevent her from moving as much and from swinging her head around and knocking us down
unexpectedly. The IV needle is inserted into the vein in the neck, or below the stomach at a 45
degree angle. When blood begins to flow through the needle the IV line and bottle is attached to
the needle and the liquid medication is adminstered into the blood stream.
I have assisted with breeding on a few occasions. The cattle at Maplebrook Farm are artificially
inseminated which means there is a lot more to breeding then just natural selection. I have
learned how to read pedigrees to gain a better understanding of what sire and dam should be
mated together. In the case of a dairy cattle producer they are looking for a heifer calf to be
produced that would show a high rate milk production as a cow. Thus when examining pedigree
milk records are important to study closely. In the case of AI the first step and probably the
most important is to secure the animal for safety purposes. When inseminating it is important to
guide the semen in correctly. The process requires the use of a long glove to help in sanitation.
I have learned to keep records of when the cow was inseminated in order to assure that the
process was successful. Overall breeding dairy cattle has been an interesting and essential part
of the skills that I have gained at Maplebrook Farm.
Being able to evaluate and determine quality livestock from the average feeder cattle is essential.
Cattle being raised and or sold for market versus breeding have different qualities and need
slightly different treatment. Before showing at the fair I must decide between which animals I
will be selling for carcass and which will be shown as breeding stock. This involves examining
the pigs weight versus its height and length, its muscle toning, fat development throughout the
rear, and its ability to walk and stand with ease. I have been able to sharpen my skills in judging
cattle through my involvement in my livestock project at the fair - exhibiting swine for seven
years, and though participating in the FFA's career development contest including livestock
judging and practicing with the dairy judging team.




                                                                          1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


When milking safety is a key activity because of the close range between you and the cow. One
of the important points I always remember is to keep the cow aware of where I am the entire
time. When I walk near the cow I will often talk to her or start my hand on her side so she
knows I am near. By keeping the animal aware of where I am she is less likely to become afraid
and react aggressively. Another point of safety I have developed is staying close to the animal
where she cannot get a full kick extension. The closer you are to an animal the less likely it is
for the animal to do a great deal of damage if they kick you because of lower force. Finally I
have learned to watch the cow when I go to get the calf for the first time. Often mother animals
are more likely to attack or charge when it is their first offspring. Thus I make sure when I start
to bother the calf that I have an escape route or in some cases that I have a place to hide from the
cow. Overall safety is a part of every thing I do on a regular basis.
Down time on equipment is costly to the operation. Preventive maintenance is crucial in keeping
equipment in the proper running condition that reduces wear and helps prevent unexpected
problems. Through my agriculture education classes I have learned the basics in plumbing,
principles of electricity, small gasoline engines and fence repairs. These skills have become
beneficial in repairing water lines and hydrants, replacing water nipples, repairing heat lamps
and extension cords, keeping the power washer operational and general maintenance of pens &
barns. I have also acquired skills in the farm shop like welding, cutting and general mechanics.
Before operating any equipment, I check all fluid levels, tires and do a visual appraisal of the
working condition of the equipment. I am responsible for operating tractors in a safe manner
when performing job duties like hauling hay & feed, scraping out lots, and mowing.
I sold goats, swine and cattle to individuals for market practice. By doing this, I was able to
avoid paying sale expenses at livestock auctions. 24 head were marketed for a savings of over
$180 in commissions.
Marketing my animals at the right price to be fair to myself and the consumer. I tried to be very
fair to the consumer by looking up the prices before I sold my livestock to know I was being fair
to them. I still tried to get the highest price so that I could make a profit.
Word-of-mouth advertising works well in our small community for beef. A partnership with a
premier Red Angus breeder and participation in a popular bull test and sale have increased my
visibility and sales.


                                                                           1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


In order to maintain a profit in the beef and swine market, livestock need to be finished and sold
within the right time frame at the appropriate ending weight. To calculate an animal's
effectiveness in developing within its time frame one can calculate its rate of gain, a measure of
the animals weight gain per day. This can be calculated by subtracting its beginning weight by
its ending weight and then dividing that amount by the number of days between the beginning
and ending weight. If the ending weight is too low, then the animal was not growing as fast as it
should have and most likely the profit from that animal will not be as high as an animal with a
I have a lot of experience doing this since I do it every morning and every night with few
exceptions. When I start, I first remove the manure from behind the cows. This makes it safer
for me and cleaner for both of us. I then dip each teat with Quartermate - this sanitizes the teat
as well as helping aides in milk let-down. We then remove the excess Quartermaster with paper
rags. This makes the teat clean and dry for milking. The milker is applied with care taken to
prevent leaks. When then post dip with Bovidine - a liquid that helps to seal the end of the teat
and prevent bacteria from getting in.
One of the most important activities that I do each time I work is monitoring animals. This is as
simple as just being in the same field or barn with the cattle or even the horses. One an animal
is around me I look for signs of disease or other problems. For example if a heifer is off feed or
looking weak, I make a note of it and report it to the farm owner. Thus a decision can be made
by the farm operator on what to do with the animal. Over the course of my placement I have
probably helped the farm a great deal by just understanding what a healthy beef or dairy animal
looks like. As soon as an animal can be treated then it is more likely to re-enter the milk or herd
or take care of her offspring in the case of the beef cattle. Overall I take great pride in the fact
that I am trusted often to be the one that checks the livestock and works with them in terms of
keeping them healthy. This activity of monitoring will be a valuable skill that I will use
I went to a trusted local herdsmen and feed nutritionist to get proper feed formulas. The correct
feed rations allowed my animals to grow and produce at a faster and more efficient rate




                                                                           1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency




Lambs & Calves are creep fed which increase calf weaning weights by 50 + lbs. Lamb days to
market decreased to 140.Cows and ewes are fed more prior to breeding which improved
conception rate by 10%


At Miller's Blue Ridge Farms I drive the tractor on a feed wagon to get feed in the bunk and to a
nearby farm to feed replacement heifers. I also drive tractor when operating bale wagons in the
summer. A not-so-pleasant job I do at my swine placement is to haul dead sows and piglets to a
rendering box at Iowa Select Farms. I started driving tractor many years ago while picking rock
for Miller's Blue Ridge Farms. It is a great skill to have acquired because there are multiple
activities that can be done with a tractor. I also am capable of operating the skid steer, which
saves on extra labor. This piece of equipment also saves much time, which would otherwise be
spent struggling to get chores done before the sun goes down.
Knowing the life cycle of parasites is essential to their control. Information that I have learned
in my agriculture education classes has helped me develop a management plan for parasite
control. Also I learned how to identify symptoms animals would exhibit if they were infested
with worms. Realizing that sheep and goats graze close to the ground, they are more susceptible
to contracting internal parasites. Also horses tend to have trouble with internal parasites. I
developed an intense deworming schedule with a rotation of medicine, so the different species of
animals would not build up a resistance to the dewormer. Cattle on the other hand can be
wormed once or twice a year depending on their pasture and condition. I am always looking for
alternative ways to control parasites, like running cattle in pastures where sheep have grazed
helps break up the life cycle of the sheep parasites, since sheep and cattle do not have the same
Proper pasture rotation allows for maximum forage production. I group my cattle by age or size
so they don't have to complete for pasture. Rotation also reduces parasites due disruption in their
life cycle.




                                                                          1162
                                             Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


Through controlled grazing, I have learned how to manage grasses and take full advantage of the
pasture resources available. The knowledge and skills that I have learned in my horticulture
class has been valuable in the identification of different types of grasses and forbs. Each grass
has its own attributes and reacts differently to grazing. Weather also plays a role in controlled
grazing. The pastures are a blend of warm and cool season grasses to provide diversity.
Knowing the parts of a plant, their life cycle, how they reproduce and grow has been helpful in
determining when the herd needs to be moved to the next paddock. Goats tend to eat more forbs
than cattle and prefer to eat forage no taller than 6 inches. I closely monitor the pastures and
move the herd when the remaining leaf material is no lower than 2 inches. Controlled grazing
has been an effective tool for weed control and has proven beneficial management of internal
I have learned to read and evaluate EPD's and to use them to mate sires and dams. Also used to
evaluate offspring based on performance and phenotype.
I hadn't worked much with pigs before I started working at Iowa Select Farms. Thus processing
was a new skill I had to acquire. When the piglets are one day old, they are processed.
Processing includes docking tails and administering shots. Iron and Naxcel shots are given in
the neck of the piglet to help keep the piglet alive while at a young age. Docking tails involves
using a hot docker that burns the tail and decreases blood loss by singeing the end of the
remaining tail. Piglet processing can account for much of my day at work sometimes. We have
had times where there are 48 litters born in less then a 24 hour period.
After a room of farrowed sows is emptied, it is prepared for power washing. This job involves
dumping excess feed out of the feeders and spraying the room with barn cleaner. Being that the
rooms are so large, two people power wash at the same time to get the job completed more
quickly. When I am washing the room, a rubber mat in each crate must be turned over to clean
the underside and thrown on top of the crate to dry. Immediately following the washing process,
the nozzle must be changed to apply a disinfectant to all the crates. Each room opens to a long
hall, which is also washed and disinfected while the power wash is still in operation.
I used safety by making sure the sow could not be able to get close to me while I was processing
them. I also took safety by making sure I didn't stab myself or cut myself.




                                                                         1162
                                            Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


During the summer months I spend several hours working in hay in order to have enough to feed
during the winter months. In this case I have been involved in all aspects of quality forage
production. For example I have learned to always watch the weather forecast to make sure I
avoid rain. If hay is lost due to have it down and then raining then it has hurt the entire farm
which reduces the net farm profit. Also I have learned how to manage hay pastures through
fertilization and eliminating weeds from the pasture. Another important thing to remember with
dairy cattle is to monitor the amount of weeds such as wild onion that grow in fields. Each
spring we go out and spread fertilizer in order to produce a high quality forage when cutting
takes place. Another thing I do is load and unload wagons which takes a great deal of time. I
have learned how to load a wagon to the point where nothing will come off of it and that it can
be easily moved. Overall this has been a key skill in this area.
During the summer months I spend several hours working in hay in order to have enough to feed
during the winter months. In this case I have been involved in all aspects of quality forage
production. For example I have learned to always watch the weather forecast to make sure I
avoid rain. If hay is lost due to have it down and then raining then it has hurt the entire farm
which reduces the net farm profit. Also I have learned how to manage hay pastures through
fertilization and eliminating weeds from the pasture. Another important thing to remember with
dairy cattle is to monitor the amount of weeds such as wild onion that grow in fields. Each
spring we go out and spread fertilizer in order to produce a high quality forage when cutting
takes place. Another thing I do is load and unload wagons which takes a great deal of time. I
have learned how to load a wagon to the point where nothing will come off of it and that it can
be easily moved. Overall this has been a key skill in this area.
At each stage of an animal's production cycle it requires a specific diet. Proper balances of
concentrage, roughage and supplements keep animals healthy and at maximum performance.
Helps to improve EPD's and knowledge of each individuals production performance. I record
my dams breeding dates, birthdates, weigh at birth, weaning and yearling and animal health
practices.
Accurate records are essential when filling out registration papers and reporting EPD's.
Recording medications administered and withdrawal dates is crucial for any animals used for
human consumption.

                                                                        1162
                                             Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                   Knowledge/Competency


My father and I customized a record book template from the Oklahoma Agriculture Education
website for use with my SAE. The revisions made closing records much easier and less time
consuming.
I have learned the value of good record keeping through my Agriculture Education Classes.
Maintaining accurate performance records is essential for knowing costs of production and
income potential. I compile hand written records into a computer application so information can
be analyzed and retrieved in a timely manner. Use of the computer allows me to store
information from the different places I work and makes it easy to reference information when
needed. I keep records on birth dates, how many animals were born, any complications, and
rations feed. On the horses I break and ride, I keep notes on attitudes and progress. Records are
kept on medicine administered to sick animals, weights for rate of gain, supplements and hay
fed. I also keep maintenance records on equipment and vehicles. Records are the baseline for
any management decision and help me keep track of how many hours I have worked on a
I learned proper equipment handing in order to be safe when operating them on the farm.
Throughout the year I had no equipment accidents.
Used caution around the animals especially when vaccinating them and handing young
livestock. I also learned how my cattle or swine reacted around certain situations, to know what
Salesmanship techniques, marketing of products I learned to use a digital camera and computer
software to prepare layouts, posters, ads and website. To get higher profits for lambs and
products; working with community and marketing locally has started to build positive
The sanitation of the milking facilities and general livestock facility maintenance is essential.
Also the cleanliness of the milking facilities helps in assuring that the milk company will stay
with you. Each time I work either morning or evening I spend time cleaning the floor of the
milk room. By flushing out the floor the overall sanitation is much better and it allows a
cleaner, safer working environment. Also the milking equipment must be cleaned and lines
flushed regularly. The cleaning chemicals have to meet certain regulations and thus we have to
make sure that everything that is used meets cleanliness guidelines. One of the things that has
always been stressed to me during my placement is to keep everything as clean as possible for
various reasons. A big reason we focus on cleanliness is because people come to the farm
regularly to buy calves and for other reasons. A business person wants someone to have a good


                                                                         1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


Learning to evaluate beef cattle on judging teams helped me select four champion steers.
Selecting quality sires for my Red Angus has enabled me to produce bulls that topped bull test
Carcass merit, quality and yield grading increase consumer confidence in my product. Being
able to judge livestock has made me a more objective evaluator.
Using A.I. Helps to incorporate top bloodlines in the breed and raises the value of the progeny,
all without having to manage a bull. I choose the best sires to improve the genetics of both the
beef and dairy livestock.
I was helped by local showmen and cattle herdsmen how to fit my cattle properly for the show
day. This enabled me to be ready for the show and get my cattle ready properly.
One of the biggest issues facing dairy farmers is mastitis and using a teat dip is a means of
reducing this disease. When a cow gets mastitis then the farm will not maximize profit. The use
of a teat dip helps prevent disease problems and in return helps the farm reach a maximum
production level. Most teat dip is basically an iodine solution that dries on the teat after milking.
We keep a cup in the barn so that it is available as soon as the milker comes off the cow. In the
two years I have helped milk cows we have experimented with a couple of dips such I-Deal
which works very well. Through always remembering to dip the teats I have been able to help
assure the overall health of the dairy herd. If I do see signs of mastitis I am always sure to
document it and start into the treatment process. I have learned to always tell my employer that I
have noticed signs of mastitis in a cow so he can continue treatments when I am not working.
Overall this has been a valuable skill within this area.
The milking process, which includes pre-washing and post dipping, is done twice a day. Before
milking, the vacuum pump must be run to assure the pipeline has no excess water in it. Then I
fill a 2 gallon bucket with a water and iodine solution to wash particles and other impurities off
the teat with a sponge cloth. I manage three manual milkers at all times when milking and use a
milk can for treated cow's milk or fresh cow's milk. After a cow is milked out, I dip the cow
with a solution that will kill any bacteria on the teat and will block other bacteria from infecting
the quarter. Properly milking of a cow will enable the cow to continue producing quality milk
I set up a partition made of electric fence in their pens, so when the animals are turned out to
pasture that is fenced in with electric fences I don't have to worry about them getting out.
I focused on carcass data and birth, weaning and yearling weight EPD's while making mating
choices and buying and selling my beef cattle. The quality and weights of my calves have

                                                                           1162
                                              Diversified Livestock Production Skills/Activities Examples


                                    Knowledge/Competency


I have spent several hours working with cattle in order to control diseases. One of the greatest
skills I have learned within this proficiency is how to vaccinate cattle for various diseases. First
I have gained the ability to read the label correctly and determine the withdraw time and the dose
amount. The withdraw is extremely important in dairy animals. In the case of giving the actual
injection I have learned to always secure the animal in a chute before giving the shot. If the
animal is restrained the chances of injury to myself and others goes down greatly. Another part
of giving the vaccination is making sure that I select the correct site. For example I have learned
to give injections in the upper shoulder/neck area. This is a solid muscle away from major
muscles but in an area that provides a good amount of blood flow. During the course of my
placement this has been a great skill because I have kept animals healthy, but also because I have
I learned how to vaccinate my livestock properly and to keep good track of which animals can be
slaughter for consumption and what can not be. All of my herds stayed healthy which caused
more production on the farm. Daily inspection made me aware whether my herd may be
Maintaining healthy beef and dairy animals prevents and decreases loss and increases the
animals' efficiency in converting feed to meat. The manager also spends less time caring for sick
Walking the boar is done daily at Iowa Select Farms when heat checking the sows. This activity
is performed by leading a boar on a rope down all the opportunity sow rows, while two other
employees go down the rows behind the sows checking for sows that show signs of being in
heat. The buildings are so large this process takes a lot of time to complete and because it gets
really boring fast I keep an eye on the feeders to close open ones so that feed isn't wasted. The
boar likes to keep moving so a chain hook is attached to the end of the halter rope that he wears
and can be quickly hooked on a nearby crate. By walking the boar I take part in an important
activity, because if sows in heat aren't found they can't be bred and if they aren't bred they can't
farrow and then the business couldn't prosper and be successful.
Just like keeping accurate financial records, keeping weight records is equally important. This
helps me to calculate feed conversion, as well as average daily gain in my show animals.
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     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Lab Safety
     Technology




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                                Emerging Agricultural Technology Skills/Activities Examples
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                        Laboratory Work: preparing embryos
     Emerging
                         for freezing or implanting, loading
     Agricultural     P
                           embryos into straws, sanitizing
     Technology
                                       "dishes"




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P            Laser Scraping
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P            Making Maps
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P             Management
     Technology



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     Emerging
     Agricultural     P         Mapping Field Areas
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Mastitis Kit Usage
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Media Creation / Sterile Technique
     Technology




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     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Microbiological Staining Techniques
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Milk Sampling
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P       Multi-Year Field Reports
     Technology




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     Emerging
                             On-site Activities: flushing,
     Agricultural     P
                                microscope training
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Operate GPS Unit
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Pasteurization
     Technology




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     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Precision Measuring
     Technology




     Emerging
                          Preparation of selective differential
     Agricultural     P
                          medias
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Prepare Test Plot for Public Viewing
     Technology




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     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Preparing Embryo Freezing Materials
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P            Printing Maps
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Public Speaking
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Record Field Application Amounts
     Technology




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     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Recordkeeping
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Recordkeeping of Embryos, Invoicing
     Technology




     Emerging
     Agricultural     P Recordkeeping/Lab Write-Ups
     Technology




                                                           1162
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     Emerging
                          Recordkeeping: filling out forms for
     Agricultural     P
                               embryos, writing up bills
     Technology