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A Guide to Completing the PA FFA Conservation Record Book

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1 A Guide to Completing the PA FFA Conservation Record Book
Pennsylvania Supervised Agricultural Experience Conservation Pages A Guide to Completing the PA FFA Conservation Record Book

2 What is a conservation project SAE?
In a conservation project SAE the student studies wildlife and the environment and conducts activities to improve the environment and provide habitat for wildlife. Conservation projects usually include multiple activities throughout the year.

3 Page 1 Complete this page at the beginning of the project year.
1082 East Main Street, Blue Ball, PA. The property is located directly across the street from the Sunoco gas station. The information on this page must be agreed to by everyone involved in the project. I will build and erect 20 Peterson blue bird boxes by the end of January. The boxes will be located along the south and west property lines. I will monitor these boxes from March 1 to September 1. Page 1 and 2 must be completed in ink. Location is the exact site where the SAE project will take place. Give your street address and other details that would help some one locate this site or sites. See example. Explanation is the specific SAE activities you will conduct as part of your conservation project. See example. For other ideas see the “Conservation Ideas List” in the record book section of the PA FFA website.

4 Wildlife Habitat Improvement
3 Page 2 terxt The Enterprise Name and Number should be the same on each page and should agree with the Common Pages. Properly planning your project will help you budget time and money to ensure success.

5 Page 2 Now it’s time to put what you plan to do in writing. Be specific. List each individual activity you plan to do and the date you expect to have it done. Set goals for yourself to complete each activity. Be realistic. For example, do not plan to plant seedlings in January. Monitor bluebird boxes twice each week, beginning April 1 Sept. 1 Fill bird feeders every other day beginning October 15 April 20 Plan, get approval for and plant a butterfly garden at Honey Brook Elem. June 15 Do border cutting on the local Game Lands, with the Land Crew March 30 Work with PGC to plant evergreens on local game lands May 1 Monitor pH and direction of all precipitation Dec. 31 Plant evergreen trees on our property to provide cover for wildlife May 1 Plant food species for wildlife on our property – fruit trees & shrubs July 15 Plant food plots of corn and soybeans for wildlife on our property August 1

6 Page 2 Next you need to have an idea of how much these activities are going to cost. Estimate what supplies you are going to need, when you are going to need these supplies (based on your proposed labor input goals). List each item, then how many of each item you will need. Next determine the cost of each item. You may need some help in determining the cost of these items. Finally determine your total estimated cost. Be aware that the total estimated cost may be a major factor in the success or failure of the project. 1-1 to 4-20 Sunflower seed 10 bags $ 12.00 $120.00 1-15 pH water test kit 1 kit $ 25.00 $ 25.00 Fertilizer for food plots 3-15 2 bags $ 5.00 $ 10.00 3-15 Corn seed for food plots 1 bag $ 45.00 $ 45.00 4-20 Apple tree seedlings for food 5 trees $ 15.00 $ 75.00 5-28 White pine trees - containerized 10 trees $ 17.00 $ $

7 Page 2 John Fox Steve Wheeler, WCO
Secure signatures, showing that each person involved in this project is aware of your plans before you begin the project. Justin Fox Xx/xx/xxxx John Fox Xx/xx/xxxx Joe Educator Xx/xx/xxxx Steve Wheeler, WCO Xx/xx/xxxx

8 Page 3 Complete this page at the beginning of the project year.
Completing this page will be a big help as you plan your project. While this example is acceptable, the more detail you are able to put onto your map the more helpful it will be. As you draw this plan, get help from others involved in the project.

9 Here is another example of a map style for your conservation record book. Again, it can be as plain or as detailed as you would like.

10 Page 4 Complete this page at the beginning of the project year and add species as you see them throughout the year. Record species only once, except for migratory species which you can record spring and fall. Make a list of animals you see. Remember that animals includes mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, etc. 1-1 Song sparrows 27 Seen at the sunflower feeders 1-1 2 pairs of cardinals 4 Seen at the sunflower feeders 1-1 Gold finch 15 At the thistle feeders 1-3 Gray squirrels 5 Raiding the feeders 1-18 Stripped skunk 1 Seen digging for grubs in the garden 3-28 Canada geese at the pond 200+ The first flights of migratory geese 4-20 Great blue heron 1 At the pond eating fish

11 Page 5 Observe the site of your project and make a list of the species (plants) available which can be used for food or shelter (cover) by animals living on your site. White pine trees – 20 near the pond 25+ arrow wood plants 2 old apple trees 3 acres of oak – hickory forest, mostly white oak 3 acres of mixed grass and clover 8+ shagbark hickory 6 butterfly bushes 5 dogwood trees 2 fence rows of mixed shrubs 2 pyracantha vines 3 crabapple trees – fall fruiting 2 rows of parsley for butterfly larva 40 feet of wild raspberries Plantings of Milkweed for Monarch butterflies

12 Page 5 It’s important to know the kind of soil you have on the project site. You may need to make improvements to the soil in order to support the kinds of plants you plan to plant. To complete this section you will need to use your county soil survey. If your agriculture department does not have a CD or hard copy of the county soil survey you may access soil surveys on line at Hagerstown silty clay loam, 8 to 15 percent slope This is a deep, well drained soil formed from weathered limestone. Soil depth is greater than 40 inches with few stones of any size. The only thing that this soil needs to improve it for plants is more organic matter. This can be accomplished by adding manure and mulch under landscape plantings.

13 Page 6 Give some thought to the kinds of wildlife you want to encourage on your site. Wildlife you are managing for: On our suburban property we will manage to attract mixed species. We would like to have as many songbirds as possible, especially robins, cardinals, doves, gold finch, blue jays, woodpeckers, towhees, etc. Using the grass fields we would like to have more quail and pheasants as well as meadowlark and bobolink. We have a passion for bluebirds as well. The pond gives us an opportunity to attract migrating ducks and geese as well as the occasional heron and red-winged blackbirds Our butterfly gardens attract a wide variety of butterflies. Cottontail rabbits, muskrats and other mammals are also desired. NOTICE COMPLETE SENTENCES AND PROPER GRAMMAR.

14 Page 6 Once you know what wildlife you want to encourage on your site, do some research to find out what you need to do to attract these wildlife species. List what you can do in the space below. What can be done to attract these wildlife species: To attract many of the songbirds, we provide feeders during the winter months and will continue to plant food species such as apples and crabapples as well as arrow wood and various viburnums. We mow alternate strips in the grass and clover to provide summer cover and food for the quail, pheasants, meadowlark and bobolink. We will also plant more evergreens for winter cover for our birds. NOTICE COMPLETE SENTENCES AND PROPER GRAMMAR.

15 At the beginning of the project year, make a list of items you own which will be used to carry out this project. Do not list personal items on this page. List items in the ‘BEGINNING OF YEAR’ column on this page. Carry information from this page to page S-2 – lines 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8. Page 7 At the end of the project year, list those items you obtained during the year. Quantities and dollar values will probably NOT agree. Again carry this information to page S-2. Thistle feeders 2 feeders $ 12.00 $ 24.00 2 feeders $ 11.00 $ 22.00 Sunflower feeders 2 feeders $ 42.00 2 feeders $ 21.00 $ 20.00 $ 40.00 Digital Camera $ $ 1 camera $ 1 camera $ Peterson Guide 1 book $ 19.97 $ 19.97 1 book $ 19.00 $ 19.00 Sunflower seed ½ bag $ 14.00 $ 7.00 ¾ bag $ 16.00 $ 12.00 Thistle seed 1 bag $ 22.00 $ 22.00 ½ bag $ 22.00 $ 11.00 shovels 3 shovels $ 10.00 $ 30.00 2 shovels $ 10.00 $ 20.00 1 mower $ $ mower 1 saw $ $ Chain saw

16 Page 8 Now list the items that other people own that you will be using for your project. It’s important to know the value of these items also. These items will NOT be recorded on page S-2. Table saw 1 saw $ 1000 $ 1000 1 saw $ 1000 $ 1000 12 acres of land 12 acres $ 5000 $ 60,000 12 acres $ 5500 $ 66,000 1 tractor 1 trctr $ 1275 $ 1275 $ 1250 1 trctr $ 1250 Chain saw chaps 1 set $ 85 $ 85 1 set $ 85 $ 85 Chain saw shirt 1 shirt $ 65 $ 65 Commercial mower 1 mower $ 2500 $ 2500 Remember that the values will most likely change at the end of the year.

17 Page 9 Record everything you do that in any way relates to your conservation project. Be sure to circle HOURS or MINUTES and then be consistent with your entries. Do NOT use minutes for one entry and hours for the next. Use complete sentences and proper grammar for these entries. DIARY AND LABOR RECORD I went for a walk in the snow and saw five deer bedded down in the pines. I also saw evening grosbeaks. 120 Good diary entry. I saw red fox tracks in the snow in the field , it was hunting for mice. 60 1-1 It is New Year’s Day so we filled all bird feeders and gave the birds Use more than one line if necessary, to give a complete description. some extra special treats. We hung apples and oranges from a few of the trees. We also rolled pine cones in peanut butter and then in nuts and cranberries and hung them from several trees. 45 min. 3-28 Today the first flights of geese arrived from the south and 2 groups stopped at the pond. It was a noisy night. Poor diary entry. 1-1 Fed birds 5 min. IMPORTANT. If you are using the computer version do not enter minutes or hours in the time worked column. The computer will not add your time if you enter a unit in this column.

18 Page 13 On this page, record everything you spend on this project.
EXPENSES 1-12 1 bag of sunflower seed 1 bag $ 12.50 $ 12.50 3-12 Ordered 20 pine trees in containers 20 trees $ 15.25 $ $305.00 On this page, record everything you spend on this project.

19 Record animals you see. These animals should also be included in your diary.
Page 14 IDENTIFICATION OF MAMMALS 1-14 porcupine Erethizon dorsatum Seen feeding on aspen at our cabin Sciurus carolinensis 1-27 Gray squirrels 8 seen at our bird feeders Vulpes vulpes 4-22 Red fox A vixen and 5 pups at wood pile Vulpes vulpes 4-23 Red fox Only 4 pups with vixen today 4-23 Gray squirrels Sciurus carolinensis Several females with young squirrels Do not record a species every time you see it, rather record weekly or when special circumstances occur. Of course you would have many more entries between January and April !!!

20 Record birds you see during the year
Record birds you see during the year. These animals should also be included in your diary. Do not record a species every time you see it, rather record weekly Page 15 or when special circumstances occur. IDENTIFICATION OF BIRDS 1-1 Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus At Kyle’s house, working on nest 1-1 Goldfinch Arduelis tristis 17 on thistle feeders at Maddy’s 1-1 European starlings Sturnus vulgaris Eating suet at our feeders 1-3 American kestrel Falco sparverius Hunting mice by the pond 3-22 Charadrius vociferus Killdeer On school roof. A sign of spring. 3-23 Bald eagles Chicks appearing over the nest rim Haliaeetus leucocephalus 9-20 Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Back at school, fall is here Of course you would have many additional entries between March and September !!!

Record species as you see them. Remember to include shrubs and wildflowers. 1-1 White oak Quercus alba At Boe’s pond, 43” dbh 1-1 Red oak Quercus borealis Supports Aaron’s tree stand 1-5 Wild raisin Viburnum cassinoides Among Mitch’s native plantings 4-5 Red clover Trifolium repens Growing in the grass field near pond 7-12 Milkweed Sclepias syriaca Already has Monarch larva feeding Of course you would have many entries between January, April and July !!!

22 Page 17 Record all species as seen. Remember to include aquatic species of insects. IDENTIFICATION OF REPTILES, AMPHIBIANS, FISH AND INSECTS 1-2 Brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis In spring house at grandparent’s 1-10 Golden shiner Notemigonus crysoleucas Purchased for ice fishing bait 2-2 Stonefly larva Plecoptera In Hay Creek while doing biotic index 2-2 Dragonfly larva Odonata In Hay Creek while doing biotic index 2-18 Black rat snake Elaphe obsoleta In the aquaculture room at school 2-18 E. Milk snake In the aquaculture room at school Lampropeltis triangulum 2-18 Garter snake Thamnopnis sirtalis In the aquaculture room at school 2-20 Spotted Salamander Ambystoma maculatum At the school pond - mating

Page 18 Record all evidence of wildlife seen throughout the year. Sign includes tracks, scat, road kill, feathers, deer rubs, tooth marks,etc. IDENTIFICATION OF WILDLIFE SIGN 1-8 Eastern coyote Canis latrans Dead on Route 80 1-19 Cardinal feathers Cardinalis cardinalis Killed by cat at feeders 2-3 Otter slide Lutra canadensis Along Juniata River

24 Page 19 Record skills you have learned throughout the year. These skills will summarize what you have accomplished during the year. Record your skills throughout the year. Do NOT wait until the end of the year to do this Example of skill: I learned to ID 15 song birds.

25 Page 19 1-29 I learned to ID 15 songbirds X X Rank your skill level using the evaluation at the top of the page. Ask your teacher to evaluate your skill level. Remember that your teacher’s evaluation may not agree with your evaluation.

26 Page 21 Justin has done an outstanding job improving the habitat for wildlife at home. He has planted trees and shrubs for wildlife food and a group of pines for cover Mrs. Fox Ask someone who is familiar with your project to write a paragraph explaining what you have accomplished and learned. Justin has helped check the bird nest boxes at Struble Lake, helped with border cutting on gamelands 55 and helped to plant trees at the Barnston Dry Dam. When ever we needed help, we knew we could count on Justin. Bill Smith, PGC Land Management Foreman Justin has done an outstanding job working with our land management crew and improving wildlife habitat at his home. He has made a difference for wildlife and the environment. His Christmas tree recycling project not only kept 415 trees out of landfills, but also helped to prevent erosion and provided cover through the brush piles he built. Sharon Martin, PGC WCO More than 1 person may do an evaluation of your project. Don’t forget to have your WCO evaluate your project and affix his / her seal. Sharon Martin

27 Page 22 Justin Fox It’s important to keep a photographic record of your conservation project. Insert pictures here that document your conservation projects. 1/6/XX Struble Lake Enter the date the picture was taken and the location. Insert a picture no larger than 4 inches by 6 inches. Finally describe the photo in fifty words or less. Make sure the picture is well focused. In this example, the trip to Struble Lake should also be documented in the student’s diary entries Here I am working with the Game Commission land management crew to check and clean bird nest boxes at Struble Lake. This allowed me to explore this career as I worked with the crew.

28 Conservation Scorecard
The scorecard will help you understand what we are looking for when conservation records are judged at the state FFA record book competition.

29 In addition to entering your conservation records in the state competition, you may be eligible for awards from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. PGC awards are based upon permanent habitat improvements. For example planting trees which will provide food and or cover for wildlife. Please remember that you might receive a gold medal in the FFA competition for your record keeping ability, but not receive a Game Commission award. You might also receive a Game Commission award, but not receive a gold medal based on the FFA scorecard. You must receive a medal in the FFA scoring for your records to be submitted to the Game Commission for their evaluation. Game Commission awards are presented in each of the 6 Game Commission regions as well as on the state level. You may receive only 1 Game Commission award per year. These awards include a framed certificate and a monetary award.

30 We look forward to seeing your conservation record book in the state FFA record book competition in February. With your interest in this area you may also want to explore the Wildlife, Aquatic Resources, Forestry and Environmental and Natural Resources Career Development Events. You will also want to consider applying for an FFA proficiency award. Your records will be most likely to fit into the Wildlife Production and Management or Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management proficiency area. When applying for your Keystone FFA degree, enter your conservation records on page 6. You will need at least 300 hours outside of class time to qualify for the Keystone degree. A Conservation SAE will allow you to apply for the Agriscience Star category when you apply for your Keystone degree.

31 This concludes the presentation on the Conservation record book
This concludes the presentation on the Conservation record book. You may want to go back and review this presentation at the end of the project year for help in closing out your record book.

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