Good afternoon. I hope that you are having a good week. Many of you are finishing up proficiency award applications that are due on Monday, February 2. As you put the finishing touches on these applications, I have prepared a few reminders for you to keep in mind. Please review the following, and do not hesitate to call on me if you have questions. I know that it can be frustrating to deal with a new application and system, but please keep plugging along and keep in mind that everyone is dealing with the same new application process that you are. 

1. Proficiency Award applications are now online applications and must be accessed through the Ag Career Network (AgCN). Attached is a help sheet that will walk you through how to gain access to the AgCN for students. 

2. Please be sure that you review the descriptions of the proficiency award categories. You can find the detailed descriptions at this link. It is very important to make sure that your student(s) are appying in the correct category to avoid any disqualifications. I encourage you to ask questions if you have them, and avoid trying to stretch something into a category where it does not belong just to have more applications. Any application that is deemed out of category will be disqualified. 

3. On the Basic Set-up page, be sure to select the appropriate category from the dropdown box AND select the apporpriate AFNR Career Pathway that most closely ties to the SAE being covered in the application. If you happen to not offer that pathway in your program's coursework, that is OK. We are not asking which pathway the student took courses in/completed....we are asking which pathway does their SAE connect to. We realize that in some cases, there may be a difference in what courses a student takes and where their SAE falls. Selected the appropriate pathway for the SAE will be important when the student gets to the skills page. 

4. On the Basic Set-up page, be sure to enter the first year of the SAE. Once the student enters the year that the SAE began, those dates will populate through the rest of the application. 

5. On the Basic Set-up page of any application that is not already identified as Placement or Entrepreneurship by category, you will notice a sliding bar. That bar exists for your student to identify what percentage of the SAE covered in this application is Placement and/or Entrepreneurship. If the project is 100% placement, then have the student slide the bar all the way to the Placement side. If the SAE is completely Entrepreneurship, then have the student slide the bar all the way to the Enterepeneurship side. New this year is an opportunity for students to count both Entrepreneurship and Placement in the same application, unless the application is already divided by category. However, I would caution you that unless your student's SAE is at least a 60/40 split or more equal, I would encourage you to select 100% of either Entrepeneurship or Placement. 

6. At the bottom of the Basic Set-up page is an opportunity to list beginning and ending inventory. If the application your student is working on is 100% Placement, then they can ignore that portion. The inventory information is only for students with Entrepreneurship applications. 

7. The SAE Hours/Wages page is only for Placement SAEs.

8. The SAE Entrepreneurship Details, Income/Expense, Ending Current Inventory, and Ending Non-Current Inventory page are for Entrepreneurship SAEs only. 

9. The Outcomes & Efficiencies page should be completed by all students (Placement, Entrepreneurship, AND Research). Students with Entrepreneurship SAEs should focus on production efficiencies, while students with Placement SAEs should focus on Learning Outcomes. 

10. On the Skills/Competencies/Knowledge page, remember that the first 5 skills must all come from the AFNR pathway that was selected on the Basic Set-up page and must tie to the SAE. Skills 6-10 can come from any pathway. It is important that the student do a good job explaining how each skill contributed to the success/growth of their SAE. Be specific.

11. There is no longer a financial balance sheet (what used to be page 5 of a placement application). The new application is only designed to capture information about the SAE covered in this application. The student is no longer asked to report funds not associated with this SAE or to balance all of their finances. 

12. All students are expected to complete their resume using the resume page in the online application. Please DO NOT attemp to attached a resume that you have designed separately. 

13. Students should upload 6 photos and share a detailed caption for each.

14. Once the application is final. Generate a PDF file, print that file and get all necessary signatures. 

15. The advisor/employer letter and the personal page must be completed separately from the online application and then attached once the application is printed.

16. Once you have printed the application, gotten all signatures and attached the letter and personal page; then a hard copy of the application must be submitted to the Region office by February 2. (This is NOT a postmarked date). If you choose to submit electronically, please print the orginal file and get all necessary signatures then attached the personal page an letter. Then scan the complete application and email that complete file to the appropriate Region office application email address. 

I hope that this information is helpful. 

Ben Lastly
Executive Secretary
Georgia FFA Association