The Nebraska FFA Launch! Program
Launch! a School-Based Enterprise that propels students’ futures!
The Nebraska FFA Launch! Program is funded by the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, First National Bank, UNL Engler Program, CASE Family Foundation and the Nebraska FFA Foundation.
The Nebraska FFA Launch! Program will serve as a powerful catalyst in school-based enterprise education for our Nebraska FFA members and agricultural education students.
This year-long program is designed to jumpstart School-Based Enterprises in Nebraska Agriculture Education Programs. A School-Based Enterprise is a valuable opportunity to create a new source of income for the program, provide hands-on agribusiness experience to students, and generate support and involvement in a local community.
What is a School-Based Enterprise?
A school-based enterprise is a real business planned, operated, and managed by students with direction from the Agriculture Teacher. There are a few different models that a school-based enterprise can follow which determine the level of student/school/chapter ownership, amount of committed class time, and level of community involvement.
School-Based Enterprises are:
- A real world experience for students.
- A hands-on entrepreneurship / Agribusiness experience.
- A powerful community support builder.
- An SAE opportunity for students.
- An income generating asset for an Agriculture Program or FFA Chapter.
- Lots of hard work.
- A valuable experience for both Students and Teachers.
School-Based Enterprises are not:
- A fruit-sales fundraiser.
- Solely the Job of the Ag Educator/Advisor.
- 100% risk free.
- Something only for small or large chapters.
A school-based enterprise also provides an additional option of serving as a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) for students. It’s especially useful to students who do not have immediate access to agriculture opportunities in their community. A school-based enterprise is primarily led and ran by students, and provides a unique learning experience at many levels. Often, there are a number of roles students play, from an executive-level manager to an hourly worker. This is real-world experience and a high level of responsibility for students.
Training for the Nebraska FFA Launch! Program is facilitated by UNL Engler Program.
Participating programs will receive in-person training focused on planning, launching, and running school-based enterprises within their Agricultural Education Programs/FFA Chapters. This program provides a guaranteed planning grant of $1,000 to participating chapters, as well as the opportunity to compete for additional funding in a pitch competition. This funding is used to assist in launching and running the school-based enterprise. Participating programs will send a teacher and team of 4-6 students to the in-person training to make plans and execute the business. The teacher will select specific students who will serve as leaders of the school-based enterprise and participate in the Nebraska FFA Launch! Program events.
Training topics include:
- Business ideation
- Testing and validating businesses
- Business model planning
- Business financials
- Creating a student management team
- Building a business advisor team
- Learning to pitch a business
- Business planning and turnover
- How to navigate a school board
Program Overview & Timeline
This training occurs at training sessions held across the state and monthly Zoom calls.
Kickoff Event (Tentatively)
Location: Holiday Inn Conference Center, Kearney (Alongside 212/360 Conferences)
Date: February 28, 2020
This event is the jump-start to the program. Accepted chapters will learn the basics of launching a school-based enterprise, explore business models, identify community needs, test business ideas, and walk away with an action plan to begin implementing.
June Quick-Pitch Competition
Date: TBD, Summer, 2020
Students from participating chapters will compete for seed-grant funding in a quick-pitch style competition. Students will be given five minutes to pitch the business model and implementation plans for their School-Based Enterprise to a panel of business and entrepreneurship judges. Studetns will then gather to share best practices and further training. An additional $5,000 in funding is available at this event.
Date: TBD, November, 2020
At this short event students will share progress, problem solve, and make plans for the remainder of the year. Students and teachers will also consider and craft transition plans for a new group of students to lead the enterprises.
Date: TBD, February, 2021
At this final event, chapters will provide updates and reflect on the progress of their enterprise this past year. They will have the opportunity to interact with the new cohort of programs just beginning the Nebraska FFA Launch! program. Students will also learn the foundations of constructing a business pitch, and prepare for the Final Pitch Competition held in the spring.
Spring Pitch Presentation
Time: TBD, Spring, 2021
Student teams will give a final pitch presentation to other FFA members to help encourage them to consider starting a school-based enterprise or other entrepreneurship-based SAEs during a convention workshop. Competitive awards will be provided to recognize participating students and programs in the Launch! Program. This is the conclusion of the program.
A school-based enterprise not only will provide a valuable learning experience for your students, but also build unique support for your agriculture program, school, and local community. Additionally, this will provide an innovative professional development opportunity for teachers across the state. If you want to set yourself and your chapter apart, the Nebraska FFA Launch! Program is a great fit for you.
Please contact Larry Gossen, [email protected], with questions about the Nebraska FFA Launch! Program.
2020-2021 Application – link coming soon!
Applications due February 1, 2020!